BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY Aliens★★★★★ 10.50pm-1.50am Film Four
Some believe this to be the best of the Alien franchise, better even than Ridley Scott’s original. I disagree. Technically it’s more dazzling than Scott’s film, with an emphasis on all-out action, but what it gains in shock/horror it loses in character development. Had this been the first in the series, Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley might not have become the iconic figure she is now. Happily, however, Ripley is still there to save the day. Awakened from hibernation 57 years later (yes, they can do that in the future), she returns in a spaceship full of marines to the planet where the original unpleasantness occurred. Earth has lost contact with the planet’s human colony and wants to know why. Well, obviously, the aliens have pretty well wiped them out, as they proceed to wipe out most of the marines. Thank God for Ripley, I say. This is the work of a master craftsman (James Cameron); Alien was the work of an artist.
Humphrey Bogart plays against type as a martinet minesweeper captain who loses the confidence of his crew. The movie was showered with Oscar nominations and was the second-highest grossing film of its year.
Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney make for a pretty pair in this romantic comedy about two working single parents who decide to help each other out. Do you suppose they might get together, too? Hmm? Just maybe?
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