My Top 25 Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
By Ken Parker
I have already talked about expectations when going to see a movie. Sequels will often try to capitalize on the success of the original by trying to capture some of the magic that made those movies popular. You would more often than not see the same characters doing similar things in similar situations. Many times the sequels are amped up a bit with more of everything to try to outdo the original. Other times the situation may be much different but keep the same characters. The object of the sequel is to be different enough for people to not feel they are watching the original and yet be as similar as possible.
The following is a sequel that really did not do this. Instead it took some brand new ideas and put the same characters into that different situation.
7 - Aliens (1987)
Fifty-odd years after Ellen Ripley survived her disastrous ordeal, her escape vessel is recovered after drifting across the galaxy as she slept in cryogenic stasis. Back on earth, nobody believed her story about the "Aliens" on the planet LV-426. After the "Company" orders the colony on LV-426 to investigate, however, all communication with the colony is lost. The Company enlists Ripley to aid a team of tough, rugged space marines on a rescue mission to the now partially terraformed planet to find out if there are aliens or survivors. As the mission unfolds, Ripley will be forced to come to grips with her worst nightmare, but even as she does, she finds that the worst is yet to come. Written by Brian Rawlings
As I mentioned in my introduction, the similarities between Aliens and Alien are limited to just a few ideas. The story is a direct continuation in the most logical sense. That is about where the connections end. Sure, we have both the Ripley and Alien characters returning but in both cases, the situation has amplified their characters quite a bit. In the original, Ripley is quiet but headstrong and does everything she can to survive. In Aliens, she takes that survival instinct and projects it to Newt. Ripley does everything on a grander scale to save her “adopted daughter”
The Alien is also changed. Instead of one hidden in the shadows, striking when you least expect it, there are hundreds swarming to attack. Their shear masses are what generates the fear this time around.
Aliens is such a different type of film than Alien but it is so much a continuation as it all clicks into place. Not only that but the new slew of characters are as colorful and interesting as the Nostromo crew in the original.
Being a fan of the original it seemed to me that Aliens was the perfect next step in story telling. Alien was like a fantastic meal, perfectly cooked and so savory (more on Alien later). Aliens was a superb desert, so sweet and mouth-watering. Unfortunately the next film, Alien 3, to keep the analogy alive, was like downing the desert with liquid detergent. What a way to absolutely destroy everything good about Aliens. The whole story is - save the girl and to go through all that and to just kill off the surviving characters in their sleep is insulting to the previous movie.
Anyway, back to Aliens – this film is one of my favorite action films of all time. I remember being on the edge of my seat, falling right into the action. I am not one to yell at the screen or jump up in the air and punch the sky but this film really had me right with it from start to finish.
James Cameron made his mark be delivering a film that is worthy of the original but created some new mythology behind the excellent conceived character of the Alien. With outstanding non stop action and just enough character development and emotion, the movie balances out well.
As I will mention numerous times, so many elements can make or break a movie and in this case, there are so many things that are excellent in the film. Sigourney Weaver excels in the part of Ripley, even nominated for an Oscar for the part. The filming of the Aliens as they swarm through the shafts and pop up from the water is breathtaking. The music, by James Horner continues to prove he is one of the best composers in Hollywood.
First time I watched it – opening night
How many times have I watched this film – 20+
I just purchased the Blu-ray – can't wait to see it in HD
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliens_(film)
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Aliens-Blu-ray-Sigourney-Weaver/dp/B004RE29PO/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1331596777&sr=1-1