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PERFECT ORGANISM: Nordling Goes To The Mat For ALIEN3!


Nordling here.

ALIENis much maligned, and unfairly so.  Yes, David Fincher rather ruthlessly kills off fan favorites Hicks, Bishop and Newt.  Yes, it's a slower paced movie than James Cameron's film.  The two and a half hour long workprint is even slower than Ridley Scott's original movie.  But ALIENdeals with weighty subjects such as faith, mortality, religion, and trust.  It's not a great movie, but it is a very good one.

Does it have problems?  Absolutely.  David Fincher was obviously a work-for-hire, and you can see the vague shapes of the filmmaker he was to become, but ALIENis very much a producer's project as opposed to the director's.  I'm not going to get into the many iterations that this film took, from William Gibson's work, to Vincent Ward's wooden planet, to what finally wound up on screen.  The documentary on the making of the film in the ALIEN ANTHOLOGY box set is excellent and goes into the entire movie's history, so if you're looking for more information you should see it.  Even though David Fincher has disavowed the movie and did not participate in the documentary, it is still worth your time.  I'd much rather go into what the movie is than what it could have been.

The preferred cut of ALIENis, in my opinion, the extended workprint instead of the theatrical release, even though it's slower.  Some may prefer the theatrical, but I think the character work in the extended cut is much better, and makes for a more resonant movie.  From the opening credits, ALIENhas a haunting, elegiac tone to it that makes it feel more akin to the first film than to ALIENS, and there's a sense of despair and sadness to it that isn't there in the other films, even at their most intense moments.  ALIENisn't playing around.  There are no "Game over!" moments of levity in ALIEN3, and the humor that does appear now and then is fleeting.  At the same time, this is a franchise movie, so it has to deliver some aspects of what the fans expect, but what David Fincher has made is as much of a middle finger to the producers as it is, in some ways, to the fans.

ALIEN3, in its deepest moments, is a film about abandonment.  More so than in the previous two films, Ripley is utterly alone.  Furthermore, she's stuck in a place full of men who loathe her for what she is and can barely respond to her as a human being.  Her shields are up and she can't trust anyone, especially the man that pulls her out of the wreckage of the escape vehicle, a company doctor named Clemens (Charles Dance).  She can't be sure of his motivations, especially where the alien is concerned - she's learned the hard way by now that Weyland-Yutani has absolutely no intentions of destroying the Xenomorph and she certainly can't trust this sad-eyed doctor at the "ass end of space" as the prison planet Fury 161 is called.  I think one of the reasons that people don’t love ALIEN3 like the first two movies is that it forces the audience to deal with these issues along with Ripley.  No one wants their life to have no meaning, and Ripley, for all the fight she has in her, is starting to figure out that all her efforts really have come to nothing.  It’s a pretty heavy place to go for a science fiction franchise.

Of course, there are the inmates - rapists and murderers to the last man - who, if they lapse in their newfound faith, would happily rape and murder her at the first opportunity.  Ripley is in a tough spot, no doubt.  And yet, these people have been abandoned too.  Fury 161 can't be anyone's idea of a dream assignment for the three company people still left - Clemens, Andrews the superintendent (Brian Glover), and Aaron (Ralph Brown), who the inmates mockingly call "85" because of his supposedly low IQ.  Although the prisoners have found religion through inmate Dillon's (Charles S. Dutton) speeches and prayers, all it takes for some of them is one bit of temptation for them to lapse back.  Unfortunately, Ripley's arrived to provide that temptation.

Then there is the Xenomorph.  In the opening credits, we see the egg (presumably laid there by the Queen before she was dispatched to the furthest reaches of space in ALIENS) hatch and its obscene flower burst forth and infect Ripley.  She's carrying a Queen alien, and if it gets loose, the game, for Earth, truly is over.  Supposedly the facehugger dies once it lays its egg, but this is one carrying the Queen.  Those facehuggers carry two embryos - the Queen's, and a protector alien who guards the host until he or she gives birth. (That's supposition on my part, yes.  Because the movie doesn't specify, and because in the past we've seen the facehuggers die after implantation, and we only see one egg aboard the Sulaco, I'm assuming as much.)

Add all that together, and we get a very different movie than ALIEN or ALIENS.  ALIENisn't the feel-good movie that ALIENS turned out to be, and it's not full of the mysterious horrors of the first film, so ALIENbecomes a contemplative, quiet movie about human issues and conflicts.  It's a smaller movie than the first two and feels it, and many fans of the franchise didn't care for that shift from the epic to the intimate.  It's even more intimate than the first film - there's very little variation in the set design, for example, so we aren't treated to the amazing set work that H. R. Giger did in ALIEN.  We don't even get any new variations on the Xenomorph, really, except in that we can see that it seems to take on the attributes of its host.  But this is a minor change in comparison to the Queen from ALIENS.  Plus, David Fincher gleefully kills of Newt and Hicks in the first 5 minutes of the movie, outraging fans of ALIENS and even, supposedly, James Cameron himself.  But for the character of Ripley, and for ALIEN3, their deaths are essential - there can be nothing that Ripley can hold onto to fight for, except herself.  Because of the movie's refusal to "go bigger" and up the scale from ALIENS, all of this makes ALIENa difficult film to embrace.

But Sigourney Weaver's performance in ALIENis extraordinary, and in some ways tops her work in ALIENS (for which she was nominated for an Oscar).  This weak, frightened Ripley is the antithesis to the strong, brave woman she became in ALIENS - there is little of the rifle-touting "Rambolina" Ripley left, and that was intentional, both on Weaver and Fincher's parts.  Tonally, that's a problem, especially with fan expectations who certainly did not expect this weepy, sickly woman from the action heroine that she was.  But Ripley is strong in other ways - her convictions haven't changed, and she knows what it means if the Queen gets back to Earth.  Her sacrifice is all the more meaningful because she is as alone as she is - with nothing back on Earth (except for a poor cat in her apartment - what's that about?  I only hope she left Jones with neighbors or something), no allies or friends, she still selflessly makes the choice that she does.

I also think Charles Dance's Clemens is one of the most intriguing characters that we've seen in the franchise so far.  Other than ALIEN with its "truck drivers in space" we hadn't seen much of the people that mortar the bricks in this particular universe - they've all been marines, corporate suits, robots, or Ripley herself.  Clemens is a sad, quiet doctor who made a dreadful mistake and punished himself because of it.  Dance is terrific in ALIEN3 - he puts a lot in the quiet moments of his character, and we feel his loss profoundly when the alien kills him.  Due to her own experiences Ripley simply cannot trust him completely with what she's gone through, and by the time she decides to do just that, it's too late.

Charles S. Dutton's Dillon is another interesting addition - a self-admitted "murderer and rapist of women", he's found a purpose on Fury 161, and Dutton plays him with conviction and even a little empathy.  He can't even bring himself to kill Ripley when she asks him to - Ripley just assumes that he can kill at the drop of a hat, and it's a nice little twist on those prejudices.  But Dillon has found honor in the last place in the universe that one would expect to find such things, and while Dutton is prone to get a little preachy and repetitive at times he plays the character well.

Unfortunately, the rest of the inmates are cannon fodder and we don't get much into their backstories.  They are simply meat for the alien, to be killed for the alien's (and our) pleasure.  Gone are the days of ALIEN where we became invested in every crewmember, and even in ALIENS, although those characters were mere templates and not really given flesh and bone like in the first film.  Even Bishop's return feels a little perfunctory, although I think the set-up for the human Bishop at the end is worth it.  I wish that Weyland-Yutani’s ambitions for the alien at the end of the movie would have been more ambiguous, making Ripley’s sacrifice seem more tragic, but that’s a minor nitpick.

As far as David Fincher’s career goes, ALIEN3 hardly seems like it was made by the same man.  There’s no classic, definitive Fincher moment in ALIEN3.  Even the special effects are wonky, especially in the extended cut where it was obviously rushed for home release.  On a technical level and considering his subsequent work, I can see why Fincher would want to have nothing to do with this movie.  And yet, there is a real sense of empathy in ALIEN3, and that shows itself in Fincher’s other movies.  If there’s one unifying strand between ALIEN3 and Fincher’s other work, it’s that.  Well, that, and the bleak nature of the movie, which Fincher specialized in for a long time.  I’m also glad that he took the “less is more” approach to the alien, and although the work of Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. is still a bit too wet for my taste, I love how the alien moves, inspired from the attributes of its host, and that we still can’t see it very clearly.

I prefer the extended cut for a lot of reasons - I like the addition of the cow-alien instead of the dog, and Golic's (Paul McGann) subplot expands on the story more with the trapping of the alien - but mostly it's because of the little moments with these characters.  The theatrical cut rushes through and excises some pretty essential plot moments.  But the drawback is that the ALIENworkprint is much longer and feels it.  Pacing is a problem, especially since this is an ALIEN movie after all, and character moments have to take a backseat to the action and horror, but it’s still worth the extra breathing room.  I have no idea whether it's David Fincher's preferred cut of the movie, but the character motivations are clearer and the film feels much sadder and final to me in the extended edit.

And make no mistake - ALIENfeels like the end.  That is what may have upset fans most of all, who would have rather seen more action a la ALIENS or the horror of ALIEN.  There is very little fun in ALIEN3 to be had.  But I think that the themes and messages of the film have value and that because it genuinely tries to be different from what has come before it is an essential addition to the franchise.  These ideas of abandonment, of hopelessness, make ALIEN3 much darker in tone than even the first two movies.  The film basically takes the audience to a deep place and leaves them there.  We are not given any kind of catharsis at the end of ALIEN3 – Ripley may have saved the universe from the alien threat, but things will go on much as they always have; Weyland-Yutani isn’t going anywhere, and perhaps someday they will find their bioweapon.  Everyone Ripley has ever known and loved is dead.  The people of Earth will never know about her sacrifice.  And yet, all of that makes Ripley more heroic, not less, and more so, in my opinion, than in ALIENS.  It’s not an easy heroism, like shooting the bad guys.  It’s more ephemeral, and not as easy to put on a poster. 

ALIEN3 isn’t a casual addition to the ALIEN series, and through all the tumult of its making it seems a miracle that we got a coherent movie out of it.  But what the film adds to the franchise, to me, are essential – questions of fate and faith, of sacrifice and death, and is a worthy film on those merits.  It’s easy to love ALIEN or ALIENS.  ALIEN3 wants you to work at it, but it rewards those willing to do so with an emotional richness and complexity deserving of the franchise.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • June 10, 2012, 8:27 p.m. CST


    by Preditor74


  • June 10, 2012, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Twat evers

    by PapaDaddy

  • June 10, 2012, 8:30 p.m. CST

    I tend not to remember much about the movies I don't like.

    by SnootyBoots

    I remember next to nothing about ALIEN 3.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:31 p.m. CST


    by nobunaga209

    Rock ruled in Alien3...that is all!

  • June 10, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST


    by Gap Toothed TV Boy

    I truly believe that the extended edit ranks right up there with the first two movies and is definitely better than "Prometheus". It's not necessarily a fun night out at the movies, but it leaves you with a lot to think about and it is extremely well made.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Nording is wrong it sucks.

    by zol

    Fincher didn't kill anyone off, the producers did. Fincher likes the movie less than the rest of us...

  • June 10, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST


    by Hernando

    I liked this movie as well, and even though i've never seen the extended cut, The wooden planet idea sounds awesome...

  • June 10, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Doh... Internet Explorer, you Lied to me!

    by Hernando

  • June 10, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by David Bolton

    "Those facehuggers carry two embryos - the Queen's, and a protector alien who guards the host until he or she gives birth. (That's supposition on my part, yes. Because the movie doesn't specify, and because in the past we've seen the facehuggers die after implantation, and we only see one egg aboard the Sulaco, I'm assuming as much.)" If this is a supposition on your part—why are you including it? You don't know whether or not this is actually true in the context of the film.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:35 p.m. CST

    by sanjuro78

    Elliot Goldenthal's score is fantastic! Plus you can clearly see signs of Fincher in the visual style and precise compositions.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    "Zebras? Oh, right."

    by Paul Denton

    I was emotionally devastated by it in 1992, but I agree with almost all of this retrospective, save for the preference of the extended version. It's a good film.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    My absolute favorite of the series

    by StarWarsRedux

    Though I do prefer the theatrical cut for the finished feel it has. An ideal cut would probably blend the two-- the better effects work of the theatrical (this is especially evident in big emotional moments like Ripley's sacrifice, which is kinda anticlimactic in the workprint) and some of the smaller character moments-- without putting too much drag on the pace. But flawed as it is, I love this movie immeasurably.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    I saw Alien 3 once in the theater and that was it.

    by Ditko

    It´s a piece of crap. Much like the Prequels, I´m hoping I might someday forget they exist.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:39 p.m. CST

    It was OK...

    by Codename V

    But after Aliens, I was expecting something even bigger and better. I was young and stupid at the time so I had no idea Cameron didn't return. I thought killing off the previous characters was stupid and it kind of shut me off for a while. When Ripley sacrifices herself, I was like, "huh. End of franchise... what a stupid move..." And then Alien 4... ugh.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:41 p.m. CST

    All versions of this film are bad

    by Setthera

    Special Edition adds a half hour of crap to an already terrible film.The CGI alien is great comic relief though.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Excellent review - Good movie

    by BackwardGalaxy

    This movie gets crapped on, but it's really quite good. Not great, but good.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:46 p.m. CST

    This column

    by LowDevil

    is word for word with how i feel about this very very good film. Unfortunately i cant write like you can. Great job.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Bah! With "Prometheus," we now have the perfect "Alien" trilogy.

    by Daytripper69

    Prometheus, Alien, and Aliens. There are no "other films."

  • June 10, 2012, 8:46 p.m. CST

    I still don't understand the new Bishop at the end..

    by darthwaz1

    was he real or an android? the way his ear was hanging off he seemed quite fake.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:51 p.m. CST


    by Nordling

    He says at the end of the extended cut, "I'm not a droid!" He's also bleeding red blood.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:52 p.m. CST

    nice one Nord!

    by ltgalloway

    I agree that this film, though flawed, does have some great aspects and it doesn't deserve the hate it regularly receives. Thanks!

  • June 10, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Nordling, I remember that..

    by darthwaz1

    But the way his ear is hanging is very unnatural-looking, could be shoddy effects, but also, a metal wrench to the head would leave a human dead or in with a severe brain injury, he wouldn't be right back up and talking..

  • June 10, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST

    I hate this movie

    by HamburgerEarmuffs

    Not only for crapping on previous movies but that it essentially ruined any future installments of the series.

  • June 10, 2012, 8:57 p.m. CST

    good review. yup a movie i hate to like

    by soloaj

    Wish they had gone epic and had the earth war movie we all wanted but that was not to be. Have to admit. I defended the movie when I came out and criticised the same items listed above. Will have to take another look now that I have bluray. Enjoyed the movie for being dark & closing out the Franchise is a sad but heroic style

  • June 10, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    It was poop!

    by Dr. Chim Richalds

    I saw this in a theater when I was just a kid, and I haven't seen it since. I remember virtually nothing about it, other than my colossal disappointment and the fact that it was not scary in the slightest.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    great read, don't understand the hate at all

    by regan

    the extended cut I thought was great. everything seems to fall into place when it was over. I do understand after watching it the problems people found in the original. but if you have a slight interest in 3 go watch the extended.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Lord Tywin was Ripley's best friend until....

    by corporategohan616

    The Xenomorph went to play surgeon on him in the med bay scene

  • June 10, 2012, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Has Fincher ever commented publicly about Alien 3?

    by Bramton1


  • Very bleak and dark movie but way more passion and much better than Prometheus.

  • This film I thought went after the feel of the first...when it's new audience clamored for the second..Just a really idiotic choice...Almost spiteful towards the crowd that wanted that rollercoaster ride again...And why not try to give them that?..Cameron showed how it could be pulled off...Maybe they were scared of having another Spielberg or Lucas on their hands..So they had to undermine Cameron's influence...hollywood execs are more concerned about managing the egos of their talent, than they are about the product they manufacture...

  • June 10, 2012, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Oh Jesus Christ. Alien³ is a disaster.

    by Brian Hopper

    The fact it has some good things about it (such as Sigourney Weaver) doesn't change how ill-conceived the whole thing is. Not a good movie. And a really unpleasant one to sit through as well.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST


    by rahtard

  • June 10, 2012, 9:16 p.m. CST

    This movie is dead to me

    by Cdiesel77

    I remember seeing this as a kid being pissed off how Newt and Hicks just randomly killed off and Ripley going out like that after all the work she did to survive. First movie I literally was so disappointed and pissed off once the credits rolled. This movie does not exist to me.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Besides being a boring movie, the alien lacks motivation

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Being reduced to Jason in a rubber suit. It's not hungry (leaves corpses for dramic effect), it's not threatened (they're fat monks with no weapons), and it's dooming its species by killing all the potential hosts for no apparent reason. Worse, it allows Ripley with a bun in an oven to run around where she can fall into a molten lead vat rather than cocconing her up like an alien should. It's so bad. The 75 year older escape pod in Alien didn't try to crash on the nearest planet. Military spaceships taken down by a little electrical fire? No halon in the future? Spacetravel requiring realistic months of time? Nah, Human Bishop is there in Jack Bauer time. Prison Planet of reformed convicts that a money grubbing evil Corporation spends countless dollars to bring supplies just because... sure. A planet "covered in lice" no less. Everybody shaves their heads because of these lice... but they have a dog. Think about that. Well, they don't. "Hey, why did Fido yelp? Odd that we let him ride on the crane, but he's a lice covered dog nobody wants to pet so who cares.". Most disappointing movie ever made.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:21 p.m. CST

    I hate Alien3 more than any other film

    by OQuaTanginWann

    Alien is a great horror film. But Aliens is one of the greatest action experiences of all time, a notch or two below fucking Raiders. The list of video games it influenced is crazy. The dialog is unforgettable. Plus it had great characters people cared about. And Alien3 wiped them all out. Much like the Matrix sequels and Spider-Man 3, I try to pretend it does not exist.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Can't forgive what was done to Aliens by Alien3

    by Behemoth

    There is some great stuff in this film, there is no doubt. I was drawn in by the dismal feel to the film, the oppressive setting. But damn, I still can't get over what was done to the Newt character and the Michael Bien character. To choose to make Alien3 the way he wanted was fine. But the fact that he also gave a huge middle finger up the tuckus to the best film of the franchise is just unforgivable. Don't fuck with someone else's film. Now, every time I watch Aliens, the film is practically ruined for me, knowing what ends up happening to these characters that fight so hard to save themselves and be saved. Fuck you, Fincher. Your stink has infested Aliens too, you asshat.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Aliens would've been a better movie if:

    by Hive Mind

    it wasn't an Alien movie. Queen Alien? Horseshit. And man did those fuckers die easy. Aliens took everything about the xenomorph as the perfect organism and fucked it all up by introducing a queen and hive mentality to them. Aliens, as an Alien film, is bullshit to me.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    One of the secrets of the first Alien

    by Brian Hopper

    is that, in spite of its haunting tone filled with existential dread, it has a curiously uplifting feeling. I think this is mostly because of Ripley... just one of the great protagonists in film history. A fighter. A survivor. You get with her. That's one of the reasons Alien³ is such a disaster. It IS elegiac and terminally sad. And why? To me, it's just Fincher inflicting himself on the material. The film is essentially like watching someone you care about die over a period of two+ hours. That is NOT the tone of Alien, and certainly not the tone of Aliens (one of the greatest action films ever made). As Nordling says, Alien³ has 'a sense of despair and sadness to it that isn't there in the other films.' Yup. And it's one of the reasons Alien³ lays such a huge turd as a movie. Really, it's among the most unpleasant and unwelcome major studio films ever made. And it's not that well made anyway.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Alien3 sucked as soon as they killed Newt & Hicks!

    by Drunken Busboy

    Hell at least they could have put Bishop back together again if they were going to kill two beloved characters at the beginning and THE MAIN character at the end! Yes! Yes! I know! I know! It's art! It's the director's vision. But shit it's one of the main franchises of a major studio. There are some audience expectations. I have more respect for Alien Resurrection than I do for this movie! The Dark Horse comics told a better follow up than this did! Now you've done it! I'm now getting more & more pissed off as I write this just thinking about how one of my favorite movie franchises went totally off the tracks and never fully recovered (Prometheus not withstanding.). My God Damn Your Souls To All Who Was Involved In ALIEN3!

