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Alien: The Director's Cut
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by Dr. Isaksson

"In the theater no one was screaming"
5 stars

In light of the massive 9 Disc DVD release of the ALIEN QUADRILOGY, the people at FOX summoned forth the director of 1979's ALIEN, now the Oscar touting Ridley Scott, to piece together a Director's Cut of his second feature film. The result is a film so similar to the original that when I saw it's re-release on Halloween, one guy standing next to me said. "That wasn't any different. I want my money back!"

I, however, am an Alien freak. So when it was re-released in theaters I was thrilled to get a chance to see the film on the big screen for the first time and loved the whole experience. Ever since I saw Aliens on video back in 1987 I knew I had found my favorite sci-fi series. In my opinion, there are Alien fans, there are Star Wars fans and there are Star Trek fans. I wasn't into Star Wars (like my older brother was) and Star Trek felt like a series that only old people watched. Nobody my age ever said "Hey I love that Captain Kirk!" So the Alien Saga, for me, felt different and perfectly suited for my liking. There was a gritty, harsh, unforgiving approach to space travel. There was no glossy silver ship that soared across space at light speed. There were no laser guns that shot out red beams. This space odyssey was all very dirty and dark. And inside that darkness there dwelled a creature so disturbing, so original and so menacing that I watched in total awe of it's sharp, crystal-like beauty. I knew that I would be an Alien fan forever.

As for ALIEN The Director's Cut, not much goes out of the ordinary. Ridley Scott took his film and basically trimmed a little of the first hour which has always been a little slow but he claimed to be "Too in love with the interior of the Nostromo." so he cut out some of the long, sprawling scenes where the camera floats around the inside of the ship. To me, the deletions were so small that I barely noticed and I wondered why he even bothered. I don't care if teenagers nowadays have the attention spans of gnats, Scott really didn't need to bother cutting any of the slow scenes just to accommodate all the dip-shits who can't sit still in a theater unless something is blowing up. But I didn't notice any major cuts which effected the play of the first hour of Alien so it all turned out well in the end. I noticed Scott added the SOS scene, Lambert and Ripley's slight catfight scene and a few shots here and there but, disapointingly, Scott chose not to include the long scene where Lambert is standing in the medical room with Ash, staring at Kane with the facehugger and saying to Ash, "We have to figure out how to get this thing off his face." It was an amazing scene showing Lambert's growing unease and I really don't understand why it stayed cut. Another big scene that stayed cut was one involving the crew gathering in the mess to discuss what to do to catch the Alien. It was a nice moment showing how all the characters interact with one another during a time of uncertainty. (I think at one point I should just cut the film myself according to my own liking.)

As for the second half of the film, there were a few additions, nothing earth shattering and again, I was left wondering why certain scenes were not added that could have been. There were funny little moments like a moment when Parker and Brett are working on the ship's lights while Ripley antagonizes them from a speaker nearby. But most importantly, it was great to see that the 'Dallas Cocoon Scene' had been inserted back into the film and I was very pleased to see it added because it completed the cycle of the Alien's life. (Surprisingly, It was displayed here in radically different takes and camera angles than in the laserdisc version.) It showed us the final stage of what the alien was capable of and also contained a moment of great emotional impact. Like an insect that has glued it's prey to the wall, Ripley literally walks into a great wall of slimy, membrane where Dallas and Brett are being held. Brett is long dead but Dallas is in a state of shock. Paralyzed like a fly by a venomous spider he can only mutter out the words. "Kill me." The horrified Ripley must then make the agonizing decision to follow through on her Captain's wishes. This scene was greatly important to the series because in Aliens Ripley reacts with shocked recollection upon seeing a cocooned woman. Until now it never made much sense to show Ripley so upset if she apparently had never seen a person cocooned. Ridley Scott not only helped complete the circle of his own film, but he helped clarify the emotions shown by Ripley in James Cameron's sequel.

I saw the first film Alien, on video not long after I saw Aliens in 1987 and remembered thinking "This movie is kinda slow, but something about it intrigues me even though it isn't packed with action like it's sequel." As I got older I noticed that there was a great deal more tension and drama captured by the actors in the first film and in it's quiet unease there lingered more fear and more suspense than the slightly over-the-top sequel. I began to appreciate the original better and soon enough, Alien became my favorite of the series. It simply stands the test of time better than any other sci-fi film I have ever seen.

So in the end, I was both greatly satisfied and a little disappointed in this Director's Cut. I always have trouble figuring out when something is overdone and perhaps these deleted scenes have viable reason for why they are not in the film. I, for one, still think all eight of the deleted scenes could easily find their way back in. If that ever happened I would be one happy Alien fanatic.

PS. I am going to be so happy when I get my hands on that QUADRILOGY. What the hell kind of word is that anyway?


To give this film, in any cut, less than perfection is inexcusable. ***** 5 Stars

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8288&reviewer=296
originally posted: 11/25/03 23:53:57
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User Comments

2/20/17 morris campbell the original cut is better not much 2 offer here 3 stars
2/15/15 filmiw23 all cameron film are shit 1 stars
10/05/11 David Hollingsworth One of the scariest films ever made 5 stars
1/24/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Great movie,great story,great art direction. 5 stars
7/11/09 The first was better but this one is a very close second The first was better because of the unknown. The 2nd is very good as well. Excitingly scary 5 stars
10/21/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
12/08/07 Jose Luis Just a perfect film. Ridley´s best achievment 5 stars
3/09/06 Dk A bona fide classic that will scare you silly 5 stars
10/10/05 K. Sear A little dated now but still a very suspenseful and entertaining movie. 4 stars
12/15/04 Andrew the best movie i've ever seen 5 stars
12/01/03 wog never jumped in a movie til dis. 5 stars
11/27/03 Large Farve Can't wait for Alien vs. Predator, and I know you can't either 5 stars
11/10/03 Jack Bourbon Super film. And the sequel is even better. 5 stars
11/06/03 Cameron Slick The scariest movie you can feast your eyes on, a great film in short. 5 stars
11/04/03 sam best seen on the big screen 5 stars
10/31/03 Todd Great fucking movie 5 stars
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  29-Oct-2003 (R)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2004


  13-Nov-2003 (M)

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