Why Alien 3 is Better than Aliens

One of the big summer tent poles is the official Alien prequel Prometheus. At least, I think it’s meant to be the official prequel. The trailers I’ve seen include many of the iconic imagery from the first film (like the ship the Nostromo crew found the eggs on), but does not include the xenomorphs. Still, it’s an excuse to look back on the franchise that officially includes two great films (the first and the James Cameron directed second) which have inspired every single sci-fi action picture since their release, and two terrible films (the third and the fourth) which were the result of too many cooks trying to hard to recapture the success of the first two.

And, as usual, the official story is wrong.

Admittedly, Resurrection is a bad movie, and the absolute worst of the four Alien films, but it’s not quite the cinematic train wreck that its reputation would suggest (you can read my review here). And there’s no point in going over the original film. Everyone has done so, and everyone is correct – it’s one of the greatest horror films ever made.

Instead, I want to focus on the middle two films, and how the lower quality one managed to win with the public, to the point there is no longer any serious discussion as to the flaws.

When Alien was released, it was a harrowing, cynical critique of Carter’s America. Everyone in the film was presented as a blue-collar worker who was almost afraid to take any extreme measures, even though that was what was needed to defeat a growing threat. Everyone was seemingly broke, and was unable to process the technology they were using that could change the human condition. And no one was safe from consequences – even from celebrated  activities (at least, celebrated in the glittery world of Studio 54) like sex.

It was also a film that acknowledged women could officially do everything that men could do, and in some ways, could be more resourceful in a crisis. Ripley was important because she was treated as an equal as opposed to the typical screaming blonde slasher victim. This was the most revolutionary aspect of all and it paved the way for pretty much every female action hero ever crafted.

The point is, Alien was anything but positive. It set the stage for a sci-fi franchise that could address the horror of modern life using a giant monster to symbolize so much more than a carnivorous beast.

So what did that celebrated auteur and official “best filmmaker ever” James Cameron do when he got his hands on the franchise and directed Aliens?

He ignored all of the bleakness of the first film and made a movie that Reagan and the neoconservatives of America would embrace.

This is a perfectly legitimate approach to take (any approach to any subject can be a legitimate one, if it is done correctly).  But it betrays pretty much everything that the original film stood for.

Think about it. The strong female character is regressed to the point where her only worthwhile activity is surrogate motherhood (to the most annoying character in the franchise, no less). Marines are celebrated rather than criticized.  A potentially strong statement about the unfeeling conglomerate (which was another point of the original film, in which a corporation’s goals are viewed as more important than human lives) is reduced to a subplot that is resolved long before the film is over. Nuclear weapons are presented as a positive use of force. Robots (and technology) can be just as human as us (which was also something the original film went out of its way to debunk). And finally, Aliens did not really possess any thought, and could be boiled down to “man, it would be AWESOME if we could film something like this.”

I know that pretty much everyone has seen Aliens, so they know exactly what specific elements I am talking about. What has always been surprising to me is that no one seems to realize just how out-of-place these moments are in a sequel to Alien. Alien
is not supposed to be a positive film about triumph. It is deeper than that comic book mentality.

And that’s why I prefer Alien 3 to Aliens – it restores the bleak atmosphere and the sharp critique of modern society that Aliens so desperately needed. The creatures were actually frightening again (rather than just video game enemies) and the people were flawed creatures that were trying to be good. Indeed, the third actually fully embraced the flaws of humanity that the first film only hinted at – and actually had a point about religion, which makes sense after America emerged from the time in which Jerry Falwell was treated as a serious commentator rather than as a sick joke.

Either way, the film was a reflection of what was going on upon its release – the cynical Generation X coming of age and rebelling against the values of the previous decade. So of course, it fits nicely with the original film and its predictions of those values and how bizarre they would seem.

Alien 3 also re-introduced Ripley as a strong female character, who is able to take charge amongst a group of men (something she never really did in Aliens). It also acknowledged the fact she was a woman (I believe this is the only film in the franchise that shows her in a sexual relationship with another character) something that even Ridley Scott seemed unwilling to do. (Admittedly, the first draft of the first film’s script stated Ripley was a man, but…) Ripley is the strongest she has ever been in the franchise, able to  confront her fears and stand up properly to those who would oppress her. Gone is the Ripley that was almost killed by Ash (the company) in the first film. The ending of this one is the greatest sort of visual insult that Ripley could give those who had tried to control her life and treat her as a commodity.

I am not sure why Alien 3 was not embraced by the public. Well, yes I am sure, actually- it’s because James Cameron essentially lead to an expectation of “less thought, more stuff blowing up.” Also, the troubled production history (which was well publicized) certainly did not help the film. But Alien 3 is the real “sequel” that Alien deserved – one that did not go out of its way to please the establishment, and did everything it could to make the audience uncomfortable and afraid of their surroundings.

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6 Responses to Why Alien 3 is Better than Aliens

  1. John W Rosa says:

    Interestingly, a friend and I were having a long FB debate over these ideas. Hopefully, this site will allow such a LONG reply. 🙂 Here goes…

    John W Rosa- I liked Aliens… just not more than Alien3. Too popcorny/adolescent shoot-em-up/Michael Bayish for me. A whole other genre from the original horror. Remember the superintendent of the prison pulled up into the ceiling, and the comment of the guy holding the chair? “FUCK!”…awesome. 🙂
    June 14 at 10:26am · Like

    Dave Nicholson I liked Alien 3, but nowhere near as much as Cameron’s Full Metal Jacket themed Aliens, although I’m basing this off the theatrical version of Alien 3. I hear the director’s cut is much better. Also, I was a child of the 80s, so Aliens was the one that introduced me to the franchise. Going back and watching Alien made me appreciate the story elements of Aliens even more. It also introduced us to the Queen, and what’s not to like about some classic shoot-em-up action (before Bay overdid it), a hoard of xenos and facehuggers, a synthetic android getting ripped in two, and a mech-exo-skeleton suit, all while protecting the innocent life of a child. Beats a prison full of rapists in my opinion.
    June 14 at 10:44am · Like

    Dave Nicholson And that scene you referenced in Alien 3 is great, but not as great in my opinion as the scene in Aliens when Ripley is knee deep in the egg chamber and basically gives the queen a big fuck you as she torches everything in sight. And then in the final battle when the queen is going after Newt and Ripley comes at her in the power loader – “get away from her, you BITCH!”….love it!!!
    June 14 at 10:59am · Like

    John W Rosa- I like a shoot-em-up when it’s a stand-alone piece, or part of a shoot-em-up series. But, for me, the abandonment of the original’s horror was a jarring disappointment to me. I remember being in the theater and as soon as the first xeno’s head exploded, my heart sank and never came back up. The whole point of the first film was the total inability to kill it- they had to find a way to escape it. Then comes Paxton chewing up the scenery, playing a whinier bitch than Cartwright did the first time. The Marines were all cartoons. And nuke the planet? WAY too Republican a solution for me. And that’s where 3, with all Fox’s intrusion on Fiincher’s process, still redeemed the horror. Here again, no weapons- we have to outsmart it and survive ’til rescued. And everything she accomplished in the prior film is stripped away in the opening credits- no Newt, no boyfriend, no android. Alone again. And the prisoners? Brilliant move-the best she can do for allies is men we’d despise under ALL other circumstances. Again, the rock and the hard place. As viewers, which should we root for? Ripley couldn’t have been thrown down further to a place from which to climb back out. And choosing to die to end the species? Totally heroic.