  • June 10, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    This is better than the Chud series

    by fuzzy_dunlop

    Just sayin'

  • June 10, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Nordling, that bit about facehuggers carrying 2 embryos..

    by Aidil_Afham

    I disagree about that theory. I think they can change the "sex" of the species very much like some frog species on earth, when a pond is dominated fully by males, some will turn into females to accommodate the imbalance and let the males fuck em to reproduce. I think Jurassic Park explained it perfectly. So my theory is, a change in environment or new colony would naturally spawn a Queen. Oh and I like Alien3, love the art style, especially the suites up company men at the end, very Moebius. And tou didn't mention that only survivor of the colony, the crazy dude which was my 2nd fav character in the film :)

  • June 10, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Any truth to the rumor that Hicks/Newt

    by Georgepeppard

    were killed by Giler/Hill only because they were Cameron's characters and they hated Cameron? I've tried to go along with the idea that this movie is dark and thoughtful but it's just mopey 90s poser bullshit. It's the Stone Temple Pilots of Alien.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Loved Alien3

    by Shaun1138

    I loved Alien3 and agree with everything in this post. I loved the extended cut. I think Fincher was being tied down by the producers the whole time. The behind the scenes explains so much, and makes watching the film now so much more obvious to the choices made. I loved "Prometheus". It was an awesome prequel. I think it fits in nicely to the entire mythology. I wasn't a fan of Alien Resurrection because I always felt it was a money grab type of film.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:49 p.m. CST

    I always hated it and have never seen a reason not to

    by jiblets

    It was a wasted opportunity to bring something exciting and new to the franchise, and they made a bleak, depressing, low-tech, low-budget turd instead. I am still angry that this movie got made - it was a pointed stick, right in the eye of everyone who liked the first two and had been expecting something to exceed them. Fuck ever liking it.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Oh fuck please destroy this stupid article.

    by Henri Pouper

    Alien 3 was inner thigh cheese. After seeing it the first time at the cinema, I watched it again once or twice just to make sure it was really that bad. Hell yes, it was. Nordling is a tool for even considering to write this apologetic crap. What's ass is ass. Alien > Aliens > Prometheus, and Prometheus just barely makes the cut (thanks to Lindelof's largely bad plot -- movie is saved by the visuals, the creepy mood, and the two "money" sequences, i.e. the C-section and the collision and crash near the end). Everything else is either brainless junkfood (AvP) or just plain shit (3 and Resurrection).

  • June 10, 2012, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Might have been my first big disappointment ...

    by Toe Jam

    I remember anticipating this one for the better part of a year, and then having to beg my parents non-stop for several weeks to get me and my buddy into a showing. I remember being rather disappointed, like most everyone else. The behind-the-scenes stories that have emerged in the years since have made me a little kinder to it, but it's still pretty goddamn bland and definitely not near the quality of the first two. Of course, it's leagues better than that shitfest "Resurrection." I saw "Prometheus" yesterday in IMAX 3D and absolutely loved it. I think it, "Alien" and "Aliens" would have made for a brilliant trilogy.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Nordling Apologetics 101

    by seasider

    If a beloved screenwriter or director is involved in a crappy movie, just blame the producers or the studio.

  • You obviously dig this flick, and I respect that (as someone who deeply loves Stallone´s Dredd, my empathy skills have improved). But, come on, it deals with faith, mortality, religion and trust? I, particularly when deeply passionate about the subject at hand, am prone to embellishing my prose beyond reasonable boundaries as well but I think you went just too far. It deals with religion so far as we are presented with the guys praying, and it tackles mortality in as much a serious fashion as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen did. As part of the Alien franchise this movie fails as much as a film can possibly fail. I won´t even go into specifics because it´d take too long to go there. However, I gladly admit that, if viewed as a stand-alone sci-fi entry having to do fuck-all with Scott´s Alien and Cameron´s Aliens, I truly like this flick. I love to put it on when- and, really, this is by no means a put-down and mean it sincerely- I´m feeling kinda drowsy and on the verge of falling asleep. The experience is hallucinatory, relaxing as all fuck, and the leisurely pacing works wonders with that feeling, making it one of the greatest nap-inducing movies of all time for me (Extended Version). And I can also enjoy it wide awake, just not so much. Maybe not the endorsement many would hope for but completely sincere and grateful.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    The movie WAS NOT SCARY!

    by Screentext

    I saw this when I was 13. I had to sneak into a drive-in hidden inside a car. I was a scared kid waiting to get scared even more. Nothing. Not one scene made me jump. Not one kill scene was disturbing. Just an endless series of bald characters we don't know or care about at all being killed in been there/done that ways. Yeah there's a strong sense of mood in it, that's undeniable. The feeling of deep, almost philosophical hopelessness is haunting for sure... But that in no way even comes close to excusing making a sequel to alien and aliens that isn't scary. Put that hopelessness and beige color palette in a totally different movie. Cameron managed to more or less switch genres between sequels for god's sake and still made the two films feel consistent with one another. And most importantly both were scary and intense. Alien 3 has its charms, as outlined in the review above, but they should have been put towards a standalone story. This movie ruined the franchise and nothing can change that.

  • Although I definitely wish the damn trailers and marketing hadn't spoiled so damn much of it, it was fuckin' awesome. There were still a couple of surprises, the best being the abortion scene. HOLY FUCK BALLS THAT WAS AWESOME! I know some people thought it was fanboi bait, but I loved the ending. I came out of that thinking =What the fuck do people want from this movie?= As far as I'm concerned, it delivered BIG TIME!

  • June 10, 2012, 10:17 p.m. CST

    Alien3 is fucking Brilliant!

    by Turd Furgeson

    Fincher was trying to create ART working for a studio that wanted to create more formula... I love Alien3!!! Especially the directors cut...

  • June 10, 2012, 10:17 p.m. CST

    The problem was..

    by ShogunMaster

    Alien 3 was supposed to be when the aliens get to Earth and take over. Alien 4 was supposed to be when Ripley gets to earth to kick some ass and dealienate it. This was what we were promised when the rumours of Alien 3 were made. Then the producers spent a trillion dollars on rewrites because they though the above would be too expensive to film. And after spending the trillion scripts about wooden planets and various other inklings of stupidity, they didn't have enough for a real movie. And then they made Alien 3. Alien 3 is a disappointment because one can't help imagine what it should have been. And what it should have been would have been awesome rather than a snoozefest with shit special effects on a planet no one cared about, with prisoners no one cared about. Bishop coming was the only interesting part and they didn't even use that to any real effect. Bleh. Now I'm all pissed off again. Fuck you Alien 3!!

  • June 10, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST

    At least we got to see Newt naked.

    by HyphenatedWords

  • June 10, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Dead and cut open, but naked nonetheless.

    by HyphenatedWords

  • June 10, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    again, I say, oy vey

    by maxwell's hammer

    @ Shogunmaster - you kind of incapsulate what drives a lot of us crazy when dealing with fanboys. A lot of us really love Alien 3, and appreciate its more somber, considered tone. And it gets old when a really vocal fraction of thunkheads storm into the room and scream that they hated it cuz it needed more 'splosions and ass-kicking! I appreciate that some were disappointed becauae it wasn't the Alien movie they wanted, or that David Fincher disowns it because it wasn't really the movie he wanted to make, but Nordling's review is spot-on: in spite of its flaws, Alien 3 does a lot of things right, and for the kind of movie that it is, it is a very good one! Just because the movie wasn't about global infestation and Rambo Ripley, doesn't mean nobody cared about the characters and situations the movie presented to us instead. I found them more compelling and fully fleshed out than the Space Marines ever were.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Ah talkbackers - you never fail to be the stupidest humans alive.

    by Rex Carsalot

    "Ruined the franchise." Because you wanted a big shiny shoot 'em up "earth war"? That sounds fucking retarded. This movie is amazing, and I think Ripley was never more powerful than when she found herself in the most fucked up situation possible, and all of her efforts in Aliens come to naught, than in this movie. Yeah, it sucks on many levels - the prisoners are way too random and not very good actors - the set is dull - the alien is a bit...dodgy (if I'm being kind), but man, what a fucking ending to the series. If you don't like it, just pretend that Ripley got home after Aliens. Fucking children is what you are.

  • What an utter fucking failure.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Wrath_of_Fett - It delivered big time?!?!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    If you mean it delivered disappointment and stupidity...yeah.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    I'd watch Prometheus again before Alien 3

    by jimmy_009

    For all it's faults, Prometheus is still way more enjoyable and entertaining than Alien 3.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Think I'll go throw in my Blu copy an watch this right now...

    by Turd Furgeson

    For all the complaining we do about paint by the numbers sequels and remakes, this movie took a huge chance and tried something different. I applaud Fincher for that.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    They took a great big smelly shit on the audience.

    by Artemis Webb

  • June 10, 2012, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Why Nordling is right...

    by EleanorofAquitaine

    And also why so many fans hate it... The first two movies (which I love) were about visceral realism. This one is like a dark dream. That is why my favorite line in the movie is Ripley's: "It's a metaphor." There is a dark poetry (and I use the term advisedly) to this movie that you either instinctively embrace, or instinctively reject. The most appropriate cinematic comparison to what this movie is doing are the films of Val Lewton.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    buck up pligrim! space jesus is waiting for you!

    by JRKerr

    defend alien 3 or prometheus and you reveal only that you haven't seen many movies and/or that you graduated University of Wisconsin Madison and thrive on writing formalist praise fluff so you can get hurriedly back to watching football.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Jimmy_009 - I'd watch ALIEN 4 again before PROMETHEUS.

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    What do you think about that?! ;)

  • June 10, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Alien 3 is just awful. So of course it's praised here...

    by Jay

    It's now reached it's full circle. It has been hated for so long that it's now hip to praise it. Especially if you're a Fincher fan (Which most geeks are) And after seeing Prometheus for a second time last night with friends, Alien 3 just looks all that more shitty.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:43 p.m. CST

    I like it because it's a good movie. Not because it's "hip."

    by Rex Carsalot

  • Nordling is pretty spot on. I saw it before ALIEN or ALIENS when I was a kid, and it was a great intro to the universe. If seen as a standalone movie, without all the huge baggage and expectations of the first two classics, it's a damn good space soap opera.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    I couldn't give a shit...

    by jimmy_009

    The first hour alone of Prometheus tops anything in Alien 3 or 4. I'd just watch three hours of the Prometheus crew exploring in that fucking rocking ship. It's sure the hell better than wanting to shoot myself trying to sludge through depressing mess that is 3 or the comedic abortion that's 4.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST


    by 2soon2eat

    Weed is MSG for films. It makes every film look awesome. It's easy to see all these cool Easter eggs, and subtle intention when you are packing the car with a little Jane Foster before a film. And if you are kicking it at home, watching a Alien 3 Bluray with a bong at hand? Yeah, even Alien3 is a masterpiece.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Whatever Prometheus lacks in story cohesion...

    by jimmy_009 MORE than made up for in entertainment value. Alien 3 can't even be bothered to entertain it's audience.

  • ...unlike Prometheus where the crap Lindelof script just kept taking me out of Ridleys eye candy visuals.And yeah Clemens and Dillon are memorable in the me anyways.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:52 p.m. CST


    by 2soon2eat

    Look, I love to smoke weed a couple times a week, tops. But these guys smoke weed every film they see. They are high when they see the film, and they are high when they write the review. It's so obvious.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Bravo Mr. Nordling for doing these!

    by Chris

    I've always loved this series to an unhealthy degree, and, in the wake of the highly debatable, (but still great) Prometheus it was such a great idea to celebrate this franchise that sparked the inner geek in so many of us. I have to admit I have never checked back to AICN more than I did in the last week in anticipation for the next 'perfect organism' piece, I even went out and bought the 9 disc box set, which I can highly attribute to Mr. Nordling. Thanks for the great work, it's highly dug.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:54 p.m. CST

    the Alien in Alien 3

    by darthwaz1

    I like how since it's born from a dog/ox it's acting like an animal. This film made it more clear that the xenomorph takes on the characteristics of it's host. Not only running on all 4's like a dog, it doesn't even bother to cocoon the victims for it's new queen, it's brutally killing the prisoners like an animal would. It appears xenomorph's were not meant to be born of lower life forms. The one in Alien 3 is just a mindless killing machine.

  • Therefore the movie isn't unfairly maligned.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Prometheus Is Better Than ALIEN3

    by Mako

    Sorry Nordling. Alien3 was a huge step backwards. It went back to the first movie and gave us the same broken record. It killed Newt and Hicks and my theater "boooo'd" like I've never heard at a movie before. Fincher knows its crap. He did well for the movie he was forced to make. But at the end of the day... Alien3 was not a good movie.

  • June 10, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Fincher is overrated anyway.

    by Brian Hopper

    He fetishizes bleakness. Like most normal human beings, I have no interest in being subjected to hours of unpleasantness (which is the best way to describe most of his work). But putting aside my lack of interest in David Fincher's cold dead heart, I will grant that he has become a technically more proficient and not altogether bad director. That said, Alien³ is strictly amateur hour. It's a complete misfire on any number of levels. Among them: it seems not to know that it is the inheritor of genre and franchise expectations. Thus, it does not work as a horror film and it does not work as an action film and it does not work as a SF film. It's just an amorphous turd blob crapped out by a dead-hearted journeyman director who frankly had no clue what he was doing (and it shows). The mechanics of much of the film's direction fail on a basic level... no real point of view, no sense of pacing, no real concern for maintaining audience interest or empathy. And on and on. I'll say it again: one of most unpleasant and unwelcome major studio films ever made.

  • Where, the AICN Talkbacks? Yeah, I can relate. Alien 3 is fantastic. It ranks equally with the first two. And each of the three outshines the other two in different ways. Resurrection though...that's a stinking pile of crap.

  • filled with a depressing, operatic, theatrical, sense of drama and hell. And outside of the matte lines on the rod puppet, it was visually stunning. Oh wait, all the Richard Edlund optical effects sucked for some reason. Those exteriors with added debris flying by looked quite hacked together and unconvincing. I wonder what happened to make those little elements so bad?

  • June 10, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Alien 3 should have been about the Aliens attacking Earth

    by Twisted Wisdom

    That where the story was going. The company finally gets is specimen to Earth, and it breaks out. What would happen if one of those "things" actually did get down there? The Problem with Alien 3 is its an exercise of how much shit can we put Ripley through. She had already been through enough shit in Aliens, but Fincher decides to try and out do Ripleys angst in Aliens, and forsakes the natural progression of the series to do it. I've never watched any of the AVP movies and have resisted watching Alien 3 again. I prefer to imagine the real third Alien movie in my own mind than watch Alien 3.

  • June 10, 2012, 11:13 p.m. CST

    @twisted wisdom - we DID see Aliens attacking Earth..

    by darthwaz1

    In AVP 1&2...and was it so great? NOPE!

  • June 10, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST


    by vettebro

    I have to disagree. The movie blows. It couldn't be more boring or uninteresting. Prison planet? Who gives a flying fuck in the Alien universe. I loathed this movie. The worst in the series in my opinion. Resurrection was better and that was a steaming pile of shit too. Nothing but the truth here. The end.

  • ...oh and the Dark Horse AVP comic series should have been filmed instead of AVP/AVPR.

  • June 10, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST


    by the Green Gargantua

    cock = erect.

  • June 10, 2012, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Are Alien 3 fans old fat Emos?

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Oh, it's so bleak and dark. Like a My Chemical Romance song on film, but with a alien puppet running around and randomly changing sizes. And Ripley dies like a Terminator at the end with Bishop yelling "NOOOOOOOOOO!".

  • June 10, 2012, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Resurrection made it better

    by strykebr

    yea it had to follow up two iconic films so it was doomed, big Fincher fanboy though

  • June 10, 2012, 11:28 p.m. CST

    @darthwaz1 ...

    by AlexDK

    The Xeno in Alien 3 may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but by the end it managed to understand that it was being guided to a trap. Completely mindles, he wasn't.

  • There was absolutely no reason to make it. None. Nada. Zip.

  • Watching Alien 3 as a teenager was an education. I knew it was circling around brilliance but it didn't get there because something wasn't right. Years later, I find out what it was - an inept studio, some insane ideas (wooden planet), lack of cohesion re: mythology, a change of cinematographer, shoddy sound/visual effects, idiotic producers (I think Landau at one point said he wanted the alien-catching scene taken out because it took away from the 'mythic' nature of the beast...this after James Cameron spent nearly 3 hours blowing them away in Aliens), and a director too intent on putting his signature on the whole thing (baldness might work for a music video power shot, but it doesn't in complicated action setups...and the Newt autopsy scene apparently went way over the top in a rough cut). Funny thing is, you can see how easily it could've been a great film if all the ingredients had been mixed right in the first place. My verdict - a shake-your-head missed opportunity that's still watchable.

  • I want a PROMETHEUS director's cut/extended cut/special edition. I want 10 to 30 minutes more. If PROMETHEUS could breath a little more, the fire would be more intense.

  • June 10, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Nordling

    by WeLiveStill...OrNot

    Very nice piece. I like this film very much, but I understand why many don't. What I don't understand, and never will, is why so many of the talkbackers think that just because they dislike a film, that makes it a bad film. To each their own.

  • June 10, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST

    If they were going to kill Newt and Hicks...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Don't do it in the first minute of the flick. I don't really see it as art, I see it as being lazy. They didn't know what to do with them so they just returned Ripley to an isolated location. I think Alien 3 could have had all the elements it did but expand on the universe. Instead the film just feels cheap, not dark.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:06 a.m. CST

    I'll even go where no one else will go...

    by fzammetti

    ...I didn't think Aliens was ALL THAT. Yes, it was good... yes, second-best in the series... but it wasn't this supremely awesome movie people seem to want to believe it is. In fact, I remember a lot of bad stuff in it... some special effects were VERY bad (the APC driving after Ripley takes control, the drop ship taking off after they drop off the APC, just to name a few, looked like bad closeups of some poorly-built toys... no weight to the crashing dropship is another). There was also some pretty awful dialogue in spots... almost everyone Apone says is garbage (although I kind of excuse that only because he says it in such a cool way)... The scene with Gorman and Vasquez in the tunnel was just kind of silly (not the concept of what they did, but the execution). "Stay away from her you bitch", if you stop and think about it, is a pretty cheesy line. Look, Cameron made a decent enough movie. I enjoy it certainly. I'm not saying it was awful or anything ridiculous like that. All I am saying is that we should stop talking about it like it's the second coming of Christ or some's a decent movie, but with plenty of flaws, like every one in the series that came after Alien (because I challenge anyone to find more than a small handful of flaws in that movie!) As for Alien3, I for one agree with this review... it's a movie that's got PLENTY of flaws for sure, but it went in a totally different direction and I think it succeeded in what it set out to do: get very dark, grimy and highly depressing. I'd have to say it's third-best in the series because there's no way in hell I'd ever say it's worse than that abortion Resurrection. Now THAT is a total pile of dung for sure. If it wasn't for Wormtongue and Clay Morrow being cool as shit in everything they do there would be no redeeming qualities whatsoever to it.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Empathy shows itself in Fincher's other movies?? WHAT?

    by WWBD

    Calling Fincher an empathetic filmmaker is waaay offbase. In fact, I can't think of an A-list director who makes movies with LESS empathy than Fincher.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:18 a.m. CST

    BTW - it was Sigourney Weaver who killed Hicks and Newt

    by WWBD

    When she was shown the two-part (Walter Hill?) draft in which the first film almost solely focused on Hicks as the main character and she wasn't fully featured until movie 2 - she said UH-UH, this is my golden goose, I'm the star of this franchise. So she's to blame for the abortion that is Alien 3. And how's her career doing these days? Karma's a bitch.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Im not the only one?


    Seriously thought i was the only one who liked Alien 3. Good on ya Nordling.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:22 a.m. CST

    fucking hate this movie.

    by disfigurehead

  • June 11, 2012, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Saw it when it first released...

    by ApneicMonkey

    ... and have loved it ever since. Both the original theatrical version as well as the Extended Cut. I really liked the tone, characters (especially Charles Dance) and the subtle and simple addition to the alien mythos of the creature taking on traits of it's 'parent'.

  • "To choose to make Alien3 the way he wanted was fine. But the fact that he also gave a huge middle finger up the tuckus to the best film of the franchise is just unforgivable. Don't fuck with someone else's film. Now, every time I watch Aliens, the film is practically ruined for me, knowing what ends up happening to these characters that fight so hard to save themselves and be saved. Fuck you, Fincher. Your stink has infested Aliens too, you asshat. " Last I checked, Fincher had absolutely no input or writing credit on the final screenplay. How many times was Alien 3 written, and re-written again? Before he was even attached to it? Not to mention, if he hadn't directed it, someone else would have, and the results may have been dramatically worse. We took what he was given, and did his best with it. And yes, I very much enjoy Alien 3(particularly the workprint) as well. You want to point and bitch about the really shitty installments of the series, do it at Resurrection, or the bloody awful AvP "Films". There's much more to bitch about there.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:37 a.m. CST

    *He* took what he was given and did his best with it

    by Michael Miller

  • June 11, 2012, 12:38 a.m. CST

    green gargantua

    by Cool Ethan

    Of course. Who do you think created the engineers?

