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Alien (1979)
Ridley Scott's classic has run out of gas.
13 February 2005
Alien is a film that will forever go down in history. It has earned a place among the greatest horror movies of all time and was put there by the fans. I know people who have seen this film literally dozens of times and are scared by it each time. The first time I saw Alien I was four years old... and it put me to sleep in a manner of minutes. Till this day it still accomplishes that.

I have seen Alien 5 times. Each time I struggle to stay awake. I find this film so incredibly boring & dull. I understand why so many people find this film scary. When they tell me why they were scared I don't think "What the hell is the matter with these people?". Yet the formula seems to be scared by does not work on me.

Much like AVP, the films lacks what the title promises. You barely see the Alien. I know most people credit that to the films horror, but for me I find it incredibly annoying and frustrating. When I go to a movie called Alien I want to see an Alien! Overall the title character gets only about 30 seconds of screen time. When the film was done I couldn't even describe what the creature looked like. The least they could have done is give the Alien enough screen time so the audience could actually KNOW what it looked like.

Ridley Scott pretty much invented the formula of hiding the monster and using the characters to sell the fear. The problem is he over used it. He used way too much characters and way too little Alien. There needs to be a perfect balance between the two like James Cameron did with Aliens. He hid the Aliens till half-way through the movie but at least he gave us long enough looks at the Aliens that we had a perfect picture of what it looked like.

Alien is another one of those films that has earned a place in cinema history. But yet I have never been caught up in the terror so many people claim it has.
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How did this film ever become a classic?
13 February 2005
This has got to be one the most boring, lack luster, truly horrible horror movies I have ever seen. This film did not scare me nor did ever thrill me. Maybe I expectations were too high or maybe simply I read to many fan reviews online and they over-hyped it. Whatever the case was this film is simply terrible. How did this film ever become a classic?

The first thing that is wrong with this movie is the slow moving zombies. Zombies that chase after you at .001 miles per hour is hardly scary. It is so easy to escape slow moving zombies that I wonder how on earth you could make 3 movies in a row where the zombies are the antagonist. The zombies are so dull and boring that not even the characters in the film are scared of them.

There are so many scenes in this movie where a character would see a zombie coming at him/her and they would show this look of mild concern. Whenever a zombie would charge someone that person would casually and calmly load their gun, take aim, and shoot. This is a lesson all film makers should learn. If the characters in the movie aren't scared of the villains whoever he, she, it may be, then the audience won't be scared. If the characters are going to casually, and easily, dispose of the zombies then I am not as hell sure going to feel scared whenever I see one.

The make up & gore effects in this film is quite simply a joke. Maybe at the time they were top of the line & state of the art. But now I look at them and I simply laugh at the cheesiness of it. Tom Savini is a great make up artist. I know because I've seen his work elsewhere like in the Firday the 13th movies. I don't know if the lousy effects were a result of low budget or lack of talent at the time. The blood in the movie is orange for god sake. You think the least they would be able to pull off is real looking blood and not blood that looks like concentrated orange juice.

This film is also known for its symbolism & stabs at the American consumer society. How on this earth this film ever got that reputations is beyond me. There is one, count them one, line making a stab at American consumers. It is when the characters first land on the mall roof and they begin to wonder why there are so many zombies there. One character remarks that it is probably because those people spent so much time there that it becomes almost instinct. Thats it. That is where this film get its fame for insulting consumers. Its all because of one quick, non-important, non plot related, line.

I will never understand why this film has managed to stand the test of time. I can possibly see why this film might have been scary when it was first released. But looking at it now I am amazed its not under comedy isle in the video stores.
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It amazes me so much on how the film lacks on what the title promises.
12 February 2005
Many fans want different things from this film. Many fans, including myself, were hoping to see lots and lots of action. One Alien & Predator battle after another. Some fans were hoping for a edge of your seat, truly terrifying horror movie much like the original Alien. No matter what you want, hope, or expect from this film you will be disappointed.

The direction this film takes is a horror route. It tries to be like the original Alien movie in the sense that the horror has to come more from the characters and their fear than from the monsters themselves. Paul Anderson tries to show as little Alien & Predator as possible without being ridiculous and let the actors & characters sell us the fear. Now this sounds like a good approach to a film and normally it would be. Here however it is the reason the films fall flat on its face. The problem being is that the characters aren't interesting and their actually paper thin cut outs. And after a short while the characters become boring and un-interesting and then u begin to long for either an Alien or a Predator to show up and start killing people.

But as I said, Paul Anderson tries to hide the monsters and show as little as possible much like the formula Ridley Scott & James Cameron used for their films. And thats where the film fails. Fans come to see this movie to see Aliens & Predators fighting. They don't come to see Sanna Lathan and the other people run around a dark pyramid. Fans didn't wait 14 years to see paper thin characters run around all over the place. They go to see Aliens & Predators.

The film should have taken the action route and gives us large amounts of AVP battles. However Paul Anderson only gives us ONE, count them One, true fight scene between an ALien & predator. And that fight scene doesn't occur until half-way through the film and it only lasts 2 minutes. 2 minutes. As a fan I did not wait this long to see a AVP movie only to have one battle that lasts 2 minutes.

Above I said "true battle" because there is technically another battle. It is between a Predator, Lex, and an Alien Queen. Much like the first AVP battle it is disappointingly short and 90% of the battle focuses on lex fighting the queen than it does focus on the Predator. After a while you begin to think the title "Alien vs. Predator" is inappropriate and instead should be called "The Adventures of Lex". Paul Andersons direction leaves out the two title characters.

The idea of hiding your monsters appearance till half way through the film and rely more on your characters is a formula that has worked in the past. It even potentially could have worked here but in order for that to happen you need to do one thing. Make the characters more interesting. If your characters are paper thin then the audience aren't going to care about them and then they quickly become bored. The film should have done is focus less on characters and more on the monsters. It amazes me so much on how the film lacks on what the title promises.
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Now this is a film that knows its purpose and acts on it.
12 February 2005
Now this is a film that knows its purpose and acts on it. Ronny Yu is a smart & energetic film maker. He knows what the audience want and expect from this film and he delivers them in a energetic fashion that fans of Freddy & Jason will love & appreciate.

By "knows its purpose" I mean that it knows what fans want & expect from this film and then acts on them. This film doesn't try to take itself too seriously nor does it try to be a truly terrifying movie because if it did it would fall flat on its face much like AVP did. Here Ronny Yu delivers a fast paced, energetic, action packed, blood soaked thriller that doesn't try to be either a Freddy or a Jason film but instead finds a comfortable place in the middle.

Unlike AVP, the film doesn't rely on its paper thin characters to sell the film to the audience. The film relies on its title characters. Both Freddy & Jason are given lots of screen time as well as lots of glorious moments for both characters. Freddy has some great dream sequences while Jason has plenty of bloody & creative kills. Some fans have complained that Freddy steals scenes, as well as the whole film, from Jason. However that cannot be helped. Given the nature of both characters Freddy would steal the moments from Jason because Freddy obviously talks and is very hyper-active characetr while Jason doesn't do anything but kill.

Fans of both characters won't be disappointed in the slightest with this film. The film gives what fans would naturally want. Lots of good Freddy moments, lots of good Jason moments, lots of victims, and of course one kick-ass energetic fight sequence. This film knows its purpose, as well the audiences wishes, and acts on it with absolute perfection.
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