Review: Aliens (1986)

17

aliens cover

“Just tell me one thing, Burke. You’re going out there to destroy them, right? Not to study. Not to bring back. But to wipe them out.”
– Ellen Ripley

SYNOPSIS: 57 years after her ordeal with an extraterrestrial creature, Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team during her hypersleep. When she discovers that transmissions from a colony that has since settled on the alien planet suddenly stop, Ripley is offered a chance to team up with a group of marines to descend on the planet and investigate the alien presence. Determined to end the memories of the alien creature, Ripley agrees to the offer and is once again thrown back into her living nightmare. – via IMDB

aliens

GRADE 8Now, I might be burnt at the stake for this, but as much as I liked this one, it does not hold a candle to the original (for me). I know most people find it an equal sequel and, in some cases, superior to the original, but I don’t think so. Obviously my score says I liked it just fine, and I did. Aliens is a damn fine film that has a hell of a lot going for it and is a supremely fun film. It is shot well, looks great and allows you plenty of time to ogle the xenomorphs, which is awesome, and offers immense amounts of action and drama, but there are a few things that irritate me.

I think the biggest irritation for me in this is Bill Paxton’s Private Hudson. He is whiny and screaming constantly and shouting and just sounding like a dweeb without fail, and it isn’t cool. It starts out as one thing and ultimately ends up working on your last nerve. It isn’t funny. It isn’t entertaining. It induces eye rolling. Also, sometimes the score just didn’t seem to work as smoothly as it could’ve, and some of the performances were overdone in places. This all, however, does not make it a bad movie. There is much to love.

Ellen Ripley is back and she is kicking some major ass all over the show, and the queen xenomorph is nasty as sin, and that birthing system? Ick. Then there is Hicks, and the relationship that is budding between him and Ripley the whole time, allowing you to hope for the best, and Newt becoming an important redeeming point for Ripley, whose daughter had passed while she was lost in space, and Newt (who can scream like few others), who lost her family to the aliens on the planet her folks had relocated to. Michael Biehn and Sigourney Weaver were brilliant opposite one another, and I really enjoyed seeing every second of them together.

I was also a fan of Bishop, though it was incredibly evident that Ripley couldn’t give a damn about him, and after Ash, who could blame her? Lance Henriksen was a great Bishop, and I liked him from the beginning, even with the misgivings after the last psycho android that Ripley came upon. The ending, while I liked it, dragged in places. It’s almost like a test to see how many times you can throw a life-threatening a last minute xenomorph encounter up and have it accepted. It carried on for just a tad too long, in my opinion. I loved seeing the xenomorphs here, while they were still creepy as hell and not killed with CGI *hem hem Alien 3*. It was great for them to get so much screen time, plus the immense amounts of action scenes and choreography is also well worth watching. Aliens is a solid movie with a lot to like about it, though it does have a few hiccups.

Review: Alien (1979)

23

alien poster

“Wait a minute. If we let it in, the ship could be infected. You know the quarantine procedure. Twenty-four hours for decontamination.”
– Ellen Ripley

SYNOPSIS: The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them. – via IMDB

alien chestbuster

It’s all like: “Was I fucking talking to you?”

GRADE 9Alien is a sci-fi horror classic, and with good reason. This is just one of those films that hit on all the right notes so often. Alien is old, but has aged well, and still manages to crawl under the skin all these years later, and it is terrific. The soundtrack is creepy, and it sure as hell drives in that terrible feeling of isolation and loneliness, something the movie has in spades.

This crew is in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no backup, no way home and mysterious orders from home, as well as some weird planet outside that is so obviously not right. The miniscule crew lands on the planet to check out the distress signal they have received, and from there all hell breaks loose. I cannot believe Ripley never pulled the “I told you so” card. I mean after all was said and done, she was the only one thinking straight, and because of an android and an emotional ship captain and hysterical woman, total terror and drama had to be unleashed. Don’t think for one second my pettiness would be forgotten when everyone devolves into total panic and starts screaming about what the hell is going wrong and what are we doing to do… prime time for I-told-you-sos. True story.

