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GustavoLeao

Alien Covenant

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15 minutes ago, kenman said:

Same. Nostalgia added in the background I don't mind, but when the whole movie feels like a big fat "REMEMBER THIS?" I just start to roll my eyes.  Rogue One was too much in my view, just a bunch of stuff we've seen before in a movie that lacked an interesting enough story and not a single memorable character (in my view)...and what is left is just a bunch of scenes that felt like a fan playing with his toys. But then there is Beyond was nice because it felt like a Star Trek story...there were references and nostalgia bits peppered in...but the movie didn't seem to hinge on the recalling of iconic imagery. 

Alien: Covenant seems to be going more for the former, relying on iconic imagery we've all seen before...evoke the original Alien, hope people will come to see it. 

Rogue One may be my one exception to the rule; it did introduce an entire cadre of new characters and told a story only hinted at in the original SW77.   And the new characters were not retreads of Solo, Leia or Luke.  They were genuinely new; at least to the SW universe.    So yes, it did have a ton of fan service, but at the end of the day it was a new cast of different characters, an untold story, and an atypically fatalistic ending so I give it a pass.

But yes, the ALIEN Covenant trailers look more like a series of fan film recreations of the original than an actual 'new' movie, and that bothers me... 

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kenman   
4 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Rogue One may be my one exception to the rule; it did introduce an entire cadre of new characters and told a story only hinted at in the original SW77.   And the new characters were not retreads of Solo, Leia or Luke.  They were genuinely new; at least to the SW universe.    So yes, it did have a ton of fan service, but at the end of the day it was a new cast of different characters, an untold story, and an atypically fatalistic ending so I give it a pass.

But yes, the ALIEN Covenant trailers look more like a series of fan film recreations of the original than an actual 'new' movie, and that bothers me... 

They are all dead and they had NO character to speak of in my view. I can't remember a single character trait from anyone in that movie to be honest. I didn't mind it when I saw it, but as time goes on a lot of things kinda bug me about the movie, and the fact that it seems so unmemorable is key to that view. 

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1 hour ago, kenman said:

They are all dead and they had NO character to speak of in my view. I can't remember a single character trait from anyone in that movie to be honest. I didn't mind it when I saw it, but as time goes on a lot of things kinda bug me about the movie, and the fact that it seems so unmemorable is key to that view. 

R1 gets much better on repeated viewings.  IMO, anyway...

 

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12 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

My problem with it as well; it just looks like a copy of a copy, and not an original work or a worthy addition to the canon.

 I realize that ALIENS isn't as beloved to some as it is to me, but I loved how James Cameron basically took the premise of the original and made an entirely different kind of movie with it.   As he said, ALIEN was the haunted house; ALIENS was the roller coaster ride.   ALIEN COVENANT looks like the carousel; aimlessly going round and round without actually going anywhere.

 

Would it help to tell you that ALIENS is Sir Patrick's all-time favorite sci-fi movie? :laugh: (although I'm honestly not convinced he's the type who can get through this sort of movie without hiding behind the couch haha)

I also don't mind nostalgia, but when I want nostalgia I watch the old stuff. I don't want new stuff dressed as nostalgia. I want the original. ;)

 

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12 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

Would it help to tell you that ALIENS is Sir Patrick's all-time favorite sci-fi movie? :laugh: (although I'm honestly not convinced he's the type who can get through this sort of movie without hiding behind the couch haha)

I also don't mind nostalgia, but when I want nostalgia I watch the old stuff. I don't want new stuff dressed as nostalgia. I want the original. ;)

 

Agree own your last point, and on your first?  Yes indeed, it does help!  James Cameron's movies are very popular in initial release, and then after their success is tallied it becomes good sport to bash them ("Titanic" "Avatar" "The Abyss").  I hate to pit ALIEN and ALIENS against each other, as I see them as perfectly complementary.  Different tones, yes, but very much fitting together in the same universe.  ALIEN3 is where the train went off the track for me, and it never quite got back on track the way it had with ALIEN or ALIENS.   This is only my opinion, of course (oh, and ...also the opinion of one of the greatest actors of our age; ahem! :giggle: :P  Thank again, Mr. Picard!).

ALIEN Resurrection's worst crime was that it was kinda mediocre.  It wasn't a great movie, but it wasn't an awful or especially boring one either.  It just sort of existed; nothing more.  I lay more of the fault at the feet of ALIEN3 only because it derailed what was shaping up to be another Star Wars-level trilogy, and like Star Wars, it followed its own "Empire Strikes Back" by choking a bit, just like "Return of the Jedi" disappointed me as a teenager. 

Oh well...moving on.

