In our latest regular feature, coming out the first Friday of each month, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review) breaks down a film related subject in order of his own personal enjoyment from Best To Worst. This time out: Alien Films!
Best: Aliens (The Directors Cut)
Aliens is not just a high water mark for the Alien franchise itself but it’s also a high watermark in sequels, action and science fiction films. Yes – its that good (in fact one of my top 5 films of all time). Especially in it’s extended edition (Sentry guns!). James Cameron has never been better (T2 was close) and delivers action & thrills alongside a memorable quotable script. A classic. (Side note it also gave us a piece of music that has been used in almost every action film trailer since…)
Alien is a tense science fiction survival horror with an award worthy central performance by Sigourney Weaver and career making direction from Ridley Scott. It’s aged well and still today, over 35 years after it was released stands up as one of the best films of its genre.
3. Alien 3: The Alternate Cut
Alien 3 is much and unfairly maligned as a film. This “Alternate Cut” (listed here as a separate film as that is pretty much what it is) restores some of David Fincher’s original vision for the film as well as taking away some of the less liked elements. The effects on this restored version aren’t great but what IS pretty stunning is how much better this film is that it’s studio messed with original.
4. Alien 3
Growing up I watched Alien 3 almost as much as I did Aliens. It’s gritty approach, limited technology and the way it tossed aside the more upbeat ending of Aliens appealed to me. Yes it’s flawed for sure and the studio enforced ending doesn’t work but it has moments that show just how great this could have been had the studio let Fincher do his thing.
5. Alien Covenant
Alien Covenant isn’t perfect. But it’s a far more enjoyable movie than Prometheus was, finally delivering us the Alien we wanted alongside a story that, whilst I don’t always like, at least mostly makes sense. Visually great but still full of dumb people doing dumb things, it ramps up the action and is never dull. Pulp Alien for sure but good pulp…
6. Alien: Resurrection
There’s a sharp drop off between Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection but it’s not a film without merit. The issue here come from the franchise bring back Weaver after her death in Alien 3. There were so many directions the film could have gone in but sadly it ends up as a much lesser retread of the three films previous. And don’t even get me started on the new born.
Great idea. Badly done. Prometheus is a mess of a film which offers a stupid script with stupid characters doing stupid things. It’s dull at times, makes no connection in production design to the previous films (the technology is well beyond Alien Resurrection which is set years ahead) and wastes what could have been an interesting film.
8. Alien Vs Predator 2: Requiem
Alien Vs Predator Requiem is bad. It’s just slightly less bad that the original. The main issues (other than story & cast) come from the filmmakers desire to shoot everything so dark that you cant see anything for the bulk of the movie. Totally forgettable, it’s a low point for the franchise.
Worst : Alien Vs Predator
You take the two most iconic creatures from cinema. Ignore the excellent games and comic books which offered far superior storylines and you deliver what is an utter mess of a film. Nonsensical, boring and badly made this film does nothing with it’s concept. One to avoid.