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Sci-Fi Movies

Ridley Scott Abandons Alien Prequel 170

An anonymous reader writes "With Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox announcing that the much-vaunted 3D Alien prequel has now mutated into an original SF film project called Prometheus, starring Noomi Rapace, the author of this article recalls his 2007 interview with the late Dan O'Bannon, who presumably is happy about the news, wherever he is. Asked what he'd like to see happen to the xenomorph franchise, the Alien co-creator said: 'I'd like to see it stop. A horror movie's a fragile thing, and once you've gotten past the original, it isn't scary anymore. So you do a bunch of sequels to a horror movie, all they do is drain any remaining impact out of the original...it's not as effective as it would have been if you had just left it alone.'"
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Ridley Scott Abandons Alien Prequel

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  • by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @11:03AM (#34889228)

    As this graph [datapointed.net] shows, regardless of the genre, sequels are usually worse than the original.

  • What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 15, 2011 @11:16AM (#34889306)

    District 9 had nothing to do with Halo. Peter Jackson was going to do a Halo movie at the time, but it fell through, so he instead created District 9, based on the short film Alive in Joburg [wikipedia.org].
    Even if D9 were inspired by Halo, how does that have anything to do with TFA?

  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @11:58AM (#34889550)

    There's no compelling story to tell.

    We can't use Lord of the Rings as an example because it' really one big film in three parts. But we can use Empire as an example. The first film told a proper story and Empire continued it. It was good drama. Same goes for Terminator 2. There was room in the universe to tell another story. But after two time travel stories, the only possible room left in that universe was to tell the story of the future war. No time travel. Just Judgement Day, John Connor putting his military together, the fight against the machines. Some people might say this is essentially a prequel since these events were already established as having happened beforehand but I think there's still room to tell an interesting story. There was certainly no need for another fucking time travel story like T3. T4 was almost the story they should have told but executed in the most ham-fisted, talentless fashion imaginable.

    The Matrix, on the other hand, was a movie where a sequel was completely impossible. Neo had already won. The war was over but for the fussy details. There is simply no possible way that anyone could do a sequel of any good with that movie. You have one movie, it told the whole story. There's no room for any sort of sequel, period.

    Something like Pirates, that could do with sequels. The original movie shouldn't have been any good in the first place, being based on an amusement park ride and a completely transparent excuse to make money. But it happened to be light, enjoyable fun, really fun. Kudos for them. So then they went at the sequels with a vengeance and hate-fucked every last bit of fun out of the whole thing. You could have had three nice, all ages adventure movies like Indiana Jones. Instead it was just limp, lifeless shit.

    Could someone tell another good story within the aliens universe? Of course they can. The question is will they? Not likely. Every movie is put out there to make money but there's a difference between something greenlit in the hopes of making some money versus something that's now seen as a cash cow and, more importantly, something that is now a formula. They'll let you play around with first movies but once they think you have lightning in a bottle, they won't let you change a thing. Mass produce it and see if we can suck all the milk out of this teat. There will never be another good aliens movie or another good predator movie because the suits will never release enough control for it to be any good.

  • by GrumblyStuff ( 870046 ) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:10PM (#34889646)

    That dull drivel has some entertainment value though not at all due to the efforts of Lucas and Co. Might I direct your attention to reviews (with a meta-story among these and other reviews) of The Phantom Menace [redlettermedia.com], The Attack of the Clones [redlettermedia.com], and The Revenge of the Sith [redlettermedia.com]? These are video reviews and very much NSFW (but still very analytical and all the movies are thoughtfully picked apart). They are also rather long, each over an hour.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:36PM (#34889854) Journal

    I don't think it's better. Alien still is an incredibly effective horror film, a sort of space-based locked room mystery. Aliens was more of a military SF-style movie, so in a way they are considerably different films. I enjoy them both, but they are almost in two different genres.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:36PM (#34890238)

    I think that Aliens was a far better movie than Alien.

    I agree- or rather, I'd say that personally I much preferred Aliens to Alien.

    This. If you're going to have an objective view on the merits of something, personal opinion shouldn't enter into it. Aliens is the more entertaining film, watching the original remains an extremely unpleasant experience. The chest-burst scene is one of those rare defining moments in cinematic history, the entire film a nightmarish artistic triumph. Aliens is just a dumb popcorn flick with quotable, cliched B-movie dialogue.

    You can't make statements about something being "better" based on subjective criteria like entertainment value. The production design on Alien and Blade Runner is enough to secure their places as important and influential artifacts of late 20th Century popular culture. They (along with Kubriks 2001) will outlive many films that viewers found more entertaining.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.