Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)


I Thought I Told You Not to Crash.

The end of my last review left itself wide open for a sequel, but the quality of the movie never really suggested to me that it would be a movie people would demand a sequel to.  But that didn’t stop them from making one and, since I was already reviewing all of the movies in the Alien and Predator series’, it was necessary to review it.  At least it’s the last one I’ll need to do.  And I already owned it on DVD, so there’s really no logical reason I would’ve purchased a movie that was terrible, right?  …Unless I purchased it for 3 dollars from Blockbuster.  But the chances of that are pretty remote, while also being exactly what happened.  But let’s check it out in my review of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, written by Shane Salerno, directed by the Strause Brothers (Colin and Greg), and starring Tom Woodruff Jr., Ian Whyte, Steven Pasquale, Johnny Lewis, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Kristen Hager, Ariel Gade, Sam Trammell, Gina Holden, Chelah Horsdal, David Paetkau, and Robert Joy.

At the very end of Alien vs. Predator, we found out that the scene where the Predator seemed to be pretty obviously infected by the Xenomorphs, even though they tried to act like maybe it didn’t, totally actually did happen.  The Predator gives chest-birth to a hybrid Predator and Xenomorph that we’ll just call the Alienator (Tom Woodruff Jr.).  The Alienator matures on the Predator spacecraft and wreaks havoc to the Predators, causing the ship to crash in Colorado.  The facehuggers aboard the ship escape and infect a hunter and his son, getting the Xenomorph infestation started in town.  The Predator ship also starts broadcasting a distress signal that brings a Predator (Ian Whyte) to Earth to clean up the mess and the evidence.  In town, an ex-convict named Dallas Howard (Steven Pasquale), who is also not Ron Howard’s daughter, returns to town.  His brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis) delivers pizzas to a classmate he fancies named Jesse (Kristen Hager) and simultaneously gets bulled by her boyfriend Dale (David Paetkau), and Kelly O’Brien (Reiko Aylesworth) returns home from the military to her husband Tim (Sam Trammell) and daughter Molly (Ariel Gade).  These people and more get to deal with their new combination of problems.

I never would have thought it was possible to make a more disappointing movie out of two awesome franchises than the first one, but they pulled it off.  It’s just a dark, boring, poorly-written movie that completely loses focus of why people would watch this movie.  Does the audience for an Alien vs. Predator movie care what happens to the people in it?  No!  We want to see Aliens fight Predators.  Humans should really only be in the movie as things for the Xenomorphs to burst out of.  I don’t go to an Alien vs. Predator movie to see some kids fighting in a pool.  When the Predator was fighting the Xenomorphs, it was usually pretty satisfying, though it was also occasionally so dark that you had to kind of squint and turn your head to see what was happening.  Is that a good thing for your movie to be difficult to watch?  Probably not.  But the Predator is pretty badass when they let you see what he was doing.  I found myself always rooting for the Predators in this particular series, which I’ve also found odd because I would say that I like the Alien movies better altogether, but they’re also just a lot cooler as creatures.  Back to the story of the movie, it was not good.  If they made the movie strictly out of the Alien and Predator stuff, I might actually recommend this movie for a watch.  But they waste a lot of time with human characters that I never give a shit about.  Just when you start giving a shit about a few of them, they kill them.  That was another big problem I had: they killed a bunch of people that you just shouldn’t kill.  You COULD applaud them for being untraditional, but I think it’s just a bummer.  They kill a little kid in the early stages, which is always a bit of a bummer, and later in the movie they kill a character that was just developing a relationship with another character, in a way you would normally expect them to live happily ever after through, but then the character gets killed, seemingly just on a lark because they hadn’t killed anyone in a few seconds.  And if that doesn’t sell it, how about when a whole maternity ward gets infected with Xenomorphs and they rip out through the stomachs that the babies were once in?  Hell, I could’ve done without almost all scenes involving people.  I could’ve done without the Alienator as well, but just because it didn’t look that interesting.  It wasn’t a very imaginative design, at least from what I could tell, as almost every scene it was in was too dark to make out any features on it.  Also, the ending of this movie is complete ass.  Not really the actual part where they should’ve ended the movie, with the few survivors of the movie, but the part right after that.  I won’t even throw up spoilers because it wasn’t a scene that had any point to it.  They take the Predator’s gun to a lady that turns out to be Miss Yutani.  They also have this big pause after they say her name like I didn’t know who it was when I saw her.  The guy from the first one was Weyland, the company from Alien was called Weyland-Yutani, this lady’s Asian, she’s probably Yutani.  Duh!

