Aliens (1992 Special Edition)

Rated R
Action / Sci-Fi
Try pairing with:  Garlic Butter Popcorn

Jen’s Rating:  D

I curled up with a blanket and my tower of pillows leaning on Jeremy hoping to get a nap in while watching Aliens.  Napping didn’t seem to happen because the very beginning opened with Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver spazzing with an alien coming out of her stomach – totally not what I expected!

Ok so on this tour of Alien boredom Aliens had a little more substance.  Don’t jump for joy yet, it was still, blah.  Other than the first 5 minutes of the movie, nothing exciting happened until halfway through when Ripley and the team found the last living person on planet LV-426. Newt, played by Carrie Henn, was a 10-year-old child who had a mother-daughter-like connection with Ripley.  She was amazing. Carrie Henn portrayed Newt with so much emotion making her character compliment the character Ripley.

Most of the characters were arrogant and annoying. The movie was similar to Alien where the goal was to escape the planet, but this time it was to rescue who you could, then escape.  The characters got chased and killed by aliens throughout the terraforming facility.  Again there were 2 exciting parts.  The first was when Newt went to sleep but was so scared she slept under the bed. Ripley came to check on her and once she found her under the bed she wanted to comfort Newt and curled up behind her and fell asleep as well.  While sleeping they were deceived by the person Ripley trusted most on that mission, Burke, played by Paul Reiser. Burke released what they thought was the two remaining baby aliens with both Ripley and Newt locked in the room with them. Hoping for their demise, Burke turned off surveillance monitors and turned away.

Then we go through another phase of boringness until the last the minutes of the film. Bishop, played by Lance Henriksen, is an android and was the only one able to remotely fly the docked mini-ship from the main spaceship to the planet. As Bishop remotely maneuvered the rescue ship, Corporal Hicks, played by Michael Biehn, Ripley and Newt, attempted to escape the alien infested terraforming facility. As soon as Newt was accidently separated from Corporal Hicks and Ripley, I finally found myself on the edge on my seat with this movie.  When Hicks and Ripley finally reached Newt; an alien who safely put her aside waiting for a baby alien to hatch so she can be a host body, instantly captured her.   Knowing she had nothing to lose, Ripley sent Corporal Hicks off to the spaceship while she busted in Rambo-Style to kick some alien butt. During Newts rescue, Ripley came face to face with the “queen” alien. So they could escape, Ripley set fire to the whole harvest of future aliens. This is very upsetting for the queen who goes on to do everything she could possibly do including fighting the Ripley robot to seek revenge.

The only characters I had any attachment with were of course Ripley, but also Newt. Their connection and interaction made the Aliens different from the movie Alien. Because Sigourney and Carrie played so well off of one another, it dug this movie out of a hole of the rating F, causing me to give Aliens a D.

Jeremy’s Rating:  A

Aliens, the 1986 sequel by James Cameron is a departure from the original film in many ways, while still being very faithful to the original and its source material.  It sheds much of the horror elements and adds a large action aesthetic, even going as far to make the original tagline when the movie released, “This time its war”.  However, this works in the film’s favor and garnered an even larger audience than the first by introducing more personal relationships, namely between Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Newt (Carrie Henn), and Cpl. Hicks (Michael Biehn).  It is action-packed from beginning to end, keeping viewers engaged whereas Alien had several suspense and plot-building moments that some may have considered drawn out.

This is considered by many fans to be the pinnacle of the Alien series, and the entire star-studded cast does a fantastic job.  There are many actors who have waxed and waned in popularity over the years, including some who have also passed away.  The fan favorites Hudson, played by Bill Paxton and Bishop (Lance Henriksen) are some examples, but also the perfectly acted and loathed company man, Burke (Paul Reiser).

Ripley is picked up in deep space, left adrift after the destruction of the Nostromo.  She is then taken to Weyland-Yutani facilities where she recovers partially and is then essentially redeployed with a Colonial Marine squadron to LV426 to check on the status of a colony that has stopped communicating.  As they breach the facility they find that it has been abandoned and soon find themselves in very dire straits.  Fighting to stay alive and escape the planet’s surface, the now-ragtag band of characters face internal and external enemies approaching from all sides.

While Aliens lacks the raw horror element of other installments in the series, there is a reason it’s a fan favorite and is stuffed full of sci-fi badassery until the seams split.  The cast is great, the writing is great, and one would be remiss to pass this fantastic film by.  This is a solid A in my book, and if it had just a little more of the element present in its execution it would easily be an A+.

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