The Official Stuff
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The Alien films
I've always thought of the Alien film franchise as a fantastic trilogy with a much weaker fourth entry tagged on the end. I first saw them in a completely messed up order (I actually started with Alien3 when I was far too young to be watching a movie like that, then saw Alien Resurrection a few years later, then finally watched Alien and Aliens together when I was quite a bit older), and since then I've got into the Alien-related video games in a big way too.
- Alien: Just about the only horror film that manages to genuinely scare me, and for that it gets my respect; I remember almost not being able to watch the scene with Dallas in the ventilation ducts the first time I saw it. And of course it introduces one of the greatest, most iconic movie monsters ever, the Alien. I mean, before I'd even seen an Alien film, I knew about the Alien. Such an iconic (and disturbing) piece of design by H. R. Giger.
- Aliens: Not just my favourite film from the Alien series, but my favourite film ever. Everything about it — the characters, the creatures, the story, the sets and the setting — are damn-near perfect in my eyes. I kinda wish they'd make more films about the USCM, even if they had nothing to do with Xenomorphs. Turning the original horror monster movie into an action war film was a stroke of genius on the part of sequel maestro James Cameron, and probably the only way a sequel had any chance of living up to the first film.
- Alien3: This film is probably the most divisive in the entire franchise — many people hate it, many people love it, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground in between. Personally, I love it. It's bleak, dark and nihilistic, and above all it didn't just try to copy Aliens, but mixed things up again. I love the characters (although, being English, I probably have a much easier time telling the inmates apart because most of them are familiar faces from British TV!) and the quadruped Alien kicked off the whole traits-from-the-host concept that is so much a part of the Alien creature today. Even so, it clearly isn't as magnificent as the first two Alien films, and obviously it has glaring faults that just cannot be denied. But given the mess that was its development process, its a miracle that we got something this good. One thing I will say though — I find the extended Assembly Cut to be far superior to the butchered theatrical version.
- Alien Resurrection: This one's not so great, and certainly nowhere near as good as the first three on a critical level, but I admit I still enjoy it for what it is. Some of the characters are good fun (especially Ron Perlman) and it's got one or two genuinely great moments (like the underwater attack and the clone room scene), but overall the film's just a little too silly to measure up to what came before. I like it as a piece of entertainment, but it's not a particularly good Alien film.
The Predator films
As an even bigger fan of Arnie's madcap action movies than I am of either of the extraterrestrial species this wiki is based on, I've loved Predator for as long as I can remember. I didn't see Predator 2 until much later, and obviously Predators only came out recently. At least I watched them in order this time!
- Predator: You're not a true action movie fan unless you've seen this. One of the all-time classic action flicks, this is quite possibly the manliest movie ever made — it will put hair on a two year-old's chest. The script contains endlessly quotable dialogue, and I've always considered the shootout near the beginning to be one of the most awesome ever put on film (by Hollywood, at least). And of course there's Stan Winston's (RIP) wonderful creature effects; it says a lot that his Predators still look so much better than the ones seen in the more recent films. Every time I watch this, I always forget quite how much of this movie is left once it's been whittled down to just Arnie...
- Predator 2: This is one of those sequels — like Die Hard 2, RoboCop 2 and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom — that I feel gets an unfair amount of hate simply because it isn't as good as the first. Obviously it isn't even close to the brilliance of Predator, but taken for what it is it's a damn good action film. And it introduces a whole load of awesome new Predator weaponry, much of which is now indelibly linked with the character. The cast is good, the final battle/chase is pretty epic (it goes on for like twenty minutes) and I really like the urban setting. It's daft and cheesy, but it knows it and doesn't try to be anything more. I just wish they'd release the uncut version one day.
- Predators: I didn't like this so much the first time I saw it, but it's grown on me since. I still think Adrien Brody was completely miscast as the action hero lead, but even so he does a surprisingly good job with a part that, on paper at least, he shouldn't have a hope of playing. Some of the references to the first are too heavy-handed, but on the whole it's a fun film.