    The director’s cut has some alternate moments that are cool- no big changes to the storyline, tho. Just some added struggles that don’t alter the outcome. One change I didn’t like was having an ox birth the alien instead of the dog. I **LOVE** dogs, so seeing one whimpering as it is cruelly destroyed to birth the xeno was wrenching to watch- a major investment of emotion. Don’t think I’d have cared half as much seeing it burst from an already-dead ox.

    Aliens is fine on its own. Had it been titled XENO ATTACK and not had a character named Ripley, I’d say great movie. But as it follows the first film, but tears down everything that made the first one great, I prefer to leap over it and go right back into the dark where it’s scary and there’s little hope. 🙂
    June 14 at 11:44am · Like

    Dave Nicholson John, I can’t dismiss Aliens that easily, or even dream of separating it from the franchise. I think it fits in perfectly as a sequel to Alien – after confirming the existence of the xenos on LV-426 in Alien, Weyland Yutani colonizes the planet, presumably to create a breeding ground for the xeno bio-weapon, and sends in a team of Colonial Marines along with a corporate rep (Paul Reiser) to allegedly check on the colony. This all ends up in a full-on battle for survival.

    Aliens is centered around a military operation, so I have no problem with the guns or shoot-em-up style of this movie. I’ll agree that it takes away from the “horror” element a bit since it’s clear we CAN kill them (not necessarily without side effects, like their acidic blood), but there certainly was still a thrill factor to it in my opinion. Like when the Marines were all in one room together and a swarm of xenos were closing in on them but there were no signs of where they were coming from until they dropped out of the ceiling and came up from below.

    I also don’t have any political hangups on Ripley’s suggestion to nuke the planet. She knew these creatures better than anyone else and what they were capable of. Everyone on the planet was dead or had been harvested by the xenos, so why not get the hell off the planet and blow it up and be done with it. I totally get it.

    In Aliens, we also see Reiser’s character betray the Marines in the interest of protecting the company’s investment and smuggling a sample of the xenos back to Earth for further research. I feel this betrayal, along with what Ripley already knew of the corporation’s intentions from Alien, and her desire to see the species wiped off the face of the universe plays a big part in her decision to sacrifice herself and the queen xeno inside her in Alien 3.

    In my opinion, cutting Aliens out and making it a standalone movie would be a huge disservice to the franchise.
    June 14 at 1:35pm · Like

    John W Rosa Monetarily, sure. If I’m a Fox bean-counter, of course I want it. But to maintain the original premise, leave it out completely and 1 segues into 3 just fine…without the need to kill the survivors of 2. Leaving 2 in is what damages the franchise, as it can’t recover after all that Hoo-rah macho. The new, larger audience (most of whom never saw the first to begin with) won’t tolerate going back into the dark as Fincher did, so studio meddling and customer expectation doomed Alien3. Had the release order been 1,3,2…3 would have faired much better, and 2 wouldn’t have suffered for it at all. 3 could still have killed Ripley, and 2 would still have done just as well with a new lead as, again, the bulk of its viewers had not seen 1 anyway.
    June 14 at 3:59pm · Like

    Dave Nicholson How does 1 segue into 3 just fine without 2? How else would you explain the facehugger that attacks the Ox/Dog in 3? Or how the queen embryo was planted in Ripley? There were no eggs brought aboard the Nostromo and only the one facehugger that died. The xeno that stowed away on Ripley’s escape pod in Alien was never shown to lay any eggs and wasn’t a Queen – hell, we didn’t know what the Queen was until 2 introduced us to the bitch. And the xeno in Alien was jettisoned out to space anyway before Ripley went into cryonic sleep. So if Ripley’s pod from the Nostromo had crashed on Fiorina 161 in 3, there would be no facehugger, no xeno birthed, no embryo in Ripley, and all the eggs would still be back on LV-426. Not much of a basis for Alien 3 without a major rewrite.

    And as for Alien 3 being doomed, that falls squarely on the studio’s shoulders and their constant tinkering with the script. The fact that they killed off Newt, Hicks, and Bishop off-screen before 3 even got under way pissed off a lot of fans of the franchise, even people directly involved with the movie. The special effects were also horrible for the most part, especially compared to the first and second films. The only thing that really saved 3 in my opinion was Ripley and her coming to terms with the situation she’d be unjustly thrown into and the embryo that was inside her which all culminated in a powerful closing sequence, which is ironic considering initial scripts had Hicks being the lead character in 3 with Ripley making more of a cameo.

    Hell, between Aliens and Alien 3, Ripley effectively destroyed what was left of the xeno species. Not even Shaw can say she did that. That’s another reason I’m glad we have Aliens. Without it, you’d still have the xenos on LV-426 for someone else to deal with, which just fragments the story even more in my opinion.

    Sorry, your opinion is intriguing, and I honestly like all of the Alien movies (excluding the AVP crossovers) but I just can’t agree with you that the Alien franchise would be better off without Aliens, or swapped around in the order of things.
    June 14 at 5:27pm · Like

    John W Rosa No faith in writers!! You’re locked into one script’s design instead of seeing what’s possible instead. 1 goes into 3 just fine… but you must be willing to ignore 2 ever existed. A queen was not part of 1. either. It was a plot device created for 2. And that queen emerged from the landing gear and went into fight mode. Never was she given a moment to lay one egg, let alone two… yet there one was in time for 3 (an error that cannot be resolved without ignoring 2). And THAT facehugger implanted Ripley… AND the dog. Thus, a facehugger CAN produce more than one xeno. No bitch needed. How did an egg get Ripley if no bitch exists? You don’t think the writers, if they chose to, could whip up a way in time for 3 as the 2nd film? Of course they could. And 2’s existence didn’t provide an answer regardless since the bitch had no time to lay an egg…so 3 stays the same- unexplained. If you MUST have a viable explanation, fine: The xeno in 1 has LOTS of ‘me time’ on the shuttle. SHE (surprise, she’s a female!) lays an egg in the shuttle…and Ripley again awakes implanted in 3 just in time to crash land on a prison planet- easy-peasy. Not at all a ‘major re-write’. 🙂

    Now, 3’s tampering and effects are all about budget constraints- how to get it done cheaper. Give 3 the budget 2 had (easily done if 3 comes 2nd), and the major issues vanish. Now imagine if Hicks lived (cuz the big budget gets Biehn aboard)…and you setup the 3rd film just as I said: Ripley is gone, Hicks is now the lead.

