Rank Alien series - AGAIN

Original Poster
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 4144
I have no doubt this is one of the most redundant topics, but since I don't see it in the latest pages, that usually merits a thread reboot on here.

Alien
Aliens
Prometheus
Aliens v Predator: Requiem
Alien 3
Alien Resurrection
AVP: Alien vs Predator
May 18, 2017 12:04 AM
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 27502
Alien
Aliens
Alien 3
Alien Resurrection
Prometheus / AvP
[a pie made out of rancid rat tails]
AvP:R
May 18, 2017 2:00 AM
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Posts: 1940
Alien.

Accept no substitutes.
May 18, 2017 3:01 AM
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Posts: 451
1. Alien (A +)
2. Aliens: Special Edition (A)
3. Alien: Resurrection (B -)
4. Prometheus (B -)
5. Alien vs. Predator (D)
6. Alien 3 (F)
May 18, 2017 4:32 AM
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Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 441
Aliens
Alien
Alien 3
Empty space where people can't hear me scream.
AvP
Prometheus
Alien Resurrection

(haven't seen AvP:R, so can't say if it goes just above or below Alien Resurrection).
May 18, 2017 4:54 AM
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Posts: 27502
AxterixAliens
Alien
Alien 3
Empty space where people can't hear me scream.
AvP
Prometheus
Alien Resurrection

(haven't seen AvP:R, so can't say if it goes just above or below Alien Resurrection).

Below.
The answer is below.
May 18, 2017 4:58 AM
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I only watch Alien, out of this series.
I plan to go back and give Aliens a rewatch, but it was a real letdown for me compared to the original.
The rest are pointless to me, ranging from "bad sequel" to "silly matinee serial".
And then there's Prometheus, which was crap and ensured that I will not see Covenant unless someone I trust tells me that it is nothing like Prometheus.
May 18, 2017 2:01 PM
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Posts: 145
Alien
Aliens
Prometheus
Alien 3 Assembly Cut
Alien Resurrection
AVP
AVP R
May 18, 2017 2:23 PM
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Posts: 1076
Alien is a much tighter film than Aliens because, among other things, it actually takes its time to create a believable cast of characters. I watched Aliens for the first time a few months ago, and I really don't remember that much about the marines other than macho posturing and one-liners. It was quite boring, actually.
May 18, 2017 4:36 PM
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KenjiAlien is a much tighter film than Aliens because, among other things, it actually takes its time to create a believable cast of characters. I watched Aliens for the first time a few months ago, and I really don't remember that much about the marines other than macho posturing and one-liners. It was quite boring, actually.

This is one of my major issues with the movie. The marines aren't characters, they're caricatures. And they're 80s caricatures. I find them hard to endure.
May 18, 2017 5:11 PM
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Kenji, if they had to take more time to "develop" characters in Aliens, it would be 3 hours. They already had to edit it down a lot for theatric release, and even the special edition which is about 12 minutes longer is probably edited down quite a bit.

A movie like this has to stay pretty lean and isn't afforded much in between set pieces for deep drama. When most of the people end up being monster chum, it would be not just horrific but thoroughly depressing if we were much more attached to everyone. This is the same argument I make to support the recent Rogue One against criticisms that the characters were not developed enough. Audiences can endure only so much tragedy before the whole experience becomes punishing. Now, this doesn't mean we have to accept characters being flattened to the point of not caring at all about them, but I think Rogue One did a fine job in presenting its characters and allowing us to care about them despite being unable to afford more run-time with them.

It's all a cost-benefit scheme every movie has to run. The more time invested in developing characters, the less time they have to establish the circumstances of these intense scenarios, and you cannot have tension without the key ingredient of time. So less time to build tension, which means less suspense, and action without suspense is just weightless.

I think the main reason we feel more about the crew of Alien is probably because they don't have much of a fighting chance, whereas much of the crew in Aliens are soldiers. But Aliens does gives our protagonist more to fight for in the little girl. One of Cameron's greatest achievements with Aliens is how he handles a child in peril without it feeling cheap, something he really masters in Terminator 2.

