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It had to happen. Alien, was brilliantly creepy and atmospheric, whilst sequel Aliens expanded the story, converting the franchise into an intelligent action film. Inevitably, the studio decided to go for film number three; and that's where it all started to go horribly wrong.
Alien 3 takes up where Aliens left off. Having escaped from the alien queen with Newt, Hicks and Bishop, Ripley crash lands on a prison colony planet. Inevitably, she unwittingly brings along another unwelcome xenomorph and soon the killing starts all over again.
The only really notable thing about Alien 3 that it marks the Hollywood directorial debut of David Fincher (Fight Club, Seven). It's no secret that the production process was not a happy one, with allegations of studio interference rife. This is the only way you could consider Alien 3 interesting, since you can look at it as part of Fincher's learning process. Fincher might still have been learning his trade, but there are already some impressively composed shots. The point of view shots of the alien chasing victims down the many tunnels may be over-used, but at least they do add something we have not seen before - a view of the world from the Alien's perspective.
Alien 3 is characterised by a lazy, run-of-the-mill script which adds nothing new and fails to ever come close to reproducing either the tension of the first film or the gung-ho action of the second. The film's lazy scripting is probably best characterised by the fact that the other three survivors are conveniently killed off before the craft even lands, handily ridding the film of any "baggage" left over from Aliens, whilst also ensuring that Ripley is once again left alone and isolated in a hostile environment.
Sadly, this is symptomatic of the overall quality of the script. Alien 3 really fails to think up any new storylines for anyone. Much of the script is simply a retread of the original - a group of people trapped in a single location are gradually picked off one-by-one. As such, Alien 3 lacks any real sense of surprise. There's some mild fun to be had guessing which prisoner will be the next piece of alien fodder, but not a great deal and as with so many films of this type, it's all too easy to work out who will live or die.
It's also full of clichés which means it never generates any sense of tension. People do traditional "horror movie" stupid things (such as going into dark tunnels on their own to investigate strange noises). There are very few scares and the film never comes close to matching the frenetic action sequences of Aliens. Everything feels horribly disjointed as if it's a series of random scenes tied together with a loose narrative and the constant battles David Fincher had with the studio over the making of the film have clearly taken their toll, resulting in a dull, derivative film.
Alien 3 relies much more heavily on gore than scares. There is plenty of the red stuff splashing around and it is easily the bloodiest entry up to this point. Again, one of the strengths of the first two films was that much of the violence was implied, leaving the imagination to do all the work. Yet, even here, Alien 3 disappoints and most of the deaths take place partly shaded in darkness (resulting in other characters being showered in blood). So, no tension, no action and surprisingly tame death sequences. Just what is the point of this film again?
Alien 3 is a film of two halves. Part one tries (ineffectively) to build the back-story of the penal colony and its inmates. This is far too dialogue heavy, ponderous and dull. The second half shifts to the inmates' attempts to trap and kill the alien... with somewhat predictable results. Even here, the film fails to generate much in the way of excitement, and the end sequence simply boils down to people chasing (and being chased) down lots of very similar looking tunnels, which doesn't exactly make for gripping viewing.
The lack of tension is not helped by the characters. With the notable exceptions of Brian Glover (arrogant prison warden), Charles Dance (suave Medical Officer with A Past) and to a lesser extent Charles S Dutton, (murderer with a heart), none of the actors involved really get much in the way of actual acting. The prisoners are all very one-dimensional and you simply don't care when they die. Not even Pete Postlethwaite can make much of an impact; and that's not something you hear terribly often!
Sigourney Weaver does her best to keep things going, but you get the impression even her heart isn't fully in it. Ridley is as feisty as ever and more than out-machos the rapists and murderers she finds herself surrounded by. She is as convincing as ever in the action sequences and manages to generate at least some sympathy for the plight of her character, but you still don't really fear for her in the same way the previous two films made you do.
Neither is the alien itself as much of a character. In Alien, the alien was a hidden menace, seemingly lurking in every shadow and generating a genuine sense of terror. In Aliens, it was an intelligent, cunning animal, acting on instinct and learning; doing both what it was bred to do (kill and survive). You even felt a modicum of sympathy for it at times. After all, in Aliens, it was simply trying to do what Ripley and co were also doing - protect their young and survive.
In Alien 3, it's just a special effect (and often a poor one at that.) There is no attempt to develop its character, no attempt to make it terrifying. It is there to do nothing more than take the role of the serial killer.
Once again, Hollywood proves it just can't leave successful franchises alone. With nothing new to add, Alien 3 is a (very) pale imitation of the original. Sadly, worse was to follow, as Hollywood suits did their best to flog the franchise to death. Alien: Resurrection followed, as did Alien v Predator and Alien v Predator 2 which, in accordance with the law of diminishing returns got less and less watchable as the series progressed.
Director: David Fincher
Running time: approx. 114 minutes (theatrical release)
© Copyright SWSt 2010
Alien 3 is the third film in the Alien franchise of films, and is the worst of the three by far. The film picks of where the last film left off with the three survivors on their way home to earth, when their journey is interrupted and they are ejected from the and land upon a prison planet. Later in the film it is discovered that the Alien was aboard the ship and is now on the planet, and they must find a way to kill it.
The problem with the film is that simple it is not as good as the previous two film, where as the first had suspense and thriller element and the second had the all out action sequences, the third movie has none of these. As while the film tries to bring these elements into the film, it fails completely.
Another problem is the graphics of the film are poor, such as when the alien is seen running along the ceiling of the corridor it stands out as a sore thumb and looks like something a first time graphics designer would do not a major Hollywood studio.
Overall this film is pretty poor in every aspect, as seen when it nearly killed off the film franchise. The story is not one that lives up to the previous two films and really seems stretched out. It is not one that I would recommend anybody to watch.
Movie: Alien 3
The Story Alien 3
This movie takes place where the films about aliens stopped. You can watch the film apart from the other films, which is quiet good if you ask me. A lost Alien causes a fire in the spaceship called the Sulaco. As a result, all people who are there escape via an escape capsule that is present on the spaceship. They arrive on another planet and soon discover that this is a kind of a prison planet. Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) also discovers that an alien travelled with them is also on the planet and starts to kill the prisoners of the planet. How will this end and can Ripley stop him?
This is one of the first movie they have used computer technology so much. You can definitely notice it with the alien. Of course it's not up the high standards as we see these days, but still it looks very believable. Sigourney Weaver plays the part of Ellen L. Ripley and I've always been a fan of her. She comes across very believable and reliable and plays extremely smoothly her role. Although she played some scenes with dolls (who later became aliens through the computer), she does this really well and convincing.
Image & sound
The movie is from 1992 and the picture and sound shows are certainly a little bit older, but I liked the image with the scenes when they are on the prison planet. The sound is sometimes a little bit weaker here and there, but not really disturbing but it does takes a little bit the enjoyment away.
There are a few extras on the DVD:
* Interview with the cast. Mainly with Sigourney Weaver. Nice to see and especially where she discusses the computer technology in the film.
* Making of. This is also about the use of the computer and you see the puppets they used in the film
* Deleted scenes. These are only 5 and I can understand why they weren't in the movie.
The story is very strong and I had no trouble getting into the story that takes place on this completely different world that does not exist (no, he does not really exist). The Alien is a bit strange at first, but I could get used to it quickly. The acting performance by Sigourney Weaver makes the film complete, and she knows to carry the movie by herself.. The biggest downside is the picture and sound and especially during the scenes that take place on the prison planet, at least they annoyed me most. But the story, the acting performance, price, and the whole effect is very good still deserves 4 stars out of 5.
Running time: 116 minutes
Category: science fiction/horror
Director: David Fincher
Country: United States
Sigourney Weaver - Ellen L. Ripley
Charles S. Dutton - Leonard Dillon
Charles Dance - Jonathan Clemens
Danny Webb - Robert Morse
Paul McGann - Walter Golic
Brian Glover - Harold Andrews
Ralph Brown - Francis '85' Aaron
Philip Davis - Kevin
Released in 1992 this was the third in a series of films in the Alien franchise. Set in outer space in the distant future it features Sigourney Weaver (Lieutenant Ripley) as the sole human survivor of a space shuttle catastrophe. Rudely awakened from cryosleep after the rap of a giant bony knuckle on the outside of her cryosleep coffin causes an electrical fire on board her ship resulting in the jettison of her escape pod. Rather conveniently this crash lands into the ocean conveniently off the coast of an inhabited planet. Ripley is transported to the planets medical bay and restored to health only to discover that she has landed smack bang in the middle of a population of 25 convicted murderers and rapists who have found God and two custodial guardians who haven't.
The prison custodians want Ripley kept as far away from the free roaming inmates as possible, The Company want Ripley in their custody asap but Ripley has other ideas and wanders round freely doing some rather odd things.
