HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boys from County Hell
All Hands On Deck
Teddy
Beasts Clawing at Straws
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Windom's Way
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Aliens Monster’s Ball
Year: 1986
Director: James Cameron
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Jenette Goldstein, Al Matthews, Ricco Ross
Genre: Horror, Action, War, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 16 votes)
Review: Far in the future, a deep space salvage team find a lone craft floating aimlessly through the stars. On board, there's just one human inhabitant in suspended animation — Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the sole survivor of the Nostromo, a mining ship that disappeared some 57 years earlier. Back on Earth, she tells her employers what happened, of the huge ship discovered on a deserted planet, and the alien parasite that was brought back onto the Nostromo and wiped the crew out one by one. Since this planet has now been colonised for some 20-odd years, Ripley’s story isn't believed and she loses her job. But when contact with the colonists is lost, Ripley is recruited as an advisor and sent back to the distant world alongside a platoon of trigger-happy marines.

Given that Aliens is a sci-fi film made in the mid-80s, it’s remarkable how little James Cameron’s thunderous sequel has dated. James Horner’s edgy orchestrations (in an age of nasty synth scores), the army uniforms, the fuck-off big machine guns and refusal to show too much technology (nothing ages a sci-fi film faster than computers that looked high-tech at the time but ridiculously old-fashioned 20 years later) all contribute to convincing futuristic effect. Maybe some of the ships and vehicles do look a little bit like models, but for those of us who don’t believe that CGI is always best, this is no bad thing.

With a lengthy running time (154 minutes in the DVD special edition), Cameron refuses to rush things — we’re nearing the hour mark before we even get a glimpse of an alien, and the marines’ slow search through the seemingly deserted colony is unbearably tense. But once these hideous black beasties begin their attack on the hopelessly outnumbered marines, there’s no let up. Unlike the stalking, indestructable predator of Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), Cameron's creatures are fast-moving, slime-drooling killers, easily blown apart by a burst of automatic fire. Problem is, there's just so damn many of 'em! Previously invincible soldiers are reduced to hysterical wimps and it’s up to Weaver’s no-bullshit Ripley to fight back.

The visuals, pacing and intensely violent action are as impeccable and exciting as you’d expect from Cameron, but the real surprise here is the dialogue and characters... the writer/director is obviously a lot more comfortable humanising foul-mouthed marines than, say, the dewey-eyed lovers of Titanic. As a result, the likes of Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn and William Hope have great fun playing macho and scared in equal measure, while Paul Reiser is suitably slimy as the company man sent to supervise the mission. The relationship between Ripley and Newt (Carrie Henn), the little girl found alive on the base, is nicely handled, and Weaver herself plays one of the most distinctive female roles of modern cinema as a captivating mix of sexy and seriously bad-ass.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 16933 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

James Cameron  (1954 - )

Canadian director and writer responsible for some of the most successful - and expensive - films of all time. Cameron, like many before him, began his career working for Roger Corman, for whom he made his directing debut in 1981 with the throwaway Piranha 2: Flying Killers. It was his second film, The Terminator, that revealed his talents as a director of intensely exciting action, making Arnold Schwarzenegger a movie star along the way. Aliens was that rare thing, a sequel as good as the original, while if The Abyss was an overambitious flop, then 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a superbly realised action epic featuring groundbreaking use of CGI.

Cameron teamed up with Schwarzenegger for a third time for the Bond-esque thriller True Lies, before releasing Titanic on the world in 1997, which despite a decidedly mixed critical reaction quickly became the biggest grossing film of all time. His TV venture Dark Angel wasn't wildly successful, but ever keen to push back the envelope of film technology, 2003's Ghost of the Abyss is a spectacular 3D documentary exploring the wreck of the Titanic, made for I-Max cinemas. After over a decade away from fiction, his sci-fi epic Avatar was such a success that it gave him two films in the top ten highest-grossing of all time list.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: