200 years have past since the death of Lt. Ellen Ripley (Weaver)
but when the crew of The Betty deliver their cargo to the military vessel
they find her alive and well but something does appear right about this
Ripley. The crew find out that she is in fact a genetic clone but she wasn't
the real subject of the cloning process, the military scientists had more
sinister motivations. Now they have their Queen and the cargo the crew had
brought in were people who are about to get introduced to her eggs.
After killing off Ripley in a blaze of glory at the end of
Alien3, the franchise is resurrected for a fourth outing. The problem is
that is should have really remained dead.
The third Alien movie wasn't great but compared to this it
is a masterpiece. The film is a complete mess that tries to restart a franchise
but totally lacks the invention to do it. Gifted French filmmaker Jean-Pierre
Jeunet follows in the tradition of Ridley Scott, James Cameron and David
Fincher of Fox inviting visual, breakthrough directors to guide the Alien
films in new directions but despite the film's unquestioned visual flare,
the story is completely lacking.
Writer Joss Whedon, of TVs Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
fame, tries to amalgamate the best elements of the previous three movies
and bring them together to make something new. The problem is that he fails
completely. The idea of bringing back Ripley via cloning is a good one and
the most interesting element of the script but beyond that the story is
so slight that it defies believe. After this momentous discovery the Aliens
escape and kill of the crew one by one until Ripley confronts the Queen
and then her new born offspring. That is it and that is how complex the
picture gets. It assumes that you realise that the scientist are trying
to produce a bio-weapon, it assumes that you know with Winona Ryder's Call
character knows about the Aliens and it assumes that you know why Earth
has become a wasteland. No background information and answers to any of
The cast try there best with the material. Winona Ryder is
ok as Call but doesn't really have much to challenge her talents. Ron Perlman
is his usual wisecracking self, adding abit of comic relief to the film.
Leland Orser plays the panicking victim well but this is a role that he
has made his own. It is Ripley that comes off the worst however. Gone is
the brave and strong woman we have all come to respect and in her place
is a nonchalant, uncaring and cynical bitch who would rather use a wisecrack
or her fist than the reason and logic we have come to associate with the
character. Ripley is a shadow of her former self and you get the feeling
that she is only there for Weaver to get another big payday.
All style and no substance does not a good movie make. The
look of the film, along with the rest of the franchise is stunning but with
out an engrossing story the whole thing just becomes a mess. Yes there are
some riveting scenes like the underwater attack but then they are counteracted
by the appalling ending that has one of the most stupid looking and ill-conceived
creatures to grace any franchise.
Alien Resurrection is by far the weakest of the Quadrilogy
and isn't even worth purchasing or viewing for completion sakes.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts
surround sound, the movie is presented brilliantly. The picture quality
is superb throughout with Jeunet's decision to drain the colour and emphasise
the blacks and greys of the palette really showing true. The sound is also
of a high quality, coming into its own during the climatic sequences.
Introduced by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet this version has the original
beginning and an alternative ending to the movie.
Audio Commentary director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, editor Herve Schneid, Alien
FX creators Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr., special effects supervisor
Pitof, concept artist Sylvain Despertz and stars Ron Perlman, Dominique
Pinon and Leland Orser
This fun and informative commentary works very well, even though it is an
intercut track. Jean-Pierre Jeunet seems to have really enjoyed making the
film and the same can be said for everyone involved. It is a shame that
Winona Ryder and Sigourney Weaver where not involved however.
One Step Beyond
- The Making of Alien Resurrection
From the Ashes - Reviving the Story (9.51 mins)
Writer Joss Whedon talks about bring the franchise back to life. Approached
by Fox to write a treatment, he recalls that they basically agreed to make
his first draft. Original Alien producer David Giler reveals how he tried
to stop the picture been made because he thought it was finished. Sigourney
Weaver also talks about the script and how she hated the idea of doing an
Alien vs. Predator movie. First Draft Screenplay by Joss Whedon Your chance
to read the actual first draft that the studio accepted.
French Twist - Direction and Design (26.11 mins)
After passing on Trainspotting director Danny Boyle, the studio went for
up and coming French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The cast and crew talk
about the Gallic director and the man himself reminisces about wondering,
"why did the studio want me?" With a French director came a French crew
with key position taken up by people who had worked with Jeunet before.
