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May 30, 2009 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Tony Scott has confirmed that a prequel to Alien is in the works, with commercial director Carl Rinsch at the helm. Of course, his brother Ridley was no stranger to advertising. Meanwhile Dark Horse is celebrating 30 years of the franchise by releasing a new series of Aliens comics.
posted by Artw (188 comments total)

 
previously
posted by Artw at 10:19 PM on May 30, 2009


I'm sure that Fox will deliver a quality piece of entertainment that not only does justice to the classic IP but adds yet another artistic pillar to the rich tapestry of the Alien filmography.
posted by Lord_Pall at 10:19 PM on May 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


Or, as a counterpoint, it could be yet another middle finger to anyone who as ever enjoyed an aliens film in the past dragged from the cesspool of an entertainment feedlot that passes for 20th century Fox.

Or it could be like getting fucked in the ear by Paul W. S. Anderson
posted by Lord_Pall at 10:24 PM on May 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


I bet it'll be all about how the aliens were nice at first but then their mom died and they got all uptight about their girlfriend and then some bad stuff happened and their girlfriend died of sadness or something and then they got all mean and stuff.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:28 PM on May 30, 2009 [22 favorites]


Uh thanks but no thanks.
posted by Miastar at 10:29 PM on May 30, 2009


Here's an idea!
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 10:31 PM on May 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ooh! I hope we get to find out more about the derelict spaceship's weird, enormous pilot!
posted by orme at 10:31 PM on May 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hollywood will not be happy until they have pissed all over everything I've ever even liked.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:34 PM on May 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm hoping for the Adventures of Warrant Officer Ripley - thrill as she fills in complicated paper work and argues with the engineering crew about bonuses!
posted by Artw at 10:37 PM on May 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


Well, we do at least have the setup that the Company already knew about the aliens, somehow, before they dispatched the Nostromo over thataway. At least, that's one popular theory.
posted by dhartung at 10:41 PM on May 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, we do at least have the setup that the Company already knew about the aliens, somehow, before they dispatched the Nostromo over thataway. At least, that's one popular theory.

I never thought about that before, but doesn't that really make the overarching plot of Alien pretty much exactly the same as 2001?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:47 PM on May 30, 2009


You know who would do a really, really good job directing this?

George Lucas.
posted by felix betachat at 10:55 PM on May 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


If Ridley thinks he'll be making a movie showing the origins of the derelict spacecraft and the pilot, he had better get Giger on board.
posted by Brainy at 11:08 PM on May 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


In space, no one can hear you bitch and moan.
posted by longsleeves at 11:10 PM on May 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


I thought there already was a prequel.
posted by RavinDave at 11:14 PM on May 30, 2009


I didn't realize until just now that H.R. Giger is himself about 10 times creepier-looking than any of his creations.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:28 PM on May 30, 2009 [13 favorites]


If it's Hollywood, I think we can count on a film with Will Smith piloting an early Nostromo with Nicolas Cage, with company officer Angelina Jolie who will be in a gratuitous shower scene. Screenplay by John Brancato and Michael Ferris.
posted by crapmatic at 11:50 PM on May 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


WOW! I missed the whole December thread in which it was revealed that people (MetaFilter members, even) apparently LIKED Aliens! I have NEVER left a theater in such a rage as after seeing that piece of shit. There is NO WAY that this upcoming joke of a revenant could possibly be as bad. For the record, the only truly exceptional film in the series is the first one, but Jeunet's is by far my favorite of the subsequent ones.

Aliens made me resist even the idea of watching Terminator for years after it was on home video and permitted me to see Titanic in the theater, fully knowing how awful it was going to be. Seriously, it's a terrible, terrible film, a danger to your family, and when the terrorists win, it will be because of Aliens. That, and Starship Troopers. And maybe Red Dawn.
posted by mwhybark at 11:53 PM on May 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, this Rinsch guy makes some awesome commercials. I'm impressed.

Alright, let me get my hopes up again for another beloved Sci-Fi franchise to not be torn down into a flaming pile of shit!
posted by Drainage! at 11:57 PM on May 30, 2009


The thing about Ridley Scott's early works is: after all these years, after all these attempts to equal or surpass his initial movie, nobody has come close (maybe Fincher, if he had had the budget, artistic freedom and control over the script). I'm not too fond of Scott's later films, but Alien and Blade Runner truly show what an incredible genius he was, and how rare and how difficult such films are to create. Alien, still, today, is incredible to watch, and when it was first released...just 2 years after Star Wars... amazing.
posted by Auden at 12:08 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not as extreme as mwhybark in my disdain of Aliens, but it was a failure in exactly the same way as the second Terminator film, and it tempers any excitement for the upcoming Avatar, whatever its technical marvels.
posted by Auden at 12:12 AM on May 31, 2009


Jeez, what's with the prequels lately? I don't understand the urge to find out "how it all began": it's like the past is the new future, and we've all only just discovered the concept that, wait for it, stuff happens before other stuff as well as after. Even sequels, for crying out loud, the most unimaginative movie set-up possible (barring remakes), are now too much; no, what we need is movies whose sole purpose is to explain other movies, in order to remind us that older movies we've already seen were set in a context of causality and chronological progression. Gee, you think? It's like we're circling around in a big loop, confirming to ourselves the importance of those two hours or twenty years we've already spent with these older films, and feeling self-satisfied as we recognize the pre-determined forces pushing characters toward the fates we know about even before they do. There's got to be a name for that, and I'm making it up now: bildungsromanfreude, meaning to take pleasure in watching the story of someone else growing up. There. Nothing you can't do with a little German portmanteau.

Really, Hollywood is obsessed with genesis these days. People have somehow developed a fascination with the experience of watching people we don't know morph into people we do. Of course, good movies are more often about watching people we do know morph into people we don't. But hey, I guess that's too much to ask for my ten dollars. These prequels may have their moments, but my feeling is that if an earlier story was important it should have been told already. It's either first things first or not at all.

That said, I totally want to see this, if only for the montage of little Alien training up for its first big fight. What? You mean it's not being told from the point of view of the eponymous character? Ah, forget it.
posted by roombythelake at 12:16 AM on May 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


Hey while I'm all worked up about the intrinsic superiority of early Scott flicks (and hell yes I love Blade Runner) permit me to direct yourn attentionens to the remarkable The Duellists, which iirc is Scott's directorial feetch debut. KEITEL! CARRADINE! NERDASTIC PERIOD COSTUMES! SHOT COMPOSITIONS CRIBBED FROM PERIOD-APPROPRIATE PAINTINGS!
posted by mwhybark at 12:28 AM on May 31, 2009


also, holy shit, Walter Hill, clearly the driving force in Alien schlock (check all those e-prod credits) was the writer/director of... The Warriors, the high-water mark in non-horror lo-budget US exploitation flicks-with-brains of the seventies (a small field, but still).

If only this infinite-dumb-sequelism thing applied to that film, rather than Alien.
posted by mwhybark at 12:39 AM on May 31, 2009


For the life of me I don't understand how we've made it through 3 sequels without seeing the things running loose on Earth, dismantling our civilization. Isn't that the obvious next step?

Enough of aliens sneaking up on people in the dark. I want to see these guys wandering around in broad daylight, not giving a fuck, while humanity tears itself to pieces (like in the first Dark Horse series). Directed by Sidney Lumet or someone similar.
posted by equalpants at 12:49 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


JaredSeth: "Hollywood will not be happy until they have pissed all over everything I've ever even liked."

Yeah, there's an amazing amount of action movie sequel crap out there. It's almost as if Hollywood cannot see what made them good to begin with....

