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- What happened?
I remember seeing Alien and Aliens and I consider them classics and was really looking forward to this one. However this one seemed to be a whacky spinoff from the originals, it was pathetic the story was dull and the characters weren't interesting and were boring. Sigourney Weaver seemed tired and not interested in her character especially now that she had no hair. Another major let down is that the Alien is now CGI animated and doesn't build up any tension and isn't frightening in most scenes and frankly when the prisoners were being killed I didn't care. Also we see a brand new breed of alien. With the replicated genes of a dog, this alien runs on all fours, is incredibly fast, and is by far the meanest Alien we have ever seen in this movie series yet. The bad parts about the movie are obvious. After seeing the Colonial marines in action, it is tough to see the events of this movie. You will miss the marines. Another very troubling aspect is the deahts of Hicks and Newt, whom Ripley had strived so very hard to rescue in the last movie, only to have their lives sorrowfully taken from them.
There is no suprise that this one was the least successful in the Alien series. Especially being director by constant underacheiver David Fincher also with striking imagery makes for muddled action and the script confuses it further. The ending looks startling but it takes a long time and a not particularly satisfying journey to get there. Truly this should of had been the last movie in the series.
For most fans of the series this movie was a disappointment and there was no suprise that this one was the least successful and popular. Unfortunately, Alien: Resurrection ruined this closure by bringing us a rather poor plot and extremely poor acting, not to mention a whole new take on the Aliens, which i felt was stupid and unnecessary. Keep Alien 3 as the final movie. Watch Alien: Resurrection if you are in the mood for a 'wacky spin-off', because that is all it is. ...more info
- 2nd best, only beaten by the first. Hear me out.....
I am so very tired of seeing everyone trash this movie, only to go on and say that Aliens is the best in the series. I was fortunate enough to see them in order, theatrical versions, sometimes more than once. The first Alien is my all time favorite movie. It was Sci-Fi/Horror. I really really liked the 2nd, Aliens, which was Sci-Fi/Action. But I liked Alien3 better, Sci-Fi/Horror again being the genre. Fincher wanted to return the series to what it was, and he did perfectly, Sci-Fi/Horror! Things in the movie seemed to go too fast for me though. It wasn't until they released this version with the director's cut, that I understood what happened. The Director's Cut ended up making this movie so much better, that I would advise people only watch THIS version instead. The special facehugger I have seen some reviewers confused about is from the books. The Praetorian facehugger carries the Queen embryo, and is a little tougher than the regular fleshy colored facehuggers that everyone is used to. If you watch the documentary that comes with this edition you will understand and have a much greater appreciation for what Fincher tried to do here. If you hate the movie because there's no marines, or just because David Fincher directed it, then don't bother trying. You've already made up you're mind that you don't like, so hold tight to your little Aliens, because when that movie came out, Alien diehards didn't like it turning into an action flick. I am a fan of the series and the only film that upsets me is the first Alien vs. Predator. Paul Anderson decided to rewrite they way the creatures lived. Predators every 100 years? What about 1985 and 1997? And a Queen being frozen in the Antarctic for 100 years?
This new version of the film deserves a look from any Alien fan. A true fan of the series will appreciate the Directors Original Vision for what was to be the end of a classic Saga.
Seeing it 8 times in the theater made my skin freeze everytime I heard Ripley's original recording from the first movie's ending. Thinking that it WAS the end of the series....more info
- TUT! TUT! SUCH LANGUAGE --
The movie plot is acceptable - the action moving along - the language leaves a lot to be desired -
This time I watched the extended version.
With the oxen - quite enlightening - and Ripley finally shacked up with the doctor. Poor ole widow.
Hard to keep track of those crazy prisoners - Now who is the Company man?
The disbelief was very noticable until the prisoners were yanked up through the roof [or ceiling].
Just a bit of a let-down in Ripley's character almost taking a back seat yet in keeping with the plot.
The language was the most glareing fault I found with the whole thing - just increases the common use of the vulgarity [as in everyone uses it] Ha!
Aliens 3 was in the line of the first two - for mature audiences only. Makes a good trilogy - a little less watched as the Predator trilogy but a nice build-up to PvA [sorry guys this one is a lot better than A-3].