  • June 11, 2012, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Nordling I'm not going to lambast you.

    by OnO

    You're review hit it right on the mark for me. I liked Alien 3. Fuck you, you hateful bastards I did. It was Ripley and the Alien's end. There was no kindness and never was any in this universe that Fox built. If any showed... it was quickly and painfully extinguished. Alien 3 is the bastard child no one loves and it made no qualm about its fate for the protagonist and her antagonist. It was dire and ugly, a face full of rotted leaves marring your precious ending in your head's movie theater. It was goddamn work of art next to Alien 4, still it never received any recognition for at least trying to be a Alien movie , only the predisposition hate for it rattled on when that piece of shit from Jean-Pierre Jeunet hit the theaters. Alien, Aliens, and then what? A fucking ending is what. But like any good schuckster is apt to do, you demanded of them the Alien and Ripley's return and they didn't disappoint like dragging Bruce Lee out of his coffin and slapping some sun glasses on his dead awesome ass for the shot. You got Resurrection and it was awful in it's fedora under the rotting sunlight. So I like Alien 3 It was the end. The last ditch effort of the nineties to fill in the finale of a female heroes last act to save a world she didn't even know or could care less if she died failing. You might hate the movie, but the story of just Ripley had to come to an end and we all knew it wasn't going to be on some death bed while being infirmed. Goddamn I should be jumping up and down in joy because of Prometheus not having to defend Alien fucking 3.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Just came back from Prometheus

    by LowDevil

    Wow that was the most stunning visual exp i have ever had. Surpasses Avatar. So beautiful i have to see it again. Problem i had with it was that it gave me absolutely no answers, just more questions. It felt like even tho the story was linear, it was also all over the fucking place.What happened? How did all the experiments go wrong? I could ask 50 whys and thats the problem. I feel like i had just seen a full season of Lost. I loved the animation of the jockeys. Was Prometheus already built just waiting for scientists to discover a planet that may have life? Building a ship like that would have taken years. Did Weyland know?

  • June 11, 2012, 1:11 a.m. CST

    The old wound that is Alien3

    by opteryx

    I remember seeing it in the theatre when I was in grade 9. It was the first movie I had gone to see where I was waiting years to see it. I remember the 4 part comic book miniseries that got me hooked on Aliens, and reading an article saying how, "Ripley was back, fighting the military who was attempting to clone the alien for use as a weapon." Then seeing that trailer, "On Earth, everyone will hear you scream..." It sounded alot like the comics, which were great. I remember walking out of that theatre utterly depressed.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST


    by Robbiemc9

    WWBD - Sigs never stopped working and her career is going great. I was terribly disappointed with A3 when it was released but have also grown to love it over time. It only really falls apart for me in the final act when they start running around the tunnels. First one's a horror, second one is action and this one is the drama of the set. It is a lament. The score is beautiful and sad and her performance is amazing. The impact her shaved head has at focusing us on her eyes. I love the moment where she clears the steam from the glass in the shower and the tense dinner scene when she is asked if she has any faith. Also her tender moment with the doctor "I have been out here a long time" kills me. The extended cut injects the sub plot it needed in the middle to keep the pacing up a bit and adds to the desperation of the situation when it is let out. Better special effects and a tighter more suspenseful third act is all I would have needed. To be honest the first two were really just unbeatable so I admire the direction this one took. Prometheus is worse for me because it was an A list Director with a sufficient budget who totally dropped the ball. All the movies have quibbly plot holes but Prometheus has gaping chasms from a Director who should have known better. It wasn't birthed from production hell like Alien 3 so has no excuse.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Saw it in theatres when I was 17

    by tangcameo

    It was the first time I went to a movie theatre and thought 'I want my money back'. Upon reflection and later viewings the movie did make a bit more sense. Nordling is right about it a big 'fuck you' to the fans. It did feel like abandonment. I think most fans believed that if there was anything beyond Aliens, it would be Ripley getting back to Earth, only to have brought a Queen with her (and with Prometheus saying what it says, that would make sense). It was like, even though it didn't happen until a year later, the ending to Quantum Leap, minus the saving Al part - no, you're never leaping home and why the hell did you ever hope it would happen. It wasn't just abandonment, it was waking up on a familiar Greyhound bus but in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and the driver telling you 'this is where we stop now - get off'.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Ridley Scott likes to scare, James Cameron likes to please

    by gaygoonie

    and David Fincher likes to torture. Look at TGWTDT - the guy spent more time on the whole anal rape thing that scenes related to solving the actual mystery. He's clearly a sick dude. This worked great for Seven. But that's about it.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:32 a.m. CST

    ALIEN3 is the most interesting movie of the franchise (to me).

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    Both in terms of it's actual story and the production itself. There have been moments when I've contemplated whether Alien3 may in fact secretly be the best of the franchise (particularly after the release of the assembly cut)? Probably not. Probably?... But I've held ALien3 in rather high regard ever since first seeing it as a rental in the mid-nineties (well before Fincher established his name outside of music videos). I won't claim Alien3 is the best, but I do think it is as strong, in it's own way, as the first two installments. It's certainly worthy. I pretty much subscibe to everything Nordling had to say on the subject of Alien3. For all the same reasons he already so eloquently discribed, I've found myself consistantly drawn to it and championed its defense. Alien Resurrection, by contrast, is almost totally frivolous save for Sigorney Weaver's convicted performance and the presence of Michael Wincott. But I still do have to admit I derive enjoyment from it nonetheless, whether it be the Joss Whedon quips ("I can getcha off... maybe not the boat"), or paraplegic Dominique Pinon's reactions to Ron Perman, or Darius Khondi's gorgeous cinematography (plus, Dreads dude with the two guns attached to his arms is just cool). Jean Pierre-Juenet's pinchant for extremely French wide-angle lensed aburd visual gags pretty much renders Alien Resurrection into a parody - just so happens I still think it's a pretty entertaining parody. I think the sheer force-of-will present within the filmmaking tends to win me over despite my intellectual objections (much like a Michael Bay movie). But it's definitely a superfluous entry and by far the weakest of the series, without dispute. Fincher's Alien3, however, is more than a mere curiosity or novel amusement. And it's more than just solid - it's provocative. . . . - Plus, Alien3's got Pete Postlethwaite - which Nordling's fine assessment failed to mention, but for the power of which cannot be underestimated nor dismissed.

  • I just picked up the blu-ray anthology this week in my local ASDA for £9.99. Two cuts each of all four movies, Theatrical and SE/DC. Of course, I also bought BAD BOYS 1 & 2, so I am clearly not hard to please...

  • June 11, 2012, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Me & Morgan Freeman are still waiting for Fincher's triumphant return to sci-fi!

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    Yes, I said "triumphant return", because Alien3 is an absolute triumph as far as I'm concerned! Maybe it's time Freeman take "Rendezvous With Rama" to Duncan Jones already?! Fincher's clearly never going to it.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Nordling

    by CBU2029

    Thank you very much. Alien 3 is a worthy conclusion of the Ripley trilogy. It gives us one of the most powerful endings of a character that i've ever seen. And the overall mood is great. I really like this movie :)

  • June 11, 2012, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Extended cut rox

    by Bobby

    I'm gonna weigh in on the extended cut.. That bullshit dog explanation never made sense. The real bullshit explanation is where it's at.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:51 a.m. CST

    by Narfolamew

    I thought the studio lowballed biehn and that's why he didn't come back, and the girl who played newt was getting to old to play the role , I was 9 when it came out and was really disappointed, but I've sine come to accept it as a part of the franchise

  • June 11, 2012, 1:59 a.m. CST

    I love this movie.

    by David Cloverfield

    The utter sadness, futility and loneliness... Ripley is bald, with bloody eyes, looks like she can barely stand but she keeps on going. In the death scene she hugs the Alien Queen busting out of her. She finally became a mother again. And she can't feel sympathy for humanity anymore, still, she sacrifices herself. I also love the meta-line "You've been in my life so long, I can't remember anything else..." since we barely know anything else about Ripley. You really feel like you're with her. Alien 3 gets into your head.

  • June 11, 2012, 2 a.m. CST

    this movie is fucking terribad


  • June 11, 2012, 2:13 a.m. CST

    Resurrection & AVP

    by maxwell's hammer

    @ Genteel_Gentile: wow, you kind of summed up my thoughts about Resurrection to a tee. I just caught this the other day on tv, and was surprised that it wasn't as awful as I remember it. It's biggest flaw is that its just kind of pointless. It's nice to look at, I wish Ron Pearlman didn't spend so much time mugging and trying to be kewl, and Sigourney Weaver gets to play a slightly skewed version of Ripley. Oh, and that hybrid alien was seriously disturbing and added this whole groteque creep factor that adds a little extra weight that the movie probably doesn't deserve. And to anyone clamoring for an Alien invasion of Earth movie, the AVP films did that, which brings us to a major component of the Alien films: They are movies about RIPLEY, not the aliens! Ripley is missing from AVP, and they are hollow shells of movies because of it. And Ripley going to Earth to battle alien hordes would have made no sense for the character. It would have been like a Bendis Avengers comic where all the cool characters show up just because "Hey, ain't it cool all these cool characters are here?!" If you really think through what Ripley's overall story arc should be, Alien 3 serves that purpose rather well, with Resurrection being an odd and unnecessary coda. If you think Ripley's story arc should involve her being a giant bad-ass alien destroying mofo, then I gather you've missed the point of the character.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:13 a.m. CST

    It's Charles Dance..he's the kiss of death to Hollwood movies..

    by paul burnett

    ..aside from Alien3, he plied his trade in Last Action Hero and The Golden Child. Does he still have the same agent??

  • June 11, 2012, 2:16 a.m. CST

    How simple minded does one have to be..

    by whofan71

    ..for a sequal you don't like to "ruin" the previous movie for you that you claim to love? "Boo hoo, they killed Newt and Hicks and it ruined Aliens for me!" Please! Thank you for this article, Nord. Alien3 was not without it's problems. If I was grand poobah, I'd order a new edition with improved special effects, but otherwise, I thought it was a damn good movie, and felt closer to the original than did Aliens. Hey, I loved Aliens. But Alien3 felt thematicly (sp?) much closer to Ridley's movie. I loved it for many of the reasons Nordling commented on. Because it's such a great story with engaging characters and great acting, I can overlook the less than perfect fx. I don't need my movies to always be populated with tough talking, cliche spewing stereotypes.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:17 a.m. CST


    by maxwell's hammer

    ...if you think Ripley's story arc should CLIMAX with her being a giant bad-ass alien destroying mofo, THEN you've missed the point of her character. That makes sense as a stage of her development, but not as a final goal.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Saw it opening night--

    by A_Banned_Apart

    --and while I and my date really liked it, we recognized that we were certainly in the minority in that screening. Overhearing some people, it sounded like they didn't come to see Alien 3-they wanted Aliens 2. I liked the change in tone (all four of the films have very different feels to me), but I totally respect that it didn't play too well for most people.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:19 a.m. CST

    I've never hated this movie.

    by Yelsaeb

    I've never really liked it, either. Too sad. Too depressing. Too brown. That's probably what Fincher was aiming at, though. And I understand why they killed Newt: the actress aged. And you can't recast Newt, that just wouldn't have worked. That would be like recasting Hit Girl. Another actor just can't play that part. But I have no idea why they killed Hicks. Maybe the goal was to get Ripley completely alone. It doesn't really matter now. Overall, I don't think the movie's so bad.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Alien3 pisses on Prometheus' Chips. Fact.

    by Martin Griffin

    For a start it's a complete movie. With a beginning, middle and end. Not just some pumped up commercial for a sequel. Yeah, I get it - it's a bleak movie, and it doesn't follow up on the thrills of Aliens at all, but who said it had to? The point is - it tells a different kind of story and, whilst flawed in it's execution - at least it resolves itself. At least you are invested in whats happening on screen, and at least it sticks, for good or ill - Alien 3 is a movie which at least provokes a reaction from the viewer. Prometheus was just LOST (in Space), literally. All build up and no climax at all. It had a beginning and thats it. Because after the 30 minute mark it just becomes a sequence of events, all designed to get the viewer from point A to point B. Only point B isn't actually point B at all, it;s point A all over. Lindelof screwed us all again with his LOST bullshit, whats more upsetting is that he ass fisted Ridley Scott on the way. If a sequel does happen, Ridley - ditch that douchebag and make your movie. Not some no talent LOST writers movie. Now, clearly I'm contradicting myself. Clearly Prometheus has provoked a reaction from me, too. But it's not the same. The reaction i had to Prometheus was one of frustrated confusion - like the moment after your girlfriend says she's 'tired' after you've worked yourself up poking her in the back with your dick. Why the fuck did you let me work myself up so much then???? Anyhow, I digress. Alien 3 is a great entry to the franchise. And the franchise would have done better to end there. And based on Prometheus I can't wait to get in a frenzy over Blade Runner 2, only to feign suprise when that movie get's Lindeolffed too and we end up watching a 2 and a half hour version of Hansel and Gretel, with Replicants being Hansel and Gretel looking for their maker who's been leaving mysterious Origami all over the universe for his 'children' to follow. It'll probably end with a wizard of Oz type reveal where a crusty old Harrison Ford reveals himself as their maker before getting involved in some Replicant on Ford buttfuck action where eh ends up shitting out a baby Replicant Human hybrid who turns out to be Harrison Ford in Blade Runner. Seriously, I wouldn't be suprised if thats what happened. Lindelhof is a douche, Prometheus was worse than Chronicles of Riddick and Alien 3 fucking ruled. OK... I'm done. :)

  • June 11, 2012, 2:48 a.m. CST

    What were the other story ideas before filming?

    by ckhappyanswer

    Someone who's watched the docs give me a quick run down on the abandoned story/draft ideas.. Thanks.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:53 a.m. CST


    by Martin Griffin

    There were a bunch: you can check them out on wikipedia for sure but one that stuck out and seemed to be the direction where most of the pre production was headed - was Ripley would crash land (Hicks and NEwt intact i believe) on a Wooden Planet populated by a religious cult or monks or some shit. They had only basic technology and couldnt hope to fight against an Alien. When it turns up some of them start worshipping it as a God and most of them start dying (obviously) I remember reading the script and it had a few awesome moments, one of which involved a massive fire and some nasty ass shit happening in a communal toilet involving an Alien in the cystern and peoples asses. No Jokes.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Alien 3 Sucks The Pus Out Of Dead Seagulls

    by veteran_of_mu

    Seriously, if you like this movie, you have nothing in common with me or anyone I know. It is a soul-less, derivative, callow, depressing and absolutely disrespectful piece of garbage. It pissed on the franchse, on the comics, on the fan-base, and on the premise itself. I will admit Alien3 is not actually the worst movie in the world, but that's a lot like saying the piece of catshit that turned up in your christmas stocking isn't actually the worst thing you ever experienced. It's a fucking Christmas stocking, and anyone who puts catshit in it, or anyone who apologises for someone who puts catshit in it, deserves nothing but contempt.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Love this film...

    by tstone

    ...entirely underrated.

  • June 11, 2012, 3 a.m. CST

    Don't forget the toys and the videogames.

    by veebeeyes

    It pissed on them too.

  • June 11, 2012, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Always loved Alien3, but I watched Aliens last night

    by Lone Fox

    And was surprised how much I found myself hating it. Maybe it's the fact it's filled with every Cameron cliche in the book, or the general 80's centric crap throughout: the constant one-liners, the out of place comedy, etc. It also felt like it wasn't part of Scott's original universe. Alien3 on the other hand feels closer to Scott's vision. It's bleak, claustrophobic, with some great character actors. Plot holes you can drive through with a bus, yes. But nothing as bad as Newt.

  • And you can quote me on that fucker.

  • June 11, 2012, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Saying the characters in ALIEN are more richly drawn..

    by victor laszlo

    than those in ALIENS is completely and utter nonsense. You can put them on similar levels, because the Nostromo crew rules... but the ensemble character work in the sequel is STILL the benchmark for both Action and Science-Fiction.

  • June 11, 2012, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Depressing movie ≠ Bad movie

    by Koborover

    A3 is depressing and it's one of its strongest points. Of course that makes it hard to like for everyone, you'll either love it or hate it. I love the bleak story, the atmosphere is perfectly complemented by the acting, set design and soundtrack. Sure I would've loved to see more Hicks and Newt, but A3 delivered everything I want in an Alien movie.

  • Nope. It's still a giant mess. It's a giant mess with glimpses of a great movie that could have been, yes; that's the really frustrating thing about it. But it's still a chore to watch on its own terms and a royal fuck-up of a great series in context with the first two. This is not a "misunderstood masterpiece" by any stretch of the imagination, it's just a bad off-the-rails sequel. Alien3 isn't "dark". Alien is dark. Aliens is dark. Alien3 is just DREARY. Dreary, to the point of being unpleasant and immensely unsatisfying to watch. Fincher himself doesn't like this movie, and has said that the only cut of it that might satisfy him would be one in which he was able to start over from scratch.

  • June 11, 2012, 3:28 a.m. CST

    I also give props to Alien 3 for ending Newt and her bullshit

    by David Cloverfield

    ALIEN tells us: the universe is a cold, hostile place. We have no business being out there and it's only a matter of time, till we encounter something terrible and incomprehensable that will exterminate us. ALIENS answers: Yes, but look, a cute little girl can survive it all by being cute! ALIEN 3: No. No she can't :D.

  • June 11, 2012, 3:37 a.m. CST

    Killing Newt and Hicks off in Alien3 could have been a very dark, ballsy move.

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    Doing it off-screen in the first two or three minutes of the movie, on the other hand -- in a way that thoroughly negated the entire film that had come before it (one that was already regarded as a genre classic in '92) -- was the kind of thing an extremely careless sequel-by-committee does when the various cooks in the kitchen can't agree or don't care much about what they're doing.

  • June 11, 2012, 3:44 a.m. CST

    They HAD to kill off Newt

    by theyreflockingthisway

    The actress who played her was 16 by then. Newt was such a unique character, I doubt I'd have bought another actress playing her. You also couldn't set it several years later as the Alien films always start with Ripley waking up directly from the previous film, like an on-going nightmare (from her point of view). Also there's no way her character would go back AGAIN if it was set several years later - just so Newt can tag along. Killing her off is the only way to do it. Well, there is the fact film could simply not have been made but you could always just stop watching at Aliens. I'm not a huge fan of Resurrection and I think both AVP movies are some of the worst movies ever made - however they don't stop me enjoying the films in the series that I like. I just don't wath them, I'm not angry about them. Also I don't think anyone is apologising for Alien 3. Fischer has disowned it for a start, so there's no need to apologise for it. If anyone is praising this film it's because they LIKE it. I like it - it's a good end to a trilogy.

  • June 11, 2012, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Laying eggs without the egg sack?

    by evilnerd

    Yeah, I admire fanboys! I really do. Not beeing able to see the obvious really has to be sheer bliss. ALIEN 3 did not work because there is no way the Queen had an egg on her. And NO-she could not lay egs without the egg-sack. So just fucking admit it. The ending was horrible. Great cast though and nice tone-but the rushed and overdramatised ending just killed everything. Yes the ending IS part of the film. You can't judge a film by a few good fragments. It just does not work that way. But I know it works for fanboys. sigh!

  • June 11, 2012, 3:44 a.m. CST

    I dunno, I loved the off screen deaths.

    by David Cloverfield

    It made the whole thing more terrifying plausable. Deaths that were not written by a screenwriter, but something a dark, twisted Universe would actually do. "You have survived hell and monsters? Cool, now die in your sleep!" But I get why it's not everyone's cup of tea. Maybe I was just at an age when I first saw it on VHS, where the sheer darkness and unexpected nature of those deaths blew me away. I remember putting it into the VCR after the feel good rollercoaster ride of Aliens. I felt my hopes and innocence destroyed, and loved every minute of it. "Kid, life is not about cool Space Marines shooting monsters and saving little girls. Life is about a sick, grieving, dying woman fighting to her last breath not to survive, but to save the world that constantly wants to rape her. Have fun."

  • June 11, 2012, 3:50 a.m. CST

    "ALIEN 3 did not work because there is no way the Queen had an egg on her."

    by David Cloverfield

    A3 had a lot of faults, but if that's your biggest problem with it, you must be an absolute joy to watch movies with :D

  • June 11, 2012, 3:58 a.m. CST


    by Clayton Cowper

    whether it be the best/worst of the franchise, it certainly is for some reason the one that I keep coming back to watch

  • June 11, 2012, 4:01 a.m. CST

    I enjoy the deaths of Newt and Hicks. Yes, I said, enjoy.

    by buggerbugger

    The former was nothing more than a little bag o' shrieks and the latter... well, I didn't need to see Michael Biehn playing Michael Biehn in 'Alien 3' no matter how Fucking Awesome the guy is at playing Michael Biehn.

  • She's got Queen-sized pockets.

  • June 11, 2012, 4:13 a.m. CST

    THE BRAVE REVIEW: basic Jock review of this.

    by borisdoris

    Here's a first review I've seen. Aicn you need a thread for things like this.

