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A movie directed by Ridley Scott

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Astonishingly good!

  • Sep 3, 2007
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.

Also in watching this I became ever more depressed by what the franchise has become. This was a thoughtful, intelligent horror movie. Aliens (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) was a thoughtful, intelligent action movie. Alien 3 (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) and "Alien: Resurection" were... well, movies. The less said about AVP - Alien Vs. Predator (Widescreen Edition) the better.

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.

Roger Ebert has included this movie in his collection of "Great Movies" essays. He puts it into the same areas of greatness as films like Citizen Kane, Rashomon - Criterion Collection and All About Eve, a judgement I entirely agree with.

In short, don't do what I did. Don't watch the other films in the series and miss out on this one. If you haven't watched it, do so. If you have, then go back and see it again. It's worth your time.

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C R Swanson ()
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   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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About this movie


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
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Director: Ridley Scott
Genre: Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: 25 May 1979 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett
Runtime: 117 min
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