Author Topic: Alien Retrospective (Spoilers Obviously)  (Read 335 times)

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Offline Sweval

Alien Retrospective (Spoilers Obviously)
« on: April 12, 2017, 12:19:21 AM »
I wrote this a few months ago for another site i think, but I felt like posting it here, it's more a rambling than a retrospective but cut me some slack, this is a community board i am simply contributing.

Hi everyone, today I felt like starting a discussion on one of my favorite film franchises, that being the Alien franchise. One piece of information I'd like to make known is that I have not seen Prometheus however I am aware it is considered a quasi-prequel to the first film.  WARNING:THIS THREAD WILL NOT BE SPOILER FREE AND I WILL NOT BE PUTTING SPOILER TAGS. So without further delay let's get started. In this first post I will be talking about the first film in the series which is:

Alien (1979)
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Dan O'Bannon

Let me start off by saying, if you havenít seen this movie; 1, why are you on this topic 2, go and watch like right now. Stop reading what I have written, and go spend the 2 hours it takes to watch this movie. It is without a doubt the Science Fiction Horror film. Iím not sure where to start so letís start with the basic plot of the movie. The movie, set in the year 2122 takes place almost entirely aboard the commercial towing vessel the USS Nostromo. During the crewís return trip to Earth they are commanded by their employer to investigate a signal of unknown origin. Upon investigating the source of said signal one of the crew members is attacked by an unknown life form that attaches itself to his face, later this organism appears to die. During the crewís last meal before entering hibernation for the flight home the crew member whom had previously been assaulted by the lifeform is killed by the parasite that has been gestating within him. Thus releasing the titular alien.
One of the first things Iíd like to discuss about this movie is the pacing, Alien in very much a slow burn film. It is roughly 40 minutes before even the facehugger appears and the full grown form of the Xenomorph is given Iíd estimate less than 15 minutes of time on screen. This however works overwhelmingly in favor of the movie. Alien is all about atmosphere and it is genius at building its atmosphere. Not just in its design but also in the acting of each of the cast members. The characters are as follows, Dallas, Kane, Ripley, Parker, Brett, Lambert, and Ash.
Speaking of the characters, letís talk about them right now. First up is Ash, now Ash doesnít have much development other than the fact that he seems to be acting in the companyís favor as opposed to the safety of the crew of the Nostromo, this is of course because he is actually an Android planted by the Weyland-Yutani corporation to ensure the Xenomorphís capture and transit to a Weyland-Yutani research facility. Brett is an engineering technician and is the first crew member to encounter and be killed by the full grown Xenomorph. Brett is rather stupid and easily one of the least likeable of the crew. Moving onto Parker, the head machinist/engineer aboard the Nostromo, Parker is one of the first to react when the Xenomorph kills Kane, and is also what Iíd call the most proactive of the crew second only to Ripley who I will talk about later. Lambert is the umm, actually Iím not sure what Lambertís job is aboard the ship, she might be the communications officer of the helmsman someone feel free to correct me. Kane, as I have mentioned is the crewmember who serves as the host for the Xenomorph, Kane isnít given much development but while he is still alive it seems that he gets along with the rest of the crew. Dallas is the captain of the Nostromo and it is obvious he cares very much about his crew seen by his willingness to be the first to try to trap the Xenomorph, in the novelization of the film its mentioned that he has feelings for Ripley, which is reasonable to believe if you watch the film.
Now onto Ripley, Ripley will be getting her own block of text because sheís just that darn important. Ripley is the protagonist of the film, and the sole survivor of the incident. Ripley is listed as the warrant officer, of the Nostromo. Ripley is a normal person who is thrust into a situation that would push any person to the breaking point. Ripley is also notable for being one of the first female protagonists of a science-fiction film or a horror film. Ripley in general and specifically her portrayal by Sigourney Weaver. Ripley gets more development in the sequel Aliens.
   Thereís plenty of filmmaking elements to talk about in regards to Alien, Iím just going to speak about my personal favorite. All of the piping and infrastructure of the ship which is exposed to you for the full hour or so before you see the Alien is nearly identical in color and texture to the Alien itself. Thus near the climax of the movie when the Alien is in the shuttle with Ripley the viewer often does not see the Alien until it moves, which personally scared the living hell out of me. I would also like to add that this film is made using practical effects. Which are beautiful and I will maintain that a well made practical will always look better than CGI.
Thereís plenty more to talk about but this is already almost a 1000 words and I really donít want to write this until tomorrow. So thanks for reading!


Offline IncantatioN

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Re: Alien Retrospective (Spoilers Obviously)
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2017, 04:18:59 PM »
Hi Sweval, nice write up.

Brett is an engineering technician and is the first crew member to encounter and be killed by the full grown Xenomorph. Brett is rather stupid and easily one of the least likeable of the crew.
Brett whipped up some cattle prods and nets to capture the alien, I wouldn't think that would classify him as 'rather stupid'.

Quote
Lambert is the umm, actually Iím not sure what Lambertís job is aboard the ship, she might be the communications officer of the helmsman someone feel free to correct me.
She's actually the ships navigator.
At the end of time, a moment will come when just one man remains. Then the moment will pass. Man will be gone. There will be nothing to show that we were ever here... but stardust.

Offline Sweval

Re: Alien Retrospective (Spoilers Obviously)
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2017, 07:41:04 PM »
Yeah Bret isn't stupid in an intellectual sense, but he seems rather I don't know, dull I suppose.