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Alien 3 Bad? Or Just Not Groundbreaking?

Alien 3 Bad? Or Just Not Groundbreaking?

Durp004

Mar-03-2015 5:33 AM

After reading Neill Blomkamp's article talking about connecting his movie more to Alien and Aliens I couldn't help but notice how he says that Alien 3 and Resurrection go "off the rails". This seems to be a trend, people are always quick to talk about Alien and Aliens, but it seems as though out of the movies Alien 3 is the step child that never talked about or discussed. I could say the same for Resurrection, but from my experience peole at least talk about Resurrection. Granted it's not in the most endearing way and most is negative but at least it's brought up. Alien 3 seems to be considered somewhere between it and the first two movies and it seems that by default it gets grouped with Resurrection.

 

When a movie is part of a series people often expect it to go along with that series standard. This is unfortunate for some movies as while they might be good movies in their own rights, they are always compared to the better serquel or prequel that's in their series and not get the credit they might deserve. Alien 3 probably had the biggest shoes to fill of any sci fi movie ever when it came out to adhere to the standard the series had set. The first movie has become a staple in Sci fi horror and many consider Aliens to be one of the best Sci fi action movies ever. The fact one series has those types of films that do that much for two different genres is pretty much a miracle. I'd be hardpressed to think of another series off the top of my head that has that type of accolade. So to follow up those movies was a tall order. I'm not trying to say that the movie is as good as its prequels because honestly it's not. The fact the directors got switched so much shows in the movie, but regardless I think had Alien 3 followed any other movies besides amazing movies it had before it the views on it would be much different. As much as people may hate the killing of Hicks and Newt Alien 3 had some really amazing things too.

 

It just seems as though Alien 3 got the bad side of the stick here. It's not as good as the first two so it's automatically grouped with and referenced with the fourth movie in terms of its quality and story. I know that following up Alien 3 from a movie perspective would be difficult since it did kill off every character that could be used including Ripley the face of your series, but to say it went "off the rails" or try to reason it to be on the same level as Resurrection seems a bit unfair from Blomkamp.

 

This if of course just my opinion though if you feel Alien 3 is a horrible movie, or even feel it's equal to or worse than Alien Resurrection feel free to share why. I didn't really get into all the good things Alien 3 had in it because of how long I felt the thread was already but I'd be willing to ellaborate if some one hated Alien 3 and was curious how anyone could like it or find good things within it.

30 Responses to Alien 3 Bad? Or Just Not Groundbreaking?

Svanya

Mar-03-2015 5:36 AM

It was horrible in the way that it killed off beloved characters (Hicks and Newt) in a lazy way, and the story was really a mess until a few years and directors cuts later. There were a lot of problems and script changes during production that showed in the final product. The puppets they used for the Xeno looked stupid too (they were not CGI contrary to popular belief). The movie was not well recived at all when it first was released i theatres, i know because I went to see it and people walked out lol.  It does however have the best soundtrack of all the Alien movies so far, so there's that. Basically it's not bad but it's not great. 

Durp004

Mar-03-2015 5:48 AM

I don't really have a problem with killing off Hicks and Newt, but I know a lot of people do. I think it helped cement Ripley's relationship with the Alien though by doing that. Because of her first encounter with the Alien she was asleep while her Daughter died, then in Aliens Newt who she takes care of throughout the movie is also killed this time by the alien's hand, and to top it all off she's pregnant with a queen. The fact the Aliens have been responsible directly or indirectly for Ripley losing anyone she could see as her family really helps create a true antagonist. It's like in taking away Ripley's family they're brought her into theirs  whther she likes it or not. Would it have been if Newt had survived? Probably not, but to be honest all Newt did in Aliens was run around, scream and get caught. She fit the story for that instance, but I can't really relate or find reason why she's so loved outside of just being the child that had to deal with that situation. I don't really find the killing of Hicks or Newt necessarily bad, since it helped with Ripley's story. 