You Can't Tip a Buick: "I didn't realize until just now that H.R. Giger is himself about 10 times creepier-looking than any of his creations."

MY PREEECIOUSSSS....
posted by JHarris at 12:53 AM on May 31, 2009


For the life of me I don't understand how we've made it through 3 sequels without seeing the things running loose on Earth, dismantling our civilization. Isn't that the obvious next step?

Yes, since isn't that what the ending of Alien Resurrection sets up?

Also, Alien vs Predator was already a prequel! A giant turd of a film, though it was.

Um, the early story of the Nostromo... doesn't really sound all that interesting. Or Planet of the Aliens... meh.
posted by crossoverman at 1:46 AM on May 31, 2009


I'm not involved with Hollywood in any way, but I imagine that the way things like this new Alien prequel, and everything after Terminator 2 and the godawful new Star Trek film, all get their start like this.

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: We need to make money!

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Agreed! But we have no new ideas!

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: But we need to make money!

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: I know! How about we pull out the Big Red Book that tells us the films we've already made that were popular, and do something with that?

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: Yes! That will make us money!

The first Movie Executive pulls out the Big Red Book, puts his hands over his eyes and opens the book to a random page. In big, 42 font size font, the page reads ALIEN.

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: The Alien franchise it is, then. Now, let's spin The Wheel to see what we're going to do with it!

Movie Executive 2 spins the Big Roulette Wheel, that contains eventualities like 'Sequel', 'Reboot' and 'Spin-off'. The Wheel lands on another option... Prequel.

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: ... OK, we'll make a prequel based on the Alien franchise! Excellent!

Movie Executive 1 presses the button on his intercom.

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: Carol? Oh Carol? Please unchain The Writer and tell him to come in.

A few minutes later, a scrawny, bearded guy walks in. He is The Writer.

THE WRITER: You summoned me, my lords?

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Writer, we have studied the dark texts and followed the complicated ancient rituals and have determined that a prequel to the Alien franchise shall be made! We deem that you shall write it. What are your ideas?

THE WRITER: Well, I think it should have an alien in it. Heh.

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: Excellent! This is why we allow you to continue to live! What else?

THE WRITER: Well, if it's a prequel, perhaps we could take our cues from the complex established lore of the first two films in the franchise and craft a carefully scripted action film that shows us the first Alien was actually a Weyland-Yutani experiment that went wrong! This would tie in to why they tried to deny the Alien's existence in the second film, and why they tried to cover it up. We'll maybe even see a young Ripley, or her parents could have a role in it. Perhaps they built the Nostromo! And we could go for the real fan love, maybe throw in a reference to Wolfram & Hart, the evil law firm from Joss Whedon's Angel series, which was established to be Weyland-Yutani's legal representatives in one episode of that series!

MOVIE EXECUTIVES 1 AND 2: Hmmmmm....

THE WRITER: But most importantly, we need to make sure that the characters aren't simply one dimensional cardboard cutouts or parodies of themselves. No, I think it's important that before we get to the action, that we ensure that we create, albeit with some degree of brevity, a complex backstory for whoever our protagonist ends up being, so that the character we create is cared about by the audience, so that they care whether he or she lives or dies, and that they really hate the Alien for the hell it ends up putting them through.

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: OK. But er, could we maybe ditch the nerd references to the earlier films and stuff? I mean, the Roulette Wheel did land pretty close to 'Reboot', actually.

THE WRITER: Roulette Wheel?

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: Plus, could it have some flowers in it?

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Yeah, frangipani's are huge nowadays! Make sure it has frangapannis! Or frangipanii.... whatever the plural of frangipani is. I mean, heh, you're The Writer, you'd know, right?

THE WRITER: Frangipanii? In an Alien movie?

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: Yeah! Oooh, and also, could we ditch the complex character bullshit? That sounds bor-ing! Let's just make the new character a pale imitation of Tripley.

THE WRITER: Ripley.

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Whatever. Cut that shit! And also, let's see if we can get Paris Hilton to star in it. She's popular! Plus she's not adverse to taking her clothes off, clearly, cos man, I saw this film on the internet the other day that would make you blush! Not like that Sigourney Weaver and all her 'integrity.' Oh, and I know just the director as well. Carl Rinsch! I mean, I'd prefer Michael Bay... that man knows how to fit more explosions on screen than any director I've ever met! But Rinsch.. I met the kid the other day. Told me he directs commercials. If anyone knows about money, it's him!

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: We need to make money!

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Yes yes, OK. We're getting there dude.

THE WRITER: (*exasperated*) So let me get this straight. You want me to write a prequel to Ridely Scott's Alien, with frangapanii Aliens going after a gun-toting, boob-baring Paris Hilton, who everyone watching the movie will be hoping, right from the first frame, gets killed no later than the second frame, especially given that her character will get no development before the frangipani Alien's first appearance on screen? And it'll be directed by a hack who has never directed anything more than a can of cola before. Is that what you want?

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Yes. And let's rush it. No need to take our time. Let's get it out by the end of 2009.

THE WRITER: *whimper*

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: You know what I think, Number 1?

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: What?

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: I think we're going to make money!

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 1: We need to make money!

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Indeed! God, I love Hollywood.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:50 AM on May 31, 2009 [35 favorites]


That last comment was long so it's probably good.. Dammit to hell for being all out of favorites.
posted by item at 2:03 AM on May 31, 2009


And people argue when I say that there's no god.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:13 AM on May 31, 2009


Probably good. Not god.
posted by item at 2:15 AM on May 31, 2009


I always imagine those meetings are a lot shorter and are more along the lines of "It's kind of like X but with Y!"

Alien = "We'll make this movie and it'll be like Jaws, but with an alien and an outerspace cargoship!"
posted by P.o.B. at 3:06 AM on May 31, 2009


And prequels are a narrative dead end. Period.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:27 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


MOAR GIGER PLEEZ!
(and credit him with the alien's design like you should...)
posted by djrock3k at 4:24 AM on May 31, 2009


ALIEN PREQUEL
Draft One

INT: THE NOSTROMO COLD SLEEP CHAMBERS

We see the crew members asleep in their pods. Beneath each body a timer counts down until their next reawakening. Behind the pods there is a window. Outside we see the ORE CONTAINERS. Lots and lots of ore containers. Full of detail. And ORE. Ore that has been mined somewhere, on a distant planet, and will be taken far, far across the galaxy. Lots of ore. We observe the play of cold starlight across ore's surface.We do this for two hours.

THE END
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:38 AM on May 31, 2009 [12 favorites]


It been pretty clear for years that the original screenwriter Dan "Sgt. Pinback" O'Bannon (Alien, Dark Star, Return of the Living Dead, Total Recall) isn't going to be involved with any new iteration of the franchise:
Q: Where would you like to see the next Alien film head? Perhaps back to the more high-budget universe that you---

A; I’d like to see it stop. A horror movie’s a fragile thing, and once you’ve gotten past the original, it isn’t scary anymore. So you do a bunch of sequels to a horror movie, all they do is drain any remaining impact out of the original. All of the sequels to for instance Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers, same thing; they over-expose the ideas, and when you look at the original, it’s not as effective as it would have been if you had just left it alone.

But money makes the world go round and Hill and Giler saw that as the best way to make more money without having to do any work. So as producers with an in at Fox, they just continue to shove those things through.

Q: So as far as you’re concerned the Alien franchise is pretty much played out now?