The other films
Eugh, those AVP films...
- Alien vs. Predator: I liked the concept of this, but it was ruined by its child-friendly tone, boring characters, terrible dialogue and a silly last act where a woman ties bits of an Alien to herself and fights alongside a Predator, despite having zero combat training. There's also the fact that they set it several hundred years before mankind supposedly first encountered the Alien, thus crating a huge plot contradiction that didn't need to exist. I hated it when it came out, but I'll be honest, now that we're a few years down the line I've mellowed to it a little. It's still crap, but as a bit of forgettable fluff designed to kill an hour and a half, it's passable. It's nothing like the crossover we should have got, though.
- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem: Oh how a once great franchise has fallen. This was REALLY bad. While the previous movie held at least some entertainment value, there is literally nothing to redeem this film (except perhaps the fairly decent design of Wolf). They amped up the violence to stupid (actually, revolting) levels, but it was still a kid's movie in every other way. Absolute trash. I hope I never see it again.
- Prometheus: I had high hopes for this, but sadly I found it to be a massive disappointment. The set up and first act were great, but then it just sort of fell apart. It clearly thought it was a very intelligent and meaningful film, but then you have characters making ludicrously stupid or illogical decisions just to further the plot or facilitate their death, and it completely undermined that sense of grandeur. If the movie had been less pretentious, it might have been OK. Michael Fassbender was magnificent, but the rest was a bit of a mess.
Fortunately, many of the games based on the series are great, better than some of the films even. I'm hoping the rumours of a new AVP video game in the near future turn out to be true.
- Aliens versus Predator: I only got this quite recently, courtesy of it's re-release on Steam. Obviously it's dated as hell, the graphics are borderline-terrible now, and there's practically zero plot, but it's actually really scary in a particularly frantic way. The Xenos just swarm all over you and are tough to hit, and if they get close they'll rip you to pieces in short order. Oh, and the Queen puts other video game versions of the big boss to shame — she will destroy you in seconds if you give her the chance. Good fun.
- Predator: Concrete Jungle: The controls in this game were kind of ass, but other than that it was awesome. It took a little while for the story to get going, but once you really got into it the plot was great, and you get to use all the Predator gear from the films and plenty more besides. Name one other game where you can leave skinned Jamaican gang bangers hanging from billboards all around the city...
- Aliens vs. Predator: This had its flaws, but overall I loved it. The Marine campaign was scary, and the Predator's trophy kills were so horrific they were hilarious. The singleplayer reused the same levels too many times though, it felt kinda cheap. It was also let down by a mediocre Alien campaign and some of the most atrocious multiplayer matchmaking I've ever come across — doubly frustrating because the multiplayer was actually great once you finally got into a match.
- Aliens: Colonial Marines: I sometimes feel this gets more hate than it deserves, because I found quite a bit to like in it, taken for what it is. Still, it doesn't change the fact that it's not at all what we were promised. The graphics are unacceptably bad after what we were shown in advance, the story is appalling and the gameplay really isn't all that great... so yeah, it's a big disappointment. The multiplayer component and the Stasis Interrupted add-on were better, but still nowhere near as great as this game could (and should) have been.
- Alien: Isolation: The Alien game I've been waiting for my whole life. Terrifying, beautiful, engrossing, challenging and thrilling, this game is everything many previous games based on the franchise have tried to be and failed. The fear you sense whenever the Alien is nearby is relentless; it's by far the most intimidating the creature has ever been in a game, because if it sees you, it kills you. The sequence where you first encounter it proper, in the medical centre, is one of the most pulse-pounding moments in recent gaming memory. Absolutely brilliant.
