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My movie reviews - Alien 3 (1992)/The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)


Dennis Reynolds

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Spoilers lie within...

 

Alien3_poster.jpg

 

Rating - 8/10.

 

While not a masterpiece like Alien or Aliens, Alien 3 is still quite a good film, and it would have been better if the series had ended here rather than continuing with the absurd Alien: Resurrection, and the even worse Alien vs. Predator films (well, at least the latter of the two).

After the events of Aliens, the supposedly malfunctioning Sulaco launches an escape pod, which crashes on Fiorina 161, a mostly uninhabited planet that has like a smelting facility and prison on it. Hicks and Newt are both killed in the accident, and Bishop is destroyed beyond repair. Ripley is the only survivor. The prison workers take her in, and she is warned that her mere presence will disturb the cycle of the prison and its inmates, all of which are reborn Christians with pasts of rape and murder. A facehugger makes its way from the escape pod, and impregnates an animal in the prison (a dog or a cow, depending on whether you watch the theatrical cut or the assembly cut), which soon births an alien that wreaks havoc in the prison and Ripley and the inmates attempt to stop it, and the fact is that the prison has little to no weapons complicates trying to kill it. Ripley soon discovers she has been impregnated with an alien queen, and the alien will not kill her because of it, giving her a morbid edge to stop it.

Sigourney Weaver's performance is stellar. The highlight of her acting is in the scene where an autopsy is performed on Newt's corpse. Her facial expression and the sadness she emotes is fantastic, she really sells the tragedy her character has gone through and makes you feel really sorry for her. The supporting cast is all around good, the best of them being Charles Dance and Charles S. Dutton.

The new quadruped alien is quite cool, and it's interesting to watch it's behavioral differences from the aliens in the previous two films. It isn't as sadistic and calculating as the alien in the first film, and being a singular alien, it doesn't have the hive mentality the aliens in the second film. This one is more quick to kill, and does as such more violently than before, possibly to thin out the amount of people who may harm the alien queen when it's born.

There are some aspects of the film that beg for an explanation, most glaringly how exactly an alien egg got on the Sulaco. It seems to work of the alien queen, but it doesn't make much sense how or when she could have put it there. The assembly is quite a bit better than the theatrical cut, but there are two things I prefer from the theatrical cut, the first of which being that the alien comes from a dog rather than a cow (which makes more sense given how it moves), and the second of which being how the alien queen bursts from Ripley's chest as they both fall into the furnace.

Quite a few scripts were written for Alien 3, all of which were vastly different. William Gibson's script was little more than a more EXTREEEEEEME!!! version of Aliens, which would've been pretty lame and not at all interesting. Eric Red's script was horribly bad, containing several plot holes and ridiculous plot points (it had an alien chicken, believe it or not). David Twohy's and Vincent Ward's scripts were interesting, but Twohy's script was too divorced from the previous films, and Ward's script had a major concept that didn't fit in with the series at all (a planet constructed of wood). Aspects of Twohy's and Ward's scripts were combined and rewritten into a different version of Alien 3 by Walter Hill & David Giler and Larry Ferguson that ended up as the finished film, and I'd say what got made was the best of any of the scripts.

David Fincher, the director of Alien 3, has actually since disowned the movie due to his terrible experience of actually making it. His troubles ranged from constant studio interference to the pressure of being the successor to Ridley Scott and James Cameron, and given that it was his first feature length film and he had to deal with so much making it, his directorial work on it is pretty impressive.

It has its flaws, but Alien 3 is ultimately a good movie. It keeps with the tone of the series, adding some new and interesting aspects and conclusively wraps up the story arc of Ripley and the aliens. It's too bad the series had to continue and venture into such lame territory.

 

The_Amazing_Spiderman_2_poster.jpg

 

Rating - 4.5/10.

 

After seeing Peter's parents die in an action sequence you'd see in a low tier Bond film, we see Spider-Man battle a villain who seems like he'd be more suited to chasing Rocky and Bullwinkle. Once that villain is in check, we move on to Max Dillon, whose villainous potential is made clear in a scene straight out of Analyze This. The insecure nerd then gets electrical superpowers, and swears a vendetta against Spider-Man because he didn't recognize him right off the bat.

Damn. Well, who wouldn't, right?

The worst part of this movie is the villains. Fearless Leade-uh, I meant the Rhino, is just a cringeworthy cartoon cheeseball. Electro is probably the "best" villain of the movie, faint praise as that is. He has practically no motivation, but at least he's visually interesting. The Green Goblin looks like the lovechild of Johnny Rotten and a troll doll, and he arrives literally seconds after Electro is defeated. That's just extremely lazy writing.

Andrew Garfield isn't that compelling or likable of a lead, although he's not terrible. He does have some chemistry with Emma Stone. The brighter aesthetics are more suitable for a Spider-Man film, a welcome change from the Batman-like aesthetics of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Spider-Man 3 also had a few coincidences in the storyline, but that film was still entertaining and had well-performed and depicted characters. Unlike this film, its merits outweighed its faults.

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