 

As for the xeno pupppet some shots did look less than great, but there were also times the pupper looked amazing, this is something you have to take the good and the bad with. Personally there were some shots in the original Alien once you saw its whole body that weren't exactly unfailing

Necronom 4

Mar-03-2015 9:08 AM

Alien 3 as always been underrated imo. I think the main problem was that people had high expectations after Aliens and hoped that it would carry on along the same lines. To many, especially the "Aliens was better than Alien" camp, it was a dull offering, they hated the fact that their beloved Hicks and Newt were killed off, like they were somehow more deserving of life than say Brett, Dallas, Vasques, Hudson etc.

Alien 3 definately could have been better, if it wasn't for studio meddling. However, it was still a decent offering imo. The score and un-easy mood/feel was a definate plus. The way Ripley was forced to share an environment with people who were just as capable of harming her as the Alien she as been running from. The way those predators shifted from viewing her as nothing more than an object of pleasure into a saviour. It also had religious undertones that when watching it, brings the engineers to mind.

The only problem i have with it is the Alien itself. The early VFX by Woodruff and co. were horrible and the idea of having the alien gestate inside a dog was laughable. It's a shame, it could have been a great film if done right.

They should have let the series rest with Ripley instead of making that abomination Alien 4.

The poster was good though!

 

Necronom 4

Mar-03-2015 10:25 AM

A film within the Alien universe should never have a Swiss Family Robinson type ending where everybody holds hands and sing "We are the world!"

I still find it hard to believe that people wanted that.

The poster was good though!

 

Lone

Mar-03-2015 12:49 PM

Having different directors, each Alien movie has it's own 'feel' and 'style'. This has been both a blessing and a curse!

There has been little consistency, and I think that David Fincher had the best of intentions when he took on directorial duties. He wanted to return to the lone Alien and the claustrophobic feel of Scott's Alien, while incorporating some action.

I blame Fox/Brandywine for their meddling and also marketing the film in the vein of Aliens, when it was something very different! Had Fincher had the time, budget and more say, Alien 3 would have been far better.

In the Special Edition you certainly get an impression of Fincher's vision. Who knows, there could have been far more 'on the cutting room floor', which could have made a very good movie. As Fincher completely distanced himself afterwards, we'll never know if a better, Director's Cut, would have been possible.

I've never been a fan of Woodruff & Gillis. I don't like their interpretation of Giger's work. I think they have progressively diluted and ruined the concept of the Alien. Fox just couldn't see what they had in Giger, nor David Fincher for that matter. I just hope Neill Blomkamp doesn't suffer the same fate!

I would never compare Alien 3 with Resurrection. Apart from Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley clone 8, it just didn't feel like an Alien Franchise sequel to me!

THE LONE GUNWOMAN

"Let The Cosmic Incubation Begin" ~ H.R. Giger

oduodu

Mar-04-2015 5:42 PM

It didn't add anything new apart from the runner alien.

brego

Oct-27-2015 9:57 PM

I for one think that A3 was an amazing film which suffered from too many chiefs. Visually beautiful and for it's time great effects. Fincher simply ran out of time and money. I would love to see a re release with a tidy up of the puppet effects. I don't mind for a second that A3 may end up a cryo sleep nightmare, perhas A4 as well (that would be a comedic nightmare). I am so excited to see that we will see a conclusion with the original cast. So far the art is spot on and close to Giger.

Prometheus only failed when the design went away from Giger. Too fleshy and non biomechanical.

I'm hoping that Ridley takes a step back and looks to Giger for his inspiration and that his Prometheus universe ends up fitting neatly with A5 and the Canon universe of the original Alien we all love. A direct linear time line from Prometheus and maybe a flashback even further linked to A5 is achievable,even still, and it is what we hope and demand as fans!

Thoughts_Dreams

Jan-27-2016 7:13 AM

I like Alien 3, even though it isn't my favorite. The depressing tone fits it and I also like the idea that they are out there in space even though there is a ship coming to the place even thouh they don't care for the prisoners.

 

There is a documentary about how they made Alien 3, boy what a mess! If the studio hadn't messed up Fincher's idea it could have been so much better but it is a good result given what went on behond the scenes so to speak.

