ALIEN Franchise

edited April 2019 in General Movies & TV Posts: 479
I noticed on this thread there are discussions on almost every franchise but not one for ALIEN, (Prometheus doesn't count mods.) this saddened me, then I decided to make this thread myself, no Predator, as much as I love it, and certainly NO AVP, feel free to post ideas, ask questions, write your personal experiences with the franchise, and things you would do on any normal chat thread, however I will start out with one question for you guys to get the ball rolling:

Alien or Aliens?

My personal one is Alien, but I will not delve, that is for you to decide


  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited June 2013 Posts: 13,350
    Alien by far is the best of the four, to me. A good film series, so hopefully another Prometheus is made.
  • Posts: 14,745
    Shouldn't it be a tetralogy?
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,647
    I love Alien. But I REALLY love Aliens.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,297
    Alien, for me, is the better film. Aliens, however, is my favourite film.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,647
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Alien, for me, is the better film. Aliens, however, is my favourite film.

    Ahhh, but without Alien, there could have been no Aliens. I'm tempted to say that Alien/Aliens is one excellent two-part movie.... :-?
  • Posts: 5,767
    I love how Aliens starts out just like the first film, and then turns into this rollercoaster cowboy horror scenario :-).

    I kind of like all four of them. And, regarding the thread title, the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set is worth paying for, with the endless amounts of extra content :-)!
  • Alien every time....the panties won me over. Seriously the tension built up to the end is just gripping, love it. Thank god they didn't for the original alien costume.

    Excellent resource.

  • Posts: 269
    Well. I may be the only one, but my favourite is Alien 3 ("directors cut"). Although the other are good. I enjoy watching this one again and again, and I think it's the one that holds up best the passing of time, both as a story and for special effects.
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 12,822
    Alien is my favourite but I love what Aliens did with the Ripley character.

    I think Alien 3 and 4 are crap but I do like the series. Prometheus was decent enough too and I'd like a sequel that actually sets up Alien (and based on the ending, we might be getting one).
  • Posts: 12,506
    1, 2, and 3 were enjoyable! But I felt 4 went too far off track and just didn't feel right to me? I also happen to think Alien 3 is very underrated.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,350
    I enjoy Alien 3 as well. Good enough fun to be had with it. The fourth is the real killer.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,297
    Alien³ is a film I definitely enjoy. Here's what I wrote about the film about a year ago in the last movie you watched thread:

    <center>DD's David Fincher retrospective</center>

    <center><font size = 4>part 1</font></center>

    <center><font color = darkblue size = 6>ALIEN³ (1992)</font></center>


    Getting myself prepared for Prometheus, I recently jumped into the Alien series again. When I'd arrived at Alien³, I decided to segue into a David Fincher retrospective.

    I'm a huge Fincher fan. In my book he's a great story teller and he has an eye for good photography and editing. He doesn't need 8 angle coverage of a scene: he sets up the camera right where it belongs and holds a shot for a while rather than cutting away every two seconds, unless the energy of the scene really requires it. On top of that, Fincher's musical choices are never off. When watching his films, it feels like they were made for me. That's how I perceive them each time I watch them.

    Alien³ was his directorial debut after a career as a highly acclaimed music video director. Fox and Fincher agreed on taking a certain direction with the Alien franchise. Fox wanted the continuation of a promising franchise, but Sigourney Weaver had other thoughts about it. Being a producer of this film as well as its lead star, she made her demands. Amidst all that was David Fincher, whose first theatrical movie experience would end up being a creative nightmare. Fox didn't leave him in full control of the production yet that's what Fincher wants. Alien³ left him sour and for a while, he considered stepping down from filmmaking for good.

