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Entries in Aliens (37)

Thursday
May252017

Tweetweek: Alien Riffs, Huppert Meme, and Cannes Mania

Tweet of the Week...

Get it? Oh reader, I LOL'ed and LOL'ed. Cannes fun follows after the jump but first some non-Cannes thoughts and amusements featuring Twin Peaks, Rooney Mara, Reservoir Dogs and more... 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May242017

Beauty vs Beast: All About Ellen

Jason from MNPP here with this week's All Sigourney edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- everything should always be All Sigourney, don't you think? Most especially Alien movies. I can't tell you how much I missed the grounding presence of Ellen Ripley this past weekend, whiplashing around Ridley Scott's scattered Covenant. If only we were getting Neill Blomkamp's proposed sequel, I kept thinking. An Alien without a Ripley is a body without a heart or a brain - an exo-skeleton full of acid.

So that's where I stand on Covenant. And even if they're more positive than I am most (if not all?) reviews continue to point to the first two films as the franchise's high-water mark. But instead of facing Ripley off with Giger's literal Beast I thought it would be more interesting to do a variation on the eternal "Alien or Aliens" question, and face off Scott's Ripley against James Cameron's Ripley, as the low-key smartypants of the first movie is in many ways quite a different beast altogether from the ass-kicking maternal Cassandra of the second. Which Ripley's your jam, and why?

PREVIOUSLY We tackled Alfred Hitchcock's personal fave Shadow of a Doubt (1943) last week for Joseph Cotten's birthday and it was Cotten's Uncle Charlie who triumphed over his niece Charlie (Teresa Wright), although it was close (as it ought to be with such doubling going on). Said Dancin' Dan:

"This is impossible, pitting one of my favorite Hitchcock heroines against one of my favorite Hitchcock villains. But I'm going to give an EVER SO SLIGHT edge to Young Charlie, for the sole reason that, as much amazing work as Cotten does in the role, Hitch helps him with Uncle Charlie's creepiness much more than he helps Wright (never better) in building Young Charlie's character."

Monday
May222017

25th Anniversary: Alien 3 - the theatrical cut vs. the assembly cut

Tim here. With Alien: Covenant opening to #1 over the weekend, it's fortuitous timing that today marks the 25th anniversary of Alien3.  The 1992 sci-fi thriller is probably best-known today for two reasons: introducing music video director David Fincher to the world of theatrical features, and knocking all the shine off of the Alien franchise for the first time (and alas! not the last).

 Underperforming at the box office, and outright flopping with critics, Alien³ has never since recovered its reputation; if time has been kind to it, it's only because at least we can now say, "well, at least it's not as bad as Alien: Resurrection"...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May212017

Review: "Alien: Covenant"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

If the famed director Ridley Scott were in art school, his professor would be yanking the paintbrush out of his hand — “it’s perfect, stop adding brush strokes!” His wife probably has to pull spices from his hands as he cooks. If you’ve been playing along with this Hollywood giant’s career you know that he can never leave well enough alone. I’ve lost count of how many “versions” there now are of his early sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner (1982) and, after years of threats, that film will have a sequel this October, Blade Runner 2049, though Scott opted to pass the directorial reigns over to Denis Villeneuve (Arrival).

Having exhausted returning to that particular sci-fi well, Ridley has moved back even earlier in his career to the film that made him famous, Alien (1979). He’s now directed two prequels to it (Prometheus and now Alien: Covenant) and more films are promised. (Perhaps the controversial ending of 1991’s Thelma & Louise is the only thing that’s kept that film, the third member of his holy trinity of masterworks, free of his tinkering!).

So how’s the new film?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May182017

"Get Away from Her, You Bitch!": Revisiting the Alien Saga 

By Spencer Coile 

The tagline for the first Alien film, short and deeply frightening, reads "In space no one can hear you scream." Written in tiny font, it is placed on the poster for Ridley Scott's first venture into the Alien-universe beneath what we soon learn is the egg from which the menacing title creature is born. The image is simple but punchy, rather like the power and artistry emerging from Alien, in very much the same way the monsters pop out of humans' chests. On paper, the series is simple. But only on paper. Revisiting the world of Ellen Ripley and co. as a lead-up to the release of Alien: Covenant this weekend, one thought kept running through my mind: these films are disurbing, because they get at the root of what it means to be a human, to be a monster, and to make sacrifices that benefit oursevles, but also the greater good. What may have started out as a cut-and-paste psychological horror from 1979 soon became a story that is deeply compelling and worthy of examination.

So let's put on our space helmets, grab our flame-throwers, and start exploring the storytelling of the Alien saga...  

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar272017

When "Life" Goes Wrong...

by Nathaniel R

Stop me if you've heard this one before: a group of scientists are tasked with bringing samples of life back from outer space. Soon they are trapped in a nightmarish monster movie, as the alien life force picks them off one by one.