 

We have two version of it, I enjoy both and no I don't have a favorite among these. Ressurection on the other hand... let's just say that you can make a strike all the time even though I think that Winona Ryder looks good in it.

felix9000

Jan-27-2016 10:27 PM

  It had so many things going for it, but you get the sense that the studio really interfered too much. You get the Fincher goodies: close-ups, great lighting/cinematography - but the script and story were just...meh...You can have so much going for a film, and that film did have an incredibly talented cast - but they couldn't carry that film with that script.

  And that was what made Alien and Cameron's re-boot work: great scripts, great human stories. You may get a bad script from someone people love, like the resurrection script, and the movie sucks. If I was an exec tasked with greenlighting a script for these movies, it would have to be dyno-supreme, and all of the movies including all the AvP movies have just had awful scripts with none of the reality (I know, a loaded term when you're talking what are basically monster movies) that the first two films had. They didn't feel real. Movies at their core have to get us to suspend our disbelief, and those movies did not.

  You've got to give the establshed fans what they want...If you don't, especially with rabid fans like Alien fans are, you're gonna catch s#$t. LOTS of it. I still talk shit about these films (A3 on), but I make genuine points about their faults.

S.M

Jul-03-2016 5:09 PM

It's neither groundbreaking nor bad.

But it's not good either.

It never earned the sacrifice of Hicks and Newt in the opening minutes. If you're going to do something like that, you need to say 'Trust us. This will be worth it.' It wasn't.

Then Ripley spends most of the first half of the film behind the audience, you have bald Alien fodder made up of rapists and murderers that you wouldn't care for even if you could tell them apart, all being chased down dark corridors by a badly composited creature.  The Assembly Cut just never corrects any of these problems and instead creates more.

But I love it all anyway.

BigDave

Jul-04-2016 9:54 AM

I think Alien 3 was not a bad movie, it had and left some Plot Holes....

And was maybe not the best way to had done a sequel but then Prometheus was not the perfect Prequel.

I understand with Newt,  as Carrie would have been like 15-16 during filming and so how would they explain that away and also to have them cast a replacement Actress...  to play the same age as Newt?

so i think they had to plan a movie around the fact that, well what if we cant cast Michael Biehn and what about Carrie Henn  if we cast her we have to then set the movie 5 years at least after Aliens but then would someone age 5 years in Cryo-sleep

So they had to take these into account, the only other way would have been to have Ripley return to home, and then have her called in because the Xeno had showed its head again....

Which Ripley goes off, while we dont see Newt or Hicks but they could be cast in a sequel... as they are not killed off.

I think Alien 3 was not bad.... but i understood after they killed off Ripley, this could be the end of Alien movies well with Ripley in it and i felt while it was in one way a good ending... in the other maybe it could have been done different....

Because its then what happens to Ripley..... if they make a new Movie.

Low and behold they do and they have to have Ripley in it and so then had to come up with that Clone Plot for Alien R

I think we have to accept FOX feels Alien Franchise is about the XENO and RIPLEY and so history of Weyland, the Engineers, and anything else does not matter as much.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

BigDave

Jul-04-2016 10:02 AM

Fincher's ideas would have been better if he could have told they full story the way he wanted to.

"I think the main problem was that people had high expectations after Aliens"

This is the same thing that has dogged down Alien R, and Prometheus.... i think Fox is now listen to the fans.

"I still find it hard to believe that people wanted that."

Yes a Happy Ending.... but now as i said above seems Fox feel this is what Fans want, and Sigourney hinted that with Alien 5, they have a Happy Ending and Reunion....

Oh boy i hope it ends in Horror as i dont think that happy ending is all that good, but i feel FOX think that the Franchise is about RIPLEY which i dont agree with

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Aorta

Jul-04-2016 10:29 AM

BD-

I hope it ends in horror too, but if people want a happy ending for Ripley I guess let them have it. Look at it as that end of the franchise. Prometheus did a lot of good in a sense because it created a new, alternate storyline, the other end of the franchise.

I does seem that the majority want to see Blomkamp's interpretation of things, which already includes elements that, for me, are in poor taste. But matters of taste are very personal and I know I'm in the minority. For me, there's Ridley's vision moving forward so I'm happy.

