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Alien

A movie directed by Ridley Scott

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Astonishingly good!

  • Sep 3, 2007
Rating:
+5
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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More Alien reviews
review by . June 24, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
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Quick Tip by . September 01, 2010
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Caption
Fantastic Horror-Monster Film that still stands as one of the best Horror movies ever made! Geiger outdone himself with the impressive creature designs!
Quick Tip by . July 25, 2010
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One of THE best sci-fi/horror flicks ever made. While all four have their merits and are all good movies in their own sense; none of the sequels have captured the ambiance and general sense of fear this one created.
review by . July 11, 2009
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Star Wars may have gotten the sci fi ball rolling in the 70's with a future that isn't always clean and where people don't always eat food pills, but Alien perfected it.  The computers aren't fast, the seats are held together with duct tape, the machinery looks like it works and your crew members are a lot like co workers who you wish would mind their own business and do their job.      It also presented the most memorable creature to ever grace screens, …
Quick Tip by . December 29, 2009
Chilling and suspenseful sci fi horror with intergalactic miners picking up an unwanted passenger that proceeds to stalk and kill them.
review by . May 06, 2009
Alien is one of the first films to take  horror elements and successfully place it within a sci-fi picture.  A space cargo ship is out in the middle of space searching for salvage and what nots picks a distress signal from another ship. An alien ship had crashed landed on some good forsaken rock in the dead of space. When they land upon the desolate planet, the crew picks up a very unwelcomed visitor when one of the crew get's "faced" by a strange looking crab like creature.  Days …
review by . June 11, 2007
Someone once said, "There's a thin line between brilliance and absurdity." More than any other film, Ridley Scott's "Alien" supports that statement. It began as a low-budget project for notorious schlock producer Roger Corman, then titled "Star Beast," but somehow, along the way, everything just came together. If anyone but the great Mr. Scott had directed the film, if Sigourney Weaver had not received her breakthrough role as feminist icon Ellen Ripley, if the film had come together any other way, …
review by . February 16, 2007
A timeless tale of horror and man (or in this case woman) against an unknown murderous force, Alien , now over 30 years in age, continues to be one of the most beloved gems of the science-fiction genre. Alien has always been one of my personal favorite movies for many reasons, which I would fail to summarize in the span of this review, but I certainly can try my best to fill out details on my casual view on what's the best way to enjoy the film.    Alien is a haunted house if …
review by . October 18, 2004
I don't see what is so amazing about "Alien." I was convinced to watch this film after so many people bragged on it in the reviews of "Alien Vs. Predator." Perhaps it is the fact that I saw both of the "Predator" films before any of the "Alien" franchise, but I don't see where this particular series of films is much better than a lot of other moderately good sci-fi cinema. Honestly, I would much rather watch the original "Predator" film than either of the "Alien" movies I've watched(I've seen the …
About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #59
   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

Wiki

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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Details

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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