Don't tell me movies can't be made without vulgarity.
No Recommendation - as this one has to be a matter of personal choice....more info
- Start Running For Your Lives, Again...
After 20th Century Fox achieved great success with their sci-fi/horror classic "Alien" directed by Ridley Scott, and gained even greater success with the follow-up effort "Aliens" from director James Cameron, it had to be a virtual no-brainer to move forward on a third installment on the budding franchise. Enter relatively new director David Fincher (the third director for the franchise) who had the misfortune of trying to meet the expectations of the fans, but also that of the studio based on the first two films quality and success. However, success for Fincher and his film "Alien 3" was going to be relatively hard to come by as the studio reportedly tampered repeatedly with the script to where the cast and crew never knew from day to day what the overall story would be for the film. This no doubt would make for a daunting task for any director, and an extremely uncomfortable and unsettling experience for a newcomer who could possibly destroy a franchise with one stinker of a movie.
"Alien 3" finds our tough-as-nails heroine Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) crash landing on Fiorina 161, a maximum-security prison planet. Upon recovering from her harrowing experience during the last film, Ripley begins to suspect that there may have been another alien hidden onboard her ship. Her fears soon become realized when the convicts that populate this dreary planet begin to meet gruesome fates, leaving Ripley with the one option that she knows all to well, face down the creature before it's too late. As if the alien running loose wasn't enough to contend with Ripley is being plagued by a nightmare that she may have an alien inside of her body, but is it merely her mind playing tricks on her or is it a frightening reality?
So after two highly successful entries under this franchise's belt, would "Alien 3" be another terrific installment and make itself yet another success story for the executives at Fox to boast about or would it be devastating blow to a franchises future possibilities? The answer, much to the dismay of director David Fincher (though not really to his surprise), "Alien 3" proved to be the least successful entry in the franchise and one that makes the audience wonder if this is a series that has already reached its peak potential.
The story was an interesting one, and full of potential if handled properly; however, the reported tinkering by the studio (a concept that is hardly foreign in Hollywood) would cause this film to fall flat on its face in a heaping pile of unused potential and disappointment. There are some neat elements to the story, the cameo appearance of Bishop (Lance Henriksen) and the final scene with Sigourney Weaver's Ripley coming to a shocking conclusion as to what she must do to save the remaining convicts of the planet are the biggest highlights of the film. In the director's defense, he did film some other exciting scenes that did make it into a type of director's cut that was released to DVD, and the scenes though not all finished show how much better the film could have been if Fincher had been given a proper chance to make it right.
The cast of the film, led once again by Sigourney Weaver (who seemed a bit bored in this installment), was relatively strong. Though one does miss the energy of Bill Paxton and the intensity of Michael Biehn, but Lance Henriksen's appearance does help the proceedings. The special effects were good, though not heavily relied upon, it appeared that Fincher was attempting to go for atmosphere much like Ridley Scott did with the original film; sadly the sets used to create the prison were too much alike and the shadows caused the audience (being me) to be confused as to what the difference was between different locations. Leaving me to wonder at times which characters were where and who exactly was in danger of becoming the latest prey for the alien.
The movie could have been another great entry into the franchise, but studio tinkering and too much confusion led to "Alien 3" not quite living up to the expectations of the fans and a less successful stint at the box office.
"Alien 3" is rated R for violence and language....more info
- Why Director's and Special Editions exist!
I saw this movie in the theaters when it originally came out and other than the style I thought it destroyed the Alien series. When Resurrection came out I even thought of it as being better than this film. Well, I picked up this DVD and watched the Special Featurettes (before I watched the film) to give me insight into why the film didn't work originally and about the amazing soundtrack.
After watching this short films I learned a lot of the extremely troubled production of first time director David Fincher. Some say he shouldn't have been selected to do this film as his first but that's ancient history now. He started making this movie without a script and only a vague idea of the ending and made it work.
What we are left with is a dark, gritty, and painful journey into the depths of Ripley's despair. The only hope is that the creature will be destroyed before harming anyone else. The religious aspect of the film drives that since of lost hope even further until you are so involved in the story you wonder how it can be resolved. The DVD extras and additional scenes add the missing piece to the story and the characters motives behind their actions.