    As for fragmenting- again, 2 released 3rd can cleanup 426…we go into 4 with all the same points covered. All we lose is the bitch (easily replaced by a tweaked story line for 2 to give rise to an even larger xeno variation. Nothing lost, much gained. You still get the monster that was 2, while assuring 3 got it’s proper treatment. 🙂
    June 14 at 6:22pm · Like · 1

    John W Rosa BTW- that’s not to say you need Biehn at all in 3, as it now comes before 2…. but the point is the stories are totally flexible prior to filming. If you want him for both, you make the prison a military facility, and Biehn is a guard itching for a real challenge. he replaces the doctor as Ripley’s squeeze, and upon her death, joins the grunts on their trip to 426 for a little payback. 🙂
    June 14 at 6:49pm · Like

    John W Rosa Now… let me at Return of the Jedi, cuz there’s a buttload of teddy bear costumes that won’t be needed! Hehehe…
    June 14 at 6:52pm · Like

    Dave Nicholson The only way you could plausibly tie 1 into 3 without 2 is if the xeno aboard Ripley’s escape pod on the Nostromo had laid an egg. And no, this arc wouldn’t require a major rewrite. But I still feel cutting 2 out of the mix does a disservice to the franchise and ruins one of the most powerful moments of 3. Without the events and things learned in 2, it numbs Ripley’s decision to sacrifice her life to end the xeno species and prevent it from falling into Weyland’s hands. And without 2, LV-426 is a rampant breeding ground to presumably be dealt with later, which Ripley would know nothing about, so her sacrifice would be dwindled to not much more than stopping one xeno from getting loose. Big whoop!

    Unless of course we’re eliminating Ripley from 3 as you mentioned. So lets see: xeno in Alien lays an egg in Ripley’s escape pod before being jettisoned into space, facehugger attaches itself to Ripley while in hyper sleep, pod crashes on Fiorina 161, Ripley is awakened only to be killed shortly after by a chestburster, leaving a new xeno loose in the prison colony to be dealt with by a new lead character – Biehn as Hicks?. It works, but now Resurrection doesn’t have as much impact. Why go to the trouble to extract Ripley’s DNA and create a clone? We’ve done away with the queen, so what makes the xeno in Ripley so special? And you’ve still done away with one of the best scenes in 3, and arguably one of the strongest moments of all 4 of the main Alien films. This scene wouldn’t work nearly as well with another character in 3. There’s no history there. And I still don’t like the idea of dealing with LV-426 after 3 with a different character.This all brings me back around to why 2 is needed, right where it is – the history with Ripley and the xenos, and Weyland’s interest in all of this.

    We can hash this over and over for days, but the fact is, despite some of the issues I have with 3, I like the story line of each movie and the continuity that carries over all 4 films. I appreciate the thought you’ve put into this, John, but I just don’t see anything gained in your proposed butchering of the current Alien universe.
    June 14 at 8:34pm · Like

    Dave Nicholson And now you want to take the ewoks out of RotJ? John, please don’t take this the wrong way, but LEAVE MY SCI-FI ALONE!!! 😉
    June 14 at 8:35pm · Like

    Dave Nicholson Please tell me you’re not the one who planted the bug in Michael Bay’s ear to remove the “Teenage Mutant” characteristics from his upcoming Ninja Turtles from outer space movie. The kid in me is still doubled over from that blow to the gut.
    June 14 at 8:42pm · Like

    John W Rosa Never saw a Turtle episode, but I’m happy to assume Bay’s involvement will ruin anything good the originals had. 🙂

    And, yes, death to Ewoks. Lucas’ original treatment was cooler- WOOKIES! (get it? wook-E big, E-wook small?)… whatever. hated them.

    Back to Alien…
    June 14 at 10:08pm · Like

    John W Rosa ‎”The only way you could plausibly tie 1 into 3 without 2 is if the xeno aboard Ripley’s escape pod on the Nostromo had laid an egg.”

    These are movies- there’s never just one way. As I said, Sulaco had an egg in 3 that nobody in 2 put there. An imaginative writer can cook up all sorts of scenarios to fix that, but nobody did- they just left that gaping hole wide open.

    “I still feel cutting 2 out of the mix does a disservice to the franchise and ruins one of the most powerful moments of 3.”

    I can grant that it COULD do that, but again, a good writer can transcend any blockage and infuse the moment with a great, wholly different meaning for the sacrifice.

    “Unless of course we’re eliminating Ripley from 3 as you mentioned.”

    At the END of 3, not at the start… as it was filmed.

    “So lets see: xeno in Alien lays an egg in Ripley’s escape pod before being jettisoned into space, facehugger attaches itself to Ripley while in hyper sleep, pod crashes on Fiorina 161, Ripley is awakened only to be killed shortly after by a chestburster, leaving a new xeno loose in the prison colony to be dealt with by a new lead character – Biehn as Hicks?.”

    No, no, no- Ripley is implanted just as 3 always had her. She births a xeno during her suicide, just as before. The dog births the xeno that terrorizes the prison, also just as before. Biehn, again, can simply replace the doctor character as a Marine stationed at this prison, but who hopes to return to more active missions in the future… and then Ripley’s death pushes him toward that for vengeance…so there he is in 2, doing the gung-ho thing.

    “It works, but now Resurrection doesn’t have as much impact.”

    Resurrection had an impact… other than burying the franchise? ;D That one made me try to emulate Dan Hedeya by trying to pull my brain out through the back of my head.

    “Why go to the trouble to extract Ripley’s DNA and create a clone? We’ve done away with the queen, so what makes the xeno in Ripley so special?”

    The queen can be back, but just not as a queen. If the grown xenos in 1 and 3 were females (a logical, spontaneous adaptation to the scenarios they found themselves in (the only xeno around)- and one with precedents on Earth today), why can’t the one that Ripley carried be the first male… and why can’t that male be the enormous threat that the queen was? All we REALLY lose is that one line- “…you BITCH!”. So why clone her? Because it’s a massive version of the female..an even deadlier bio-weapon (or, again, have a good writer hatch a better reason). Either way, tho, 4 will descend into that pseudo comedic disaster that is the second half anyway… no big loss.

    “And you’ve still done away with one of the best scenes in 3, and arguably one of the strongest moments of all 4 of the main Alien films. This scene wouldn’t work nearly as well with another character in 3. There’s no history there.”

    Previously corrected misunderstanding. Ripley still carries 3. Biehn carries 2. 🙂

    “And I still don’t like the idea of dealing with LV-426 after 3 with a different character.This all brings me back around to why 2 is needed, right where it is – the history with Ripley and the xenos, and Weyland’s interest in all of this.”

    But your allegiance is so strong because you’ve already seen it that way. “Spotless Mind” that puppy, and there’s nothing to have missed, and the new 2 will work just fine, with new plot points to adjust for the new lead. Hell, you can also just clone her at the start of 2 if you can’t live without her. Again, that’s what writers do.

    “I just don’t see anything gained in your proposed butchering of the current Alien universe.”

    Bah! Had history transpired as I’ve suggested, today you’d be calling me a butcher for suggesting it go the way it actually did. Your married to history without the ability to accept that another history can have worked just as well, but differently. Good writers could make it work both ways and more ways. As much a mess as 3 ended up, look how many writers worked through it, and still turned out a strong premise that just fell victim to the accountants. 🙂

    You need to rent the “Joyride” DVD, and watch ALL the alternate endings on that disc. They ALL work really well- anyone of them would have worked in the theatrical version. ‘Free your mind, your ass will follow” ~Junior, ‘Platoon’.
    June 14 at 10:39pm · Like

    Dave Nicholson I forgot to touch on the immaculate egg that carries over from 2 to 3. I believe you said the queen never has time in 2 to lay one egg, let alone 2 or 3 before going into fight mode. I disagree with that. I’d argue that she had plenty of time while she was stowed away aboard the drop ship as it returned to the Sulaco from LV-426. The drop ship remained aboard the Sulaco while Ripley, Newt, and Hicks were in cryonic sleep, so it’s not a far stretch to imagine a couple facehuggers getting loose and impregnating the sleeping passengers before the ship caught fire. But to your earlier point, it’s also really not a far stretch to imagine the xeno in Alien could have laid an egg before Ripley discovered it aboard her shuttle. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m still not a fan of jumping from 1 to 3 without 2 in between. ;D

    I know I haven’t illustrated it well here, but I can accept an alternate history is possible and could have worked and I do agree that good writers could make just about any angle work. Hell, I’m sure good enough writers could squeeze in those annoying creatures from Madagascar and make it work, not that I’d want to see it.

