Directed by stylemaster David Fincher, who went on to greater things with Seven and Fight Club, Alien 3 was the least successful of the Alien series at the box-office. Ripley, the only survivor of her past mission, awakens on a prison planet in the far corners of the solar system. As she tries to recover, she realises that not only has an alien got loose on the planet, the alien has implanted one of its own within her. As she battles the prison authorities (and is aided by the prisoners) in trying to kill the alien, she must also cope with a distinctly shortened life span that awaits her. But the striking imagery makes for muddled action and the script confuses it further. The ending looks startling but it takes a long time--and a not particularly satisfying journey--to get there. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com On the DVD: The clarity of the digital picture throws light into some of Fincher's darker recesses, but is unkind to the primitive computer animation (the CGI alien is never convincing). Compared to the Alien DVD there are few extras, although a "making of" featurette that covers all three movies is included.
Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the lone survivor when her crippled spaceship crash lands on Fiorina 161 a bleak wasteland inhabited by former inmates of the planet's maximum security prison. Ripley's fears that an Alien was aboard her craft are confirmed when the mutilated bodies of ex-cons begin to mount. Without weapons or modern technology of any kind Ripley must lead the men into battle against the terrifying creature. And soon she discovers a horrifying fact about her link with the Alien a realisation that may compel Ripley to try destroying not only the horrific creature but herself as well.
When Whitley Strieber's bestselling book Communion--quickly followed by this film adaptation--posited the notion of alien abduction, it did so to an eager audience who had yet to be bombarded with similar scenarios by The X-Files. Although somewhat eccentric in his general behaviour already, "Whit" (Christopher Walken) becomes ever stranger as he is gripped by increasing paranoia. One night at his family's country cabin he was unaccountably "visited". It's hard not to be as confused and frightened as he is when viewing the apparent corroborating evidence: recurring dreams, fleeting images, shadowy masked faces, vague comments from his young son and the occasional splitting headache. One of the strong points of Strieber's tale has always been the trepidation with which he approached it. The doctor's appointments and plucking up the courage to be hypnotised all offer a genuine reaction to inexplicable circumstance, and this is aided enormously by one of Walken's most mesmerising performances. He's well supported by Lindsay Crouse as his wife, Joel Carson as a thankfully believable yet cute son and an ambiguous musical theme from Eric Clapton. On the DVD: Given that a Region 1 Special Edition exists, this is a disappointing bare-bones DVD transfer. The picture is in full-screen 4:3 and the sound in Dolby 2.0 Stereo. The only extras are a few pages of filmography for director Philippe Mora, Christopher Walken, Lindsay Crouse and Frances Sternhagen. --Paul Tonks
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The bitch is back. Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the lone survivor when her crippled spaceship crash lands on Fiorina 161 a bleak wasteland inhabited by former inmates of the planet's maximum security prison. Ripley's fears that an Alien was aboard her craft are confirmed when the mutilated bodies of ex-cons begin to mount. Without weapons or modern technology of any kind Ripley must lead the men into battle against the terrifying creature. And soon she discovers a horrifying fact about her link with the Alien a realisation that may compel Ripley to try destroying not only the horrific creature but herself as well.
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