I can say this movie is one of the films that makes me grateful for Extended and Directors Cut versions. We get to see what the Studio Execs and test audiences didn't enjoy in their version. Often times we agree with cuts and other times we disagree completely. Thank you 20th Century Fox for allowing this film and this series to get the treatment it deserves....more info
- One of the biggest letdowns in history of sequels.
Rarely is the sequel better than the original, so expectations were high after Aliens proved this assertion dead wrong. Alien 3, without Cameron at the helm, was a dismal and disjointed attempt at sucking the blood out of the franchise. With Sigourney Weaver objecting to being filmed with guns around her, script writers changing at a moment's notice, and budgets slashed, this was a disaster waiting to happen. And it did. Pointless elimination of Newt and Hicks, characters that made Aliens the great movie that it was, drove away the fan base. Sigourney Weaver's primadonna demands that there be no guns combined with ever changing cast of screenwriters ended up in a heap of celluloid not worth wasting one's 2 hours of life on. ...more info
- This movie ruined the entire series!
I watched this movie at the theaters when I was a kid and I was a big fan of Aliens (2). I collected the Aliens 2 model kits, the Aliens movie poster, I collected the Dark Horse published Aliens comic book as a kid, played the Aliens arcade games, and Aliens vs Predator PC Games (later on as a college student). Aliens 3 ruined the entire series. They did not have to kill off Newt, Bishop, and Corporal Hicks. That is the worst thing to have happened in this movie. Everything that Ripley did in the Aliens (2) was in vane. I agree that this is a slap in the face to James Cameron's last movie. Other people here giving this movie 3, 4 or 5 stars is just mind-boggling. This is a good example of what happens when some greedy studio executives (who doesn't have a clue and are only interested in making money through sequels) dictate how a movie should be made instead of the director himself. I hope those Fox executives got fired for ruining this series. I know it's not the director's fault (David Fincher) but they should have let Ridley Scott and/or James Cameron continue directing this series since the first two movies was their baby. Maybe they could have used the Aliens comic book mini-series published by Dark Horse to make an off shoot script for the movie. Or they could have stopped at Aliens 2 and gone on with Aliens vs Predator with Ridley Scott and/or James Cameron maybe directing it....more info
- Liked it alot, should've stoped here.
I believe the title of this review says it all. Looking back on it this movie would've been an awesome way to end this franchise. Oh well......more info
- Be Hesitant on the Extended Cut
Most of the comments on amazon.com about the extended "Alien 3" praise it over the first version. The reviewers emphasize that the film studio screwed up by interfering with the director's vision. However, they make no mention of Carrie Henn's comments. (Carrie Henn played Newt in the 2nd film.) Henn, years later, told "People Magazine" that there was no way to explain why her character was 7 years older and that she was done with acting by then.
Since I love the film, of course, I didn't mind seeing more of it. However, the extended version adds a bunch of religiosity that I thought wasn't needed. I thought the character Golic was annoying, so I didn't mind seeing less of him in the first cut. Unlike Paul Reiser's character in the second film who is punished for helping the alien, one never sees Golic's being punished. The scenes where we learn of Newt's death and Ripley's are anti-climactic as well.