  • First, there's no fucking alien ex-machina egg with a magic number of embryos inside it. Give me a fucking break. You think Ripley, Hicks and Bishop didn't go over that ship with a fine tooth comb stem to stern and top to bottom before going to bed, you're more fucking stupid than they would have been. You think the Sulacco was made of stuff that would burn in a fire, you're even stupider. You think a face-hugger is going to get scratched and dribble acid that will magically start that fire, you win the stupid trifecta. No, what happens is this: 1) Bishop plugs himself into a computer console to commence repairs. The console powers him down and activates a program called ~Burke-omega-one. Bishop wakes up with his personality erased and replaced with Burke's. He opens Burke's locker which is full of eggs and plonks one next to each of the frozen humans. 2) Burkified Bishop revives the 3 humans who are promptly face-hugged. 3) Ripley wakes first. Burkified Bishop tries to discuss things calmly with her. She's restrained but conscious. She manages to snap a finger off a face-hugger carcass and uses the acid to dissolve her bonds. Then she pours the rest of it on Bishop's head, killing that fucker dead. 4) Ripley puts both Hicks and Newt back into stasis then sets the Sulacco to crash-land on Fury which is marked on the charts as uninhabited. Then she puts herself into stasis too. 5) The Sulacco's computer notices the penal colony and aborts the self-destruct, landing nearby on autopilot. The convicts board the ship and wake Ripley because they are tempted by the fact that she's female. She fights them off and orders the ship to self destruct but they burn through the door and take her prisoner. They try to reverse the self destruct but fail. Reactor goes critical and Sulacco melts into slag. 6) Dance and Dutton save Ripley from gang rape and kill a few double-Ys in the bargain. The rest of the movie can then play out with Ripley in despair, etc. but with a properly satisfying pay-off as she takes the queen with her to hell. See? It's not hard to make this movie not suck. And you don't need to give the Newt actress even one line of dialog - she has only one action scene and that with a face-hugger hiding her features. For the rest she can just be a couple out-takes from the Cameron film until the damned ship melts. No, there is no excuse in this at all. This movie just fucking sucks because the people who made it fucking sucked, and that's all there is to it.

  • June 11, 2012, 4:21 a.m. CST

    The first two Alien films work very well as a piece.

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    Despite the differences between the two in atmosphere, style, and tone, Cameron's Aliens flowed very naturally from Scott's Alien. Aside from just being a great movie in its own right, Aliens was also a great sequel due to the care that was taken in maintaining continuity with the first film (it would have been easy for them to forget about the cat, for example). There were nice touches like the profiles of the Nostromo crew scrolling along on the screen during the Company meeting, and the later references to Ash, stuff that enhanced the feeling of a continuing story. Alien3 seemed to spend most of its time pretending the events of Aliens hadn't even happened. One of its best scenes is Ripley's reactivation of Bishop, not only because it's good to see him again, but because it's one of the very few times this movie seems willing to even acknowledge the existence of the previous one. It all makes for a disconnect, a feeling of discontinuity, that's all the stranger given Aliens' success. With only a few minor changes to Alien3 you could disregard the second film altogether; just change the Sulaco to the Nostromo escape pod, excise the brief scene with Bishop and the references to Hicks and Newt, make a few other dialogue tweaks, and you could just go straight from Alien to Alien3 as though the Cameron film never happened at all.

  • June 11, 2012, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Whoops! Make point 5:

    by veteran_of_mu

    The Sulacco's computer notices the penal colony and aborts the fiery crash, instead landing nearby on autopilot. The convicts board the ship and wake Ripley because they are tempted by the fact that she's female. She fights them off and orders the ship to implode its reactors but they burn through the door and take her prisoner. They try to reverse the implosion but fail. Sulacco melts into slag.

  • June 11, 2012, 4:22 a.m. CST

    I enjoy bleak. I enjoy dark. I do not enjoy Alien 3

    by tomdolan04

    The death of two leads in the preceding film that was centered around fighting for their survival. Killed off screen in the opening 5minutes - wretched choice. <p> Pretty much all the characters either uninteresting or unlikeable. Charles Dance being 'kinda intriguing cos he has an even more tragic backstory than Ripley' is hillarious. It's like they were trying to outdo each other in the 'whose had a shittier life' stakes. Just because it's tragic people seem to automatically equate this to being deep. Why? <p> 'Dutton is prone to get a little preachy and repetitive at times - yep'. <p> 'That is what may have upset fans most of all, who would have rather seen more action a la ALIENS or the horror of ALIEN' - this sounds remarkably like the defenders of Prometheus at the moment. Nope, like that film it's flaws are entirely its own. <p> 'But ALIEN3 deals with weighty subjects such as faith, mortality, religion, and trust' - does it really? Again like Prometheus and it's supposed 'dealing with the weighty subjects', does it have anything to truly say or observe about them. I can write about a bunch of shitheads in prison - it doesn't mean I'm writing an existential commentary. Religion - yes they have it. Kind of. Trust. Kinda trust some of them. Mortality - bar Duttons final speech, no real insight bar 'people die'. Inspiring. <p> 'There are no "Game over!" moments of levity in ALIEN3' - No levity at ALL for two and a half hours. Even bleak dramas often have a bit of black humour snuck in there. None here. At all. <p> As I say, I like bleak and I like thoughtful. This film is just a chore to watch. I just feel the scriptwriters didn't have any inspiration at all so thought 'if we just pile and pile shit on Ripleys character for two hours, it will be a horror film and our job is done'. A lazy film yet ironically I thought Fincher made an excellent job of it.

  • June 11, 2012, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Burke robot, eggs in locker.

    by veebeeyes

    Is that a joke? Alright, I'm the first to admit that the setup for Alien 3 is stupid. No, there shouldn't have been any eggs on the Sulaco. But what you're proposing is even more stupid. Burke has a bunch of eggs in his locker? Seriously? Where the hell did HE get the eggs?

  • June 11, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST

    An interesting, intellectual write-up on ALIEN 3:

    by brokentusk

  • June 11, 2012, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Definition of irony from that link Brokentusk

    by tomdolan04

    ...deep-down-you-love-alien3 <p> Page not found <p> Sorry, we couldn't find that page!

  • June 11, 2012, 4:35 a.m. CST

    The Doctor's backstory is "Little match girl" hillariousl, that's true.

    by David Cloverfield

    But that's not what makes his character awesome. It's the fact that Ripley gets close to him, he is set up like a big player and then he's killed without warning, just when Ripley started to feel safe. It's a cruel fucking joke. Also, it desroys two of your exectations: 1: The Doc will become a main character love-interest 2: Nobody will believe Ripley. And within 60 seconds (the first two Alien kills) the film turns on it's head.

  • The Alien franchise circa 1986-1991 was a world of infinite possibilities to me. I had a nice collection of material from the movies, VHS’s of Alien and Aliens sat proudly on my shelf surrounded by novelization’s, soundtracks, collector’s magazines, computer games, a well worn Kenner action figure and Dark Horse’s legendary Book 1 & Book 2. At that moment in time the Alien movies were more important than Star Wars so when Alien 3 was announced I was excited beyond words. I followed the development of the movie with baited breath. In my mind I saw an acid burned Hicks back on earth in a Blade Runner type city drowning his sorrows in smoky a neon lit bar, mourning the loss of his friends back on LV-426. I also envisioned a now teenage Newt developing into a kick ass warrior like her surrogate mother Ripley. The Aliens were still out there and needed to be treated with extreme prejudice. When I heard that William Gibson was writing the screenplay I thought someone up there was at last listening to the fans. I’d loved Neuromancer, fucking loved it. The idea that the leading figure in Cyber Punk, was behind the continuation of Ridley’s and Jim’s work sounded like the best Christmas present ever. Now all that was left was a director every bit as good as the last two to take Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop back into action… and that would be Die Hard 2’s Renny Harlin. Okay, that’s, erm… interesting. At least will be action packed and violent as hell I thought. And then it got weird. Harlin was out and so was Gibson’s script and in came writer/director Vincent Ward. Not a name I’d heard of before, but I tracked down a copy of The Navigator and watched it. I thought it was superb, but couldn’t see how a director in love with Medieval Europe would be given the reigns of the best Science Fiction franchise ever. Very strange, but then again Ridley came from the brilliant Duelists to do Alien so it might just work. And then I heard a rumour that Hicks and Newt wouldn’t be appearing in the film after all, only Ripley would be returning. I couldn’t believe it. This must be a mistake surely. Then I saw the cast list: Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Charles S Dutton. No Michael Biehn. No Carrie Henn. What The Actual Fuck? At this point I felt that David Giler and Walter Hill had punched me in the stomach. I took it personally. I put on James Horner’s soundtrack to Aliens and read Dark Horse’s Book 1 and Book 2 back to back and tried to blot out the pain. And then something happened. I’d heard that Vincent Ward had been kicked off the movie all the sets had been pulled down and there was a new director called David Fincher. Who the fuck was David Fincher? I then learnt that he’d directed a load of music videos for Madonna. Shit, I knew his work after all, Express Yourself, Vogue and Oh Father were all utterly amazing, I’d watched them countless times. My interest in Alien 3 was suddenly rekindled. With everything going on, maybe they had a new screenplay as well, maybe Michael Biehn would be back after all. Maybe everything was going to be all right now. And then I saw the trailer. All rusty looking, all brown and orange. No steely blues, no flickering fluorescent corridors, no cool tech and no pulse rifles. Just a load of bold men running around. Holy shit this looks bad. I watched the trailer again just to make sure. No, it still looked poor. After the tenth time my expectations were… well I didn’t have any now. Move forward a few months and I finally get to see it on a cold and damp evening. The film was every bit as depressing as I feared it might be. It was empty, hollow, soulless. I took absolutely nothing away with me, it had nothing to give. They’d just killed off the Alien franchise. And for what? It didn’t make any sense what so ever. Whey did they do that. Dan O’Bannon, Ridley Scott and James Cameron had given them an entire universe to explore and instead of letting us inside David Giler, Walter Hill (and Sigourney Weaver too I must add) simply chose to shut the door on us instead. The franchise would never recover from this travesty. What was to follow was yet more cynical hammer blows to the fans, the cheap and tacky Resurrection, the Dark Horse mash up that should never have been in the suicide baiting AVP 1 & 2 and now the belated return by Scott with the lack lustre Prometheus. Looking back on Alien 3 with enough time and distance between that cinematic slap in the face in 1992 it is possible to re-evaluate the film with the Mock-Director’s Cut. And while is does improve the first half of the movie to a certain extent and actually attempts to let the characters breath (for what it’s worth I think Charles Dance’s Clemens is one of the best characters in the entire franchise, but then again Dance is pure class in anything) it is still a remarkable failure. And while there are tantalizing moments of greatness hidden in this contemptible and utterly hostile production, such as Ripley going into ‘the basement’ to confront her nemesis and her begging mass murderer Charles S Dutton to beat her to death to save her the horror of ‘child birth’, these cannot save the movie, which is still the biggest cinematic disappointment I have ever experienced.

  • June 11, 2012, 4:58 a.m. CST

    You can´t kill Newt and Hicks

    by CuervoJones

    Alien3 and Alien Resurrection are cryogenic nightmares.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:18 a.m. CST

    Whenever a movie gets fucked with by the suits...

    by pelhamsim

    ...there's a cadre of fans out there who will seemingly forgive any shortcomings in the movie itself, explaining away every criticism with an eye-rolling, patronizing lecture about how the director's original vision was compromised and so on and so forth. Fact: Alien 3 sucks asshole. Whatever the reason(s), whatever behind-the-scenes strife led it to suck asshole is not really my problem. Really, I could care less. Every movie that sucks sucks for some reason or another. And Alien 3 sucks (asshole, as I mentioned above). Its got a handful of nice moments, and maybe if I squint I can kind of make out the potential of a good movie buried somewhere deep. But, as it stands, the movie is just no fun. Most of all, its fucking BO-RING. That said, the opening credits sequence is awesome. After that, the movie hits a major wall and what follows is "How to Kill Off a Franchise 101."* *I am aware that there have been something like ten thousand Alien or Alien vs. Predator movies released since...

  • Sure, like everyone who loved Aliens (oddly enough I saw Aliens first, this third one second, then I watched the first movie) I was initially disappointed with the loss of Hicks, not Newt though. Had they been killed off at the end of Aliens I think Alien 3 would have been received better. As it was; the theatrical version was so different to the previous movie, I think we all went to see the film expecting slick one-liners, charismatic characters, hardcore action, etc. but what we got, in some respects, was a more intelligent movie, a better acted film, and a calmer, darker story. Although initially it appears to be a remake of the first movie, I think ultimately (especially with the extended cut) we got a decent third variation of an alien movie. The aliens in my opinion are like guns or cars to an action film. They're essential to the genre, but the focus should always be a human story first. Saying that, the story in Alien 3 is the weakest of all the movies, but I think the acting and the image (not to be confused with sets) is the strongest. I loved the addition to the alien lore; that it takes on attributes of its host. The biggest disappointment for me is the attitude of Fincher. I think he proved himself to be immature and disrespectful to movie fans, preferring to dwell on creative differences and production issues, rather than embrace the fans of this film, and publically sympathise with those who were expecting something different, yet be proud of something he spent months working on. Prior to Fincher's reaction to this film I believed the industry employed passionate, creative people. But he more than anyone dispelled that idea and demonstrated that ultimately the industry employs people who care only for money, will work on anything, and have little to no interest in the people they're supposed to be making their products for. In the end I'm happy that we didn't get a part 2 to Aliens, but would still have loved to see Hicks return. Whether another film of Alien-hunting family-Ripley would have worked, we'll never know (although I'm surprised a book, comic or videogame hasn't explored this idea). I don't know what I expected when I first saw it, and I still have no idea what the perfect Alien 3 movie would have been, but in the end I think the film is a worthwhile addition to a franchise I really love.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:29 a.m. CST

    Pelhamsim, dead on. 'The suits...'

    by tomdolan04

    if they didnt exist, Im sure fanboys would invent them. Why does X movie suck? THE SUITS MAN, its THEM!!!

  • June 11, 2012, 5:37 a.m. CST

    Alien 3 Failed Right from the Start

    by AstroNerdBoy

    The pointless slaughter of Hicks and Newt aside, I hated this movie from the second I saw an egg in the blasted ship. Seriously? When did the queen have a chance to lay this magic egg? Or two eggs, since there were two infections? Assuming she brought them with her (and why would an enraged queen Xenomorph decide to bring eggs with her when she's out to kill the one who slaughtered her children?), when did she have time to plant them. Then, there's the blasted new and improved face huggers. Remember them in the containment jars? They couldn't break out. Yet THIS one can break through a sleeping tube, and despite getting sliced up by glass, not burn its victim to death with acid blood. Yeah, this is great stuff y'all. From that moment on, I hated this movie. When you piled on the deaths of Hicks and Newt, it just made it worse. Supposed great acting and visuals don't make up for a crappy story.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:45 a.m. CST

    Should have been the end of "

    by IEatHippies

  • June 11, 2012, 5:46 a.m. CST

    A film so bad it sullies your memories of Alien and Aliens...

    by BiggusDickus

    Just by existing, this abomination takes some of the shine off what went before. Please, people - stop apologizing for this God-awful film simply because your poster-boy Fincher made it. It fucking reeks.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Should have been the end of "Ripley's Trilogy"

    by IEatHippies

    There is no reason why Sigourney Weaver HAS to be in an Alien movie. Resurrection was intense, but pretty stupid overall. That monster at the end was awful.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:48 a.m. CST

    Only ALIEN is canon

    by Eli_Cash

    The rest is just interesting *what if* stories. Apparently Prometheus falls into this category as well, tho I haven't seen it yet. But the talkbacker reviews make me think that it most likely isn't worthy of the original. I'll watch it tomorrow. In ALIEN, the creature is presented as an organic demon, utterly hostile to humanity in both it's nature and temperament. In Aliens it became a dangerous animal, more indifferent to other life-forms than malicious. And it remained that way from then on.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:57 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed Alien3

    by Mr Kite

    Although I never saw it at the cinema. It has some flaws, particularly the dodgy special effects, but overall its an enjoyable movie. I would certainly give it a much higher rating than Prometheus.....come to think of it, I'd give AVP a higher rating than Prometheus!

  • But as a sequel to "Alien" and "Aliens," it is fucking *horrible*. Fincher is right to disavow it. It was a Hollywood attempt to cash-in on the vision of Scott and Cameron, without any consideration given to what made those movies the successes they were. This thing is "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" to Cameron's "Terminator" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."

  • June 11, 2012, 5:58 a.m. CST

    The haters have got it wrong...

    by kubricksnutsack

    You want a pile of shit - skip straight to Alien Resurrection, a film that never needed to be made but was a vanity project and nothing else. The problem is this: Aliens. There I've said it. I know some in this thread have touched on it too, but Cameron's film bears little relation to the original movie. Alien is psychosexual horror - encompassing fear of penetration and birth, it tugs at the raw nerve strings of everyone. Aliens is just gung-ho action film filled with stupidity. Alien is British, Aliens is American, Alien 3 is European, Alien Resurrection is French. So culturally all four films come from different places. Alien was a cult classic - not everyone liked it when it was released, but over the years became critically lauded. Aliens just pandered to the lowest common denominator, it is a film for jocks, for those who like to throw their popcorn at the screen when the baddie gets a kick in the nuts. Alien 3 is melancholic and an elegy to what's gone on in previous films. I applaud the tonal shift - who wants Aliens 2? Not I. We've seen it already - there's only so many times you can see a marine blow an alien apart and get sprayed with acid blood, no? I represents an end and is a perfectly good ending to the series. It's themes of isolation, being unclean/infected/perverted, and self-sacrifice as redemption work surprisingly well. I would argue it is far too cerebral a film for those who cheered at Aliens. It is a European movie and has European sensibilities so it destined to be misunderstood unless you can get behind it. I enjoyed the original, and I also enjoyed the extended cut too. I kind of feel sorry for Alien 3 and don't understand why it is much-maligned. It's probably down to expectation - many wanting another marines vs aliens movie, the bearing of the Dark Horse comic books, the many variations of the original script. If the film had just happened, without all those distractions, I think it might have been appreciated better. I also wager that if you love Alien, you probably love Alien 3 a little more than you love Aliens, which if you think about it, is the real odd one out of the franchise.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:05 a.m. CST

    This movie basically wrecked the whole series

    by bohdi71

    In Alien Ripley fought for her life, in Aliens she fought for Newt's life and gave her a potential love interest. Alien3 flushed that all down the asked yourself what was the point of the first two movies??!!

  • June 11, 2012, 6:06 a.m. CST

    I think ALIENS takes a dump all over the film that came before it

    by theyreflockingthisway

    but I still love Aliens. It's a great action film, has suspense, great characters and an exciting story. The problem I have with it, like most others, is it takes away the mystery of the alien by making it more like an insect. I'm not a big fan of the alien designs in this one either - they're not a patch on the original Giger design. The thing is, I enjoy it and I'll happily watch it after Alien. The same should apply to Alien 3. I enjoy it just as much as Aliens and I don't care that they killed off Newt and Hicks - it stands alone at its own movie and, to me, it's only messing with a movie that I felt messed with the story anyway. But I don't want to sound like I'm taking anything away from Aliens - I don't like the direction it went but it's still a great movie and one of the best sequels of all time. I'll quite happily watch the first three movies as a pretty damn good trilogy. By the way, I LOVED Prometheus too - if any of you want to do your whole "you clearly don't know about movies" if you like a certain film then so be it. I know what I enjoy and pointing out things your personally don't like about a plot won't change that fact.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Agree with Nordling

    by wadi77

    All Alien fan should give it another try. I did and now I like it. I gladly consider it the true ending of the Ripley saga.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:09 a.m. CST


    by Kingasaurus

    "The Doctor's backstory is "Little match girl" hillariousl, that's true. But that's not what makes his character awesome. It's the fact that Ripley gets close to him, he is set up like a big player and then he's killed without warning, just when Ripley started to feel safe. It's a cruel fucking joke." Which is why I hated it. I don't mind if film-making conventions are turned on their head, necessarily. Going against expectations is fine if I think it's done well. You don't even need to make the Doc into Ripley's love interest to engage me. But what you absolutely don't do is make the most interesting new character in the film into cannon-fodder that early with no warning. There's no emotional payoff because he's dead before you even get to know the guy well, and as a viewer you're just angry at the wasted potential of a character. If you kill him later in the film, the audience is INVESTED in his fate, instead of shocked and angry that the least boring guy in the movie is out of the picture that early. Killing him quickly and without meaning to illustrate some over-arching point about the bleakness or pointlessness of the universe doesn't make up for pissing off the audience that way.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:12 a.m. CST

    kubricksnutsack - Preach on brother.

    by David Cloverfield

    "Alien is British, Aliens is American, Alien 3 is European, Alien Resurrection is French." You have a really good eye. Interesting trivia: In my wierd Mirror Universe of a country, Hungary, the 3 alien movies were called "The eight passanger is Death." "Planet designation: Death." and "Final solution: Death". Pretty cool, till the pants shittingly terrible "Death resurrected." title. Alien Resurrection fucked up many things, including the awesome series of titles we had going on over here.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:19 a.m. CST

    kingasaurus - I get what you are saying.

    by David Cloverfield

    I think the reaction the Doc's death (and Alien 3 in general) tells a lot about the person watching it. I felt sad and angry about his death, and the fact that I didn't get to know him, or that his character didn't get a chance at redemption, that his death and his life was utterly meaningless... but I was angry at the Alien and the universe that allowed this to happen, never at the filmmakers.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Aliens is not a bad movie

    by Eli_Cash

    Tho I'm not much of a fan personally. I still like it, and I can understand some people liking it more than ALIEN. Possibly even liking it about the same. I just can't understand how anybody could watch them back to back and think that Aliens was a faithful sequel. Even tho I realize that Cameron really tried to get the details right. He was a lot more rigorous than most directors would have been. But I don't think he got it. for instance, he seems to confuse the sexual horror element of the original with gender horror in elements like the queen's high heels.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:24 a.m. CST

    I really hated offense.

    by DementedCaver

  • For Schumacher's gay Batman movies, Bat Nipples are essential - but that doesn't make it right.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Alien³ just felt unnecessary.

