Listening to this as I type and it's really interesting stuff.
But what I'm really here for is that the pic makes me think "Alien 3: Petey's A Creepy Stalker Now!"
Never a fan of Alien 3. I think thast really the alien stopped being alien after the first one because Cameron basically turned it into a big bug with soldier bugs. When in the first film's whole point was that it was a self contained entity, a sort of space rapist via H.P. Lovecraft. I like Aliens, but it really isn't the same creature at all. Fincher's effort is, in all it's forms a lacklustre retread of Alien with all the threat removed. Alien 4 at least has decent set pieces and Ron Perlman. Ultimately, I've come to the conclusion that Alien was never meant to be a franchise and the Alien Universe is a classic example of the demands of fans ruining a one off.in much the same way as it did with Halloween. Alien is Dan O'Bannon and Ridley Scot, not Walter Hill and the "sequels".
Ironically, the nearest any of the spin offs got to Alien was the hospital scene in AVP. Requiem.
Actually Alien is Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett. All Ridley Scott really did was direct it and do some rewrites here and there...Just like Fincher didn't write Alien 3, he was brought in to direct it after Ridley Scott walked away.
The only reason I didn't mention Shusset is because I forgot his name. However to say Ridley Scott only really directed Alien, is like saying Spielberg simply directed Jaws or Hitchcock only directed his films, . Admittedly, there are problems with auteur theory, but generally directors had far more control in the 70s. In this case Scott let the actors stray from the script and introduced a different ending as well as very detailed sketches of how the film would look. . He's a very technical director and works from behind the camera.
Shusset contributed the most iconic moment and indeed is over looked, but the basic story is from O'Bannon and is basically an expanded serious version of a running gag from Dark Star. He also hit on Giger for the design.
My main point is really that Alien was never conceived with sequels in mind and the sequels in fact effectively dilute the concept. I like Aliens, not keen on the other two, but believe that it in lots of ways features a different and much less interesting alien. To be honest, I'm generally not a fan of franchises and think they almost always undercut the original concept. .
This is one of the comments from the podcast:
"I am surprised you guys are so down on this movie. Then again, you used terms like "damsel in distress" and "prince coming to save her" a number of times, which leads me to believe we see it from different directions. You are looking for a fairy tale, good guys vs bad guys.
I think it is made abundantly clear by the prison setting, religious overtones and about a billion lines of dialogue that in Ripleys story, and I feel this is her story despite what char may be in focus, we are beyond good and bad, right and wrong, it's all rather blurry.
There are so many points you made I disagree with. You say Ripley does not show enough emotion about the death of Newt and Hicks -- she asks to be killed and commits suicide at the end, I'd say that is pretty strong emoting, our plucky little survivor gave up. So many strong chars are killed of without ceremony -- exactly. This is their world -- cold, dark, unkind. Compare the warm and joyful "breakfast" meal that opens ALIEN 1979 with Ripleys "Breakfast" in 3. We are not in that world anymore.
I could go on and on. You complain about conventional plot elements then complain main chars get killed against convention. Make up yer mind! This is not "Another Alien Movie Out of the Alien Movie Machine". It is as you said an outlier, a different type of story."
I'd like someone to answer this comment, but having not seen Alien 3, I'm not in a position to do so. Could someone come up with a reply please?
Can't answer. There's no question. Its just someones opinion. What do you want explained?
@uninterested: Well, the comment presumes the opinions of the people on the podcast are based on them "looking for a fairy tale, good guys vs bad guys." Is the presumption justified by the contents of the podcast?
"I think it is made abundantly clear by the prison setting, religious overtones and about a billion lines of dialogue that in Ripleys story, and I feel this is her story despite what char may be in focus..." <--- Does the film actually do enough of this to justify this opinion? Now, again, this is subjective, but I wanted to know if more people agree on this point.
"You say Ripley does not show enough emotion about the death of Newt and Hicks -- she asks to be killed and commits suicide at the end, I'd say that is pretty strong emoting, our plucky little survivor gave up." <--- Again, are there enough instances between the autopsy scene and this one to justify the assertion that Ripley was really broken up about their deaths?
"You complain about conventional plot elements then complain main chars get killed against convention. Make up yer mind!" er...plot conventions in general, I guess.
@The Hand of Onan: I see, that makes sense. I guess getting passed around through so many hands would do that to a series. Thanks for the reply.