    A well-known problem with Alien³ is that it isn't Aliens², which is precisely what Fox and a gazillion fans all over the globe had wanted. Everything that Cameron had built in with Aliens (military forces, Newt, Hicks, ...) was thrown in the garbage pail after the impressively well-made opening titles sequence. Instead of expanding on the Aliens myth, Alien³ effectively reduced the canvas to a dark, no-guns, only Ripley, one alien concept. However, while Fincher takes a lot of heat for that, it should be noted that this is what Weaver had wanted it to be since Aliens jumped into production.

    We got something quite different than the previous film but not necessarily something that wasn't good. A collection of talented actors (Charles Dance, Charles S. Dutton, Pete Postelethwaite, ...) graced the scenes, which themselves looked great due to impressive production design for the film. Relying more on mood than on blood and teeth to build horror, the film took a very adult approach to scary science fiction, which in hindsight was a smart move. Had each successive Alien film been nothing but a clone of Cameron's sequel, we'd grown tired of it and no-doubt they would have been pouring out cheaper sequel after cheaper sequel till we'd ended up in straight-to-video land. However, changing its course once again, the Alien franchise suddenly left a lot of fans very much confused.

    It should be noted though that over the years this film has gained a lot of appreciation from fans. Its powerful storytelling, energetic acting, dark and gritty tones and almost nihilistic direction, adds to its uniqueness. The enemy we’re fighting in this film is as much a killer-E.T. as it is an enemy from within. Very often it’s human behavior, fueled by fear and strong impulses, rather than the beast itself, that gets people killed. A more abstract enemy, fought with different tools than a whole arsenal of marine guns, made for a very interesting battle which eventually culminated in a powerful and exciting third act.

    Goldenthal’s score, Fincher’s directing, Thomson’s cinematography all require a bit of getting used to after the boyish excitement many of us got out of watching Aliens, but the end result, judging now as an adult, is downright fabulous. In many ways, this film honors Alien. The truth to the matter, however, is that I consider this one of Fincher’s least films, mostly because he was cut off from post-production and Fox went with it as they saw best fit. That way, it’s actually quite hard to judge which choices were ultimately Fincher’s and which were Fox’s, or Weaver’s. Yet that said, it remains a great film by itself and this comes from someone who is still a huge fan of Aliens. But as we move further into Fincher’s career, we shall see some films that I hold in a higher esteem still.

    <font color = red>Final score:</font> 7,5/10
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 479

    Thanks for that review Darth, this is a good idea for the thread, so now I'll do my review of Alien:

    Alien (1979)

    Ahhh, Alien, the good memories I have, but anyway, Alien is a 1979 Science-Fiction Horror directed by Ridley Scott, starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto, Alien is a masterful classic, a treasure of our time, it is in my mind, the greatest Science Fiction film of all time and my favourite film, it plays on our fears, and awakens our darkest nightmares, Scott, the crew and cast help turn this B-Movie idea into a classic. I will stop my raving now, and get down to the core.

    First of all, the Cast. The cast, which includes some actors with great resumes, including Harry Dean Stanton, our very own Yaphet Kotto, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Veronica Cartwright and Tom Skerritt. They have great chemistry and gel like no other, they all have unique dialogue and personalities and the script helps establish them as "Truckers in Space." Like 2001 was an optimistic view on space travel in the future, Alien is grim, industrial, the average astronaut is old, working class, and not knowledgable or aware of their surroundings. Parker and Brett personify this perfectly, they constantly angle for increased play, and walk around in bandanas, jeans, hawaian shirts and baseball caps, they are assertive, rude, impatient and obnoxious. Tom Skerritt plays the role of the skeptical Captain Dallas, always calm and cool, John Hurt as the adventurous, curious Kane. Ian Holms plays the mysterious, collected, emotionless Ash, and Veronica Cartwright as the fearful Lambert. (A perfect reflection of the audience.) But, we cannot talk about the cast without mentioning Sigourney Weaver, this film skyrocketed her career in her iconic role as the strong, by the book and serious, Weaver plays the role perfectly, and while hers is not the best performance in the film, she perfectly contributes to a brilliant cast, and, although, not the best Ensemble of A-Listers ever, it is one of the best casts ever put together.

