Sunday Short Reviews

Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…

Alien: Resurrection
Love it or hate it, Alien: Resurrection is quite the mess of a movie…and it really shouldn’t be! With a script from Joss Whedon and Sigourney Weaver returning once again to reprise the role of Ripley, you would think that the end result would be something awesome. Unfortunately, some poor casting (namely that of Winona Ryder, who plays her character like a kid on the brink of a tantrum at all times) and the wrong director make Alien: Resurrection just seem bizarre and tonally mismatched with the rest of the series. There are some good things, though, as Michael Wincott and his merry band of space pirates kick a lot of ass, Ron Perlman is suitably sinister in his role, Brad Dourif is really crazy here, and some neat ideas are tossed around, even if they aren’t executed very well. If you listen hard enough, you can hear the quippy Whedon dialogue, but I think that director Jean-Pierre Jeunet just didn’t know what to do with the movie, and thus it didn’t turn out all that well.
3 out of 5

Ridley Scott’s long-awaited return to the Alien franchise didn’t disappoint me, but may disappoint you. A truly polarizing film, there are plenty of things to love and hate about Prometheus, so I’ll start with the good. The movie is brilliantly composed, with gorgeous sets, costumes, special effects, cinematography, 3D effects, and overall production design. If nothing else, Prometheus is a real joy to watch, and it’s so refreshing to see a movie full of action that isn’t also full of wobbly, shakey camerawork. The performances are serviceable, with Michael Fassbender’s android David being the standout. The questions the movie poses about the origins of humanity, and the way in which the film is tied to the rest of the Alien franchise are interesting, but this is where we get into the bad stuff. The script is oversaturated with lore, and poses far more questions than it answers. Writer Damon Lindelof, best known for his work on Lost, seems to love to present the audience with things that have no explanation and then allows the viewer to interpret them. The result of this is that you might walk away from Prometheus feeling like nothing made any sense – characters act in unrealistic ways, there are clues to a greater mythology that don’t really fit together…in short, the screenplay for Prometheus is its greatest weakness. If you can look past it and enjoy the film as a sci-fi/horror blockbuster, then you’ll have a good time with Prometheus. But if you, like me, got awfully frustrated with Lost…well, you’ll have a harder time.
3.5 out of 5

Alien vs. Predator
Crossover films have a reputation for being bad, and this one is no exception. The problems start before the movie even begins, as this film is the first in both the Alien and Predator franchises to be rated PG-13 instead of R. The rating should serve as an indicator of how watered-down the xenomorphs and predators are in this movie. Still, the movie isn’t without its good points – this is probably the best that the aliens from the Alien series have ever looked when rendered with CGI, and the scene where we get to see the facehuggers leaping through the air in slow motion was actually pretty satisfying, since we never really get a good look at them in any of the alien movies. But the human characters are forgettable, the predators don’t speak and thus don’t have any character, and the xenomorphs are just big hissing bugs, which means there’s no one to get attached to or invested in. I’m convinced that the movie’s tagline of “Whoever wins, we lose” was actually referring to the viewer.
2.25 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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