Tape/Artwork; 1 pt; Ships Media Mail; IMDB User Rating: 6.2/10; Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller Condition: Good
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Perhaps these films are like theStar Trek movies: The even-numbered episodes are the best ones. Certainly this film (directed by French stylist Jean-Pierre Jeunet) is an improvement overAlien 3, with a script that breathes exciting new life into the franchise. This chapter is set even further in the future, where scientists on a space colony have cloned both the alien and Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), who died inAlien 3; in doing so, however, they've mixed alien DNA with Ripley's human chromosomes, which gives Ripley surprising power (and a bad attitude). A band of smugglers comes aboard only to discover the new race of aliens--and when the multi-mouthed melonheads get loose, no place is safe. But, on the plus side, they have Ripley as a guide to help them get out. Winona Ryder is on hand as the smugglers' most unlikely crew member (with a secret of her own), but this one is Sigourney's all the way.--Marshall Fine
THIS MOVIE SUCKS I'm tellin you do not rent or buy this movie. it is the worst and give a HUGE descrace to the fanchise. Allthough i have'nt seen Alien 3 i hear from people that it would've been the best place to stop. What ever you do, DO NOT BUY OR RENT OR EVEN TOUCH THIS MOVIE. I rented this from my local library and a regreted it. THIS MOVIE IS cow $H!T
A film with excellent potential, but horrid execution This is one of those movies that should have been much better than it should have been. It featured a script from one of my favorite creative artists, Joss Whedon of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE and ANGEL fame, direction by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director of A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, AMELIE, and CITY OF LOST CHILDREN), and reprises the greatest female action hero in movie history: Ellen Ripley. Or at least her clone. In 1997 when this was released Whedon was not yet known for what he would achieve with BUFFY on television nor Jeunet for what he would do with AMELIE and A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, but in retrospect the film on paper seems utterly ideal. First, you had the matching of Whedon with Ripley. More than any other recent American screen writer, Joss Whedon feels at home with strong female characters. He was, after all, the one who created in Buffy the supreme female action hero of our time (and set the stage for a host of imitators such as Max Guevera on DARK ANGEL and Sydney Bristow in ALIAS). Who better to write the screenplay for the fourth film in the ALIEN sequence? Unfortunately, although no other writers are credited, his script was extensively rewritten during production. Whedon has since disavowed his involvement with the film, and refused to be involved with the commentaries for the ALIEN boxed set.
One would have to agree with Whedon that the final outcome is not that great. One can often glimpse great potential in the film, but there is also a feeling that much of it was made on the fly, and that it is the victim of constant compromises. We know, for instance, that dozens of scenes had to be modified or altered for financial or other considerations. One also wonders to what extent Jeunet was the right person for the director's position. I have to confess to not being one of his fans. I loved AMELIE, but as I've seen his other films, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that while he possesses an extraordinary eye and can produce films that are wondrous to look at, he is seriously challenged by narrative. CITY OF LOST CHILDREN is a haunting film to watch, but the story really isn't worth discussing. A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT is one of the most incoherent major releases of the past couple of decades, despite being exquisitely beautiful in very nearly every frame. Even AMELIE succeeds more as something to look at than as a story to follow. This is not a good combo for a writer like Whedon who is obsessed with narrative. They do not play off one another's strengths. My own suspicion is that the final film is a result of the wrong director for the wrong set up financially-minded producers to produce a screenplay that didn't mesh with the strengths of either the director or the producers. But the brute fact is that the film was severely under-budgeted (it was made for between $50 and $60 million, which was not much even in 1996-97 for a major science-fiction film), and too many compromises had to be made, especially considering that much of the budget had to go for salary.
Nonetheless, there are still many memorable moments in the movie, and all in all I'm glad it was made rather than not made. I do wish a different director had been involved, someone who understood narrative and was good at exposition. But what we have is often interesting. Ripley is simply the best female movie action hero ever, and anytime we get to see Sigourney Weaver reprise the role is something to be grateful for (there have been rumors on and off over the past few years that we might see one more ALIEN film). In this film she is a clone, and a disturbed clone at that. She is simultaneously world-weary and psychotic. She's been stripped of the compassion that was found in the first films, the intense passion for life. Only gradually does she regain some of her humanity in the course of the film. I liked Winona Ryder's turn as the android Annalee Call (which creates an odd conflict in Ripley, who has a history with androids), and many of the other characters as well. The cast wasn't the problem with the film. The problem with the film is the sense that everything is being done on the cheap.
Many Whedonesque touches survive in the dialogue. Before getting the chance to do BUFFY on TV, Whedon worked extensively as a script doctor, his job being to add sparkle and one liners to otherwise moribund scripts. It isn't an accident that BUFFY has perhaps more great one liners of any show in the history of American TV. The guy can write a great line. So, ALIEN RESURRECTION has a host of great lines, many of them containing words that makes it impossible to repeat here. But you have to love an exchange like:
Johner: So, I hear you, like, ran into these things before? Ripley: Yeah. Johner: What did you do? Ripley: I died.
Or when Ripley is talking to someone who has had one of the aliens implanted in his chest for gestation:
Purvis: WHAT'S [expletive deleted] INSIDE ME? Ripley: There's a monster in your chest. These guys hijacked your ship, and they sold your cryotube to this... human, and he put an alien inside of you. It's a really nasty one. And in a few hours, it's gonna burst its way through your rib cage, and you're gonna die. Any questions? Purvis: Who are you? Ripley: I'm the monster's mother.
Or this great line:
Distephano: I thought you were dead! Ripley: Yeah, I get that a lot.
There is a lot of great talk like this in the film. Unfortunately, the talk is a whole lot better than the sets and the action. Throughout there is a sense of lack, as if things are not quite finished, or not sufficiently developed. All in all, it is better than nothing, and I think over the next few decades I'll go back to this from time to time, but it is always going to be more of a could-have-been than anything else.
The previews to this film when it first came out did provide one of the great comic moments of my life. I was sitting in the theater with the woman I was dating at the time, an utterly brilliant and astonishingly cute anthropology Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago (today graduated and teaching in a Midwestern university). I was trying to explain to her who Dan Hedaya was, developing my theory that for many years there was a secret contract somewhere that determined that he had to appear in every other film made in Hollywood, and had mentioned several of his roles, none of which struck home. In exasperation I said, "I swear, the guy is in everything!" At which point the lights went down and the previews began, the first of which was for ALIEN RESURRECTION and which began with a shot of Dan Hedaya. I elbowed her and said, "That's Dan Hedaya!" "Oh," she said, "he's in everything!" Just a perfect moment.takes all three films and shocks the best for last this film takes all the humor, shocking visuals and ups them to their fullest there is more humor more action more gut wrenching almost ready to puke visuals that one can take I'm glad I have this on dvd as well the directors of this Alien series are brilliant each one recreated the terror even more terrifying every movie and the best for last ( this one) lives up to it's predecessors it not only shocks more but the story gets more deep then the other 3 ever would they all had great stories and will always be watchable over and over but this one really hooks you in the most with its whole storyline and plot truly a sick and amusing film worth 3 Emmy's if you ask me one for best actress one for supporting actress and one for best direction in sci fi horror movie