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Author Topic: Nearly 20 years on,what are your thoughts on Alien 3?  (Read 1263 times)
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metallicorphan
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« on: December 23, 2011, 11:48:28 AM »

With all talk on next summers Alien prequel Prometheus and David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo just been released,as well as me getting the Alien Anthology on Blu Ray(which is a simpler and better name than the DVD box set Quadrilogy or even what Ironrod said in the Prometheus thread about it being called a 'Tetralogy' which i had not heard before),i thought now would be a good time to talk Alien 3

So this week i watched Alien special edition and Aliens Directors cut and last night i watched Alien3 special edition(also known as assembly cut) which added some 30 minutes to the film,not just added but in some parts actually replaced,it has been out since 2003 and first appeared on the DVD Quadrilogy boxset

I went to the cinema to see Alien 3 in 1992(sorry,i was 16 and it was an 18 certificate,but that wasn't going to stop us) and was quite disappointed when we left,my mate who was a massive Aliens fan who was with me,was nearly crying

but nearly 20 years on,and i at least don't mind the film now,it isn't a patch on the first two films and never will be but some things i do admire about the film

First off that they didn't just cash in on James Camerons successful Aliens and doing exactly the same,more guns,more grunts,more aliens,maybe they should of i dunno,i think most of us was expecting it

The Cast-Mainly English and American,but even though it is a good cast,a lot of them are wasted(Pete Postlethwaite needn't of even been there),they were more well known in the UK at the time than everywhere else,and to be honest,this is probably one of the best performances in an Alien film from Sigourney Weaver(IMO anyway)


Alien 3 brought the fact that the alien took on traits of its host-eg:in the first two films the Alien emerged from humans,so stalked its prey on two legs,the Alien in Alien 3 came from a Dog(or an Ox depending on which version you watch),and is therefore on all fours,saying that though instead of the evil little bastard that comes out of Kane in Alien,you now have a ...'cute' little thing being born and shaking the blood and guts of itself


They did try and bring back the suspense,pretty much taking from the first two,a group of people stranded in a remote place while being stalked by the Alien only this time it was a prison planet with 25 inmates



However,there is still a lot wrong with the film,it's up to you if you think whether no weapons(no real weapons anyway) in the film is a main factor

They decided to go mainly for CGI when showing the Alien,CGI was just pretty much finding its feet at the time(1991/1992),so instead of watching a tense Alien film,you end up watching Roger Rabbit,the CGI is so obvious its embarrassing,especially when it was done so good in Terminator 2 and The Abyss before it
 

Thankfully in the Assembly cut of the film they got rid of that stupid ending where the Alien burst out of Ripley as she was falling and Ripley held it in place so it would die with her in the furnace,now it just has Ripley falling back to her death

The Dog has been totally replaced now,so instead of the alien bursting from the dog,it comes from an Ox,the dog is still mentioned when the guy sticks his head in the hole thinking he is seeing 'Spike',only to get a set of inner teeth gnashing on his skull,and the viewer who may not of known about the dog in the first version may of thought Spike was one of the other inmates



David Fincher has disowned the film,whether its the finish product he is displeased with or all the problems with filming i am not sure(or both),he was not present with the compiling of the special edition of the film in 2003 like the other Alien directors were with their versions

Overall its taken nearly 20 years for me to say that i find the film fairly decent now,unfortunately it will be forever compared to Alien and Aliens,but i will at least say at the moment its the third best Alien film(including Alien Resurrection and the AvP films)

I am not going to say its done a 'Blade Runner' but 20 years on,what do you have to say about David Finchers Directional debut?
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TiLT
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 12:12:39 PM »

I always disliked Aliens and could never see what people think is so awesome about that movie. It's overacted and filled with idiot, subordinate marines. I much prefer the original Alien, and I consider the 3rd movie to be the second best as it went back to the roots of what made Alien so good. The less I have to hear the so-called great quotes from Aliens, the better.
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 12:45:14 PM »

I liked Aliens a lot, and honestly, the kind of marine soldier that is depicted there, isn't very far off from what I know from my time in the army in terms of how professional soldiers act and talk. Its more of an action movie clearly, but its still very very good, and has some great lines.

As for Alien 3, its a nice movie. I sat on the edge of my seat at the end of the movie, since I found it very very exciting with all the running down the corridors, and I simply loved the preacher - awesome voice, and great lines. The funeral scene is one of my favorite from a movie ever!