    All I’m saying is, I don’t particularly favor your version of the events over what played out in the current universe. And yes, I am married to the history of that universe the way it played out, because I actually enjoyed it. I don’t see the need to reinvent two thirds of the wheel.

    I am hopeful that if Scott and Lindlelof do a sequel to Prometheus, they hold true to their word and explore a tangent that takes us even farther away from Alien.

    But nonetheless, it’s been a fun discussion of “what if” and you offered up some intriguing ideas. 😉
    June 14 at 11:46pm · Like

    John W Rosa I don’t particular need P2 to get any closer to LV426 either… I’m not the kind that requires being spoonfed every last connecting dot. I think P1 gives us the idea, and I’m happy to see P2 go elsewhere. Some details are better left a mystery- keeps us pondering. I do think they’ve painted themselves into a corner a bit with the Engineers being so flipping hostile to their failed creations (hey…are they doing a Bible analogy?). Now sure what Shaw expects to accomplish chasing after them if they don’t care to acknowledge us in any way, shape or form. What good is asking a question of someone that thinks you’re a mosquito, and is happiest to simply squash you? I’m intrigued to see how they dance around that bit of what is now canon.

    As for your theory on the eggs of 3, no good. The egg is shown at the start of three hanging from a corridor wall that the queen never visited. It truly makes zero sense. I and another E-pal spent days going over the end of 2 and the start of 3 looking for an excuse to explain what occurs…and it’s just not solvable. COULD the queenleave an egg on the dropship…definitely. But then who moved it to the corridor wall? The only solution I can conceive of, using that scenario, is the egg on the dropship is another queen…and she populates the Sulaco with multiple eggs. We only get to see ONE at the start of 3, but since one gets Ripley and (presumably)) a second gets the dog…we know the new bitch (that dies aboard Sulaco after Ripley’s escape) left at least two eggs. Now, what if she dropped a gfew hundred before the fire… and the fire eventually petered out due to lack of oxygen? That means the derelict Sulaco is coasting through space with a whole next generation of xenos to be discovered. See what I mean about writers ‘finding a way’? 🙂
    June 15 at 9:49am · Like

    John W Rosa Another enormous plot hole for you- this time in 2: Bishop is a good guy. NOT possible. Bishop is a tool of the company, and in 1, 3 and now P, we see that androids operate as programmed- they don’t become self-aware and start feeling bad, then dismiss their programming. Similarly, Weyland Corp’s focus all the way through is capturing xenos for weapons uses. Investing all they do in 2 to save their installation and to get those weapons, they would NEVER have programmed Bishop to do right by Ripley, even if it means harming their interests’. No way they send along a daddy figure for her that will jeopardize their investment. The idea of a redeemed robot might be all squishy-nice to the less-vested new fans of the franchise in 1986, but it’;s a marked departure from canon and logic that would and should never have occurred. Now, had Ripley found a way to re-program Bishop en route aboard Sulaco- say, taze him with a Marine cattle-prod, and swap a memory card while he’s incapacitated… all sorts of fun could be had with him waking up with a big bruise and a headache the next day. I’d have let us see Bishop before the big ‘wake up’ morning, tooling around the ship, and getting last-minute programming uploads from the company (revealing to us he is a company android- and not to be trusted). When he’s cut during the knife trick, Ripley learns this, and properly distrusts him… then hatches a plan to secretly make him an ally. Much more logical.
    June 15 at 10:03am · Like

    Dave Nicholson I think plenty of Biblical analogies could be made of P1, the most obvious being the “higher being” creating life on some unknown planet – is it Earth or not? Scott stated it was not intended to be Earth but could be any planet. There’s also the scene depicted on the mural of the xeno being crucified. I’m sure there are other less obvious analogies, like the creator hating what its creation had become, etc.

    I’ve read some pretty solid theories that supposedly the film was going to show Jesus was an Engineer, and the Engineers chose to destroy us since we crucified him. There have been comments made that this reference was made in the original cut of the film but was dropped during production. I guess we’ll have to wait for a director’s cut to see if this is true, but I kind of hope it isn’t. I’m a Christian and am firm in my beliefs, so I’m not afraid of some movie shaking that tree (I’m sure many others aren’t as secure) but I don’t need Jesus muddying up my sci-fi.
    June 15 at 10:08am · Like

    John W Rosa I myself am certain the first Engineer we see sacrifice himself is NOT on Earth. Shaw proves he and we have identical DNA… and when he dissolves, we are shown his DNA is mutating… so he’s seeding that world with a hybrid Engineer/Bio-Weapon with unknown results.

    I have always LOVED it when a film, especially a SciFi, takes religion and twists it to fit into what to an athiest is the ‘real world’. Some of my favorites have been Prince of Darkness, The Prophecy, Stigmata, the modern BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, to name a few. For me, church explanations of Jesus and God fall flat by making them ethereal, magical, flawless using “you just don’t get it” to avoid answering questions. But when we’re reminded in a film that a guy with an Iphone would seem a God to a caveman, I can get behind the idea that a more advanced culture can send a representative here to offer guidance, then be superstitiously labeled a god by the simpletons we were 3000 years ago. That’s a concept I can more readily accept, so I welcome such meditations on alternative theories.
    June 15 at 10:27am · Like

    Dave Nicholson John, now that I’ve seen Prometheus, I can comment on a few things a bit better. As for the opening scene, I still don’t necessarily feel that the Engineer is creating human life on Earth, but at the same time, I feel he could be. I’m not a geneticist, but I feel what we are seeing is when the Engineer drinks the black liquid, his body is broken down to a molecular level and when combined with other molecules in the water, his acts as the building blocks for new life. As David says, sometimes you must destroy in order to create. I believe that’s what we’re witnessing and aren’t meant to read too much into it. Ridley himself said that the planet depicted wasn’t necessarily Earth, but that it could be ANY planet (which would include Earth). Ridley’s purpose was merely to show the Engineer as a gardener of life.

    Also, now that I’ve seen the movie, I take back my earlier comment about Jesus being mentioned in the film. The film made many obvious references to Christianity (Shaw wearing her Father’s cross, etc). But I still feel having Jesus as an Engineer and suggesting the Engineer’s wanted to destroy us because we crucified Jesus would be a bit of a stretch, almost cheesy. And of all the images depicting what Jesus looked like, none of them show an 8-10ft bald, pale white skinned male with an incredible physique – unless Jesus was a prototype Engineer or something.

    I actually like the way Prometheus handled faith. This was something that was clearly a major curiosity for Shaw since her childhood and as a scientist is a dilemma she’s had to battle all her life. But like her Father, she seems to have a belief in a higher power because “it’s what she chooses to believe” and has not let science shake those beliefs. Even after all she witnessed in the movie, she still demanded her Father’s cross from David at the end. I also like how when Holloway asked if this was difficult for her since they had basically disproved the existence of God, she replied – “who created them?” – suggesting there may still be a higher being at play. I believe this is in great part a driving factor behind her desire to find where the Engineer’s came from, regardless of the Engineer’s opinion of us.