Wiki Stuff (To-Do List)
|Overhaul the Alien3 character pages||DONE!|
|Overhaul the Ellen Ripley article||DONE!|
|Add anything relevant from The Winston Effect||DONE!|
|Move any applicable production info from main film articles to relevant pages||DONE!|
|Add more images to the deleted scenes articles||DONE!|
|Expand Republic of Val Verde article with info from other films||DONE!|
|Improve Xenopedia's basic technical/administrative articles to help new users||DONE!|
|Create proper header nav bar for the help pages||DONE!|
|Add "relatives" section to character infobox||DONE!|
|Add more quotes to Alien Resurrection character pages||DONE!|
|Add a long-overdue "Writing" section the the Alien page||DONE!|
|Add "Origins" section to Aliens vs. Predator comics page|
(Included info in "Overview", wasn't enough info for stand-alone section)
|General clean-up of all comic book pages||DONE!|
|Create articles for the remaining Alien documentaries||DONE!|
|Overhaul the Aliens magazine page, especially Vol. 2 section||DONE!|
|General clean-up of all comic book "staff" pages||DONE!|
|Overhaul the Alien: Out of the Shadows-related pages||IN PROGRESS|
|Add anything else relevant from the Strange Shapes website||IN PROGRESS|
|Add anything relevant from Alien: The Archive||IN PROGRESS|
|Overhaul/create the Alien: Isolation-related pages||IN PROGRESS|
|Polish off the Canon and Spoilers policies||IN PROGRESS|
|Overhaul all actor pages, adding filmography tables noting other actor/director appearances||IN PROGRESS|
|Overhaul the pages pages for the Predators and Alien: Isolation comics||IN PROGRESS|
|Overhaul the Alien vs. Predator character pages||IN PROGRESS|
|Add extra info from Alien vs. Predator novelization to relevant pages||IN PROGRESS|
|Overhaul/create the Alien: Sea of Sorrows-related pages||NOT STARTED|
|Overhaul the Aliens: Colonial Marines-related pages||NOT STARTED|
|Overhaul the Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual-related pages I haven't already done||NOT STARTED|
|Overhaul the Predators character pages||NOT STARTED|
|Overhaul the Prometheus character pages||NOT STARTED|
The Stuff I Own
These are the various bits and pieces of Alien/Predator/Alien vs. Predator media I currently own.
- The novelisations of Alien, Aliens, Alien3, Alien Resurrection, Predator, Predator 2 and Alien vs. Predator
- Aliens: Earth Hive
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
- Aliens: The Female War
- Aliens: Genocide
- Aliens: Alien Harvest
- Aliens: Rogue
- Aliens: Labyrinth
- Alien: Out of the Shadows
- Alien: Sea of Sorrows
- Alien: River of Pain
- Other books/magazines/comics:
- Alien: The Illustrated Story
- Skeleton Crew magazine, Vol. 2 #2 (Aliens issue)
- Aliens magazine, Vol. 2 #1-6
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual
- Aliens vs. Predator Official Strategy Guide
- The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio (not really an AVP book, but it has lots of info on the SFX in Aliens, Predator and Predator 2)
- Predators trade paperback
- Alien: The Archive
User contributions: My contributions, and they are legion.
|The Original Barnstar|
|For large amounts of quality edits. The Cruentus (talk) (Contribs) 19:29, August 2, 2013 (UTC)|
|The Tireless Contributor Barnstar|
|For large amounts of quality edits. The Cruentus (talk) (Contribs) 19:29, August 2, 2013 (UTC)|
|The Dedicated Contributor Barnstar|
|For continuous and excellent contributions to the wiki. The Cruentus (talk) (Contribs) 19:29, December 18, 2014 (UTC)|
|The Categorization Barnstar|
|For tirelessly categorization of the wiki pages. The Cruentus (talk) (Contribs) 19:29, December 18, 2014 (UTC)|
|The Literature Barnstar|
|For your contributions to the "Differences from the Film" sections in film novelization articles.--Toa Quarax(Talk) 21:53, January 5, 2015 (UTC)|