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Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3866
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 4:18am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

For whatever reason I can watch ALIEN as it's own encased movie, without any of the sequels creeping into my head thru out.
I do not seem to have that luxury with other "franchises" like TERMINATOR, PREDATOR, STAR WARS, etc...
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117609
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 9:01am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Some movies that have been pillaged by sequels are strong enough to still stand on their own. I can watch the original PLANET OF THE APES without feeling the damage done by the sequels/prequels. I can enjoy the original STAR WARS, being aware only of small changes in the soundtrack. Ditto THE TERMINATOR.

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Koroush Ghazi
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1525
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 9:19am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

 Greg Kirkman wrote:
PROMETHEUS looks gorgeous, and has some interesting ideas, but is full of wasted opportunities and annoying retcons. The reveal of the Space Jockeys as the Engineers and the universe-shrinking of the whole franchise as a result was a tremendous disappointment.


I feel the same - I have a soft spot for Prometheus because Ridley Scott manages to evoke a very particular atmosphere with the imagery and music, and of course the very interesting David character. But the Space Jockey reveal is terrible and the scientist who chooses to "believe" whatever she wants despite staring facts in the face caps off a failed reboot.

I won't even acknowledge Alien: Covenant as an Alien movie, I don't know what to call it - maybe Aliens: Snappy Answers to Stupid Prometheus Questions ?
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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15674
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 10:48am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

As can be said about many standalones-turned-franchises, the elegant simplicity of ALIEN is destroyed by what came later. 

Part of the tonal brilliance of ALIEN is the sheer alienness of what the crew discovers. The creepy mystery of it all, with no comforting explanations or “Ah-ha!” moments. We slowly unravel the Alien’s bizarre lifecycle as the story goes along. There’s no convoluted backstory. No speculation from the Nostromo crew as to where the derelict ship came from. The crew just deals with the problems which result from their botched investigation of the derelict.

All we get are Dallas’ assertion that the Space Jockey is fossilized, and the implication (which only comes to mind after one’s first viewing) that a chestburster killed it. The eggs are most likely a cargo of bio-weapons. And that’s it. No ridiculous backstory which directly ties the Jockeys to humanity. PROMETHEUS and COVENANT also toss out Dallas’ observation about the fossilized Jockey (which means that the derelict crashed a long, long time ago) in favor of having the Aliens created by a human-made robot playing Frankenstein. Which is both stupid and universe-shrinking to the extreme.
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10786
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 11:28am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Prometheus lost me when the one crew member treated the
snake-like hatchling as if it was a puppy!
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David Miller
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 2232
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 12:31pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

What, you've never found yourself cooing over a newly hatched  Lovecraftian parasite-thing?
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10786
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

"What, you've never found yourself cooing over a newly
hatched Lovecraftian parasite-thing?"

No because i`m not a dumb ass! It really irks me when
people in movies/tv do dumb things for no reason!
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15674
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 2:49pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

That's another contrast with ALIEN, and another great thing about ALIEN--the plot is driven by the characters' actions and personalities.

In particular, Ripley trusts her instincts and is dubious from the start, with Ash blocking her in less and less subtle ways. Her instincts and her ingenuity are what enable her to survive, and that's why she's a great and beloved character.

Can't imagine any of the characters in ALIEN--all of whom feel so grounded and real--to be so stupid as to try and pet a alien penis-snake. It's implied that Kane is the bold explorer-type of the group ("I'll volunteer in the first group to go out"), and that curiosity is what prompts him to put his gun down and peer into that egg. The characters' personality informs his behavior, and it's consistent and clever writing.

But he sure wouldn't go all "Hi, doggy!" to a facehugger.
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Koroush Ghazi
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 25 October 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1525
Posted: 29 June 2019 at 11:53pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The xenomorph having highly corrosive blood is a very clever plot device that I don't think I've seen in any films prior to Alien.

Also, aside from the xenomorph and perhaps the Predator, I can't think of any suitably "alien" looking creatures in a movie, before or since. The closest I can think of is the Gort robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still which, when combined with theremin music, seems otherworldly to a fair degree, and possibly the faux alien in "The Corbomite Maneuver" episode of Star Trek TOS.

It's strange that we got two great alien designs within 5 years of each other, then nada since...


EDIT: I got the episode of TOS wrong - means I need to rewatch TOS again soon!

Edited by Koroush Ghazi on 30 June 2019 at 12:02am
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117609
Posted: 30 June 2019 at 5:33am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

PROMETHEUS is a really bad case of tailcoating. Ridley Scott had a story he wanted to tell, so he shoehorned it into his previous great success--despite the fact that it had little or nothing to do with what had been established there, and in fact undid much of it.

Scott said he was playing against "viewer expectations," and that's something I like to do myself, from time to time. But "everything you know is a lie" is not playing against expectations--especially in the case of something like the Space Jockey, where I doubt anyone in the audience had "expectations" beyond what we saw in the first movie.

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Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3866
Posted: 30 June 2019 at 6:21am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

" I can watch the original PLANET OF THE APES without feeling the damage done by the sequels/prequels."

...

I'm good with POTA till the very end. Then BENEATH creeps into my head while our humans ride off. Changing completely what I foresaw as their future, uggh!
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117609
Posted: 30 June 2019 at 6:28am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I'm good with POTA till the very end. Then BENEATH creeps into my head while our humans ride off. Changing completely what I foresaw as their future, uggh!

••

BENEATH doesn't fit with what we saw at the end of PotA (dog tags??) so I have no trouble ignoring it.

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