No, that is not at all what their opinions. In fact, they never say anything close to give the impression they wanted "a fairy tale, good guys vs bad guys" film.
Having bot seen it, you are making comments based on the perception of the reviews rather than the film. Personally, I think fans of Aliens just for the most part wanted a continuation of that film and instead they got a film that killed off their favourite characters in callous way, whilst not delivering enough action. This was certainly pretty much my view as a kid, I wanted Hicks an Newt and a bigger more badass Alien, when I didn't get that I felt cheated. However, as an adult I feel, that the problem is more fundamental. The star of Alien is the alien. The cast had no back stories and the tension is derived from the situation not the conventions of drama. They have picked something up. They don't know what it is. It has a weird life cycle if it is even alive and the entire set up is designed to make the alien less knowable as the film pregressive. The nature of the threat is basically sexual. It's about interspecios rape and impregnation. Cameron's film up the action, gives the characters back stories and undercuts the alien by turning it into a glorified soldier ant which in turn removes the threat. It also humanises the alien by making it a kind of super mommy that hisses and gets angry when its eggs are threatened. Aside from the fact that nothing in Alien suggests an Alien Queen it creates a story that is essentially a set of humanising parallels, Grunts v Solder drones, Robot v Yuppie, Mommy v Mommy. all of which are not intrinsic to the threat being Alien. You could pretty much replace the Xenomorphs with Lions or terrorist and nothing much about the structure of the film would change. Alien 3 brings all this baggage on board, but then tries to go backwards. So you end up with an Alien that is not that threatening really, to many characters emoting about clichéd inner pain, the doctor who killed his patients, the repentant criminal looking for redemption and the trouble heroine who could save the people they care about. The problem is that the drama doesn't carry any more real weight than say Sly Stone's Cliffhanger; Then theirs David Fincher's lumpen, dimly lit. self serious direction that equates humourlessness with seriousness. Fundamentally, aside from the design Alien 3 is like a TV, full of padded out unconvincing generic dramatics.
Sorry about all the mistake. Not good with my new phone thing.and dyslexic.
I don't have time right now to listen to the whole thing, will get to it tomorrow. But for my own two cents, I don't think Alien3 is technically a bad film. It has some interesting ideas, philosophically and in terms of the alien lifecycle. And there is a place for brutally bleak films. I don't PERSONALLY like it, like at all, but I can acknowledge that it is going to appeal to some people. But I grew attached to Newt and Hicks. I liked them, and I wanted to see them continue to be in the series. Killing them off just came as a punch in the gut, and not in a good way. It's too bleak for me.
Rumour is that Neill Blomkamp's movie is going to ignore everything after Aliens, so we could see Newt and Hicks return, at least in some form. I don't know how you'd manage that - Newt is obviously no longer a little girl, and Michael Biehn and Sigourney Weaver are noticeably older. CGI de-aging for the initial scenes, then show them later much older when they start this new story?
As far as killing off Newt and Hicks in the manner they did is pretty well summed up by Brad when he said (and I'm gonna paraphrase here) that a part of him thought it was a pretty ballsy move to kill off Newt & Hicks in the way they did but the filmmakers failed when it wasn't followed up on with anything, be it more of sense of closure to just a good movie to take your mind off of it.
A filmmaker can do whatever they want in a given movie and if the viewers like the movie they'll accept it.
As far as Ripley's wanting to die, in the story I took it as more a reaction to finding out she had an Alien gestating inside her rather than a reaction of any sort to Hicks & Newt having been killed.
And, just to add my two-cents, I like Alien, LOVE Aliens, do not like Alien 3, like parts of Alien Resurrection (which is fine (except for the creature) if you simply MUST keep Alien 3 canon), really like Aliens vs. Predator, and didn't see AVP: Requiem.
The main problem with Alien 3 was the studio getting too involved, its common knowledge that they already had a date set before they even had a script...Ridley Scott walked away from the third and Fincher disowned the movie for a reason, just from watching the documentary there were a lot of good ideas floating around but Fox didn't like any of it...Shit Fincher was filming a movie that didn't even have a completed script while filming...The Assembly cut is definitely a better film than the theatrical. Its a hell of alot better than Resurrection and anything that had AvP attached to it. Its not what people wanted, they wanted another Aliens and instead got something closer to Alien
It wasn't that close to Alien 1 because Alien 1 was good was Alien 3 was $#!+.