A: It was played out after the first one, as far as I’m concerned. Cameron, in the first one, did about the only thing you could do, which was that he changed to a different genre, from a horror movie to an action film. But once he had done that, there really was nothing left to do. And they just keep squeezing the thing till it’s an empty bag. But as long as it keeps bringing in money to them, they’ll keep doing it.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:53 AM on May 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


Almost Effigy2000
MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Indeed! God, I love Hollywood.

would actually be...

MOVIE EXECUTIVE 2: Indeed! Xenu, I love Hollywood.
posted by mattoxic at 4:59 AM on May 31, 2009


Is Xenu bad or good? I don't know, I have thetans crawling all over and the wife's broken the auditing machine, so forgive and for fucksake don't sue
posted by mattoxic at 5:01 AM on May 31, 2009


^I told Jodorowsky that in order to do these effects we were going to have to storyboard. He wasn’t familiar with storyboards, so I explained it to him, and he got so interested in it that he had the entire film storyboarded – every shot.

What? Jodorowsky's Dune is fully storyboarded!? I'd have rather see that than the random art pieces that were leaked.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:07 AM on May 31, 2009


Maybe if the aliens became Scientologists or particularly aggressive door-to-door evangelists, then maybe, maybe it could be scary. Otherwise, it's all played out.
posted by markkraft at 5:29 AM on May 31, 2009


Is there anyone in this thread who think this won't suck?
Is there anyone in the world who thinks this won't suck?
posted by dirtdirt at 5:33 AM on May 31, 2009


What are you talking about? This movie will be fantastic. It'll be like Aliens, but with more lasers!
posted by P.o.B. at 5:37 AM on May 31, 2009


I’d like to see it stop. A horror movie’s a fragile thing, and once you’ve gotten past the original, it isn’t scary anymore ... they over-expose the ideas, and when you look at the original, it’s not as effective as it would have been if you had just left it alone.

Alien is beyond saving in that respect. What's more worrying is this:

So at today’s junket for Tony Scott’s new film "The Taking of Pelham 123"...
posted by rory at 5:52 AM on May 31, 2009


Maybe they'll explain whether the derelict was a Predator ship.
posted by escabeche at 6:11 AM on May 31, 2009


mwhybark: "If only this infinite-dumb-sequelism thing applied to that film, rather than Alien."

Looks like Tony Scott is remaking that film next.

posted by octothorpe at 6:15 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Alien is one of my favorite movies of all time. Whatever they have done since or attempt to do in the future does not change the fact that the first movie is still profoundly affecting. Even Ridley Scott's recut of the movie managed to be weaker.

However, if they stay faithful to the original opening in style (slow tracking with the camera with eerie atmosphere and music) I would much rather sit through Joe in Australia's vision than whatever CGI summer spectacle they have planned.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:21 AM on May 31, 2009


I hope the movie has a feel good message that despite all of our differences maybe theirs a little alien inside all of us.
posted by I Foody at 6:28 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Space jockey, and all the mystery surround him and his race, is one of the coolest things about Alien. So I'm sure the new movie will do its best to strip away all mystery and coolness around that element. Mmmm, shittastic!
posted by autodidact at 6:31 AM on May 31, 2009


The Warriors is far removed from the original book. If they're going to redo it so it's closer to its' original narrative, then I'm fine with that.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:35 AM on May 31, 2009


mattoxic: "Is Xenu bad or good?"

Long story short, he's really, really bad. Avoid.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:45 AM on May 31, 2009


I say we nuke Fox from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Electric Dragon at 7:29 AM on May 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


So at today’s junket for Tony Scott’s new film "The Taking of Pelham 123"...

La la la! Not listenting! La la la!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:34 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, given that, post Aliens, every single Alien/AvP film is worse than the last we could be approaching some sort of Plan 9 level apocalypse here...

Unless... unless... they do a total Star Trek reboot on it. On noes! A faint glimmer of hope... I hate that!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:43 AM on May 31, 2009


I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Alien movies...and for Crispin Glover. Oh, man, maybe he'll be in this one!
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:29 AM on May 31, 2009


octothorpe: "Looks like Tony Scott is remaking that film next."

Well, may Walter Hill get what's coming to him, then. I have a vague recollection of hearing that something was brewing with respect to The Warriors.

Let's see now, Tony Scott, Walter Hill, great original flick, great original script... what could possibly go wrong?
posted by mwhybark at 8:37 AM on May 31, 2009


I know. A Star Wars/ Aliens/ Predator/ Star Trek crossover-clusterfuck! That will solve EVERYTHING.

Also, God will smite us in justified wrath. That too will solve everything.
posted by WalterMitty at 8:47 AM on May 31, 2009


I'm holding out for the prequel to Titanic
posted by Hands of Manos at 8:49 AM on May 31, 2009


*examines Weyland-Yutani entry on wikipedia*

Hmm, Wolfram and Hart. I didn't know that. And --

The show's creator, Joss Whedon, wrote the fourth Alien film, Alien Resurrection

Goddamnit, Whedon.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:57 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


post Aliens, every single Alien/AvP film is worse than the last

I do not see how any reasonable person could view AVP1 as worse than Alien:Resurrection, which might have been subtitled "Sigourney Weaver finally has enough clout to do all that dumb, self-indulgent shit that Scott and Cameron wouldn't let her do because they actually sort of understood the scripts and concepts."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:05 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


"I know. A Star Wars/ Aliens/ Predator/ Star Trek crossover-clusterfuck! That will solve EVERYTHING.

OMG CRISIS IN INFINITE SPACES! The crossover could end by setting up the Lord of the Rings world as a result of Spock using the force to send James Bond back in time to fight terminators disguised as spartans who are ninja pirate zombies.
posted by fuq at 9:10 AM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Whedon never put in Mr. Blobby though - really not sure who is to blame for that.

Me, I'd rate A:R over AvP because it's got some interesting bits amongst the bad decisions, and AvP doesn't.
posted by Artw at 9:13 AM on May 31, 2009


I have NEVER left a theater in such a rage as after seeing that piece of shit.

Curious, why didn't you like Aliens?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2009


I really can't imagine not liking Aliens. It's one of the cornerstones of my existance.
posted by Artw at 9:29 AM on May 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


Me, I'd rate A:R over AvP because it's got some interesting bits amongst the bad decisions, and AvP doesn't.

That's about my thoughts... it's a failure and I hate it, really hate it (esp the blobalian)... but it's a glorious failure made by people who at least have some idea of originality to them

AvP is such a blandathon smear of action/horror-movie cliches made by total hacks that it doesn't really even invoke much hate in me.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:59 AM on May 31, 2009


What are the odds it's going to be PG-13?
posted by Tenuki at 10:15 AM on May 31, 2009


Tenuki: I wouldn't bet against it. Not even a nickle.
posted by Decimask at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2009


it's a failure and I hate it

I agree, except for the hate it part. I actually really like it but it is, as you say, a glorious failure. I think of it the same way I think of AI - unsuccesful brilliance, and I'll take that sort of filmgoing experience any day of the week over A3, AvP, or (although I haven't seen it) Taking of the Pelham 123 (2009).
posted by dirtdirt at 11:00 AM on May 31, 2009


would Alien not get a PG 13 these days? There's no tits in it, and the swearing could be edited.
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on May 31, 2009


would Alien not get a PG 13 these days?

