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Nitpick/Review of Alien 3 that I Wish I Had Written

Posted by on May 17, 2012

In Alien 3, did anyone smoke cigarettes? Was the movie such a stupid betrayal of the earlier parts of the series that none of us even noticed that the universe stopped chain-smoking in the 5 years since the last adventure? Whatever.

Speaking of problems with Alien 3:

I don’t know if there was supposed to be any sexual chemistry between Ripley and the guy she had sex with. There wasn’t any chemistry, of course. I really got the impression that by sleeping with him, she was just trying to distract him from asking her about the alien. Of course, he was the only person who even kind of believed her, so she should have been, like, “Yes! Investigate this! Please!” Also, I’m pretty sure he let her know that he is trying to get her hooked on morphine, I mean his personal cocktail. Or maybe he was trying to kill her like his other patients, with the wrong dosage of painkillers. I think that that guy died at some point in the movie, but I have no idea when, so his death couldn’t have been interesting or meaningful. It seemed that the directors wanted to imply that somehow he is the father of Ripley’s alien baby, but I can’t think why.

Incidentally, I’m pretty sure that there’s a line early on where the doctor guy suggests that Ripley shave her pubes so she won’t get lice. Also–why would there be a lice problem on a satellite in space populated by humans who shave their heads? Who is Ripley going to catch lice from?

But the real reason for the injections (of the doctor’s cocktail), I think, was lazy filmmaking. Can’t figure out a way to use the script or plot to make the audience feel nervous or on edge? Try some extreme closeups of an injection or some other medical procedure. Add an annoying sound, such as an alarm system, or better yet, some radar sensor that gets more annoying the closer the monster is. The audience won’t even realize that their only irritation springs from the discordant frequency, and their confusion as to why this movie has the title “Alien.”

Really, I think the movie would have made more sense if it had taken place on a wooden monastery in space, with Ripley realizing that she wants to protect and nurture the life growing within her. I hope they at least saved money by reusing the sets from some other movie. ‘Cause I didn’t feel like the parchment maps held up to a chain link fence with a flashlight gave me a real accurate picture of what the overall prison facility is supposed to be built like.

Why is there a dog? Ok, maybe it’s a guard dog. Why is there only one? If you have dogs, wouldn’t it make sense to have at least a few? If it’s a pet, well, why would there only be one pet?
For that matter, why are there prison guards? If the prisoners don’t have technology to escape their satellite, why endanger the life of a civilian with a family, effectively making him serve out 6-month long prison terms (and paying him handsomely for it, no doubt)? Couldn’t a supply ship just drop off shipments without ever putting the crew in danger from the prisoners?

Since the Company is the villain (other than, you know, the Alien), always betraying their own employees and contractors to death to gain a profit, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to behave like capitalists? Let’s see, how much liability did they have to pay to Ripley’s abandoned/orphaned daughter, not to mention the families of every other person that the Company sent to their deaths? Why would people keep signing up to work for this Company, once word gets out how they consider their contractors (human ones, even though they could just send robots, which are harder to destroy and make fewer mistakes) to be expendable? If the Company realizes that there are possibly lucrative aliens on some planet, wouldn’t they do better to ADVERTISE this amazing money-making opportunity, so that investors will want to give money and get in on the risk? They could only send people who wanted to try to fight/study aliens, instead of lying to them, and then, surprise! Aliens! Hell, why send humans as sacrificial lambs to host the aliens? Why not use dogs?

The company seems to have found a material suitable for storage of facehuggers, since they were keeping live ones in jars. Soo…..why not make containers out of that substance, and keep the captive specimens IN THE BOX? Or create protective helmets out of that substance, and have humans wear the helmets when dealing with facehuggers? Or the humans could wear hard, protective collars to keep the facehuggers from strangling them. Seriously, people, it’s not that hard. They had 60 years to develop these helmets. They should have gardens of those eggs by now, regularly implanted into dogs to create useful beasts of burden, or at least useful sources of corrosive acid. And don’t even get me started on just having a strong base, such as drain cleaner, on hand to neutralize the acid. Or you can weaken acid by adding a lot of water. Hmmm, if the alien is very acidic, then….wouldn’t base be a perfect weapon against it? Try eating some soap, I bet that facehugger won’t want to stick its dick anywhere near your throat. Also, since we know that facehugger blood does NOT corrode its own skin, then the moulted skin of an alien would be extremely useful, either as armor or as a barrier substance. Another reason to farm the aliens. You could just let the facehugger implant a dog, then kill the host dog, harvesting the valuable facehugger skin.

There’s a gag where a prisoner makes another guy change the way he is carrying a pair of scissors, saying, “you could kill someone carrying them the way you were!” So this is obviously a setup for someone or something being impaled on the scissors, but did this happen? No. Remember how the one guy hates his nickname, 85? The other guys cruelly call him that because they read on his personnel file that his IQ is 85. If that’s the direction their taunting takes, wouldn’t their be a whole lot more of, “Yeah, well, you murdered and wore the skins of that cheerleading squad, Cheery! So lay off!”