    Also, I’ve been thinking about this, and another theory I have is the idea that the Engineers created us may be a misconception. Our DNA is exactly like theirs, so who’s to say that their creator isn’t the same being that created us? David or someone points out that the Engineers are mortal, so someone created them. Ridley has referred to the Engineers as “dark angels”. Another possible reference to Christianity – God created humans AND angels in his image. Some angels were jealous of the lofty status God gave to humans and as a result became fallen angels, like Satan. It has been the goal of those fallen angels to try and destroy humanity. Could the Engineer’s be the equivalent of fallen angels? Maybe, maybe not. But I also wonder if Shaw has thought of this (the Engineer’s creator being our true creator) and that is further reason why she wants to find out where they came from and why the Engineers, and possibly their creator, has set out to destroy us – a possible reference to Noah and the Flood. The story of Deucalion and Pyrrah is the Greek version of Noah and the Ark. Any coincidence that Deucalion’s father was the titan, Prometheus?

    Further fueling my theories is that Ridley has admitted the original working title for Prometheus was Paradise and that John Milton’s Paradise Lost influenced parts of Prometheus. He also said that he didn’t want to meet God in the first film, that he hoped to explore this more with Shaw in a sequel. So again, it would appear that Shaw is on a quest to find that which she has chosen to believe in since she was a little girl. What she’ll find and what she’ll do when she finds it is anyone’s guess at this point, but I won’t be surprised if “Paradise” is worked into the sequel’s title.
    June 17 at 1:22am · Like

    Dave Nicholson And, Bishop an enormous plot hole in Aliens? I don’t think so. Bishop was a more advanced android (synthetic) than Ash. Bishop is quoted in Aliens – “The A-2s (Ash) always were a bit twitchy.” Bishop was self-aware, because that’s how he was programmed to be and due to his advanced nature, he created his own reactions to situations. He was also specifically programmed to not allow harm to come to humans from his actions or inactions – hence the “good guy” persona. That’s only if you take it at face value though. We know that in order for the lifecyle of a xeno to complete, it requires a live host for the embryo to gestate. Therefore, it’s hardly in the company’s best interests to allow one of their androids to harm a potential host. Remember, they can’t bring an egg back into Earth. The only way to smuggle the bio-weapon in is if the embryo is already implanted inside a host. This is why Burke traps Ripley and Newt in the medlab with a pair of facehuggers. So the greater jeopardy to Weyland’s investment would be allowing all of the humans on the mission to be harmed.

    And just because Bishop is this perceived good guy doesn’t mean he can’t acquire a sample for the company. In fact, Bishop is another possible theory for how eggs could have gotten aboard the Sulaco. Bishop has a lot of downtime while leaving the party to remote fly in the other drop ship from the Sulaco and again after he drops off Ripley to rescue Newt. In fact, when Ripley returns with Newt, Bishop and the drop ship aren’t there immediately. We know that Weyland knows the location of the derelict spacecraft where the eggs are (Burke sent the colony there), so it’s not much of a stretch to think that earlier on or while Ripley was rescuing Newt, Bishop could have piloted the drop ship to the derelict and grabbed a couple eggs that hadn’t hatched and stashed them on board.

    I know for you, this doesn’t solve the mystery of how the eggs got off of the drop ship and onto the Sulaco, but who says they ever had to get off the drop ship? You say that that the egg is shown at the start of 3 hanging from a corridor wall. I have the Alien Anthology on bluray and watched 3 last night. Yes, we can see the egg is hanging from a wall, but in those brief clips, I don’t see anything definitive that says where the egg is hanging. Who’s to say it isn’t hanging on a wall inside the drop ship somewhere? We’ve never been shown every nook and cranny of the drop ship to make a solid argument that the egg couldn’t be hanging in there somewhere. So I’m not buying that it couldn’t be in the drop ship.

    I believe I may have found more evidence to support my theory that eggs were aboard the drop ship. On the main title menu for the Alien 3 disc, it cycles through some various graphics and clips from the movie. First is a planetary map showing Fiorina 161 along with some info on the planet. It then transitions to a graphic of the Sulaco and a security breach alarm goes off. It zooms in to the hangar bay, then shows a drop ship graphic and flashes a *Lifeform Detected* alarm targeting the landing gear. At the same time, clips are shown from the final scenes from Aliens of the Queen getting off the drop ship and being jettisoned out to space. Then another alarm pops up *Bio-Sensor activated*, *scanning for additional lifeforms*, targeting the lower inside of the drop ship this time while clips of the egg/facehugger scene from the beginning of Alien 3 are shown. Could it be that the studio threw this in to try and make up for the huge plot hole that kicks off Alien 3? I have a hard time believing this is just random.

    But if you insist that the eggs had to be on the Sulaco and not on the drop ship, I’ve read some crazy theories that suggest the eggs could have been sucked out of the drop ship when Ripley opened the bay doors at the end of Aliens and they adhered to a wall in the hangar somewhere. I mean, who puts eggs on a wall anyway?

    The bottom line is, we can dream up all the theories in the world, but Fox didn’t care enough to give us an explanation how the eggs got on the drop ship and/or Sulaco, leaving us this huge plot hole to try and fill in with our own conjecture. For many, it has ruined Alien 3, but not me. And this in no way justifies removing 2 from the franchise to eliminate this plot hole. Nose, meet face.

    And what android was in Alien 3 that was evil? The only android was the damaged Bishop who made a brief appearance to answer some of Ridley’s questions. If you’re referring to Michael Bishop or Bishop II that arrived at the facility at the end, there’s never been any definitive proof to suggest he was an android. In fact, there’s more evidence to suggest otherwise – like when he gets smashed in the head with a metal rod, tearing the skin and his ear off the side of his face. He’s clearly bleeding, and not white synthetic fluid that has been a staple of Alien lore. Maybe he’s an even more advanced android, but that’s not made clear in the movie.
    June 17 at 1:38am · Like

    John W Rosa I haven’t gone so far as to analyze all the ways the film makers used religion to inform / confuse matters of science in the film… as I’m of the kind that requires proof/evidence before I offer my faith…which is then the wrong word to use, as faith is belief minus evidence. Introduce evidence, and you have facts. That’s meant to be clear, not an insult (tho believers routinely take it as such). So for me, Shaw’s line ‘and who created them’ is simply her internal NEED for a God struggling with the evidence against such a guy existing. As my Iphone example indicated before, just because something exists that is capable of more than I, that doesn’t make him a ‘god’, but simply a more evolved life form. The more advanced it gets, the more the line blurs. See ‘Q’ in Star Trek: TNG.

    As for Jesus being an Engineer, yea, that’s a hokey stretch. Not sure who suggested that. On the other wnd, tho, I’ve seen the Christ figure (not always named Christ) of various religions having very different appearances, depending on the artists, the local variations on the story and countless other factors. The only thing I’m certain he didn’t look like is that light-skinned, blue-eyed guy hanging off so many crucifixes. If he truly ever existed, it’s far more likely he looked a whole lot more like the locals of the era.

