Thirty-one years ago I saw Aliens in the theater.
Wow. I still can feel the visceral sense of excitement and wonder at being thrown into this dark dystopian future. Even now, the special effects have held up remarkably well. As has Vasquez’s masterful burn:
Yes, that’s the late Bill Paxton playing the cocky and endearing Private Hudson.
Aliens is full of memorable moments: the discovery of Newt; Ripley fighting for her life after Burke releases the face hugger; Bishop’s fight to the death with the beast; Ripley’s final victory using the Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader.
When the credits rolled I remained in my seat stunned by the James Cameron-fueled spectacle.
Yesterday I saw Alien: Covenant.
Way better special effects, much more gore, and highbrow attempts at philosophical themes in league with 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Alas, none of that could save a film laden down with forgettable characters and a story line of only middling interest. News flash: huge budgets and brilliant marketing campaigns do not guarantee good movies.
Then again, the other options at the cinema included Baywatch and Pirates of the Caribbean Part 19 (or thereabouts), so all told I suppose Alien: Covenant wasn’t that bad after all.