The monks/prisoners said that Bishop was torn to pieces, completely unusable. It seems like a robot’s thinking capacity is in its head. At the end of Aliens, Bishop is 2 arms and a head. In Alien 3, he is 1 arm and a head. Well, if it can’t perform 2-handed tasks anymore, just throw it away! We’d rather just use candles and steam pipes. After all, fixing that robot would require…fishing it out of the trash and plugging it in, then ignoring its suicidal pleas. This is a prison, not a factory! Also, I like how he was all saving Newt’s life in Aliens, but then he decides that if he can’t be top of the line anymore, he doesn’t even want to live. Fuck protecting Ripley and the other humans.

I assume that the introduction of Dr. Noonyan Soong, at the end, was just to justify the money paid to the actor? Or maybe they filmed that scene before the rewrites were done, and they didn’t want to waste the footage. Because it certainly didn’t advance the plot. It was never even clear whether that was a real guy or just another android. As far as letting Ripley see a friendly face, there are some problems with this logic. As soon as he explains that he’s not EXACTLY the same robot that saved her life, why should she feel friendly toward him? Does he think she won’t just be creeped out (didn’t I just bury you, dude?)? Wouldn’t it be LESS creepy if they really did sent another Bishop model android, since she’s never seen Bishop as a human? Also, who is still alive who observed Ripley being friends with Bishop? Wasn’t she all, “Why didn’t you TELL me there would be a robot on board?” All Dr. Soong’s cameo did, was remind us that the scriptwriters decided to kill off the cast of Aliens, making the entire plot of Aliens pointless. Especially since, what did kill them? Nothing? Oh, drowning. In space. Well, they were weak, not the survivor type.

Newt was in 2nd grade when she went into cryostasis. When the prisoners find her corpse (and there is NOTHING SUSPICIOUS OR DEUS EX MACHINA about someone DROWNING while they are in suspended animation in deep space), they use the ship’s log to identify each crew member, plus a girl “approximately 12 years old.” So they couldn’t figure out that the kid was the one female child survivor, listed by name, in the ship’s log for the rescue mission, which is the only reason for the ship even being in space? When I think of the physical differences between 8 and 12, I think of height and puberty. Thanks for making us think about puberty and then showing us multiple closeups of what is allegedly a 12-year-old girl’s nipple (or is she still 8?). And it doesn’t even advance the plot.

But you know what does advance the plot? The suspicious acid-blood scarring on Ripley’s ship. Huh? Doesn’t that only come out if the facehugger is injured? Who was fighting it? Where is the wounded facehugger? Also, wouldn’t simply showing someone the acid scarring be a pretty credible argument when Ripley claims that the monsters have acid blood? Why would acidic blood be far-fetched in a creature from another planet? I’m surprised that they would even have blood at all. Maybe it’s more like engine coolant.

Further criticism:
Old fashioned glasses from the 60’s? Really? Do the monks have access to Etsy where they can buy vintage eyewear? Man, if I were living on that supply-deprived rock, trying to make the best life in prison I could, I just might forage in the dump once in a while for useful stuff, like, say, a working android. Just for starters. ‘Cause there might be more useful tools than old scissors.

Apparently the difference between a maximum security prison satellite, and a new human colony on a planet, is that the prison satellite receives a shipload of supplies every 6 months. Oh, and the prisoners all decide that they want to be celibate.

Seems like in all 3 movies, that the plot would have only crawled along, if all the humans hadn’t forgotten that space is kind of dangerous, and that once in a while, when exploring new territory while wearing a jumpsuit (instead of, say, protective clothing), a person might encounter some sort of dangerous predator.

Man, if only in the future they could develop some sort of scanner that would detect the presence of a facehugger, say, right over there hiding behind that duct. Because then Ripley wouldn’t just bring the aliens to wherever their ship can land. I assume, since an embryo is so hard to detect inside a human, that a facehugger has similar body temp to a human, with an organic makeup. Also, what, have these people never thought of closing the door when you are trying to catch and kill a vermin? (This is also a problem of the entire series, as well as the characters’ bafflement when the aliens turn out to be HIDING IN THE DROP CEILING)

On an unrelated note:
Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet paper has the eco-friendly slogan, “Using less never felt so good!” with a picture of some bears hugging the toilet paper. Reasons that this is a bad marketing campaign:
1. Using less=recycle=don’t litter=don’t use toilet paper to leave on the ground when you shit in the woods, that’s some bear’s living room. But maybe the bears DO want us to litter!
2. Our product is so unpleasant to use, that the less you use, the better you’ll feel!
3. This product, which has “never felt so good!”, is designed to be rubbed on the genitals. So yeah, it’s the best toilet paper on the market for masturbating.

And on that note,

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