ALIEN Covenant; I want to love it, just as I wanted to love ALIEN3 and Resurrection, but I dunno.  I need something more than a Greatest Hits compilation done by a cover band, you know?

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2 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Agree own your last point, and on your first?  Yes indeed, it does help!  James Cameron's movies are very popular in initial release, and then after their success is tallied it becomes good sport to bash them ("Titanic" "Avatar" "The Abyss").  I hate to pit ALIEN and ALIENS against each other, as I see them as perfectly complementary.  Different tones, yes, but very much fitting together in the same universe.  ALIEN3 is where the train went off the track for me, and it never quite got back on track the way it had with ALIEN or ALIENS.   This is only my opinion, of course (oh, and ...also the opinion of one of the greatest actors of our age; ahem! :giggle: :P  Thank again, Mr. Picard!).

ALIEN Resurrection's worst crime was that it was kinda mediocre.  It wasn't a great movie, but it wasn't an awful or especially boring one either.  It just sort of existed; nothing more.  I lay more of the fault at the feet of ALIEN3 only because it derailed what was shaping up to be another Star Wars-level trilogy, and like Star Wars, it followed its own "Empire Strikes Back" by choking a bit, just like "Return of the Jedi" disappointed me as a teenager. 

Oh well...moving on.

ALIEN Covenant; I want to love it, just as I wanted to love ALIEN3 and Resurrection, but I dunno.  I need something more than a Greatest Hits compilation done by a cover band, you know?

I feel the same way about Covenant, and I love Alien³ and have a soft spot for Resurrection even (it's because Resurrection Ripley is my all time favorite Ripley and total idol, "it was in my way" - that scene is SO me haha), so I guess even my patience has finally worn thin when it comes to this franchise. :laugh: And I'm glad I could help, ALIENS is my favorite of the bunch as well, and NOT because Sir Patrick, he said this WAAAAAY after I had made up my "favorite movie" mind.

I can see myself maybe getting the Covenant DVD though if people say it's better than expected... once it's REALLY cheap.

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7 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

I feel the same way about Covenant, and I love Alien³ and have a soft spot for Resurrection even (it's because Resurrection Ripley is my all time favorite Ripley and total idol, "it was in my way" - that scene is SO me haha), so I guess even my patience has finally worn thin when it comes to this franchise. :laugh: And I'm glad I could help, ALIENS is my favorite of the bunch as well, and NOT because Sir Patrick, he said this WAAAAAY after I had made up my "favorite movie" mind.

I can see myself maybe getting the Covenant DVD though if people say it's better than expected... once it's REALLY cheap.

Resurrected Ripley is really cool; she feels a lot more like the fiery, kick-ass/take-names Ripley of ALIEN & ALIENS rather than the sad-sack Ripley who just wants to lay down and die in A3.  I hated to see Ripley just surrender like that; she fought so hard to live in the previous movies.  Even in ALIENS (the extended cut) when she'd learned her daughter passed away, she still forged ahead with a life... and even volunteered to join the Sulacco crew.   Ripley was a fighter and a leader; not a sad sack.   She deserved so much better than her fate in ALIEN3.   I'm totally okay with major characters dying off (I'm the one who was cool with Kirk's death in GEN, and I grew up with Kirk), but Ripley's fate was just too much.  She could've slit her wrists at the very beginning of the movie and the outcome would've been pretty much the exact same as it ended; a bunch of dead convicts and a dead hero. 

As for Covenant on DVD?  Yeah, depending on the actual movie, I could probably wait till it hits the bargain bin somewhere... 

I'll probably watch it in theatres only out of brand name loyalty rather than any compelling reason to see it. 

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1 minute ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Resurrected Ripley is really cool; she feels a lot more like the fiery, kick-ass/take-names Ripley of ALIEN & ALIENS rather than the sad-sack Ripley who just wants to lay down and die in A3.  I hated to see Ripley just surrender like that; she fought so hard to live in the previous movies.  Even in ALIENS (the extended cut) when she'd learned her daughter passed away, she still forged ahead with a life... and even volunteered to join the Sulacco crew.   Ripley was a fighter and a leader; not a sad sack.   She deserved so much better than her fate in ALIEN3.   I'm totally okay with major characters dying off (I'm the one who was cool with Kirk's death in GEN, and I grew up with Kirk), but Ripley's fate was just too much.  She could've slit her wrists at the very beginning of the movie and the outcome would've been pretty much the exact same as it ended; a bunch of dead convicts and a dead hero. 

As for Covenant on DVD?  Yeah, depending on the actual movie, I could probably wait till it hits the bargain bin somewhere... 

