Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Episode Seven (Alien / Aliens)

We're back to the DVD / Blu-Ray collection for the time being.

Alien (1979)

Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Dan O'Bannon (story and screenplay), and Ronald Shusett (story)
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

Awesome mixture of horror and sc-fi. The art direction and overall atmosphere are absolutely top notch. I know that people debate back and forth whether Alien or Aliens is better, but I have to give the edge to the original. I think it is all about the setting, in the sequel they have to escape to the ship - in this one, there may be fewer villains but there is nowhere to escape to. Feels so much more tense and claustrophobic knowing that the menace must be dealt with directly. And has there ever been a more menacing creature designed for the screen than the xenomorph? Setting aside the fact that the franchise has been ridden into the ground by now, the original concept is still brilliant.

Score: 9 / 10

Aliens (1986)

Director: James Cameron
Writers: James Cameron (story and screenplay), David Giler (story), Walter Hill (story)
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn

Barely falls short of the original, but is still great in its own right. More of the same would have been a bad idea (especially considering how perfectly it was executed during the first go 'round), but anything other than the original concept doesn't play quite as well. A catch-22 to be sure. Nonetheless, Cameron manages to keep things very entertaining with this more "action-y" take on the material. Fun side characters, highly quotable, solid action... pass the popcorn, man.

Score: 9 / 10

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