Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ask About The Free Eggs

Ridley Scott Completes Long-Planned Alien Prequel



Ridley Scott has been responsible for creating some of the most haunting and near-archetypal images in modern motion pictures -- and it's two films in particular that we recognize: Most definitely Blade Runner (1982), but also Alien (1979) -- not to mention Thelma and Louise, 'The Duellists', and later Gladiator.

Alien began a three-sequel spinoff, starring Sigourney Weaver -- James Cameron's Aliens; the relentlessly depressing Alien 3; and the Do Not See! Alien Resurrection. And, there have been the Predator-versus-Alien spinoffs as other producers attempted to assert the primacy of their Brand to be considered the ultimate Badass Movie Creature of the universe. My money, aber natürlich, is on the Alien.


How Many Ellen Ripleys Can You Find? It's Easy And Fun!

The concept was developed by a seriously disturbed Swiss artist, H.R. Geiger, and brought to life in Scott's initial film: Awakened from suspended animation-sleep by their onboard AI (nicknamed 'Mother'), the crew of the raw-ore-carrying spaceship, the Nostromo, are dispatched to identify the source of a repeating signal beacon -- apparently, in the far-future of Ridley's film, humans still haven't had First Contact with an intelligent alien species.

The beacon takes them to planet LV-426, where three crewmembers -- the Captain, Dallas (Tom Skerrit), the XO, Kane (John Hurt), and Warrant Officer Ripley (Weaver) -- land to find a crashed alien ship that looks like an unfinished Cyclotron. The ship is amazingly old, and filled with bays of large, leathery black eggs. Inside each one is...


Sold At Auction, 2007, For $126,500 US

Well, if you don't know this story, go find it on Netflicks. Alien is a classic piece of filmaking, in addition to being one of the top 10 science-fiction classics of all time.


Eddie Powell (1929-2000); One Of The Original Creatures,
Relaxing Between Takes In James Cameron's 1987 Aliens

This morning I stumbled across the news that Scott has just completed a new film, Prometheus, which stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron, and gives every appearance of being a prequel to the 1979 Alien.

One meme in the world of film criticism these days is that it's all about sequels -- that most of the films, in a time when it's hard to get people to spend money for a trip to the Monstroplex, that are successful have been based on prior releases.

Prometheus could be another one of these, but I don't think so. Scott has done his share of films with a Doggy odor (White Squall, and "G.I. Jane", just to name two; and yes, I understand the irony of using that phrase), but Alien is one of his signature films and it's hard to imagine any artist willing to risk placing a Dud on the shelf beside it.

Prometheus is scheduled to be released here in the U.S. in June, 2012. And, barring a new war in the Middle East or an unanticipated release of the re-engineered-to-be-massively-fatal H5N1 Birdflu virus, I guess we'll see.