I'll probably watch it in theatres only out of brand name loyalty rather than any compelling reason to see it. 

I love Dead Inside Ripley. I love her reaction when she's told there are no weapons. "Then we're f***ed." lmfao. Ellen Ripley was and still is SUCH a role model for me, maybe the biggest role model ever, and I just think Alien³ shows her depressed side while Alien introduces her and ALIENS has her fight mostly because of Newt. But in Alien³ there literally is nothing left to fight for, not once she learns she has a Queen inside her. (This ain't Prometheus with its ridiculous "take out that Alien in five seconds" scene, after all.) I love how she just surrenders to the darkness, it's exactly what I would do, too. I relate to her so much, especially in Alien³ although even more in Resurrection because it has her with a seriously snarky but still dark undertone, she's all like "jfc this is the same old s**t I had to do before, someone get me off this bucket". I love the scene when she sees the Betty and is all like "are you kidding me this piece of s**t is even older than I am" - THAT's my Ripley. Or the scene in which she asks who she has to *ahem* to be taken off the ship. Or when she gives Johner that basketball treatment. WIN. I always try to be a lot like Resurrection!Ripley, I can't help it. :laugh: Maybe this is because Resurrection was released when I was a teenager and Ripley really just hit home for me.

If people say Covenant is VERY good I'll get the Blu Ray. :laugh:

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2 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

I love Dead Inside Ripley. I love her reaction when she's told there are no weapons. "Then we're f***ed." lmfao. Ellen Ripley was and still is SUCH a role model for me, maybe the biggest role model ever, and I just think Alien³ shows her depressed side while Alien introduces her and ALIENS has her fight mostly because of Newt. But in Alien³ there literally is nothing left to fight for, not once she learns she has a Queen inside her. (This ain't Prometheus with its ridiculous "take out that Alien in five seconds" scene, after all.) I love how she just surrenders to the darkness, it's exactly what I would do, too. I relate to her so much, especially in Alien³ although even more in Resurrection because it has her with a seriously snarky but still dark undertone, she's all like "jfc this is the same old s**t I had to do before, someone get me off this bucket". I love the scene when she sees the Betty and is all like "are you kidding me this piece of s**t is even older than I am" - THAT's my Ripley. Or the scene in which she asks who she has to *ahem* to be taken off the ship. Or when she gives Johner that basketball treatment. WIN. I always try to be a lot like Resurrection!Ripley, I can't help it. :laugh: Maybe this is because Resurrection was released when I was a teenager and Ripley really just hit home for me.

If people say Covenant is VERY good I'll get the Blu Ray. :laugh:

^
Wise in your frugality.   I admire that. ;)

And yes, I suppose that Ripley surrendering to the darkness is more realistic, but I miss the Ripley who just fought like hell to survive.  To me, that was her essence; the sole survivor.   I would think of Hudson (ALIENS) or Lambert (ALIEN) as the 'surrender to the darkness' type, but not Ripley.   She probably WOULD do a five minute abortion on herself, if she were still the same character we see in the prior movies, but alas; they took her in another direction and I guess the audience has to accept that.

I'm not saying A3's Ripley is 'less true' or not-in-character, because she very much is; it's just a side of her I'd prefer she'd not given into, that's all... 

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2 hours ago, GustavoLeao said:

This Latest ALIEN: COVENANT Promotional Image Might Just Contain A Massive Plot SPOILER

Is 20th Century Fox determined to spoil every single aspect of Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant prior to its release? This new promo image could well be misdirection, but if not, you've been warned

They really ARE just doing the ALIEN franchise's greatest hits with this one, aren't they?  I haven't seen a single frame of ALIEN Covenant so far (from either trailers or still pics) that didn't feel like it was pulled from a prior entry in the series...:dontgetit:

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I'm with Sehlat. Yawn! I mean there is LITERALLY absolutely NOTHING NEW HERE. They could just have taken an x-ray image from Ripley in Alien³.

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9 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

I'm with Sehlat. Yawn! I mean there is LITERALLY absolutely NOTHING NEW HERE. They could just have taken an x-ray image from Ripley in Alien³.

ALIEN is a franchise that has, sadly, never quite recaptured its earlier glory days.  I'm not sure if it's because the scenarios are played out, or because at its heart it's really just a really glossy B-monster movie in A-movie clothing.  And that's not being insulting; I loved 'monster-loose-on-spaceship' movies as a kid ("Queen of Blood" "Planet of Vampires" "It! The Terror From Beyond Space" etc).  

Maybe that's where they've gone wrong with ALIEN (?); trying to make it something that it is not, and possibly never was...