The whole Alien thing has become a bit tired and predictable. If you've seen either of the first two films you'll know that the giant bony knuckle belongs to an enormous skeletal hitch-hiker with a penchant for destructive deaths. If not you'll rapidly discover this for yourself. Theres lots and lots of blood and guts and even more screaming and slithering and enough corpses to make your average funeral director a very wealthy man.
As horrors go it has plenty of gore, lots of action and an almost credible story line. Its lacks punch and is most definitely not the best of the Alien films buts it's a lot better than the later Alien vs Predator spin offs. The film is set underground in a series of badly maintained sub basements with lots and lots of hidey holes which allows for a lot of unexpected leaping out from behind things and last minute eeks as things don't go as smoothly as the sprinting screaming victims are hoping.
114 minutes long or 145 if you're watching the special extended version.
Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is back for another round with the monstrous alien.
This time she is rescued from her ship after it crashes onto a planet full of prisoners who are left to govern themselves.
Like the first film, this has one alien in it that stalks and kills the prisoners instead of a lot of them like there were in Aliens.
As a movie, it is okay but nothing special. I wouldn't say it falls victim to the "third sequel curse" but it fails to be as good as the first two films.
Weaver is good as Ripley once again and Charles Dance has a small role as the facility's doctor.
The film contains a little twist to spark some originality: the alien won't kill Ripley because she became accidentally impregnated with an alien inside her!
This new twist sets the course for the film and it's fateful ending.
The SFX are good as always but not as spectacular as they were in Aliens and the film is missing the suspense and tension that the first two films had, especially the original!
However, if you bought the Alien Quadrilogy, then you would know there is a Special Edition version which contains very extensive extra footage and the movie is generally much better than the theatrical version.
If you have seen the first two movies then you may as well see this one (theatrical version) just to see the path that the Ripley character takes.
Her character comes full circle in this film and so do the alien movies in general.
This is the third in the Alien series of films hence the imaginative title and it is by far the worst of the three films which should not really be a surprise and it is not a patch on Aliens which is the second and the best of the three films.
In this film Ripley again played by Sigourney Weaver and sporting a shaven head has crash landed onto a planet along with Hicks and Newt, the planet is a prison colony with a whole host of low lifes to be found there. Unfortunately Hicks and Newt do not survive the crash however an alien egg does which is secreted in the escape vessel and soon enough it hatches and starts to cause mayhem.
That is pretty much the extent of the plot in this rather dire film, it is just a very weak attempt to get more money and trade off the success of the earlier films which were great. The problem is that by now the whole aliens picking off the humans is rather tired and this film has nothing original to offer the viewer.
Brian Glover and Charles Dance fail to really shine in their roles and while Weaver is still good value she is powerless to really raise this film up from the dead as the script and plot are so weak. This is not a film I would recommend unless you get to see it for free on TV and even then you will be feintly disappointed if you have seen either of the first two fiilms.
Whilst the first two films in the Alien franchise were unique masterpieces directed in very different and inventive ways by Ridley Scott and James Cameron respectively, the third film directed by David Finchley is dull, derivative and a huge let-down all round.
The plot sees Ripley's craft crash land on a remote planet harbouring a prison-complex where no weapons are available, killing off surviving characters Hicks and Newt from the previous film immediately (an annoying move in itself given the emotional investment they cultivated they cultivated throughout the second film), and seeing Ripley and the rest of the inmates face up to a lone Alien drone that roams around the vast, dank prison facility picking them off one by one in a plot that comes across as a dodgy facsimili of the original film's story albeit without any of the original's suspense or artistry.
There are some mildly interesting horror/action scenes as individuals are plucked from above and torn to shreds by the unseen alien, and one scene sees a brave if rather shortsighted inmate go mano-a-mano with the drone in a foundry whilst molten lead is poured onto them from above, and the revelation that Ripley herself is host to a gestating alien herself offered a potentially intersting Freudian twist to the Aliens saga (which has always explored feminine themes throught its various incarnations), but by and large Alien 3 is flat, unengaging and poorly put together with an underwhelming and unmemorable cast and plot, standing out like a sore thumb against the two masterful productions that preceded it. One for the completists only.
Any list of great sequels would have to include the 1986 film Aliens, a rollercoaster follow up to the Ridley Scott classic with great characters and bravura direction by a young and inventive James Cameron. The only problem was that, somewhere along the line, if 20th Century Fox wanted to wring more money from the franchise (and of course they did) they had to come up with a way of topping it - or least making a film good enough to stand as a blood relative to the first two. The possibilities were endless. The aliens somehow end up on earth? A trip to the alien homeworld? However endless these possibilities were they passed the studio by completely. Instead we got a third Alien film with, quite literally, no story whatsoever. I think it's known in the trade as the Barbara Broccoli/Michael G Wilson school of filmmaking but I digress. In Alien 3, directed by a very young David Fincher, Ripley, along with Hicks and Newt from Cameron's Aliens, crashlands on a desolate prison planet occupied by an assorted group of murderers and rapists who have adopted a form of religious fundamentalism.
