Ask Steve Perry

Started by Corporal Hicks, May 06, 2007, 09:22:14 PM

Author
Ask Steve Perry (Read 186,965 times)

SiL

SiL

#45
That's kind'a silly, discounting Alien3 and Alien Resurrection cos you don't like them. AR showed that they knew how to set traps and learn simple cause and effect situations - Push button, pain - which is hardly against what we've seen becuase, as you said, we really haven't seen anything. We don't know just how smart they really are. Which is part of why they're scary.

Rushing the guns makes sense when you figure in that the only enemy the Aliens had ever known were barely-armed civilians with some handguns and seismic survery charges. Charging en masse worked there because A) You'd scare the crap out of your opponent and B) They're only lightly armed. You might loose one or two, but there are so many of you that they're just not going to be effective.

But sentry guns don't get scared, and they're far better armed than the colonists. The Aliens figured this out (maybe took a little too long, but oh well) and devised another plan of attack that'd be more effective - Sneaking.

And they also cut the power.

People say Aliens are like ants, and thus dumb, but ants aren't dumb. Leaf-cutter ants cultivate a particular plant which they eat. Many ant species invade and take over other hives, turning them into slaves. They farm aphids and can just generally do all kinds of neat things which aren't as stupid and mindless as the majority believe.

If we're going to bring the expanded universe into the equation, let's look at Aliens: Labyrinth (Which your daughter did a fine job on when it came to the novel. Favourite of the lot.). True, they may not be able to run with the people, but we see them cultivating a cure for a disease and performing various experiments in an attempt to save themselves. They keep their prey fed and resort first to interspecies intercourse - Of a more literal kind than the facehugger - to birth a new kind of baby Alien, then ultimately attempt to make Church mate with his mother so they have more hosts to play around with.

Dogs are smart. I own a dog, and dumb as he may be, he can do some pretty cool things. And who doesn't love Inspector Rex? But I imagine the reasoning behind doing what we saw the Aliens do in Labyrinth is quite a fair bit above what they're capable of. Maybe it's the opposable thumbs.

Also, Aliens don't have as big a crutch on their Queen as it's made out either. The Queen told them to back off in Aliens and called them to her in AvP, but for the rest of the movie they seem to be operating on their own free will. The Aliens in AvP didn't even seem to know where she was until she audibly called out, so they can't have that strong a link. As soon as they're out of hearing range I'd say they're on their own.

If we're going to compare Aliens to animals, I'd compare them to an octopus, or if we were ever feeling really generous, maybe a dolphin. Nowhere near a person, or a Predator, but smart enough to be a fearsome enemy and not act like a mental retard like most of the expanded universe presents them as.

Kimarhi

Kimarhi

#46
I also don't think the sentry gun scene is really that good of an indicator of what the Alien intelligence is either.

They'd have free run of the tunnels for two weeks before the rines showed up.  I don't think anybody would think rounding a corner of their work, or apartments and all of a sudden getting blown away by a sentry gun.  A human could make that mistake.  Aliens pissed because you just rattled the hive would be bottleknecked there.

Rushing has been a tactic not just used by Aliens.  WWI, and Vietnam the tactic was used and you didn't always have a gun when you did it. 

I always likened them to Spielberg (or Crichtons) raptors.

I'll start a new thread to discuss it somewheres else.

SiL

SiL

#47
See? Even us smart oomans rush ;)

Kimarhi

Kimarhi

#48
Its a matter of principle, nothing personal.

I just don't see eye to eye with Steve on this matter, I'm not really trying to attack Mr. Perry's work.  He's enjoyed success writing, I haven't.  He's got the accolades.  The place has just been dead lately and any discussion is better than no discussion.

SiL

SiL

#49
Same here. I'm not attacking anyone, merely presenting an opposing viewpoint on the matter.

SM

SM

#50
QuoteAnybody here disagree?

Well yeah.  At it's core it's an idiot plot until you actually scratch the surface.  Brett wandered off on his own to get the cat because he had no reason to suspect there was a "nine-foot-tall-monster" on board and neither did the audience.

Dallas going into the duct was out of necessity more than anything else - what other choice did they have?  Can't shoot it - have to get it off the ship somehow, so herd it out of the airducts into the main airlock.

QuoteSmart animals don't throw themselves at armed men in waves, they come up with a better way than dying en masse.

Which they did.  Dietrich, Wierzbowski, Apone, Drake - none of them had Aliens rush at them.  then with the sentry guns, the Aliens didn't know the ones in the tunnel were there, then they ran dry in a matter of seconds.  So they try the same tactic on level 2.  Didn't quite work out so they found another way in, cutting the power in the process, attacking through the ceiling and floor and then cutting off Vasquez and Gorman.

