Alien ³ (special edition)

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by SamMarkiewicz

 

3rd times a charm certainly wasn’t the case for the alien franchise. The troubled production of Alien ³ is very much storied, and the end result (to my memory) was disjointed, and vaguely insulting to fans of Aliens. I held onto those negative impressions, i didn’t buy the quadrilogy and instead bought the three other movies separately as i deemed Alien ³ to be unnecessary.

But a friend who had watched and liked the assembly cut convinced me to give it a second chance, i did and was frankly amazed at how much i liked it.

Jim Sterling did a defense of it in his short-lived Movie Defense Force on the escapist:

 

 

I agree with much of what he says in his defense of Alien ³ with the exception of him asserting it is the best, and that the aliens have stood for loss.

As Alien is the best in the series, and the creatures have consistently stood for one thing: Fear.

Also the film’s very existence renders Aliens pointless, as in both of the previous entries the end result of facing ones fears is victory and survival. This is particularly so with Aliens as its message is that of the benefits of facing ones fears can lead to self-healing, it’s only here in Alien ³ that the message changes.

But i’m getting ahead of myself.

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ALIENS (Special Edition)

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a pretty awesome abstract poster, no clue who the artist is though

 

Time to mosey onto the 2nd film in the series.

I can say for certain that the first film of this illustrious franchise that i had watched would be Aliens. When that would have been though is totally lost to me, my most educated guess would place it somewhere around the ages of 5-12 and it would probably have been at my cousin’s place. I remember having an Alien queen action figure and i still remember fragments of my mother buying it, (it was the kenner series circa 1992) i loved that toy and had it for many, many years.

Other than that, there was a poll on the escapist forums years ago that asked the all important question:

Alien or Aliens?

Given the setting of the poll (being a gaming website) i wasn’t surprised that the results leaned heavily towards the latter. Aliens’ effect on the video gaming world is indelible, it has served as inspiration for countless FPS titles and will do so likely for many more years to come.

But what about my answer?

Well…

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ALIEN (2003 Special Edition)

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Well, now that the Oilers are out of the playoffs i can get back to work.

And considering Alien: Covenant is only a week or so away i figured it would be good to use the opportunity to re-watch and review the Alien series in preparation for it.

Naturally we start with the first of the series; I would say i was about 11-12 when i watched Alien for the first time, and to my shame my initial reaction was that of disappointment. The fact that the film only had one of them and was a horror film through and through left me in the dust, i wanted to see dozens of the things machine-gunned down by tough space marines, i wanted loud bangs and set pieces, i wanted Aliens.

Later on in my teens I purchased the excellent special editions of both Alien and Aliens sometime in 2005, and of course watched Aliens to death (which i had already done with a VHS copy of the extended cut, much to my sister’s irritation) but it wasn’t until Halloween of that year when i found myself alone that i decided to watch the director’s cut of Alien by myself.

All i can say is that it is amazing what a bit of a shift in perspective and context can do to a viewing experience. I was absolutely blown away by that viewing, i was creeped out, i was thrilled, and i was most certainly intrigued by what i had seen far more than what my young mind was capable of appreciating when i had first seen it.

Once again it’s been 12 years since that night, and i was curious as to whether the film would hold up to yet another drastic change in perspective…

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Big Shiny Tunes 7

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I honestly had fun doing my BST 6 & 5 write ups. They put me in touch with some songs that i had long forgotten from my youth, and despite my mixed feelings about my days in Junior High they brought an undeniable sense of nostalgia in me while i was listening to them.

So i figured it would be fun to do the last Big Shiny Tunes that was released during my early adolescence.

So let’s dive straight in!

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12 Years a Slave

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There aren’t any worth while anecdotes that i have to put here in my introduction, other than the fact that it is amazing that after falling into obscurity for 100 years the book 12 Years a Slave was found and rightfully put back into its place of helping to expose the gruesome reality of slavery in the United States.

I have to wonder what other important and insightful narratives (not just of slavery) have been lost to posterity due to the ever rolling march of time.

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Ghost in the Shell (2017)

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I initially wasn’t very interested in seeing this version of Ghost in the Shell, as the anime has problems of its own and my familiarity with the series doesn’t go past that.

However some teaser or screen shots that i saw of the Major fighting in water had me wonder if this was going to be a remake of the anime, and not another story from the manga itself; which got me hopeful that the film makers would address the many problems that the original anime had.

Thankfully Ghost in the Shell turns out to be a good remake, and it does indeed address the issues of the original but it comes with some of its own.

 

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