Life, the latest monster movie set in space, does a lot of things right despite its familiarity. Let's give credit where it's due. It hired capable involving actors in all the underwritten roles including Jake Gyllenhaal who we'll follow anywhere, even into deep space for a Alien ripoff. It's very handsomely lensed by prestigious cinematographer Seamus McGarvey. The direction by Daniel Espinosa (Child 44, Safe House) makes repeated smart use of the zero gravity setting, with well staged setpieces and even some unexpectedly beautiful compositions; the earliest casualty among the crew prompts the movie's eeriest morbidly pretty image. Apart from one confusing action sequence near the climax, the filmmakers seem to have a complete handle on the material.

So why then, is it unsatisfying? 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb282017

Bill Paxton (1955-2017)

By Nathaniel R

In all the hoopla and festivities surrounding Oscar night, we neglected to note the passing of an actor who has a real pop culture fixture since the 1980s. Bill Paxton died of complications in surgery the day before the Oscars. He was currently leading the TV adaptation of Training Day in the former Denzel Washington role (they had reversed the race dynamics of the leads for the series). CBS says the role will not be recast though they have not yet announced if there will be a second season.

Paxton's first credited feature role was as "Soldier" in the comedy Stripes (1981) but most people first noticed him in the mid 80s in the films of James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar302016

Links: The Beguiled, Real O'Neals, Celebrity Politics, and More

Let's try to cover everything we haven't mentioned lately (whew). The biggest and most obvious is that Sofia Coppola, whose plans to follow up Bling Ring with a live action Little Mermaid are no more, is now supposedly working on a remake of the Clint Eastwood romantic drama The Beguiled (1971). The film will star two darlings of TFE Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst. Plus Elle Fanning so Coppola already sold all the tickets to our crowd. The Clint role is as yet uncast.  They're said to be looking for a 'Chris Pratt' type but what this surely calls for is a watch of the original film to familiarize ourselves.

Let's do it together shall we? It's available on Amazon and iTunes so let's all watch it by April 8th or so and we'll discuss. Deal? 

Other News
Playbill Julie Andrews will direct a 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady this fall at the Sydney Opera House. Tell us how it is Aussie readers!
Tracking Board Julia Roberts lines up another thriller Fool Me Once. Can she step off the thriller train please. She's always screaming. How about a romantic comedy revival?
• Coming Soon Naomi Watts joining Brie Larson in Destin Cretton's (Short Term 12) Glass Castle.  

Coming Soon Kristen Wiig replaces Reese Witherspoon in Alexander Payne's next satire Downsizing
Guardian Woody Allen's Cafe Society will open Cannes this year but what other premieres might we see there? 
Comics Alliance First i'm hearing this but apparently April 26th is "Aliens day" and a bunch companies are going to be selling Aliens stuff, including Reebook who will be releasing replicas of Sigourney's hideous red white and black velcroed shoes from that 1986 classic
Broadway Blog Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men getting the live TV treatment in early 2017 -- it's not just for musicals anymore
/Film Channing Tatum's Gambit delayed yet again. Hopefully he'll realize soon he doesn't need to do it at all. I mean it'd be nice if ANYONE other than Leonardo DiCaprio stayed away from the superhero genre. Just for you know some variety in our top male stars
BBC Hans Zimmer officially retiring from scoring superhero pictures after Batman v Superman 
• Cinematic Corner Speaking of. If you're not done hating on that movie read Sati's righteous fury about it. She points out something I didn't notice: Zach Snyder can't even do cameos right. He uses THREE of his Watchmen actors (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino) and I didn't realize that any of them were involved! 

i couldn't find a good video of this gay date scene but its adorbs

Recommended Reads 
• Towleroad an interview with Noah Galvin, the talented funny star of The Real O'Neals. Try this show if you haven't. It's a delight.
MNPP Which is Hotter: Ed Skrein or Ed Skrein
Mike's Movie Projector shares an excerpt from an old Joan Fontaine autobiography
Film School Rejects on Superheroes needing a dash of silliness even in their "dark" outings 
• Interview talks to Sophie Okonedo about Broadway's revival of The Crucible. She plays Goody Proctor
MNPP loved seeing Benjamin Walker in tighty whities for over an hour as Patrick Bateman in the Broadway musical version of  American Psycho and since Jason hates musicals that is more than enough recommendation for me who loves them. I hadn't yet realized that 

Can This Election Be Over Instead of 8 Months Away?
Boy Culture agree with Matthew in this piece on Susan Sarandon's recent irresponsible political comments. I'm so ready for this election to be over and it's still 8 months away!
Towleroad and icymi the genius Tony Kushner was a guest on MSNBC and discussed how baffling Sarandon has been about this (They're both heroes of my youth. I don't like it when mommy & daddy fight!)
The New Yorker suggests that maybe Superman is Republicans and Batman is Democrats and now I just want to die rather than think about Batman v Superman for a second longer. DEATH TO INTERNET THINK PIECES ABOUT SUPERHERO MOVIES! (I'm suddenly dreading Captain America: Civil War and dreading a Captain America movie is not something I feel comfortable doing... at all. In other words: stop it internet!)