The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue)

Resplendent in Newspeak and Doublethink.

‘Alien3’: A difficult relationship.

For some time now, Sunday mornings have been known as the ‘Sci-Fi Sunday Breakfast’. Coffee, cereal and the aforementioned, carefully selected and nutritional, Sci-Fi movie. A hearty way to start the day.

Going back some time ago, when the ‘old gang’ used to congregate every Saturday night around a huge round table (something akin to the Geek Knights of the Round Table) in my local seafront pub (I live by the sea, but I guess you figured that out), we would spend an inordinate amount of time pickling our livers, doubling our bladder density whilst debating (read: arguing) over our shared love of movies and Sci-Fi. To do this EVERY Saturday night was the norm for many years.

I would be regularly flamed for being the only sensible one who saw through the haze of cliché and tedium to admit that the James Bond franchise was shit. Scott (Rest In Peace old friend) would harp on about how much he adored the ‘Highlander’ franchise and ‘Quantum Leap’, quoting endless ‘Simpsons’ references along the way. Chris, Ben & I would bang on about ‘Batman’ and the DC/Marvel universe (‘DareDevil’ is STILL BLIND, Mark!). I would harp on relentlessly about the ‘Hellboy’ comics. As for ‘Star Trek’ &’ Star Wars’ (eventually the ‘Rings’ trilogy would be added to this roster), countless observations and arguments would arise and be debated until way past last orders and distended bladders.

Every so often, I would be alone in my hatred of one particular movie. Everyone else I know loved it and saw something in it I couldn’t. I detested it. I found it’s Director overrated, the plot contrived, the FX lame and the whole experience a waste of time where I could have been watching, I don’t know, ‘Star Trek V’. That’s how much I hated ‘Alien3’.

Then, on the release on the ‘Quadrilogy’ box set, I found it included the long-mooted ‘Assembly Cut’. The cut Fincher intended but the one Fox ditched.

I think it was a further eighteen months before I could muster the vague interest to watch it again.

I can be man enough to admit when I’m wrong. I WAS wrong. There, I said it. The ‘Assembly Cut’ changed my whole outlook on the third instalment of the saga. Gone was the horrid ‘dog birth’, replaced with the intended ‘Ox birth’ and the explanation of a second Facehugger on board the escape pod. The character of ‘Golic’ and his descent into madness would now be shown in much more depth (the FX were still shite though). The thirty minutes added by this cut changed my experience entirely. I finally found what it was that made ‘Alien3’ a more enjoyable movie. What I could never fathom, however, was if it took the ‘Assembly Cut’ to make me finally appreciate it, how come everyone else was sufficiently satisfied by the theatrical release?

By the time the group disbanded, I could never convince anyone that ‘Alien: Resurrection’ wasn’t that bad. Once again, I was alone. Nuts.

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March 14, 2010 - Posted by | Film, Sci-Fi

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