As for the 4th? I wish it had never been done. Such a horrible way to end the series for Sigourney. Sure, the first part of the movie works okay, but then..it becomes a surreal adventure where nothing makes sense anymore, but I guess it comes with choosing the director they chose.
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 01:16:47 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on December 23, 2011, 12:12:39 PM

I always disliked Aliens and could never see what people think is so awesome about that movie. It's overacted and filled with idiot, subordinate marines. I much prefer the original Alien, and I consider the 3rd movie to be the second best as it went back to the roots of what made Alien so good. The less I have to hear the so-called great quotes from Aliens, the better.

Oh yeah? Then we should put *her* in charge!!

slywink

I enjoyed all three. My buddy had Aliens (directors cut) on laserdisc and he watched it every time anyone was over (or Ghostbusters) so it wore out on me for a while.

I could sit and watch any of them now, including 4, but the problem with four is they tried to make a PG13 film so it doesn't fit its own shoes.
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 03:35:32 PM »

While TiLT is busy polishing his monocle up on that really tall horse, I'll just say that I agree with Raz for the most part.  Alien3 gets a lot of shit, but Alien: Resurrection is the one that should be getting the brunt of it.  That film is just painful.

Part 3 not a terrible idea at all, it just stumbles in the execution a bit.  I understand that offing beloved characters right from the start is offputting for a lot of folks, and really, if you're going to pull a bold move like that, you'd better have a hell of a film to back it up.  But as on paper, it fits in the Alien mold very well.  There's a sense of isolation and despair right at the start.  Plus you're in a prison.  It's a path that leads to Ripley's death, essentially (and for what it's worth, I didn't mind the burst and grab).

The idea that Ripley feels connected and possibly protective is very interesting, too, but, again, I don't know that they pulled it off.

I should point out that I haven't seen the film in forever, but there was an interesting thematic element in it that kind of blew me away at the time, and I'm not sure I remember it correctly now.  I think, though, that there was a 7 stages of grief thread (again leading us right to Ripley's death) that really worked. 

Overall, I actually really liked the movie when it came out, but even then could tell it wasn't anywhere near the same level as the other two films.  But I was caught up in the idea of it, more than what they put on celluloid.
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 03:48:13 PM »

The only scene I didn't care for was the live birth / daddy scene.
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 04:15:13 PM »

I've not seen it again in a good long while, but I should revisit it also. It was one of David Fincher's first Hollywood films.. and what I remember of it, is that it's a very nihilistic movie. One that's very character driven. I was too dissapointed with it at the time, but perhaps with another viewing I would be able to appreciate it more.
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 04:19:16 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on December 23, 2011, 12:12:39 PM

I always disliked Aliens and could never see what people think is so awesome about that movie. It's overacted and filled with idiot, subordinate marines. I much prefer the original Alien, and I consider the 3rd movie to be the second best as it went back to the roots of what made Alien so good. The less I have to hear the so-called great quotes from Aliens, the better.

This post is wrong.. on so many levels.  nod

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 23, 2011, 03:35:32 PM

While TiLT is busy polishing his monocle up on that really tall horse...

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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 04:27:59 PM »

Alien 3 always felt like an unnecessary movie.  Sort of like Godfather 3.  They were both okay movies, but I don't know who thought those were going to be anything more. 
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2011, 05:40:40 PM »

Man, I remember the feeling I had walking out of Alien 3. It wasn't a good one. It wasn't a Episode I 'omg wtf' feeling, though . I thought it looked cool and had some neat stuff, but how do you improve upon 2 very different and outstanding flicks? I've seen it a bunch of times since and it really doesn't rate with the first 2 at all, but it's entertaining and I enjoy it, but not on the same level as the previous 2. 4 on the other hand? gee whiz. I'd forgotten about it until this thread. Or maybe it's just denial that it happened. I swear they are trying to kill off the Aliens universe with the AvP movies. How do you screw those up? Sheesh.
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2011, 11:39:28 PM »

my biggest grief with Aliens 3 is that I started reading the dark horse comics after aliens and could not help comparing what they gave us to what could have been if they had used the DH stories as the basis for the movie. 

they are so different that I consider them more canon than the movies.
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2011, 12:22:35 AM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on December 23, 2011, 11:48:28 AM

David Fincher has disowned the film,whether its the finish product he is displeased with or all the problems with filming i am not sure(or both),he was not present with the compiling of the special edition of the film in 2003 like the other Alien directors were with their versions

