Tag Archives: classic sci-fi movie

Oldies but goldies: Aliens (1986, extended version)

Director: James Cameron, Main Cast: Sigourney WeaverMichael BiehnCarrie HennLance HenriksenBill Paxton;

aliens

The extended version of this film is what Cameron really envisioned  for his chapter of Ripley’s story, in other words it is a director’s cut (duh!). We discover more details about her personal history and understand better her behaviour as events unfold. The story picks up where the first movie ended (see my review of Alien here) or at least in Ripley’s time frame. In real time 57 years have passed and there are terraforming engineers on the planet where the Nostromo’s crew landed and caught a bug (pun intended!). Anyway everything was going splendidly for those hundreds of families until the Company sent them looking for something unspecified, after Ripley’s debrief and dismissal. Lost contact with the colony, the Company is sending the big guns: colonial marines. They want also Ripley to go along as a consultant and she is kind of ambivalent (no kidding!), suffering from PTSD as a result of her previous close encounter. This time the damn cat stays at home though, less casualties this way (yeah, if only!), good thinking Ripley! So we are back to chasing monsters (plural this time, as the film’s title suggests) in dark corridors but with more appropriate weapons and training, as it turns out: it is not enough. Panic-inducing close-ups of closing sliding doors, flashlights in the dark and the good, old, anxiogenic motion detector are swell companions of a well-paced story, effective action scenes and a pretty great characterisation. The body count is still off the chart but, hey, with the cat around it would have been far worse. Bonus: anything that comes out of Hudson’s mouth (Bill Paxton) is gold and Michael Biehn’s character doesn’t die. Just brilliant —8.5/10

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In case you like spoofs, parodies or plain logic, this is quite fun:

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Oldies but goldies: Alien (1979, director’s cut)

Director: Ridley Scott, Main Cast:  Sigourney WeaverTom SkerrittJohn HurtIan Holm;

alien

This film is a classic for both sci-fi and horror genres and it stands the test of time splendidly! The director’s cut includes additional footage that gives more insights about some characters and the creature. The lighting, the claustrophobic yet desolate shots, the futuristic design that now seems almost quaint, the little details: from the cigarette’s smoke to eating cereals to workers’ rights, we know it all and saw it a million times but it all appears in this film for the first time and made it a classic. On its way back from a routine trip a freight spaceship intercepts a distress signal from an unknown planet, the crew is awakened and sent to investigate: they will find something unexpected and terribly dangerous that will pick them off one by one! The motion detector is as efficient as John Williams’ two notes in Jaws in being anxiogenic and panic-inducing. One lesson learned from this movie: if there’s a big, human-eating monster up and about don’t go looking for the cat, he will be fine,  it’s your safety you should worry about! Amazing —9/10

 

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Oldies but goldies: Jurassic Park (1993)

Director: Steven Spielberg, Main Cast: Sam NeillLaura DernJeff GoldblumRichard AttenboroughSamuel L. Jackson;

jurassic-park

A classic sci-fi movie that withstand the test of time. Spielberg nicely mixes adventure, suspense, humor and pretty amazing special effects. Even after many viewings I still get the chills when the water in the glass starts to tremble, he has this knack for announcing when something bad is coming that’s unique, as we have learned since we heard  Jaws’ theme the first time. As usual a dreamer creates something that’s not supposed to be…like living dinosaurs…and then the shit hits the fan because of greed (naturally!) and scientists…guess what?…screw up! The cast doesn’t drop the ball and the film is a great ride. —8/10

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