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Random Movie Thoughts Thread

Totenkindly

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I was thinking of some movie quotes today that stick with me not necessarily because of the line but because of its delivery -- like, I can hear the line in my head because it was delivered a certain way even if it's not the most prominent line in the film. here's a number of them:

  • Uh huh… and how do we lure him?
  • They mostly come out at night. Mostly.
  • They called me Mr. Glass.
  • This is what you get for fucking around with Yakuzas! Go home to your mother!
  • I didn’t know you were funny.
  • You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome.
  • Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
  • I am your biggest fan.
  • Why so serious?
  • Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?
  • I drink your milkshake!
  • You sit on a throne of lies.
  • Swear to me. Swear to me on your mother.
  • I wouldn’t kill him because he looked as frightened as I was. I looked at him and I saw myself.
  • You just signed your expulsion papers, Nuwanda!
  • If you continue to fight, what will you become?
  • I have something to say. It’s better to burn out than fade away!
  • Any of you f**kin' pricks move and I'll execute every motherf**king last one of you!
  • What am I doing? I'm talking to a blank telephone, ‘cause there is a dead man on the other end of this f**king line!
  • It's even got a "wha" for Wendy!
  • He's a panda! You're a panda! What are you gonna do, big guy? Sit on me?
  • no, I'm not a licensed teacher, but I have been touched by your kids. And I'm pretty sure I've touched them.
  • Mongo only pawn in the game of life.

One of them actually never showed up in the film, it comes from the trailers but was cut from the released film... which is hilarious, because I still think of this line and its unique delivery first when I think of the film.

key:
 

Totenkindly

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Oh yeah, Dallas was great. I didn't care for the character when I was younger but now I totally understand how he was between a rock and a hard place. Torn between the company overlords and trying to look out for his people. I do kind of wish he had dug a little more and learned of Ash's true nature before he climbed into that air vent though. Also he could've easily sent anyone else into that shaft but took it on himself. That's always a sign of a good manager, when they're willing to get their hands dirty and endure the same shit the little guy endures.

Yeah, it's like he erred on the side of maybe not being "hard" enough but it's really hard to fault him for caring about his crew and wanting to mediate everything between them and the company. He really did not have a lot of options. he was the most "team player" on the crew.

Now that you mention it, it's the same damned trap Kaneda falls into in "Sunshine." GREAT captain, the gently rational servant leader, and willing to lead first under great risk... but maybe he shouldn't have?
 

á´…eparted

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Not so much random since the thread title primed me, but to date this is the most impactful and haunting scene I have ever seen in film. From the movie Annihilation (its a spoiler if you plan to see it).

 

Totenkindly

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I'm a big Alex Garland fan, and this was one of my favorite movies the year it came out... The whole movie is so damned haunting.

His new TV series on Hulu just started up ("Devs") that is supposed to just be a wrapped up story in eight episodes.

Anyway, films he's worked on:
- 28 Days Later (writer)
- Sunshine (writer)
- Never Let Me Go (screenplay)
- Dredd (screenplay)
- Ex Machina (writer, director)
- Annihilation (writer, director)
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I'm a big Alex Garland fan, and this was one of my favorite movies the year it came out... The whole movie is so damned haunting.

His new TV series on Hulu just started up ("Devs") that is supposed to just be a wrapped up story in eight episodes.

Anyway, films he's worked on:
- 28 Days Later (writer)
- Sunshine (writer)
- Never Let Me Go (screenplay)
- Dredd (screenplay)
- Ex Machina (writer, director)
- Annihilation (writer, director)

Have you watched Devs at all? The visuals in the trailers and the presence of Nick OFferman intrigued me. I'll probably start on that once I finish Altered Carbon Season 2.
 
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Bothered me too. And apparently James Cameron has voiced his displeasure with that too.

On the other hand, doing that helps the tone of Alien 3 immensely. It establishes right off the bat that the xenomorph doesn't care who is worthy of survival. Anyone is a potential victim, even Ripley. It keeps the Xenomorph a real threat in the film and in that way doesn't let the audience relax too much, knowing that even main characters can die just like that. It's more like the original film in that regard. Although I still think Aliens is superior to Alien 3. Just saying Alien 3 better captured the hopeless feel of the original film.

The xenomorph doesn’t kill Hicks or Newt. Not directly anyway. It’s acidic blood causes structural damage in the Sulaco. Newt drowns in her containment unit and Hicks gets crushed by a support beam. Do prominent people die falling down stairs in real life or from choking to death on a sandwich? Sure, but anticlimactic deaths for respected characters doesn’t make for good cinema imo. It just made their accomplishments in Aliens seem meaningless.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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The xenomorph doesn’t kill Hicks or Newt. Not directly anyway. It’s acidic blood causes structural damage in the Sulaco. Newt drowns in her containment unit and Hicks gets crushed by a support beam. Do prominent people die falling down stairs in real life or from choking to death on a sandwich? Sure, but anticlimactic deaths for respected characters doesn’t make for good cinema imo. It just made their accomplishments in Aliens seem meaningless.

Yes, it did diminish their accomplishments in Aliens. But it also made Alien 3 a better film than it would have been otherwise. The xenomorph species is literally a parasite, a disease, one which doesn't discriminate or have any sense of morality or mercy. The first film established that very well. The third film re-established that very well by wiping out the previous film's survivors and planting a chestburster in Ripley's chest.

Gotta look at these movies more like standalones. While part of an ongoing narrative, I think what makes the first 4 alien films great is how each one sets its own tone and stands alone as unique and distinct from the others.

In a way, Alien Resurrection did a similar thing and diminished Ripley's sacrifice in Alien 3 by bringing her back as a badass superclone. But I still think Alien Resurrection works well in its own right. I don't look at these films the same way as I might look at say, Star Trek or Star Wars, where I think the overall narrative and a cohesive feel are more important. I love that each Alien film is its own beast and isn't too indebted to preceeding films in the series.

I'd also argue Aliens, while a great film, somewhat diminished the first film in making the xenomorph less of a threat. The first film presented the ultimate monster that was practically unstoppable. The second film established them as cannon fodder that, while deadly, can be wiped out with big enough guns and a power loader suit. We got more aggressive aliens, a big badass queen, and yet somehow to me, the xenomorph felt somewhat defanged in the second film. But I love the second one more for what it did with developing Ripley's character, exploring themes like motherhood and loss, and also for introducing Bishop (who to be honest, I was a lot more bummed about his demise in Alien 3 than I was about Hicks and Newt) than anything it did with the xenomorph. It's actually my least favorite portrayal of the xenomorph species (unless you count those AvP crossovers and Covenant) in the series, despite being my second favorite Alien film overall.
 

Totenkindly

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How can you view these as standalone movies when they obviously track the same character(s) through multiple films?

I mean, you CAN, but also these films are meant to provide some continuity. They're just ending up as royal clusterf*cks, each doing their own thing, and that is the typical downfall of these franchises because there is no real continuity and the story becomes incoherent.

If you don't want them connected, don't use the same characters. Just tell another Alien story in a new setting. (AVP did this, I guess, but the flaws of those films are just flaws in themselves.)
 

Doctor Cringelord

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How can you view these as standalone movies when they obviously track the same character(s) through multiple films?

I mean, you CAN, but also these films are meant to provide some continuity. They're just ending up as royal clusterf*cks, each doing their own thing, and that is the typical downfall of these franchises because there is no real continuity and the story becomes incoherent.

If you don't want them connected, don't use the same characters. Just tell another Alien story in a new setting. (AVP did this, I guess, but the flaws of those films are just flaws in themselves.)

In that they all are standalone with their own tones and themes, rather than being connected by any unifying style. I'm not saying they shouldn't be viewed as part of a narrative arc. Never said that. But to me, they're more similar to Bond films, where each director would go a different direction with tone and style. It was all part of the same narrative, but it was exciting and interesting to go from say, the camp and outlandishness of Moonraker directly into the down-to-earth, hardboiled espionage thriller of For Your Eyes Only (one of Moore's stronger performance BTW).

Having to be too indebted to the characters in Aliens would have sapped Alien 3 of its power. Killing those characters in such an unceremonial manner is exactly the catalyst needed to drive Ripley's arc and development further in part 3, just as her daughter's death in the Aliens Special Edition drove her growth and development in that film. They don't even get the benefit of going out in a heroic manner like Gorman and Vasquez. That fucking sucks, but it adds a real life feel to Alien 3 by raising the stakes and establishing that anyone, even Ripley, is a potential victim, and their death might not be a pleasant or heroic one--the last film to really do this being the first one (assuming you were watching it for the first time ever, you could easily have no idea which character might end up lasting to the end).

Sure, it stings, but that's kind of the point. The fact that so many people feel butthurt about Newt and Hicks is proof of how well Alien 3 succeeds. Those fans are feeling just a sliver of what Ripley must be feeling when she learns of their fates. Having them survive into the third film and being there alongside Ripley would sap any feeling of suspense or uncertainty, which are both key to great horror. It would also lessen the sense of isolation and hopelessness that Ripley and the audience is intended to feel. Which in turn would make her sacrifice and triumph in the end all the less impactful and meaningful.

