Alien: Resurrection

Erect self from bed at 10am. Self marginally inert after late night spent trying to understand Alien³ and watching countless episodes of brilliant AMC series Breaking Bad on laptop whilst in bed. Self brews dangerously strong coffee and consumes coffee with black cigarette in garden whilst morning of summer solstice washes over self. As self stands in parents’ garden, basking in beautiful light of sun, surrounded by strange and wonderful gorgeous creatures of earth and air adorned with stunning array of colours, self reflects on experience of David Fincher’s Alien³. Self’s soul empties out, but not in positive confessional catharsis brought on by innocence and power of Mother Nature, rather in disgusted, hopeless, what-is–point-of-carrying-on-if-Sigourney-Weaver-just-commits-suicide drowning sensation that can only be experienced morning following vicious argument with dinosaur or viewing of Alien³.

Bad news bears for self as self has to update blog with entire post dedicated to Fincher fail. Self would rather update blog with testament to various other Fincher favourites as Fincher frickin’ fine filmmaker: Fincher most definitely should have won Best Director at Academy Awards for The Social Network instead of Tom “I’ve made two films” Hooper for certainly good but not four-Academy-Awards-good The King’s Speech. But self can’t be selfish. Self makes fish-based salad (this actually occurs, self cod not lie for sake of word plaice) and begins draft of Alien³ blog post. Drafting post similar to drawing perfect circle on Etch-A-Sketch and takes self several hours, although during draft self also negotiates iPhone exchange with ex-flatmate Johnny, enjoys Twitter conversation with ex-flatmate Tom, consumes several further cups of napalm coffee, and audits self’s bank account.

Worries that stress of writing blog entry for Fincher alien film could manifest themselves later in metablogic content (which [disregarding self’s use of faux present tense] they have done – to extent of self having no choice but to invent new word for self’s obtrusive use of blog reflexivity), self decides to sign off abruptly and flee WordPress website and take shelter at work shift. During shift something pivotal occurs. Regular readers of blog will know self never details shifts at work, although regular readers will also know self friends with person other than ex-flatmate Tom, workmate Tom. Upon self relaying strain of blogging about Alien³, non-flatmate workmate Tom insists that David Fincher has always said working on alien franchise taught him everything he needed to avoid when making films. 

Hope springs eternal. Self rushes home through solstice sunset and begins investigation. Workmate Tom was right! Internet overrun with interviews in which David Fincher expresses hatred of experience making Alien³ and finished film itself (Fincher’s first feature). Self decides The Guardian best source to quote from:

I had to work on it for two years, got fired off it three times and I had to fight for every single thing. No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me.

Fincher goes on to comment about so-called “special edition” self withstood:

I don’t know who did it, I’ve never seen it, I can’t comment on it.

Relief surrounds self like ocean-sized blanket of soft spring blossom. Self sorry, David Fincher. So sorry. 

Self loads Alien: Resurrection into parents’ Blu-Ray/DVD player, hoping now to get experience of alien tetralogy over and done with. Watching tetralogies laborious enough (with exception of Lethal Weapon) but watching tetralogy in which quality of films systematically trends downwards at as steep an incline as alien films tests tenacity of even hardened film watcher as self. (Self not really “hardened”, self wept like baby twice during He’s Just Not That Into You and knows all songs in Evita by heart.) Self reaches seventeen seconds into director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s introduction for special edition (NOW lack of David Fincher introduction makes perfect sense) when self’s mother returns home from Michael Ball concert. Something about change of mood introduced by mention of Michael Ball causes self to immediately lose interest in what Jean-Pierre has to say, so self retires to bed.

Erect self from bed at 10am and watch several episodes of Breaking Bad as parents’ cleaner in house and self doesn’t like disturbing her. Note from self’s father demands self do further ironing. Weather outside dark and rainy and stormy, so self musters pluck and faces Jean-Pierre and final alien film head on.

Jean-Pierre explains in introduction to special edition version that special edition version not director’s cut, director’s cut was theatrical edition. Special edition seems substantially less special. Self returns to DVD menu and picks theatrical version instead. Self wonders exactly why Jean-Pierre involved in alien tetralogy when Jean-Pierre’s career consists mostly of cutesy Audrey Tautou films. 

Alien: Resurrection set two hundred years after Alien³. Sigourney has been cloned by mad scientists using DNA found on prison planet in last alien film. Leading mad scientist played by Brad Dourif. Self fan of Brad Dourif since Brad Dourif showed meaty acting chops in cancelled television show Deadwood. Clone Sigourney learns there’s alien queen on board space station also. Clone Sigourney tells Brad Dourif everyone will die. New but older Sigourney may be clone, but maintains dead Sigourney’s positivity. 

