Movie Reviews: Alien: The Director's Cut




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     Fox (1 hr. 57 min.)
     A space salvage crew is stalked by a malevolent alien creature they mistakenly bring aboard their ship.
     Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Yaphet Kotto
Bottom Line:


Director Ridley Scott’s sci-fi "monster in house" classic, "Alien," returns to the theater 24 years later with additional footage and the usual suspects in tow: chest busters, face huggers…you know the drill.

But let’s cut to the chase. Articles, books, music and films are edited for a reason — pace, clarity, time, whatever. And they are usually edited for the better.

However, today it’s chic for directors to go back decades later and re-cut their original work instead of moving on with their careers.

"Alien" marks the second time, Scott has re-cut his work. The first was "Blade Runner." In "Alien" Scott adds 5 minutes of additional footage to explain what happen to Dallas (Tom Skerritt), the captain of the ill-fated mining space ship which is terrorized by a ravenous alien, and Brett (Harry Dean Stanton), the ship’s engineer who disappears with Dallas at the hands of the creature. "Alien" also digitally re-mastered, so it clearer and more detailed than the home video version.

However, "Alien’s" re-release underlines the old adage, "Don’t fix it if ain’t not broke." If you missed "Alien" on the big screen the first time around, never saw it or if you’re a cult follower, then by all means, "Alien: The Director’s Cut" is a must see. The big screen is the only way to experience this film. Sure it’s been on TV for years, but who’s afraid of a 12 inch alien?

Everyone else should see it at their own risk, because it’s hard to justify $8 or more for a ticket to a movie you’ve already seen with a few tweaks added.

That being said, and although its plot was old hat, "Alien" still manages to be a smart and scary pop-culture monster flick with art direction that is the actual star of the show. Except for a few brief glimpses, the audience never really sees the creature. But the film’s timing and cutting MTVish editing scares the living daylights out of its audience. An effect that stills works today, even though most of the film’s surprises are part of pop-culture lore and have been ripped off a million times. But it only goes to prove, you can’t improve upon perfection.



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