Chestburster...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:10 AM on May 31, 2009


PG13 hmmmm possible but I expect There Will Be Blood.... CGI blood, of course, the bane of modern cinema that turns just about every horror film into a fucking cartoon now.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:15 AM on May 31, 2009


Pff, the chestburster is the stuff of family TV these days.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on May 31, 2009


Alien is a haunted house movie...in space! Aliens is a war movie...in space! They're both great. Aliens is a great movie. Alien is a great film.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:00 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Eh. We got two smart, arty Alien movies that were stylistically visionary, intellectually complex SF films, and audiences shit all over them. As far as I'm concerned, we don't deserve anything but stupid crap from the Alien franchise from here on out.
posted by Byun-o-matic at 12:08 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


roombythelake - "Jeez, what's with the prequels lately? I don't understand the urge to find out "how it all began"..."

If you make a sequel you cast the same old star, or the audience asks why you didn't do so. If you make a prequel the audience loves that you cast hot younger stars. Works for remakes too.
posted by pwb503 at 12:51 PM on May 31, 2009


The third film got handed to an unknown commercial director as well, and despite legendary hurdles, he made a fairly daring film that turned out in retrospect to be if not the best at least the most interesting of the series. My hopes for this are minimal, but I will reserve judgment until there is something more than "There will be a prequel, directed by this guy you have never heard of."

The franchise is unique in that each of the four got made by a different director, each one a distinct stylist. I am hard-pressed to think of another franchise that, if it departed control of the original creators, wasn't being handed over to work-for-hire hacks* by the third movie. I still really believe that Cronenberg has a great Alien movie in him.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:58 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Eh. We got two smart, arty Alien movies that were stylistically visionary, intellectually complex SF films, and audiences shit all over them. As far as I'm concerned, we don't deserve anything but stupid crap from the Alien franchise from here on out.

Yeah AvP and AvPR should both get a lot more respect.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:11 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you make a sequel you cast the same old star, or the audience asks why you didn't do so. If you make a prequel the audience loves that you cast hot younger stars. Works for remakes too.

Well that's the formula now as of a month or so ago. The story goes that the second Matrix was supposed to be a sequel, but the big bosses said "Nope, use the same actors" because that's obviously what made the first film so great. So Matrix 2 & 3 are both an extra long version of 3 and the Animatrix contains the prequel.

I don't have a link for this and I'm positive I'm pulling this from some old Mefite post. Anyone?
posted by P.o.B. at 1:23 PM on May 31, 2009


I always thought the remake/reboot/prequel/sequel modus operandi was really just reflecting my generations (i'm 32 in panda years) obsession with nostalgia. We're getting what they think we want.

I am fucking psyched for G.I. JOE, yet terrified of a Warriors remake. Go figure.

As far as a new Alien movie, I think a prequel is a lot more promising than a remake. I'd like to see them dive into the corporate overlord theme a lot more... I want Xeno Zip ads!
posted by butterstick at 3:10 PM on May 31, 2009


second Matrix was supposed to be a sequel,

Augh, I meant Matrix 2 was supposed to be a prequel and Matrix 3 a sequel. Anyways those definitely fall into the category of failing to achieve status as proper extensions of a good idea.

...and I liked 'em
posted by P.o.B. at 3:43 PM on May 31, 2009


I'd say 1 great movie and 2 you should ignore beats 3 you should ignore anytime.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on May 31, 2009


I think the problem with going after a Weyland-Yutani-based prequel is that the company, as depicted in the films, is very much a thing of the 1980's. It's the same reason cyberpunk isn't as relevant anymore.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:02 PM on May 31, 2009


Well Star Trek beats pretty much every other franchise in shitty sequels. So if the recent movie is any kind of indicator of formulaic success, get ready for reboot city.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:30 PM on May 31, 2009


AvP is such a blandathon smear of action/horror-movie cliches made by total hacks that it doesn't really even invoke much hate in me.

I'll go further and say, without evoking exactly "canon", that I tend to forget it exists and never think of it being in the series. It's like discussing Starship Troopers with a colleague the other day. She hated it, which is fine, but worth a conversation. Oh, she says, it may have been Starship Troopers 2. Well see, that's a whole other thing. Not even a conversation there.

Also... A WARRIORS REMAKE? Are they frickin kidding me?
I like to think I have a decent imagination, but I can't think of how it could be done that would not be utter shit.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:35 PM on May 31, 2009


I wish people would stop expecting Verhoeven's "Starship Troopers" to be some kind of ass kicking space movie that they can polish their knobs to like Star Wars. It's a parody and a critique of fascism. I never saw the sequel but figured that since Verhoeven wasn't anwwhere near it then it was simply taking the basest surface elements of the comic and continuing along mangled plotlines with no regard for the social commentary of the original.

It's like expecting "Showgirls" to be some erotic thing you can enjoy at face value. Another total deadpan parody.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:39 PM on May 31, 2009


but I can't think of how it could be done that would not be utter shit.

Like I said, you could appropiate the original plot from the book and it would be quite good in it's own right.

Compared to the movie, the novel takes a closer look at the concepts of sexuality, reputation, family, and survival. Because the movie was produced in 1979, a full fourteen years after the book was printed, certain key traits were rewritten to reflect cultural evolution. The novel is loosely based on the Anabasis by Xenophon.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:43 PM on May 31, 2009


Yeah, I pretty much agree with ricochet biscuit on this one. The Aliens franchise was never meant to be a single cohesive body of sequels in the same way that Star Wars became (before Lucas decided he couldn't leave well enough alone in making the prequels.)

A:R IMO was a disaster because Jeunet's way of dealing with character and setting was perhaps exactly the wrong approach to an extension of the Alien franchise. It works in Delicatessen and City of the Lost Children which are fairy tales with science fiction trappings. In Amelie it's either just right, or more sap depending on your perspective, and in The Very Long Engagement it provides a buffer against the ugliness of the subject matter. In A:R, it just comes off as campy. After the pirates who do everything but say "arr," the hard-core and stupid military commander, the evil hubris-driven scientist, and the tin man, Jeunet just doesn't have enough credit for us to buy into his ultimate monster.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:47 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's a parody and a critique of fascism.

With a shower scene!!!

...and scenes appropiated from other movies...and huge plot holes...and a lot of other shit that would have been avoided if he stuck a little closer to the book
posted by P.o.B. at 4:50 PM on May 31, 2009


This needs more Ghostbusters II.
posted by Bageena at 5:03 PM on May 31, 2009


Metafilter needs a meme-kill button.
posted by Decimask at 5:57 PM on May 31, 2009


I wish people would stop expecting Verhoeven's "Starship Troopers" to be some kind of ass kicking space movie that they can polish their knobs to like Star Wars. It's a parody and a critique of fascism.

Partly the marketing to blame there, I think, for those who saw it way back when. Of course that was their expectation.

I never saw the sequel but figured that since Verhoeven wasn't anwwhere near it then it was simply taking the basest surface elements of the comic and continuing along mangled plotlines with no regard for the social commentary of the original.

Kind of like Robocop.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:02 PM on May 31, 2009


KirkJobSluder:

Once before in these parts I advanced the notion that its indifferent quality is due to the shocking mismatch between screenwriter and director. Either Whedon or Jeunet is decent, but together it is like milk and lemons. Spielberg is a great craftsman and David Mamet is a terrific and intelligent screenwriter, but I do not want to see a Speilberg adaptation of a Mamet script.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:02 PM on May 31, 2009


> I still really believe that Cronenberg has a great Alien movie in him.

Cronenberg, Cronenberg, Cronenberg-- everyone's talking up Cronenberg.

Thing is, I think the entire series burst out of his chest as it is.

He was that tall seated pilot guy in the first one, IIRC.
posted by darth_tedious at 6:05 PM on May 31, 2009


Re Alien/Aliens: They're two different movies, and should be enjoyed as such. As Doctor Zed points out above in quoting Dan "namesake ;-)" O'Bannon :Taken like this, they're both quite good examples of their genre. If you're looking at them as sci-fi you'll be disappointed - the science fiction aspect is just a backdrop.

Best not to think about the later ones - 3 retreads 1, 4 retreads 2, AvP is a plague upon both houses, etc.

(Ol' Dan O'Bannon knows his stuff - Dark Star is a psychological stoner-surfer thriller-comedy...)
posted by Pinback at 6:07 PM on May 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm waiting for "Jonesy the Space Cat," the Pixar studios epic of bravely surviving acid blooded parasites with a wink and a meow. Tagline: "In space, no one can keep your nom nom in the bowl (without complex science-defying antigravity, &c)."
posted by moonbird at 7:35 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Without trying to start a shitstorm, there is one thing I don't get about the Starship Troopers argument. The whole "If you didn't like it, then you didn't get it" argument. Complete bullshit. I read the book- got it. I watched the movie(s) - got it. I watched the freakin' cartoons - and got it. Liked the book, thought the movie was shit. There are people who enjoy the movie as stupid entertainment and get it. Getting it and liking it are not synonymous. Get over it. I got over people liking it. I'm sure there are reasons you liked it. Guess what? I have a lot of reasons I don't. If you want to know what they are, I can load them into a bug's ass so it can shoot them into space as big ambient light balls for you.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:43 PM on May 31, 2009


Getting it and liking it are not synonymous.

People seem to have their own bug up their ass about this. I mentioned S.T. because it was a conversation I'd recently had that involved some sequel confusion. The only reason I thought that a difference of opinion regarding the first was worth discussion while anything regarding the sequel did not is because I think reasonable people can disagree about whether the first is any good. The second? Well, I guess I'm still waiting for someone, anyone to say they liked it...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:03 PM on May 31, 2009


*crickets*
posted by P.o.B. at 8:19 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's actually a sequel to the Alien trilogy I'd like to see. I understand that a book or comic (I never read it, which is probably a good thing) dealt with what happens on Earth that has been colonised by Aliens. I think that could make a good story, if perhaps a bleak one. I suspect that it would end with nuking it from orbit.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:05 PM on May 31, 2009


Brandon Blatcher: Curious, why didn't you like Aliens?

Hm, well, it was the first sequel to a subversive masterwork and that jackass shit-for-brains Cameron took the opportunity to take the ONLY significant female cinema SF lead character (really, the ONLY ONE at the time) and undercut her direct, ungendered capability - her asskickingness, right - by GENDERING THE FUCK out of it and in fact magically transforming it into a reflection of PURE MISOGYNY.

Also, a fucking war movie? Really? I hate Rambo, I hate Red Dawn, I basically hate American action movies of the 1980s, and the fact that Cameron (and as I have learned here, Walter Hill) took this amazing and perfect film's concept and turned it into some sort of fucked-up proxy-battle cheeerleading gun porn with the wimmin-hatin' and the gender-determinacy and shit: well sir, I wish to kill, and kill, and keep killing until the movie is burned from our consciousness. It's the only way to be sure.

I hyperbolize, but when I left the theater I was ready to bust heads.
posted by mwhybark at 9:35 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do you mean Rambo 2 and onward. I think there was only one(?) death in Rambo, and the action may have overshadowed the commentary but it was there.
I'm not sure I grasp what you mean though. All the women in Aliens were tougher than the men. Are you talking about Cameron taking away the feminine qualities like Rodriguez and the pilot (and Ripley)? I don't remember Ripley being so asskicking in the first one. More or less a victim like the rest of the crew, kind of like Jaime Lee Curtis in Halloween.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:38 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still really believe that Cronenberg has a great Alien movie in him.

Yes.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:04 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


My point exactly. Forget they're related, forget the spaceships and aliens - what you're left with are two different movies; the first one a horror thriller, the second a war movie.

Taken as such, without all the sci-fi baggage and "the second one sucks because it's different from the first!" sequel-itis, they're both quite good examples of their genres.

But what do I know - I'll happily admit that I believe The Empire Strikes Back is worse less good than Star Wars, and RoTJ would have (narrowly) beaten it into second place if Lucas hadn't already killed any chance of the cutesy-shit ending being taken seriously by already having allowed the Star Wars Holiday Special... ;-)
posted by Pinback at 11:35 PM on May 31, 2009


I still like the yub yub song
posted by flaterik at 11:43 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yub Yub song would be perfect if Alien hatchlings burst out of the Ewoks' chests when the X-Wing fighters flew overhead with the fireworks.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:44 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


^And that would give the basis for episodes 7-9.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:45 PM on May 31, 2009


Ewoks dancing and old friends reappearing as ghosts must be what it's like in George Lucas' head all the time.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:17 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Hm, well, it was the first sequel to a subversive masterwork and that jackass shit-for-brains Cameron took the opportunity to take the ONLY significant female cinema SF lead character (really, the ONLY ONE at the time) and undercut her direct, ungendered capability - her asskickingness, right - by GENDERING THE FUCK out of it and in fact magically transforming it into a reflection of PURE MISOGYNY."

Weyland-Yutani isn't the only thing stuck in the 80s, then?
posted by Sebmojo at 1:56 AM on June 1, 2009


I'm going to retroactively blame Joss Whedon for killing off Newt and Hicks, since good god is that a Whedon move.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:06 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to retroactively blame Joss Whedon for killing off Newt and Hicks, since good god is that a Whedon move.

Still hurts does it? "I'm a leaf on the wind!"
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:53 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


GENDERING THE FUCK out of it and in fact magically transforming it into a reflection of PURE MISOGYNY

I'm sorry you didn't like this movie but I really, really think the pearl of opinion you have about it is disproportionate to the grain of sand that seeded it. Seriously. Can you elaborate?

To my eyes Ripley retains her "asskickingness" in the second film in precisely the same way she has it in the first film - by keeping her head together, THINKING through the problems that face her, and using the technology available to her to, well, kick ass. She's not an emotionless superhuman in either film, should she have been? Would that have made her a better, less "misogynist" character in the second film?

Now, I admit that there is some fairly blatant "Mommy" stuff with Newt, but is any nurturing behavior shown by a female character in a movie automatically anti-woman? Really?

Matter of fact, I can understand an anti-semitic reading of Aliens much more readily - "Evil Jewish guy loves money and wants to impregnate white women with his evil alien seed" - but even that is really just one of those post-modern "I hate movies, and life, and you, and am going to make sure that there is a satisfyingly icky interpretation of anything you like so go find someone else to talk to" things.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:38 AM on June 1, 2009


I bet it'll be all about how the aliens were nice at first but then their mom died and they got all uptight about their girlfriend and then some bad stuff happened and their girlfriend died of sadness or something and then they got all mean and stuff.

Card Cheat
, my man, if you can intercut that gem of a storyline with a lot of overly technical dialogue surrounding various interstellar trade pacts governing Weyland-Yutani's corporate charter or mining licenses or logo copyright or something, I think you could milk it for a trilogy.
posted by gompa at 6:44 AM on June 1, 2009


MP3 of an Q & A with James Cameron from a recent screening of Aliens and Abyss re the making of his past films and his current project, Avatar.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:43 AM on June 1, 2009


I think the problem with going after a Weyland-Yutani-based prequel is that the company, as depicted in the films, is very much a thing of the 1980's. It's the same reason cyberpunk isn't as relevant anymore.

