Trent: From the Nostromo to the Sulaco to the Auriga! Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) died- but then she got better- and went back into the fray for “Alien: Resurrection,” the 1997 ugly-duckling continuation of the “Alien” franchise that is actually an undercover kick-ass black swan, and even has Winona Ryder in it, in case my “Black Swan” metaphorics weren’t doing it for you. 200 years after the David Fincher movie and the cowdoggomorph, Ripley has been cloned back to life, and ANOTHER greedy company- this time, the FUTURE U. S. MARINE CORPS- is still plotting to use the Aliens for militaristic purposes. But now, Ripley is technically the MOTHER of the Aliens- and the Queen Alien has Ripley’s WOMB somehow- and out of it comes the Ripley / Alien baby, who is even kind of cute. You know, in that “Tracey,” “Monster” scale of “kind of cute.”
Beatricia: Trent! Apologize to your sister! She is moderately attractive! See, this is why I like “Alien : Resurrection.” I quite relate to Sigourney Weaver, who has to take care of bizarre offspring, spineless wimps, worthless liabilities, mindless weirdoes and well-programmed robots. It’s like this movie’s cold cosmic gaze peers deep into my soul.
Hank: Fans balked at the more comedic tone of the installment, but I agree that it’s better than 3, and has better dialogue than 3 OR 2, thanks to Joss Whedon’s script. The characters are also more memorable than any in 3 OR 2. Sigourney Weaver finds new otherworldly sexiness in her familiar role. Bard Dourif is… Brad Dourif. Ron Perlman is hilarious, and his menacing mug is put to good use. Impish Dominique Pinon makes for a brave handicapped presence. Dan Hedaya steals the show with a few lines, and even Raymond Cruz (Tuco from “Breaking Bad”) exudes enthusiasm. Only Winona Ryder is terrible, (except, SPOILER, she IS a “Ghost in the Shell” robot, so why complain about her robotic blandness?) The underwater set-piece compensates for her presence… and it makes “The Poseidon Adventure” look more like “The Posei-DON’T Adventure.”
Grandpa Felicius: I can quite easily praise the talents of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (the idiosyncratic Frenchman behind “Delicatessen,” “City of Lost Children,” and everybody’s favorite Bjork biopic, “Amelie”). Similarly, I do not object to Joss Whedon’s millennial ironies, as he at least gave us the anti-Canadian warning that is “Toy Story.” However, the two gentlemen are not sympatico, and it is a match impossible to picture, like D. W. Griffith directing W. C. Fields.
Beatricia: Except that D. W. Griffith DID direct W. C. Fields, to fine results, in 1925. “Sally of the Sawdust.”
Trent: Ooooh, Grandpa Felicius, you slipping, boooooy!
Grandpa Felicius: What..? Huh… I don’t recall… I mean, certainly I knew that. Circus feature, right? Why, David consulted me on that very same production, and he suggested I give drawing lessons to the circus elephant . By the end of the shoot, that pachydermal prodigy could do a decent Picasso forgery.
Cousin Franz: Joss Whedon has long disowned “Alien Resurrection,” claiming that while his script was not altered, it was “implemented” wrong. Ah, the plight of the poetic genius at the mercy of the parasitical paws of the Hollywood philistines! I quite sympathize. The same thing happened to me. “Joan of Arc and Chairman Mao Dance at Studio 54,” my spoken-word-ballet, was “technically” respected by the Jersey Shore Community College’s Thespian Association. But the mentally-deficient actors didn’t quite know how to convey the brilliance of lines like: “Message of the disco ball divinity / the hermeneutics of the inside joke / Kissinger, my Kissinger / Kissing Her?”
Grandpa Felicius: A hack distancing himself from his failures. How novel.
Tracey: I realize that Joss Whedon has, of recent, become problematic, what with him having a problematic heterosexual penis, (why didn’t he disclose he had a problematic heterosexual penis before he became a beloved semi-feminist icon?!?) But I just have a lot for forgiveness for someone who gave us “Buffy,” “Angel,” and “Firefly.” There’s no bigger middle-finger to the patriarchy in sci-fi cinema than when Ripley destroys the ship’s controlling computer (the fascist “Father”) and declares: “Father is dead!” Still, shame on you, Whedon, shame on you and your problematic heterosexual penis.
Hank: Wait, Joss Whedon is a bad guy all of a sudden? What did he do?
Beatricia: He made the terrible tactical mistake of letting his ex-wife realize he was a cheating horn ball. Now vampires suck his reputation dry in comment threads all over the Internet Inferno. As is fitting.
Hank: HE HAS GIVEN US HUNDREDS OF HOURS OF JOY AND LAUGHTER!!! WHEN WILL HE BE FORGIVEN?!?
Blurbarella: “Undercover Kickass– Winona Ryder– Well-Programmed Robot.– Brave– Everybody’s Favorite– Fine– Prodigy– How to Convey the Brilliance– Beloved– Icon– As Is Fitting.– Joy and Laughter!”
4 out of 6 Cherries