    For me, it’s always interesting to have SciFi delve into the ‘what ifs’ or religion… but there’s no chance anything convincing will come of it. In my mind, it’s like chasing evidence of the Easter Bunny- entertaining, but nothing I can put much stock in. I know you’re on the opposite side of that, and I’m not trying to drag you to my side. Just explaining how I approach such content in these films.
    June 17 at 10:07am · Like

    John W Rosa As for your explanation for Bishop doing ‘right’ by Ripley- again, no way. First, NOTHING Bishop says can be used as evidence in his favor. Ash lied plenty. Bishop claiming he’s good cus he’s built different/more advanced/less twitchy is all malarkey- he is still an android programmed by WY. To suggest he is then programmed to protect a possible incubator…is proof then his ‘bahavior inhibitor’ does not exist, for he is then ‘by action or inaction, allowing a human to be harmed’… which proves MY point.

    WY doesn’t need Ripley implanted- anyone will do (recall Burke’s plot to bring back all the marines impregnated?)… but one person is worth sending a robot to protect?

    Fact is, it’s just an illogical gaffe on Cameron’s part to apologize for robots being depicted as bad in 1… and that’s fine, but that WY would program him as such abandons everything we know from 1, 3, 4 and now P1. WY protects its interests, first and foremost. As I detailed earlier, Ripley’s learning about Bishop could have led to a moment where she zaps him out cold, formats and replaces his programming (cuz she has no trust in the company, so she came prepared to deal with any android), and late, we see he has a burn/bruise from the prod later…a giggle moment for the audience, and lets Bishop be a good guy in a justifiable sense.

    As for the egg’s location- menu graphics for a Bluray created 15+ years after the film are in no way canon, and since Fincher disowned the film upon release and will not discuss it with anyone, he had NO part in the creation of the graphics you are pointing to…which makes the ideas presented there the product of some FOX graphic artist with his own ideas of what might excuse the glaring problem in the film. His presumptions are no more valid nor less valid than ours. But I can still blow away the idea that the egg is on the dropship. The egg in 3 is placed neatly at the corner of a wall and rack (which bears an enormous embossed label “SULACO”) and the room is huge, well-lit and beige/tan/fawn in color…nothing at all like the dropship interior, landing gear nor anywhere on the flight deck / cargo hold areas of Sulaco- which are all steel-blueish/black and dark.

    That egg is in the crew compartment / cryogenic compartment zones of the ship. Not a chnce suction slapped it there, Bishop didn’t get up there, queen never did either. It is what it is- a gigantic plot hole. To say it’s on the dropship ignores far too much obvious evidence that it isn’t.

    Also- any egg sucked off the dropship is heading for the exit, and there’s no wall in-between. Kiss such eggs goodbye. Who suspends eggs? Loads of insects and birds. Beats letting them be trampled or eaten by ground dwellers. Just because we’ve only seen them on the floor previously, that don’t mean it’s the ONLY way…anymore than a facehugger MUST carry only one xeno, then die. Sure, 1 suggested this (just as most births suggest we have one at a time… but then come those unusual twins).

    As for this hanging egg ‘justifying’ 2’s removal from the franchise, I never suggested that at all. The hole isn’t created by 2. It’s created solely by 3, because they didn’t address the ‘how’. My relocating of 2 to follow 3 isn’t about plot holes. It’s about having the studio giving proper support to 3 start to finish, and that 2 wouldn’t have suffered for it.

    I also never said 3 had a bad android. I did say “Bishop is a tool of the company, and in 1, 3 and now P, we see that androids operate as programmed- they don’t become self-aware and start feeling bad, then dismiss their programming” When I included 3, however, it was a typo as I meant 4…. which also doesn’t have a ‘bad robot’..but it does have one that is programmed to behave as it does (and it’s good because it isn’t one of WY’s tools).

    Now, just for giggles, I’m gonna put the 3 Bluray in to check out those graphics, as I haven’t yet…… been working from the Quadrilogy DVD (which I nominate as a package for Best DVD Interface and Menu Graphics Ever!). 🙂

    Untitled Album
    By: John W Rosa
    June 17 at 11:05am · Like ·

    John W Rosa The obvious answer being that human vulnerability is what makes horror work, but wouldn’t it make better sense for WY to send a ship full of androids to grab a bunch of eggs off the surface, expose a cryo-sleeping crew to the facehuggers, then jettison the eggshells and hugger carcasses just before arriving back home? All neat and tiddy? Ok, so maybe I wouldn’t pay $11 to see THAT in glorious 2D- just sayin’! 🙂
    June 17 at 11:18am · Like

    Dave Nicholson Hey John, no worries, I don’t feel as if I’ve been dragged anywhere. I appreciate your point of view on the religion in Sci-Fi topic. And as I said earlier, I actually like how it was handled in Prometheus. I know you’re the type that requires proof/evidence, and I respect that. Shaw is clearly struggling with the evidence she’s been given and her faith, and that was just one of the aspects of Prometheus that I enjoyed. When she asks David for her cross near the end, that tells me that despite everything that’s happened, despite everything that she’s witnessed with her own eyes, it hasn’t shaken her faith. That’s an element of her character that I can relate with. No matter how much evidence we’ve discovered in our own world, or will discover, that contradicts the existence of God, it will NEVER change what I’ve chosen to believe. There may be some of that in Shaw, a scientist rooted in her faith. I’m definitely intrigued to see what direction Ridley Scott takes with this and I hope he gets the opportunity.

    As for Bishop, the fact is there is no illogical gaffe on Cameron’s part. Lets look at the facts. Yes, we know from ALL of the movies in the Alien universe that WY protects its interests, first and foremost. We know that Ash was programmed to bring back an alien life form even if it meant at the expense of the Nostromo crew. We know that Bishop was a more advanced android and was programmed to not allow harm to come to humans from his actions or inactions. These are not just words from Bishop’s mouth, this is canon. And Bishop never dismissed his programming. Through Ripley’s history with Ash, we are meant to be suspect of Bishop as she is, right up until the end when Bishop sacrifices himself to protect Ripley and Newt – which is what he was programmed to do. No need to justify Bishop being a good guy. He WAS a good guy.

    This clearly doesn’t sit well with you because of what we know about WY, and I get that. But like it or not, those are the facts. Why would WY program Bishop in a manner that could potentially go against their interests? Why was Bishop programmed differently than previous androids like Ash and David 8? These are questions we’re never given answers to and therefore can only be left up to speculation – no facts. In terms of the Alien timeline, Ash is the last android we know of that was programmed with this hidden agenda of securing a sample of the alien lifeform with no regard for human safety. The theories I mentioned on Bishop earlier were purely conjecture. But you are right that if Bishop were programmed to protect human life so that it could later be used as a host for the xenos, then he would be violating his own programming. It may have been a faulty theory on my part, or another angle to support that theory could be that WY could override Bishop’s primary directive on a whim – ala Robocop.

    Again, these theories are speculation and not canon in any way. But what is also not canon is that all androids in the Alien universe are bad. The fact is, the person who filled the role of Ash in Aliens was not an android, but a WY corporate executive, Carter Burke. It was he who had the alterior motives and sent the colonists to investigate the derelict space ship. It was he who ordered Bishop to preserve alien specimens for transport to WY labs, and it was he who turned on Ripley when she learned of his motives and tried to have her implanted with an embryo. This is all fact.