I'm not sure I'm grokking you here Pope. Are you saying that the aesthetic of corporate life has changed since the '80s, and so cyberpunk has lost some of its punch? I think that is a superficial change that really is just the growth of marketing and PR as organs of these corporate entities.

Giant Zaibatsu like mega-corps are alive and well, they are just hidden by clever branding. Omni Consumer Products doesn't have anything to gain anymore by stamping all it's products with OCP. Weyland-Yutani is scariest when its in the fine print.

Most people think the Alien is the monster; it's not. A prequel would have to be a bit cagey about how they portray the company, but I'm starting to think this is not only doable, but really the only way to go. Otherwise, you get Generic Monster Movie #36 Starring Aliens. Going with a big corporate storyline would afford some fantastic setpieces and a large scale space opera epic.
posted by butterstick at 8:55 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


GENDERING THE FUCK out of it and in fact magically transforming it into a reflection of PURE MISOGYNY

Eh?
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Still hurts does it? "I'm a leaf on the wind!"

*bursts into tears*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:20 AM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


by GENDERING THE FUCK out of it and in fact magically transforming it into a reflection of PURE MISOGYNY

Yeah, what? Details please!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:41 AM on June 1, 2009


Still hurts does it? "I'm a leaf on the wind!"

DAMMIT!
posted by Artw at 10:41 AM on June 1, 2009


Luckily Wash has been infected with slightly different type of the Reaper producing virus, giving him an augmented healing factor. His body is a coma now, repairing the damage and he'll be back once River performs the proper spells.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:48 AM on June 1, 2009


I think the lead female characters in both of Cameron's sci-fi sequels--Aliens and Terminator 2--are more kick-ass than the characters were in the originals.

I've always hated Newt and everything about her, especially her name. Was it a medieval colony?

Speaking of prequels, there's 1979's Butch and Sundance, The Early Days (trailer), starring Tom Berenger and William "Greatest American Hero" Katt.
Also Peter Weller, Brian Dennehy, Christopher Lloyd, and Jill Eikenberry.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:54 AM on June 1, 2009


/beats Brandon Blatcher to death with a gigantic metal crossbow bolt before he can give any ideas to anyone.
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on June 1, 2009


I've always hated Newt and everything about her, especially her name. Was it a medieval colony?

It's a nickname. Did you not even read the Alan Dean Foster novelization?
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on June 1, 2009


You know Book isn't dead, right? Part of his mysterious past was being part of the government's Super Solider program. He was actually a double agent that the government was going to spring on Mal and the crew in order to regain River, but his special skills were needed elsewhere, so a clone was grown to put in his place while he completed the secret mission. This the real reason why Book wasn't on the ship at that point, he knew that model of clones was a bit twitchy, so he faked leaving the crew so they wouldn't figure it was him.

Kaylee is actually Mal and Inara's daughter from the future, sent back to warn them of the new civil war once the populace learns about the truth about Reavers.

No one knows who Saffron is related to, just don't marry her.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:24 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


/Bonk bonk bonk bonk. Die already!
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on June 1, 2009


Isn't it odd that Zoe has been so faithful to Mal? It's almost like she's been...programmed, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:38 AM on June 1, 2009


/Bonk bonk bonk bonk. Die already!
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on June 1


This is pretty much the reason not to read threads backward.

I thought you were playing “Clash of the Titans” with cruel, thunderbolt-hurling Whedon and little scale models of Wash and reavers in the coliseum.

You know Book isn't dead, right? Part of his mysterious past was being part of the government's Super Solider program. He was actually a double agent that the government was going to spring on Mal and the crew

This is actually true. I recently watched he and another guy “Harris” carrying out some sort of police work for “Barney”, their Alliance liaison. They didn’t wear any blue gloves, but you just knew they were sitting in the top drawer of those desks.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:54 AM on June 1, 2009


Bah, I meant Wojciehowicz. I suck at grief-stricken satire.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:56 AM on June 1, 2009


Well, I liked Aliens, and I don't think it destroyed the Ripley character, although I will take mwhybark's thinking about gendering to heart next time I watch. Still, isn't it something that the macho ass-kicking crew all get killed, while the smart, cautious, protective and nurturing humans live?
posted by dhartung at 12:03 PM on June 1, 2009


I wonder if Serenity can transform and use the Pin Point Barrier Defense System
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:25 PM on June 1, 2009


I just want to see the baby Alien trying to get the hang of how to use its double mouth and slamming its own face into a crate or a wall or something.
posted by paperpete at 12:36 PM on June 1, 2009


I've always hated Newt and everything about her, especially her name. Was it a medieval colony?

It's a nickname. Did you not even read the Alan Dean Foster novelization?


Or, y'know, watch the movie?

Still hurts does it? "I'm a leaf on the wind!"

We may not have covered this before, but Wash's death is what make the climax of the movie work. As I watched the flick the first time, I was puzzled at the hamhandedness of Book's death scene: having a minor character near death survive just long enough to expound three paragraphs of exposition seemed far clumsier than anything Whedon was likely to write. Of course, that was merely the set-up for the second death. Having Wash -- cheerful, harmless Wash -- buy it without warning suddenly means that all bets are off: any anyone might be dead by the final reel.

As well, as we don't set foot in Serenity again until the denouement, the pilot has no more role to play in the narrative. If I may risk a bit of two-front geekery, Wash's demise calls to mind 19th-century chess champion Paul Morphy's celebrated Opera House game. Morphy is giving away pieces left and right and keeps only what he needs to win the game. Wash is like a piece who has done everything he can and now his loss makes the rest of the game work.

Note: now that I think of it, the parallel of the structure of Serenity and a chess game is stronger than I thought. Mal wins not by killing the enemy king, but by putting him in checkmate: once the Operative, who is driven purely by belief, has that belief taken from him, then he is reduced to nothing: "There is nothing to see."

Sorry for the derail.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:06 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wow, really, no-one else thought it was idiotic that the character-and-plot driver in Aliens was the rage of mothers? Not the love of mothers, but the rage. Ripley and the main Alien (the queen, I think we've been calling it) are shown to be motivated toward maternal warfare (NOT toward maternal nurturing, mind you)

This reduces Ripley's motivation to phermones, hormones, and her ticked-out reproductive clock. Her gender becomes the reason for her ability to defeat the Alien. In the first film it was her mind that saved her.

I will admit on thinking this through it is sort of amusing that the script transforms Giger's eggplant-head cock-monster into a sort of vagina dentata, and to note that the computer in the first film does presage the theme (since it's called Mother). But that is also what bugs me about the script: it's the battle of the vagina dentata.
posted by mwhybark at 1:17 PM on June 1, 2009


oh, lordy, typos.

Here are some letters and punctuation I forgot to type:

.

o
posted by mwhybark at 1:19 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


And finally, perhaps this self-link will amuse. Written on the occasion of a theatrical re-release of the first film, I still chuckle when I read it. Perhaps you will also be amused.
posted by mwhybark at 1:24 PM on June 1, 2009


geez, strike the repeat phrase - that's what I get for pausing to answer a co-worker while commenting! Never again!
posted by mwhybark at 1:25 PM on June 1, 2009


This reduces Ripley's motivation to phermones, hormones, and her ticked-out reproductive clock

I always thought of the Ripley arc over the course of four films as pretty neat: She begins as the entirely unwitting victim (she can't even keep her own crew from letting the alien aboard) and slowly the axis of power shifts so that by the time the end of the fourth film ends, Ripley is clearly more awesome and dangerous than the aliens. She has become empowered.