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2 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

ALIEN is a franchise that has, sadly, never quite recaptured its earlier glory days.  I'm not sure if it's because the scenarios are played out, or because at its heart it's really just a really glossy B-monster movie in A-movie clothing.  And that's not being insulting; I loved 'monster-loose-on-spaceship' movies as a kid ("Queen of Blood" "Planet of Vampires" "It! The Terror From Beyond Space" etc).  

Maybe that's where they've gone wrong with ALIEN (?); trying to make it something that it is not, and possibly never was...

As a writer I'd say the problem is that you can't do much with the original material. The Xenomorph's abilities and structure and "personality" allows for only one kind of plot, and that's various variations of "unsuspecting crew runs into eggs, facehugger, Alien". You can't negotiate with them, you can't tame them, you can't really do much with them when it comes to a solid plot. (That's also why I have a soft spot for Resurrection, the whole Ripley/Alien hybrid implications were something NEW, they really found something interesting there.) The one thing left now is to explain their origins, because that's the one thing we haven't seen so far. The thing is that their origin story also takes away their mystery, this species' appeal is BASED on "what are these things, NEVER MIND, RUUUUUN", so if you do this you also ruin them in a way.

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7 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

As a writer I'd say the problem is that you can't do much with the original material. The Xenomorph's abilities and structure and "personality" allows for only one kind of plot, and that's various variations of "unsuspecting crew runs into eggs, facehugger, Alien". You can't negotiate with them, you can't tame them, you can't really do much with them when it comes to a solid plot. (That's also why I have a soft spot for Resurrection, the whole Ripley/Alien hybrid implications were something NEW, they really found something interesting there.) The one thing left now is to explain their origins, because that's the one thing we haven't seen so far. The thing is that their origin story also takes away their mystery, this species' appeal is BASED on "what are these things, NEVER MIND, RUUUUUN", so if you do this you also ruin them in a way.

^

This.

It's a similar problem with zombie movies (and I love those as well); they're a thin premise to begin with and expanding that only exacerbates that problem.  The xenomorphs are a problem more akin to a plague or a natural disaster than a traditional 'bad guy.'  I think they tried to rectify this issue in ALIEN Resurrection by making Ridley a hybrid (by giving the aliens a human face & voice), but that wasn't entirely successful either.  

Creatively the franchise is a dead end.

And if you over-explain their origins (ala Prometheus) they lose their mystery; and frankly, mystery is about the only thing they have going for them as 'characters' (or calamities). 

I know I'm in the minority opinion on this one, but I really think they could've left well enough alone and stopped at ALIENS or A3 (for all its flaws, at least it was a conclusive ending).

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15 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^

This.

It's a similar problem with zombie movies (and I love those as well); they're a thin premise to begin with and expanding that only exacerbates that problem.  The xenomorphs are a problem more akin to a plague or a natural disaster than a traditional 'bad guy.'  I think they tried to rectify this issue in ALIEN Resurrection by making Ridley a hybrid (by giving the aliens a human face & voice), but that wasn't entirely successful either.  

Creatively the franchise is a dead end.

And if you over-explain their origins (ala Prometheus) they lose their mystery; and frankly, mystery is about the only thing they have going for them as 'characters' (or calamities). 

I know I'm in the minority opinion on this one, but I really think they could've left well enough alone and stopped at ALIENS or A3 (for all its flaws, at least it was a conclusive ending).

One thing I'd find intriguing is if someone explored things from the perspective of the Xenomorphs. The Resurrection novelization touches on this, it mentions telepathy between the Xenomorphs (the movie pretty much does the same), and ALIENS has the scene where the Queen commands the warrirors to stand down when Ripley threatens her eggs. I'd be interested in seeing how their society works and if there's more to it than just the Queen and her minions, but I'll admit that this is something more suited for a novel/fan fic, not a movie.

I'd have been okay with them leaving things alone after Alien³, you're not alone. I AM sure they never should have made Prometheus, not the way it was. If you MUST, make ONE movie that explains the origins of the Xenomorphs (and most likely ruin them in the process, welp) but the whole "this is a prequel no wait it's just a movie set in the same universe and we'll make it as confusing and yet familiar as possible" crap just ruined it all. I doubt Covenant can turn the ship around here, especially since, like I said, the whole Xenomorph plot doesn't leave a lot of room for innovation.

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7 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

One thing I'd find intriguing is if someone explored things from the perspective of the Xenomorphs. The Resurrection novelization touches on this, it mentions telepathy between the Xenomorphs (the movie pretty much does the same), and ALIENS has the scene where the Queen commands the warrirors to stand down when Ripley threatens her eggs. I'd be interested in seeing how their society works and if there's more to it than just the Queen and her minions, but I'll admit that this is something more suited for a novel/fan fic, not a movie.