    As for the egg’s location, I wasn’t trying to cite some menu graphics as definitive evidence. It was merely something I noticed that I found interesting. And I never suggested Fincher had anything to do with it. I’m well aware he disowned Alien 3, so obviously any input on the menu graphics came from the studio, not him. And the image from the opening scene of Alien 3 that you shared in no way blows away the theory that the egg could be on the drop ship. It’s not possible to discern the size of the room where the egg is located from that one scene alone (or the clip after it that shows the facehugger with some type of grating above it). It does appear to be a large room or corridor, but we’ve never had a full 360 tour of the drop ship to determine if it’s too large to be on the drop ship or not. Perspective can make even the smallest of areas seem larger than they are. The Sulaco branding on the frame in your screen capture in no way dismisses the possibility of the eggs being on the drop ship either. Many aircraft often carry the name of their carrier. The theory of the egg being in the crew’s cryogenic compartment of the ship is one I’ve read before, but again, there is no definitive evidence to support this. The only facts are an egg somehow got on the drop ship or Sulaco and the studio created a huge plot hole by failing to give us even a vague explanation of how these events occurred, leaving us to debate this topic for 20 years.

    As for the facehugger laying mutliple xenos, the hugger seen in Alien 3 was supposed to be a super face hugger, but this is another detail that the studio glossed over. In Alien canon, super face huggers can lay more than one xeno and these are also the huggers that carry the queen xenos. The only indication we have that this was a super face hugger in Alien 3 was in the special edition cut. After the inmates bring in the dead Ox, one of them holds up the dead face hugger. This face hugger is significantly larger than the standard hugger and also has webbing between its appendages. I don’t believe this face hugger is shown in detail in the standard cut.

    I never owned the Quadrilogy DVD set, but I have seen some screenshots of some of the menus. I really like the menu graphics used for the blu-ray Anthology. The book style packaging for the discs is also one of my favorites. The Star Wars complete set on blu-ray uses similar book style packaging. And I found a screenshot of the Alien 3 menu graphic I was talking about last night.


    http://www.filmedge.net
    June 17 at 7:55pm · Like ·

    Dave Nicholson And if the characters in movies did what made better sense, most movies would be over before the midway point and wouldn’t be very entertaining leading up to that point, especially not at today’s ticket prices.
    June 17 at 7:59pm · Like

    John W Rosa I *knew* you were gonna go for the aircraft carrier labeling on jets! …ignoring first that such things are painted on so as to be changeable, and that they are on the outside, not inside. Again, the color palate matters. The interior of the dropship is dark, metallic colors, not tan. There isn’t some hidden tan, two-story-tall room full of shelving in it with *embossed metal logos of another ship in it. That’s making excuses for the film makers. Second- you state it is a fact an egg came aboard the dropship. Umm…no, that isn’t a fact at all. At NO time was such a thing indicated in either film. Again, you assume that’s the way it had to happen, and again, that’s making excuses for the film makers. It isn’t a Cameron error (like Bishop). It’s a Fox/Ward/Fincher/?/? error.

    “As for Bishop, the fact is there is no illogical gaffe on Cameron’s part.”

    Still in 100% disagreement. 🙂

    “Lets look at the facts. Yes, we know from ALL of the movies in the Alien universe that WY protects its interests, first and foremost. We know that Ash was programmed to bring back an alien life form even if it meant at the expense of the Nostromo crew.”

    Agreed.

    “We know that Bishop was a more advanced android and was programmed to not allow harm to come to humans from his actions or inactions.”

    We know no such thing. YOU believe that because Bishop said so, but as he is programmed by WY, there’s no more reason to have faith in a word he says than there was with Ash.

    “These are not just words from Bishop’s mouth, this is canon.”

    Because… ?

    “And Bishop never dismissed his programming.”

    Exactly, so if his programming is as Cameron wanted it to be- for him to be a good guy, it’s a Cameron mistake, because it completely against type for WY to give her an ally against themselves.

    “Through Ripley’s history with Ash, we are meant to be suspect of Bishop as she is, right up until the end when Bishop sacrifices himself to protect Ripley and Newt – which is what he was programmed to do. No need to justify Bishop being a good guy. He WAS a good guy.”

    …which IS the writing mistake

    “This clearly doesn’t sit well with you because of what we know about WY, and I get that. But like it or not, those are the facts.”

    That’s the facts of how the film was made, but they go against the cononical history and reputation of the Alien universe just as much as does Spock laughing in the “Where No Man Has Gone Before” Star Trek pilot. It’s wrong, it’s a mistake, and making excuses for it doesn’t change that. Bishop being a good guy is as much an error as that egg on the Sulaco.

    “Why would WY program Bishop in a manner that could potentially go against their interests? Why was Bishop programmed differently than previous androids like Ash and David 8? These are questions we’re never given answers to and therefore can only be left up to speculation – no facts.”

    There are no viable answers…that’s why it’s a mistake.

    “In terms of the Alien timeline, Ash is the last android we know of that was programmed with this hidden agenda of securing a sample of the alien lifeform with no regard for human safety. The theories I mentioned on Bishop earlier were purely conjecture. But you are right that if Bishop were programmed to protect human life so that it could later be used as a host for the xenos, then he would be violating his own programming. It may have been a faulty theory on my part, or another angle to support that theory could be that WY could override Bishop’s primary directive on a whim – ala Robocop.”

    …assuming Bishop didn’t lie when he claimed to have such a directive.

    “Again, these theories are speculation and not canon in any way. But what is also not canon is that all androids in the Alien universe are bad.”

    None are bad- they’re programmed by WY. David 8 wasn’t bad. Weyland programmed him to a purpose. WY did the same with Ash. And with WY *still* wanting xenos in 2, there’s simply no possible way they’d have programmed their own android to work against them. It’s not a WY mistake. It’s a Cameron mistake.

    “The fact is, the person who filled the role of Ash in Aliens was not an android, but a WY corporate executive, Carter Burke. It was he who had the alterior motives and sent the colonists to investigate the derelict space ship. It was he who ordered Bishop to preserve alien specimens for transport to WY labs, and it was he who turned on Ripley when she learned of his motives and tried to have her implanted with an embryo. This is all fact.”

    This is all canon, yes. Nobody said their can’t be two bad guys in the same movie. But I do still say that the MARINES can bring an android along to help them. So can Ripley. But the COMPANY sent Bishop. Again, there’s no way they sent one that would work against them- it defies all we know about the company. They can program him to fake nice and work for them (Ash), but to work against them is unacceptably silly to me.
    June 17 at 9:46pm · Like

    John W Rosa I’m gonna drag one of other good sparring partners into this to see what he thinks. He’s bound to drag us into matters we haven’t considered. 🙂 Hey, Gunther W. Anderson- GET IN HERE!!!
    June 17 at 9:47pm · Like

    Gunther W. Anderson ‎…I see it, lemme catch up.
    June 18 at 12:49am · Like

    Gunther W. Anderson Unfortunately, I have nowhere near the familiarity with this franchise that you guys seem to have. This sort of thing really is my cup ‘o tea, but this specific subject is beyond me. 😦
    June 18 at 1:32am · Like

    John W Rosa Arrgh. Have you:
    1- Seen the four original films? Or at least the first 3?
    2- Own any of them?
    3- Plan to see Prometheus soon…or waiting to rent?
    4- Ever been aroused as a result of viewing gladiator movies?
    June 18 at 5:11am · Like

    Gunther W. Anderson ‎1. Yes, I’ve seen all the movies that take place in this fictional universe except Prometheus.