The performances from the movie didn’t impress, but there’s also a chance that I just wasn’t paying attention because I didn’t give a shit about any of the characters.  I barely paid attention to Steven Pasquale or Jonny Lewis at all, and they were two of the main characters.  Reiko Aylesworth was another one of them, and the only thing that made me pay attention to her was the fact that she was a wussy.  I don’t know how this lady never whipped out her Army balls on people in this movie.  When they were in the camping supplies store, she let the ex-convict carry around the gun even though she was the one with training on how to use one.  And later, when she was arguing with the Sheriff of Podunk, Colorado (or where the fuck it was) about Army policies when it comes to quarantine, why did she not drop her Army nuts right on his forehead and tell him to shut the fuck up?

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem probably didn’t surprise anyone by not being that good.  The story was boring, mainly because it forgot that the reason people would go to this movie was to see Aliens fight Predators and decided to try to make us care about characters that weren’t that interesting that they would also kill at random.  When the Predator did fight the aliens, it was usually pretty satisfying, but only when it wasn’t so darkly filmed that you could actually tell what was going on.  In the end, there’s just not very much reason to see this movie.  If you want to see Aliens, watch Aliens.  If you want to see Predators, watch Predator.  If you want to see them fight … well … I guess you should watch Alien vs. Predator.  It’s better than this, at least.  Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem gets “This plan is stupid.  Let’s just leave town now” out of “Wait a second, we’re gonna be covered in shit?”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Alien vs. Predator (2004)


We Have to Consider the Possibility That We Might Not Make it Out of Here.

After having watched far too many Alien and Predator related movies back to back, I think I figured out what probably got today’s movie started.  I wouldn’t personally have drawn any comparisons between those two movies myself were it not for today’s film until I rewatched Predator 2.  In that movie, you can see what is clearly a Xenomorph skull inside the Predator’s ship, implying that the Predator could defeat the Xenomorph.  Fanboys being what they are, the Predator fans probably started to rub that in the face of Alien fans, causing Alien fans to defend their preferred series.  Over time, it became very similar to the Star Wars/Star Trek debates, and studios decided that they needed to make two movies that answered the questions of the fans.  Either that or the studios wanted to make more money.  Either way, the movie came out, and later became the subject for my review of Alien vs. Predator, written by Shane Salerno, written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, and starring Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Ian Whyte, Tom Woodruff Jr., Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner, Colin Salmon, Tommy Flanagan, Joseph Rye, Agathe de La Boulaye, Carsten Norgaard, Liz May Brice, and Sam Troughton.

A mysterious heat signature shows up underneath the island of Bouvetøya, 1,000 miles north of Antarctica, attracting a lot of attention, most notably from Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), head of Weyland Industries.  He hastily assembles a team of experts to go and investigate what appears to be a temple buried beneath the ice, and contracts Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) to lead the expedition, against her better judgment.  When they arrive, they find that some airborne anomaly has burrowed a hole from the surface to the temple in less than a day, even though the technology to do that doesn’t exist as far as humans know.  They get down to the temple and quickly find that this temple is a training ground for the Predators, who have kept a Xenomorph queen on ice in the temple until she’s needed to produce eggs, which then produce facehuggers, which then produce Xenomorphs, which then battle the Predators.  And the humans are now caught in the middle of the fight.