I am an African-American male concerned about media images of Black men. bell hooks, an African-American feminist scholar, once asked a class of college students to name positive African-American male characters in film. The only one the college students could list was the main character in "Brother from Another Planet." If I were posed that question, I'd immediately say Charles Dutton's character in "Alien 3." He was humble, though a leader. He was selfless. He protected Ripley from sexual abuse. He didn't stray from his moral convictions. However, in the extended version, he stated that he could not care less if the alien moves beyond the prison planet. In that version, he cares about the other prisoners, but no one else. The extended version tarnishes the image of this outstanding character. Because it makes Dutton's character less positive, I'm not particularly pressed to honor the director's cut....more info
- Better than its reputation
This film manages to produce a good, effective atmosphere and some good shocks. It's better than it's given credit for as a lot of it works very well. Worth seeing. ...more info
- Alien 3: A very underrated film
I have this as part of the huge boxset but I wanted to adress this film seperatly. I know this was not very widely accepted when it was released and it had alot of bad marks long before it was released. First it followed the hugely successfull Aliens which was more of an action film than suspense/terror like Alien. Second it had a "virgin" director, and was marred by production difficulties and rumors of Ripley's demise b/c of the then rumored Alien VS. Predator movie which she wanted nothing to do with. I have seen many complaints raging from bad acting, bad special effects, poor direction etc. First I first saw this on VHS as a teenager as well as the others and fell in love with them but I found as I have aged I like it even more. The acting was superb from all involved. My only gripe was the massive use of the "F" word but ultimatly acceptable since it was set in a prison. As to the effects it was tricky from the get go. Deciding to use a different style alien, more of a hunter who cares nothing about preserving the body, than the Aliens we had seen before. Animitronics and CG were heavily used in this instead of a guy in a suit. CG was just in it's infancy back then. It was ubsurdly expensive and as with most movies of that era, is very noticable. I'd hardly call it crappy. In todays world it would be but same could be said of some of the effects in the other two alien movies. No CG aliens were used b/c of guys in suits. I feel the film was a bit slow going but very enjoyable. It was a similar feel to Alien and IMO a very enjoyable movie. The special edition offers a extended version with about 30 minutes added and IMO it adds more depth to the story. A good film has turned into a great film with the added footage. The only issue is after all this time the audio degraded on some of the unused footage but isnt that bad. Only twow spots are really bad. I recomend this movie to any Alien fan. IMO it is indeed a great movie. ...more info
- An Ugly, Depressing Sequel
I don't know if I've ever seen a sequel that makes so many bad decisions so fast and so early in. Even before the opening titles were over, I had no idea how this film was going to win the viewer back.
Face-huggers get loose in the ship escaping the second rousing film, ALIENS, do their dirty deeds, then die and bleed acid to breach the systems and hulls. The survivors are jettisoned without ever waking up. Newt, the adorable little girl from ALIENS, is killed. Michael Behn's heroic Marine--killed in the crash. The droid--tilt. All that's left is Sigourney Weaver and she crash lands on a dreary, dirty prison planet populated with dirty, repellent inmates.
All of this in the first five minutes. Ugh. On top of all that, they shave Sigourney's hair off and turn one of her eyes blood red.
It's almost as if they had a pre-production meeting and asked, "How can we ruin the ALIEN franchise? Let's ugly up the star, fill the movie with the scum of the galaxy...."
There's a reason this is "the least successful in the ALIEN series."...more info
- Seriously, WTF?
First off, who is this Marshall Fine person? First, he slams Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, then he criticizes David Fincher for being a content underachiever. Marhshall also forgets to mention that the content also comes with a well written script. So Marshall, why are you slamming Fincher for the supposed content-underachievment? Putting all of it on the responsibilty of the director seems to me like a very ignorant move.
Really, what's the deal with so many people hating this movie. Now, I definitely agree with the people that think this movie is not as good as the first two. Heck, those movies are up there as some of the best science ficiton movies of all time. But wow, the negative hatred for this movie is off the roof, for reasons I can't really fathom. I mean, the acting is fine, with Mrs Weaver herself doing her usual acting, the plot interests me, the sets are designed well, and it's directed.
Supposedly people _______ about how the plot kills off three of the memembers, I think people are just sensitive. Face it, people you like can die. That's okay, right? I really don't see much flaw in the plot, really. Plots may interest others that others don't find interesting, so criticsm of plots are pretty mook when trying to make the problems seem universal and will affect all moviegoers. Some people also just don't like David Fincher, and that's also a matter of choice. I disagree. David Fincher was resposible for directing Se7en and Fight Club, two very respected (haven't seen Fight Club, though I definitely want to) movies known for some great plots. Nuff said.
Film making wise, it's as dank, gritty as it has ever been. There's also some very cool shots of gore, much better done than it was in the first movie (of course, besides the Chestburster, there isn't much gore in the movie). And of course, there is the alien aspect. We learn more about the Alien, in that being it can attach to more than just one animal. The dog alien isn't my favorite hybrid (the Alien and Predator hybrid so far is the best), but it's the very first hybrid animal, and a cool one at that (it's an alien, you can't go wrong with a freakin alien for christ sakes).
