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Face-Off: Alien 3 Vs. Alien Resurrection

06.11.2012by: Mike Catalano
Well, just as I thought, our last Face-Off pissed some peeps off that it ended in a tie. People were about as pleased as The Arrow was with the PIRANHA 3DD sequel. Sorry folks, but I call 'em as I see 'em. Thanks for all the responses, though!

Today's Face-Off should come as no surprise, considering the carry-over from all the PROMETHEUS-themed articles on the joblo sites. Clearly, ALIEN Vs. ALIENS would be the obvious choice, which is why it was already tackled at joblo.com back in March. But what about the red-headed stepchildren of the Ripley franchise? Who's gonna give them some love as the prequel to end all prequels sinks its acid-laced jaws into the big screen? Well, here's your mutha-f*ckin' answer:

Scares
For at least a good chunk of ALIEN 3, the brilliant David Fincher was in the director's chair (since it was his first movie, the studio was stupid and f-ed with him too much). But I'm guessing that all those creepy shots down those dark, possibly desolate hallways within that penal colony's penitentiary came courtesy of him. You never knew when the alien was gonna strike and whenever it did, you got these wildly intense POV shots of it bounding from the ground to the ceiling amidst the pursuit. Good stuff.
By the time this fourth movie came around, you pretty much knew all that you got with regards to Alien attacks. While the action is pretty tight, the only real frights I remember came when the good guys were fleeing underwater with an Alien hot on their tails. The fact that the Alien was a much faster swimmer made for some sweet tension because, you know, under water, no one can really hear you scream.
Cast
Backing up the bald Sigourney Weaver, you've got the original "Roc", Charles S. Dutton with his black-rimmed specs, the baddie from The Golden Child, Charles Dance, thespian Pete Postlethwaite, and a welcomed cameo from Mr. Lance Henricksen. Not bad for a third film in a series. Pretty eclectic, if you ask me. Interesting choice having Ms. Weaver be the only female in the film.
Now, here is some interesting casting to help punch up a sequel. In addition to Ms. Weaver, we get the inspired choice of Winona Ryder playing a Bishop-style cyborg. Can't forget Mr. Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman, as well as that kooky Dan Hedaya and genre veteran, Brad Dourif. In terms of a lively mix of talent, Resurrection wins.
Setting
A gloomy penal colony full of all-male inmates with "double-Y" chromosome patterns and histories of physical and sexual violence. Ewww! However, it is kind of an ideal place to let an Alien loose for some violent havoc. Actually, it's pretty damn original when compared to the first two films. I say props to the filmmakers for coming up with such a dark, different choice. Plus, it helped that the colony was equipped with a molding facility for taking out the Alien with molten lead.
We get back to the lone spaceship setting with part 4, this time aboard the military science space vessel USM Auriga. At least it's a freakin' huge spaceship which gives way to a wide range of action set pieces. Plus, the confined quarters provide a chilling reminder that our heroes can only hide so many places.
Body Count
Whether by fan blade, knife, bullets, molten lead, or the Alien itself, this one banged up a bloody bill of 30 total deaths. A large improvement on the previous two films at least in terms of human deaths, both of which had trouble getting out of the single digits.
Following the rule of sequel "carnage candy", part 4 ups the death factor even more with the help of some fine demises by Alien, bullets, blow-ups, failed cloning experimentation, and fire. We even get a friggin' death by chest-burster and I'm not talking about the person whose chest the Alien is bursting forth from! Sweet!
Alien
Born out of a dog (the first and only canine Alien birth), this mutha-scratcher was mean, fast, and more than happy to lay waste to all the fresh meat in its new, non-outer-space surroundings. However, what sets this Alien apart from the rest is the strange feelings it shows towards Ripley. The close-up shot of Ripley panting with fear as the Alien slowly inches its face up to hers with the little "alien head thing-y" coming out of its mouth and snarling is, I feel, one of the most iconic images of the Alien series.
The new Alien we get in part 4 was actually birthed by the Alien Queen without the use of a human face-hugger host. This is because the Queen possessed part of Ripley's human DNA since it was cloned from her. Anyways, this new Alien Hybrid thing should have been a freaky, frightening abomination of science. Instead, it kinda looked like this sad, putrid excuse for an Alien. It came off as more a puppy dog than a menacing beast with its sad-looking eyes and strangely smiling jawline. I was not a fan.
Ripley
Whoever came up with the idea of a bald-headed Ripley was either a genius or a crackhead. Regardless, the look actually works for Ms. Weaver and gives the impression that she truly is willing to go all balls-out to sell this flick. She's never been more bad-ass than here. This is the most evident at the ending where she must make the ultimate sacrifice or risk bringing another Queen Alien into the world.
Thank goodness they didn't take the easy way out and say that Ripley's death in 3 was all a dream because if a part 4 was gonna be made, then I'm glad they chose to go with a mega Ripley clone! Anything else would have most likely been a lame rehashing of the character. The fact that she had enhanced strength, reflexes, and abilities because her DNA had mixed with the Alien's was pretty cool too... but it wasn't actually the real Ripley!
Alien 3
So ALIEN 3 finally gets a little respect! I hope David Fincher is listening. I wonder what you guys think of the final decision. Do I deserve to survive? Or should acid be spewed upon me? I'll never know unless you spit those damn bullets below! And, please feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at mikecatalano@joblo.com.

