not the final cut poster, but this is better
With the release of my most anticipated movie of the fall season (in fact it’s the last one i really care to see other than The Last Jedi for the year), i figured it would be best to get a review up of the classic Blade Runner before i went to see 2049.
To dispense with the pretense of objectivity in this review (which i rarely care for anyway) in prefacing this entry i have to say simply: that i love this film. In fact i regularly cite it as the movie that got me through the summer of 2005. I don’t know exactly how many times i have watched the film, but there was definitely a week in that summer where i watched it every day.
But much like i have with other movies that i easily consider my favorite, i haven’t watched it in some years. In fact it must be almost 10 since i have, as i don’t recall watching the Final Cut of the film more than once or twice since it came out in 2007. But even with the weight of so many viewings, i was surprised at how fresh the film felt; how evocative its imagery and themes were to me now as they were ten years or twelve years ago.
Lastly i have to give a word of direction for people who may not know where to start with the series, given the existence of 4 separate cuts of the film. Just get the final, it’s a spit shine and polish of the superior Director’s Cut.
The only thing that i can say to preface this film is that it i’m frustrated in not being able to find the film’s score on CD anywhere in my area. It’s bullshit, as this film has delightful music.
In fact i don’t recall seeing any of the preceding film’s scores in the usual places i look, in the end i’ll probably have to resort to using amazon if i want to get my hands on it. Which is so much less fun than going out and finding it on a shelf, but i guess that’s just the way things are moving.
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):
Well it’s better late than never i say. Though truth be told i think it rather fitting that i wrap up the Alien franchise with Prometheus, as it really has very little to do with the series and does everything it can to escape the trappings of a prequel.
I quite liked Prometheus when i saw it in the theatre, and just like Alien Covenant (or rather vice versa) i was really taken aback by the negative response it received. There were tons of people asking ridiculous questions like:
“Why did David poison Holloway?”
“Why didn’t Vickers run sideways?”
“Why did the Engineers want to kill us?”
All of these questions usually had answers in the movie, addressed either implicitly or explicitly by character action, context, and admittedly conjecture.
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.
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.
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.