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • June 11, 2012, 6:37 a.m. CST

    @barry convex: you're saying that bat nipples aren't right?

    by DementedCaver

  • June 11, 2012, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Alien3 was unecessary

    by Pete Michaelson

    Aliens ended perfectly; Ripley had come full-circle and regained everything that she had lost on the Nostromo. The woman who once ran in fear from an Alien stepped up and took on a Queen face-to-face and won. From a character standpoint, it was great closure. All Alien3 did, in as desperate and maudlin a way as possible, is throw all that out the window and shit all over what Cameron had managed to do. I can understand liking Alien3 in a vacuum; outside the greater context of the story that was told in the first two movies it's an interesting film to a degree (I mean, a sci-fi movie in a futuristic prison where the inmates are basically left unattended; how original). But people who think that Alien3 is a satisfying conclusion to the story started in Alien are masochists, in my opinion.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:43 a.m. CST

    At least people are passionate about their views on this movie

    by Martin Griffin

    See my earlier comment for my two cents. In short - I love this movie. But, I can't see Prometheus provoking this kind of conversation in 20 years. Sorry for the Prometheus hate. I feel bad, i do. It was just ok, but i really do think Ridley should have kicked Lindelof tot he curb like the vicious hack that he is. Alien 3 rules.

  • "... it's for 6 people who understand camera angles." I don't recall what number "X" was, but that's pretty darn close to the original quote. Pissed me off at the time ("Hey, jackass, then don't ask X million people to pay for tickets!"), but given all the development and shooting hell of that movie, I guess I can understand why Fincher was washing his hands of it by the time it was released. It's not a particularly good movie, even in the (superior) workprint version, but then again, it's nowhere near as awful as "Alien Resurrection."

  • June 11, 2012, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Alien 3 Shouldn't Exist!!

    by Mark Rees

    I'm with veebeeyes on this, the movie shouldn't exist. How can the Alien Queen produce more eggs when her egg sack is blown up by Ripley!? This has always annoyed me. However, it's much better the Resurrection and the extended cut is the best version. Prometheus is average, great to look at but as a whole average.

  • I mean you watch Aliens now and think, well fuck this it's all pointless now due to what happens in Alien3...

  • June 11, 2012, 7:25 a.m. CST

    How can the alien produce more eggs?

    by theyreflockingthisway

    Who knows? It's an ALIEN! That's the problem with Cameron's Aliens - it has given the characteristics of an insect to the alien and anything that doesn't now fit in with that life cycle isn't accepted any more. The original idea was to turn people into eggs but even that's speculative. As I said in my last comment, that's exactly my problem with Aliens. We now just accept them as giant insects - as much as I love the film, it has taken away the mystery of the creature and I like to think the creature isn't as simple as just a bug.

  • June 11, 2012, 7:30 a.m. CST

    @ Kubricksnutsack Couldn't have put it better myself

    by Lone Fox

    In fact, the more I think about it, everyone I know that rates Aliens as the pinnacle of the series is a total frigging moron. It's typical Cameron- multiply everything= people, aliens, explosions. Screw this, I'm off to buy Alien3 right now.

  • June 11, 2012, 7:30 a.m. CST

    the thing is...

    by Skankardly

    people like to see happy endings. film geeks and nerds don't like to admit it but they do too. they'll be all doom and gloom but deep down they want to believe that things can turn out for the best. I think that's what's at the core of the malice towards Alien3. sometimes shit goes bad and it stays bad.

  • June 11, 2012, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Saw this in the theater opening weekend . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . and then rented it the first weekend it was available. I need to watch that documentary. Anyone want to explain this "cow-alien" business?

  • June 11, 2012, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Doc's death...

    by Kingasaurus

    "...I felt sad and angry about his death, and the fact that I didn't get to know him, or that his character didn't get a chance at redemption, that his death and his life was utterly meaningless... but I was angry at the Alien and the universe that allowed this to happen, never at the filmmakers." I think you can be consistent with the bleak universe in which the Alien operates, without making bad storytelling decisions. You can engage the audience without pandering to them, but pissing them off just makes the audience angry at the script, not the alien for being such a nasty bad-ass. That's why I was angry at the filmmakers. The universe that the characters live in doesn't restrict your choices to THAT degree. Make me love the Doc first, then I'll hate the alien (and the universe it lives in) even more when you snuff him out. Let me weep for HIM, not for his wasted potential as a character. Kill him near the climax of the film when it's the most emotionally powerful. Doing it when they did it? It's just to surprise-kick the audience in the nuts to get a point across. Instead of the bleak point resonating with most of the audience, it just makes them hate the film, without appreciating any of the subtext that the director might want them to understand.

  • June 11, 2012, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Alien 3 gets more wrong than it gets right

    by Johnboy40

    and I'm not a particular fan if it, but there is some things I do like. I like it's bleak tone and feel. I like the way that, just as she is stripped of her hair, Ripley is stripped of the bravado she gained in Aliens. I like the whole idea of the facehugger impregnating something other than a human. I have utterly no problem with Hicks, Newt and Bishop being killed off. As has been pointed out, It's all about Ripley, no one else. Hicks Newt and Bishop had to die, and there would have been complaints no matter how it happened. IMO, it's these deaths happening in the senseless way that they do that acts as the catalyst in Ripley's reversion to being a closer person to the one that got off the Nostromo. Caractus potts..So Bishop gets erased and has Burke's profile over write his own. and then wanders round the sulaco with alien eggs, that Burke managed to smuggle aboard. although he was dead and they had no way for him to do it. and Bishop did this without his legs.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:02 a.m. CST

    A sadistic piece of shit

    by Hipshot

    was Alien 3. Made by inferior film-makers who didn't have the creativity to unleash characters as memorable as Hicks or Newt, and instead sought to gain energy by destroying what we already loved. Proof that it was sadistic? Remember the autopsy performed on Newt? Then later, the flouroscope they used to scan Ripley and reveal the Alien Queen (and if you believe that bullshit about the Queen laying an egg on the ship...well, fine). At any rate, if they had a flouroscope, why did they rip Newt apart? I'll tell you why: to make the audience squirm. That's right, boys and girls: they mutilated a beautiful girl child for no reason other than shallow titillation of the audience. That evil movie has nothing to offer, and I'll never watch it again.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST

    The Movie Sucked. Plain and Simple.

    by BilboRing

    Stop trying to suck off Fincher. The movie sucked. Nothing about it was good. It WAS a middle finger to the fans. That much I agree. Alien 3 was an abortion. I actually, stupidly saw it twice because I could not believe how bad it was the first time I saw it.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    My favorite

    by JadedOne

    My favorite of the trilogy (4 doesn't exist for me any more than AvP). Love the bleakness. Love the ending. I just can't imagine the tale of this universe ending on a happy note.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Alien 3 does not exist in this dojo.

    by PeopleCallMeTheBriMan

  • June 11, 2012, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Should have gone with the William Gibson script.

    by shutupfanboy

    Hicks and Bishop fighting in space uniforms on the side of a Russian space station while a mass of aliens are heading towards them. That image alone is worth $50 million at the box office. You also don't shit on the driving forces in the previous movie just to make for the glorious ego of Weaver wanting to do a moody film. Thats what Gorilla in the Mists is for. Promethus makes the perfect trilogy and we never have to deal with Aliens 3 again.

  • Aside from what the dog pops out of, and giving us a view of dead little Newt's lungs jiggling around insider her open chest cavity, I can't think of much else that's differrent between the two cuts.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Boring characters. Boring story. Boring movie.

    by blackmantis

    Killing Newt and Hicks wouldn't have bothered me if the characters they replaced were interesting. But they weren't. They were dull and colorless and I didn't give a shit about a single one of them. There is nothing more boring and pointless than watching people you don't care about getting killed.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Caught this on tv the other night...

    by phifty2

    ...and though I've seen it many times and was drunk something just clicked while watching it that never did before. Killing Hicks and Newt(off screen no less) is inexcusable but once, and if, you get past that it kind of works. This is indeed the darkest, most nihalistic entry in the franchise and even though Fincher doesn't want to be associated with it his touch is all over the place. I've made my peace with Alien3. And the death of Newt and Hicks doesn't negate or make the events of ALIENS meaningless. Shit happens, life sucks, the universe is unfair, the aliens are assholes.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:42 a.m. CST

    "And yet, there is a real sense of empathy in ALIEN3"

    by ISeeAllWrong

    This from the man who said Heath Ledger's Joker elicited empathy. I'm not sure Nordling understands the meaning of empathy. There's nothing particularly empathetic about Alien3. Certainly not in regard to the prisoner characters. Even Ripley's situation elicits less empathy than it did in the previous two movies.

  • a popcorn movie. It's a beautifully shot movie, with a great score which evokes an incredible sense of dread and despair. Yes, it has it's problems but it's a stunning bit of cinema. It was a slap in the face to people expecting another Aliens but I think that was the point. Fincher always said he prefers movies that 'scar' Consider the mood evoked in this and then look at Se7en. Fincher is all over this film.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Differences and the Documentary

    by kells

    There are actually quite a few, but most of them are in the form of extended scenes, not entirely new ones - character beats and definition. The opening sequence is much better, with Clemons walking the beach and the convicts swarming over the crashed EEV; the individual convicts, while not developed anywhere near enough (they should have had fewer convicts, I think) get more attention - nice conversation between the two guys who get waxed in the tunnels and Dillon telling them to lay off the crazy Paul McGann's character, for instance, sets up the tunnel sequence later and establishes that even the other convicts are leery of McGann's character. Dillon gets more leadership scenes. Clemons and Andrews have their relationship developed better, and the contact between the Company and the facility is better established. Really, the entire first half of the film is far better - I even like how the rapist convict (Fincher favorite Holt McCallany) sort of redeems himself by sacrificing himself to trap the Alien, and then McGann's convict, who has started worshiping the "Dragon" lets it free - all stuff that was totally confusing in the theatrical cut. I just still mourn the unrealized Wooden Planet monastery idea. Seriously, whether you love or hate the film, that Anthology documentary is fascinating for anyone who wants to see how a failure gets made.

  • let's see, Ripley crash lands on a prison planet, finds out that her loved ones are dead as a result of an "stowaway", almost gets gang raped and worse of all; She's carrying a xenomorph leading to......having a Chest burts during her sacrifice. How sadistic of both Weaver and Fincher. Fuck this depressing movie, and that's no way to treat a popular female action lead especially since there were very few heroines in celluloid during the 80's-early 90's. The film was a betrayal to not only the fans but the entire franchise. Yup, The Alien Saga jumped the shark starting with A:3. To me and my Friends, this shit does not exist within the "timeline".

  • June 11, 2012, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Everyone can have their opinion, but any cut of this movie sucks.

    by Transhuman

    Hated it as a kid the first time I saw it. Just watched it recently hoping it would be better with a different cut. Nope. Alien 3 killed the franchise. They had a good thing going with the first two, and this movie totally derailed it.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Game of Thrones

    by Himbo

    NO ONE has addressed that Tywin Lannister pulls Ripley out of the wreckage? Charles Dance cannot work enough for my tastes. I remember seeing this in the theater, and the marketing campaign "Three times the action, three times the horror!" etc. My group of three friends walked out of the cinema in dead silence. We hit the sidewalk and stood looking at each other, afraid utter that we had just seen a shitty Alien movie. I opened with "One third the Action" and it snowballed from there. We all agreed that there were so many cool aspects of the film that were utterly betrayed by the cheap-looking CGI. That there were awesome characters, such as the physician, that as soon as you started to invest in them AAACK!!!! And let us not forget the "Late Night Alien Cam". Letterman had introduced the "Late Night Monkey Cam" in the year preceding Alien3's release. I'll say this for A3: I was more disappointed by AlienResurrection. Maybe I'll have to look up this expanded cut some folks have talked about. Ripley was the least interesting character in this movie. If I got to spend more time with Charleses Dutton and Dance, I might like it better. But I'll have to run out of vintage TV on netflix first.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    A3: Sadistic, as in Killing off some 6 year old Girl.

    by Stalkeye

  • June 11, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    How can you like 3 but hate 4?

    by knowthyself

    I really don't get it. Four does a far better job of dealing with the Ripley/Alien rivalry from a psychological stand point that eventually has a physical manifestation.

  • Good call Hip, ya beat me to it.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Fincher comment

    by Robbiemc9

    Has Fincher ever commented on if he has seen the extended cut? It would be interesting to know what exactly he would have changed had he been given the opportunity to re-do it how he wanted.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    david cloverfield the "Queens egg"

    by evilnerd

    Actually the film is based on the magic egg. Without the egg no film. So why talk about the rest-right? And I love how the "fanies" cry out, that we don't know everything about the ALIEN just to make things work for them.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    SIGOURNEY WEAVER is the one that fucked Alien 3

    by Jaster Mareel

    As a condition of her coming back, she became executive producer and dictated that there be no guns and that Ripley was alone again. On the whole I like Alien 3, but only the theatrical cut. The extended cut is fucking horseshit. Talk about not being true to the Ripley character, she's fucking suicidal BEFORE she knows she's preggers!

  • June 11, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    As I said early, haven't seen this in YEARS . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . but one scene just popped into my head. They walk up on an alien that just keeps chomping on some guy. He's down for the count but the alien just keeps going. Was it actually FEEDING on him?

  • ...they're mad because it's not the movie they had in their heads.

  • It starts off with showing the EEV like 2 miles out to sea. Cut to a team fucking OXEN tied to it on the beach. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK!? And that's just the opening scene! It gets WAY worse form there.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST


    by cocolopez

    ... But now it's moreso you whiny, shit-for-brains talkbackers. Like the talkbacker here who hasn't seen Alien 3 since theatres and is acting like he's some fucking expert on it, or the talkbackers here who swear that Prometheus was the worst entry in the series, or even the talkbackers who say that Aliens is the best one. Idiots- all of you. I'm not going to comment on the AVPs- because those two films shouldn't exist. Aliens and Predators should not exist in the same universe. As for the Alien "franchise" however- I've seen them all recently- watched the bluray anthology and then saw Prometheus in theatres. Harry saying you SHOULD NOT watch these films before Prometheus is absurd- watch whatever the fuck you want to watch- Prometheus is indeed a prequel to Alien. A prequel merely means events that became before in the same Universe - that ultimately have something to do with the original. In that sense Prometheus is a prequel. Having watched the Alien films (extended cuts) in bluray recently- this is the deal. This is how it is. Two of the 4 movies have actually improved over time. The one that has aged the best is the original Alien. A masterpiece. Gorgeous film, perfect tension, great acting, production way ahead of it's time- scene after scene of iconic cinema. Aliens- Cameron's entry DID NOT AGE WELL. It becomes downright eyeball glazing at parts- is basically a teenage boy's shoot-em-up picture- and the talkbacker here who said that it contains all of Cameron's worst points as a director hit the nail on the head. From sappy bullshit, to the butch dyke, to horrendous dialogue, to action merely for action's sake, it's all there. Lance and Sigourney's performance and the design of the mother alien are the movie's main strongpoints. The rest of it plays like Cameron's greatest hits- playing right to the crowd and being transparent in its intentions. The most adolescent movie in the series. Alien 3- It's not a great film. It is however of the orginal four the second best in the series. Those who cry about Newt, Bishop and Hicks, well those people really bought into Cameron's bullshit and forgot what the tone of the original picture was. Bleak. Dark. Horrific. A sense of realism- otherwise why else would the original have been so scary in the first place? Those characters dying set a mood in place that for me brought the series back to the right tone- hopelessness. Aside all of that- as Nordling says- there's more going on here under the surface- like religion and faith, sex and persecution. It TRIES to be a film and not just a movie. It may not be so successful at the end of the day but it is more engaging than Cameron's entry which would have sat just fine in today's soulless video game culture. Alien 3 has NOT aged anywhere nearly as well as Alien, but it has actually improved with time. The fourth movie- garbage. It plays like Gilliam without any of the beauty. It's ugly, exaggerated, completely out of tone and sync with anything that's come before. Jeunet has made some interesting and beautiful films, alas this is not one of them. It's got so many problems that honestly theyre not even worth listing. Prometheus. Awesome, beautiful, haunting film. The problem with the internet is that suddenly every fucking idiot in the world has a voice- which means that we hear constantly from people who don't know shit about cinema, and these people have to show how big (or small) their brains are and cockfight with each other about who the biggest movie snob is. You all win. You are all fucking morons. Congratulations. SO it didn't give you all the answers you wanted. Boo hoo. Everyone these days feels so entitled. They want everything in the space of two hours. The movie was called Prometheus- it's about what happens to the crew of Prometheus- and yes it ALLUDES to the birth of mankind as we know it. But at the end of the film Shaw is piloting ANOTHER ship- another ship for ANOTHER film. Get over yourselves. As for the "plotholes" - complaining about plotholes in a movie that purposely does not give you all the answers is as idiotic as it sounds. This is how it is. ALIEN > PROMETHEUS > ALIEN 3 > ALIENS > ALIEN RESURRECTION. However there's only two films that matter when all is said and done. Sir Ridley Scott's. He set a tone that none of these other films could capture. The franchise is his. You can say Cameron Cameron all you want- but you merely sound like a prepubescent jackoff interested only in seeing a shoot-em-up set in space- which IS NOT what Alien is about- and if it was it would be uninteresting. Ridley was right to wonder why none of these other directors tried to delve into the story of the space jokey- the reason is that it's so much easier for these directors to take a little piece of the whole and go "forward". The truth of the matter is that to truly go forward- you have to go back to the beginning. Ridley is the only one with the balls to reverse engineer this franchise. You lecherous cocksmoke fanboys don't even fucking deserve it.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Maligned for a good reason...

    by riskebiz

    ALIEN3 is much maligned, because…as you say… "Fincher made is (this film) as much of a middle finger to the producers as it is, in some ways, to the fans." Isn't that the very reason it is rightfully maligned? We all love it when a newbie film-maker takes something special and gives everyone the middle finger. Right? Wrong. I recently re-watched it and every decision in this film appears to subvert expectations simply for the glee of the director to do so as he flips everyone the bird. It's his film, not ours. He can't disown it.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    I agree with everything said byt Nordling

    by JudgeDredd

    and have used many of the same arguments to defend the movie. 4, on the other hand, was a piece of crap.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST


    by Kingasaurus

    "I recently re-watched it and every decision in this film appears to subvert expectations simply for the glee of the director to do so as he flips everyone the bird." Correct. Sometimes "different" is synonymous with "sucks." Doing what I'm not expecting only works if you do it WELL and with the right timing and in the right proportion. You only get limited credit for not being formulaic. I like plenty of films that have tragic endings and/or have a bleak tone and/or have beloved characters die. Just not this one. 'You just don't like it because it wasn't the film you were expecting" is just a lame cop-out which is used to deflect any and all possibly well-justified criticism. maybe I dislike the film because I think it's lousy, not because I'm disappointed that it's not acarbon-copy of Aliens.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    while placing yourself 'above' the others you whine about

    by UltraTron

  • June 11, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    so Alien 3 gets a pass but Prometheus gets blasted?

    by Rob Jenson

    I don't think so. PROM was a vastly better movie. Of course, that wouldn't be hard. Alien 3, frankly, sucked. Poor pacing, characterization, stupid been-there-done-that plot, awful realization of the Alien -- crappy Syfy channel FX -- and pointlessly depressing.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:34 a.m. CST


    by UltraTron

  • June 11, 2012, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Cameron followed where the STORY led.

    by victor laszlo

    So sorry that he was not beholden to the 'tone' or the 'genre', and instead took the logical next steps in the story that realistically grew out of the events in ALIEN. Life does not work in tones or moods, but sequences of events. ALIENS is an intricately thoughtful progression forward from the events of Ellen Ripley's life as seen in the motion picture ALIEN. She was found. The Frontier had advanced while she was away. Other people had touched LV-426 and The Company isn't happy she nuked a freighter full of ore with no evidence to back her story. Armed with her information, the Company (Burke) sends those people to check out what she reported. They lose contact. Well now maybe her story has some merit. Send in the motherfucking space marines, and send them with someone who has dealt with this before. It's incredibly elegant. To have tried to simply make another atmospheric psychosexual haunted house horror/thriller would have been a disservice to the original and moreso to the potentiality of the franchise. First of all, Cameron wouldn't have done as good a job, so you'd just have a shadow of what Ridley made. He even admits that in the commentary over the (rightfully) deleted Hadley's Hope sequence. Like Ridley before him, he used his own skills and did his own thing that no one has been able to beat him at since. ALIENS represents a rare breed of sequel that respects and embraces everything great about it's predecessor, but grows up organically out of them and manages to become something completely new. Not by trying to chase the first film, but by really thinking about what might happen next given the sketched rules of the Universe that film set out. You guys who have a problem with ALIENS should really think about how ludicrous a scenario it would have to be to put Ripley (or any other character) back into the same situation as the original to give you that same tone or genre. Why not set it on XMas Day again, and just change the location to an airport? You'd have to add a line that winks at the audience --- 'How the hell does this happen to a girl twice, JOnesy? Twice!' James Cameron did something different, and it's not only a brilliant standalone film (that happens to tower over the sci-fi action genre), but it actually makes ALIEN better. You may disagree with that, but it's ludicrous to think that it takes anything away. By the way, that's a part of the problem with PROMETHEUS that Ridley didn't learn. By and large he went and tried to remake ALIEN with some new ideas crammed in...

