So given the release of Colonial Marines, talk about the Aliens series in general has sorta opened up again a little. Though because I had already rewatched both Alien and Aliens recently on bluray, I decided to finally give Alien3 a watch while also refreshing my opinion with Resurrection, which I hadn't seen for an awfully long time anywhoo.
Most discussions for the series are usually Alien vs Aliens--which, btw, I'd probably side with Aliens in that regard; the actual alien creature in Alien looks pretty goofy and doesn't hold up exceptionally well--I think it'd be neat to actually talk about the later two films. Of course there's plenty of reasons why everyone looks to the first two rather than the latter, but I'm curious all the same.
I should first note that the version was the 2003 edit, but even still, Alien3 just... Goddamn, that film is so damn messy. The fact that it went through all of these rewrites and all this tampering definitely shows as it's just all over the place. They capture the alien for like 2 minutes, but oh no then it's released again! The majority of the characters are all kinda lame, which is unfortunate because getting us to somehow sympathise with a load of murderers and rapists could have been an incredible achievement. But there's stuff like that weird attempted rape scene, and there's that incredibly disorientating and confusing scene near the end where they're all trying to lure the alien through a specific series of corridors. I actually did like the first... 20 minutes or so, primarily because of Charles Dance's character, the overall aftermath of Ripley coming to terms with the deaths of Hicks and Newt, and the overall slice of tension as you're just waiting for when the inevitable alien birth happens.
However, pretty much as soon as Ripley shaves her hair it just all falls apart. Scenes where people die just so damned awkward, where you're often just seeing a pair of legs dangling at the top of the shot for a short while, and again they do a really poor job in giving a lot of the characters any actual character. The black guy was somewhat OK, and his pep talk nearing the end was well done. I also believe that killing Hicks and Newt from the very start is fucking ballsy, which in itself I couldn't help but admire. Plus Newt's autopsy, even though you don't see much, was incredibly uncomfortable.
Alien 3 is kinda tragic in that you can tell there was a good movie in there somewhere. The whole religion angle and the fact that none of the cast hasn't seen a woman in years surely has some parables there, too. In fact pieces of the story are good, and the way this was looking to take it back to the much slower paced horror film style of the original was a neat gesture, too. Not to mention that introducing the real Bishop was a great cameo at the end there. Effects wise it's hit and miss; the actual practical effects are superb, especially what remains of android Bishop. But then you see the squirrelly alien thing CGI and it all crumbles. Plus, I think they shown the critter far too early, and not to mention the way they shot it made it look more adorable most of the time than intimidating.
I understand that Alien 3 isn't wholly liked anywhoo so I'm preaching to the choir as it is, but yeah, I'm still glad that I've seen it all the same.
Now Resurrection on the other hand, I think is a totally fine action movie. In fact I'd say it's genuinely pretty good, without any irony! Sure, it's pretty much just a lesser Aliens when it comes down to it, but the acting is alright, it's shot really well, it's got some fun characters in there (one of Ron Pearlman's best no doubt), and the new uber-Ripley was kinda cool, even if that stupid ''who do I have to fuck to get off this ship'' line was so baaaaaaaaaad. So so very bad. That human/alien hybrid is so damned creepy, too, and the way it just slices off the queen's face off was a totally ''oh, shit!'' moment. Also, the way it gets killed is one of the most horrifying scenes across the entire franchise. I mean Good Lord, that scream.
Plus I always tend to enjoy these kinds of gory action films that feature a ragtag motley crew, sorta like Deep Fear. Though I should also note that it's been a very long time since I've seen Deep Fear, so while I can at least remember it being really stupid, I'm not entirely sure whether I'd still like it even as a guilty pleasure. Judging by what I can remember currently, however, it's nosa bad!
Back to Resurrection, though... Yeah, just, I can't help it. I still like that movie! Especially thanks to the scenes where the 2 aliens kill the other so as they can use its blood to escape (''fast learners''), or when Ripley is toying with Ron Pearlman with the basketball.
Complaints would be there's a disappointingly little amount of Michael Wincott across the film, and for him to be taken down in such a rote manner -- oh, I heard a strange noise; guess I'll go check it out all on my lonesome!. And for as great as he was in Breaking Bad, Raymond Cruz's dumb soldier guy character was a bit too goofy even for my tastes. Also, kinda of a strange ending. I mean by throwing the ship into Earth like that... that's killing a bloody shitload of people there. Or is the entire place a wasteland anyway? I mean they clearly didn't want the aliens to arrive on Earth, which infers that there's a population there, yet they were still completely OK with having it explode across like what looked like a pretty sizeable chunk of the planet? The guy in the wheelchair was kinda rubbish, too. I'm pretty sure he was only put in there because he's a friend of the director or something, though.
Overall, I think Resurrection is a fun, utterly gross and surprisingly engaging action movie. Alien3 clearly had potential, but unfortunately got muddled across the production.