I'd have been okay with them leaving things alone after Alien³, you're not alone. I AM sure they never should have made Prometheus, not the way it was. If you MUST, make ONE movie that explains the origins of the Xenomorphs (and most likely ruin them in the process, welp) but the whole "this is a prequel no wait it's just a movie set in the same universe and we'll make it as confusing and yet familiar as possible" crap just ruined it all. I doubt Covenant can turn the ship around here, especially since, like I said, the whole Xenomorph plot doesn't leave a lot of room for innovation.

Yeah, Prometheus' problem (among many) is that it had no mission statement: it was a prequel/non-prequel that attempted to explain the origins of ALIEN, but not-quite ALIEN.  It also had some quasi-religious hugger-mugger about finding our 'creators' (shades of Star Trek V...hehe).   I just don't know what it wanted to be.  

The first couple of ALIEN movies were very clear; the xenomorphs were the monsters who killed/infected people.   They were to be wiped out.  Easy peasy.  They were the '50s monster movie updated for a modern audience, just as Star Wars was Flash Gordon and John Carter of Mars updated for modern audiences.   Simple premises given a glossier treatment.   That's ambition enough, IMO.   Sometimes one has to know when to leave well enough alone.

The ALIEN franchise's biggest problem is that it's trying to overdo a paper-thin premise, and in the process it's (excuse the pun) alienating its audience with its lofty, almost silly ambitions.   The ALIEN movies aren't about looking for the origins of life in the universe, or finding god; they're about a monster on the loose and peeing one's pants...

Leave the other stuff for Star Trek or COSMOS. :P

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1 minute ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Yeah, Prometheus' problem (among many) is that it had no mission statement: it was a prequel/non-prequel that attempted to explain the origins of ALIEN, but not-quite ALIEN.  It also had some quasi-religious hugger-mugger about finding our 'creators' (shades of Star Trek V...hehe).   I just don't know what it wanted to be.  

The first couple of ALIEN movies were very clear; the xenomorphs were the monsters who killed/infected people.   They were to be wiped out.  Easy peasy.  They were the '50s monster movie updated for a modern audience, just as Star Wars was Flash Gordon and John Carter of Mars updated for modern audiences.   Simple premises given a glossier treatment.   That's ambition enough, IMO.   Sometimes one has to know when to leave well enough alone.

The ALIEN franchise's biggest problem is that it's trying to overdo a paper-thin premise, and in the process it's (excuse the pun) alienating its audience with its lofty, almost silly ambitions.   The ALIEN movies aren't about looking for the origins of life in the universe, or finding god; they're about a monster on the loose and peeing one's pants...

Leave the other stuff for Star Trek or COSMOS. :P

Very much so, yes. If you change the premise too much, it's no longer an Alien movie (see Prometheus), but if you stick to the premise, things become repetitive (see Covenant). This is why they should just... well, leave it be. 

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I still think the Dark Horse comics of the 80s pointed to a potential direction the ALIEN movie franchise could've taken and didn't. In these, the Space Jockeys were a distinctly different and far more inscrutable alien species than the big "creator race" humanoids Prometheus reduced them to. The SJ's  presence didn't explain anything, but extended the sense of mystery, of humankind trying to survive in a hostile, terrifying universe. I think that's ALIEN's central appeal - surviving, against the odds. That they may be no creator - but we exist anyway - and we survive.

All that explanatory and unnecessary nonsense in Scott's last entry in the franchise was a massive misstep. The Aliens represent a force of nature, of us taking it on and surviving, not a route to Chariots of the Gods.

 

With regards to Covenant, I noticed yesterday that I have absolutely zero excitement about the imminent release of this film, which is really sad considering how ALIEN remains one of my all-time favorite movies.

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12 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I still think the Dark Horse comics of the 80s pointed to a potential direction the ALIEN movie franchise could've taken and didn't. In these, the Space Jockeys were a distinctly different and far more inscrutable alien species than the big "creator race" humanoids Prometheus reduced them to. The SJ's  presence didn't explain anything, but extended the sense of mystery, of humankind trying to survive in a hostile, terrifying universe. I think that's ALIEN's central appeal - surviving, against the odds. That they may be no creator - but we exist anyway - and we survive.

All that explanatory and unnecessary nonsense in Scott's last entry in the franchise was a massive misstep. The Aliens represent a force of nature, of us taking it on and surviving, not a route to Chariots of the Gods.

 

With regards to Covenant, I noticed yesterday that I have absolutely zero excitement about the imminent release of this film, which is really sad considering how ALIEN remains one of my all-time favorite movies.