Tags: Face-Off

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1:35PM on 06/12/2012

Be back soon ...

Just bought the Alien Anthology, and although I'd seen Alien and Aliens before, I have yet to watch Alien 3 or Resurrection prior. I'm starting Alien 3 now, be back in a few days to give my real opinion.

But, so far, really? Killing off everyone in Aliens with quick cuts in an intro? Fuck you!
Just bought the Alien Anthology, and although I'd seen Alien and Aliens before, I have yet to watch Alien 3 or Resurrection prior. I'm starting Alien 3 now, be back in a few days to give my real opinion.

But, so far, really? Killing off everyone in Aliens with quick cuts in an intro? Fuck you!
Your Reply:



+2
10:14PM on 06/11/2012

Too Close, Too Different

I agree with the outcome for a classic HORROR movie but these films were both a blast for me for COMPLETELY different reasons. Alien 3 was good in my book ('cow over dog cut' for sure!) for a nerve-wracking and dismal film. However, nothing outside Aliens in the series is as fun as Resurrection. Resurrection is a damn fun ride ... a blast and a true guilty pleasure. So Resurrection for 'Dead Alive' tongue in cheek fun and 3 for gloomy horror.

Let's really whip it out and see Alien vs.
I agree with the outcome for a classic HORROR movie but these films were both a blast for me for COMPLETELY different reasons. Alien 3 was good in my book ('cow over dog cut' for sure!) for a nerve-wracking and dismal film. However, nothing outside Aliens in the series is as fun as Resurrection. Resurrection is a damn fun ride ... a blast and a true guilty pleasure. So Resurrection for 'Dead Alive' tongue in cheek fun and 3 for gloomy horror.

Let's really whip it out and see Alien vs. Aliens in a Face off! There's some sacred ground but Alien (again very different from Aliens) wins that one.
Your Reply:



9:22PM on 06/11/2012
While I found Alien 3 a bit of a bore, at least it didn't jump the shark and nuke the fridge like Resurrection did.
While I found Alien 3 a bit of a bore, at least it didn't jump the shark and nuke the fridge like Resurrection did.
Your Reply:



7:32PM on 06/11/2012
Alien 3 was actually the first movie of the series I had seen, so I've always had a soft spot for this film. I could see that they were trying to bring the series to its logical conclusion and as an ending, it was perfect. A bummer, but perfect.

Alien: Resurrection wasn't even supposed to BE an Alien film, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not. It's the only way I can stomach it.

BTW, I agree with The Arrow: I prefer the casting for Alien 3.
Alien 3 was actually the first movie of the series I had seen, so I've always had a soft spot for this film. I could see that they were trying to bring the series to its logical conclusion and as an ending, it was perfect. A bummer, but perfect.

Alien: Resurrection wasn't even supposed to BE an Alien film, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not. It's the only way I can stomach it.

BTW, I agree with The Arrow: I prefer the casting for Alien 3.
Your Reply:



5:30PM on 06/11/2012
I actually like Alien: Resurrection better than the theatrical cut of Alien 3. However, the assembly cut of Alien 3 is better than Resurrection.
I actually like Alien: Resurrection better than the theatrical cut of Alien 3. However, the assembly cut of Alien 3 is better than Resurrection.
Your Reply:



+3
4:03PM on 06/11/2012
Agreed on the outcome, I still like both but 3 is superior to 4. 4 had great ideas but good old studio interference killed their potential. Leaving 4 to simply be taken as a dumb fun ride rather than the awesome movie it should have been. I loved Ripley in 4 as she was fun and you could tell Weaver was having fun, yet I still prefer old Ripley ala 3.
Plus as also mentioned below 3's score is amazing. It may not be as iconic as Alien or Aliens which are amazing but I find it my favourite score
Agreed on the outcome, I still like both but 3 is superior to 4. 4 had great ideas but good old studio interference killed their potential. Leaving 4 to simply be taken as a dumb fun ride rather than the awesome movie it should have been. I loved Ripley in 4 as she was fun and you could tell Weaver was having fun, yet I still prefer old Ripley ala 3.
Plus as also mentioned below 3's score is amazing. It may not be as iconic as Alien or Aliens which are amazing but I find it my favourite score of the series.
Your Reply:



2:40PM on 06/11/2012
I think Alien 3 Assembly cut is awesome movie. Theatrical Cut on other hand... Well, it's not as good as Assembly cut, or Aliens before it, but still has great atmosphere and visuals (not meaning cgi-alien).