I found A3 to be too depressing, I applaud the sense of hopelessness but it was a bit much. Certain elements I liked but overall the look and feel were oddly cobbled together and so bleak as to drain it of any fun, which is needed I think. Some of the sets were fantastic, some were totally out of place. Great photography, for sure. The fan scene was great, you don't get to see that much in film and it was suitably juicy, the fan itself was  unique and in a sense more horrific that the MORB itself. 

I didn't like the dog creature, the MORB was already too anthropomorphic and giving it even more mammal influence just drained it of surreal threat. I really believe Cameron finished the MORB with Aliens, while that movie was quite fun it also ruined the creature in both design and overall saturation.

MonsterZero

Jul-04-2016 11:47 AM

Happy endings are for Star Trek.

I have no problem with Alien3.......Maybe I have a problem with the 'happy' ending of Aliens.... (You could actually see a bright future for Ripley/Hicks/Newt.....Marriage ...Adoption.. Star Trek!)

 

Michelle Johnston

Jul-04-2016 12:18 PM

The idea of returning to a single adversary and for Ripley to host a Queen should have taken the film away from its predecessor and made it more of a psychological thriller. We are all aware of alternative scripts but curiously if they had set down in an inviting landscape and the story unfolded within a religious order that would  oddly give it the chance to move toward the pre occupations of Prometheus. Ripley is the Alien of the film and if Hicks had survived and Newt chest busted in an appalling prologue not only would Ripley's journey to sacrifice take place in somewhere less bleak but Hicks could have given that journey more emotional context.

Without getting into the how, a flash back of the Egg placements should have been included to make the story more fluid but the real drama would have come from the story being told in a new and different environment and it really is Ripley's story not the A L I E N.

It is in making it Ripley's story and her interacting with a deeply spiritual sect that some depth could have been added to the franchise and more discussion of Ripleys experiences shed insight into the Zeno particularly given her hosting one. 

It should have concluded the franchise going forward Resurrection is just desperate.

By now we are all aware that developing a franchise beyond bread and circus's is terribly difficult because of the positioning movies for established mass audiences and new ones with widely different cultural needs. However the 3rd and 4th Alien films indicate you may as well take the risk because troping with the law of diminishing returns doesn't make money.   

 

Thoughts_Dreams

Jul-04-2016 12:44 PM

I really like Alien 3, nowadays it is my favorite among all Alien related movies that are released (yes it is even better than Alien and Aliens but that is a subjective thing). There have been a discussion here who brought the egg on board maybe it was a company person that we didn't see in Aliens? Except for that confusing thing I really like Alien 3.

 

Killing Newt and Hicks was alright but it could have been done better. Vasques is my favorite character in Aliens, didn't care as much about Ripley to be honest even though she was OK.

 

As far as Alien 5 is concerned I hope that it won't be a happy ending because I have never associated the Alien franchise with that. Alien movies are closer to blood death and disaster movies compared to happy ones if you ask me, maybe I exaggerate here but you get the point.

 

Big Dave wrote: "I think we have to accept FOX feels Alien Franchise is about the XENO and RIPLEY and so history of Weyland, the Engineers, and anything else does not matter as much."

 

I disagree, I don't think that it is mostly about the Xeno. The main thing about the whole Alien thing seems to be humans that get into situations that they can not deal with so they get killed one after another - that seems to be the common thread among all the Alien connected movies. Alien movies show us a part of what it means to be human which is why they are very dependent on believable characters.

 

Look at it like this for example:

 

1. Alien - A creature gets on board that kills everything in its way so they must cooperate to get rid of it. There they face their biggest fear (fear of death). We see them in different situations so in a way it asks us some about human existence.

 

2. Aliens - A colony gets infected so they get back there. They find Newt and Ripley becomes a mother sort of. She cares about Newt and gets her family sort of. Once again it asks in a way what it means to be human.

 

3. Ripley crash lands at a prison planet. She is trying to survive among criminals and falls in love with the doctor. To me the themes seems to be about loss (think about what happens to Hicks and Newt), how it would be to be a long way from civilization with people that you don't know, for example. Maybe I am analyzing this too much but Alien 3 seems to me to be more on a existentialist tip but I think that is a good things which is one reason why I think that it is the best among all Alien movies.

