May 18, 2017

Blu-ray Review: Aliens (1986)

"Mother vs. Mother."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090605/?ref_=tt_rec_tt
(aka Game Over!)
Release Date: July 18th, 1986.
Country: USA.
Rating: R.
Written by: James Cameron and David Giler.
Directed by: James Cameron.
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser and Carrie Henn.

If anyone was going to follow-up the Ridley Scott classic and do it any justice, it was James Cameron.

Fresh off his work on another genre classic, The Terminator, Cameron took the reigns of the Alien franchise and pumped it full of adrenaline, made it bigger in scope, and far more frantic.

57 years after the events of the first film, a salvage team finds Ripley's escape craft, where she's deep in cryo-sleep. Back on Earth, she's raked over the coals by corporate assholes who want to hold her responsible for blowing up The Nostromo, and she finds out that her daughter grew old and died while she drifted through space for 60 years, so to say she's not happy is an understatement. At least she still has Jonesy.

BUT ALAS, JONESY HAD TO BE PUT DOWN FOR CRYO-DISTEMPER.
The moon of LV-426 has since been colonized, because that's what corporations do, and when the company loses contact with the people of the settlement, they immediately ask Ripley to head back there as an advisor to a group of Colonial Marines who are tasked with finding out what happened. She agrees to go, so long as they promise that they're going to destroy whatever they find there, and not bring anything back to study.

STOP STUDYING IT!
Things don't go well for anyone on LV-426, mainly because the Aliens rule the planet thanks to their Queen Mother, who gives birth to them like her vagina is a clown car. They find a little girl named Newt who Ripley takes an immediate shining to, and when they find themselves trapped on the planet, with a horde of Aliens descending on them, it looks as if Ripley is going to lose another "daughter."

LOOK OUT, GIRL!
You really think that Ripley takes that shit lying down?

 OH HELL NO!
As with Alien, what's not good about Aliens?

Alright, maybe it ditched the Haunted House creepiness that made the first one such a classic, but it gave us it's own brand of terror in an all-out Human vs. Alien war, which had us biting our nails just the same. The thought of there a seemingly endless swarm of Xenomorphs upped the terror factor and then some. And the action was awesome. I mean, Vasquez yelling "let's rock!" and lighting up the aliens, even though doing so could have caused the whole place to go up, was just bad-ass.

The cast is even better this time out too, with Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton giving us two of the most memorable characters in all of movies. Bill Paxton was especially scene-stealing as Hudson, with his one-liners, he practically stole the movie. God he was such a talented guy. R.I.P.

The story also took a deeper turn with Ripley finding out that her daughter died while she was in deep cryo-sleep, and then finding Newt and deciding that she was going to care for the girl. The whole surrogate mother thing added a ton of weight to the story, especially the showdown at the end with the Queen Alien.

"Get away from her, you bitch!" will always one of THE best and most iconic lines ever spoken on film.

THEY SHOULD HAVE MADE A SPIN-OFF PREQUEL ABOUT THESE TWO. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECT.
Too many cool characters died in this one.

THIS IS RAPHAEL. HE WAS JUST PROTECTING HIS MOM WHEN SOMEONE MOWED HIM DOWN WITH A HAIL OF BULLETS. #STOPTHEMADNESS.
The way things ended up in Alien 3 made this ending bittersweet... unless of course you just pretend that the series ends with Aliens, then it's all good.

"MOOOSTLY."
There are some great practical effects in this film, featuring the Aliens in different stages, a magnificent Queen Alien, and even some cocooned people. There's also plenty of bloody death to be seen, of both the human and alien variety.

"YOU'RE GOING TO DIE HERE. SORRY."
Nope, just the naked Aliens again.

BUT HICKS WAS SCHEMING ON THAT ASS SINCE THE FIRST DAY.
"Get away from her you bitch!"
"That's it man, Game over, man. Game Over!"
"Why don't you put her in charge!"
"They mostly come at night. Mostly."

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

"RAWR."
It's rare that a sequel comes as close to being as good as the first movie, especially when that first movie is as perfect as Alien was. Somehow though, James Cameron managed to match the original for quality, and some would even say surpass it in every way.

What an excellent 1-2 punch these first two flicks make, and by itself, Aliens is a stellar example of Sci-Fi done right. 

A+

Aliens is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

http://amzn.to/2pkafRS

We still miss the hell out of this guy.

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