Resurrection is just plain stupid. These movies shouldn't be "tongue-in-cheek". It has some nice visuals, but that's it.
I think Alien 3 Assembly cut is awesome movie. Theatrical Cut on other hand... Well, it's not as good as Assembly cut, or Aliens before it, but still has great atmosphere and visuals (not meaning cgi-alien).

Resurrection is just plain stupid. These movies shouldn't be "tongue-in-cheek". It has some nice visuals, but that's it.
Your Reply:



2:41PM on 06/11/2012
Oh, and musical score in Alien 3 by Elliot Goldenthal is amazing.
Oh, and musical score in Alien 3 by Elliot Goldenthal is amazing.
-4
1:17PM on 06/11/2012

ALIEN 4 blows!

This faceoff should be a no brainer. I know you guys are trying to milk the Alien universe as much as possible right now, but save FaceOffs for things that are legitimately close in quality. Alien 3 is a huge letdown after ALIENS, but Resurrection is an abomination that takes a few interesting ideas and then completely mishandles them...
This faceoff should be a no brainer. I know you guys are trying to milk the Alien universe as much as possible right now, but save FaceOffs for things that are legitimately close in quality. Alien 3 is a huge letdown after ALIENS, but Resurrection is an abomination that takes a few interesting ideas and then completely mishandles them...
Your Reply:



1:24PM on 06/11/2012
That's your opinion and I agree with it. Some people dig it though, hence the FO. Shit i just got this via Twitter:

@arrowinthehead Alien Resurrection is a tongue-in-cheek horror movie and great fun,it's not meant to be taken to seriously in my opinion.
That's your opinion and I agree with it. Some people dig it though, hence the FO. Shit i just got this via Twitter:

@arrowinthehead Alien Resurrection is a tongue-in-cheek horror movie and great fun,it's not meant to be taken to seriously in my opinion.
12:49PM on 06/11/2012
Alien 3 is gloomy, scary, and unique enough you can still get through it every now and then. Still tough to forgive that the story renders 'Aliens' moot by killing off Newt, Hicks, and Bishop before the opening credits. Seriously what the fuck. At least give Newt a chance!

Resurrection is too corny, melodramatic, and tired to be worth more than a single sitting.
Alien 3 is gloomy, scary, and unique enough you can still get through it every now and then. Still tough to forgive that the story renders 'Aliens' moot by killing off Newt, Hicks, and Bishop before the opening credits. Seriously what the fuck. At least give Newt a chance!

Resurrection is too corny, melodramatic, and tired to be worth more than a single sitting.
Your Reply:



11:51AM on 06/11/2012

Can't stand Resurrection...

I'd take the AVP movies over it anyday. But I love Alien 3, super underrated. Some of the CGI is iffy though.
I'd take the AVP movies over it anyday. But I love Alien 3, super underrated. Some of the CGI is iffy though.
Your Reply:



9:58AM on 06/11/2012
(Haven't watched Prometheus yet) Of all Aliens movie, I like "Aliens" the best. But between Alien 3 & Alien: Resurrection, Alien 3 is far more thrilling. Killing off survivors from Aliens was a bold move and it paid off big as we can see how strong and tough Ripley really was.
(Haven't watched Prometheus yet) Of all Aliens movie, I like "Aliens" the best. But between Alien 3 & Alien: Resurrection, Alien 3 is far more thrilling. Killing off survivors from Aliens was a bold move and it paid off big as we can see how strong and tough Ripley really was.
Your Reply:



+10
7:07AM on 06/11/2012
Agree with the bulk of this Face-Off and its outcome. Except one part; I'll take the casting of Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Pete Postlethwaite, and Lance Henricksen over the casting of ALIEN 4 any day...
Agree with the bulk of this Face-Off and its outcome. Except one part; I'll take the casting of Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Pete Postlethwaite, and Lance Henricksen over the casting of ALIEN 4 any day...
Your Reply:



10:32AM on 06/11/2012
It's true Dutton killed it in Alien 3 with his epic speech but I have to give it to Perlman in no.4, he pretty much steals the movie with his one-liners and has elevated it into a guilty pleasure of mine.
It's true Dutton killed it in Alien 3 with his epic speech but I have to give it to Perlman in no.4, he pretty much steals the movie with his one-liners and has elevated it into a guilty pleasure of mine.
9:53AM on 06/11/2012
Yeah, Alien 3 has far more superior casts.
Yeah, Alien 3 has far more superior casts.

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