    Part 1 Finished.
    Part 2 Tomorrow

  • Posts: 2,341
    Alien and Aliens were two different genres
    Alien 1979 is a horror film, pure and simple. Ridley Scott directed
    Aliens 1986 is a pop corn, thrill ride of a film. James Cameron fresh off his Terminator success

    I never saw the third one and AvP was cool but just okay.
    I need to watch Requiem but I doubt it can hold a match to the first two films.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,865
    I love them all, but Resurrection was lacking that eerieness factor the others executed so well. It does get points though for giving us a Ripley with more Xenomorph in her blood. I managed to pick up a nice box set of the quadrilogy for around $15.
  • QsAssistantQsAssistant All those moments lost in time... like tears in rain
    Posts: 1,812
    I'm going to have to run for cover after this but I have to say that the first Alien is the least re-watchable of the films. Don't get me wrong I like the film but I just can't watch it over and over again; it just gets too dull after awhile. The best of the films is Aliens.

    Alien 3
    Alien Resurrection
  • Posts: 5,634
    Aliens (1986) was my favorite, but I never saw the fourth entry. Still to this day, can have a hard time, watching the alien come out of John Hurt's stomach from the first release and the tagline (In space, nobody can hear you scream) was one of the best ever. I think Weaver got a bit too old for the part in the end and they maybe did one release too many. See Harrison Ford and The Indiana Jones series as one ideal comparison
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 1,964
    Aliens is my favorite of the 4. I really only like Alien and Aleins. Alien 3 and Alien Resserection sucked major dick
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,043
    I did this a few years ago, I'm definitely in the camp that see's Alien by far the one ahead of the pack, it's one of my favourite films of all time. As for Aliens, a great popcorn flick with flaws, while Alien is a masterpiece, I actually prefer the assembly cut of Alien 3 to Cameron's much rated film, it's only really Alien Resurrection that soils the series and that is nowhere as bad as the AVP films

    Alien 1979

    When the commercial towing ship The Nostromo's crew is awoken from statsis to investigate a distress call from an unknown planet, while returning home to earth from a mining assignment. After landing on the planet a detachment led by Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt) discovers a crashed Alien spaceship. While exploring the ship crew member Caine (John Hurt) is infected and bought back on board with an Alien organism attached to his face. Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm) breaks quarantine rules by allowing Caine, Dallas and Lambert back on board, much to the annoyance of Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). After an amount of time in a coma the organism detaches itself and Caine awakens appearingly unaffected. The now famous chest burster sequence unleashes the H.R Giger conceived alien creature onto the ship. The slow but building pace that was established in the first hour changes gear when the rest of the crews worst nightmares are realised when in the process of trying to kill the Alien they are viciously picked off one by one and one of them is revealed to have a hidden agenda.

    Conceived from an idea by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett originally titled Space Beast, fashioned into a script that was picked up by Brandywine Productions (Walter Hill, David Giler and Gordon Carroll) and then rewritten by Hill and Giler to make it more commercially appealing. Ridley Scott who decided to follow up is Cannes award winning debut The Duelists (1977) with Alien after witnessing George Lucas' Star Was and saying he needed to get on the same page accepted the assignment, interested by Lucas' used future look of Star Wars, Scott took the concept envisaging a mixture of Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975) and fashioned this superior science fiction horror thriller with the assistance of a top notch cast and outstanding production crew.

    Scott after being shown the works of H.R Giger by O'Bannon wisely agreed with the writer that anyone who could utilise his talent to bring the films creature to life would indeed have something equally disturbing and unique, the likes of which had never been seen before. Scott being totally seduced by Giger's Necronomicon almost wanting to put actually what was on the page onto the screen for his film and in his words solving the biggest problem of the film. It can't be discounted the impact of Giger's richly deserved Academy award winning visual effects which were not only utilised to bring the Alien to life but put to use to render the Alien landscape and ship.