While I thought the plot however, was not as exciting as the first two, hence the C, it didn't have any pace dragging, nor was it boring. Also, Remember that a C indicates a movie is good, (if unspectacular) and Alien 3 definitely is a good movie. It's not the classics that Alien and Aliens are, but it's definitely not the disgrace people want you to believe. And it's definitely not a film you can throw into the trash either. Definitely an underrated film.
PS Cool cover art.
- Alien 3 love it or hate it?
I've been looking through all the reviews for Alien 3 on here and it's pretty surprising. The reviews are from one extreme to the other. I never relized that this was the most controversial film in the series until now. For Me this film's greatness has never been in question. I know that David Fincher was never fully given a chance to bring his vision to the film because Fox had no faith in the first time Director. However I still think that this is such an underated film. It's visually stunning and the plot was clever and very brave. I mean very early on in the film we find out Ripley is infected with a Queen and is going to die. Man that's as anti-Hollywood ending as it gets. I admit the CGI for the Alien is extremely dated but that was the best around at the time. In my eyes the first Alien will always be the best hands down and Alien 3 is the second best. I know that comment is going to piss off the fans of James Cameron's sequel to the first. Don't get me wrong I truly love Aliens but I have some problems with it. What bothers me most about it is that once Ripley and the others disturb the hive they're killing Aliens left and right practicly every 30 seconds. It's more of a shoot it 'em up Hollywood Action film. It's kinda like Terminator 2 in space. The Film relies more on hordes of Aliens attacking from all side, than just a single Alien or a few hunting down the crew. Not to mention Bill Paxton whining really wears are my nerves. "Game over man, game over!" I always felt like Alien 3 was more like the original film in the way it creates the suspenseful atmosphere of the Ten little Indians. There is an intruder in your midst and it's systematically killing you off one by one. You have no real weapons or heavy artillery, instead you have to try and out wit the creature. That in my opinion is so much more suspenseful than the approach that is taken in Aliens. Now thats not to say that Aliens is not suspenseful, it is. It's just not as suspenseful as the other two. I also think that Sigourney Weaver does her best acting in 3 and her shaved head was such a bold move and has become so iconic for the Ripley chararter. Again these are not facts, these are just my opinions and I sure many of you disagree with me. Which is okay because ultimately we all love this series, We just prefer different parts....more info
- A Woman's Perspective
I DO AGREE WITH THE PERSON WHO SAID THAT THE SERIES WASN'T DONE IN CORRECT ORDER; AS A WOMAN, I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LITTLE GIRL. IT WAS GREAT THAT RIPLEY WAS WILLING TO GIVE UP HER LIFE TO ELIMINATE THE QUEEN INSIDE HER. SHOWED ALOT OF COURAGE. ANYHOW, I LIKED THE MOVIE VERY MUCH!!!!!!!...more info
- Fincher's Far Superior Film
Although the original concept for Alien 3 (Helmed by the film's original screen writer and director Vincent Ward), sounded interesting, David Fincher's version is far more surprising, thrilling, and visually stunning. This is not just because Vincent Ward's prodection never really got off the ground, (for full details check out the behind-the-scenes information on the film's special addition DVD), but because Fincher is a superior director. This is the visonary who helmed some of the most astonishing films of the last decade. Anyone who's seen Fight Club, The Game, Panic Room, and Seven, (one of the most disturbing pictures of all time), has to admit that David Fincher is a flood of movie making ingenuity.
The scenes where the Alien is chasing its victems through the tunnels, and the camera provides its point of view, still gets my heart racing even after all these years, and Fincher's use of light and sound add to the creepy, confined atmosphere of the planet Fury 161. Elliot Goldenthall's dark music score just helps elevate this film past the overated James Cameron's Aliens, (Aliens was a good film, but I felt it lacked the visions and creative spirit found in this film and its predessesor, Ridley Scott's Alien). The rape scene in which Fincher moves the camera from a high angle shot to a low angel shot as Sigornney Weaver is tossed through the door and into the step railing, mixed with the fast paced, rock like music Goldenthal pumps out, is a work of panick riddled genious. Then there's the speech Charles S. Dutton delivers to the convicts just before they go on their sucide mission against the beast. He delivers his lines with grit and a controlled fury towards his prey as the camera moves forward at a low angle, looking up past him at all his men who sit in various tunnels above him, like tribes men listening to their chief as he prepares them for battle.
