First thoughts on recently acquired Alien Anthology

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Lars Larsen, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Lars Larsen

    Lars Larsen Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, I just picked up the Alien Anthology set on bluray. I'm extremely pleased with it! One thing that has come as a surprise to me is the incredible candidness of the supplementary material. Kudos to 20th for telling it like it was! Anyway, having been a long time fan of Alien and Aliens, revisiting the series got me thinking if it would be possible to regress and do another version of Alien 3 and thus give the franchise another chance, branching off in a better direction. Has such a thing ever been done? Is it even possible, from a creative rights standpoint? I know it will probably never happen, but one can dream, right. I respect those who like Alien 3 and 4, I just personally feel that Alien 3 killed the franchise. I'm aware that people's opinion differ. /Lars
     
  2. johnSM

    johnSM Second Unit

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    This is something I posted about a long while back. I think alternative sequels could be an interesting way to break the remake/reboot glut of films which are destroying much of the originality coming out of Hollywood at present (the horror genre in particular). Seeing a new (and well written/directed) Alien 3 where perhaps Ripley, Newt and Hicks don't die would be fantastic - I'd still like to see the version which was originally going to be make with the wooden planet idea. They could pull that off with today's FX tech... I think it would be a heck of a lot of fun - what would happen if this character had done THIS instead of THAT. A Luke Skywalker that turned to evil would be kinda fun, but I think the boats sailed on that one a long time ago alas. It would solve the problem of bringing certain characters back like the awful resurrection of Ripley in the near-comedy Alien 4! Just ignore it altogether (then again I always wrote off 3 and 4 as one of Ripley's hypersleep dreams). I can never see it happening, but never say never - Hollywood are always after the 'Next Thing' and I don't see what's wrong with Alt. Sequels at all. I'd prefer that to a pointless remake/reboot to be honest. What's everyone else think? If you could wave a magic wand what alt. sequels would you love to see get made?
     
  3. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    This is exactly what happened with Superman Returns, isn't it? It directly references the first two Superman movies, including Marlon Brando and everything, but ignores and even contradicts the events of Superman III and IV.
     
  4. gomezfan69

    gomezfan69 Stunt Coordinator

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    And Halloween H20, which ignored films 3-6.
     
  5. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Well you can always by the pre-"remastered" version of Mark Verheiden's Aliens Books 1 and 2 and pretend that's the real sequel.
     
  6. Lars Larsen

    Lars Larsen Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your comments. I wasn't aware of the Superman thing. I suspect filmmakers/studios would be a little reluctant to the idea, in fear of the destroying the whole illusion that cinema is. But in this culture of ours, shopping around and picking and chosing what we find useful, the idea seems to fall nicely in line with that. Piece together your own story, you know. Sort of reminds me of some old branching fantasy books I once had. Why not try to cover a wider audience if you can offer two different directions. Especially since Alien 3 seems to have pushed so many fans away from series. I really do feel that Fox could and should revitalize the franchise with a proper new script for Alien 3. It seems they were way to eager to do a sequal before they had a good story on the table. It seems to be a recurring problem in Hollywood, though :rolleyes:
     
  7. johnSM

    johnSM Second Unit

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    Perhaps in the future they could film 2 different versions at the same time - that way they'd be able to sell the same product twice as many would want to see both versions. The most popular would then generate the sequal and so on. Would be an interesting experiment. To be honest - Hollywood being the way it is these days - I am very surprised this hasn't already happened since remakes/reboots/sequels seem to rule the filmic world! It would be an "easy" way to regenerate ailing franchises too and being able to keep the same characters in many instances... Im aware of Superman Returns, but it wasn't really marketed as an alt. sequal to the masses. It's only really us hardcore film fans that are aware of this. I personally thought it was a decent film and set up the pieces for a great "4th" film. Alas the powers that be wanted instant gratification and decided to reboot :rolleyes: Wasn't aware of H20 though - good catch!
     
  8. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    The idea of alternative sequels is a good one, but the problem is that Sigourney Weaver is now 20 years older than she was when she made Alien 3. Unless you're going to recast (not necessarily a bad thing, but problematic when one actor is associated with a series), it's a big stumbling block.


    The Alien blu-ray set remains, in my mind, the comprehensive standard by which other blu-ray sets are judged. I'm still making my way through all the bonus material, some eight or nine months after I got it. At this rate, I will finish around the time Ridley Scott's Alien prequel comes out next year.
     