    It's seems ridiculous to think that at the time Scott was criticised for lack of characterisation, the critics of the time completely missing the point that this was not what the film was about. Compared to modern fare Alien offers more than enough details, these subtle subtexts were later jettisoned for James Cameron's sequel Aliens (1986), where Cameron chose to spell things out in block capitals. Yaphett Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton's Parker and Brett representing the lower class end of the crew working in the bowels of the ship. The obvious friction between the other members of the crew due to their status and share of the cargo effectively conveyed by Hill and Giler's script and Kotto and Stanton's pitch perfect performances.

    Established character actor Skerritt providing a subtle but commanding presence as the ships Captain. Veronica Cartwright's emotional Lambert visually representing the audiences fear, Holm then more famous for his stage work gives a menacing reading as Science Officer Ash. Weaver who had only done a little television and a bit part in Woody Allen's Annie Hall, accepted the role of lifetime to play Ripley. Her major debut still retains it's impact and establishes arguably the first true fearless female cinema icon.

    As well as Giger's work the production crew are essential to the execution. Ron Cobb's obvious contributions as Concept Artist, Derek Vanlint's vivid cinematography, Terry Rawlings editing. Scott and his team raising to the challenge of their financial restrictions with excellent model work and production design, using almost primitive methods to get results. The chestburster sequence has rarely been bettered, tension ratcheted up to almost unbearable levels. The budget constraints playing to the benefit of the film, only showing the Alien when necessary a technique that is rarely employed today, less is indeed more. Alien although now 31 years old puts the most of the big budget C.G.I fueled blockbusters to shame and it continues to look timeless and has aged better than any of it's predecessors.

    All of this in place a good score is paramount to effectively conveying the atmosphere of the piece. Scott took the wise choice of employing Jerry Goldsmith at the time not quite the scoring legend he became, to deliver the music for his film. Although both Scott and his editor Rawlings when having used a temp score (one of Goldsmith's) initially, decided that one sequence was better served by Rawlings choice than the piece that Goldsmith had provided and ended up buying the piece for Jerry's score to the 1962 film Freud and using it instead, then also using Howard Hanson's 1930 "Symphony No. 2, Romantic" for the film's end credits. Scott, Rawlings and Goldsmith while not on the same page causing some friction between the 3, still provides one of his finest scores. The film being invested with a subtle underlying menace and not signposting scares, Scott and Rawlings only using it when necessary, a practice all too forgotten by directors, editors and composers today.

    It's most likely up for debate out of this and Cameron's impressive more ambitious sequel which is the best, ( this fan actually prefers David Fincher's much aligned 3rd film but in it's assembly cut to Cameron's). They are quite different films, a sequel that builds on the original rather than presenting more of the same (a rarity indeed) but Scott's film has easily dated better and is not hamstrung by ropey dialogue amongst other crimes, it's efficiency and execution, it's legacy and influence far outstretching any other film in it's genre. Alien is essentially a B movie given the A movie treatment, before such a film had not presented itself with such intelligence and attention to detail, Stanley Kubrick's 2001 Space Odyssey alongside Lucas Star Wars with Hooper's Chainsaw as mentioned being an influence. As for within Scott's body of work it could be argued that his follow up the almost as influential and visual masterpiece 1982's Bladerunner was superior and that is likely to split the vote but for my money Scott has never been better. Scott chose to return to Alien in 2003 and re-cut the film, increasing the opening sequence and tightening up the film actually making it run a number of minutes short to the original but most notably adding the Dallas cocooned sequence and doesn't make a great deal of sense, this adds nothing to the film and even Ridley admits it wasn't to make it better just offer an alternative, the 1979 theatrical version remains the best.