Interesting. I was Rob St. Mary's replacement at a radio station where he used to work several years ago.
I had no idea he was doing a movie podcast. Is it a popular one?
Definitely not popular.
I personally feel Alien 3 is underrated as hell. I used to hate it, but then I read all the OTHER scripts by William Gibson, Eric Red, Vincent Ward and holy shit were they terrible (Gibson's was underwhelming and the others sucked big time). I literally bought a blu-ray of the awesome Assembly Cut and personally apologized to the film.
I kinda dread Neill Blomkamp's film because it sounds like lazy fanboy fanfiction with Hicks being alive and all, dumbing it down to be more action than horror like with those comics from Dark Horse, I had high hopes but I read them and they weren't very good, they kinda sucked.
I now feel Alien 3 is up there with Exorcist 3 as underrated horror sequels that deserve another chance. Although I do say watch the Assembly Cut because it is better.
Haven't seen Alien 3 so I can't say much but I do agree with Exorcist III being underrated for sure
Thank you for posting this, Brad - I've been meaning to get into this podcast for quite awhile now but I've always been daunted by the length of the episodes. However, I'm an hour in and completely hooked - these guys do amazing work on this show.
Personally, I find Alien 3 a little underrated - but then, I'm one who despises Alien: Resurrection with a fiery, burning passion, and usually it seems a lot of people will give either 3 or 4 at least a bit of a pass, but never both. Resurrection is honestly one of my least favorite entries ever in a major film series. I also appreciate what you said about killing off Newt and Hicks, because I've also always been of two minds about that - as much as I loved those characters in Aliens, when I first saw Alien 3, my reaction was also much more "...Well THAT was ballsy."
Personally I enjoyed Alien 3, but I can definitely see why people hate it. I watched the Director's Cut of it and felt it was a better cut of the movie. Still haven't seen the Assembly Cut but if it's better I might give it a watch some time soon.
It's not a terrible movie imo, it's disappointing sure, but I wouldn't call it terrible. Alien: Resurrection also had its moments for me but is definitely what I consider the weakest movie.
The best podcasts are the ones that won't fucking play
The Projection Booth has been one of my favorite podcasts since I discovered podcasts. How fucking cool is it that Brad Jones guest hosted!? And it was all about "Alien 3," a movie I'm as endlessly fascinated with as Mike White. (Dare I suggest I know more about the movie than Mike does?) It was the auditory equivalent a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup smothered in delicious, delicious caramel. Or, as Homer Simpson might have it, lobster stuffed with tacos, smothered in delicious, delicious caramel.
Here's my take:
Alien is a tad boring but a great film, where Ripley manages to survive.
Aliens takes a while to get going but kicks ass, Ripley having been through this already is more prepared & is able to bail out the overly cocky marines & Newt (who, I'm sorry, just not a fan of) thus by the end becoming one the biggest bad asses in filmdom (though the end where she's stronger than the gravitational pull... nope).
Now from there with these characters you could do so much, maybe have it be on earth like the trailer implied.
Now, my problem with 3 is that Hicks died. Newt I didn't care about, & Bishop's an android- uh, I mean a synthetic person, so it's stupid that he could "die". You wanna talk ballsy? How about killing Ripley? I know, I know, HOW DARE YOU, SADIST!!! But come on, she survived twice already & in hyper sleep you're utterly helpless (as Hicks & Newt can testify). I mean even for science fiction you're pushing my believability keeping one character alive so long. Also last time I checked this was ALIEN 3 not RIPLEY 3. If nothing else have her & Hicks survive surprise us by killing her off half way like they did with Clemens. Then have Hicks, a soldier (!), rally them together with a battle plan & improvisational weapons. Ahhhhh!
See, this is why I prefer the Predator films. The Alien saga is 4 films where the same character fights the monster, 2 good ones, 2 bad ones (my opinion). With Predator 1 & 2 while they're telling the same outline of a story, alien comes to earth to hunt dangerous creature: man, they both have memorable characters, great action &, again, my opinion, a much better "monster". The AVP films don't exist in my universe & Predators is a fun guilty pleasure & there's so much more you can do with the Predator thanks to that ending of 2. Tell the story of the Elder obtaining the 1715 gun he gives Danny Glover. Or where all those weird skulls came from. We'll probably never see them outside of a comic book but hey, a Snob can dream.......
*sorry for yet another rant*