Somehow, despite my intense interest in movies, and despite having seen the other three 1/2 films in this series, I had never, until today, seen the first movie.
It is good.
Watching this film I was really taken aback by how well it's aged. You know how sometimes you can watch a movie, and it doesn't matter when it takes place, you can still peg roughly when it was made? that's not the case here. This is a movie that's only slightly younger than I am, and yet it looks and feels as fresh as something that could've been made in the last few years by die-hards who have no interest in CGI.
The only thing that to me seemed at all out of place was the smoking. Otherwise, it looked like something recent, rather than something from 1979. It's certainly aged far better than Blade Runner (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition) or even the first Star Wars movie.
I'm not sure what to attribute this to. Clearly the excellent performances, exceptional writing and incredible directing are a part of it. The sets seem very modern without slipping over into "ultra-modern" and that helps.
This first film, however, was as flawless of a science fiction film as any you'll ever see. Heck, it even makes me want to go back and watch "Blade Runner" again, which I did not care for when I saw it the first time.
**** out of **** Commercial towing spaceship Nostromo is making the long trip back to earth after the crew made out like a group of crafty bandits with about twenty million tons of mineral ore. Until the journey back is complete, the crew sleeps; although an incoming transmission temporarily interrupts their slumber. It comes from an unnamed planet, from an unknown source, but the computer - which the crew members call "Mother" - claims that it would be in their best interest … more
A landmark of science fiction and horror,Alienarrived in 1979 betweenStar WarsandThe Empire Strikes Backas a stylishly malevolent alternative to George Lucas's space fantasy. Partially inspired by 1958'sIt! The Terror from Beyond Space, this instant classic set a tone of its own, offering richly detailed sets, ominous atmosphere, relentless suspense, and a flawless ensemble cast as the crew of the space freighterNostromo, who fall prey to a vicious creature (designed by Swiss artist H.R. Giger) that had gestatedinsideone of the ill-fated crew members. In a star-making role, Sigourney Weaver excels as sole survivor Ripley, becoming the screen's most popular heroine in a lucrative movie franchise. To measure the film's success, one need only recall the many images that have been burned into our collective psyche, including the "facehugger," the "chestburster," and Ripley's climactic encounter with the full-grown monster. Impeccably directed by Ridley Scott,Alienis one of the cinema's most unforgettable nightmares.--Jeff Shannon