It is a hell of a scene.
It's too bad this film was unfairly compared to James Cameron's work and critically lambasted by just about every critic on the face of the earth, because it is the best of the bunch, and an excellent beginning to an amazing directors career.
- Not the original extras version
A.) Alien 3 is the most understated movie ever. It is a fascinating journey into the heart of darkness and solitude. Yes it would have been awesome had it continued off of Aliens. But what we got instead was a beautiful nightmare,
B.) Bought this looking for the -pre- Fox edited version of the extra's disc.
1. Alien 3 - troubled production, Fincher remains silent on it.
2. A good documentary and extras existed
3. FOX censored these for the Quadrilogy edition.
I was hoping these would be on this disc.
They are not, it's identical to the Quadrilogy version.
For those who care:
The original extra's (before being censored by FOX) were called:
1. Development Hell: Concluding The Story
3. Stasis Interrupted: David Fincher's Vision
5. The Color of Blood: Shepperton Studios, 1991
7. The Downward Spiral: Fincher vs. Fox
8. Where The Sun Burns Cold: Fox Studios, L.A. 1992
10. Requiem For A Scream: Music, Editing and Sound
If anyone knows where to get these please let us know here.
- It does get better with time...
The first time I saw this movie I wondered how they could mess something up so badly. The second time I found some parts had improved (but not by much).
First, the alien was a mixture of cool, sleek, killing-machine but also looked somewhat fake on the small screen of the TV. The heavy use of computer graphics allowed them to do a tad more with the creature than you could do with a person in a suit.
Still, the story takes away, I think, from the Alien myth. It made the drone a tad too smart and the beginning of the movie was a tad confusing. I still don't know how the young queen got in there without killing Ripley. Too many questions and no real answers. Mystery is good, but total chaos is not....more info
- Underappreciated and underrated.
Poorly received upon release, and long despised for the deaths of beloved characters, Alien 3 was plagued by script troubles, personnel changes, and time constraints due to excessive meddling by Fox.
Into this mess stepped David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en), in his directorial debut on a feature film. Harassed and bullied to no end by studio execs, Fincher ended up walking off after the end of principal photography and what was released in theaters was a butchered remnant of a brilliant film. The release of the Alien Quadrilogy returns to the Alien fan an Assembly Cut (Fincher was still too bitter to work on a Director's Cut) of what was close to Fincher's original vision of the film.
Definitely skip straight to the Assembly Cut. It will be well worth your time. Whereas Cameron's Special Edition of Aliens ends up overlong and many additions unneeded or damaging to the pacing (I can hear the cries of "Blasphemy!" now), the thirty three minute increase in length is a profound improvement to Alien 3; almost a whole new movie. This is what a "special edition" of a movie should be. Characters are fleshed out, confusing parts of the plot explained as important scenes are restored or extended, and Fincher's directorial genius better felt.
A powerful story of redemption and sacrifice, Alien 3 is filled with all of the compelling imagery of Fincher's later work. Alien 3, aside from the creature special effects, stands as the most darkly beautiful of the Alien films, and the most visually breathtaking. Here, finally, the true strength of Sigourney Weaver's acting prowess can be felt in a story with real meat. The depth of the character Ripley can be more fully appreciated, and her final scene now carries the meaning it was intended to have; a true choice between sacrifice and tainted salvation. Elliott Goldenthal's score remains phenomenal. What we are given in the Assembly Cut is a third sequel that easily stands as an equal to the first two films, if not as the best picture in the series and what should have been a most fitting end to a trilogy.
If you've not seen this movie in a long time, do yourself a favor and pick up this DVD, or the Quadrilogy boxed set (though nobody will fault you if you skip on Resurrection). It will certainly change your entire perspective on the film, and perhaps the entire series. ...more info
- Alien to the third power.
