I'm going to re-watch the first four Alien movies


I’m watching that next weekend with my daughter, but I remember when saw it in theaters really liking it a lot - I liked the mercenaries and the action, it was a return to the sequel rather than the original, which is my favorite of the franchise. I’ll be interested to see how it holds up, I have a vague memory of watching it again years later and not liking it as much, but now I don’t really know.


Who in the world voted for Aliens Theatrical over the exact same thing +even more and fantastic scenes brought to you by the special edition?


I didn’t vote in the Resurrection poll because I don’t think anyone should ever be encouraged to watch that movie.

Aliens is my perfect movie. It helps that I saw it at an incredibly formative time. I was 15, three years too young to see an 18 certificate movie in the UK. I went with my two best friends at the time, and my gran. Yes, my gran was a horror buff, and loved watching these genre movies with me. She was the one who got us all in, because hey who is going to argue with a little old lady. ;) It was as intense as expected, the perfect movie watching experience.

I kept count with my Aliens rewatches up to around 57 or 58 (seriously) and I’ve probably seen it at least two dozen times since then. The last time was about 7 months ago. I feel it’s time for another rewatch. So yes, I have memorised basically the entire thing from dialog to shots and edits. If we ever lose Aliens, I can probably recreate it in lego pretty accurately.

The Special Edition is definitely the only way to watch the movie. Although the initial foray into the alien spacecraft is probably unnecessary, it’s a cool scene - like all the added scenes are. The scene with Ripley and Burke about her daughter should never have been cut, it’s really integral to Ripley’s later relationship with Newt.

One thing I love about the movie is that it doesn’t feel the need to have a pointless action sequence near the start to pander to the attention-deficit in the audience. I guess the dream chestburster possibly qualifies as the only exception, but it’s brief and forgiveable (that’s the only dodgy special effect in the entire movie, if you ask me, but possibly deliberately so as it’s a dream). The second half of the movie is just a massive rollercoaster of non-stop action beats that actually work. Modern directors could learn a shitload from how that was all put together.

So yeah, Aliens. Still perfect after all these years. I hope they never, ever try to remake it.


The correct answer to both of the last two is “neither.”

First and foremost? It throws away Newt and Hicks.


But… the actress that played Newt would have been in college by then, that would have been hard to explain. And honestly, the entire premise of the story gets less interesting if Hicks is around to take over - what would need Ripley for then? I actually think it was a bold move to strand Ripley in such a hostile environment and take away all the support structure she had left.


That is definitely its biggest sin, but if you can get past that (and I understand if you can’t) then it’s a solid movie. But anyway, discussion of Alien^3 feels premature. ;)


Aliens SE is too long and has unnecessary scenes that don’t need to be watched the first time. I’m curious if anyone actually watched it first that way.


I don’t remember what’s changed in the Alien 4 special edition or whatever, which is why I didn’t vote. I can confirm neither version is good, though. Alien 3 I’ve actually never seen the theatrical cut but literally everyone says the recut is a huge improvement, and IMO that version hangs in the canon in a way nothing since does.


2 hours 37 minutes! It is super long (but not too long). The theatrical version is 2:15 already, so even that’s a pretty long movie.


I’m currently watching* Dune Alternative Edition, and that’s 2h 58 mins long. Aliens SE is over before you know it.

Still, Tim has a point. You could watch the theatrical version and enjoy the movie just fine, with the SE there for when you want more. That’s not the case with Alien3 where theatrical makes no sense at all.

*it’s taking 3 nights to get through it


All of which is a fault of the premise, and why it was probably a bad idea from the off.

Seriously, 3 invalidates every effort that was put into saving Newt at the end of 2 by killing her off-screen. It’s an unforgivable sin, in that it retroactively renders the better movie pointless. Anything good it does after that doesn’t matter to me, frankly.


I can live with that. This is a nihilistic universe. The problem with Alien 3, in my opinion, is that it’s simply dull, incredibly boring, and full of people screaming every line. This is my updated opinion after watching the Assembly Cut last year (I saw the original version in the theater back when it was released and was duly underwhelmed).

As far as Aliens is concerned, my only gripe is the way they changed the perfect xenomorph design from the original movie. I understand that the swarming abilities and general bug-ification of the creatures may have been a necessity for dramatic reasons, given that they now face a team of heavily armed space marines instead of a handful of blue collar workers, but still-- that’s not how the tongue works, dammit!!

Edit: Apparently it’s not the “Director’s Cut” but the “Assembly Cut”


This is simply amazing, thanks for sharing! Who knew Mme. Blavatsky had such an influence on the ship command design :-)


I don’t disagree with your points, of course, because you aren’t wrong. I’d have loved a different Alien 3 that shows a grown up Newt (maybe played by a different actress) and used Hicks again, obviously.

But since that isn’t what we got, I am trying to appreciate the film they did give us. And from that perspective, it’s a grim, terrifying tale set in a dark universe and I think they did a good job with it. If they had stuck with a rubber costume the entire film would really hold up incredibly well, I believe. They took a lot of chances, you don’t see movie sequels swinging for the fence like this very often, I think it’s kind of cool.


Which is completely fair and reasonable, I just can’t do that, because I can’t get past the sacrifices needed to indulge the premise of the film in the first place. And that’s a shame, because I generally agree with the rest of your assessment.


We’re not to Alien3 yet, but in case anybody doesn’t know, if you want a different Alien3:


I read the original script a while back, I haven’t read these comics yet (but I intend to, when they’re done publishing them)


Resurrection is awesome. Sure it is an action comedy with bizzare french aesthetics, but I love its atmosphere, action scenes, cast and humor. And how bad ass Ripley is. All four movies are 10/10 as far as I am concerned. The special editions are always better.


Cool, thanks for the poll!

I only voted for 2 and 3, as I know the difference between those. (In both cases: Special).


I really like Alien 3. (Or rather, Alien 3’s Assembly Cut). It’s such a great film, and I really like the visual design. It keeps hinting at a WH40K-esque sort of style, with people in those great long cloaks walking around ruins on dusty planets, hiding from aliens. It’s a shame that kind of thing wasn’t explored more by the later films. (Also, it looks like The Chaos Engine basically stole all the characters and aesthetic, and I love that game so have more transitive love for Alien 3)

I don’t know why Alien 3 got so much hate. Perhaps because I only remember the special edition, and not the theatrical? Plus, Alien 3 has such a fantastic cast of balding British men: Charles Dance, Brian Glover, Pete Postlethwaite etc.

I see some complaints that Hicks and Newt died… but so what? I was definitely upset when it opened with them and they were shown as expired, but I realised that’s because I liked them as characters and not because they were central to the story, whereas Ripley and The Aliens are…

I’ve never really bought into these kinds of arguments in general. A letter result doesn’t mean the earlier motivation is cancelled out. If you’re doing the right thing for all the right reasons, but it later transpires that those reasons were wrong… were you no longer going the “right” thing? :)

If Alien 3 had shown Newt all grown up and a serial killer, tortured by the memories of Aliens, would it retroactively render the heroic actions in Aliens pointless?

But the fourth film? Resurrection was some awful comic-book style ragtag bunch of misfits. Ugh. Now that’s a film that retroactively ruins the memory of the 3 previous movies :)


So are we talking about Alien 3 now? Because my log has something to say. Although I think it would mostly be agreeing with @Pod’s post.


I mean, David Fincher hates Alien 3 so much he took his name off it, and there’s a reason it’s the Assembly Cut and not the Director’s Cut, namely that Fincher did not recut it.

So while I personally think (in the Assembly Cut) it’s pretty great, it says something when a director disowns a movie so completely.