S.M

Jul-04-2016 3:10 PM

Ripley is no more away "from civilization with people that you don't know" in Alien3 than she is in Aliens.

Facehuggers

Jul-04-2016 3:20 PM

Honestly, I thought ALIEN3 was the perfect sequel! Perhaps even better than ALIEN and ALIENS! It had everything, it captured the hard reality of death, shock, action, paranoia, brutality and ultimately sacrifice!

BigDave

Jul-04-2016 3:29 PM

"Big Dave wrote: "I think we have to accept FOX feels Alien Franchise is about the XENO and RIPLEY and so history of Weyland, the Engineers, and anything else does not matter as much."

Yes i agree with your reply but the way i meant was that the Franchise had and now has these Elements

* Humans... (Colonist, Truckers and Marines)

*Xenomorph (Originating from the Derelict) in all its guises

*Weyland-Yutani Corperation

*Android Synthetics

*Space Jockey and Derelict

Then we was introduced to Prometheus which expanded on those two last point to give us the Engineers their role in creating not only Mankind and the Xenomorph but also most likely many other things.

And i just feel that after Alien 3 Fox felt that they needed to go back to Alien by using Ripley...

Then when the prequel came along they at first thought they would tone down the Xeno, and no need for Ripley.....  but they was not happy with the end product.

Now it seems that a new Alien movie idea, that Blomkamp has had will be given the Green Light to wipe out in a way Alien 3 and Alien R and bring back the story about RIPLEY and the XENOMORPH

Seems with Covenant they have decided to go with the more Xeno connection and yes Ripley will be connected... hopefully not in much of a way.

Seems they cant give a Original Story and when they finally had one which was Prometheus and its Sequel... its panic stations and having to Give Xeno Fanboys what they want and Ripley in the mix..

The Franchise to me should cover the Company and its Synthetics and the Engineers more than the Xeno and Ripley was the point i was trying to make.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

BigDave

Jul-04-2016 3:30 PM

@Michellle yes i was going to mention it earlier but forgot but i have mentioned it in the past a few times....

That having Newt get Chest Busted in Alien 3 would have been a way better and Horrific idea...

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

S.M

Jul-04-2016 5:11 PM

That would've been an even bigger 'Fuck you' than the one we got.

Michelle Johnston

Jul-04-2016 11:44 PM

S.M. For me in the movie we got they just shuffled the pack to start where they wanted and the death of the other two was lame. For Newt to be chest busted and create the havoc A L I E N is a real plot devise. Similarly if Hicks had become aware of Ellen's horrific dilemma and pleaded with her to try surgery against Ripley knowing what the trade off would be that would have been engaging.

"Fuck You" for me is clearing the cupboards, which is what we got, if Newt had driven the story of the A L I E N and Hicks and Ellen Ripley are the survivors that feels plot driven for me. It would also have meant that not only was E R carrying a Queen but the A L I E N on the lose was also tied to her emotionally in the same revulsion destroy it/its part of me ambiguity. Thats the kind of ambiguity of that horrific scene where the A L I E N baits her and ends up presenting itself imagine how much more powerful that would have been if this was Newt A L I E N. It could have hinted that some kind of foot print of the host is bequeathed on the new born and begun to build that sense that Zenomorphs are the result of punishment and retribution through re alignment.   

Just having A L I E N's appearing out of the dark and folks screaming was never gonna work for a third movie thats also the danger for A C which I am quietly confident will be avoided.

Put simply Ellen Ripley needed a point of view about both the Queen and the Newt A L I E N.       

S.M

Jul-05-2016 1:13 AM

Having a Newt chestbursted would've just been mean spirited and gratuitous; just as chestbursting Sam and the pregnant women in AvP:R was mean spirited and gratuitous.  Shock value and revulsion and little else.

As for Hicks, he would've provided a buffer between Ripley and the prisoners, and these films always remove the buffer. Dallas, Apone, Gorman, Clemens, Andrews, Elgyn, Christie. Ripley doesn't step up on her own - she needs to be forced into that situation.  Hicks death was also a 'fuck you' but it ultimately served a purpose.