  • June 11, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by cocolopez

    with your sputtering incomplete thoughts- care to continue? I hope to see your argument clarified it in at least 26 more post titles. Fucking imbecile.

  • ALIENS is a great film, to be sure, but it screws up more stuff than Prometheus. Chief among them are the crap effects. The miniatures have a very cheesy 70's vibe to them. And for the love of FUCK can we start forbidding putting whiney kids in sci fi movies? SERIOUSLY! ENOUGH! I could go on, but what's the point? ALIENS is a great film with some know, like most films. Actually....ALIEN might not have any flaws. It's pretty much perfect.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Alien Invasion Muther fuckers. Fuck we STILL need that movie.

    by UltraTron

  • June 11, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    I don't excactly blame Caeron for the effects

    by Jaster Mareel

    He made that movie for like $35M dollars, he gets kudos for that shit. However, his redesign of the alien =warrior= is fucked up. Switching out the brilliant 6 finger hand with a stupid monster claw? Uh, no. GETTING RID OF THE COWEL? FUUCK no! Casting normal proportioned stunt guys to play the alien? HELL FUCKING NO!

  • June 11, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Ultratron, we already got that with AVP: Requiem!

    by Jaster Mareel

    .........That was a joke by the way. :)

  • June 11, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST


    by Hipshot

    It wasn't merely killing Newt in a fashion I don't believe. Not just failing to replace her with a character we gave a shit about, or the sense that they were deliberately shitting on the memory of a superior film. It was that they performed an unnecessary autopsy, just to freak the audience out. That...was evil.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST


    by cocolopez

    Never played it. Neither am I home- nor in my mother's basement. Sorry. I'm getting a big projection vibe coming from your end though lol.

  • June 11, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST


    by bob_uzumaki

    But it isn't even an average ALIEN film. That pisses the living fuck outta me.

  • June 11, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST


    by Rob Jenson

    Whoever said it shit on the memory of the preceding films is dead-on.

  • June 11, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    OK, now Aliens is getting ripped on?

    by Nice Marmot

    I'm out . . .

  • June 11, 2012, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Alien Queen from ALIENS could not have laid eggs on the Sulacco

    by John Green

    In ALIENS we very deliberately see the Alien Queen disconnect from the egg sac before she chases after Ripley and Newt. There's no way she brought eggs to the Sulacco unless she had them in her hands. The only explanation would be if Bishop or Paul Reiser had sent eggs or facehuggers via dropship, but we never see that happen, and there never really was the opportunity. The moment I saw the facehugger on the ship when I saw the film in the theater I knew the filmmakers didn't pay enough attention to the previous film and it was just downhill from there. If they were going to kill Newt anyway, just make it that she was already incubated from Aliens. Sure, she wakes up and sees a facehugger emerging from an egg in front of her right before Ripley shows up to save her, but I have an easier time believing she'd already been impregnated while unconscious versus the Queen laying eggs on the Sulacco without her egg sac, which Cameron very specifically showed the Queen detach from.

  • .. and potentially a sequel to PROMETHEUS!

  • June 11, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    newt & hicks death THE REAL DEAL --

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    it rubs many fans wrong because it was done off-screen and almost as an afterthought. I've said it before, that is akin to cinematic cheating, especially AFTER following the characters harsh struggle to survive in the previous entry. It' also stinks because it wasn't really done as some claim to make the movie even more bleak and was mostly done because the young girl had aged and they didn't want to shell out $$$ for Michael Bien.

  • June 11, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST


    by Sandy

    You hit it on the head. My feelings toward Alien³ almost mirror your own. In fact, of all the Alien films, it comes in second after the Ridley's original film. I'm not a big fan of the 'Starship Troopers' style second film and I actually hate the queen with a passion (always have ever since sitting in that darkened theatre in 1986, first showing, first day and feeling enormous disappointment that my favorite alien creature was reduced to nothing more than a glorified insect by Cameron). I also must once again point out the (should be) obvious... The alien creature in those films is not called "The Xenomorph". The term "xenomorph" is a general one used by the Colonial Marines in the film Aliens to describe ANY alien species. It is based on two Greek words, "xenos" meaning alien or strange and "morphe" meaning shape or form. It isn't a proper name for the species. This is supported by dialog in the film.

  • June 11, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST


    by Rob Jenson

    Works for me!

  • June 11, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Love this movie. Ripley's dire situation is just perfectly bleak.

    by Mrhazard

    This movie is so good. I really didnt know people hated it until I started going online. What's not to like? Ripley, one of the strongest female characters ever in cinema, is put in probably the most desperate of situations. She's wakes up, lover is dead, surrogate daughter is dead, on a planet that just happens to be an all-male PRISON! Even without the alien chasing her, she's dead. Oh yeah, she's "pregnant" with the alien too. THAT'S FUCKIN GREAT DRAMA RIGHT THERE! Great cast, great acting, great scenes (particularly the shot of the alien breathing down her face to face and leaving and the final scene with Ripley killing herself). I know people dont like this film because it's NOT Cameron's Aliens but that's why it's good. Because it's different. Each film in the original trilogy was unique and thats why it's such a good series. Alien 3 is much like Romero's Day of the Dead. Brilliant but underappreciated.

  • June 11, 2012, 10:59 a.m. CST

    I am just suprised there wasn't a giant spider to end the movie.

    by DontKnowJacK

    Yeah, it was that bad.

  • June 11, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    Iconic scenes in Alien 3 (you know it to be true)

    by Darth Macchio

    First one and most obvious - also highly copied scene - during the med-bay attack when the alien corners Ripley and makes an almost intimate physical contact with her (this was copied in numerous scenes in other flicks where "monsters" lick the face, or otherwise interact with a female protagonist). The "dragon attack" scene (a bit prior to the above med-bay scene) where the one guy gets pulled up to the ceiling and killed drenching the other guy with blood as he looks up, while the soundtrack reaches a musical crescendo... There are others (birth/death scene, ending, etc)...the dialog is very good as well...its got its problems but it's really only a blight on the series when taken as a whole (given how it kills the franchise narrative utterly up to that point) - as an individual film, I think it's better than many give it credit.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:03 a.m. CST

    moseph...time to get off the =it's not a xenomorph= kick

    by Jaster Mareel

    Nobody gives a fuck one way or another. It's called a xenomorph in the collective consciousness now, whether that was the original intention or not.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Watched it last weekend

    by honavery

    Hadn't seen it in 15 years, was willing to give it another chance. Still didn't care for it. Just thought it was dull more than anything else. The last 'action' set piece is way too long and confusing IMO. Liked the super creepy Bishop anamatronic though.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Still my favorite of the series...

    by Mikey Wood

    ...and for all of the reasons you've mentioned. I've had to defend it to people for years and it gets tiresome. Same as TEMPLE OF DOOM, same as SUPERMAN RETURNS. I suppose I have bad taste because those are some of my favorite movies.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    de facto alien design?

    by Jaster Mareel

    Fucking christ if you're going to be using that much model glue, crack a fucking window! ALIENS is the ONLY film that has used that design. If it's been used in some comic book somewhere, I don't know about it. It's certainly not in ANY video game. Sorry, but FAIL!

  • June 11, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Here's how the alien looked in the Dark Horse comic series:

    by Jaster Mareel

  • June 11, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Here's the thing about the egg on the ship...

    by Mikey Wood doesn't MATTER how it got there. All that matters is it's THERE. It got on there SOMEHOW and that just has to be good enough for the audience. I didn't care how it got there. When I saw it I was, like, "awww HELL..." Same as Newt and Hicks' deaths. Didn't care that they killed them off. It was important for the STORY. All of that fighting Ripley did...All for nothing. Ripley is a woman who has lost everything as of ALIEN3. That is what allows her to sacrifice heerself.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST


    by cocolopez

    you rolled right into it didn't you? Lol. I knew exactly how I was writing it and how it sounded. It was meant to come off exactly as everyone else does here. As for you being a filmmaker or whatever- I don't know or give a flying fuck what anyone does here- and no one knows what the fuck I do either. Nor does anyone here being a filmmaker make them any smarter than anyone who doesn't. I've worked with filmmakers. Two of them that I've worked with are complete idiots and their movies sucked. So you're filmmaker. Congratulations. As for Fincher- so he disowned it. He didn't have the creative control he would have liked (early in his career- understandable that he didn't fucking get it) so of course he'll disown it. But for you it's all black or white isn't it? In your universe all filmmakers know best, and all posters aren't aware of their own tactics. Congrats- you prove your name well. Fucking amateur for certain.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    OBVIOUSLY any Alien game based on ALIENS is going to use that design!

    by Jaster Mareel

    Other games based off the other films, or just the alien series in general do NOT use that design. Kind of a big fat fucking DUH! there dude!

  • June 11, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    It's really funny

    by cocolopez

    if you bothered to read my post I started off bashing everyone here- so obviously interfacing with "other human beings" here (imo all of you are cretinous) wasn't my ploy. All I see are here are cavernous pimply headed feverish fanboys, sour "filmmakers" who hate on real artists, trolls who offer zero substance, bloated egos trying to prove who the biggest snob is, and just flat out fucking idiots. Lol. I wouldn't drink a beer with a single one of you.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    When I first watched Alien3 I was blown away.

    by jellypop

    I've endured the jibes, ducked the flak and stood my ground a thousand times regarding Alien3. It is, and always will be, my favourite film of all time. There are deep flaws, clunky dialogue and some ever so annoying portions that belong somewhere else, but, for me it is a film of sublime beauty. First off we get a really great start with those scenes featuring quick shots of the facehugger, the slow stain of blood unto the sheet, Ripley being thrown around in the escape tube and that jettison into the dark. The aftermath of the crash into Fury 161 is actually pretty amazing too. A thoughtful, solid build up, Clemens caring for the stricken stranger gently and without judgement. Then comes the devastating news that Ripley's closet allies in Hicks and Newt are dead. So she is alone again as she was before when she lost her own daughter in world foreboding and bleak. Ripley then has to form new relationships and choose those carefully as she discovers that she is on a planet closed away from the universe, a place where criminals see out their lives. Men not to be trusted. The discovery of the alien is fairly routine-we all know its coming- its handled well, with quick scenes of deliberate impact. Sharp and swift, how a true attack would happen, without warning and with no chance to run. Ripley again faces loss when her closest confidant is killed by the alien shortly after he gains her trust. Throughout the scenes they share, Clemens always has a metaphorical arm around her shoulder. It is the first time in the series that we see someone able to guard her and shows Ripley in a new light. Once the alien strikes again, killing Andrews Ripley is forced to lead the convicts into battle. Ripley stands head and shoulders over Men, that claim to be the worst kind she'd ever met but cannot even find the courage to dig deep and fight the enemy. For a bunch of so called hardened lifers it takes a woman to show them the way. What I like best about the film is the way it looks, the lighting the mood. That the action sequences were ahead of their time in terms of Fincher using selective angles to heighten the tension, the sly quick glances of the Alien appearing in the frame for a slight second-a did I see that moment?-The desperate mood, the bleak conclusion and the desolate place. I think the pacing is fine, its in line with the build up and, the general melancholy that abounds as the alien squeezes its prey.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Fincher's Return of the Jedi

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Nightmarish images of fire abord the Falcon. It crashed on Endor where the entire crew drowns or is smashed to pieces except for Leia. She is rescued by hairless Ewoks who shave here head and dress her in a potato sack. Secretly, Admiral Akbar left two eggs onboard. One spawn faceraped a stormtropper investigating the crash scene. Then a larger gorilla like Mon Calamari bursts from his chest. The Ewoks attempt to rape Leia, then back off when they realize she is preggers with Luke's baby. The Mon Calamari begins killing hairless ewoks before accidently falling into a cooking pot and screehing like boiled lobster "It's a trap!". Then the ewoks have a big feast and Leia slits her wrists after hooking up C-3PO (having rebooted his wiped memory) and learnign Luke was her brother. The End. It's not Fincher's fault however because it was the script given to him.

  • June 11, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Alien is an unimpeachable masterpiece.

    by Brian Hopper

  • June 11, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST

    One thing ALIEN 3 has over PROMETHEUS...

    by Jason

    At least no one in ALIEN 3 thinks the alien is pretty and tries to pet it. Still a bad movie though. "Everyone dies" is neither insightful nor profound. And the worst sin of all is that it's not scary. How the fuck can you rationalize an ALIEN film that isn't scary? Seriously Nordling - it's ok to not like a movie here and there. It really is.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:06 p.m. CST

    I hated this film

    by donkey_lasher

    Rather than combine the Action of Aliens and the tension of Alien, we got this depressing film. I saw it in a Alien marathon, with the first two playing before it, and It just looked like Fincher was bigging himself up like Cameron and trying, anf failing to do something different. I can now forgive it a little, because some of the acting is top notch, and I honestly think this film has aged better than Aliens (even though Aliens is still the superior film) As Ripley Canon, I'll go with it. But it seems to me, like a Epilogue. 'What happened afterwards". Which plays like a sad documentary.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Alien flaws? Brett looking for Jonesey...

    by Darth Macchio

    The reason Brett went alone as opposed to with Koto and Weaver's characters was because they still believed the "alien" to be a small, pink, infant/adolescent lifeform, not a huge carnivorous monster. Remember when they all meet after Brett gets killed and Koto keeps emphasizing it's size? That's because I believe he's trying to make clear it's not a small creature any longer - I think he even says something along the lines of " big as a man" True - that "plot hole" is not entirely patched up with my take as they have no idea what it is and they know without question that the face-hugger than put it there most assuredly is dangerous, and not very big on its own...but still, the only thing they knew of the creature at that point is that it was tiny, snakelike, and ran from human contact.

  • I loved the movie but it scared me and traumatized me too... just absolutely seared itself into my subconscious.

  • Once again, for the intellectually challenged:

  • June 11, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Dallas going into the air ducts

    by donkey_lasher

    On his own.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:31 p.m. CST

    My only problem with Alien3 is the sex scene.

    by Royston Lodge

    The sex scene feels SO out of character for Ripley. Other than that, I have no problems with Alien3.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Total Dog Shit


    Wish this movie had never been made. Total travesty, I know it has it's fans but Jesus Christ its pure garbage. Worthy of hatred on so many levels. Makes watching Aliens an almost pointless venture. How did Two eggs get on board the Sulaco? We didn't the Sulaco have sprinklers in the event of a fire? Why didn't the EEV have some kind of computer guided landing or at the very least deploy parachutes? It has not one decent character in the entire movie, not one you remotely care about. It also seems that at the end in the tunnels numerous people never seen before this point just turn up and get killed. Really, the company funds 17 or so blokes to live on a planet which they have to send supplies to regularly, I don't think so. The effects are rotten. The dialogue is terrible. It's boring and depressing. Even the Director has nothing nice to say about it. Alien Resurection is by far the better film.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:43 p.m. CST

    @victor laszlo @crypticpress...Very Good Points

    by tintab

    Nordling, while I appreciate your article, I've always felt most of the creative decisions on this film were wrong. To victor laszlo's point, the end of Aliens suggest a number of possible story "developments". None of them would likely include a random crash landing on a prison planet simply to mask the unavailability of Biehn and the aging of the actress who played Newt. To crypticpress's point, I always felt it was a cheat to suddenly have an alien egg magically appear on board to explain why the crash takes place. How does the queen do it without here egg sac? Even the tone of finality strikes me as a concession to Weaver. I remember interviews at the time where she was conflicted about her continual involvement in the series but was happy to use this as leverage for a larger paycheck. If you like Alien3, cool. Everyone is entitled to like what they like. For me, it's clearly a desperate attempt to continue the franchise six years after the previous film with a reluctant star who wanted to kill her main character. No story development can take place in this scenario hence the tone finality. This story was a dead end because of all the stuff going on behind the scenes. I think Alien fans want to see the "main" story develop. What is the main story? Well, it doesn't involve Ripley. It's the aliens! What are these things? What are their purpose other than to live and spawn? We are beyond the alien as a stand-in for the boogeyman. And that's how they are treated in Alien3. Character stuff happens and then this thing comes along and kills them. Rinse and repeat. I would like to learn more about the aliens in the context of an interesting story. It doesn't have to be the often-rumored assault on the alien planet.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Oh, ALIENS is definitely Sci-Fi Horror + Action.

    by victor laszlo

    It has the scariest chestburster scene of the franchise, after all. Not to mention vastly, and I do mean vastly, superior character nuance. With that (completely true) parting shot, I have to bow out of this. Dealing with the dissing of ALIENS is not worth my time, especially with deadlines looming. Tis' a motion picture that requires no defense, and the kinds of things I'm hearing sound like people who don't like AVATAR just retro-actively pretending the King of the World hasn't been kicking their asses since the 1980s.

  • June 11, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    @badboybrom hc, Agree completely

    by tintab

    So many cheats just to mask the fact they can't get Biehn!

  • June 11, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST

    You mean every one except the one I linked to?

    by Jaster Mareel

    How about this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one? Look I'm sure there are hundreds of more examples, but I think I've made my point.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:02 p.m. CST

    I like the theatrical cut better

    by Samuel Fulmer

    The pseudo Fincher cut is just the "more shit we did to try to kill the alien that didn't work" cut. The theatrical is a bleak, lean, mean to the point flick. And I like Fincher a lot, but I think alot of people seem to act as if the 2003 cut is better because it's closer to his original intentions.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    The egg on the ship...,

    by Deano316

    Don't get me wrong, I think Alien 3 is a giant steaming turd of a movie. However, whilst the Queen's sack did detach, it's entirely feasible that she still had "one in the chamber". After all, the eggs are produced in her and passed to the sack. Possible, but to be honest who gives a shit. Alien 3 stinks so it's irrelevant.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST

    "I liked this movie, so it's good! It's worthy because I liked it!"

    by FloatingHolmes

    So you liked a shitty movie. Congrats. This article uses precious few points to argue that it is actually good, and what points it does use suck. "It's a middle finger to the producers and audience"? Yeah, I felt that way-- but that was a reason NOT to like it. Intentionally violating what came before does not make it good. That makes it bad. The movie UNDOES Aliens' happy ending. Stupid move, but maybe there was a good reason? ...Uh, no. No matter what you think about Newt and Hicks' death, there's no chance that the Alien Queen laid an egg on the ship at the end of ALIENS. Zero possibility. The entire movie hinges on audiences somehow forgetting that very simple fact and then plunges head first into a story really not worth telling. That's one inarguable reason this movie is not a worthy sequel. But to make it worse, killing the doctor literally guts what little story they get going with. So the movie ends up sucking on its own terms as well. The rest (over half of the movie) blunders on to a forced finale, emotionally flat, totally disconnected from everything in the other movies. With no one in the story that understands Ripley or makes Ripley face things she doesn't want to face, there is no emotional heart to the movie. The story, after the doctor's death, becomes forced and unnatural without a central character relationship to build upon. This movie was bad for the franchise, bad for the viewers, bad for the director, bad for the studio, and that carries a little weight. If you are going to argue that it is NOT bad, you better bring a little more than a few declarative sentences and a tired "it takes effort, but rewards you" argument.

