Aliens

Wake at 9am with design to go on morning jog through wooded area near house before traveling to central London to continue writing almost-forgotten-certainly-under-nurtured play about state of literary criticism which self hopes will make self rich and famous before end of year before going to double shift at work. During morning coffee and cigarette routine in back garden, sluggish self becomes aware that British summer rainstorm occurring around self. With substantially sweetened coffee splish splashing across garden patio, self finishes soggy smoke and reenters house, damp, plans aborted entirely, with new plan of action encompassing watching second film in Alien tetralogy Aliens and playing on Internet. Self pleased with plan as usually (ignoring momentary lapse of slothfulness self had earlier when productive and useful proposal for how to spend day prior to work was made) self’s weekends are occupied by time at work and are as busy socially and personally as Terence Malick’s filmmaking career.

Insert DVD into media control panel beneath cinematically sized plasma screen and find self again confronted by options as to what version of film to watch. Self hates availability of options enough to italicise and underline word. Self feels so strongly about films exiting as singular artistic article rather than in multitudes to extent of writing essay – first essay in two years – on topic. Self aware of age old claim that no work of art ever truly finished. Age old claim redundant philosophising of at best abstract notion of what constitutes art. Age old claim, since age old, should be buried deep in devil’s draconian tomb along with all other versions of films which directors deem departed from their original directorial desire, with fuck you directed at Roland Barthes and high five directed at Michel Foucault.

Experience so far of Aliens exhausting, and self hasn’t even yet decided which version of Aliens to watch.

Obviously, self opts for special edition version of film as special edition version – like director’s cut version of Alien – comes with prologue by director explaining/arguing existence of special edition. Whilst self despises notion of film existing in various “editions” self pleased to learn that unlike inconclusive Ridley Scott, James Cameron prefers special edition to original edition. Self experiences guilt for outburst two paragraphs ago: editions of films (in most cases with exception of Ridley “I like continually reediting films I made three decades ago [and you can judge my faith in my films by which films I choose not to grant a reedit – A Good Year, Matchstick Men, Body of Lies, G.I. Jane.]” Scott) not fault of directors but fault of studios. Fuck you directed at Roland Barthes and studios.

Aliens picks up where Alien ended although in real time seven years have elapsed. Lamest-named-space-cat-in-space-cat-history Jones on brilliant form. Sigourney doing alright, but no match for screen presence of space cat. Self hopes that space cat Jones will be underhand protagonist of entire film, although cynical side of self suspects probability unlikely. Sigourney has bad dream (not about death of space cat – that would be too harrowing) about chest bursting open John Hurt style. Rather than reality’s seven years, reeality has elapsed fifty-seven years, the effect of extended stasis catnap had by Sigourney and space cat.

Sigourney attempts explanation to space executives of what occurred in Alien, but Sigourney does not have access to self’s blog or IMdB as Internet not yet invented, so nobody believes her. Problems with bureaucracy not just problem of Hollywood directors such as Scott and Cameron, but also problem for Sigourney. Sigourney suspended from job. Self secretly hopes such shit storm surfaces upon seaside shore of James Cameron’s career.

In typical contradictory fashion, bureaucrats decide to send Sigourney to planet where John Hurt found alien spacecraft despite just making her unemployed. It is revealed that human beings have been terraforming planet. One particular family has same ill-timed luck as John Hurt, as even though humans have been on planet for many years and alien spaceship filled with alien eggs has been completely inactive with exception of John Hurt scenario, alien egg hatches itself onto human face and alien pandemic sweeps planet.

Sigourney unsurprisingly unwilling to visit planet, even just in advisory capacity, even surrounded by team of muscular marines. Paul Reiser does impression of adorable bunny rabbit and convinces Sigourney that everything will be fine. Paul Reiser evidently inexperienced at being character in alien franchise as nothing ever fine. Sigourney decides to leave space cat Jones behind and uses what is likely to be first of several profanities since screenplay written by James “Fuck You” Cameron, referring to defenceless space cat Jones as “little shithead”. Space cat Jones not little shithead.

As usual, Sigourney wakes up from stasis on space ship. This time, Sigourney without space cat and instead surrounded by burly trash-talking marines including James Cameron favourite Bill Paxton. Self thinks term “shithead” more applicable to Bill Paxton than space cat. With exception of brief likeable phase Bill Paxton enjoyed between 1995 and 1996 when Paxton appeared in Apollo 13 and Twister, self has never considered Paxton career indispensible to cinema. Self wishes James Cameron agreed with self. Unlike self Sigourney does not seem bothered by Bill Paxton. Instead, Sigourney alarmed by presence of Lance Henriksen as Lance Henriksen android and last time Sigourney shared space ship with android android was Ian Holm and Ian Holm tried to force Sigourney to swallow magazine.