May 18, 2017 5:28 PM
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Posts: 1777
Aliens
Alien
Alien Resurrection
Prometheus: ?Prometheus rank is pending on seeing Covenant.
Alien vs. Predator.
Alien 3


Alien 3 will always be on my bottom because of what it did to the franchise.
I can't factor in the Alien 3 assembly cut people under 30 have probably watched. I am rating
the theatrical version which among other things contained the totally incomprehensible ?lava maze sequence.
I think some people would find it hard to appreciate how offensive Alien 3 was without seeing it in the
context of the time it was released in the theater. A contributing factor was anticipation/let down. The trailers looked
great with the Alien mouth creeping up to a shaved head Ripley's neck. This to all appearances looked like a
stellar and worthy new addition to one of the best franchises in film.
May 18, 2017 5:29 PM
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Posts: 4144
Wooley
KenjiAlien is a much tighter film than Aliens because, among other things, it actually takes its time to create a believable cast of characters. I watched Aliens for the first time a few months ago, and I really don't remember that much about the marines other than macho posturing and one-liners. It was quite boring, actually.

This is one of my major issues with the movie. The marines aren't characters, they're caricatures. And they're 80s caricatures. I find them hard to endure.

I totally see what you guys are saying, but it's really a no-win situation. If they don't have the rapport and quips and the "cheesy" camaraderie, then they are flat, and if they are flat, we don't remember them at all, and critics ding the movie for its characters having "no personality."

How much better do we get to know the soldiers in Platoon or Saving Private Ryan? We only get to know the background of three of them, and even then, the passages are quite short. We mostly know their characters through their banter.

It is too easy to judge action movies supporting characters as caricatures, because we only get brief glimpses of their personalities. There's no time to "get to know" each of them. I'm sure if Cameron had the luxury of making Aliens a mini-series, he could capably write richer backgrounds and wouldn't have to rely on what are basically Snapchat-length profiles.

It's just a no-win situation, unless somebody can show us better examples of characterization for supporting cast in an action thriller. And I think this is something even the snobby professional critics, whose #1 most common complaint by far is probably about "lacking character development", understand as an inherent limitation of the action genre, or at least they understand it in the case of Aliens, and so they still lauded it.

It is no easy thing to satisfy the joe-popcorn everyman and critics alike to the degree Aliens does. Ridley nailed exactly this dual-goal with the sci-fi horror formula in Alien, and Cameron nails it with the action-horror.

I don't really buy that we have significantly more developed characters in Alien than we do in Aliens. We just have more tension in the former, and more action in the latter.

I won't deny that Aliens has a tinge of the cheesy 80s "bro" vibe, but it's managed quite well, and despite that "bro" attitude, it clearly carries the torch of female empowerment at its center. If it didn't establish a baseline of "bro" factor, then when it comes to Ripley's coup de grace moment "Get away from her you bitch!" it would seem more egregiously misplaced tonally. Is it realistic? Not really, but Aliens is outsized epic in all the right ways. It's what Cameron does.
May 18, 2017 5:59 PM
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Aliens - 10/10 -??Unquestionably the best action movie of all time.?

Alien - 10/10


Alien 3 - 6/10


Alien Resurrection?- 6/10

Prometheus?- 3/10
May 18, 2017 6:19 PM
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Posts: 1777
Jasper said this slightly more efficiently.

I think the criticism about character development is nuts.
In terms of character development Cameron blows away Scott.
No criticism of Scott. Its a totally different movie. One is a haunted house film the other is an action film.
This is taking a films strength and calling it a flaw . Its wrongly dismissive.