I fully understand what Fincher was trying to do with Alien 3, and I don't think he ever saw it as shitting all over Cameron's achievement. Cameron is kind of a diva anyway and I don't think he's ever fully understood what Fincher was trying to accomplish. Aliens is still the film it is for everyone to enjoy and if people truly can't stand Alien 3, they can always have it end with Aliens in their headcanon.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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My thoughts on Aliens and Alien 3 are that by this point, it's become Ripley's journey (the first film is not really her story per se, and she functions more like traditional "final girl" in that film). Characters like Newt, Bishop and Hicks are fairly one-dimensional and are there to add to Ripley's story. They are props essentially. While it hurts when they die, it is so essential to Ripley's growth. It's the heroes journey, and their deaths are trials for her as a part of that journey.

Alien Resurrection is, despite the cliché title, quite a good continuation of that journey. I never really thought about this aspect too hard, but there are many messiah-like parallels and themes in how she sacrifices herself to save the universe at the end of Alien 3, to be reborn for the ultimate showdown with evil personified in Resurrection.

She is a far better analog to Christ like figures than Anakin Skywalker ever was.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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George Lazenby, considering he hadn't acted beyond a few TV commercials, did a pretty good job as Bond. Shame he couldn't be convinced to return for Diamonds are Forever. There was potential for him to grow as an actor and to exceed Connery, who never really did anything too interesting with the character.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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I just found this video, he more eloquently explains my feelings on Alien 3 and the death of Newt and Hicks and why those deaths make it a better film.

I won't keep harping on Alien 3, it's just that I realize I have an opinion on it that isn't widely held and wanted to explain why I thought the popular opinion of the matter might be flawed, why I think Alien 3 would've been a weaker film had Hicks and Newt lived.

I like how he mentions Ripley's survivor's guilt, and I agree it becomes a defining characteristic of Ripley.

 

Totenkindly

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I'm one of the handful of people who love resurrection. I like it for what it is: a fun, over-the-top popcorn movie. It's got good pacing overall (unlike Alien 3 which drags a bit in the middle), a really memorable ensemble cast, and it's a pretty film. A little silly, but not all that much more than the others if you really think about it.

I still have to watch it. I have seen maybe the first few minutes, and this was when Whedon was first starting to make a large name for himself outside of Buffy, I guess. (I consider the Avengers to really have made him a household name. Even if my favorite thing by him is still Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog.)

Obviously the problem just from tone in the first few minutes is that everyone was expecting one tone and got something else right off the bat. It probably felt like a bucket of cold water. I have come to grips that if and when I watch it, I'll have to come in with fresh expectations and not really compare it to anything else in the franchise I've seen.

I've already read so much about Alien3 and seen it twice and don't really have an interest in discussing it or reading much more about it, it just isn't a story I am really interested in. I already have my feelings on it, some of them based on a visceral reaction -- like the, "I don't care if you had reasons for murdering/debasing characters I cared about, and they might have been good ones, but fuck off anyway because I'm not interested" kind of visceral feeling. Different strokes, different folks. I just didn't find it that imaginative... aside from "okay, we're on a prison planet this time." But so much played out by rote to create this big ending. like, i didn't need all that.

None of that film has ever detracted from Fincher either in my mind, he's a great filmmaker especially with the visual and tonal aspects of his work.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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I still have to watch it. I have seen maybe the first few minutes, and this was when Whedon was first starting to make a large name for himself outside of Buffy, I guess. (I consider the Avengers to really have made him a household name. Even if my favorite thing by him is still Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog.)

Obviously the problem just from tone in the first few minutes is that everyone was expecting one tone and got something else right off the bat. It probably felt like a bucket of cold water. I have come to grips that if and when I watch it, I'll have to come in with fresh expectations and not really compare it to anything else in the franchise I've seen.

I've already read so much about Alien3 and seen it twice and don't really have an interest in discussing it or reading much more about it, it just isn't a story I am really interested in. I already have my feelings on it, some of them based on a visceral reaction -- like the, "I don't care if you had reasons for murdering/debasing characters I cared about, and they might have been good ones, but fuck off anyway because I'm not interested" kind of visceral feeling. Different strokes, different folks. I just didn't find it that imaginative... aside from "okay, we're on a prison planet this time." But so much played out by rote to create this big ending. like, i didn't need all that.

None of that film has ever detracted from Fincher either in my mind, he's a great filmmaker especially with the visual and tonal aspects of his work.

Well also Fincher had to deal with a shitload of corporate interference when making Alien 3. He didn't have the reputation or gravitas he has now, so he couldn't really fight the interference. If he were making it now, maybe we'd see the vision he had in mind. Anyway, sure, it's basically a rehash of the first film, but then the first film is basically a rehash of old haunted house and monster movies. If we really want to be fair, the 2nd and 4th films are probably the most original in terms of story.

I won't go on too much more, but I would argue the film succeeded in doing what it intended to do by getting that sort of visceral reaction to those characters' deaths. Makes us really feel what Ripley must have felt.
 

