All original written content is (c) 2017 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed art is ©2012 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: What began in PROMETHEUS continues here, 10 years later. So this is a second prequel to ALIEN (which makes it like ATTACK OF THE CLONES, I guess). A huge ship carrying over 2000 suspended-animation colonists and embryos, piloted by android Walter (Michael “Magneto” Fassbender, an American-accented version of David from the previous flick, which he also plays again here), has to wake its crew of 15 to deal with a distress call from an uncharted but beautiful “earth-like” world, with disastrous results.
Written by John Logan and Dante Harper, from a story by Jack Paglen and Michael Green (based on characters created by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett). Directed by Ridley Scott.
- As with the last one, this one looks like it was shot in Iceland, with the same breathtaking cinematography. Nice ship/prop design, navigation, onboard gadgets and stuff. Ridley’s direction is still on display too.
- Fans of the creature get to see more closeups in brighter light, including a few different genetic variations, and two baby aliens! (They grow super-fast, so one actually becomes a toddler.) Though they’re now almost totally CG, they’re still as icky-ooky and creepy-spooky as before. And really deadly.
- Suspense, though it builds slowly, doesn’t disappoint. Some real edge-o’-yer-chair stuff that’ll have ya bitin’ yer neighbor’s nails a couple times at least.
- Casting is good. My favorites were Katherine “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” Waterston and Danny “Eastbound and Down the Pineapple Express” McBride. But a couple other ladies were pretty hot, even in spacesuits.
- Thankfully, a couple hotties took off their suits so we could be treated to some “shirt spikes” and even a shower sex scene! (Although the latter sure didn’t end sexy.)
- Clever (and nasty!) variations on alien entering human hosts and the later births.
- Great battle scenes both with the alien(s)…plus, Android Fight!
- The late, great and ghoulish H.R. Giger is prominently credited for his creativity.
- For you sequel-to-prequels lovers, this one leaves room for yet another.
- Suspension Of Disbelief Department:
a) Communication gets knocked out and returns again, both at suspiciously perfect convenient and not-convenient times;
b) David is shown with long, scraggly blondish hair, but after he cuts it with a pair of giant scissors, it magically looks identical to Walter’s short-styled dark-brown ‘do;
c) From the trailer: one of the crew, who’s hunting the aliens, walks down into a dark, dripping cave full of giant pods; when one opens up and a creepy bad guy tells him to look into it, he does! (Did you ever see Captain Kirk or Han Solo stick their face into something because a Klingon or Imperial officer told them it was safe?)
- In this season’s DOCTOR WHO, we see future astronauts wearing invisible helmets that are really suit-generated force-fields. Brilliant, right? But because the first ALIEN was made in 1979 and takes place after this film, they still wear super-bulky NASA-Apollo-type suits, which now look incredibly dated.
- Suspended animation pod malfunctions can be lethal—and gross!
- Starts with an odd earth(?) scene with some dude I don’t remember, and then shifts to space, with no context.
- Ends with a “major” twist, which half the audience (including even me) sees coming 20 minutes earlier. But of course, they try to make you think it isn’t coming because, in all honesty, it couldn’t physically occur the way it’s shown!
- A “face hugger” and “belly-popper” both show up again, along with some other similar-to-the-classic-first film stuff; so you may wonder if they’re taking a cue from STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS and doing a “same but different” re-boot for today’s audiences—which could turn off older ones.
- Argh, I had to pee and couldn’t stay till the end credits so no idea if there was a button. (Google it and LMK in the “comments” section.)
The first Ridley Scott ALIEN (and the James Cameron sequel) are easily in the top five of my all-time fave sci-fi/horror flicks of all time. And I’d like to have it go on forever. But after all this time, there’s just so much you can do, and it sometimes seems like the moviemakers are fracking space to find every drop of creativity left. I now realize one of the things I liked about the first couple films was the mystery of the alien itself and not knowing anything about it or where it came from. And frankly, the David character is just annoyingly obnoxious, to the point where I don’t want to see him again. But still, for effects and thrills, and cool creatures, this one is worth catching—just not at full price, unless you’re a diehard Alien aficionado.
P.S.: Speaking of creepy androids, that Mike Pascale knows how to draw monsters even fuglier than he is. Want an Alien or monster or even a hot space-chick for your own? Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Bru-Hed are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, the USCSS, the Engineers, the crew of the Covenant, the Prometheus, the Nostromo, and any other pretentious-sounding spaceship. Bru has no idea what the difference is between a female and male alien, and really doesn’t want to know. But he would like to someday boink in zero gravity, as he’d be able to keep it up indefinitely without his little blue pill.