The story keeps you captivated from the off, and you marvel the space exploration, the hyper sleep, the incessant complaining about money and finally, whatever they brought back onto the ship with them. I like the fact that the alien arc itself is not rushed, but gradually presented from egg to facehugger to chestpopper to scary stalker, you get to see this terrifying creature every step of the way, and it truly just gets scarier as it continues. The performances were solid, too, and there wasn’t anything that was too out there that it detracted from the story – the crew reactions were quite believable.

Sigourney Weaver is the perfect Ellen Ripley – that woman is badass and she handles herself so well and is deserving of all the respect she gets. Alien is shot well, and implements the shaky cam effect in all the right places, so it does not get frustrating or annoying, but actually lends to the situation at hand. As you can tell, there is quite a lot to love about Alien, and I am sure there are many of you that will agree with me. Old school horror is just one of those things that oozed charm and originality, something that has been lost over the years. Alien is everything you want in a survival horror – solid performances, isolation, a phenomenal monster, plot twists and a heroine worth supporting.

The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters Blogathon

39

poster

My dear Miss Mutant of Cinema Parrot Disco passed the torch to me of the blogathon that was started by Dell On Movies, namely the Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters.

I must say that I think this is an awesome idea for a blogathon, and there are some great choices on here that I would most certainly have picked. Their inclusion, however, meant that I would have to sit and think a few moments longer on this before I could just magically produce a name. Following this blogathon I have loved seeing some characters getting the boot and then being brought back in later by someone else again. It really is a tough little list!

Here are Dell’s rules:

A list of 10 iconic female movie characters has been made. That list will be assigned to another blogger who can then change it by removing one character (describing why they think she should not be on the list) and replacing it with another one (also with motivation) and hand over the baton to another blogger. Once assigned, that blogger will have to put his/her post up within a week. If this is not the case the blogger who assigned it has to reassign it to another blogger.

The list as it stands now is as follows:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Alright, firstly I was horrified to see Lisbeth Salander taken off the list. I know a lot of people are not really big on her and all that, but I think Lisbeth is a fantastic character who stands her ground, doesn’t take crap, and is one strong woman. I know she is also an extremely damaged character, but she makes it work either way. Miss Mutant’s addition of The Bride was great, though, no denying that. Shocked as I was, I am not going to put Lisbeth back on the list, there are other ladies that need recognition, too, so here we go.

Who’s out?

7

I see that Nurse Ratched has caused quite the war here, being booted off and put back on over and over again. I am going to have to take her off again because as messed up as she was and all that in One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, she just isn’t that iconic to me. If you have seen the movie (and I have), then yeah, sure she is iconic. If you haven’t, the chances of you knowing who she is is rather scarce. But aside from that, there is also not an awful lot that is known about her, which defeats the point of this for me a little. We know she doesn’t take crap from anyone, and I thought she was pretty darn cruel, but there isn’t really much else that I can tell you about her. In my eyes there are far worthier women that need to be included on this list (such as my pick, yes, yes :P)

Who’s in?

shosanna dreyfus - tmifmc

Shosanna Dreyfus is a strong one for me. Her character survived hell, and she somehow found a way to make her life work. However, the Jew Hunter was hot on her heels, her escape something that has lingered with him. When Shosanna comes into contact with Hans Landa again, she embarks on a revenge mission that just might not be something she will come back from, and she is totally alright with that. I like the way that she was smart, the way her anger smouldered beneath the surface, ever present, but the way she had still built a life, either way. Her deep desire to avenge her slaughtered family is also something that never goes away, and just the way she finally hatches her plan when given a fantastic opportunity is great. Shosanna handled the hand she was dealt in life pretty well, all things considered. Her love for Marcel also endeared her to me – she could hide her Jewish roots from the Nazis, but she could not hide the fact that she was in an intercultural relationship, and she didn’t mind that one bit, didn’t give a damn what anyone had to say about it. She was just always going to be different from the norms. Mélanie Laurent was just brilliant for the role, too, adding more depth to the character and making her real.

So now that all is said and done, I would like to nominate Natasha of Life of this City Girl to continue with this, I am sure the feminist in you is going to have grand fun my Chemistry Kidney!


Also, thank you so much for helping me out with my graphic Anna! Much appreciated!