Newt, not so much.

Subjectively, their deaths don't especially bother me, as cheap as they are. Objectively, it extremely risky filmmaking that didn't really pay off.

BigDave

Jul-05-2016 8:03 AM

Michelle yes that would have been interesting... i think they could have kept Hicks in the movie.

As for Newt, its a case of what would they do with a girl running around a Prison, and then explain why she looks different (Carrie Henn would been 15 not 11).

I think when they was working on such a movie this is a problem for them the same thing applies with Blomkamps Alien 5 where he was having it set at first not long after Aliens....  well they would face the same problem with Newt and would have to cast a similar looking 11-12 year old Girl.

Blomkamp has seemed to have changed his plans a bit by now having the movie set 20 years into the future which would be more fitting to explain Newts age and how much older Ripley would look.

So while i think it shocked Alien Fanboys they killed off the family so to speak, it logically had to happen i guess as far as where do we go now and how to fit Newt in?

And so a Newt Chest Buster would have been more of a Emotional Event.... they could have it track down Ripley and not kill her, like they did in Alien 3 but then have Hicks turn up and then see it attack Hicks.... which then make Ripley wonder why?  then go to the Queen Angle. etc.

Also i dont want to by Happy Endings, and well Alien 5 could see Hicks, Newt Ripley and Bishop all together, hey i wonder if Jonesy will join them... but this is what Miss Weaver hinted..

I think they had a Happy Ending until 20 years latter the Horror Returned.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

BigDave

Jul-05-2016 8:06 AM

Also yes seeing a Child Chest Busted would have been a Shock Factor..... but i cant see how you can beat the Original Chest Buster with out setting up such a scene evolving a Child...... so Alien Covenant has its work cut out because for it to work... it has to be different, or it has to be with a Character we are connected with and well we never really got connected with Shaw and i doubt a hour is enough to get any connection with any of the Covenant Crew to care about them being Chest Busted to a degree it would top the Original.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Michelle Johnston

Jul-05-2016 11:17 AM

SM I am not talking about fan service readjustment or worrying whose dead or alive I am talking about explaining the Zenomorph from a much closer in perspective with a much more sophisticated emotional back drop.

But look at Covenant does Elizabeth work out that Charlie was spiked by David if so the potential for protagonist, antagonist redemption is substantial she may get inside the Zeno life cycle to destroy it. Thats how to make the A L I E N series interesting beyond Ridders visual feasts get inside the mythos from a human perspective thats what the misguided Resurrection is attempting to do but made zero progress.      

MonsterZero

Jul-05-2016 3:37 PM

Great thought Michelle! Could Shaw work out what killed Holloway?

Thoughts_Dreams

Jul-06-2016 7:55 AM

S.M: “Ripley is no more away "from civilization with people that you don't know" in Alien3 than she is in Aliens.”

 

Yeah, but she wasn’t alone among dangerous prisoners so it feels that she is alone among all the men. In Alien you had Newt and Lambert and Aliens had Vasquez, Newt, and eventually two other females. Ripley is alone as a female in A3 and far from Earth and the atmosphere feels more gloomy in a way that adds to it in a way that Alien and Aliens didn’t have. Consider also that the Derelict was important to the company and the company also had a bigger interest in what went on in Aliens. In A3 nobody cares about the prisoners, not until Ripley gets there the company gets interested because she has a Xeno in her. Sure Alien had a dark atmosphere but to me it isn’t the same feeling as Alien 3 has, I am not sure how to explain it better. Maybe I should have written felt more isolated in Alien 3? What ever

S.M

Jul-07-2016 5:31 PM

Vasquez and Ferro looked on Ripley with some amount of disdain. On the other hand, she shagged Clemens in short order.

And Burke had an interest in the Derelict and what went on in Aliens.  The Company cared more about the events in Alien3, as evidenced by them sending a specialised rescue ship.

Necronom 4

May-02-2018 7:02 PM

ALIEN 3 is great

The poster was good though!

 

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