So I've always seen the 2nd film as the beginning of the reversal of Ripley's original role from victim towards avenger, for lack of a better term.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:30 PM on June 1, 2009




…so what you are saying is the movie would be better if Ripley didn’t get into the power-loader, say “get away from her you bitch” and then proceed to smack the crap out of the giant monster?

Because, “gendered” or not, it was fucking awesome.
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on June 1, 2009


Wow, really, no-one else thought it was idiotic that the character-and-plot driver in Aliens was the rage of mothers?

Well, the Alien did kill her entire crew and indirectly force her to miss out on her daughter's life. I'd be pissed too.

Ripley stop out based on her smarts and ability to connect and trust other people again.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:36 PM on June 1, 2009


"stop out" = "still won"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:46 PM on June 1, 2009


Say what you will about Alien Resurrection (it was chock full of stupid), it had a scene that I had wanted to see for years, ever since I grokked the basics of vacuums and pressurized space capsules as a wee lad. That scene where the alien/human hybrid gets slowly sucked out of the window through the tiny hole is just brilliant. I had visualized that happening to a human in just about every space movie I saw prior to Alien Resurrection, and then seeing it happen to a horribly grotesque alien hybrid just cleared my expectations bar by a mile.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:51 PM on June 1, 2009


It's pretty much always been Ripley and her humanity versus the Tiptree-esque reproductive nightmare of the alien, all raw and dripping and biological, and the sterile callousness of the company - I'm sure you could do some kind of analysis using deprecated Freudian terms showing them to repressed Id, Ego and SuperEgo or something.
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM on June 1, 2009


Burhanistan - Goldfinger did it first. Hmm, I think Mythbusters may have debunked the physics of that.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on June 1, 2009


Goldfinger did it first? I really need to go back to the classics, obviously.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:56 PM on June 1, 2009


Having Wash -- cheerful, harmless Wash -- buy it without warning suddenly means that all bets are off: any anyone might be dead by the final reel.

Except the psycho-waif-victim/heroine, of course. Sure, it looks grim for a moment there, but the film would have to have been made by someone else for that to happen.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:03 PM on June 1, 2009


Having Wash -- cheerful, harmless Wash -- buy it without warning suddenly means that all bets are off: any anyone might be dead by the final reel.

The problem has become that it's something of a strategy that's become used so often it's a bit transparent. For example, the second or third episode of Spooks has the novice field agent half-drowned in a deep-fryer before mercifully shooting her in the head in what I consider to be one of the most shocking plot twists of television (a scene where really creepy sound design makes up for a lack of gore) because we are so used to the sudden plot twist that gets everyone out of peril. But then, they set up the requirement of killing off a sympathetic character just about every season. J. J. Abrams has probably become most transparent about it on Lost, and of course he did it again on Star Trek. Whedon's big bang at Marvel comics involved consummating one of the oldest ships in X-Men fandom, only to toss Kitty into a fridge shooting through the universe at relativistic speed. That is, when his comics were not in development hell.

The problem is that Wash's death left me feeling pranked, because it created the illusion of peril for the characters but never really delivered.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:08 PM on June 1, 2009


Artw, you have put your finger on the moment when I became filled with rage toward the film. Absent that oh-so-80's line, I probably would never have noticed the dangermommy bullshit. Ripley is transformed into a literal tool of gender hatred.
posted by mwhybark at 2:15 PM on June 1, 2009


Goldfinger did it first? I really need to go back to the classics, obviously.

Pussy Galore: What happened? Where's Goldfinger?
James Bond: Playing his golden harp.

Not the best quip of the series, but not bad
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:15 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


and of course he did it again on Star Trek.

Hmm, Spock’s Mum? That set Spock up niely but It’s not like she was getting any more scenes.

I fucking loved Star Trek, but if it lacked one thing it was a true sense of peril for any of the characters. Or the ability to stand up to any particular analysis at all, really. But it was great anyhow.
posted by Artw at 2:18 PM on June 1, 2009


[Hi, mods, could you zap that last message of mine? It was unnecessarily spoiler-tastic]
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM on June 1, 2009


[Art's soon-to-be-redacted comment notes that he loved the new Star Trek, "but if it lacked one thing it was a true sense of peril for any of the characters. Or the ability to stand up to any particular analysis at all, really. But it was great anyhow."]

To which I must say, word.
posted by mwhybark at 2:23 PM on June 1, 2009


But then, they set up the requirement of killing off a sympathetic character just about every season. J. J. Abrams has probably become most transparent about it on Lost,

I don't watch much TV these days, and gave up Lost as utter tripe somewhere around the third episode.

and of course he did it again on Star Trek.

Whaaaa? Who are we talking about? Amanda? Olson? Killing off a character who has had two or three lines has a long and hallowed history in Star Trek. Usually it is a security guy, Ensign Hapless or something of the sort, who has had the misfortune to be assigned to a landing party with a bunch of bridge crew.

The problem is that Wash's death left me feeling pranked, because it created the illusion of peril for the characters but never really delivered.

I could see if we were talking about standard narrative tropes (the Enterprise-D always seemed to be dealing with radiation that would be utterly fatal to the entire crew if they had been exposed ten seconds longer, but luckily Geordi routes the plasma flow through the EPS conduits and they get away) but that argument doesn't really go anywhere in the finished movie. Having Book bleed to death, impaling Wash on a telephone pole, shooting Kaylee in the throat and Simon in the chest, laying open Zoe's spine, Mal being run through with a sword... What would have been a sufficient amount of peril?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:27 PM on June 1, 2009


The problem is that Wash's death left me feeling pranked, because it created the illusion of peril for the characters but never really delivered.

Yes, exactly. With Book's death, at least if felt like the other characters did something, that Mal got so angry he went straight into Reaver territory to find out exactly what Miranda was.

With Wash, it was like "Oh he's dead and Zoe is pissed and now there's big fight scene that was going to happen whether Wash was alive or not."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:28 PM on June 1, 2009


If you're striking ArtW's words, I guess one of mine should go, too.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:28 PM on June 1, 2009


Where in the movie do they explain Newt's a nickname?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:46 PM on June 1, 2009


ricochet biscuit: The main characters, facing almost certain death, have their ass pulled out of the fire by a kung fu goddess, and the goodwill of a defeated antagonist. Both of these strike me as rather cheap plot devices against what was built up over the course of the movie as two different forms of relentless, unstoppable, and unforgiving malice.

The hero surviving multiple almost-but-not-quite lethal injuries strikes me as something of a cliche on its own.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:47 PM on June 1, 2009


Where in the movie do they explain Newt's a nickname?

I think when Ripley is first talking to her, after the Marines have examined her.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:57 PM on June 1, 2009


But then, they set up the requirement of killing off a sympathetic character just about every season.

If this has partly turned into a Whedonalysis, I'll throw Angel into that pot (3 of 5 seasons, anyway).

Oh he's dead and Zoe is pissed and now there's big fight scene that was going to happen

So it's... a wash?

I'm so sorry. (Ah! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:02 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


FWIW I tried to fit "get away from her, you bitch" into the title, but couldn't find a way. Modified Ash quote does the job though, and is at least from the right movie.
posted by Artw at 3:02 PM on June 1, 2009


Where in the movie do they explain Newt's a nickname?

I'm not sure, but speaking with much childhood experience in this territory, I believe this means that the aliens can now force her to trudge through Lego mazes filled with random glow-in-the-dark shit.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:08 PM on June 1, 2009


/slaps hysterical Durn Bronzefist

Bronzefist, that little girl survived the lego maze and the glow in the dark shit with no weapons and no training.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


*comes to*

Sorry! She did better than the average newt, then.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:26 PM on June 1, 2009


I think when Ripley is first talking to her, after the Marines have examined her.