Sigourney and marines arrive on planet. Terraformed part of planet deserted and covered in alien blood acid holes. Facehugger Julia Roberts lookalike aliens found in science lab in incubation tubes. Self not expert in narrative theory but self suspects that perhaps later in film keeping facehugger aliens alive in incubation tubes when all aliens want to do is kiss humans and use humans as host for spawn might not seem like best possible idea for what to do with alien facehuggers.

Sigourney finds replacement for space cat Jones when she stumbles upon sole survivor little girl. Little girl claims name is “Newt”. Newt awful name for girl. Almost as bad as Jones as name for cat. Sigourney looks after little girl as marines enter alien egg compound. Even though most marines wielding guns bigger than themselves, title of film definitely apt as seemingly limitless supply of aliens overpower marines in fire/blood bath and destroy any means of escape leaving Sigourney, Newt and few others to fend for themselves. In worst piece of news since Titanic hit ice berg in little known James Cameron short starring Romeo from Romeo + Juliet and The Phantom‘s Billy Zane, Bill Paxton revealed as being alive.

Film becomes exercise in patience as Sigourney and friends sit around waiting to be attacked by aliens. Sigourney learns how to fire gun, skill presumably quite useful to Sigourney in future alien films. Sigourney pretty much decides to adopt Newt as her own as in space no one can stop you from adopting and Sigourney knows from film tagline that there are some places in space you don’t go alone. However, Sigourney’s mothering instinct somewhat lacking when she puts Newt asleep in science lab with incubated aliens. No-longer-adorable-bunny-now-nasty Paul Reiser takes advantage of situation and locks them in as Paul Reiser hopes facehuggers will hug face of Sigourney and impregnate her so that Reiser can smuggle alien specimen back to space station for personal wealth and glory.

At this point self reminded of Ian Holm’s advice in original alien film. Ian Holm proclaimed that attempting to murder alien in original alien film futile operation as alien indestructible. Ian Holm’s advice revealed in second alien film as being inaccurate as alien creatures can be killed quite efficiently with bullets from guns, so Sigourney and remaining marines able to wipe out great many aliens. Unfortunately, title of film again proves accurate as there are limitless aliens and limited bullets. Sigourney, apparently now marine trained and in command of outfit, decides in typical anarchistic fashion to blow everything up.

Alien kidnaps Newt. Fortunately, aliens don’t kill humans immediately, they glue them to walls with solidified saliva and keep them alive in order to harvest facehugger eggs. At least Sigourney hopes so. Sigourney uses cat locating skills learnt in first film to locate Newt. Sigourney also finds colossal alien queen laying eggs. Colossal alien queen responsible for limitless supply of aliens. Scene mirroring what UK version of The Marriage Ref would look like: Sigourney displays her flame thrower to alien queen. Alien queen angry, but mothering instinct means she doesn’t want Sigourney to toast hundreds of her freshly laid eggs. Alien queen allows Sigourney safe passage. In moment of unnecessary alien cruelty, arsonist Sigourney reneges on deal and turns alien queen’s natal nest into inferno.  Far from content with merely barbecuing generations of loveable alien babies, Sigourney unloads several grenades into alien queen’s grotesque fallopian womb and flees scene. Good guydroid Henriksen picks up Sigourney and Newt in spaceship that he’s been fixing for half of film and together they leave planet, several marine and charred alien corpses, and return to space station.

Calm-following-inferno music plays suggesting happy ending. Sigourney tells Henriksen that he did good. Henriksen is promptly stabbed through stomach by spiralling alien queen tale. Alien queen had attached herself to bottom of ship. Alien queen dead set on taking revenge by murdering Sigourney daughter Newt. Sigourney dresses up in JCB truck costume:

and two matriarchs do battle in slowest paced action scene self has ever endured. JCB truck costume initially impressive, but watching it in use against oversized alien close to unbearable as neither combatant has any maneuverability whatsoever. Sigourney pulls typical trick of opening airlock and expelling alien through it. Sigourney, android Henriksen’s torso and Sigourney’s daughter Newt all go to sleep in stasis.

Of two editions of self’s day self could have picked, self probably didn’t choose special edition. Self tiring of alien saga, and alien saga only 50% complete. Self tries to access memory of why self started alien saga to begin with. Yes! David Fincher! Interest in David Fincher surviving as well as Sigourney in franchise. Next film: Alien³. Or, Alien Cubed. Self excited at potential mathematics-centric plot of third instalment. Self fears title might be reflection of number of versions of film self will be forced to choose from.

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About josh-in-reel-life

Often disgruntled blogger.
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