I never read the DH comics series, and I've seen the compendium reprint at my local bookseller; I think I need to give those a looksie.  

I read somewhere (?) there was a story about an adult Newt who felt abandoned by Ripley and grew up to resent her; that would've been much more interesting to see: A fractured mother/daughter-esque relationship in need of healing, rather than the two of them just biting it on a planet of quasi-religious lifers. 

And yes, one of the biggest flaws of Prometheus (aside from dismally stupid characters who'd f--k up a cup of coffee and a free lunch) was the loss of the mystery!  The space jockeys just became an albinoid pro-basketball team instead of giant, inscrutably alien creatures.   The awe I felt when I first saw them in ALIEN was just gone; they were kinda ordinary now, and that was one of the movie's biggest crimes.  

Like you, Robin, I'd rather NOT know too much about the xenomorphs or the SJs.  I'd prefer to think of think of mysterious strangers in a grand, dark universe utterly indifferent (and downright hostile) to human beings.  After all, the ALIEN movies are essentially B-monster movies with a few coats of glossy paint; and I'm totally okay with that.  I don't want them to try to answer the 'big questions'; I'd prefer they just give me some good scares and a few bitten fingernails....

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On 4/7/2017 at 8:51 PM, Sehlat Vie said:

I never read the DH comics series, and I've seen the compendium reprint at my local bookseller; I think I need to give those a looksie.  

I read somewhere (?) there was a story about an adult Newt who felt abandoned by Ripley and grew up to resent her; that would've been much more interesting to see: A fractured mother/daughter-esque relationship in need of healing, rather than the two of them just biting it on a planet of quasi-religious lifers. 

And yes, one of the biggest flaws of Prometheus (aside from dismally stupid characters who'd f--k up a cup of coffee and a free lunch) was the loss of the mystery!  The space jockeys just became an albinoid pro-basketball team instead of giant, inscrutably alien creatures.   The awe I felt when I first saw them in ALIEN was just gone; they were kinda ordinary now, and that was one of the movie's biggest crimes.  

Like you, Robin, I'd rather NOT know too much about the xenomorphs or the SJs.  I'd prefer to think of think of mysterious strangers in a grand, dark universe utterly indifferent (and downright hostile) to human beings.  After all, the ALIEN movies are essentially B-monster movies with a few coats of glossy paint; and I'm totally okay with that.  I don't want them to try to answer the 'big questions'; I'd prefer they just give me some good scares and a few bitten fingernails....

The early ones from the late 80s written by Mark Verheiden are good. Quite dark and depressing, but the tone is right; they're not out of character with ALIEN and ALIENS.  They expand upon what you already know about the ALIEN universe really well. Well, encompassing the first two films anyway - when Alien 3 comes along, it contradicts everything the comics did, which was a shame because they're largely superior storytelling and told with a lot of attention to detail that the third film essentially just threw away. I mean, I like Alien 3 (I know you're not as fond of it) and I think it's a better entry than all the films that followed. But those comics really do point to a road not taken, which was rife with more possibilities than the blind alley the film series has ended up in.

I confess though, I didn't really read as many of the comics beyond the release of Alien 3. I think I felt that the series had lost its way, which was unfair - the movie series had, and th ending of the third film was pretty emphatic.  I vaguely recall one comic arc about an adult Newt and a scarred, bitter Hicks... it's been collected, but for some obscure copyright reason, they changed all the names of the characters. There was a good one about a religious cult on a colony world that worshipped the Aliens, and they existed in this weird symbiosis... which, IIRC, was never completed. But it was an intriguing idea. and not a million miles from Vincent Ward's aborted version of Alien 3 on the wooden monk planet.

https://alienseries.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/wooden-world-vincent-wards-alien-iii/

 

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24 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

The early ones from the late 80s written by Mark Verheiden are good. Quite dark and depressing, but the tone is right; they're not out of character with ALIEN and ALIENS.  They expand upon what you already know about the ALIEN universe really well. Well, encompassing the first two films anyway - when Alien 3 comes along, it contradicts everything the comics did, which was a shame because they're largely superior storytelling and told with a lot of attention to detail that the third film essentially just threw away. I mean, I like Alien 3 (I know you're not as fond of it) and I think it's a better entry than all the films that followed. But those comics really do point to a road not taken, which was rife with more possibilities than the blind alley the film series has ended up in.

