This movie is mostly great at night... mostly. Although it's still quite good during the day too. If you haven’t seen this yet, then there is something wrong with you. I’m going to safely assume that everyone has seen this picture. It’s quite simply, the perfect marriage of action, science-fiction and adventure. I can’t think of a single other film that has pulled off that triad of styles as effectively as James Cameron’s accomplishment in Aliens. First, some backdrop. I’m 11-12 years old and it’s early summer 1987-1988. My dad has just passed away a few months ago and I’m at the videostore with my babysitter who’s been given money to rent me a movie for the night. So I decide that I want to rent Alien (the first one) since I know it was one of my dad’s favourites and it scared the bejesus out of him (I'm told he left the movie theatre white as a ghost and didn't sleep for two days) Babysitter rightly says no and I make a fuss and she says, “look, it’s just too scary for you. Let’s get Aliens instead. It’s not as scary and is more exciting and action-filled” I agree. We sit through the movie and I get about as far as the scene where the marines enter the room filled with the cocooned colonists and then the motion detectors start going off and the aliens start coming out of the walls, man! They’re coming out of the damn walls!!!.. at which point I bury my face in a pillow and cease to have a good night’s sleep for several months. Babysitter is fired for good. Fast forward several years and the full director’s cut (the one with the robot sentry guns - AWESOME) is playing on CBS one evening from 8pm until 11:30pm. I set up the VCR to tape it. I rewatch it. Then I rewatch it again... and again. I must have watched that tape, honestly, like 40 times. The movie no longer scared me and instead I found it wicked cool. And I still do. This is one of the only movies I know that actually makes my survival instincts turn on when I watch the film. I get fully adrenalized everytime I see it. Nowadays (after 50 viewings), I turn off the movie once Ripley loses Newt (because the rest of the movie from that point on is formulaic) but I can watch the beginning to that part (2 hours or so) ad nauseum. I really can’t put my finger on what works so well in this film but it’s definitely no single one thing. I’d love to give all the credit to either Cameron’s timing or the incredible supporting cast (Biehn (Hicks), Henriksen (Bishop), Reiser (Carter... awesome villain), Paxton (HUDSON! My fave), Vasquez or even the small appearances by Ferro and Apone. They all make it a really strong ensemble piece. The glue that keeps Cameron’s juggernaught moving at record speed. Getting to watch it again in the director’s cut is something else because so many scenes have been added. Most are good (Ripley and Hicks getting flirty, the robot sentries which SO should have been left in the theatrical version) but some are just plain AWFUL and I’m so happy they were left out (the extra extra extra long conference scene in the beginning with Van Leuwen, or, on a much worse level, seeing the colonists before they get wiped out (Newt’s family, for instance)) Man, I wonder who’s idea it was that showing the colonists first would add anything to the movie? But I digress... This movie will remain my absolute favourite for years to come. If ever you haven’t seen it, I’m so jealous. You totally have to. I go watch every new Alien movie when it comes out and each ones get more and more disappointing. But if ever they make one that is even half as good as this one, I’ll be one happy shake-n-bake colonist.
|10/10||patrick.sullivan@ - 265 reviews|
23.5.2008 - age: 26-35
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