Both this and it’s predecessor from Ridley Scott are sci-fi films (and I’m not big into genre definitions and discussions) but it’s also easier to think of alien (1979) as more of a horror film and aliens (1986) here from Cameron as an action or even a war film
It’s extremely funny- mainly due to Bill Paxton who as I said before is superb here. Although Cameron regular Michael Biehn is good as “Hicks”, Paxton is the second most important actor to this film after Weaver
Certainly I see some similarities with Rambo and some of the other action films of the 1980’s- this is just a superior version in many respects and there’s layers here like the maternal/feminine viewing and study of the film from weaver’s care for Newt to her “get away from her you bitch” battle with the queen Alien
There is a stunning graphic match early in the film
Ridley Scott’s original is known for being paced but we’re 70 minutes in here before we see any action as well
Cameron is a great auteur and some scenes are beautiful (the water scene where the alien captures Newt is especially gorgeous) but from a photographic standpoint Cameron is not Ridey Scott
There’s a clear parallel in many ways with Avatar. We have an evil corporation here and even the loading dock finale fight scene is very similar to the equipment used by Stephen Lang’s character
I Just saw Aliens today. The 2.5 hour version.
I would like to give my own reasons on why I thought it was so, so great.
1) Cameron’s work with lighting – incredible.
2)The shots in the beginning (I guess they are establishing shots)and the special effects also look terrific.
3) Not only that, but it’s brilliantly paced.
4)LIke Jaws (another horror movie), we don’t see much of the monster for a lot of the time. First, the audience is confused about what is laying the eggs. Then we find out about the queen and only in the last half hour or so do we actually see the queen. In order to create suspense, you must not show the monster much and Aliens does this terrificly.
5) It’s a great sequel. It does what a sequel is supposed to. It reference Alien (1979) but also advances the story of the original and it advances the story of Ellen Ripley.
6) I really liked the sound design in this film. The sound mixing, soundtrack and sound effects/editing were great.(There are also some great visual edits -especially the match cuts and fade outs.) The decision to open and end (the credits) the movie with the ominious soundtrack (the song also used in the Jupiter expidition in 2001: A Space Odyssey – I think, not sure) works well.
7) The acting: Weaver is terrific(You mention the themes of feminity etc her character exhbits). The rest of the cast is also brilliant. I liked all the characters (Drake, Bishop etc) and the one liners/dialogue is great.
Is there anything I missed Drake? I feel like your review was very detailed so these are just some new points I saw in the movie. What do you think?
I’d like to know what the other readers of the blog thought about Aliens?
What do you think Drake?
One last question though, Alien or aliens?
@Azman…. I have Alien at #180 and Aliens at #212 of all-time — http://thecinemaarchives.com/2019/04/10/the-best-500-films-of-all-time/ but with anything that close I think there’s a compelling case for both. They’re both superb. One is sort of a monster film- Jaws in space with Ridley Scott’s patience and world-building. Cameron’s is a war film really- action.
thank you for this. i’m excited to watch this film soon. what do you think of cameron’s terminator. a film so good even tarkovsky liked it for its anxiety-filled vision of the future. not good acting but terrific mise en scene and such.
I had read about Tarkovsky praising Terminator. he didnt like certain aspects of the movie though.
It’s nice to see that you will watch the film soon. I recommend it. When you are done, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Watch Alien before though.
[…] Aliens – Cameron […]
What made you decide to take this down a slight peg from a MS/MP? A few others like this one I’ve seen are Back to the Future, Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and am interested in the rationale there as well.