  • June 11, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Plot holes and forced exposition - careful what you wish for

    by Darth Macchio

    I get the blatantly schizophrenic nature of TB'ers loves and hates. I've been here a long time and have done my own share of verbal spewing from time to time. But the plot hole obsessives tend to annoy me because the end results is superfluous characters present only for on-screen exposition. It's like people who are always watching with a loaded eye - like English teachers instead of just a reader. If a book is horribly written, no one's going to have to deal with it but if you read a book searching desperately for grammar mistakes, how can you not miss part of, if not much (or all) of the plot? How can you truly appreciate the plot and read as an editor at the same time. And even if you can, why would you want to? Real plot holes that disrupt the narrative make their presence known by their own existence, by defintion, you wouldn't have to seek them out. Likewise, if you do seek them out, you'll likely never find a single work of fiction of any medium without a plothole in the narrative at some point. I think what some of you seek is not plot holes but the absence of any and all logical ambiguity but to have that, you have to have ALL the details (extraneous or not) and since that is obviously impossible, we'll have to have those pertinent details telegraphed to us in the form of a "audience representative" which leads to pointless, and often time consuming, narrative exposition.

  • June 11, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    James Cameron should re-boot Alien 3

    by WWBD

    Since he is all-powerful, he should re-do Alien3 with the William Gibson script (aliens make it to earth). He can age down Michael Biehn with his futuristic moviemaking tech, and he can make Newt an all CG creation.

  • June 11, 2012, 2:35 p.m. CST

    @fzammetti: I went there

    by Hive Mind

    I don't really like Aliens. I don't like the mindless drone mentality of the xenomorphs, I don't like the idea of a queen (I especially don't like it after the director's cut of Alien specifically laid out how the facehugger 'eggs' were created. The idea of a queen renders the facehugger portion of the xenomorph life cycle as unneeded. And they died way too easy, and why didn't all their splashing acid blood melt that installation to the ground? A few drops from the facehugger burned thru 3 decks of Nostromo! Aliens just changed up way too much of the groundwork that was laid out in Alien...especially that the Xenomorphs were solitary hunters and reproduced in a very unique (and ALIEN) way.

  • a means of pathetically trying to bolster their case for Prometheus or that hot unwatchable mess Alien³. Yeah, Dallas went into the airducts alone. There were only 5 people left on the ship. Who the f**k was supposed to go with him? Ridiculous.

  • Those ducts were like 3 feet x 3 feet. how the fuck is sending more people down with flame throwers going to be an advantage? Plus, everyone was scared fucking shitless! And don't forget that the whole purpose was not to fight the alien, but to scare it into an airlock. you get more than one person in there and that blows the whole fucking plan!

  • June 11, 2012, 3:06 p.m. CST

    I do like that Alien3 is finally getting SOME respect

    by Acappellaman

    I always thought it was a well made movie. Atmospheric, moody, and not at all what the first two movies were. Having more of the same is not creative. At least Fincher tried something different. I like it!

  • June 11, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Totally off the subject, but does anyone recommend SCREAMERS?

    by Crimson Dynamo

    I just became aware of it today, starts Peter Weller, written by O'Bannon and based on a story by Philip K. Dick - I'm damn intrigued

  • June 11, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    there's no defending this shit


    How do you drop the ball so catastrophically with this extremely weak follow-up to Cameron's masterpiece? It's one of if not the worst sequels in movie history. The groundwork was set by Alien and Aliens, and we were given a very mediocre, disappointing movie with repetitive unimaginative horror sequences.

  • It felt real. It felt like in the fucked up, future-world these movies are set in that that kind of thing could happen, exactly AS it happens in the movie. I love the pace. I love the shift in location. And I love nearly every performance. I agree that it's not perfect, but it is good. And it's much better than a lot of the hyperbolic bs that people heap upon it. <p> The fourth one, not so much.

  • June 11, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST



  • June 11, 2012, 3:44 p.m. CST

    40 % at Rottentomatoes


    The people have spoken!

  • June 11, 2012, 3:55 p.m. CST

    So you let a website decide what you like and don't like

    by Jaka

    The stupid people have spoken, evidently. I don't give a rats ass what AICN, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, Amazon reviews or any other website has to say about a movie. If I like, I like it. That's why we have free will instead of animal instinct and herd mentality. We get to make decisions on our own.

  • They were all set up to have a massive alien war on Earth.....and they fucked it. A waste really.

  • June 11, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Cow alien instead of dog?? What's this?

    by Rebel Scumb

    I've never seen the extended cut, there's a cowalien?

  • June 11, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    crimson dynamo -- Screamers is okay

    by lv_426

    I recommend the original short story though, Second Variety. If you can get past the Cold War-inspired setting of the story, it is better than the film. The film is kinda fun for a low-mid budget 90's sci-fi/action film. It just isn't a great PKD movie from that period, like Total Recall.

  • "My thought in re the killing of Newt in Alien 3 was to explain that her capsule was damaged and that she would therefore have to remain in deep sleep until it could be repaired. That way, she remains alive but inactive for the duration of the story, Ripley's motivation to fight to remain alive in order to sustain her is maintained, and Newt's status being iffy (she can live or die at any time) adds another element of suspense to the film. And of course, having Newt as an older person with a unique insight into the aliens would have opened up some wonderful spin-off possibilities. But Walter Hill essentially killed off everything I tried to add to the story." Link:;wap2

  • June 11, 2012, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Screamers isn't bad as long as you keep your expectations realistic.

    by Royston Lodge

    It's straight-to-video. It's good straight-to-video, but straight-to-video nonetheless.

  • Maybe a grown-up Newt goes with, harboring a secret agenda to destroy the aliens, or maybe she is needing some similar type of *face the demon* catharsis that Ripley pursued in Aliens? It could have used some ideas of the Dark Horse Comics series like Newt falling in love with an android that doesn't know he is a synthetic, or the Earth War.

  • June 11, 2012, 4:57 p.m. CST

    So our Alien sagas would be 2-3 films each

    by lv_426

    The original three, the Ripley trilogy... Then two or three Newt spin-offs/sidequels, and now with Prometheus the Shaw/David prequel saga of possibly two films total.

  • As for Weaver, I have never heard any legit claim that she ordered Hicks or Newt excised. At all. What happened was this: originally, she was holding out to not do Alien 3. Therefore, William Gibson among others (including Eric Red) were enlisted to write Ripley-less versions of the film. This is what led to the Gibson draft starring Hicks and Bishop on the "Soviet" Anchorpoint space mall/station, with the cyberpunk aliens that explode out of our entire bodies a la Scanners or something. Newt appears for about 10 mins and says goodbye to Hicks and comatose Ripley (there is a fire on the Sulaco in the opening, harming her cryotube and putting her out of action) before going to live with her grandparents on Earth. Hicks sends Ripley off the station to escape what he suspects is an infestation. When Sigourney came back in, it's true she asked for no more guns. Which could have worked. I don't recall her ever asking for no Newt or Hicks. I think Fox just had no idea what to do with them and didn't want to play or pay Michael Biehn. The Vincent Ward concept is interesting but very flawed as a script. The Eric Red version is unbelievably bad and takes place in like a biodome version of 50s Smallville. They never knew what they wanted to make. No one had any idea except they wanted to make more money. The resulting film is a mishmash of terrible crap featuring a legion of British actors who you can't tell apart.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST

    dogmatic -- Alien 3 as Alien 'cubed'

    by lv_426

    I took it as there were three aliens in the film. The dog/ox alien terrorizing the prison. The queen larva inside Ripley. Ripley herself is an intrusive element introduced to the prison when she crash lands there. Also of course, her being the only woman adds another layer to that. I suppose you could also argue that the prisoners themselves, deciding to stay on Fury 161, were alienated from normal society. At least the doctor and the two superintendents that run the place. The doctor played by Charles Dance tells his story of how he fucked up on an ER shift and a bunch of people died because he prescribed the wrong pain medicine due to being drunk. I took it that he is a dude who is never going to go back to normal society on Earth or whatever colony he came from. The beginning in the extended cut with him walking alone near the shore gives me the impression that he is sort of at peace on the lonely world of Fury 161. So yeah, he's an alien in a way too. Some of the character work in Alien 3 is good. I like Ripley, Clemens the doctor, and Dillon played by Charles S. Dutton. Morse was kinda fun, as he was full of piss and vinegar. I liked his little rant to Ripley: "What 85 is trying to tell you is that we ain't got no entertainment center, no climate control, no video system, no surveillance, no freezers, no fucking ice cream, no rubbers, no women, no guns. All we got here is *shit*!" Dillon's motivational speech towards the end was effective: "You're all gonna die. The only question is how you check out. Do you want it on your feet? Or on your fuckin' knees... begging? I ain't much for begging! Nobody ever gave me nothing! So I say *fuck* that thing! Let's fight it!"

  • June 11, 2012, 5:31 p.m. CST



  • June 11, 2012, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I'm merely presenting evidence that the film is lacking qualities which make it "good"


    Film critics are professionals who analyse a work of art and judge it on it's technical merits. There's more to this than just "I liked it" or "I didn't like it." If you break down the action sequences in Alien 3 shot-by-shot you will see that it fails miserably to evoke any sort of emotional response besides boredom. The story itself doesn't grab you or draw you in, it makes you want to take a nap. It is poorly written. This is just a fact.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    The offenses of Alien3 are numerous

    by I am_NOTREAL

    1. Scuttling Ripley's hard-earned happy ending seen at the end of Aliens in the first 5 minutes, I don't care how "necessary" it was, it was a dickless move dramatically and the product of deficient storytellers, particularly because... 2. They couldn't think of a logical way to make it happen, so viewers had to take it on faith that the eggs got on board. Nevermind that we never saw them, it happened. Absolutely unforgivably lazy, shit storytelling of the highest order 3. All of the convicts looked alike, so none of them had any identity, they might as well have all been furniture 4. The alien clearly moves faster than any human can, so the whole "alien-vision" bit in the maze towards the end is completely nonsensical 5. Hard-to-follow action, most of it is klutzy and inane and therefore boring 6. Poor lighting, extremely hard to make out details 7. Confusion about whether or not Bishop is human or real at the end, as someone else pointed out, the effect of his ear hanging off is stupid, if he's hurt that badly it's hard to believe he'd still be standing It's a failure, no amount of apologizing and director-cutting can change that. A deeply, deeply misguided movie from the word go.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST

    The EEV was a crappy escape pod though

    by lv_426

    What kind of escape vehicle slams down into the ocean without some sort of guidance thrusters and a parachute? Although, I remember someone saying that the EEV had a malfunction, so I guess it works okay in this film. I take it we'll find out in Aliens: Colonial Marines that W-Y spooks tampered with the Sulaco's EEV.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Is it a coincidence that excrement and the color palette of Alien3 are both brown?


  • June 11, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST


    by phifty2

    I've always felt, and a lot of the games back this up(whether they're canon or not is not important for this argument) is that the alien in Alien was a drone and the aliens in ALIENS were warrior aliens. That explains why they acted differently. The drone just wanted to hide(possibly morph into an layer itself) but the pesky humans kept coming after it and it finally took aggressive action when it sensed it was about o be blown to dust with the destruction of the Nostromo. The warriors, being that there is already a queen , are sent out to kill all opposition and if possible bring back more hosts.

  • June 11, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Weaver's performance in 3 IS arguably her best of the series

    by I am_NOTREAL

    pity it's not in service of a better film than this mess.

  • - A3 takes place a very short time (maybe only hours or minutes) after Aliens ends, but it was 7 calendar years, so obviously a new actress would've been needed for Newt, and -the EEV endures such a violent crash that Newt and Hicks are killed...yet Ripley miraculously survives? Awfully convenient. Rather than take the trouble to find a new child actress and a way to use Hicks and Newt in the story, they just removed the trouble -- they ran into a problem they thought they couldn't write around, so they just took it off the board. Lazy, not ballsy.

  • June 11, 2012, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Alien 3 iriff

    by successor

    There's an iriff for Alien 3. Maybe it won't make up for the actual film, but it might make you laugh with it.

  • June 11, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Nordling, nice write-up, man

    by murray_hamilton

    You still haven't changed my mind about Alien3, (don't like it) but I can appreciate your point of view. Well written.

  • June 11, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST


    by Hipshot

    You're dead right about the alien not being "tough." It was deadly--another thing entirely. Any time they hit it with anything, they could hurt it. Compare that with the critter in "It, the Terror From Beyond Space," which I believe O'Bannon freely admitted copping from. They hit that damned monster with guns, a blow torch, hand-to-hand, electrocution, and rockets. They unshielded a fucking nuclear reactor on it. Nothing. Had to...wait for it...suit up and open the spaceship's outer doors to suffocate it. Now THAT was a tough sonofabitch. But the xenomorphs? Except for the acid blood thingie, they're really dangerous, scary, pussies.

  • you can't exactly kill the thing with a torch and a kitchen knife, like the prisoners at Fury were holding onto just for their own sense of safety than anything. They reason they dropped in Aliens were because they had Very Large Guns but they were marines so they kinda roll with Very Large Guns. And a shotgun to the mouth. That would work too.

  • June 11, 2012, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Alien 3 is a right downer

    by Hat Man

    I feel very strongly on this one. For me, Alien was a great movie (still is) and Aliens was a great build on that. The two of them form a triangle of awesomeness standing on its point in my head! For years I lived with the two films going Wow! Love those two films! Another one? Alien3? Fantastic! Oh. Nordling, you sum up the film very well. To me its good points are also its failings. It should have been its own beast, not a sequel to one of the greatest sci fi action films of the twentieth century. It would be like making a bunch of sequels to the original Star Wars trilogy and really messing it up. Ha. Ah, ha, ha. The triangle of awesomeness has now got an additional triangle which starts wide at the base rapidly and rapidly reaches a point of wet fartiness. Such a downer! Not only that, but there are some bits which make no sense at all, like how did the eggs get on board the Sulacco? How?! Killing off Newt and Hicks was a serious mistep. It totally devalues what has gone before. Why didn't they set in in the future, after Newt has grown up a bit? Anything's possible then. Why not have the aliens get to earth somehow? Who wouldn't want to see that? Why does the next alien film have to start with Ripley waking up in another bloody capsule? Where's that established? Right from the start of Alien 3 I was disappointed by the death of the other two survivors. None of the inmates were worth much except maybe Charles Dance (oh, his head's come off). Ripley's got an alien in her. Know where this is going I reckon. yep, there we go. And what was with the operatic finish, falling into molten slag, locked in an embrace of death? Talk about OTT. I know there were some silly bits in Aliens (Ripley's crawl up a ladder versus decompression), but even so. Its almost as if the people who made Alien3 hated people who liked the first two. The irony is that there was at least one Aliens graphic novel sequel that shat all over 3 in a big way. Why didn't the producers take notice? Anyway, moving on...

  • June 11, 2012, 10:05 p.m. CST

    watched it once when it was released

    by BBSloth

    That was enough, it's rubbish

  • June 11, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST


    by Jaka

    Do you even understand that this... <p> "If you break down the action sequences in Alien 3 shot-by-shot you will see that it fails miserably to evoke any sort of emotional response besides boredom. The story itself doesn't grab you or draw you in, it makes you want to take a nap." <p> telling other people how they feel? You don't know how I feel, so speak for yourself.

  • Hopelessness is scarier than any real threat.

  • June 12, 2012, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Newt's autopsy scene was

    by Dridstar

    some of the finest work Sigourney Weaver has ever done. It haunts me to this day.

  • June 12, 2012, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Correct me if I'm totally wrong

    by TheMcflyFarm

    But couldn't the facehuggers have gotten on the ship from, oh I don't know, crawling onto the fucking thing? Why would it have had to come directly from the queen's sack? Wasn't the planet overrun with aliens? Surely they didn't kill all of them.

  • June 12, 2012, 2:07 a.m. CST

    "The Bitch is Back!" Remember that advertisement for the movie?

    by ShogunMustard

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned how the movie was marketed with "The Bitch is Back!". All you guys talking about the queen, I remember seeing the AD and thought they meant that the queen somehow lived and was in Alien3. In retrospect, the AD meant Weaver. Even Weaver had no clue what the marketing dept. meant in that tag line. Why would they call Weaver a bitch? So, even the movie advertisement was fucked along with the movie. All in all, everything was terrible. Here's the AD:

  • Grow up! No one makes you watch it. No one cares if you like it. After reading yesterday's comments I started watching it again last night. Wonderful movie. It looks amazing. Great score. Wonderful acting (on the whole). Atmospheric. Admittedly it's not all butch and macho, and there are no charismatic/cliche soldiers, and it's not very Hollywood, so I understand why popcorn-film lovers aren't enthusiastic for it. Stop questioning how a Facehugger got on to the ship. If you dislike the movie, fine, don't watch it, forget all about it. If you do, then you'll find it's no more flawed, no more ridiculous than any other fantasy movie.

  • June 12, 2012, 4:42 a.m. CST

    I have rewatched the movie last night thanks to this talkback

    by David Cloverfield

    The haters are fucking insane, and that includes the director I guess. It's better than I remembered. You reallly feel for poor Ripley, watching Alien 3 is like walking in her utterly doomed shoes. There is no escape, no hope... and then she hugs the baby queen, the only child the universe allows her to have... It's a powerful movie and a great closure to a trilogy. I was ready to meet the haters halfway, but I can't. Alien 3 is great.

  • June 12, 2012, 7:14 a.m. CST


    by KGB3317

    Yes, those comics were indeed kick-ass. Those books are my Alien 3 and Resurrection.

  • June 12, 2012, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Dammit... why did I only see this now?

    by cornholio1980

    Now all the fun is pretty much over. Anyway, I wholeheartedly agree with anything Nordling has said here. I always loved Alien³ for exactly the same reasons, especially the feeling of hopelessness and the dark, but in a weird way still triumphant (and somehow fitting) ending. The only two strengths not mentioned are the great camera work (which for the first time showed what Steady Cam really can do) and Elliot Goldenthals fantastic score (especially "Adagio"). And while I also almost prefered the Work Print overall, thanks to the new scenes that flesh out the characters, they unfortunatelly really screwed up the editing at the end, thus ruining that version for me. The original ending works just perfectly, together with the score. In the Workprint-version, it feels off somehow. Anyway, thanks for the article, Nordling!

  • June 12, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Turd that sounds awful I'm glad you don't write movies

    by Autodidact


  • June 12, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    The film never recovers from the deaths of Newt and Hicks

    by sapno_krei

    I remember seeing the movie in the theater, eager to see the continuing adventures of the little family formed at the end of ALIENS. To see the characters dispatched in such a haphazard fashioned was such a slap in the face, I really should have just asked for a refund right then. It didn't help that the filmmakers clearly cheated around re-using any recognizable production design work from the previous film by using a quick-cut montage. The final result was a film that was a sequel to ALIENS in name only.

  • June 12, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    I always wondered if Sigourney Weaver had a problem with Michael Biehn.

    by Bradly Durant

    In the Aliens documentary Biehn said how he felt a distance between her and him on set. Also I remember sometime in the early 90's Weaver was on a UK chat show with a camp gay comic called Julian Clary. Clary was asked by the chat show host if he'd seen Aliens to which he replied yes and how much he 'liked' Corporal Hicks in it. Oddly Weaver commented how she couldn't remember a Corporal Hicks? The woman is a power bitch plain and simple.

  • June 12, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST

    I do agree with Nordling on one count...

    by McSatan

    Alien 3 *is* much maligned. But not unfairly so. However, had they not killed off Newt and Hicks so off-handedly I think it would have been better received. Don't want the characters in the movie? Fine. There surely were better ways to accomplish that. Killing them off-screen was cheap and lazy. Even killing off Ripley at the end is acceptable to me because it was earned. Too bad that one unfortunate and ill-advised choice sealed this movie's fate right at the git-go.

  • June 12, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    jackthekipper, if that's true then Fuck Weaver up her flat ass.

    by Stalkeye

    If she thought she was the driving force behind Aliens, that bitch needs a reality check. What made the film so effin great was the ensemble cast especially Hicks, Vasquez and Hudson who helped to not only carry the film, but are just as memorable as Ripley. (Belive it or not.) Then again, i don't know where this tension between both actors came from. Ego? Insecurity? or one of them came off like some Diva? Well at least she loved Charles Dutton's performance which was possibly the best thing about Alien 3 next to the redemption theme itself. But Weaver eventually dug her own grave by allowing her signature character to be killed off and now after the backlash from A3, the rest is history. I now present you with Alien Ressurection?!?