"We're 25 prisoners in this facility," says the warden, played by none other than Brian Glover. "All double-Y chromos. All thieves, rapists, murderers, child-molesters. All scum. Just because they have taken on religion doesn't make them any less dangerous." Hicks and Newt are killed in the crash but Ripley survives. Naturally though, an alien egg was aboard the escape pod and duly hatches and grows before proceeding to pick off an eccentrically cast collection of British thespians as the film wallows in monochrome grime and steadfastly refuses to give the audience anything resembling a good time or a coherent narrative.
Alien 3 had an infamously difficult development history - which is actually more interesting than the film itself - that obviously didn't help matters. A William Gibson script, which you can find on the Internet if you look and is quite good fun, featured Hicks and had the aliens as a sort of intergalactic weapon of mass destruction being fought over by rival powers. It was ultimately rejected, as were several other screenplays or treatments. New Zealand director Vincent Ward then came onboard the project for a while and came up with a bizarre story where Ripley would land on a wooden planet populated by monks or something. The end result of this revolving door of writers and directors was Alien 3 entering production with 27-year-old rookie David Fincher (later to disown the film) at the helm working from a screenplay hastily cobbled together from rejected drafts. Ward's religious angle was maintained but his striking designs were dumped.
One of the major problems with the film is the incomprehensible decision to kill off Hicks and Newt - Ripley's fellow survivors from Cameron's film - right at the start. The first time I watched Alien 3 I was so gobsmacked to see these characters so casually bumped off after all they'd been through in Aliens I actually rewound the film just to check I hadn't just imagined things. Honestly, was Michael Biehn really that expensive to hire again!? He's not exactly Tom Cruise on the sliding scale of bankable actors. Cameron himself called this move a slap in the face to fans of Aliens and the death of Newt - the little girl who virtually becomes Ripley's daughter by the end of Aliens - was an "obscenity" according to Alan Dean Foster. The problem is, as a stand alone film Alien 3 is a mildly interesting (if somewhat depressing) sci-fi/horror picture - but as a third entry in the Alien series it is an absolute disaster, effectively killing off what could have been a fascinating and enjoyable unfolding franchise. They really had nowhere to go after this one and it showed when the ho and indeed hum Alien Resurrection pitched up in cinemas several years later.
Alien 3 is actually not that badly directed. Fincher does a reasonable job with the alien chasing people down corridors and zooming POV camera shots and the first ten minutes of the film are very atmospheric indeed, leading one to anticipate a much better picture than we actually get. The film seems depressingly nihilistic and grimy though and much smaller in scope than its illustrious predecessors. It has little action, no jumps or great moments that you remember afterwards and consists largely of the mostly British cast sitting around debating what to do. The problem here is the lack of story or any real excitement. The film always seems vaguely thrown together and lacking in motivation. And after all the carnage of Aliens with its incredible third act which piles climax upon climax, Alien 3 always seems rather dull with just one solitary alien running around. I understand the desire not to retread and do something new (there are no guns in this film) but Alien 3 is surprisingly boring at times. The film is so unmitigatedly uncommercial you wonder at times who exactly it was even made for. An alternate version of Alien 3 was released years later on the 9-disc Alien Quadrilogy box-set in 2003 but I'm afraid I've never seen that version so can't say if its any better than this deeply disappointing original/official version of the film.
You rooted for the characters in Aliens and, to a slightly lesser extent, Alien, but here it's hard to care about the characters or even remember half of them. Brian Glover is slightly incongruously cast the prison warden Andrews, a one dimensional idiot of a character who naturally doesn't believe a word Ripley says. "Let me see if I have this correct, Lieutenant -it's an 8-foot creature of some kind with acid for blood, and it arrived on your spaceship. It kills on sight, and is generally unpleasant. And of course, you expect me accept all this on your word." Charles Dance as Clemens, an inmate and doctor, is developed as a vague love interest for Ripley for no purpose whatsoever and the nutty Golic, played by Paul McGann, is another character lost in an editing room somewhere. These characters are simply undeveloped and unlikable and their constant shouting and barking of expletives grows tiresome very quickly indeed. You wanted Hicks, Hudson, Newt, Dallas etc to survive in the previous films but in Alien 3 I just wanted the alien to wipe the lot out. Another problem is the fact that - explained by a nasty strain of lice on the planet - everybody has a shaven head so you find it hard at times to even tell people apart.
