Alien 3. Interesting thematically, but more fun to read about than to watch. It’s a very very steep drop-off from Alien and Aliens to this (same is true for most movies, to be fair). Filed under: David Fincher.
The Village. I’d heard it was among the better of Shyamalan’s but I wasn’t expecting such a… masterpiece? So very, very good. Imagery and structure and theme and camerawork and characterization is all dialed in and thoughtful.
Alien. Perfection. Still a five-star film. I love those Nostromo jackets!
Aliens. This is how you do a sequel. Extend, not rehash. It’s not as good as Alien, but few things are and it doesn’t need to be because it’s just as fun. The first was about trauma and violation and survival, this one about confrontation and closure. Ripley’s got a great arc. I’d always wished they’d done more with Bishop’s crawl down the tunnel. It’s one of the best shots in scifi, but then the story zips elsewhere and when you come back, Bishop is chillin’, remote-controlling a plane. I also love when Ripley makes her machine gun + motion tracker + flamethrower superweapon with duct tape. It’s the little things.
Alien. This one has not aged a bit. Fantasic slow-burning horror. So smart. Also, Sigourney Weaver… dang. Ebert’s appreciation makes a good point about the cast I hadn’t considered: they’re all 30-ish and older. A younger cast would totally change the feel. See also: In praise of the sci-fi corridor. I’ve been keeping track of all the movies I watch for over two years now.
I volunteered to serve food to the workers at Ground Zero after 9/11. There were dogs trained to find living people. The people who worked with the dogs became worried because the day after day of not finding anyone was beginning to depress the animals. So the people took turns hiding in the rubble so that every now and then a dog could find one of them to be able to carry on.