  9. robbbb1138

    robbbb1138 Second Unit

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    The other problem with alternative sequels is that you're going to run into the same issues that made the original sequel a challenge, especially the case of something where the previous installment painted everyone into a corner. Maybe you can figure a way out for 1 movie, but in the sequel to your alternative sequel you might find yourself in the same quandary, whereas a remake/reboot (as much as I generally dislike them) does offer the benefit of being able to plan things out from the beginning to avoid certain pitfalls or plant seeds for a long-running franchise. Alien and Superman are pretty much the same in my book (first 2 are classics, 3rd film is well-made but misguided, 4th is an attempt to try to recreate the magic of the first 2 that falls flat on its face), and alternative #3s in both cases run into the problem that the first 2 of the series really covered just about everything. I don't even know if Alien would be as successful as Superman Returns with regards to correcting the course and opening up possibilities for "volume 2" to get further than "volume 1" did.
     
  10. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    In some of my viewing of anthology, it seems like it was commented several times the next logical step is to go to the original Alien planet and reveal their origin. If Scott is doing a prequel, that obviously doesn't require Sigorney. I hope this is what he's doing. As much as I've enjoyed Sigorney in the role, I don't see a future for her in the saga. I found Aliens to be a movie that had Cameron's stamp on it, and was faithrul to the first. But Alien 3 was an insult to those who wanted to see what would happen to the survivors. Quality of the movie aside, for this reason, I'll never watch it again. I was gratified when Cameron, in his Aliens commentary, actually criticized A3 for the plot decision they made. It's not often when a filmmaker will criticize another movie. Resurrection, I almost forget it's part of the Alien Franchise. When I watch Resurrection, it's just another sci/fi/monster movie.
     
  11. johnSM

    johnSM Second Unit

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    My opinion of Alien 3 is it was being different, for the sake of being different. For all his obvious talent, I think Fincher was deliberately trying to shake things up - "hey look - I'm not afraid to kill off two beloved characters during the first few seconds of the sequel!". I think that was his biggest mistake from the outset - Cameron's film took its time to develop the relationship between Ripley, Newt and Hicks - they all had a great chemistry and we cared about them. We wanted to see what happened next, and that possibility was callously wiped out without even using the original actor/actress. I consider that something of an insult. To just dispense with all that might have been 'daring', but I also think it was a HUGE middle finger to the fans of Aliens. If he'd wanted to change things to that extent I wish he'd created his own franchise rather that tear to bits what Cameron had done such a fantastic job of putting together. I think Sigourney should take some of the blame too since she was completely aware of the story decisions made. I have to say though, the alternative version on the bluray is FARRR far better than the theatrical edition. It's almost a different film. Far more character moments which make you care for the motley crew of prisoners, even if we don't care for them in quite the same way we did about Newt & Hicks. It's just a thoroughly depressing film in either version: Newt, Hicks, Ripley and Bishop all gone. I'm not one for believing every film should have a happy ending by any means, but I think Alien 3 just went too far, to the extent that it (harharrr!) alien-ated over half its intended audience. Perhaps Fincher wanted this? I think it was a brave, but ultimately foolhardy step in the wrong direction for the franchise. However compared to Alien 4 (whatever version) it's a masterpiece. I hadn't seen it for a few years, but watched it on the bluray set on a 110" screen. Absolutely dire, badly written and acted (with the exception of Sigourney) film. It's clear that Jeunet didn't have A CLUE about what made the Alien franchise so successful and loved. I get the impression he didn't take it seriously either and was just having a laugh with it. It's almost like a comedy in places and the tone is so uneven. The characters are dreadful and extremely poorly written thugs in the main. Way too much 'let's cater to the computer game crowd'' mega violence too. Ahhhh - I could go on and on about Alien 4 but - don't worry - I won't ;) This is one of these franchises were I'd LOVE to see an alt. sequel made to Aliens. At the moment I consider Alien 3 and 4 to be two particularly weird dreams Ripley has whilst in hyper-sleep. It's the only way I can come to terms with 'em :rolleyes:
     
  12. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I had a lot of the same complaints about Alien 3 when I first saw it, but over the years I have come to appreciate it more. For one, even though many fans hated the decision to kill off Newt and Hicks, where did it say Third Alien movie was required to have them in it? But even aside of that, the movie is supposed to be a tradegy. I believe that was what Fincher was going for. Now, certainly some believe he went a bit far, which is fine. But, personally, I started to appreciate it more when I began to look at it really as a drama. I do realize that this does not free the movie from its flaws (and there are quite a few). But anyway, Fincher was pretty much in a no win situation. He was making the second sequel to two films that are superlative representations of their respective genres. If Fincher had tried to stay within those templates to some degree, he probably would have been criticized for doing "the same thing". It didn't help that they were shooting without a finished script, and what was finished was radically being changed at a moment's notice.
     
  13. Lars Larsen

    Lars Larsen Stunt Coordinator

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    john, my thoughts exactly. I sense some, perhaps, youth rebellion in Fincher's decision to kill off Bishop, Newt and Hicks. I can certainly understand Camerons critique - the killing of the crew sort of nullified the whole point of Aliens. One thing I have trouble understanding, is the fear there was of doing "the same thing over again" when Alien 3 was being planned. Ok, so it's a technology oriented space/sci-fi setting. But that's what fans want and expect(?), besides it's the story that sets movies apart. I mean, did Woody Allen only do one NYC drama? They were trying so hard to do something so far off, that "the same thing over again" would have been a much better choice, IMO. Original is good, but if you deviate too much, then you've failed. They had established very strong characters in they first two. Characters that could have carried the franchise in any direction, and they trew it all away. Ok, I better stop ranting now, I just care so much for the franchise that it kills me when one movie sort of ruins it all from then on. I have extremely high expectations for Ridley's Prometheus project. That seems to be the best hope there is now for the Alien franchise.
     
  14. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    But does anyone have any idea what Prometheus is supposed to be about? Or, if it does indeed have some kind of tie in with Alien? Even that part is unclear.
     
  15. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I agree with your agreeing with John and I agree with what you've written. I really dislike the decision to kill of Hicks and Newt, but in a minor defense of that decision, in those days sequels were made years later. There was a several year lag wasn't there? I'm to lazy to check imdb right now. The filmmakers couldn't have used Carrie Henn again, I don't believe. That being said, they could have cast another actress, or if they were dead set against using the characters, some plot device to get them out of the way without killing them. Yeah, Sigorney has to take some blame, apparently she was fine with the plot. She's also had some wierd ideas. Somewhere in the supplements it comes out of her mouth that she wanted to have sex with the Alien. I think she wanted to die in Aliens, but don't quote me on that. And this business of "I've gotta be me!" and make my own film. Yeah, I get that, but why the hell are you making a sequel then? Go make your own damn film without f'ing up the Alien franchise you frickin' idiot. Ooops, sorry there, got a little hot and bothered. BTW, Cameron made "his" film and didn't screw the pooch, why can't you Fincher?
     
  16. Dave GR

    Dave GR Stunt Coordinator

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    They could have used Carrie Henn again (had they wanted to). Just set Alien 3 a handful of years later, after Ripley, Hicks & Newt have safely returned to earth. Explains the aging of Weaver, Biehn and Henn (or whichever of them re-appeared), and allows for any number of fresh plot directions to be considered. Alien 3 didn't have to (and shouldn't have IMO) just picked up from the end of Aliens. When it comes to alternate sequels, I've thought for a few years that Coppola should "remake" Godfather III. Work on a better script, dump Sofia, pay Duvall to return, and nobody would need to be aged via makeup this time ;)
     
  17. johnSM

    johnSM Second Unit

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    The aging could have been addressed easily via some cryo-sleep malfunction or even have their ship rescued, and then do the classic 'a few years later' thing as you suggest. At any rate there were hundreds of options they could quite easily have come up with to explain the ageing. I still think they could do that with an alt. sequal even now - Ripley has settled down on earth, Newt is her adopted daughter etc. After many years they think the Alien threat is long gone, but... well I'm sure they could do a kick-ass story set on Earth now easily especially with today's FX. Sigourney can still kick ass and - IMHO - still looks hot! They COULD do it... I don't see much imagination (other than visual) or point in Alien 3 at all. None. After the excitement of Aliens, and knowing Ripley had/lost her child to time, and then had Newt as a sort of surrogate, and then that's all wiped away IN A FEW SECONDS is just hugely insulting. Thinking about it now makes me angry! Alien 3 just feels like a cheap knock-off to me, even though there are parts of it that I admire. It just doesn't fit/flow organically from the other two films. It really should never have been made without a decent story in place FIRST. Alien 3 should have been the 3rd act of a 3 act play, but instead it suddenly and stubbornly decides to do it's own thing. Fincher is a hugely talented Director, but he just was not right for Alien 3. I actually (and I'll probably get lambasted for saying this) ended up not caring about Ripley in Alien 3. She's not the Ripley of Alien/Aliens and I didn't feel any great emotional loss at the end of the film. The whole thing was rendered pointless, hollow and empty. "And this business of "I've gotta be me!" and make my own film. Yeah, I get that, but why the hell are you making a sequel then? Go make your own damn film without f'ing up the Alien franchise you frickin' idiot." - I completely agree!
     
  18. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Most of the discussions of Alien3 on this forum have been about the quality of the movie and the difficulties in making it. This is the first extended discussion I've encountered addressing the decision to kill Newt, Hicks, & Bishop. I'm gratified to know I'm not the only one who's been pissed off all these years.
     
  19. AlexS2

    AlexS2 Stunt Coordinator

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    Alien 3 is definitely a shameful entry into the franchise for that and so many more reasons. One of the reasons Aliens is so great, is that putting aside how great the actual film is, it wonderfully complements the world introduced in the first film. The legacy of Alien just wouldnt be what it is without Aliens. Same can't be said for 3.
     
  20. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    What he said.:tu:
     

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