Ultimately, even the mighty Sigourney Weaver can't save Alien 3 from being a very disappointing third film in the alien series. My very rarely watched copy of Alien 3 has scene access, a theatrical trailer, and a making of documentary. You'd probably be better off with the Quadrilogy as it includes two classic films and another version of this. It can't be much worse.
note: also appears in part on The Student Room and Flixster
Alien 3, although the worst of the initial four films, is still a solid action film thanks to the presence of Sigourney Weaver in her most famous role, as badass soldier Ellen Ripley, and also thanks to the direction of David Fincher who, despite numerous fallouts with Fox over the film, still managed to knockout a solid film, that is considerably better if you decide to check out the Director's Cut, which remedies the normal film's numerous problems, pacing and otherwise.
The film opens as Ripley, Newt, and Hicks return from the stasis they were put in at the end of the second film. However, Newt and Hicks die as the ship lands back on Earth, and it appears that an alien that was onboard the ship has also awoken and escaped the pod, attaching itself to a nearby dog and subsequently wreaking havoc with a whole new host of characters.
Alien 3 was formulated as a conclusion to the series that ends with a rather game-changing twist, which made the creation of a fourth film very challenging (and they met it quite well, admittedly). Weaver brings that steely presence back as Ripley, and whilst some of the atmosphere and austerity of the previous instalments, partly thanks to an inexperienced director this time, is gone, this is still an impressive debut work that is unfairly criticised for not living up to the impossibly high standards set by Ridley Scott and James Cameron in the first two films. It's still an above-average science fiction, particularly if you watch the ammended Director's Cut.
By no means the most enthralling installment in the series, yet Fincher is a master with the camera. Intense and entertaining, with a great ending.
Few films have had as much troubled production as Alien 3. Director David Fincher was brought into the project late into its development; there were numerous creative differences in scriptwriting; not to mention all the pressure of living up to the successes of the two near-perfect blockbusters that preceded it. Fincher reportably disowned the film before editing even began.
Deep in hyper sleep, Ripley, Newt, and Hicks, crash land in their escape pod after an onboard fire on the Sulaco spaceship. Ripley is the only survivor, and when she finally comes around she is suspicious as to what actually started the fire in the first place. Unluckily for her, and everyone else, an alien somehow had gotten onto her ship and is now deciding to wreck havoc inside the planet's maximum security prison. With no weapons or functional technology, Ripley's pessimism is understandable when she states "We're fucked".
The problems come mainly from Alien 3's poor writing. Many fans were immediately disgruntled when they heard Hicks was going to be killed off, after been such an influential character in Aliens, and felt like the series had shot itself in the foot. Furthermore, with the absence of weaponry, it became just too much of a bitter pill to swallow, especially when the film resorted to repetitive chase scenes between the inmates and alien towards the finale.
It's messy, and at times cringe worthy, but this third instalment does have its moments. The art direction, in particular, introduces us to a grimy, out-of-touch prison environment titled 'Fury 161', made up of religious, all male, inmates, which is a perfect setting for establishing a dreary, dark, and eerily quiet atmosphere that was distinguishable within the first two films. Ripley, of course, is a joy to watch as well: sporting a shaved head, with a desire to confront the alien head on, which further cements her position as the definitive female action hero of all time.
To fully appreciate the potential of Alien 3 I'd definitely recommend watching the special edition, which contains thirty minutes extra footage. Not all of it is beneficial to the story, but there are some interesting incidences of character development, such as a rendezvous between Ripley and Clemens (Charles Dance- who is killed off way too early for my liking) and Dillon, the spiritual leader of the inmates, who is a brilliant addition to the franchise. The introduction is also much better paced and visually stimulating.
Still, with two versions of the film, either one is far from perfect. Plot holes still exist: like how did the alien get on board the ship in the first place? And how is it able to impregnate Ripley and then a dog/ox when in the previous two movies the facehugger falls off and dies after the first host? Questions, questions, questions...
As the title suggests, this is the third instalment in the Alient series. In this film Ellen Ripley's cryo tube is ejected, along with the other survivors from Aliens, and lands on a planet which is used as a maximum security prison. Of course, Ripley is the only survivor and is once again left to fend for herself.