We very little about the crew of the Nostromo releative to the crew of the Sulaco.
Cameron's development is highly entertaining and at times laugh out loud
funny. One thing its not is "boring really". Every character has a unique personality that more than passes the
Red Letter Media test. If I posted images of the characters in Aliens many of you could tell
me their name, their job, what kind of personality they have, and even a memorable line of dialog they spoke,
Less obvious is there is something about that personality which is often critically important to the events of the film.
Few of the Aliens cast are just fodder for the Alien. We actually care about them.

Alien's has great character development throughout for its characters. Alien has some character development because its
a film more about mood. We know very little about the engineers. Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) s primarily
there to look really scared and scream. I just now had to look up that she was the navigator. Kane looks sad and tired and an
alien pops out of his chest. Parker and Brett we know as a couple engineers who just want to get off this ship
and collect a paycheck doing as little work as they can. They are pretty quickly fodder. There are three developed characters in Alien. Ripley of course, Ash and Dallas. One of the best things to have in a movie are characters you know them right away. In Alien Dallas is that character.

Cameron's skill is efficiently defining characters so you recognize them by what the do, how they dress, what they say very early in the film.No one is going to say Cameron did not create and fully develop the mirror characters Ripley, Hicks , Bishop. But the others are totally memorable. The new mission commander Gorman who memorably has done thirty eight drops...simulated. This is like his first real mission and that's an important line because while he's a nice guy and not a macho chest thumper, he's a little scared and suddenly the shit hits the fan and he freezes up not knowing whether to fire or not fire or call for evacuation. His function sets up a character defining moment for Ripley who again memorably siezes control of the the AT rover to save the dying troops. Newt Ripley Bishop, Hicks, HUDSON, Burke, friends Vasquez and Drake. These characters have memorable interactions as pairs, friendships and relationships are built and developed using entertaining interations which also are usually important to the story. Eg. Bishop and Hudson five finger fillet scene. Its funny, surprising and and Hudson for all his posturing is a bit of a coward. But the function of the scene is it reveals Bishop as a synthetic to Ripley which she is going to have a strong visceral reaction to. To the audience this on the surface is a really fun scene. But because its done by a master film maker its really a seamless way to transition reveal another character creating a trust issue and foreboding for the rest of the film. Can we trust Bishop. In fact we question that right until he shows up with the drop ship and rescues Ripley and Newt at the elevator platform.

When you integrate story, character, personality, and effects so they are all important ingredients it just doesn't get better than Aliens.
And props to Alien as well because the lack of dialog and characterization contributes to a sense of isolation allowing your mind
to work on the horror.

May 18, 2017 7:40 PM
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Alien was good. Then with Aliens it was like, Alien was at the top of a mountain and ran and jumped into the air, and I'm thinking "why did it do that?" but it's not bad it's just, why is it doing that? Then the sequels afterward plot the trajectory of the franchise as it plummets into terminal velocity and smashes into a smouldering crater with Prometheus. Now, with Covenant, I see a feeble hand trying to pull itself from the crater but I'm shaking my head and saying, doubtful. I seriously doubt it.

I will say that Alien vs. Predator; partially cool partially goofy; fun. I'll give it that.
May 18, 2017 9:04 PM
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Posts: 29774
Aliens
Alien

Alien 3
AVP: Alien vs Predator
Prometheus

Aliens v Predator: Requiem
Alien Resurrection
May 18, 2017 10:45 PM
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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 9664
Alien
Aliens
Prometheus
Alien 3 (AC)

Resurrection
May 19, 2017 10:11 PM
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3798
Alien
Aliens
Alien 3
Prometheus

Alien Resurrection




AVP tripe. Requiem has next to no redeemable quality to it. At least the original had a slight tongue-in-cheek performance by Lance, and some decent practical set designs that were professionally displayed by the lighting technicians. I could at least see what was happening. I do thank AVP:R for one thing only, and that's its ability to turn out some amazing reviews of it (including a memorable one from our resident Bad Lieutenant).
May 19, 2017 10:54 PM
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Posts: 11560
Aliens and then Alien.

The other films have no reason to exist.
May 20, 2017 2:04 AM
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