  • June 12, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    ** Here is my take on ALIENS and ALIEN 3... **

    by Monroville

    You can explain the weakness of the bone-headed Aliens in that the Queen was a mutated version of the 1st film Alien. Remember, she came out of Newt's dad (granted, in the deleted scene). Nothing saying that the colonists were being slowly irradiated by the terraforming plant, thus mutating their DNA, which in turn results in a mutated form of Alien, which grows into the Alien queen, which produces "servants" or "copies of a copy" that are weaker than the original. In ALIEN 3, they did not need the egg on board, being that (as others have pointed out), they would have covered the ship before going to sleep. They could have either included a PITCH BLACK style accident, or include a scene from the Will Gibson script in that Burke was dealing with another company (ie. something like Con-Am) and planning on a "promotion". A couple of space suited individuals come on board, the Sulaco defences activate, nice little firefight which kills the astronauts and damages the hypersleep capsules. They are ejected and land on the planet (which they could have used those nice Iceland locations for). Newt is in a coma (like Alan Dean Foster's idea), Bishop is eventually plugged into the bases' computer, helping to direct the capture sequence (maybe fries him in the process - the point being that you still give him something to do, even if you kill him) and then end it like BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, where Hicks dies defending Ripley, who detonates the base's reactor ala Charlton Heston, with the plea for help, company man says something offensive and the last shot is her hand hitting the switch and the screen going white. Focus more on the prisoners being political prisoners (or people the company feel "know too much" and are kept alive for future prying of information) and that the Aliens were already there and the entire intent was to use the prisoners for their experiments (which was in the David Twohy script) and there you go, more or less.

  • June 12, 2012, 2:02 p.m. CST

    It's not true about Sigourney.

    by reflecto

  • June 12, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Well, it wouldn't surprise me

    by Monroville

    All of these actors and actresses can get pretty controlling with those things that involve their careers (just read about Will Shatner and Leonard Nimoy during the filming of the original show, much less the first 3 STAR TREK movies). It is weird though, as I've read that Sigourney did not want to come back (as her story was wrapped up pretty well with ALIENS)... at the same time, I could see her being a mega-bitch in that if she was to come back, it would have to be her and ONLY her (no spotlight sharing this time). It would make sense though... Walter and David were pretty much ready to go with Will Gibson's script (with Renny Harlin directing), but something kept coming up to put it off. It doesn't make any sense that they would NOT want to repeat the same money-making move that ALIENS was, regardless of how good the overall story was. It just comes across that internal politics is what killed the whole thing.

  • June 12, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST

    The Queen didn't have an egg sac...

    by ttomato

  • June 12, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST

    The Queen didn't have an egg sac...

    by ttomato

  • June 12, 2012, 4:13 p.m. CST

    It's just a pointless exercise

    by MandrakeRoot

    Alien3 should really just not exist. Why on earth would we want to see Ripley thrust back into a variation of the situation in the original Alien, only pulled off considerably worse? Although Alien and Aliens form a perfect saga of Ripley, the inevitable third film had so many interesting places it could go, and it goes to the least interesting at all. All of these deep themes in it people talk about it aren't really explored at all, especially compared to the Vietnam subtext of Aliens and the incredibly strong theme of motherhood that was developed. The character work for an action/sci-fi/horror film is really unparalleled, and it was Aliens that rightfully thrust Ripley into the forefront of all action heroines. The people who hate on Aliens are just trying to convince themselves of something they know is false. Alien3 is a more outright horror film yet it still doesn't have a sliver of the claustrophobic atmosphere Aliens exuded effortlessly. The script is easily one of the most memorable in movie history. And for a "gung-ho" action film, there actually isn't that much action. The first Alien doesn't appear for a very long time, and there's only a couple of action set-pieces before the double-shot at the end. I'm also not sure how Cameron made them into any other these are creatures that can be easily killed with firepower, yet their surprise attacking and intelligence (cutting the power, coming in through the ceiling) is perfectly in line with what is shown in Alien. Cameron wise expanded on the life-cycle and added the Queen because after the first movie being overly mysterious would have never worked. And at the end of the day the Aliens are just as fascinating as they were in the original.

  • June 12, 2012, 4:15 p.m. CST


    by MandrakeRoot

    There is not a single moment in Alien3 that rivals the pure terror of watching the Alien slowly rise out of the water behind Newt. Now THAT was some scary shit.


  • I like your ideas for where they could have taken things. Even just keeping Newt alive wouldn't have messed up Ripley's sacrifice at all, but then we'd still have a great character in Newt that could be developed in a spin-off sequel or sequels. That would have been preferable to Alien Resurrection IMO. They could have also used the idea of Newt being a little crazy due to her traumatic experiences at Hadley's Hope. As you said, she would be taken in by W-Y so they could get info from her about the aliens, as she'd be the only one left who had lived to tell the tale (unless they still kept Morse alive too). Like the Dark Horse Aliens comics, Newt could be a little crazy, and would allow for them to bring back Sigourney as Ripley for a dream sequence or maybe a hallucination type thing due to Newt's disturbed mental state. Sure it could be cheesy if no handled correctly, but maybe if Ridley or Cameron had returned to direct a Newt centered Alien 4, they could have pulled it off. Ripley returning in a cameo via a dream would have been more interesting than cloning her IMO. Another interesting thread they could take would be to have a grown up Newt investigating Ripley's past, to learn more about the woman who saved her, and to possibly uncover the source of the xenomorphs. One cool thread they never ran with was what if the Nostromo had become this famous lost ship at sea type of legend in the 57 years since it disappeared (probably now closer to 75 years if we are with an adult Newt). Since W-Y would probably have buried and deleted a lot of the records of the Nostromo's demise due to the whole Special Order 937 business, maybe the lack of info about the ship's fate spurred public interest and conspiracy theories? So Newt, looking into the past history of Ripley and the Nostromo, starts to put together a theory of where the derelict alien ship on LV-426 could have come from. At least, maybe she narrows it down to a few star systems or something? She then goes to a corporate rival of Weyland-Yutani, maybe Hyperdyne? Similar to Prometheus, Newt convinces them to fund and set up an expedition to search for the xenomorph origins. Not only does Newt need to face the fear, but she wants to find answers and then eradicate the aliens for good. There are lots of ways to take a concept like that, but it would have been a more interesting story thread to follow instead of Resurrection and AvP.

  • June 12, 2012, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Bridge burned

    by Lummox JR

    Well Nordling, there goes my trust of any of your future reviews. How anyone could in any seriousness go to bat for the Alien Movie That Shall Remain Unnamed defies logic. The film is too fatally flawed. I get what you're trying to do here, but there's nothing to salvage for a second look. And this is coming from a guy who can overlook Jar Jar Binks in the name of picking out a film's good bits. This one had none. Honestly, I don't care if Fincher had to frell up the story in a particular way to achieve whatever artistic vision he had. Point is, that vision is crap. A worthy sequel could have been made (by someone else), and wasn't. End of story.

  • Seems they nabbed that for Prometheus. Although, dreams were a big part of Aliens. Ripley's nightmares leading her to go back to face the alien, and Newt asking if she can dream on the way back to Earth. I like the dreaming in hypersleep concept, but always found the idea that you could be almost frozen in some sort of cryo/suspended animation in those hypersleep tubes and not be dreaming or conscious in any way during it, a bit more unsettling. Almost as if you just wake up as if it were mere minutes since you went to sleep, but it was actually weeks or years later when you wake up at your destination. Ever have those nights where you fall asleep, don't seem to have any dreams, and when you wake it feels like you only slept for a few minutes yet when you look at the clock you realize you actually slept for a full night (6-8 hours or whatever your average night's sleep is)? I always thought of hypersleep like that. You'd wake up and feel like you had slept for a little while, but then you would realize you were asleep for months or years, at least in the original Alien when interstellar travel took longer.

  • June 12, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST

    david cloverfield, I rewatched the movie last night because of this talkback too.

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    Was really hoping that in the half-decade or so since my last viewing I might find more here, might see a film to which time had been kind, might think "you know, the fans of 3 are on to something and this actually works better than I remember." Nope. Alien3 is every bit as bad as it always was. If anything, the manner in which Hicks and Ripley were disposed of played even worse than I remember, and it's never a good thing when a movie has you crying "oh, FUCK this!" before the opening credits have finished. There is no serious examination of "faith, mortality, religion, and trust", as Nordling claims. Alien3 has nothing to say about faith and religion except to assure us that the gang of interchangeable bald-headed British convicts have found it; it doesn't challenge us about mortality except to make us wonder why we're still watching a heroine who has already given up on survival; it has no real examination of trust beyond Ripley feeling comfortable enough with the doctor to fuck him and anxious enough about whether the Charles Dutton character will follow through on his promise to kill her to keep pestering him about it (after all these years and even after a fresh viewing I still can't recall the names of any of the characters in this movie beyond Ripley and Bishop themselves). The whole movie culminates in a ridiculous, endless chase sequence in which the interchangeable, unarmed bald British convicts are picked off routinely by a single alien who boasts a higher body count than Jason Voorhies in any given F13th movie, a climax in which we have no stake since (with the exception of Dutton) we don't know or care who any of the convicts are (the one sympathetic character, the doctor, was pointlessly dispatched long ago) and Ripley's fate is already sealed whether she dispatches the alien or not. The first five minutes of this movie are enough to leave me wondering why I bothered watching the second movie, and the last five minutes are enough to leave me wondering why I bothered with the first. And I absolutely love the first two movies. Alien3 is an unsalvageable, irredeemable disaster.

  • June 12, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST

    "the manner in which Hicks and Ripley were disposed of"

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    Hicks and Newt, I meant.

  • June 12, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    mandrakeroot -- I agree

    by lv_426

    Aliens actually has a lot of nice horror movie moments and a deeply tense and unsettling atmosphere leading up to the cocoon chestburster moment and following battle with the aliens and marines. There are some great moments that made me tense and then had a good payoff to the build up: 1) Ripley's dream at the beginning talking to Burke. 2) The sweep of the colony was tense, leading to the facehuggers in the preservative tanks, followed by Burke leaning in and one springing to life. 3) The first blip on the motion tracker, which turns out to be Newt. 4) Approaching the atmosphere processor in the APC (partly because the architecture is very imposing). 5) The marines going into the hive and discovering all the cocooned colonists, followed by the pleas of *please kill me* from the woman colonist who is still alive. Then later on in the film... 6) The sound of the aliens at the pressure door... and in the director's cut, the sight of the ammo counters running down on the laptop Hicks is using to monitor the sentry guns... *they're wall to wall in there*. Both the motion tracker and the sentry guns were simple but great devices to build tension so that the aliens could be kept more mysterious and seen only when the tension was built up to maximum levels. 7) Ripley and Newt trapped in the med-lab with the two facehuggers on the lose. 8) Hicks checking above the ceiling tiles. 9) As you mentioned, the alien rising up behind Newt... the doll's head floating in the dirty water. 10) Moments later when Ripley and Hicks are in the elevator, an alien comes barreling in and shot by Hicks at the last second.

  • She's an intelligent woman who's spent enough time with the English to recognise and probably have quite an understanding of sarcasm. To those who struggle with the concept will inevitably end up getting a completely wrong message and misunderstand that there's no malice in it whatsoever. The Carey guy you spoke of was always extremely sarcastic too. Do you really think she would publicly humiliate another actor? This is the profession that have the biggest awards, most public showing of love for each other on the planet!?!? The whole industry is way to scared, lacks any type of security to start bitching about each other in interviews. She's an intelligent woman; so she's hardly likely to forget about such a key role in a film franchise that's afforded her the lifestyle she now leads. Saying that, while I like MB, it's also quite possible they don't have much in common and didn't get on particularly well... fortunately that didn't come across in the movie at all.

  • June 12, 2012, 9:11 p.m. CST

    jackthekipper's childhood ruined...

    by UndisputedVipers

    People act like nerds should just "grow up" or that it's "just a movie", but if you love something and it emotionally resonates with you, you don't want to see it butchered and defiled. As for the Alien movies, you can't get any lower than Alien vs. Predator. It was one of the only movies I've seen in theaters in which I really felt ripped off. There was nothing artful about it, there were no cool characters in it, and I could have easily shot better action scenes. I think it's best to latch onto new properties: I really dig Nolan's Batman movies and I got a kick out of Duncan Jones' Source Code. Additionally, Ip Man 2 was great.

  • June 12, 2012, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Very torn on this one

    by WizardandGlass

    There's things in this movie I can forgive, and then some things that I can't. Killing off Newt and Hicks bothered me at the time, but I can understand now why it was done. Ripley had something to live for in Newt, so as long as she lived there was no reasonable explanation for Ripley to continue fighting the aliens. I guess Newt could've survived the crash, but then its just a rehash of Aliens with Ripley doing everything she can again to protect her (boring...and did we really want to see a young girl walking around a prison full of rapists?) Also, Alien 3 was filmed like 8 years after Aliens...meaning the actress playing Newt was a teenager now and would have to be replaced (which never works). I agree with Nordling that killing them gave the film, and Ripley, a very grave sense of hopelessness. At the end of the day, the cheesy effects bothered me, and overall you just don't care for any of these people. Also, why is there always this belief that you couldn't make an Alien movie without Sigourney Weaver? Her story could've ended in part why not take a chance and make a movie without her? And one last thing...the extended cut is SO much better: no Ripley grabbing the alien as she falls, and the alien comes out of a cow instead of a dog (didn't they know you NEVER kill the dog?)

  • June 12, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST

    This Movie Is Anti-Life. Period.

    by Anthony Loy

    What does it say about this movie’s sense-of-life when it takes a heroic figure, brutalizes her, and kills her with the very adversary she has so roundly defeated to triumphant effect in two previous films? It’s about as enjoyable as watching a movie about a spunky 7-year old girl detective who ends up jumping to her death off a cliff to escape her long-stalking serial rapist archenemy—pure, ashes-in-your-mouth nihilism; completely anti-life, and deeply deranged in its philosophy. It says, “It doesn’t matter how good you are, evil will always beat you.” Is that something to really get behind? I loudly applaud the audiences who saw this as snuff the moment Hicks and Newt turned up dead—asking themselves, “If I journeyed with these characters just to see them end up like found concentration-camp corpses, the trials of the previous films were for…what, nothing?” You said it yourself, Nordling: Fincher was likely giving the bird to anyone who had an emotional or artistic stake in this franchise. What I don’t understand is why. To whose benefit? The guy’s ashamed of Alien 3 for a reason. It’s one thing to have Ripley overcome these horrors—but to be destroyed by them? The film thematically champions defeat: “Yay, we all lose!” That’s not why audiences go to movies. Please don’t cite Trainspotting, Melancholia, No Country for Old Men, or the like as similar examples. They aren’t. They are a thematic one-eighty from this franchise—I repeat: F.R.A.N.C.H.I.S.E. Even when they killed Superman, he died heroically. How insulting to our inner heroes that Ripley was given a different path—by arbitrary, foolish people who judged her character to be inconsequential. To credit it with exploring human issues and conflict is to negate the values of perseverance and intelligence that made the first two great. Ripley’s “sacrifice” at the end was no such thing; it was merely the result of the writers’ whimsy to make Alien 3 original—which it wasn’t. Tearing down greatness is wholly unoriginal.

  • June 12, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Tech Talk..

    by darthwaz1

    Ok- Prometheus is wildly futuristic in terms of the technology. Holograms, light-display panels, touch computer screens. We get to ALIEN (decades later) and the consoles and such look out-dated, small computer terminals that are reading what looks like old-school dos. ALIENS looks like standard military tech from the time the film was made (80's). and it takes place 57 years after ALIEN.. nothing makes it seem further on tech wise than the first film. Go figure..

  • June 12, 2012, 11:51 p.m. CST

    I think the wooden planet wood have been dope.

    by Autodidact

  • Insisting on getting rid of Biehn was unforgivable.

  • June 15, 2012, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Love Fincher and the Alien series but 3 was plain awful.

    by BrokenHeath

    If a director disowns his own movie, consider that it truly sucks. Given that the studio screwed up royally getting a good script and wanted to release the movie in summer regardless, they were doomed from the start. I wouldn't mind Hicks and Newt being killed off, if they followed it up with a good story but a prison planet with similar looking bald uninteresting inmates wasn't it. Then they kill off the only half-decent character, the doc who Ripley sleeps with. Every scene looks of the same brown color like they smeared shit on the lens. The whole running around and having the alien chase you with fish-eyed lens view from the monster's pov doesn't work at all. How can you have the creepiest monster ever put on screen and not have the movie be scary at all? .At least Alien Resurrection had some interesting characters and was an entertaining mix of comedy and horror. I loved Prometheus and hope the series continues.

  • June 17, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Has anyone mentioned AIDS yet?


    ALIEN3 is the best AIDS movie ever made.

  • June 18, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    I loved it as a kid but can see the problems now.

    by MainMan2001

    My excitement for this film when it came out with on another level. I saw it twice in the first weekend. I never knew how disliked the film was until now. Jesus. I know it isn't as great as the first two but c'mon now.

  • June 19, 2012, 7:22 a.m. CST

    People hate it because people hate it because people hate it

    by Eyegore

    Because it's easier to go along with everyone saying it sucks, it must suck, right? Could it really just be people are mad that Hicks and Newt got killed in the beginning, so they hate the whole movie? Probably. I always liked this film. Not as much as 1 & 2, but it was still a good movie on it's own. I've never seen the extended cut, but I'm looking forward to seeing it now.

  • June 19, 2012, 1:42 p.m. CST

    That doesn't seem particularly fair, eyegore.

    by Anthrax

    The film's entire existence is because of the fans. That's the only reason there was a job for Fincher and the producers and writers to screw up. Like with any franchise, there is an obligation to the fans, and everyone involved with Alien 3 completely ignored that. This would have been fine, if the film they made actually delivered on any level. It doesn't. The film is just this muddy, dark-for-the-sake-of-it, pretentious mess. Truly Fincher at his absolute worst. That's actually one thing that's always bugged me about Fincher. He's completely willing to let everyone else take the blame, instead of taking even some responsibility for the way the film ultimately turned out.

  • June 20, 2012, 7:14 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Nordling

    by kesoze4

    I've never understood why this movie gets so much hate. The entire last 20 minutes is fantastic. Also never understood why watching it at home there's no Bishop insisting he's not a droid, which I could have sworn I remember him doing. I guess the theatrical cut had it where the home version didn't...

  • June 20, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Fuck defending the deaths of Newt and Hicks

    by Drath

    The movie that "needed" them to die in order to work is the movie that should NOT Have been made in the first place. This was not the way to continue the franchise, I don't care how admirable or "brave" you find it. A risk isn't good just for being a risk. Risks are called that because sometimes they fail. This failed. End of Line.

  • June 20, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    You cannot polish this turd. Alien³ is hated.

    by Jeditemple

    There's no way to redeem this movie. It killed a franchise dead in it's tracks.

  • June 22, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    you can't kill off

    by dutch75

    Hicks and Newt like that. Just a fucking sack of meat is all they were. Bullshit. This is especially painful watching after immediately finishing Aliens. I just got the Alien Anthology Blu ray and I haven't seen all of the Director's cut yet, but damn I can never forgive. Never, you ballzsucker.

  • June 25, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Don't understand the hatred for it at all!

    by bigjeffrey

    Whereas Prometheus was derivative to the point of pointlessness, Alien3 at least had a confident, unique vision. I personally think the "feel" of the film is fantastic. It's extremely creepy. The infirmary scene is brilliant. Weaver, Charles Dance and Brian Glover are brilliant. The alien attacks are animalistic and brutal. In fact the non-cg alien in this is the best of the series. Looks completely animal not at all like a man in a suit. The scene where the guy is bitten and flies into the fan? There's a bit where he's looking down into the darkness and the alien is writhing around in flashes of light and sound design is creepy and brilliant. There's a great film in there somewhere but you can see it's been rushed and thrown together. Still, there's some great Fincher touches in it and it's nowhere near as bad as people make out. Nowhere near.

  • June 29, 2012, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Nordling has it SPOT on

    by Barry Jones

    Watched the extended "assembly" cut last night and it was a totally different movie to the one I remember. I agree it's not a great movie, but it is good. And I understand why it's hated. After the action and near-mainstream thrills of Aliens, people wanted more of the same. This was a return to the dark, forboding and harrowing solitude of the first movie and it's not a particularly pleasant place to be. Killing off Newt and Hicks was a bold and very unpopular move, but was essential to this particular story. I would like to think that someone out there could have come up with a story that involved all the Aliens survivors and still made it dark and different, but it just didn't work out that way and I think the studio has to take a lot of the blame for the pressure-cooker environment they created. I think Prometheus has given us a new spin and a more hopeful outlook of this particular universe and it allows us to look back at this particular chapter with a little less anger and bitterness. I think anyone that is a genuine fan of Alien (not just Aliens) needs to give this another chance and watch the extended cut. It's painfully slow in places and exceedingly dark and hopeless. It plays out more like a Greek tragedy, unfolding at a deliberate pace. But it IS fascinating and the themes - as Nordling said - are very intriguing and mature. This was the wrong movie, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. But it's still an interesting and architectually rich experience and a very flawed but essential entry in the series. blueavenger

  • July 9, 2012, 4:33 a.m. CST

    I have no problem with killing off Hicks and Newt

    by clupula

    I think it was a bold choice. And I love that Alien 3 is not another action-fest like Aliens. However, that's where my love of the theatrical cut of Alien3 ends. It's just not a very good movie. I do like the extended version, though. That told the story a lot better, although it is odd that they cut out the chestbuster at the end. That was one of the best shots in the film and one of the only redeeming qualities of the original version.