Aliens

Aliens ★★★★★

"That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now?"

Sigourney Weaver delivers a TOUR DE FORCE performance, when the humans bring the war to the xenomorphs in Director James Cameron 's Epic Sci-Fi action masterpiece Aliens.

My dad got me into the Alien franchise at a fairly young age, and this installment is by far my favorite. Only in the past year did I learn that Weaver was nominated for an oscar for her performance, which is rare for this kind of movie, but so so deserving. In watching it again from a more critical prospective, I was totally blown away by how palpable the pain and anguish is that she pours into a shell shocked Ripley in the film's opening chapter. You especially feel so angry when she is questioned by the investigation board as they treat her like she was crazy and out of line for activating the self destruct sequence on the Nostromo.

After countless nightmares about her encounter with the Alien in the first film, where she wakes up in a panicked state drenched with sweat, she agrees to be the subject matter expert on an expedition back to the planet LV-426. That's where a group of colonists reported that they found the Alien ship Ripley said was there, but are no longer responding to communications.

"Just tell me one thing, Burke. You're going out there to destroy them, right? Not to study. Not to bring back. But to wipe them out."

Spoilers...

IMO from this point on, Ripley is the most bad ass female action movie character of all time. I Just love who she shows her merit to the military leadership on the voyage by showing that she can handle herself and be helpful, by operating one of those awesome mech loaders. This of course perfectly foreshadows the epic final confrontation of the film against the huge queen alien.

The line "Get away from her, you bitch!" gives me those good movie chills just thinking about it!

Ripley is not only a bad ass, but also maintains her motherly nature after the pain we are shown she endures from learning that her own daughter grew old and died, while she was left floating in cryo-sleep in the Nostromos' escape pod.

Once they reach the colony they find out that the only survivor is a little girl named Newt perfected played by Carrie Henn. Newt's whole community was massacred by the Aliens, and she has had to sneak around to avoid them. You can really see the impact that as had on her with how skittish and quiet she is. And only Ripley is able to show her the care she needs in order to act normal again, and their emotional bond really helps to elevate how much we care about this story.

"Ripley!!! .... Ripley!!!!"

By far the reason most people consider Aliens to be their favorite of the franchise is the awesomeness of the marines taking on a hoard of xenomorphs. We spend plenty of time seeing the marines by all cocky and acting macho, and not heading Ripley's warnings about what the Aliens are capable of.

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

I enjoy all the Marines but Bill Paxton has to by my favorite. The military styled music with the drum beat really helps to ramp up tension leading up to their first encounter. And that tension then gets brought up to a fever pitch when we hear and see the radar pinging faster and faster as they get closer, and the feeling of dread rises.

'I don't see nothing ... where are they?'

Seeing the marines being built up as this unstoppable force with these awesome machine guns for all this time, makes it all the more devastating to see most of them get taken out so quickly, under the leadership of their novice mission commander.

I always enjoyed Paul Reiser's tv show 'Mad About You', so it was interesting to see him be such a creep as the human antagonist, who wants to get a face hugger on Newt in order to sneak an alien back to earth. On the other hand you have the excellent performance from Lance Henriksen who plays Bishop the android. From the first film we learned not to trust androids, but while Bishop does come off a little strange at first he is ultimately one of Ripley's key allies. I just love that shot of him crawling down pipe, by only being able to wiggle his body back and forth. Also that great scene where he does the fast knife trick with Paxton's hand.

Also props to Colette Hiller as the really cool looking female pilot with the shades, and Jenette Goldstein who plays the most best ass marine Private Vasquez. Dare I say this is the best female action movie cast ever.

For the most part Aliens' production design is excellent, especially with the structure the Aliens turn into their hive by leaving all their creepy biologic signatures on the walls. Also the egg room where we get our first look at the queen, with Ripley holding that grenade launcher/flamethrower. They did a great job enhancing the look of the Alien and making it more mobile to really enhance what they were able to do with the alien attack scenes, making the film both action packed and horrific.

The miniatures of the vehicles hold up pretty well, and I love that matte painting they used behind the big marine ship toward the beginning. The only part that does not hold up so well is the effect that was used to show the drop ship going thru LV-426 atmosphere.

Aliens is a true split genre masterpiece, that took everything that was great about the original, then changed it up and then cranked it up to 11 to make a rare perfect sequel.

“I'll be back.”
- The Terminator

Happy movie watching ... SKOL!

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