  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    edited June 2013 Posts: 13,865
    Just finished watching the director's cut of Aliens. The few extra scenes we see don't really spoil the film- the most relevant one being the story behind the colony making first contact with the Xenomorphs, as experienced by 'Newt's family. Overall, an excellent sequel which sheds most of the claustrophobia of the first stellar film, but keeps the eerieness level up. A decent supporting cast too, most of them James Cameron regulars.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,043
    Aliens 1986

    Following on from the events of the 1979 original, the Nostromo's escape shuttle The Narcissus is rescued after drifting for 57 years with Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Jones the cat alive and in stasis. When Ripley's employers Weyland-Yutani Corporation deem her actions questionable for destroying their ship The Nostromo as there is no evidence apart from her testimony of the Alien that caused Ripley to resort to such extreme actions. Weyland Yutani suspend her flight licence, Ripley in addition learns that the planet that the alien eggs that had been witnessed by her now dead crew members Dallas, Caine and Lambert is now called LV-426 and has been colonised by a process called terraforming, Ripley obviously horrified by the prospect manages to get herself a job as a load lifter.

    Sometime afterwards company representative Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) informs her that they have lost contact with the colony on LV-426, offering her an opportunity to accompany a unit of Marines and Burke to go back to the planet and investigate this, Ripley initially refuses the offer but decides due to her vivid nightmares to confront her demons and join the detachment with the proviso that they go out to destroy and not to study and bring back her obvious concern due to the events on the Nostromo. While accompanying the gung ho Marine unit who are unlikely to take Ripleys warnings seriously until confronted with the reality of the outcome of the colonists coming exposed to the contents of the Alien ship. Part of the unit includes Bishop (Lance Henriksen) an Android, Ripley understandably cautious to her previous encounter with an artificial person. Also additionally discovering the only living survivor a young girl Rebecca who prefer to be known as "Newt" (Carrie Henn). Not unlike Ridley Scott's original the opening slower paced hour of the film increases once the Marines are confronted by the now titled Xenomorphs and all hell breaks loose. Ripley emerging as the most experienced to the terror as the Marine soldiers are decreased in number and forming a Mother\ Daughter relationship with Newt and as before one of the group reveals their real reason for accompanying the expedition.

    Cameron's sequel is indeed impressive, insisting that Weaver is part of the story when the studio felt they could go with a new character. Deciding to enlist Sigourney again is a masterstroke and the option to base continuing events 57 years allows for a development to the situation with the Alien ship on the now titled LV-426. Weaver's surprisingly but none the less deserved Oscar nominated performance is the centre of this thrilling sequel and thankfully offsets some of the stereotypical Marine performances, the likes of Bill Paxton's Hudson though a spirited performances spitting out some rather juvenile dialogue. Henriksen gives a subtle and impressive reading of Bishop the android and Reiser is suitably slimy as Burke's company representative. The likes of Michael Biehn's Hicks (stepping in at the last minute after the originally cast James Remar didn't work out) Jeanette Goldstein's memorable Vasquez providing solid support. Considering Henn not having acted before, her performance as Newt is impressive and builds a believable chemistry with Weaver making Cameron's obvious surrogate Mother angle convincing enough.

    The effects are impressive, Ron Cobb returns with great results and the more ambitious creature effects while stepping away from Giger's original design make for formidable foe, Cameron regular Stan Winston stepping in to deliver the intimidating Alien queen. Bond veteran Peter Lamont production design adds to the epic feel and the utilising the decommissioned Acton Lane Power Station in Acton London is resourceful and effective. Aliens without doubt an exhilarating ride but it's not anywhere as timeless as it's predecessor. Cameron's insistence of hitting us over the head with a sledgehammer (subtly has never been a quality he has embraced) while O'Bannon & Hill's script is littered with little subtleties the King of the world leaves little to the imagination. That being said very little sequels approach themselves with this amount of originality and vision and for that it must be applauded, it's one of those sequels which is debated over, is it better than the original? It depends what you are looking for and it has those who will champion it as the better film. Personally I don't think so, in fact I prefer Fincher's plagued 3rd film to it although when I was a youth loving Arnie flicks and action movies being my diet of choice I would disagree but as years have gone by Ridley Scott's original towers above it and Carpenter's masterful The Thing as aged considerably better. Yes it has quotable dialogue that friends throw in my face regularly. I will say that I do prefer the longer Special Edition cut, yes you could argue that slows things down but it makes the Ripley Newt relationship that all more convincing and who doesn't love gratuitous sentry gun action?