However, Ms Ripley was not alone, an alien was also on board (how'd it get there??? We're shown an egg in the ship and that's it!) and soon we are back to hapless victims falling foul of the alien.
In this film they try to re-capture the feel of the original Alien, with claustraphobic corridors and one Alien stalking the humans. However, they show far too much of the alien, whereas the other films left far more of the finer details to your imagination. Also the film uses 'from the alien's point of view' filming, which just made it feel like a cheap slasher. This film is the down turn in the Alien series.
In a moment of boredom and unwilling to sit through Jeremy bloody Kyle yet again I shuffled through my DVD collection and, fancying something in a sci-fi vain, settled for 'Alien 3: 2-Disc Special Edition'. Not the best movie on the shelf but one I hadn't seen for a while. Unlike Jeremy bloody Kyle!
This, the third instalment of the 'Alien' saga, sees Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) as her emergency evacuation pod crash lands onto Fiorina 161, a desolate planet inhabited by the former inmates of a maximum security facility. It is not long before she realises that an alien was also onboard the craft and has now taken refuge in the mining facility. With no weapons or advanced technology Ripley and the others must use their wits and guile to trap a beast intent on killing them all - except Ripley that is!
The film has an abundance of famous British actors including Brian Glover ('Kes'), Pete Postlethwaite ('Brassed Off'), Charles Dance and Paul McGann and Ralph Brown who both appeared alongside each other in the fantastic 'Withnail & I' as the characters Peter Marwood ('I') and drug-dealer Danny respectively. Maybe we Brits play murderers and rapists so much better than the Americans.
Technically far from brilliant 'Alien 3' has some very dodgy special effects of H.R Giger's xenomorph as it travels through the largely empty tunnels of the facility but he does manage to create a sense of futility in the face of adversity. Considering the film was released in 1991 it is probably unfair to criticise the effects but, for the purposes of its 'Special Edition' status, they could have tarted them up a little a la 'Star Wars'. The acting for the most part is satisfactory with Paul McGann playing with relish the insane (and smelly) character Golic. As a negative though Brian Glover just cannot do the posh accent he delivers as the facilities warden; he is much better suited to just shouting.
It is impossible to talk about any movie in the 'Alien' saga without mentioning the original movie which was a stunning film with fantastic scenery, wonderful lighting and a creature which not only looked awesome but had a supreme screen presence. 'Alien 3', whilst not living up to this bench-mark, does try its best and in the special edition comes complete with an added 29 minutes of extra footage which gives the film more depth and, as well as giving a better insight into the lives of the workers and the facility they reside in, manages to re-do the ending and take out the bit where Ripley grabs......I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it but it did need removing! You also get the original theatrical release so you can compare the two should you wish.
Other extras on the second DVD include storyboard galleries, pre-production featurettes, photo archives and a multi-angle segment. There is also a piece called 'Xeno-erotic: HR Giger Redesign Featurette' which focuses on the transformation of the alien in this episode of the saga. Unfortunately the 5.1 surround sound doesn't get much of a workout which is surprising for a film such as this but it does manage to envelop you in the empty locations with the echoes and hollow sounds.
The director, David Fincher, who went on to direct 'Fight Club' and the wonderfully dark 'Se7en', created a bleak and barren picture with 'Alien 3', a secluded society of male convicts suddenly having to deal with a female amongst them AND an horrific killing machine. Sometimes it would be difficult to judge which would be the most scary!
This review is also posted on Ciao.