I confess though, I didn't really read as many of the comics beyond the release of Alien 3. I think I felt that the series had lost its way, which was unfair - the movie series had, and th ending of the third film was pretty emphatic.  I vaguely recall one comic arc about an adult Newt and a scarred, bitter Hicks... it's been collected, but for some obscure copyright reason, they changed all the names of the characters. There was a good one about a religious cult on a colony world that worshipped the Aliens, and they existed in this weird symbiosis... which, IIRC, was never completed. But it was an intriguing idea. and not a million miles from Vincent Ward's aborted version of Alien 3 on the wooden monk planet.

https://alienseries.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/wooden-world-vincent-wards-alien-iii/

 

^
I was recently watching the bonus features on the ALIEN Quadrilogy set (hehe... 'Quadrilogy': to quote Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 4, "And that's a f--king word...?" :giggle:) and I was reminded about that odd, wooden planet colony idea of Vincent Ward's.   Hmmm... I can't say I was terribly enthused for it as an ALIEN continuation, but it might've made for an interesting standalone science-fiction or fantasy film not related to the ALIEN saga.   In my mind's eye, I kept picturing monastic Keebler Elves...:P

I know A3 has its fans, but I just felt that it went 'the wrong way' with that story.  I can appreciate new writers/filmmakers wanting to go in a different direction, but eschewing all of the gains made in ALIENS was simply a mistake IMO; no matter how they spun it.   Adding insult to the injury was the utter predictability of A3; even on first viewing, I knew that the prisoners were all doomed, and that the company 'rescue team' wasn't going to help anyone.   It seemed largely pointless to me; an exercise in mood over storytelling. 

If Ripley and Newt had made it back to Earth and then learned that an egg was stowed aboard the Sulacco?  Well, that was a story I'd not yet seen.   You could've had this proto-mother/daughter relationship formed of two war-scarred survivors who are trying to rebuild their lives, but can't.    Intense survivors' guilt eats at both of them (and ditto Hicks, who basically lost his entire platoon).   Newt is incapable of believing in stability of family anymore.   She worries that Ripley might 'go away' too.   Is it 'safe' for Newt to rely on an adult again?  And what of Ripley?  Could she be the desperately needed mother to this 'war orphan' (who is basically a child version of herself)?   And is tragedy the only thing that unites them?   Those were the stories I'd imagined that should've followed ALIENS.

SO MUCH potential just crapped away... that's what kills me about A3.    Maybe it's not fair to A3, but when I see it, my primary feeling is that it's just one, big, sorely missed opportunity:  it's like seeing a girl you once had a crush on in high school wind up with a total douchebag.  Maybe she wouldn't have wound up with you, but she could've done a lot better than that guy, right? :laugh:

They had potentially new and interesting stories to tell, and never got the chance to tell them in favor of (IMO) a far lesser movie (and the 2 lesser movies that followed, and that's not counting those dreadful AVP movies...).  A3 is the the point for me where the ALIEN franchise truly crashed, and it's been skating uphill ever since.   The optimist in me would love to see one more ALIEN movie of the caliber of ALIEN or ALIENS, but I'm increasingly doubtful. 

And yes, I would love to read the Dark Horse comics just so I can have a nice 'head canon' alternative to A3. :laugh:  Not to mention hearing that Battlestar Galactica scribe Mark Verheiden was involved!  That really ups my interest level... :thumbup:

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8 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^
I was recently watching the bonus features on the ALIEN Quadrilogy set (hehe... 'Quadrilogy': to quote Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 4, "And that's a f--king word...?" :giggle:) and I was reminded about that odd, wooden planet colony idea of Vincent Ward's.   Hmmm... I can't say I was terribly enthused for it as an ALIEN continuation, but it might've made for an interesting standalone science-fiction or fantasy film not related to the ALIEN saga.   In my mind's eye, I kept picturing monastic Keebler Elves...:P

I know A3 has its fans, but I just felt that it went 'the wrong way' with that story.  I can appreciate new writers/filmmakers wanting to go in a different direction, but eschewing all of the gains made in ALIENS was simply a mistake IMO; no matter how they spun it.   Adding insult to the injury was the utter predictability of A3; even on first viewing, I knew that the prisoners were all doomed, and that the company 'rescue team' wasn't going to help anyone.   It seemed largely pointless to me; an exercise in mood over storytelling. 

If Ripley and Newt had made it back to Earth and then learned that an egg was stowed aboard the Sulacco?  Well, that was a story I'd not yet seen.   You could've had this proto-mother/daughter relationship formed of two war-scarred survivors who are trying to rebuild their lives, but can't.    Intense survivors' guilt eats at both of them (and ditto Hicks, who basically lost his entire platoon).   Newt is incapable of believing in stability of family anymore.   She worries that Ripley might 'go away' too.   Is it 'safe' for Newt to rely on an adult again?  And what of Ripley?  Could she be the desperately needed mother to this 'war orphan' (who is basically a child version of herself)?   And is tragedy the only thing that unites them?   Those were the stories I'd imagined that should've followed ALIENS.