Fincher has completely disowned Alien 3 because the movie shown to the world is nowhere close to the one he wanted to make.  As a new director on his first big-budget project, Fincher was forced to start filming before the script was ever finished, the studio repeatedly cut his budget and shooting time, and they eventually forced a stop to filming before Fincher obtained all the footage he wanted.  Fox then took the footage that had been produced before the stoppage and edited it into a version that they liked, telling the story as they saw fit rather than following Fincher's plot and vision.  While he was responsible for shooting the film, the final cut was done by the studio and released without Fincher's approval.  As someone who has become notorious for directing to exacting standards, Fincher has always been incredibly unhappy with the end result and views it as the studio's film rather than his own.  Even the 'Assembly cut' that many believe to be representative of Fincher's original vision was done without consulting him in any way and was instead fabricated by Fox from unused footage in efforts to improve a film that was strongly criticized by critics and fans of the first two films.
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2011, 02:06:44 AM »

As a film Alien 3 is just okay. The look and mood of movie is well done, but the story is nothing interesting or provocative. It's ultimate failure, fair or not, is that it had a lot to live up to coming after Aliens. People naturally expect sequels to be bigger and better than the previous movies and in that regard, Alien 3 came nowhere close to the other two. Doesn't mean that it was total crap, but I think people had really high expectations after the second movie and that disappointment pretty much determines how "good" the movie is on its own. At least that is how I felt when I saw it in the theaters and discussing its failure with my fanboy friends.
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2011, 03:12:30 PM »

Quote from: disarm on December 24, 2011, 12:22:35 AM

Quote from: metallicorphan on December 23, 2011, 11:48:28 AM

David Fincher has disowned the film,whether its the finish product he is displeased with or all the problems with filming i am not sure(or both),he was not present with the compiling of the special edition of the film in 2003 like the other Alien directors were with their versions

Fincher has completely disowned Alien 3 because the movie shown to the world is nowhere close to the one he wanted to make.  As a new director on his first big-budget project, Fincher was forced to start filming before the script was ever finished, the studio repeatedly cut his budget and shooting time, and they eventually forced a stop to filming before Fincher obtained all the footage he wanted.  Fox then took the footage that had been produced before the stoppage and edited it into a version that they liked, telling the story as they saw fit rather than following Fincher's plot and vision.  While he was responsible for shooting the film, the final cut was done by the studio and released without Fincher's approval.  As someone who has become notorious for directing to exacting standards, Fincher has always been incredibly unhappy with the end result and views it as the studio's film rather than his own.  Even the 'Assembly cut' that many believe to be representative of Fincher's original vision was done without consulting him in any way and was instead fabricated by Fox from unused footage in efforts to improve a film that was strongly criticized by critics and fans of the first two films.

Basically, what I always suspected happened to him and this film.
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2011, 12:52:27 PM »

Aliens is just a fantastic action film.  How anyone can dislike that entry in the series is beyond me.   icon_confused

As for Aliens 3, I really disliked it.  I even enjoyed the fourth one more.  At least it tried to do something different with the franchise with a nifty look at the future...and a script by Whedon.
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2011, 03:07:03 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on December 30, 2011, 12:52:27 PM

Aliens is just a fantastic action film.  How anyone can dislike that entry in the series is beyond me.   icon_confused

As for Aliens 3, I really disliked it.  I even enjoyed the fourth one more.  At least it tried to do something different with the franchise with a nifty look at the future...and a script by Whedon.

None of the words in your second paragraph make any kind of sense when used in that order. 

If you haven't, watch the documentary about the making of Alien 3.  It's in the box set that came out last year.  Really illuminating, and surprisingly critical of the Fox execs.  Also talks about the really interesting direction the original script took things, where it was set on a planetoid constructed of wood by a semi-luddite monastic order.
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2011, 03:16:51 PM »

Quote from: Chaz on December 30, 2011, 03:07:03 PM

Quote from: hepcat on December 30, 2011, 12:52:27 PM

Aliens is just a fantastic action film.  How anyone can dislike that entry in the series is beyond me.   icon_confused

As for Aliens 3, I really disliked it.  I even enjoyed the fourth one more.  At least it tried to do something different with the franchise with a nifty look at the future...and a script by Whedon.

None of the words in your second paragraph make any kind of sense when used in that order.  