A homage to the tense feeling of the original Alien film. - Advantages: The tense feeling from the original film is recreated, The Alien is in it! (Possibly the greatest monster of all time!) - Disadvantages: Wont they ever give Ripley a break from the Alien!?, Fans of Aliens may be disappointed by lack of action, Theres only 1 Alien in it
It seems as though the movie producers have hatched a plan – Alien was met with great success, Aliens (the sequel) pulled in huge numbers of people two – hey, here’s an idea, lets make ANOTHER Alien film! Now, I really enjoy the Alien movies, all of them are good and all of them are different in their own unique ways. Take Alien and Aliens for instance, whilst the first film introduced us to the character of Ripley and the Alien itself, the second film was a real action movie, thanks in no small part to director James Cameron. The first film had a distinct style to it that was unmistakably Ridley Scott. For it’s third outing the franchise continues its idea of using a different director from the previous movies (in this case David Fincher) and giving the films setting a different twist to it too. Prior to working on Alien 3 Fincher was someone who’d never really directed a movie as big as this – he had worked alongside some of the big names in Hollywood today though, his part as an assistant cameraman in ‘Return of The Jedi’, as well as matte photographer in ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ certainly gave him a taste for working on big pictures. It came as a shock to many that such a young and (relatively) inexperienced director should be given the responsibility of continuing the Alien legacy into its latest incarnation. Now, sadly for you lot I can’t really go into too much detail about how the movie opens, as it picks up from where the previous film ends! Suffice to say that Ripley finds herself being rescued from an escape pod. Ripley initially believes that she is back on earth, her problems over. But we know better than that don’t we! Ripley is on a former prisoner colony. The worst scum of the universe are being held here – murderers, rapists, arsonists – you name them, there here. Ripley is the only woman here too, which mak
es it even more difficult for her as she is often attacked and intimidated by the inmates. In charge of the prisoners is Andrews (played by Brian Glover who sadly died in 1997), he struggles to keep a hold on the prisoners here and things certainly aren’t helped by the arrival of Ripley. Andrews decides the best thing to do in the situation is to keep Ripley until a rescue team can come to collect her. That would be fine, expect Ripley wasn’t the only thing on the escape pod. It soon becomes apparent that an Alien is in the colony as the prisoners are hunted down one by one. With no weapons of any description, Ripley has to win over the prisoners as well as defeat the Alien once and for all (until the next movie anyway). Many feel that this movie is something of a let down. I can’t really make my mind up to be honest. I like the premise and the situation Ripley finds herself in. All the actors put in a top-notch effort into their respective roles and Fincher does a good job for such a big task, but something is just lacking a little. Reading a bit about the movie itself over the years it becomes clear that Fincher had ideas that the Studio just weren’t interested in or didn’t have the budget necessary to create them – that’s a real shame as his ideas really could have lifted the movie. What we are left with is a movie that is probably the second weakest of the four Alien movies, although the way the movie ends would have been a great way to end the franchise there and then. Enough of the movie though, what about the disc itself? The transfer is as reliable as ever here. This movie features predominantly dark and gloomy sets that come across as well as you would expect. A large amount of fire and explosions ensue during the films final act and the bursts of colour pose no problems either. Whilst not overly outstanding, the picture certainly isn’t disappointing either
– it does what it needs to do. The sound is also ‘average’ A nice sound-stage allows for decent spot effects from the rear speakers and dialogue comes across as clearly as any other DVD you will have seen – nothing groundbreaking either here. The score of the movie helps to build the tension nicely and the sound transfer certainly does a credit to the work done by Elliot Goldenthal (who also worked on such titles as ‘Heat’, ‘Sphere’ and more recently ‘Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) Sadly for the Alien movies however, as the number of films in the series increases, the number of extras given to the DVD releases seem to decline. Prepare yourself for standard DVD fare here – yes, it’s the ‘This director/actor/producer/tea-maker is the greatest I’ve ever worked with’ speech that seems increasingly common these days. Although it does become a bit more interesting when Fincher discusses the movie and the other actors give a little insight into the parts they play – running for just over 20 minutes; this feature is enjoyable enough but only worth watching once. I’d love to hear about Ridley Scotts views on the follow-ups to his original classic, but sadly we don’t hear from him. Coupled with a trailer, a decent (if not outstanding) set of menus and that about sums it up. I guess if you’re a fan of the Alien movies (as I am) then you may/may not like this movie – it seems to split the fans in two – some like it, some detest it. Personally I think it’s a pretty decent movie and certainly has re-watch potential. A flawed attempt at a great movie would perhaps some this up best.
Calling Ripley, calling Ripley.... Dear old Sigourney, you feisty vixen, you'll be famous for ever for one reason and one reason only. Forget 'Working Girl' (I wish) and 'Gorillas In The Mist' (if only), Ms Weaver's claim to fame is undoubtedly down to just one thing - her lengthy, slip-slidy and very slimily unpleasant relationship with old Long Head Double Jaw Dribble-a-lot, the ALIEN. Old Leather Head's a mite long in the tooth now and any pretence of mystery and dark shades have long since gone and the Alien series now relies exclusively on the suspense of how many people are going to survive the onslaught and how they're going to temporarily consign the world's favourite extra terrestrial to the dumper this time. The original 'Alien' was pretty scary and enormously dark fun. 'Aliens' was a handy enough sequel, but 'Alien 3' was bizarre indeed with the whole cast (which also sported Brian Glover, Charles Dance and Paul McGann) in skinhead mode to avoid the nits. I've never really been able to settle my mind on whether it was very good or very bad, but I know that it's always been something of a fascinating exercise watching it, almost like watching the last days of mankind in some sort of abysmal Purgatory with the Spawn of the Devil eagerly hunting our Siggy and her collection of odd and ugly little chums. The film kicks off darkly enough in flashback mode with Siggy's ship floating helplessly across space, the final frontier, after her last escapade in alien baiting and suddenly she's down, crash landed on some sort of prison planet, with all the very worst dregs of the male race her captive audience. Siggy's the only survivor of the doomed craft and Newt her little girlie chum and everybody has gone to the alien hunting fields in the sky. I bet dear old Siggy wished she could have joined them as the nightmare begins again.