This is the "black sheep" of all the Alien films. The release of ALIEN 3 was met with high expectations considering the first two movies were so successful. Especially the second film which boasted the amazing director James Cameron behind the helm. Personally speaking, I don't think anything the studios or director (in the case of Alien 3, David Fincher before his popular movies like SEVEN, FIGHT CLUB and PANIC ROOM) could have met the fans and audience's expectations. The first two Alien movies are considered by fans to be classics. Weather you consider the movies to be Science Fiction or Horror, fans of the first two films thought of them to be on the same level of the original HALLOWEEN, EXORCIST, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and others with similar social standings. No matter what series it is, by the third movie, it could be "the kiss of death" depending on how it's handled. For some people, that's the exact case with ALIEN 3 and I couldn't disagree more.
First, let's talk about the shift of direction. The second Alien film boasted a higher budget, wider scope and ultimately became a 1980's Horror / Science Fiction classic. I'm even willing to say that ALIENS is on the same level as James Cameron's TERMINATOR 2 and other classics such as PREDATOR and DIE HARD. For some reason, it just captures that same type of "movie magic."
ALIEN 3 on the other hand is a totally different type of film. Watching this movie, I get the impression that the director wanted to bring his movie down to the same level as the first Alien movie. Instead of going into the Alien hive like in the sequel, David Fincher decided to bring one single Alien to a different planet and make it into a totally different breed all together. Going into this type of movie direction, it makes the over all film more of a Horror movie rather than the Science Fiction / Horror / Action type of the popular sequel. If you think about it (and I'm sure some of you just don't care), David Fincher brings the Alien theme back to the way Ridley Scott had originally designed and directed for the first Alien movie. It's more Horror than action and that's okay considering we're dealing with a film that is about chest bursting, acid bleeding, creatures from outer space. In my opinion, the shift of direction was nice. I always like it when a sequel tries something different and isn't afraid to stand up on it's own two legs. Even if it's gets a lot of guff from the critics and audience.
Right away this movie dashes everything you knew from the second movie and doesn't give it any closure. It's a very realistic perspective because that's how life really is. Sometimes the unexpected hits us out of nowhere and it hurts the most because it was out of the blue. In ALIEN 3, both characters from the second movie (Hick's and Newt) are killed when their escape pod detaches and crash lands on a sad, dismal, prison planet. It's a bleak and baron waste land. Complete with old rotting machinery, desolate beach fronts, non stop storm winds, grey skies and a brooding feeling of isolation. Ripley is rescued from the wreckage and awakes to a depressing future. Everything she fought for, everything she loved in the second movie is dashed away in a blink of an eye. To some people, this is why they can't stand this movie. I on the other hand, love it for those exact reasons. ALIEN 3 is a mean, unforgiving, realistic movie that helps progress the story line into a new direction.
Now, on to what I really want to talk about. This isn't the same old original R rated cut of ALIEN 3 that everybody knows. This one is called "ALIEN 3 : ASSEMBLY CUT" and it reintegrates the original footage of the first cut, before the studio decided to chop it up and edit the movie to how they saw fit. Fans of the original version will be pleased to hear there is a lot of new footage put back into the film. The beginning is entirely different, not to mention the gestation sequence with the dog has been traded in for the original and more gory original scene. I don't want to give away too much (although if you're like me, you can find the details online if you look hard enough) but lets just say it has a bigger and more nasty host to birth from! Peppered through out the entire movie are small new scenes, adding character development and more depth that some people found to be lacking in the original cut. I personally always liked the third Alien movie and didn't have a problem with all the things most fans complained about. Remember people, this is a different movie. This is the third in the series. I wouldn't want another rehash of the first or second movie.
That being said, this is truly the ultimate edition because it comes with the original cut and the "Assembly cut" to boot! Two versions, one film and a whole lot of extras!
Gore hounds, check it out for the new scenes and interesting make up effects. I can't really recommend this movie for anyone but fans and collectors of rare and hard to find stuff. You're not going to walk into you're local BLOCKBUSTER store and find this little gem sitting on the shelf. Chances are, most versions of this film in rental stores and department stores are going to be the regular R rated cut. The only way you can get this special edition is if you happen across it by mistake in the "used" movie store, order it online or buy the ALIEN box set! Outside of that, it's a little tough to find. Not too hard, far from impossible, but it is a little below the radar.