Winona Ryder and Ron Perlman arrive on space station and meet clone Sigourney playing basketball. Seeing Sigourney holding basketball less convincing than seeing Winona Ryder act. Winona Ryder has acted only once in career: Girl, Interrupted. Rest of time Winona has spent appearing as herself. Ron Perlman decides to do acting on behalf of Winona, but masterclass interrupted by clone Sigourney who wants fight. Clone Sigourney wants fight because clone Sigourney half human half alien. Clone Sigourney bleeds acid blood and wears green nail varnish.

Inconveniently, aliens also bleed acid blood. Aliens kept in confinement by mad bad Brad Dourif ingeniously kill each other in order to bleed acid blood all over floor, burn hole through floor, and escape. At this juncture, Ron Perlman steps forward to take control of every single one of film’s comic moments. Clone/alien Sigourney asks, “Who do I have to fuck to get off this boat?” Ron Perlman introduces viewers to new within-film-one-man-one-liner-sketch-show, Ron’s Pearls:

I can get you off. Maybe not the boat…

Alien: Resurrection not taking itself too seriously. Evidence by way of Joss Whedon scripting, Jean-Pierre directing, Sigourney being clone and alien, Brad Dourif being mad scientist, Ron’s pearls, and casting of Winona Ryder. Film also more like first alien film: small team of people plainly trying to survive. 

Due to alien takeover, space station has begun moving on autopilot. Space station destination? Earth! Alien tetralogy has never involved Earth before. Sigourney not as excited as self would expect. Sigourney has not been back to Earth since at least 2122, and current date in Alien universe 2381. That’s 259 years. Self remembers Sigourney not Sigourney, Sigourney clone. But clone Sigourney has same memories as real Sigourney, so self slightly sympathetic apropos simulant Sigourney. Breaking news about space station’s destination gives Ron Perlman precisely opportunity required for another episode of Ron’s Pearls:

Earth, man. What a shithole.

Film takes darker turn when clone Sigourney comes upon science lab filled with large jars of aborted alien/human hybrid fails. Sigourney cries clone tears as science lab like three-dimensional family album horror show. One aborted hybrid Sigourney creature still alive, begging Sigourney for death. Creature looks like Chris Cunningham creation from Rubber Johnny:

Sigourney obliges disgusting hybrid mistake and nukes her/it with flamethrower. Sigourney has technically killed herself twice in franchise. Sigourney so troubled by science lab that she uses flamethrower to turn whole room into cauldron of fiery death and storms off to another part of ship. Ron Perlman, seeing opportunity, takes it:

What’s the big deal, man? Fuckin’ waste of ammo.

Sigourney and friends go swimming in hope of finding exit. Instead, they find clever alien trap and nest of alien eggs. Carnage ensues, but carnage good as carnage results in Winona getting shot. Winona immediately reappears, bleeding familiar android milk. Self should have seen this coming. Alien tetralogy checklist: Sigourney, aliens, Sigourney taking charge, Sigourney setting fire to stuff, androids. Winona upset that she’s been discovered. Self upset that filmmakers trying to cover up Winona’s lack of acting sophistication by making her android. Ron Perlman deals with situation well, involving fellow crew member in episode of Ron’s Pearls:

You got a socket wrench? Maybe she just needs an oil change. Can’t believe I almost fucked it.

Everyone except Sigourney escapes to space ship attached to space station. Sigourney occupies herself with alien queen in activity so strange and sinister that most of scene in which it takes place is black screen. Brad Dourif glued to wall and now acts not like scientist but like midwife. Dr Dourif tries to make sense of scene with exposition, but by now self and presumably anybody else who watched Alien: Resurrection has given up trying to fathom what’s going on. List of illogical aspects of film available on forum self found: here. Alien queen gives birth to half human/half alien/full ugly creature. Creature kills alien queen. Creature kisses Sigourney as creature thinks Sigourney mother. 

Sigourney tries to abandon baby on space station, but baby follows mother Sigourney on board small space ship. Sigourney kills baby in most gruesome manner imaginable: Sigourney uses her acid blood to melt small hole in window, vacuum of space sucks Sigourney’s baby partially through hole, eventually breaking flesh and allowing space to slurp baby’s insides out. 

Crew arrive on Earth and FINALLY self’s alien odyssey complete. Self feels as drained as clone Sigourney’s alien baby and as emotionally vacuous as Winona Ryder. Although self’s research uncovered lots of support for James Cameron’s Aliens, self thinks alien tetralogy should not have extended beyond Ridley Scott’s original alien film, which would be fine by Ridley as Ridley excels at making franchises out of single films. Self feels like films have wasted self’s last fortnight. Whilst meaning of forcing self to watch all four alien films has long disappeared from self’s memory, self now feels aimless. Self decides to spend rest of day searching for further episodes of Ron’s Pearls.

About josh-in-reel-life

Often disgruntled blogger.
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