12 March 2013


Aliens 1986
  • Director: James Cameron
  • Based on Book: no
  • Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn and others
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Sigourney Weaver – lots, for example Working Girl, Dave, Death and the Maiden, The Ice Storm, A Map of the World, Holes, Snow Cake, Be Kind Rewind, Avatar, and of course the other Alien movies.
    • No others really
  • Why bought: classic sci fi, recommended by friend ÖB.
  • Seen: once – September 14, 2012

       Well, that was exciting. Lots of flamethrowers and super machine guns and yucky monsters. In other words, more of the same. Not nearly as creepy as the first Alien movie because now we know what kind of critters these aliens are but of course adding a kid makes the suspense more acute.  The little girl Newt is a toughie and it’s hard to believe that she can really recover psychologically from all the horrible things that happen to her. Nevertheless I thought her shrill screaming got to be a little tiresome.  I’m also allergic to the extremely obnoxiously macho marines, both male and female, and couldn’t help feel a little satisfaction as one after another they were proven less indestructible than they thought they were.  Not anywhere as likeable a crew as in the first film.  Although the fake human was much nicer than nasty Ian Holm.
One more complaint. Unless I really got mixed up studying Physics 1 at the university, I learned that if you open the door of your space ship, hanging on tight really doesn’t help much.
But did I sit clutching the arms of my chair throughout the whole film? Oh yes. It’s exciting enough to curl your toes.  3 * of 5.


  1. Unlike you, I liked this one every bit as the first - and certainly more than the third. It's far less scarier than the original, but it's a good deal more exciting. And it delivers more than mere excitement; there is some food for thought,too. Just like "Alien" is sci-fi horror with a difference, "Aliens" is sci-fi action with a difference.

    These are the movies really worth seeing: the ones with a difference. Mafia sagas with a difference like "The Godfather" and "Scarface", westerns with a difference like "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "Unforgiven", cops-and-robbers chases with a difference like "Heat", historical epics with a difference like "Gladiator"... But let's get back to "Aliens".

    You may be right about the improbable finale; my physics education has always been neglected. But I greatly enjoyed the boxing match before that. My only qualm is that the first finale was a trifle overblown. But that's not exactly something untypical for Jimmy Cameron.

    I totally agree about Newt's screams. The pitch was way too high, not to mention the dynamics. Probably it has to be marked "fffff" in the score.

    Unlike you, however, I found the macho marines rather amusing. Wasn't Bill Paxton's character actually hilarious? When in the beginning, knowing nothing of what they are about to face, he was bragging to Ripley what amazing guns they have, I laughed out loud. Personally I would have added a Ripley rejoinder in the script, something like [since they have so many so great guns] "Have you got any brains and guts as well?" As it turned out, he didn't have either in excess.

    Also, not all marines were hot-air balloons just about to burst under the testosterone pressure. Michael Biehn's character was rather more human - and humane. It was nice that he survived, no? And there were some cool gender jokes among the rest:

    "Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?"
    "No. Have you?"

    Now that's cute.

    One thing I liked more than in the first film was the expanded role of the nasty company. It's an effective counterpoint to the mass slaughter of the already-much-too-familiar monsters. What I disliked was that the company guy was played by a thoroughly mediocre fellow and that some of his arguments were a tad too blatantly expressed. He should be smarter than that.

    In conclusion, I'm afraid I have to be considered a Cameron fan by now. Nobody's perfect, after all.

    1. If your only weakness is that you’re a Cameron fan, then you’re doing OK ;-) I’m fond of his stuff myself (see my reviews of his Terminator films) even if this one had its problems.
      There’s a very fine line between finding something funny and finding it tiresome. You and I are on opposite sides of this line on the gender humor here but who knows which side of the line I’ll end up on next time. And for me there will definitely be a next time for this series.