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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 26 June 2019 at 3:14am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Not sure I have the same passion for it as you do Matt, but yes AvP has held up better than I thought :) For those who haven't seen the two AvP movies at all, or not since they came out, it's time to give them another chance.

The major reason, in my opinion, that they can never stand alongside Alien or even Aliens is that they break what should be the golden rule of any movie that involves the xenomorph: (Spoiler below, highlight to read)

The alien should never reach Earth. Both Alien and Aliens set up the notion that a great deal of the panic and fear involving these creatures comes from the realisation that they're like a deadly virus which must be prevented from reaching our civilization at all costs. AvP not only has the xenomorph on Earth, it turns out they've been bred here for millennia! AvP2 has them wandering the countryside!! This destroys Ripley's desperate plea that "If just one of those things gets back to Earth!"
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 June 2019 at 3:55am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

ALIENS has slipped a lot over the years, for me, but AvP still stands as a strong and worthy addition to the overall tale.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 26 June 2019 at 5:40am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I just discovered you can’t highlight spoilers here on my phone. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 June 2019 at 5:57am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

…highlight to read…

••

Maybe in Australia. . . .

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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 26 June 2019 at 5:58am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Sorry, I didn't know how else to post a spoiler. Try selecting the text and choosing Speak, or Copy and paste it onto a blank page or text box to see it.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 June 2019 at 6:04am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

This destroys Ripley's desperate plea that "If just one of those things gets back to Earth!"

••

I disagree. Ripley and her crew have virtually no knowledge of the Alien. They're literally learning as they go, and each thing they learn seems to make it more and more powerful.

However, there is nothing in the context of the original ALIEN as seen that suggests the thing is a breeder. (Deleted scenes have Brett and Dallas being turned into eggs, but deleted scenes don't count--as James Cameron will tell you!)

Based on what was layered into the mythology later, there is no real concern if a single Alien gets to Earth. Unless it's a Queen.

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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 26 June 2019 at 6:38am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

 John Byrne wrote:
However, there is nothing in the context of the original ALIEN as seen that suggests the thing is a breeder. (Deleted scenes have Brett and Dallas being turned into eggs, but deleted scenes don't count--as James Cameron will tell you!)Based on what was layered into the mythology later, there is no real concern if a single Alien gets to Earth. Unless it's a Queen.


Fair point, but in any case, the last premise you mention is of course a central part of AvP1. Without getting into annoying spoiler-posting again, that movie also highlights the fact that the Predators would sometimes lose control (!) and take extreme measures that were hardly fool-proof.

I think the alien works best when portrayed as a cunning but unthinking, remorseless, unstoppable, survival/reproductive machine, like a virus. Each one is like a genocidal engine in and of itself. It becomes a terrifying force of nature rather than a monster, and the story quickly turns to the way various people react to this phenomenon of inevitable doom, whether trying to reconcile its existence with their faith, or attempting to profit from it, bargain with it, domesticate it, admire it, etc.

In my opinion the alien loses a lot of its magic if it just becomes a cosmic locust - find the hive, kill the Queen, destroy the stragglers and the crisis is over. That's where I think Aliens went wrong and removed a major factor that made Alien special. They tried to recapture it with Alien 3, but without the ability to reproduce by itself, it just became another monster movie.



Edited by Koroush Ghazi on 26 June 2019 at 6:44am
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 27 June 2019 at 11:04am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Ha, Shaun Barry, one thing I LIKE about "ALien" is how it has a very 70s verite feel to it. The people are regular looking, nothing is flashy and overly bright, the acting isn't over the top and there is the overlapping dialogue that all feels heavily influenced by the "New Cinema" movement at the time.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 June 2019 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I believe the reason for that is because the protagonist in the main part of Alien: Isolation is Ellen Ripley's daughter Amanda Ripley, so they couldn't use the generic "Ripley" anymore.
+++++++++++++

"Ellen" comes from Cameron's ALIENS, specifically, the deleted moment (later reincorporated into the Special Edition version) where she and Hicks reveal their first names to each other just before Ripley goes to rescue Newt. Kinda takes away from the elegant simplicity of her just being "Ripley", y'know?

Anyway, I'm waiting until October for my rewatch, since Fathom events is doing a 40th anniversary theatrical re-release. It'll be the new transfer created for the recent 4K Blu-Ray restoration, so it should look and sound spectacular. I saw the 2003 Director's Cut re-release in the theater and that was a great time, too.

While ALIENS tends to be the fan-favorite (and is a great-yet-different film in its own right), the original is the one which struck a nerve with me. So simple, yet so brilliant. The production design and the casting took what could have easily been a schlocky B-movie and made it into something unforgettable and truly iconic.

Edited by Greg Kirkman on 28 June 2019 at 5:04pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 June 2019 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I couldn't stand AVP for the longest time, and could only attempt to watch it in bits & pieces... it just didn't seem to fit well when viewed along with the twin triumphs of ALIEN and ALIENS. Then I realized I was watching it all wrong...
++++++++++++++++++


I've gone back and forth on this one. At the end of the day, I think AvP has some solid ideas and moments, but still leans more toward average-to-mediocre than good-to-great. A 2 or maybe 2 1/2 stars out of 4-stars-type of movie. Not terrible, but not brilliant. Some people knock it way too hard, I do agree.

REQUIEM is undeniably awful, though.


I'll even go so far as to say that ALIEN might just work best as a standalone piece. ALIENS is great, but wasn't necessary, and it essentially hits the same beats as the first film in a more action-adventure sort of way.

ALIEN 3 is audacious and moody, but left a bad taste in audiences' mouths with its nihilism and its undoing of Cameron's ALIENS happy ending.

RESURRECTION is fun when viewed as a sort of weird, European art-house sci-fi film, but it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the series.

PROMETHEUS looks gorgeous, and has some interesting ideas, but is full of wasted opportunities and annoying retcons. The reveal of the Space Jockeys as the Engineers and the universe-shrinking of the whole franchise as a result was a tremendous disappointment.

COVENANT is mostly terrible.



There have been occasional rumblings of yet another film, but perhaps the damp squib of COVENANT will convince Fox--and now Disney--to let the series be over and done with. It had its time, and made its mark. The more recent entries have really just been retreading familiar ideas. COVENANT was almost a stealth remake of ALIEN, after all. All it succeeded in was ticking of people who wanted answers to the questions raised by PROMETHEUS, and by giving not-Ripley a not-happy ending by setting up future films with Fassbender's David as a Frankenstein-esque mad scientist.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 29 June 2019 at 12:23am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

If The Alien creatures ARE engineered, would it have not
made a better AvP film if The Predators had engineered
them to be the ultimate opponent, and things had got way
out of hand?
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 29 June 2019 at 2:01am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Perhaps, but I like that the Predators are facing real-world threats not manufactured by themselves in order to test their mettle.  Predators want things to "get out of hand" because it tests who and what they are.  They are best in adverse situations adapting, as they do, to their environment.  That's what a hunter does and are judged more by a difficult situation than an easy one.  
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