If you haven't, watch the documentary about the making of Alien 3.  It's in the box set that came out last year.  Really illuminating, and surprisingly critical of the Fox execs.  Also talks about the really interesting direction the original script took things, where it was set on a planetoid constructed of wood by a semi-luddite monastic order.

ditto.  you're telling me I should be kinder towards 3...then you go on to tell me to watch a documentary that basically states the unfilmed script was good but the finished film was crap?

does not compute. icon_confused

I stand by my original post.   icon_wink
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2011, 04:15:44 PM »

You're entitled to think that 3 was not good.  I can totally understand that.  What I don't get is your belief that 4 was anything other than a cinematic atrocity.  It was absolutely painful to watch on just about every level I can think of.  I can re-watch 3 and enjoy it, though it's not as objectively good as the first two.  I've seen 4 one time, and I can't imagine a reason that the disc would ever see the inside of my player ever again.
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2011, 04:22:52 PM »

I thought 4 actually tried, while 3 just seemed like a cookie cutter entry in the series.  I also viewed it with the knowledge that it was a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film.  I love his work but he's not a "gritty" filmmaker.  His body of work plays like dark fairytales and stylized parables.  I can see where that might not work for folks in the context of Aliens, but I kind of dug it in some places because of that.

is it a successful movie?  no.  but if I had a choice between watching 3 and 4, I'm going with 4 every time.
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2011, 06:23:32 PM »

I also feel like your comments on 3 and 4 should be flipped, Hep. 

I actually feel like 3 tried some bold things that didn't quite work (killing off everyone, tying the action to the stages of death, motherhood, etc) whereas 4 felt like it was going back to the second film.

Also, I seem to remember Joss saying he hates the movie.  I know the script he wrote isn't at all what appears on screen.
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2011, 07:28:00 PM »

some pop culture from about the same time it came out still fits for me.



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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2011, 07:49:56 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 30, 2011, 06:23:32 PM

I also feel like your comments on 3 and 4 should be flipped, Hep. 

I actually feel like 3 tried some bold things that didn't quite work (killing off everyone, tying the action to the stages of death, motherhood, etc) whereas 4 felt like it was going back to the second film.

Also, I seem to remember Joss saying he hates the movie.  I know the script he wrote isn't at all what appears on screen.

Well, we are discussing this in a "which is worse" manner.  I just find 3 to be a very lazy film.  Killing off everyone from the previous movie being the laziest action.  There's nothing creative or original in that, IMHO.  The action wasn't even original.  It was the scream 3 of the franchise.  I love fincher's work and would love to see his actual interpretation...but we didn't get that.
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2011, 08:19:29 PM »

I don't like the third film, but I'm not sure thats Finchers fault.  Cameron was very smart to do an action film for Aliens and not try and duplicate the first film.  But the downside is that it split the fanbase to some degree.   So Fincher's attempt at doing something similar to Alien with Alien 3 was largely doomed from the start because  Alien was a genre defining film.  And by going "small" he was going to lose a lot of the new action fans who liked the second film.

It would have lost something in the process, but the only way the franchise could have thrived in box office terms was by embracing Cameron's action/suspense model, which meant bigger budgets and stories that expanded the universe.  Trying to do something small like Alien 3 wasn't ever going to work in a way that would satisfy both the fans and the business.
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« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2011, 04:08:05 AM »

I own the 1st 3 films and saw both Alien 2 and 3 in the theater when they released. I would have loved to have seen the original in the theater, but I was too young and had to suffer the torture of my older brother telling me just how excellent it was.  mad  Even though I didn't feel the 3rd movie was on par with the first 2,  I've still always enjoyed it. There's something about the 'penal colony/brotherhood at the edge of the galaxy that know one really gives a crap about' setting that's always worked for me. Its like a futuristic take on a monastic society populated with terrible past sinners, all about to receive their final reconciliation. With that final reconciliation being a real barn burner!  slywink
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« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2012, 07:35:26 PM »

I just watched Alien 3 last night since I bought the Anthology on Amazon.  I watched the 2003 "Assembly Cut" which adds about 30 mins of footage into the movie and I thought it help up quite well.  I liked some of the changes they put back in.  I didn't realize how many friggen F bombs they dropped in the movie though, it's quite a bit.  The effects could have used some updating too, but overall I'd say I rather enjoyed the film.

OT:

I also didn't realize that Joss Whedon wrote Alien:Resurrection.  I think the fates be cruel when we have 2 Alien sequels, one by Fincher and one (written) by Whedon and they turn out to be so poor compared to what they could be.

I found this quote by Whedon regarding A:R quite interesting:

Quote
"It wasn't a question of doing everything differently, although they changed the ending; it was mostly a matter of doing everything wrong. They said the lines...mostly...but they said them all wrong. And they cast it wrong. And they designed it wrong. And they scored it wrong. They did everything wrong that they could possibly do. There's actually a fascinating lesson in filmmaking, because everything that they did reflects back to the script or looks like something from the script, and people assume that, if I hated it, then they’d changed the script...but it wasn’t so much that they’d changed the script; it’s that they just executed it in such a ghastly fashion as to render it almost unwatchable."
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