SO MUCH potential just crapped away... that's what kills me about A3.    Maybe it's not fair to A3, but when I see it, my primary feeling is that it's just one, big, sorely missed opportunity:  it's like seeing a girl you once had a crush on in high school wind up with a total douchebag.  Maybe she wouldn't have wound up with you, but she could've done a lot better than that guy, right? :laugh:

They had potentially new and interesting stories to tell, and never got the chance to tell them in favor of (IMO) a far lesser movie (and the 2 lesser movies that followed, and that's not counting those dreadful AVP movies...).  A3 is the the point for me where the ALIEN franchise truly crashed, and it's been skating uphill ever since.   The optimist in me would love to see one more ALIEN movie of the caliber of ALIEN or ALIENS, but I'm increasingly doubtful. 

And yes, I would love to read the Dark Horse comics just so I can have a nice 'head canon' alternative to A3. :laugh:  Not to mention hearing that Battlestar Galactica scribe Mark Verheiden was involved!  That really ups my interest level... :thumbup:

Well, that was largely my reaction to Alien 3 too when I first saw it. It's not what you want or expect after ALIENS. This can be viewed as a very brave move or commercial suicide, and although it wasn't quite the latter, it still derailed the series ever after. Everything you outline above would've been a better move - something that developed the characters realistically, while setting up another group of explorers to get eaten. A bunch you could care about, and Ripley comes in as consultant or something. Alien 3's biggest problem is that, aside from Ripley, it kills off the only other character you care about way too early (the doctor, Clemens) and although you have all these other very engaging character actors giving it their all, it never quite gels. 

I reappraised it when the new cut came out though, which restores the whole central portion (and most of Paul McGann's role) so it all makes more sense. I mean, the film begins on a plot hole - how did the egg get on the Sulaco? Did Ripley not do a sweep before bedtime to check the Queen didn't bring one last one with her? Pretty sloppy. But, taken on its own terms, forgetting the emotional connections with the supporting characters of the previous film, it's a very decent Alien movie. It's beautifully shot and it does succeed in capturing the mournful spirit of the original film, which no other entry really does. Over time, I found I could accept it as a worthy entry in the canon. Resurrection, on the other hand (which also has some great ideas, like the Ripley clone) is just a cartoon and so different stylistically from everything that came before it, it succeeded in destroying any sense of forward momentum for the series. And then we got AvP, the stupidest buck-making exercises imaginable. All that story potential Cameron set up, just pissed away.

I also agree that Ward's angle would've been a non-starter... it's interesting to look back upon now, but it seems that it is the development of this film that skewed the direction of the franchise. Ward is a very arty, very creative visualist, but he's more of a poet than the franchise needed at this point. Producers Giler and Hill had admirable instincts, but I think they were totally wrong to seek his services. Clearly, they realized that too, but then used the basic shape of his story to make the Alien 3 we got, because the studio wanted a film, and... just, no. Yes, it was a missed opportunity. For all the reasons above though, and probably many more to do with David Fincher, I still don't think Alien 3 is a disaster. It's an oddball, and a signpost that'll stand forever for a road not taken.

Which brings us to Prometheus and Covenant. Prometheus was supposed to restore the grandeur and mystery, and we got High School Idiots in Space with beautiful production design. Covenant looks like more of the same; a thin greatest hits mash-up. I'll give Covenant the benefit of the doubt, as I haven't seen it yet, but the likelihood of it usurping Alien 3 as the third-best film in the franchise looks very unlikely from the trailers. Alien 3 managed the unlikely feat (just about) of being a silk purse made from a sow's ear - there were a lot of good intentions there. I know Covenant will look pretty, but the idea that it somehow restores an overall direction to the franchise is too much to hope for.  My expectations are incredibly low, so maybe I'll enjoy it more than I think. We'll see. 

Oh, and "Quadrilogy" ...WTf#c*ittyF? What marketing idiot approved that non-word? I bought the blu-ray edition and stowed that box set somewhere, never to be seen again. Quartet, you morons. QUARTET. Look it up.  I don't mind the invention of new words, but make it sound elegant, and don't forgo a perfectly good one if it already exists. 

Edited by Robin Bland

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I enjoyed the extended version of Alien3 presented in the british DVD box set when I saw it years ago. I thought it was an improvment on the theatrical cut.But its not  a perfect movie after the first 2 classic movies, or even  a good movie, its average at best.

Gus

Edited by GustavoLeao

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