I can’t remember it that well, but I feel like my biggest problem with this movie was the same that I had with the movie Freddie vs. Jason: the studio/writer is too afraid of fan feedback to make a decision about who would win the fight that is the entire basis of their movie.  Freddie vs. Jason refused to make the decision and Alien vs. Predator made the wrong one.  And by that I don’t mean that I had picked who I wanted to win and they didn’t.  I mean that they made the humans win, or at least the one human win.  That’s not how the word “versus” works!  I’m not a huge boxing fan, but I’m pretty sure the winner of the famous Ali vs. Foreman fight was not Steve from row three.  Make either the Alien or the Predator definitively win, or don’t bother making the movie.  The world wouldn’t have missed the movie that much either since it really wasn’t that good.  Not horrible, but not great either.  I’m sure most of us know – because of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – that two great things can work great together, like chocolate and peanut butter.  But some of us (namely me) know that two great things can be horrible together, like chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter.  And yes, I know that from experience.  The story was weak and barely worth paying attention to.  It was mainly just there for the purposes of the setup and then completely forgotten about, just like Alexa’s rules.  I distinctly remember her first rule being that everyone stays together, but the whole problem stars because the group splits into two.  Later on, she even brings it up again.  I guess getting six people killed by forgetting your rule will make you remember it a little better.  They also take to something I’ve hated about movies like this for a long time: why the hell would you even bother bringing an expert when you have no intention of listening to them?  When the expert on ancient cultures tells you not to take the Predator’s guns out of the coffin, why are you going to not just ignore him, but look him right in the eyes as you disobey him and single-handedly get everyone killed?  I also don’t like the Predator working with the humans.  That’s entirely out of character.  The closest thing Predator’s do to work with humans is occasionally to not kill them.  I didn’t even like the entire premise of the movie.  I don’t think the Predators and the Xenomorphs are a good match for each other.  The Predators are skilled hunters and the Xenomorphs are just semi-dumb creatures (at least as they’re portrayed in this movie) that don’t win with cunning or power, just sheer numbers.  This movie is supposed to be a battle between two powerful creatures and it turns into more like the battle I had with the ant hill the other day.  Granted, the Xenomorphs did their damage, but it was more to the humans and only against the Predators with either surprise or numbers, which kind of takes away from the power of the Xenomorphs.  The only occasion where they seemed to show any intelligence was when they raptor-ed the guy in the hallway at one point, having one appear in front to distract him but then hitting him with two from either side.  I was surprised that he didn’t applaud the girl’s cleverness.

I didn’t find any of the performances to be anything special.  Sanaa Lathan was the de facto lead of the movie.  She performed alright, but I get the feeling like they were trying to mooch some of Ripley’s badass chick character, but never really managed to do it, even though this chick did do ridiculous things that should never have happened, like at the end of the movie when she saved the Predator from something really big that it was fighting.  Lance Henriksen was also in the movie, and he was solid in his performance, but it didn’t usually require much more out of him than coughing in the background of a scene.  I was also shocked to see that I had actually seen more than one movie with Ewen Bremner in the cast, the other being the Rundown.  I’ve probably seen more, but I hadn’t yet paid attention to him until I saw him in a role I liked, as with his character in the Rundown.

Alien vs. Predator is two great things that probably should have never been put together.  They didn’t make it a decent fight, they made a silly decision on the outcome to the battle, and they didn’t put very much of interest in the movie to make up for that.  They did much more to damage the two things they brought together than they did to help it along, and for that I say you should skip this movie.  It’s okay, but there’s so many things that would probably bother fans of either of those two creatures, and people that weren’t fans of either probably wouldn’t consider watching the movie anyway.  Alien vs. Predator gets “It’s a bomb.  Well, I hope it kills every fucking one of ’em!” out of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Alien3 (1992)


This is Rumor Control.  Here Are the Facts.

