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I’m all alone (more or less)

Watched Aliens. I’d caught the final half hour of it while on holiday about five or six years ago, but otherwise can’t remember much about it. I know James Cameron did the directing and writing this time around, and I was curious to see how it would impact upon the style and setting. I still remember watching Rambo II; the first one was a fantastic movie that I still love, but as soon as I saw his credit during the opening of the sequel I knew that this time it’d just be a heartless action movie. I was right. Fun action movie, but no real soul to it, unlike the first one. Thankfully, Aliens is just as good as the original, in its own way.

 

It’s a very different ambiance from the first time around; it isn’t just a ship of everyday dudes stumbling upon this threat that they have no chance in hell of taking care of, but now a team of marines explicitly going on a bug hunt. Thus, the drama is no longer “what is this strange creature, and how will we inexperienced space people react to such a predicament?” and more “how many strange creatures are there, and how many guns will we over-excited army folk use against them?” Bailing out is no longer an option since their given mission is to eradicate the things, and naturally there’s a lot more tension waiting for the things to show up.

One of my personal beefs is that you don’t get as much chance to know these characters – practically the whole platoon is wiped out with the first encounter with the critters, whereas the first one gave us ample time to bond with the characters. Mind you, what character interaction we do observe is great, and I’d dare say that the relationship between Ripley and Newt almost steals the show.

I do admittedly prefer the original; I wouldn’t say any of them is better than the other, it’s more down to just if you prefer atmospheric horror movies or slightly gung-ho action movies. I prefer the original for its more desolate environment (the crew have no contact with anyone outside of their own members whatsoever) and the more intriguing setting – seeing these guys totally incapable of fighting giant space things had me more engaged to their survival than, well, a bunch of military guys who are supposed to get into those situations as part of their morning routine, probably. Kinda like Rambo again, where the original put this war veteran in an environment unsuited for him… and then the sequel just dumped him back into his original fighting rounds.

Totally irrelevant note, but man, seeing Mac McDonald was a genuine surprise! I saw someone who looked suspiciously like him and with a voice very similar to his, and I was like… is that Mac McDonald? For the next twenty minutes it was literally all I could think about, it was just that distracting. I was almost anxious to stop the movie and look up IMDb just so I could scour the credits and set my mind to rest. I’m only really familiar with him via his role in Red Dwarf and the various cameos he’s made (the most recent one I’ve seen being a stint as a war-fanatic tourist in Black Books), but I love the guy. It’s rather strange seeing him so, er, svelte, though. He’s a big, big guy come Red Dwarf, which came out only two years later.

5 Comments

  1. MightyKombat wrote:

    You know, the Aliens films had a big hand in inspiring the Metroid series if you’re interested.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink
  2. Ragey wrote:

    I’m aware of that, though I admit I’m more interested in checking out the various Aliens licensed games. RQ87 and I have played through the Alien vs. Predator arcade game and we dabbled briefly in AVP2 for the PC years ago, but I can’t remember much. Might be worth making a small feature on the various games. The only sites I can think of that talk about the games are VG Junk’s comparison of the sprites and Sardius recapping the unreleased Aliens game for the Famicom Disc System.

    Monday, March 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink
  3. MightyKombat wrote:

    Speaking of FDS, loving Super Mario BRos 2 JP.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink
  4. You can’t play AvP 2 online any more :(

    Well you can if you get some unofficial patch, but I can’t get it to work.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink
  5. MightyKombat wrote:

    That’s a shame. Then again I don’t play shooters online. Sorry

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink