Tag Archives: Alien

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

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Time: 113 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and offensive language
Cast:
Tom Cruise as William Cage
Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski
Bill Paxton as Master Sergeant Farrell
Brendan Gleeson as General Brigham
Director: Doug Liman

An alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). As Cage and Vrataski take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.

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Edge of Tomorrow is one of the most pleasantly surprising Hollywood blockbuster action movies to come out in recent years. Under the direction of Doug Liman and acting talent of actors like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, Edge of Tomorrow is a fantastic action movie that is very entertaining and enthralling.

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I really liked the reliving the same day aspect, initially it may seem like it would make the movie feel repetitive, but that is never the case, these scenes never feel repetitive. Another great thing is that you really feel like Tom Cruise went back in time; the way that Tom Cruise acts, the way that other people act all makes the looping day aspect so great. This film also surprisingly has great comedy, and is often used with the looping day. Some people do have a problem with the ending, calling it a ‘Hollywood ending’; although I could see where they were coming from, I didn’t really have that much of a problem with it overall, even if it’s a little confusing and doesn’t make much sense. This movie is based on a manga and from what I’ve seen (on Wikipedia) the ending is much different.

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Tom Cruise was really good in this movie and in my opinion this is one of his best performances in a while; for me it’s mainly because at the beginning, his character doesn’t start out as a big action hero, he is in fact quite inexperienced. Over time however, he gradually becomes a badass as he becomes more skilful. Emily Blunt was just as good and added a whole lot more badassery to the movie, she had lots of great moments. The two of them have great chemistry together and both of them are great in the action scenes. The supporting cast was great too, which consists of Bill Paxton, who had some great lines and Brendan Gleeson, despite not having much screen time, does quite well also. They aren’t really as developed as Cruise and Blunt but they are still great when on screen.

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The action scenes are filmed to perfection, a great example of this is the scene that Tom Cruise’s character often relives which is the invasion scene; it is quite similar to the Normandy invasion scene from Saving Private Ryan. I also really liked the design of the aliens, they were really made threatening. The soundtrack by Christophe Beck is great and really ramps up the intensity in the action scenes.

Film Review Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow is a great action movie and is overall a very entertaining ride. There aren’t many flaws I can think that could’ve detracted from the overall experience. I recommend for you to check this movie out, no matter what type of movie fan you are; even for whatever reason you don’t like Tom Cruise, see this movie; when it comes to Edge of Tomorrow, there is something for everyone. If you haven’t already seen it you should as soon as possible, you won’t regret it.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

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E.T

Time: 115 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Coarse language
Cast:
Henry Thomas as Elliot
Robert MacNaughton as Michael
Drew Barrymore as Gertie
Dee Wallace as Mary
Peter Coyote as Keys
Director: Steven Spielberg

A group of aliens visit earth and one of them is lost and left behind stranded on this planet. The alien soon finds a friend and in 10-year-old Elliot (Henry Thomas). While E.T. slowly gets acquainted with Elliot’s brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton), his sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore) as well as with Earth customs, members of the task force work day and night to track down the whereabouts of him. After being able to communicate with Elliot and the others, E.T. starts building an improvised device to send a message home for his folks to come and pick him up.

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E.T. is often called one of the greatest movies of all time. Maybe for its time it was, but looking at it now, it doesn’t seem to have held up, at least for me. The film isn’t bad, it’s decently made; but its aging has created some flaws as well as revealing some flaws in the movie that were there to begin with. In my opinion, this isn’t among Spielberg’s best or the best movies that ever made.