    2. I own none of them.

    3. I’m going to rent Prometheus. Going to the theater is a special occasion kind of thing around here and I don’t want to waste a babysitter on a movie I have yet to hear anything really good about.

    4. The only gladiator movie I’ve ever seen is Gladiator, and Russel Crowe isn’t really my type.
    June 18 at 8:49am · Like

    John W Rosa Hey- another ginormous logical gaffe on Cameron’s part: the 57 years of sleep. Now, I know WHY he put that point in the story, and the longer SE version illustrates it best. Ripley has to lose a daughter so she can get all motherly on Newt. But the problem is this: 57 years ago, this company knew about the beacon and sent Nostromo to check it out. When Ash informed them of the derelict ship and the xeno brought aboard, they decided they wanted it alive, even at the loss of the human crew. Soon after, Nostromo disappears (as far as the company knows). So, do they send a different team to follow that same beacon and retrieve another xenomorph? They sure seemed like it was important to them. But instead, they just drop it for 37 YEARS, then decide to terraform that planet, so the colonists are put on LV426, and they construct their facilities. The company makes no attempt to find the xeno eggs first? They wait another 20 YEARS ’til Ripley is found alive, reports what happened… and then suddenly the colonists disappear?

    To fix this inexplicable and lazy company approach to what was high priority just before, we need just drop the 57 year thing altogether. We know it’s a few years travel time between Earth and the Nostromo’s originating point. That trip was interrupted halfway home…say 18months out from Earth, just to have a number to work from.
    Ripley is found, say, after two years (six months later than originally expected), and relays her story. The company grounds her and she goes to work loading ships. Unknown to her, the company now re-directs another ship (already in the area and intended for a different planet) to LV426. This one is full of colonial terraforming gear and personnel. Within just weeks of Ripley’s rescue, they lose contact with the colonists and she and the Marine’s are sent in.

    All fixed. Let the shooting begin.

    The loss of Ripley’s daughter was never in the theatrical cut, so no need for it here. To restore it, she need merely never reach old age. She can have died during the 5 or 6 years Ripley was away (assuming 3 years travel from earth to the mining location, then the return trip and rescue)… so perhaps she left a daughter Newt’s age (10?) and lost her to, say, suicide at 16 (She didn’t fare well without her mom). All fits together well for the Special Edition- all the same pain and anguish for Ripley leading, to her feelings for Newt.

    Can’t imagine how I didn’t spot this one decades ago.
    June 20 at 9:05am · Like

  2. Spiros Vondas says:

    Alien 3 has some problems for sure, but I found it a lot more stimulating than Aliens.

    Alien 3 has a great setting, and I find the prisoners much more compelling than Aliens’ marines. There’s of movies about prisoners trying to find redemption, but I personally think there are too many movies about military stuff.

    Quite often during the running of Aliens I feel Im watching an advertisement for action figures. Alien 3 doesnt waste a lot of screen time talking about bad ass weapons or showing assault vehicles deploying their weapons or rolling out of their drop ships, or worse showing numbers on a computer screen and radar blips. In Alien and Alien 3, people have to discover that they are brave, decide that they are going to make sacrifices, and use their resourcefulness just to do their best. The marines in Aliens don’t go through these sorts of arcs because they start off the movie trained to kill and prepared to lay their lives down, and they carry implausibly large guns where the only concern is running out of ammo.

    One thing I really liked about Alien 3 is that EVERYONE dies, well except the Weyland employees(Im assuming Morse was killed because of the view screen that says “custodial staff terminated”). In Aliens, lots of people die, but we dont see it AND there are 3 survivors at the end. Alien 3, with all its various slayings, had a tone of “this is the end,” and used it to its advantage. The deaths fill the film with powerful dread and hopelessness, and make it engaging and lend it a poignancy that lingers with you after the film is over.

    As a child, I loved the final battle in Aliens, which is why I don’t like it now. Now it just looks like a clip from a video game, or a protracted chance to hock action figures. Now days, I prefer the ending to Alien 3. Its intense and sticks with you. Poor Ripley, a good, strong woman, lost her real child, then Newt, and now she has her alien baby must plummet to their molten doom together.

  3. I absolutely agree. With each passing year my liking of the film “Aliens” diminishes; you really start to realise that it’s little more than a polished mindless action flick.

  4. epicjason2000 says:

    I agree with this blog. everything you mentioned about what they got wrong with Aliens is correct. I too like Alien 3 far more than Aliens for the same exact reasons. Alien 3 embraced the uncomfortably bleak look & feel that the original film had. plus, it made the creature scary again and not some kind of generic bug. it was more thought provoking, more intelligent with it’s characters, more subtle, and just down right more of a proper sequel. Aliens on the other hand, isn’t. it’s loud, it’s predictable, it makes the creature less scary and more cartoonish, and it goes completely against everything that the original film was presenting and stood for. while I have my issues with The Empire Strikes Back, I have even more issues with Aliens. and yes, while TESB also gets far more praise than it deserves (especially if you take into account that it originally got mixed reviews upon it’s original release), the original trilogy still manages to at least be consistent in the story it was telling and thus why all 3 films are able to still hold up after 30 years (the less said about the special editions, the better). and while both Alien & Alien 3 manage to still hold up after all these years, Aliens doesn’t.

    I have seen better James Cameron films far after this film, and I think in recent years, he’s become too big even for his own ego. Aliens is a terrible sequel because it feels out of place when you compare the tone and mood that the original film & Alien 3 to the point where it sticks out like a sore thumb. it feels like a completely different movie and thus it can’t be seen as a true sequel no matter how hard you try to defend it. and trust me, people do try.

    from a professional stand point, it doesn’t matter if there was problems during the production and multiple changes to the script, but that doesn’t automatically make a movie bad. sometimes tension on set and/or a problematic production can actually make a film become better, it all depends on how you look at it. I think David Fincher should give the film a second chance because it actually surprisingly has aged rather well. I’m glad that many people are speaking up and saying that it’s a really good film, and I’m also glad that people are finally speaking up about the middle two sequels and addressing it’s flaws as they should. just because a movie is a classic, it doesn’t mean that we can excuse them for having serious problems. as the old saying goes: Leave No Stone Unturned.

    in my honest opinions, Alien 3 is a far superior sequel to Alien than Aliens. and while Aliens is an ok action film, it’s a pretty bad sequel. just as the changes in Halloween II demystified Michael Myers, the same thing applies to the creature in Aliens. by making this fearsome and dangerous creature a generic bug, you demystify the creature itself. and by making it easier to destroy based on that change, you make it less scary and more cartoonish. I still love Alien & Alien 3. to me, those are the 2 Alien films that truly matter. and while I don’t hate Aliens as an action movie, I don’t accept it as a proper sequel either.

    thank you Corner Critic for telling it like it is.

  5. Lala says:

    I don’t think Ripley as a women was ever suppose to represent all women. How many women have battled aliens in deep space? I think her character was a growing one… one who changed in ways that she needed to survive. .. she became a warrior, and in resurrection we see that she has advanced so much into a warrior women that she’s even a bit cocky.

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