Totenkindly

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Well also Fincher had to deal with a shitload of corporate interference when making Alien 3. He didn't have the reputation or gravitas he has now, so he couldn't really fight the interference. If he were making it now, maybe we'd see the vision he had in mind. Anyway, sure, it's basically a rehash of the first film, but then the first film is basically a rehash of old haunted house and monster movies. If we really want to be fair, the 2nd and 4th films are probably the most original in terms of story.

I won't go on too much more, but I would argue the film succeeded in doing what it intended to do by getting that sort of visceral reaction to those characters' deaths. Makes us really feel what Ripley must have felt.

I'm certainly starting to feel like what Ripley felt, going around yet another time.
 

Totenkindly

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Not so much random since the thread title primed me, but to date this is the most impactful and haunting scene I have ever seen in film. From the movie Annihilation (its a spoiler if you plan to see it).

Here I was gonna watch a bit of Face/Off last night, and instead I ended up watching about 2/3 of Annihilation again instead, based on your post here. ;)

[Then it was 1am and I really needed to go to bed.]
 

Doctor Cringelord

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"Weyland Yutani -- we're you!"

I love in Aliens how they don't give a shit about the dead crew, they're like "You blew up a $40 million ore freighter, what are we gonna do about THAT?"


Man, now I got all these crushing disappointments to deal with again, rofl. I really love Guy Pierce as Peter Wayland, he was great. And the Ted Talk promo?

Since the loss of the Nostromo was like 57 years prior, they'd probably already paid their families hush money compensation. Whatever they paid out was probably pennies compared to the loss they took.

But yeah, I like Ripley's response "and your expensive ship" or whatever it is she says to the CEO guy. And then the "did IQs drop while I was away" response to the female boardmember. Ripley speaks to anyone who has ever wanted to but been unable to tell some corporate boss to go fuck themselves.

I think it's one of the best scenes because it establishes so much about the company. And I also love Burke, who at first seems a sympathetic character (notice how he even backs Ripley when she commandeers the APC from Gorman) only to be revealed as another self-interested suit.


You all should play Alien Isolation, there's a lot of computer logs you find on the station with similar greedy corporate types talking about their schemes.
 

Totenkindly

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Since the loss of the Nostromo was like 57 years prior, they'd probably already paid their families hush money compensation. Whatever they paid out was probably pennies compared to the loss they took.

But yeah, I like Ripley's response "and your expensive ship" or whatever it is she says to the CEO guy. And then the "did IQs drop while I was away" response to the female boardmember. Ripley speaks to anyone who has ever wanted to but been unable to tell some corporate boss to go fuck themselves.

I think it's one of the best scenes because it establishes so much about the company. And I also love Burke, who at first seems a sympathetic character (notice how he even backs Ripley when she commandeers the APC from Gorman) only to be revealed as another self-interested suit.

Yeah, it's one of my favorite scenes in the film, it captures a lot of subtext in just a few minutes of screen time. And the way they dress (kind of boring-goofy chic), or how they make these decisions and then can head out probably to their nice corporate lunches while being all casual about the decision like they didn't just mess up lives. it's all just numbers on a paper to them, no animosity, they seem remarkably indifferent to Ripley outside of the official record. They will gut her career and write off those lives, but it's nothing personal.

I think that was my first exposure to Paul Reiser, he was so scrawny and seemingly sympathetic in that film. (He was only 30.) He's been through a lot of changes since then.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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Yeah, it's one of my favorite scenes in the film, it captures a lot of subtext in just a few minutes of screen time. And the way they dress (kind of boring-goofy chic), or how they make these decisions and then can head out probably to their nice corporate lunches while being all casual about the decision like they didn't just mess up lives. it's all just numbers on a paper to them, no animosity, they seem remarkably indifferent to Ripley outside of the official record. They will gut her career and write off those lives, but it's nothing personal.

I think that was my first exposure to Paul Reiser, he was so scrawny and seemingly sympathetic in that film. (He was only 30.) He's been through a lot of changes since then.

Me too. When Mad About You came out, I just remember thinking "oh hey it's Burke"
 
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[MENTION=19700]Officer Ed Powell[/MENTION]

I don’t think that making the aliens more numerous diminished their power at all. I think it conveyed the opposite. Here you had a combat experienced platoon of Colonial Marines (in the comic they had a separate story about what Hudson meant when he said is this going to be another bug hunt showing a prior mission against flying insectoid enemies) reduced to nothing in a short period of time. It showed how utterly unprepared Earth would be if the xenomorphs managed to nest there. The comic later showed an actual infestation occurring on the planet with Hicks and Newt as part of the storyline.

On a totally unrelated note, I find the idea that Ferris Bueller could have been Cameron’s fever induced version of a Tyler Durden (Fight Club) theory completely fascinating.

Edit: This was a sloppily constructed post but I was writing it while in between running errands, my apologies.
 
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