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The movie most of the time seems to focus on the relationship between E.T. and Elliot and while it wasn’t done badly; I didn’t really feel the connection between the two. As for how much emotion I felt, I didn’t really feel much when I watched it, even when I was 13 when I watched it for the first time I didn’t feel anything. Also I never really felt for any of the characters, none of them are unlikeable, they seem likable enough for a pass but I didn’t feel like we got to know them. Along with me not being attached to the characters, a lot of the scenes that had an impact on others didn’t make any impact on me for whatever reason; the bike scene is an example. Speaking of which (without spoiling anything), I am still wondering how E.T. managed to get those bikes to fly. This is also a problem, there are moments that just seem convenient that weren’t mentioned or explained previously. Another example is when (again I’m doing my best not to spoil anything) there is some deep connection between E.T. and Elliot but there is a point when something takes a toll on both of their conditions, which isn’t explained in the movie ever.

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The acting was okay by everyone. A lot of children are the main characters and they are well acted enough, they weren’t great performances but in comparison to some child actors of today, they are much better. However none of the performances made an impression or me and none of them stood out.

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This may just be a nitpick for me but I personally think that the filmmakers could have gone with a better design for E.T. I’m glad that it wasn’t of a small green alien (which a lot of representations of aliens are done like) but the look of E.T. really took me out of the movie; it looks like it came from the garbage compactor from Star Wars: A New Hope. The effects were good with the bike scene but there actually aren’t that many other moments with effects. The score for this by John Williams is pretty good but I wouldn’t say it is one of his best.

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E.T. isn’t a movie that I particularly love. I just wasn’t that attached to the characters and I had no emotional connection with anything in the movie. Despite this, countless people have been impacted by this movie; maybe they saw it in a critical part of their childhood; I will say that younger audiences will probably like it more than older people. If you haven’t watched it already, I recommend checking it out; even to just have an opinion on it. But keep in mind there is a chance that you may not like it as much as other people.

Aliens (1986)

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Aliens

Time: 137 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and Offensive Language
Cast:
Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley
Carrie Hann as Rebecca ‘Newt’ Jordan
Michael Biehn as Corporal Dwayne Hicks
Lance Henriksen as Bishop
Jenette Goldstein as Private Vasquez
Paul Reiser as Carter Burke
Bill Paxton as Private Hudson
Director: James Cameron

The only survivor of the Nostromo, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) awakens half a century later (after the events of Alien) after her escape vessel is recovered and taken back to Earth she soon learns that the human colony of LV-426 which is on the planet the alien she found, lost contact with Earth. Ripley is called back to the planet as an adviser with space marines to investigate.

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The idea of having a sequel to a film which was a horror movie, which is now an action movie, seemed like a recipe for disaster. However, this movie is greatly directed by James Cameron and even manages to still contain some of the fear elements from Alien. It is always hugely entertaining and has led to many other sci-fi movies. Aliens is a thrill ride that never lets up at gaining your attention, scaring you or entertaining you.

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One thing noticeable is the pacing which isn’t as slow as its predecessor; it is slightly faster which is good for the type of movie it was going for. The ways the Xenomorphs (the aliens) work are shown so we get an idea about how powerful they are. However, Cameron doesn’t show all of it or explain it; he gives enough information necessary for the audience to understand. The film also manages to balance the action scenes with the suspense scenes. The film’s action scenes build up over time and are always satisfying. The final act is particularly enjoyable and entertaining and is Ellen Ripley being a pure badass.

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Ellen Ripley is more developed here than in Alien and therefore Sigourney Weaver’s performance here makes her character so great; her performance even being rewarded with an Oscar nomination, despite this mostly being a sci-fi movie. She is stronger in this movie and you can clearly see her develop as the plot goes on – like Sarah Conner in Terminator 2. The side characters have more personality than in the characters in Alien; however as there are more of them, this means that a lot of them die, which results in some being more developed than others. There are some stand out characters that are focussed on more such as Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henrikson, Jeanette Goldstein, Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton – and all of these actors were really good in their roles and carry the movie along with Sigourney Weaver.