Yeah, that's it when Ripley gives her some hot chocolate and starts wiping her face -- after Gormen declares her total brainlock -- Ripley uses her name 'Rebecca' that she got from the photo from the citizen award that Newt had in her den... and Newt says her name is Newt, only her brother calls her Rebecca...

... you know, sometimes I get a little frightened over just how much of that film I've got imprinted in my brain.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:28 PM on June 1, 2009


Grmph. The correct response was "Well why don't you put her in charge then?"

... you know, sometimes I get a little frightened over just how much of that film I've got imprinted in my brain.

it's okay, so long as you only use quotes from it in short controlled bursts.
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on June 1, 2009


I'm sorry. Most of my early neuronal development was spent memorizing Big Trouble in Little China. I thought about replying that goat butts against the edge; his horns become entangled, but, for once, it didn't seem to apply.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:38 PM on June 1, 2009


You know what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like this?
posted by Artw at 3:41 PM on June 1, 2009


Who?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:44 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Me!
posted by Artw at 3:58 PM on June 1, 2009


(That felt vaguely sacrilgious. Maybe next time I'll claim to be Snake Pliskin.)
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


AskMe question with disturbing missed potential for cat naming oportunities.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on June 1, 2009


Alien Ressurection is much better if you ignore the fact that it's tied to the other films and just sit back with some popcorn.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:17 PM on June 1, 2009


Thanks for explaining about Newt's name. I've seen Aliens multiple times, but it's been a while. I retract my objection about her name. However, I think "Newt" is a a stupid nickname, and incredibly unlikely in the 21st-century or whenever the movie is set.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:29 PM on June 1, 2009


2179
posted by Artw at 4:33 PM on June 1, 2009


IIRC The novel, and possibly one of the deleted scenes, explains that her name comes from her skill at hiding in the colonies air ducts and ability to go places the other kids couldn't go when playing hide and seek, kind of like a newt that;s very good at lego mazes and glow in the dark shit.
posted by Artw at 4:46 PM on June 1, 2009


I am now picturing Carrie Henn clambering through gently studded corridors filled with giant, softly glowing pair-of-dice key fobs and phosphorescent race track barrels. Every once in awhile she stops and refuses to go further, until a giant finger descends from the sky to prod her along.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:55 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also: listening to a clip from one thread while reading (and in the mindset of) another can be quite a trip.

David Givanonni, sounds like ah, a young person or a high-voiced person singing the first line of Au Clair de la Lune.

That's right, that's what we thought last year. It sounded natural to us. What we've learned since is that we played it back too fast...

This is not a dream... not a dream. We are using your brain's electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year one, nine, nine, nine...

Apologies. I'm calling it a night.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:20 PM on June 1, 2009


The main characters, facing almost certain death, have their ass pulled out of the fire by a kung fu goddess, and the goodwill of a defeated antagonist.

The final fight against the principal antagonist takes place above Massive Whirling Blades (TM) that any hack screenwriter could tell you are what the bad guy is supposed to fall into. Say what you will, I think you will find few takers for the notion that an action hero defeating his opponent by convincing him he is wrong is a cliche.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:14 PM on June 1, 2009


Wasn't Newt the young King Arthur's nickname in the book and animated film The Sword in the Stone?

Durn, hang on, we're coming for you, boy. Won't be long now.
posted by mwhybark at 6:17 PM on June 1, 2009


That's Wart if I recall correctly, mwhybark.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:49 PM on June 1, 2009


Eye of Wart, tongue of Newt, blast these newfangled grimoires anyway.
posted by mwhybark at 8:10 PM on June 1, 2009


Whoop, apparently I meant eye of newt, tongue of Wart, my bad. Damn indecipherables.
posted by mwhybark at 10:56 AM on June 2, 2009


The 46 Remakes/Reboots on Tap...because Hollywood hates your memories.
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on June 4, 2009


"This is a bad one, the worst yet." Blade Runner Is About To Get A Prequel Webseries
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:16 AM on June 5, 2009


Tintin vs. Predator (note new revelations concerning prior Nostromo mission! how many Nostromos have there been?)
posted by mwhybark at 8:30 AM on June 6, 2009


It's a Joseph Conrad crossover - Tintin is always messing about in the Congo, after all.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on June 6, 2009


36 upcoming sci-fi movies you might not know about
posted by Artw at 4:32 PM on June 8, 2009


You know what would make me go WOOAH? A Tintin-Apocalypse Now mashup. Yessir.

Cap'Haddock hit his head, see, and has kidnapped Calculus and hied off to Vietiongo to... to... uh... to find the seekrit recipe behind the fabled Southeast Asian drink of the Gods. He' holed up a hundred klicks upriver in some ruined temple, surrounded by his fanatical cadres... Seems they take him for some kind of god or something. Maybe that eclipse had something to do with it.

Tintin's boat upriver is crewed by the Thompson twins, in disguise as incompetent European soldiers. There's a tiger, and a firefight, and some arrows, and one of the Twins nearly dies.

When they pole the boat out of the mist at the befogged temple ruins, they are met by a gibbering, bedraggled Calculus. Despite his hindered hearing, he is able to recite garbled Eliot and to laud the Captain, now Colonel, apparently going by Kurtzock.

Tintin and company tossed into bamboo cages; the Twins are nearly stewed for dinner but escape, leaving Tintin and Snowy (who is on the edges of the action, dragging bones of deeply incertain provenance hither and yon) to face Kurtzock alone.

Brought before Kurtzock, Tintin suffers a dizzying barrage of onomontopoetic insults and alliterative aspersions before a drunken, bloated Kurtzock's slurs, "Are you zhe assashazin?"

Before Tintin can answer, the Colonel answers his own question, blurting, "The assassin of FUN!" and topples over into a peacful, beatific sleep, visions of whiskey bottles and sailing ships dancing in his dreams.

In the end, Calculus saves Snowy from being sacrificed in a frenzied midnight ritual and distracts Kurtzock's people with levitation, fireballs, and multicolored bubbles while he leads Tintin, now carrying the besotted Haddock over one shoulder, into the jungle where the Thompsons await with the boat.

In an epilogue set at Marlinspike we see that Haddock's great-uncle was a famous French jongluer, which in those days meant 'jungle explorer and acrobat.' His daredevil antics opened the door for French piracy of the runner trade and led to both the establishment of French rubber plantations in Vietongo and the popular trade in tethered-rubber-ball-and-paddle toys. The troublesome appearance of the paddle toys, and pratfalls thereby adhering to each of the main characters, has been a recurrent subtheme throughout. Of course, his amazing feats of acrobatcy also established him as a legendary figure in the Vietongo religion and his features were immortalized in the monumental architecture of the ruined temple, leading to the elevation of Haddock into Kurtzock by the local populace.
posted by mwhybark at 3:02 PM on June 9, 2009


Drama!

Will Ridley Scott Direct the "Alien" Prequel?
posted by Artw at 3:51 PM on June 9, 2009


The answer to this question is NO. Of course, if he reads this thread he might change his mind. I'll have Wendell get right on that.
posted by mwhybark at 6:08 PM on June 9, 2009


Will Ridley Scott Direct the "Alien" Prequel?

"Complicating matters is the notion that Rinsch is (according to EW) dating Ridley's daughter, Jordan. (Like everyone else in the Scott family,"

Blimey
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:12 AM on June 10, 2009


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