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On Second Thought: Alien³ (The Assembly Cut)

To celebrate the release of Prometheus this week, we’ll be taking a look at the other movies in the Alien franchise.

Alien and Aliens are, quite rightly, considered classics of the science-fiction horror subgenre, superbly constructed examinations of the monsters lurking in the darkness. Unfortunately, the two sequels, Alien³ and Alien Resurrection are not so highly regarded. One would imagine that producing a film about a monster in the future really wouldn’t be that difficult, but the films were both dogged by their own pre-production turmoil. In particular, this third film went through several painful iterations before reaching the big screen – and, even then, there was a sense that nobody was especially happy with the result.

However, this series of films has also benefited from a great deal of affection, attention and examination from both creators and fans. As such, it isn’t really a surprise that even the creators have returned to help patch them up from time to time, lovingly repairing and restoring and updating the installments in this landmark franchise. While Alien³: The Assembly Cut is not a literal Director’s Cut, it does afford the viewer a rare insight into what David Fincher’s version of the film might have looked like.

Back against the wall…

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Non-Review Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

I will confess that I’m not a huge fan of the original Swedish adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It was just too bleak, with every male character existing as some form of sexual predator, shot against a drab grey backdrop and with nothing but unrelenting cynicism to propel it. I don’t want to describe David Fincher’s version as “softer” – there are still any number of scenes that will have viewers squirming in their seats – so perhaps “smoother” or “rounded” represents a better choice of adjective. While there are still some pacing issues in the last third, Fincher succeeds in adapting the best-selling book in a fashion that makes it just as fascinating as it is grim.

Opening a cold case...

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