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Aliens takes advantage of its higher budget and makes use of really good effects, especially for the aliens, though they aren’t CGI, which is great. As with Alien, this movie has really good cinematography and lighting, which were some of the things that made Alien so effective as a horror movie. As this now takes place on a colony, where as Alien took place on a ship, Aliens has a larger place to work with and therefore have a lot of impressive sets that were used. The sound design and editing are also good, like in Alien. The soundtrack composed by James Horner is also good, adding to the atmosphere the tension and the feeling of the unknown.

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Aliens proves that there are times where a horror movie can become an action movie – you just need the right people who can make it so. This is one of the rarest cases where a horror movie to action movie translation actually works, and in this case brilliant. You won’t get as many scares as you may have from the previous movie but this is still a great experience. This is my favourite movie in the Alien franchise. Aliens is a great action sci-fi movie that gives the audience exactly what they want, when they want it.
10/10

Alien (1979)

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Alien

Time: 117 mins
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and offensive language
Cast:
Sigourney Weaver as Ripley
Tom Skerritt as Dallas
Veronica Cartwright as Lambert
Harry Dean Stanton as Brett
John Hurt as Kane
Ian Holm as Ash
Director: Ridley Scott

A commercial crew aboard the deep space towing vessel, Nostromo is on its way home when they pick an SOS warning from a distant planet. What they don’t know is that the SOS warning is not like any other ordinary warning call. After picking up the signal, the crew realize that they are not alone on the spaceship when an alien stowaways on the cargo ship.

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The pacing of this movie is slow at first. The first half an hour or so is build up for the rest of the movie, which is absolutely perfect because it manages to create a very tense atmosphere. Alien is one of the best examples of how to create atmosphere in a movie, you take the pacing slower and let it build the atmosphere build up over time. This film also manages to give a feeling of claustrophobia and vulnerability that is present throughout the entire film.

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One reason that the alien is scary is because unless you’ve seen the other movies, you don’t know how this alien works and what it can do. The alien looks different every time we see it, and leaves us wondering what it would look like every time it’s on screen. If there is one thing that the alien represents, it’s the unknown. Like other well-made horror movies it doesn’t give all the answers to the creature that stalks the characters, all the viewer can do is watch. It’s quite a while before the alien gets seen or even mentioned. When it does, it only appears on screen every so often but that’s what made it scarier than if it was frequently popping up. The film’s scares don’t come from jump scares alone, it takes advantage of its atmosphere and uses it to help its scares. This led to one of the biggest scares I’ve ever seen in a movie. I won’t tell which scene it is or any of the other scares; in case you haven’t seen it. Like Psycho, many of the scenes are so easy to spoil it’s best to watch those moments yourself without prior knowledge. Another thing great about this movie is the fact that it doesn’t have action that could’ve ruined the amount of tension. Granted, James Cameron’s sequel manages to balance it out nicely but Alien succeeds in the type of movie it’s aiming to be: a haunted house in space.

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The actors still do a good job reacting to everything that happens despite the fact that they aren’t anything special. When you go to a horror movie you aren’t looking for great acting but fortunately the actors here to a much better job than most actors in most horror movies. While you don’t get to learn much about the characters, again, most horror movies aren’t about the people. We are with these characters for the whole movies so they needed to feel real enough, which they do.

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The alien is always a presence in this movie, even when it’s not on screen. This is due to many things, the camera work, the lighting, the sound design and the score. The score by Jerry Goldsmith in particular gives the movie an eerie vibe. The sound design should also be commended for managing to convey a feeling of emptiness. The camera’s tone is quite bleak and dark. The lighting in this movie in some parts is quite dark, leading viewers to wonder if the alien is on screen or not. All of those film techniques results in the film have a very creepy vibe.

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Although I still personally prefer Aliens over this movie, I will say is that Alien is scarier than its great sequel. Even though Aliens has a lot of action, don’t go into this movie expecting that same thing. It’s a slow, horror movie that builds atmosphere, and actually is a great example of how to create suspense, scares, atmosphere and an overall good horror film.