Under the Skin - Casting and Characterisations (12.48 mins)
Jean-Pierre Jeunet talks about casting and getting the right people for
the characters. Dominique Pinon talks about acting in a big American film
and Winona Ryder reveals that she couldn't believe that her dream of working
on an Alien movie had come true that she started stealing things from the
set (was this the start of something?)
Test Footage - Creatures and Costumes (15.35 mins)
Special effects test footage of the alien egg, Facehugger, Alien and the
New Born. There is also footage of Alien kills and a costume test for Sigourney
Marc Caro Portfolio - Character designs
Your chance to view the character designs by the noted French designer.
The Art of Alien Resurrection - Conceptual Art Gallery
A collection of concept art images from the movie, which includes poster
and title designs. Storyboards - Archives The complete movie in storyboard
Revisualization - Rehearsals
Storyboard, rehearsal and final shot comparisons via a multi-screen format.
Death from Below - Fox Studios Los Angeles 1996 (31.39
Underwater cinematographer Pete Romano takes you behind the scenes of the
underwater chase sequence. The featurette reveals how a Fox soundstage was
transformed into a huge pool where to kitchen set could be built. The cast
talks about filming the chase with Winona Ryder revealing her fear of water
and Sigourney Weaver talks about her fear of enclosed spaces.
In the Zone - The Basketball Scene (6.44 mins)
Sigourney Weaver talks about her training for the basketball scene and how
through sheer determination she was able to make that impossible shot. The
featurette includes raw footage of the shot which proves that no special
effects was involved. Just watch Ron Perlman's face.
Production Gallery - Photo Archive
Images of weapons, The Betty, extracting the Queen, Aliens escape, the clone
horrors, underwater attack, the Queen's nest, falling to Earth and on Earth.
Unnatural Mutation - Creature Design (26.24 mins)
Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. talk about working the creature effects
on Aliens, Alien3 and this movie. They talk about the new designs for the
Alien, the egg, Chestburster and Facehugger and designing the New Born and
the clone Ripley's.
A.D.I. Workshop - Photo Archive
Your chance to look at images from the design of the clones, New Born and
the rest of the creatures from the movie.
Genetic Composition - Music (13.12 mins)
Composer John Frizzell talks about working with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
and his inspirations behind the writing of the score. He reveals that scoring
the underwater sequence was the most difficult and how he tried to keep
character themes down to a minimum.
Virtual Aliens - Computer Generated Imagery (9.54 mins)
Susan Zwerman (Visual Effects Producer), Conrad W. Hall (Visual Effects
Cinematographer), Erik Henry (Visual Effects Supervisor) and Pitof (Visual
Effects Supervisor) show how pioneering computer-generated imagery was used
in the movie. They take you behind the scenes of the underwater chase and
the creation the first CG Alien.
A Matter of Scale - Miniature Photography (22.52 mins)
Matthew Gratzner and Rich Fichter talk about the extensive use of miniatures
in the movie. With CG at the time not good enough to create everything the
large spaceship models had to be used. The main military ship the Auriga,
the transport ship the Betty and the Alien lab were all built at 1/18th
scale. The featurette also shows how they were filmed and how the models
were deliberately weathered to make them look used and old.
Visual Effects Gallery - Photo Archive
Still images of the visual effects from the movie including the prototype
models for a very different design for the Auriga.
A Critical Juncture - Reaction to the Film (14.29 mins)
The cast and crew talk about what they liked about the movie even though
it wasn't a critical success. Jean-Pierre Jeunet says the reviews were good
in France however and he doesn't really care what people think because he
is proud of the movie. The cast and crew also speculate on where they think
the series will go next with most of them wanting to find out where the
Alien ship came from in the first movie. Special Shot - Promotional Photo
Archive Promotional images from the movie.
Even though the film isn't very good the DVD is fantastic.
The collection of featurettes, behind the scenes footage, storyboard comparisons
and photo galleries cover every aspect of the movie to give you a fascinating
insight into the making of the film. While the views of the cast and crew
are a tad too positive about the movie at times, this is still a brilliantly
packaged DVD. It is just a shame that the movie wasn't as good.
Usher Home |
Hush, Hush... | The
Big Story | The Usher Speaks
@ Home | Coming Soon | Links
| Contact the Usher