Alien: Ranked

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Let’s beat this dead horse one final time by taking another dead horse (in this case lists) and beating it to death. I promised myself that i would get Prometheus‘ review out before doing the obligatory ordered list of my faves, i did just that and now i can have some fun.

So this is my ranking for the proper Alien franchise (from last to first):

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Alien Covenant: The Flipside

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Hilarious pic from fedor films on youtube, check him out.

 

It’s always interesting seeing how other people might view a movie, truly watching a film is a completely individual experience. As things so obvious to me, might be opaque to others and vice versa.

There were people who defended Batman v Superman, a large amount of people adore A New Hope; and while i can understand why, i can’t relate or share their views at all.

But it’s especially interesting and sometimes incredibly frustrating when the differences range into the extreme; i like Alien Covenant, love it in fact. I think it’s better than Aliens. I appreciate how it evolved Prometheus‘ themes, i like the explanation given to the creature’s purpose, i like the imagery, i liked the call backs in tone and narrative to Alien, and i absolutely loved Fassbender’s David. So it is jarring to hear people express such vitriol at something that i admire greatly.

So in an effort to step out of my own echo chamber here on this blog, lets examine what some people disliked about AC. I also must add that this post is going to be a long one, as there’s a lot to unpack, things that i didn’t include in my review for brevity and relevance.

Hopefully though you’ll stick around and come out understanding why i like Alien Covenant, in the face of heavy criticism.

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Alien Covenant

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I figured i should get this out while Alien Covenant is still playing in theatres, considering its rather troubling tumble in the box office it might not be around for very much longer and i think that’s a shame.

There are spoilers within this review, so in short my recommendations are:

Go see the movie, i’ve seen the movie twice and it holds up, and i think it’s better than Aliens.

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Alien Resurrection

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Oop, life got in the way for me getting these things out before Alien: Covenant came out, and before saw it as well. Oh well, i can’t do anything about the past but i can do something about the future and the future is always now.

Alien: Resurrection certainly carries around a reputation that’s hard to shake off, like a bad smell. Joss Whedon certainly dislikes it, almost to the point of disowning the thing. While i certainly know how a director can take what you wrote and change it (despite everything being what you wrote) into something you don’t recognise, i can’t say that Whedon is completely free from guilt here.

As all of his idiosyncrasies are evident in the movie we have before us, and the writing is kinda weak in a few areas.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

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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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