ALIEN 3, for fans only! Everybody else, move along! Nothing to see here! ...more info
- David Fincher destroys the Alien franchise
Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) are among the best action/horror/sci-fi films ever made, the first being a claustrophobic nightmare of a movie and the second being a thrilling, action-packed sequel that continued and built upon the themes introduced in the first. And then, David Fincher ruined the whole series within the first fifteen minutes of Alien 3.
Actually, I like quite a bit of Fincher's work, especially Seven and Fight Club, but Alien 3 might be the most disappointing sequel of all time, systematically destroying every element that made Aliens one of the best. First, he kills off Hicks, Newt, and Bishop, wasting the talents of the three actors as well as obliterating the surrogate mother and man vs. machine themes of Aliens. Those characters were half the reason that Aliens was so great. Then, he compounds the issue by having Ripley attend Newt's autopsy without shedding so much as a single tear. The rest of the film plays out with Ripley and the prisoners fighting against a quadruped alien, without the aid of any weapons. The idea of Ripley carrying a queen alien and throwing herself to her death to keep the queen out of the hands of the Company was a fine, powerful ending to the series, but Fincher destroyed the possibility of any human drama about her demise; all the characters that she cared about have already gone before her.
Yes, I've heard that Fincher does not deserve all the blame, and yes, I know that Fox ruthlessly shredded his ideas and stole the film from right under his nose, but honestly, nothing in Alien 3 could redeem the first fifteen minutes of the film. It's like a slap in the face; everything that happened in Aliens didn't matter in the slightest, and it does not improve on the ideas of the first two, not once, throughout the whole film, right up until the poetic finale. And that isn't nearly enough to make Alien 3 a good, or even worthwhile film. Rewatching it recently has only confirmed that in my mind. ...more info
- "This is Rumor Control. Here are the facts!"
There is an understandable tendency to view this as the least successful of the Alien series. I think this is more due to its curious handling of the entire alien plotline which cheerfully combines the usual, 'alien chases humans who then chase it,' fare with a startling mystical vision. There is a great deal of symbol dropping, but the references to biblical myth never quite gel. Director David Finchley never quite overcomes the hurdles that this aspect of the film presents, but he actually does quite well with everything else, so the film really deserves a second chance.
Stanza three of this tale finds us momentarily aboard Ripley's escape vessel, just long enough to become aware that there is an alien with them and to see the ship crash on yet another grim, unpleasant planet. Ripley is the only survivor and finds that here rescuers are the remnants of a prison colony. When this colony of double y chromosome criminals was closed several years before, a small group that had found some comfort chose to remain along with a two warders and the prison doctor. A rescue ship is due for her 'sometime' but the prison's unrelieved post-modern gothic setting is poor comfort to Ripley in the meanwhile.
This film makes no effort to hide the awful truth. Even as Ripley cremates her fellow escapees, we get to watch the birth of yet another of mankind's nemeses in the endless bowels of the prison. Once again, a hungry alien starts treating humans as snacks. Ripley attempts to alert the wardens but all is useless. Her only friends are Clemens (Charles Dance), the prison medic, and Dillon (Charles S. Dutton), the prisoner who doubles as one of the strangest religious leaders in interstellar space. It isn't until it is clear that something awful is stalking the inmates that the cast settles down to fighting, running, and being munched.
The story has quite a few twists as Ripley gradually realizes that the Alien is hardly the worst of her problems. There are many opportunities for strong character acting and the cast makes the most of almost all of them. Even the alien has it's moments. With countless tunnels and dark corners the film has all the room it needs for plenty of action and the bloodthirsty won't feel the least bit disappointed.
As I've already said Finchley has cast our hungry xenomorph as the Beast of the Apocalypse. I can't say as how I blame him (the aliens do represent the end of life as humans think of it), but the imagery is so overstated that many viewers will be put off. For one, I liked both the filmic and musical moments that were so redolent of monastic appearances. But, while they added atmospheric depth, they never really advanced the plot, which focused more on the countless acts of heroism that made up the prisoner's defensive efforts. For being society's dregs, they will quickly win your sympathy....more info