As I come towards the end of my reviews of the Alien series proper, I’ve been trying to remember if my dim recollection of the Alien series matches what I’ve been seeing in the scores on Rotten Tomatoes.  So far they’ve been spot on as they’ve rated Alien as awesome and Aliens as even better.  But when they come into Alien3 and Alien Resurrection, the scores drop below the 50% margin.  I don’t really remember hating the last two movies, though they do pale in comparison to the first two.  So let’s see how my recollection matches up to reality in my review of Alien3, written by David Glier, Walter Hill, and Larry Ferguson, directed by David Fincher, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance, Charles S. Dutton, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Paul McGann, Danny Webb, Lance Henriksen, Pete Postlethwaite, Niall Buggy, Tom Woodruff Jr., Peter Guinness, and Holt McCallany.

On the Colonial Marine spaceship called the Sulaco, a movie writer unzips his fly and pisses right on everything we loved about Aliens, simultaneously killing Newt, Bishop, and Hicks before the opening credits have even stopped rolling.  The remaining survivor, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), crash lands on the prison planet of Fiorina ‘ Fury’ 161, where she’s rescued by the prison’s doctor, Clemens (Charles Dance).  The prisoners – particularly their religious leader Dillon (Charles S. Dutton) and the warden Harold Andrews (Brian Glover) – don’t like Ripley’s presence because it disrupts the calm of the all-male prison community, so the warden contacts the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, that quickly sends a vessel out to retrieve her.  Their calm is further disrupted when the Xenomorph eggs that were hidden aboard the Sulaco hatch, laying it’s egg in an ox and breeding a bull alien that starts wreaking havoc on the prisoners.

The way the title is usually written for this movie, they seem to be implying that this movie is Alien to the power of three, but is it?  Nope!  But is it that bad?  No, not really.  It has its problems, but it’s good enough for what it is.  It’s really got two main things working against it.  First, Alien and Aliens were amazing, making this one that much worse by comparison.  Second, not only was it worse than Aliens, but it destroyed some of what we liked about Aliens in the opening credits.  I’m pretty sure we all got to like Newt, Hicks, and Bishop, but then you killed them all off right away because you wanted to make a new movie and not pay them.  Or they didn’t want to come back.  Or whatever.  Maybe it was just as simple as their whole idea being the all-male prison colony and it not really being super appropriate to have a 10-year-old girl running around.  Whatever it was, it wasn’t really appreciated.  The only thing that could make it worse is if they killed Ripley … oh …  Another thing that could be considered a problem with this movie is the fact that the final third of the movie is just a bunch of people running around corridors, filmed in nauseating handheld cameras.  Other than that, it’s an okay movie.  I did like that the Xenomorph finally started living up to its name by taking on a different form because it had a different host, and the Bull Alien mostly looked pretty cool, but the CG available to them was pretty consistently awful.  The lighting never matched up and the creature stuck out like a sore thumb.  One thing I’ll give the movie credit for is that it has one of the most iconic scenes of the Alien series in it.  I think one of the first images that comes to mind when I think about the Alien series is the image of a bald-headed Ripley with the Xenomorph right next to her head, extending his second mouth, and that happens in this movie.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about the performances in this movie.  In some parts, Sigourney Weaver took Ripley to further levels of badassness in this movie, but I thought a couple of moments were just bitchy.  Take, for instance, when she decides she’s just going to walk around with the prisoners.  Sure, that shows that she’s badass because she’s not afraid of them, but the other half of that is her being a bitch.  The prisoners didn’t want her around because of the temptation.  They knew they were bad men and didn’t want to disrupt their harmony, but she’s going around flaunting herself to fuck with them.  Everyone else did their parts very well and are not to blame for the failings of this movie.

Alien 3 might have been a good movie if they just hadn’t named it “Alien”.  It brings down the quality ratio of the series pretty harshly because it just can’t live up to its predecessors.  The story would be more enjoyable if they didn’t choose to kill off pretty much all of our favorite characters, the design of the new Xenomorph was pretty great but lacked the CGI to display it, and the performances were good, but couldn’t really redeem it.  I still would say it’s worth a watch just because it’s a continuation of Ripley’s story, but I doubt it will find too much favor with Alien fans.  Alien3 gets “Don’t be afraid.  I’m part of the family” out of “But we tolerate anybody.  Even the intolerable.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.