Well here it is, my 100th entry on this blog. For all of those who have been reading this for all this time, I thank you for supporting me for so long. I had a real hard time figuring out what to do for this 100th post, should I go back to my most popular post and doing something related to the trailer for Hick, some thoughts on The World's End and Kick-Ass 2 being announced, but in the end there is only one thing I could do for this occasion, a review of my all time favourite film, James Cameron's Aliens.
First of all, I didn't see Alien before I watched this. I went in as someone who wasn't already familiar with the character of Ripley or the Xenomorphs. When I finished watching the film, I was blown away. The characters were incredible, the action was incredible, the subtext was incredible, the direction, the design everything was incredible and, in my opinion, it is one of only 2 perfect films, the other one being The Shawshank Redemption (which will be my 200th blog post).
Starting off with the plot, it has been 57 years since the first encounter Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, had with the Xenomorphs when she is awoken from hypersleep. She quickly finds out that her daughter has died and she loses her position in Weyland Yutani industries for her actions. After the company loses contact with a human colony on the moon with the Xenomorphs on it, Ripley decides to face her fears and joins with a Colonial Marine squad to hunt down the Xenomorphs, rescuing a young girl, Newt, in the process. This plot is incredible as it allows Ripley to face her fears over the Xenomorphs and recover from the nightmares she's been having ever since she was awoken and it gives Ripley the chance to start again with Newt, with Newt becoming the daughter Ripley never got to know. The plot really allows Ripley to grow as a character from fearing for her life all the time to facing her fears head on in order to save those she loves.
The characters in the film are what make the film stand out. Sigourney Weaver is outstanding as Ripley, bringing in the fear and loneliness of a character in her situation and the chemistry she has with the rest of the cast is outstanding and she fully deserved the Oscar nomination she got for the role. Carter Burke, played by Paul Reiser, is suitably slimy and deceptive as Burke, the many focused on money, not caring who has to die in the process, with it being no mistake that he is named after one of the most infamous serial killers of all time, William Burke. Lance Henriksen as Bishop is great, providing a gentle and calming backdrop for the characters, whilst also allowing Ripley to get over her prejudice for androids due to her negative experiences in the first film. Michael Biehn as Hicks is also good in his role, having a great chemistry with Weaver and their interactions and his concern over Ripley's well being is incredible to watch. Carrie Henn gives one of the best child performances of all time as Newt, Henn really shows the fear of what she saw the Xenomorphs do and the complete hostility towards the marines due to her losing everyone else who tried to protect her. The marines are great to watch with them all having a great chemistry with each other and the interactions between them coming across as real friendships, with the scene in the lunch room being the highlight, especially since virtually all of the dialogue was ad libbed by the actors. Out of all the marines, there is one stand-out who is also my all time favourite film character, Hudson played by Bill Paxton. Paxton is just so funny in his role with him always getting the best dialogue, the best laughs and the best scenes with two scenes springing to mind, one is the famous "game over man, game over" bit and the second is when Bishop is playing Five Finger Fillet with Hudson's hand over his with Paxton's face and delivery sending me into fits of laughter every time I watch the film. Aliens probably has some of the greatest characters of all time and the interactions between them all are what provides the heart of the film, even when the Xenomorphs aren't on screen.
Then there is the design of the film. The dark, foreboding design of the Xenomorph hive is incredibly chilling and the lighting of the main command base is incredible, especially the dark red colour scheme when the Xenomorphs attack. Speaking of the Xenomorphs, they look incredible. The practical effects for the creatures are mind-blowing to watch and it really shows just how good animatronics still are. The Alien Queen is incredible, it has easily Stan Winston's best work (and considering he did the effects for The Terminator and Jurassic Park, that's saying a lot) and the design of the creature is like something out of a nightmare, really putting the audience into the fear felt by Ripley and Newt over the Aliens.
Finally there are the action scenes and these are incredible. They take advantage of the design of the Xenomorphs and the way they move, popping out of the walls and the floor without anyone noticing them, the gunfire is intense as you know that there are so many Xenomorphs that the guns cannot kill all of them and the final fight between Ripley and the Alien Queen is incredible. The power loader is incredibly cool and you can tell that only something as large as the power loader can fight the Alien Queen and there is a real intensity over whether the Queen will kill Ripley or not. Plus this scene allows for one of the greatest lines in cinematic history.
In conclusion, Aliens is incredible. There is simply nothing wrong with it and I highly recommend that you watch it. I've seen this tons of times and each time I see it, I like it more and more. This is nothing short of my all time favourite film.
My Rating: 5/5
Thank you all so much for being with me for 100 posts, here's hoping that there will be another hundred just like this.