    Maybe my aversion to all things Cameron has not helped, his previous film Terminator is for me a better film and with the exception of the ambitious but flawed Abyss his work does nothing for me, I try to look it objectionably I really do but soppy dialogue a sinking ship and blue smurf like aliens keep popping into my head.

  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,350
    Very nice reviews @Shardlake. Enjoyable reading.
  • Posts: 53
    Aliens is one of my favourite films full stop. It's the film that got me into the Alien franchise so it tops my list on that alone. Ridley's original is of course the godfather of the series having both style and substance.

    Alien 3 I have slightly more trouble with but that's mainly a result of the deaths of Hicks and Newt. When I get over my disappointment that I'm not going to get another film with them in it then Alien 3 turns out to be a lot better than many give it credit for. It is also a lot better served by the alternate edit in the Quadrilogy boxset.

    As for Alien Resurrection, I have now got to the point where I now actively tend to avoid it. There is the occasional nice idea, but for the most part it is just a mess and not the way the series should have gone nor the end that it deserved.
  • Posts: 1,143
    Alien and Aliens are both amazing. Then it starts to go down hill. I own all four plus the two AVP movies which are watchable. As for Prometheus, whilst not an Alien movie, it is very much a prequel to the Alien species we know and love and I for one really enjoyed it. I hope there is another film made which bridges the gap as a proper prequel that can provide us with something very special indeed.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,142
    So of course most people say that the third and fourth aren't as best as the first second, but how are the final two? I don't think I've ever seen them. Someone lent me the Quadrilogy one day, but the third wouldn't work on my blu-ray player, for some reason.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,865
    Alien3 is nearly as awesome as the first two. Resurrection- while I still enjoy thoroughly- is lacking a certain atmosphere that made the others superb. However, both are well worth watching.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,142
    I always see 'Alien 3' on blu-ray for semi-cheap, and I really want to finish out my collection of the films (sans AVP:R, didn't like it, and I haven't seen AVP in ages) after getting the first two and 'Prometheus' a few weeks ago, but never know if it's worth diving into.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,043
    Alien 3 for me is better than Aliens, the assembly cut is a great improvement on the theatrical and is the closest we'll get to Fincher's true vision, had he been able to make the film he wanted we might have seen something that got close to the original, a real shame but it's interesting seeing a sketch of might have been.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,142
    Shardlake wrote:
    Alien 3 for me is better than Aliens, the assembly cut is a great improvement on the theatrical and is the closest we'll get to Fincher's true vision, had he been able to make the film he wanted we might have seen something that got close to the original, a real shame but it's interesting seeing a sketch of might have been.

    Having said that, does the film have the typical Fincher feel (which I've loved ever since I first started to watch his films), or does it feel much different?
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,043
    Creasy47 wrote:
    Shardlake wrote:
    Alien 3 for me is better than Aliens, the assembly cut is a great improvement on the theatrical and is the closest we'll get to Fincher's true vision, had he been able to make the film he wanted we might have seen something that got close to the original, a real shame but it's interesting seeing a sketch of might have been.
    Having said that, does the film have the typical Fincher feel (which I've loved ever since I first started to watch his films), or does it feel much different?

    I think you can spot his style, it is obviously his debut, some say there was a huge jump when he followed it up with Se7en but it's pretty noticable he was a huge talent on Alien 3.

    The accompanying doc Wreckage & Rage is a fascinating unbiased view of what Fox and Fincher went through, one of the most honest I've seen.

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