Sunday, November 8, 2009

Movie Review: Alien Quadrilogy

I bought this box set after watching a program on AMC or TCM or somesuch called DVDTV, where they play snippets of extras during the run of a feature film. They showed Alien, and during an interview, the producer or writer or director or someone (I am the best movie reviewer ever) says that when plotting Alien, he wondered what could be the most frightening thing for a man to experience? The answer: penetration. But not only that, but penetration from the inside out. So he wanted to have the alien first rape the man, thus impregnating him, then the baby alien exploding from his chest, reverse penetration-style. Effed up.

So everyone at this point has seen at least one of the Alien movies, yes? I think this is safe to assume. I am going to assume it so I don't have to lay out intricate plot details (these movies are all PLOT PLOT PLOT Sigourney Weaver PLOT PLOT) . Here is a brief synopsis of all the movies: some peeps trek out to the wild black yonder, discover aliens, aliens go on feeding/killing spree, the humans never learn, but Ripley (Weaver) lives to see another day (or her clone does, whichever).

I will admit right off the plate that  I have completely wiped Alien 3 from my memory. Universally acknowledged as the worst movie in the set. Universally acknowledged by my mature and credible sources on IMDB. Also, I have an inordinate amount of appreciation for Alien Resurrection because Joss Whedon, my personal Lord and Savior, penned the script. Let's start there and work backwards.

Ripley is reanimated as a superhuman clone like a bazillion times! Somehow, each time, she also has the alien fetus inside her chest. So the scientists are basically cloning her so they can experiment on the aliens (because humans never can leave well enough alone), and Ripley has gained some weird powers and connection to the aliens through this process. I forget why the team of misfit soldiers is there, but hey, there they are, as quirky as any team assembled by Joss Whedon. You can clearly see the makings of Firefly's gun-happy Jayne in Ron Pearlman's Johner:

Also, I think everytime there is a movie idea floating around with a supernaturally strong, weapons-toting lady (usually of the teen persuasion), Whedon sheepishly raises his hand: "Can...can I do it?"

Back to the plot! The scientists taunt the caged aliens, having seemingly overlooked the ability of said aliens to BLEED ACID, so one alien sacrifices itself to the other two, who then escape through the giant hole his acidic body has made for them. Team Misfit pursues. It's a like a scratch-off McDonald's contest: Many will enter, few will win. Winona Ryder plays a mousy android whom Ripley distrusts because of previous dastardly deeds done by one such droid in Aliens, but some weird scene where she cuts all up in her droid arm to get a door open or something causes them to fall in love get along. (Clearly, I do not re-screen these films for review. I do have some kind of life.) Later, Ripley discovers her tragic failed clones, and also that she is kind of the mother of an albino alien, who's all  like "...Mommy?" and they have a gross sentimental moment before she shoves him out an airlock. The world is safe again!

In Aliens, Paul Reiser annoys us for the first ten minutes but luckily it's all a dream! Ripley heads back into space, and they land on a planet overrun by the aliens! A little girl has somehow survived (how this did not turn into an "actually I am an eggsack for the aliens and now I betray you all" moment, I will never understand), to whom Ripley becomes maternally attached. A bad, bad android man who bleeds milk doesn't want Ripley to kill the aliens because the humans on Earth want to study them (maybe?). They fight using those machines from Xenogears, and Ripley wins. The world is safe again!

In Alien, a group of spacemen discovers the aliens and one of their troop is face-hugged by a spore and after a couple days in his belly the alien infamously explodes from his chest cavity! Now everyone is stalking this mean-ass bitch alien, as this mean-ass bitch alien stalks everyone else. The kitten survives! Ripley makes it back to Earth in nightmare-free cryo-sleep. The world is safe again!

There are too many extras on the box set for anyone who has anything else to do (such as eat food, take showers, or sleep) to ever get through them, but they all sound very interesting! Documentaries and interviews and Director's Cuts, oh my!

This review counts as three reviews, but I shall still return tomorrow. And also, I am considering changed "review" to "overview," which seems more accurate.

Tomorrow: Battle Royale

1 comment:

  1. I laughed major. Even if I didn't inter-stalk you obsessively before, I'm going to now