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Last Active 11-10-21 10:57 pm
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11.04.21 Neek'd: Coldplay10.05.21 Neek'd: Alien(s) Franchise
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12.10.20 Best Album Covers: Q3 2020 11.30.20 love you guys
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Neek'd: Alien(s) Franchise

No Aliens vs Predators because I haven't brought myself to watching them yet.
6John Frizzell
Alien Ressurection

Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet // 1997

Never before have I seen a film where the script and direction were so at odds. Joss Whedon wrote an extremely self-serious (and sexist tbh) script full of body horror and tension, but Jeunet directs with a gonzo presence, undercutting any drama in favor of frenetic action and melodramatic performances. Both have their positives and negatives, but together they don’t add up to a positive experience. Still, I have to admit I had a lot of fun with the film—its viscerality, its breakneck pace, and a few competent sequences show where Whedon and Jeunet overlapped. I’m just glad they didn’t give Whedon the sequel after all. 2.5/5
5Elliot Goldenthal
Alien 3

Dir. David Fincher // 1992

Hardly the dumpster fire some people make it out to be, Alien³ is a confidently presented film that largely suffers due to a half-hearted script. While the setting of the prison outpost is engaging with surprisingly well thought-out religious and political elements, the characters are largely unmemorable, and the plot checks the same boxes as the two that came before. What makes it work is that Fincher is a master at making thrillers, even in his directorial debut. While the script strays even deeper into familiar territory in its final act, he commands the pacing and shots admirably. It’s a pale imitation of the original film, but it’s hardly a flop. 3.1/5
4Jed Kurzel
Alien Covenant

Dir. Ridley Scott // 2017

Perhaps an overcorrection from criticisms of Prometheus, Covenant dials down the sci-fi in favor of an almost classical horror vibe (it’s as much Mary Shelley as it is John Carpenter) and continues the franchise legacy of “(adjective) ship lands on (adjective) alien planet” plotting. Fassbender is as frightening as before, but the characters don’t pop as they did on Prometheus. While the colony ship concept is a cool hook, populating the cast with long-term couples, it becomes very clear that the focus is on David, and that the victims suffer from almost no agency this time around. The plotting also suffers here, waiting to use the massive reveal of the planet’s fate till later in the film could’ve added some major mystery and added some tension around David’s presence. Overall it’s still a fun, sometimes captivating work of sci-fi, but this one’s much more of a horror film—and the Aliens themselves get less scary every time. 3.4/5
3Marc Streitenfeld

Dir. Ridley Scott // 2012

Prometheus is a hard film to love. Its dense exposition and heavy reliance on the structure of the original confounded me the first time I saw it. Unlike any other film in the franchise, Prometheus is a science fiction film first, horror film second. The easier you fall into the mythology Scott tries to create, the more fun you’ll have. The characters here are also engaging, even if they aren’t quite developed—this is the Alien franchise we’re talking about. This flick has got some seriously thrilling sequences and genuinely sets up some intriguing concepts for the sequels. Either you turn your brain off, or you let yourself dive into the sci-fi, just don’t half-ass it either way. 4.1/5
2James Horner

Dir. James Cameron // 1986

James Cameron steps up to the plate and largely nails this sequel, amplifying the action elements at the expense of some of the tension that made the first film so electrifying. Cameron smartly digs deeper into Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, and her performance sells a huge amount of the stakes and terror throughout the film. While not quite as formally or structurally tight as its predecessor, it’s easy to see why some prefer this to the original. It has some absolutely fantastic and legendary sequences, but it’s simply a bit too loose to pack the same punch for me—Cameron isn’t as bold a director as Scott in this case. It’s easily the boldest reinvention of the franchise to date—everything since has felt like a mesh of these first two films. 4.4/5
1Jerry Goldsmith

Dir. Ridley Scott // 1979

An absolute game-changer for both science fiction and horror, Alien is rightly considered one of the most influential films of all time. Ridley Scott directs with virtuosic clarity, wringing as much tension and drama as possible out of every scene. The blue-collar script from Dan O’Bannon plays a large part in the film’s success, imbuing each character with a genuine simplicity that makes it all too easy to buy into the world. Everything here works, from the world-class art and creature design to the just gorgeous cinematography. Outside of The Thing, it’s impossible to find an equal in this genre. 5.0/5
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