"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Posts Tagged ‘Sigourney Weaver’

Alien 3

Monday, June 20th, 2022

“We tolerate everybody. Even the intolerable.”


May 22, 1992

Let’s get this out of the way first: many things went wrong with ALIEN 3 (or ALIEN3 if you prefer). After Ridley Scott’s sci-fi-horror masterpiece in ’79 and James Cameron’s ass-kicking miracle sequel in ’86, producer/writers Walter Hill and David Giler struggled to develop a worthy followup. After numerous reworkings with a series of writers and a late-in-the-game switch of directors from New Zealand’s Vincent Ward (THE NAVIGATOR: A MEDIEVAL ODYSSEY) to MTV’s David Fincher (Madonna’s “Vogue” video, the “Would you give a cigarette to an unborn child?” American Cancer Society PSA), they finally got the ball rolling. With an unfinished script. The 27-year-old first time feature director fought for (and lost) creative control, eventually quitting during post-production, at which point the studio recut the movie without his input. Never great when that happens.

Based on what we learned from THE PLAYER, studio interference should mean they gave it an unearned happy ending that changed the whole spirit of the thing. Like when they reshot the ending of FATAL ATTRACTION, or later when they tried to make Fincher get rid of the head in the box in SEVEN. This is a different situation. What came out of that battle was a mean, dark, anti-crowdpleaser that disappointed, outraged or depressed many fans. Artistically I never thought it was the outright disaster it was initially received as – in fact, I always liked it – but I could never pretend it matched its predecessors.

30 years later – after it’s been in my life so long I can’t remember anything else – it requires no effort to drop all the baggage and admire ALIEN 3 as a singular-ish vision or, at the very least, an act of sheer audacity. Another ’92 blockbuster sequel I’ll be reviewing caused a commotion for allegedly being “too dark,” but I think this baby is still the undisputed bleakness champion of big studio sequels to mainstream hits. To illustrate how unusual the approach is, let’s imagine if the summer’s earlier part 3, LETHAL WEAPON 3, had made some of the same decisions. What if rather than bring back the whole gang, including Leo, they only brought back Riggs? Murtaugh and Leo are said to have died in between 2 and 3. We see brief glimpses of Murtaugh’s mutilated corpse. Riggs goes to the morgue to see Leo’s body, then demands to watch the autopsy. He spends the movie working with murderers and rapists, almost all of whom die, and then the triumphant ending is that he commits suicide. How about that? Do you think that would go over well?

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The Assignment

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

THE ASSIGNMENT is Walter Hill’s weird new pariah of a movie, a Tale From the Crypt without a Keeper, based on a gimmick that was too challenging to execute properly, even ignoring the current touchiness of the subject matter. It’s much more interesting than good, more of a great acting challenge for Michelle Rodriguez (AVATAR) than a successful vehicle for her talents. Nice try, though.

Here’s what it’s about: ruthless hitman Frank Kitchen is just doing his thing one day, ruthless hitmanning, when he gets jumped and knocked unconscious and later he mysteriously wakes up in a hotel room with a woman’s body. Not, like, in bed with a dead woman. Like, he looks down and he has female genitalia. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ghostbusters (1984)

Monday, July 18th, 2016

summer2016originstn_ghostbustersGHOSTBUSTERS (1984) is the story of three male scientists – Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray – who live and work in New York City and specialize in studying the supernatural. They lose their grant at the college just because the uptight higher ups notice that they are bringing great shame and humiliation upon the institution by wasting everyone’s time and money on an area of study that is not real. And that’s without even knowing that Murray (WILD THINGS) doesn’t totally believe in it and spends his days doing fake telepathy tests just to hit on women.

So they decide to lease a beat up old fire station and start a scrappy new business that treats exorcism like pest control and advertises on TV and what not. Lucky for them they are correct, it turns out ghosts are real and there are a couple actual hauntings going on in the city. A female client (Sigourney Weaver, ABDUCTION) comes to their male offices with a huge case: her refrigerator is a portal to a ghost dimension or some shit and she and her neighbor (Rick Moranis, STREETS OF FIRE) get possessed and an ancient Sumerian god named Gozer (Slavitz Jovan, KNIGHT OF CUPS) appears on top of the building and they have to shoot lasers at it, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

Chappie

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

tn_chappieCHAPPIE is a slight but sweet sci-fi story from South Africa’s Neill Blomkamp. It’s like a meaner SHORT CIRCUIT or an unexpectedly good Asylum knockoff of the remake of ROBOCOP. The Johannesburg police are very happy with their new police robot “Scouts,” invented by cubicle-bound corporate employee Deon Wilson (Dev Patel from SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), and have flatly, perhaps rudely rejected The Moose, a human-operated ED-209 lookalike pushed by jealous ex-soldier Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman). But Deon isn’t really invested in that feud – he’s invented an A.I. program which the boss (Sigourney Weaver) won’t even let him continue with, and that’s all he really cares about right now.

still_chappieMeanwhile the weirdo South African electronical rap group Die Antwoord are involved in a drug deal gone bad and busted up by Scouts. A scary gangster named Hippo (Brandon Auret, who played mercenaries in both of Blomkamp’s other movies) who has a crazy hairdo that would make any David Ayer character teary eyed with envy, says they owe him a ridiculous amount of money, so they decide they have no choice but to quickly pull off the heist of a lifetime so he doesn’t kill them. That leads to the hair-brained idea of kidnapping Deon to get “the remote” that they assume he has for clicking the power off on the city’s law enforcement. For some reason he doesn’t really have one, go figure. So as a compromise he installs his A.I. program in a damaged police robot for them to teach how to be “the illest gangster” and use robot powers such as jump high and metal punch to help them pull off their robbery. (read the rest of this shit…)

Alien Resurrection

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

David 8’s basketball practice in PROMETHEUS got me thinking about Ripley 8’s b-ball skills in ALIEN RESURRECTION, so much so that I decided to make it the topic of my Badass Cinema 101 column for CLiNT Magazine. Ask for it by name at your favorite newsstand or magazinier.

Well, I had to re-watch the basketball scene for research, but I decided instead of just watching the scene I wanted to sit and watch the whole movie again. I’ve always liked this one and thought it got a bad rap. It lacks the seriousness and groundbreakingness of ALIEN and ALIENS, but in its own way it’s a highly entertaining sci-fi popcorn movie with great characters, great set-pieces, original ideas, cool monsters and lots of weird shit that only this particular director would’ve done. That last one I’m afraid is probly one of the reasons it’s so hated. Alot of people don’t like seeing things they didn’t already plan to see.
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Abduction

Friday, February 17th, 2012

tn_abductionIn the summer of 1991 a 23-year-old director named John Singleton made a hell of a debut with BOYZ N THE HOOD. It was a preachy, of-the-moment anti-violence tale inspired by his (recent) youth in South Central Los Angeles, tempted by the machismo of gang life but smart enough to avoid getting tangled in its endless cycle of retaliation. The movie had breakthrough roles for Cuba Gooding Jr. before “Show me the money,” and for Larry Fishburne before Ike Turner or Morpheus. He was so memorable as Furious Styles that he turned into a Laurence 2 years later. (read the rest of this shit…)

Avatar

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

tn_avatarWhen I came out of AVATAR I had a nice free feeling that I wasn’t even gonna write a review of it. I figured what it excels at is self-evident and what it fails at isn’t really worth dwelling on, and every motherfucker with a computer already wrote way too much about this thing anyway so what’s the point? I wouldn’t have much to say.

Then a couple days later I had written this behemoth. Hopefully there are one or two things here that haven’t been said before. (read the rest of this shit…)