If truth be known, the dark and eerie opening of this film and the performance of the late Brian Glover (former wrestler Leon Arras) are the key things about the whole oddity. Glover's his wide mouthed Yorkshireman stereotype, although he goes for his received English accent - he was at his peak as the bullying schoolteacher in 'Kes' - he's hard and unpleasant and totally wonderful, while Charlie Dance is all freckly skin, gingery hair and simmering English passion with a smug little smirk. I think he's supposed to be sexy, but he's just a creepy loser. The presence of a woman - even one as avowedly butch as Ripley - is clearly a potentially disruptive influence among the prisoners and no amount of bromide is going to get in their way, although frankly these fellas are as likely to try penetrating the Rottweiler we see at the start as darling Siggy. Unfortunately the Alien's acid blood drips on the doggie and soon after it cops the last rites, so immediately Siggy's on everyone's hit list, although a bunch as weird as this has more than just rampant sex on its collective mind. Siggy persuades Chuckie to carry out an autopsy on Newt to establish whether she's been host to an alien and there's some nice grinding of blade through the ribcage but little in the way of alien matter about the place. Despite this Siggy wants to burn all the bodies, but Big Brian wants to put them on ice. "We don't want ripples in the water, and we don't want a woman wandering round giving them ideas." Ooh you're so PC, Bri... The world on which Siggy has inadvertently landed is a nightmare come to life, a sort of latter day Hell with the hordes of Satan wandering round in very dirty and scraggy old rags. That at least is a well conceived piece of cinematic creation and the shadowy prison world in which the action is played out is claustrophobically perfect for playing out the fig
ht to the finish. Of course, the difference with this third film in the series (as well as Siggy's lovely Sinead O'Connor crew cut) is the neat little twist that she's carrying one of the nasty little buggers inside her body and is so the host for the hated master race and safe from their spiteful clutches as a result. I mean you wouldn't want to slaughter your Nanny now would you? This film does, in fact, have quite a lot going for it, although it doesn't have the same darkness and tension as the first two episodes. The world in which the action is placed is wonderful and thoughtfully realised. There's a constant underlying tension among the seething breed of sub-humanity which wanders around and there's enough nastiness amongst them to make the whole atmosphere one of barely disguised threatening hatred. They hate each other probably more than they do Old Nasty, but they've got to stick together to win through, so some pretty nasty unholy alliances are developed and the Alien itself is spectacularly vicious in its thrashing around. For all that, it just feels less gripping and more irritating than the first two. Too much play is made of the relationship and interplay between Weaver and Dance and it just gets to be very dull and boring the longer it goes on. I find Dance annoying at the best of times and here he's just abominable as the closest thing there is to male goodness. Sickly old freckle man... Once I start watching this film, it's very difficult to stop, but it's always a real pain to start. It feels very much like the concept has been stretched beyond its limitations and that nothing was gained by this episode. The symbolism of the destroyer of the Aliens becoming the mother of the new race is a bit too in yer face to be genuinely chilling. It's definitely a case of an opportunity missed, unfortunately.....
Directed by stylemaster David Fincher, who went on to greater things with Seven and Fight Club, Alien 3 was the least successful of the Alien series at the box-office. Ripley, the only survivor of her past mission, awakens on a prison planet in the far corners of the solar system. As she tries to recover, she realises that not only has an alien got loose on the planet, the alien has implanted one of its own within her. As she battles the prison authorities (and is aided by the prisoners) in trying to kill the alien, she must also cope with a distinctly shortened life span that awaits her. But the striking imagery makes for muddled action and the script confuses it further. The ending looks startling but it takes a long time--and a not particularly satisfying journey--to get there. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com On the DVD: The clarity of the digital picture throws light into some of Fincher's darker recesses, but is unkind to the primitive computer animation (the CGI alien is never convincing). Compared to the Alien DVD there are few extras, although a "making of" featurette that covers all three movies is included.