Besides there's no actual proof they are "dying en masse".  The film doesn't show them throwing themselves at the guns.  The only time we get more than a glimpse we see an Alien running from one piece of cover to another.  Drawing fire to run the guns dry?

Even after the sentry guns, the attack on ops and Gorman's grenade, look at the tracker signal when Hicks is trying to get to Hicks on the sublevel.  Over 30 signals and it's just the tip of the iceberg.

People don't generally take on Aliens.  They do they're best to put as much distance between them as possible.  Ripley is forced to take on the Queen in Aliens.

When Arnie and Danny Glover took on Predators - who won?

Of course Predators are more advanced - goes without saying.  But to say Aliens are about as smart as dogs, boggles the mind frankly.

QuoteI didn't come up with the notion that the aliens are war toys, but it makes perfect sense to me that they were artificially-developed as bioweapons by *some*body.

Yeah it does make some sense.  But it's so cliched and boring.  Much more sinister to have these things evolve naturally.  Maybe they did have natural predators (with a little p) at one point, but they outlasted them.  Even Dan O'Bannon's original take that they evolve into intelligent cultured beings after satisfying their adolescent bloodlust is vastly more interesting, than tired old bio-engineered weapons story.

QuoteThat the Predators used the Aliens as training devices runs through the series. It is what it is, no help for that. I don't see it as demeaning at all.

I know you didn't come up with the concept, but to take this dangerous creature that is so difficult to kill and make it the plaything of some cowardly boogie men who get their botties spanked by Arnie and Danny - not buying it.

steveperry

steveperry

#51
Quote from: SiL on May 21, 2007, 10:21:29 PM
That's kind'a silly, discounting Alien3 and Alien Resurrection cos you don't like them.

Not really. A3 was made by a guy who hates science fiction, and crashing the ship at the beginning makes A2 meaningless. A4 was, despite some fine shootin' by the new crew, not particularly inspiring.

QuotePeople say Aliens are like ants, and thus dumb, but ants aren't dumb. Leaf-cutter ants cultivate a particular plant which they eat. Many ant species invade and take over other hives, turning them into slaves. They farm aphids and can just generally do all kinds of neat things which aren't as stupid and mindless as the majority believe.

And yet, ants, despite their numbers, don't rule the world ...

QuoteDogs are smart. I own a dog, and dumb as he may be, he can do some pretty cool things. And who doesn't love Inspector Rex? But I imagine the reasoning behind doing what we saw the Aliens do in Labyrinth is quite a fair bit above what they're capable of. Maybe it's the opposable thumbs.

I wasn't the guy said dogs were dumb, I said I viewed the Aliens as about as bright as German Shepherd. That doesn't put them into the same intellectual league as Einstein.

QuoteAs soon as they're out of hearing range I'd say they're on their own.

So are drone bees and ants. But they are limited as to what they can accomplish on their own. Can they drive a truck? Pilot a ship? Paint a bedroom? As far as I can tell, the only things Aliens do is breed and eat people. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but c'mon.

QuoteIf we're going to compare Aliens to animals, I'd compare them to an octopus, or if we were ever feeling really generous, maybe a dolphin. Nowhere near a person, or a Predator, but smart enough to be a fearsome enemy and not act like a mental retard like most of the expanded universe presents them as.

I could go along with that; in fact, I think I pretty much have ...

Deathwing.

Deathwing.

#52
Come on leave alone Mr. Perry  :P Aliens sux :p j/k

Forget all about aliens smart, ants etc etc

I have a question:

What do you think about the next movie AVP2? and what do you expect of it?

Thx beforehand

steveperry

steveperry

#53
QuoteWell yeah.  At it's core it's an idiot plot until you actually scratch the surface.  Brett wandered off on his own to get the cat because he had no reason to suspect there was a "nine-foot-tall-monster" on board and neither did the audience.

We are just going to have to disagree about this one. It's like Thelma and Louise -- every place there was a choice to be made, the Nostromo crew made the wrong one. The first time they knew something was in the ship and they split apart? Morons.

How many people figured the sequel would start with a chest-burster coming out of the cat?

QuoteDallas going into the duct was out of necessity more than anything else - what other choice did they have?

Please. They could let it starve to death in there. When you live next to the graveyard and you hear a funny noise in the middle of the night and you go to investigate in your nightgown? At that point, I'm rooting for the monster. You should die, the gene-pool is better off without you.

[/quote]When Arnie and Danny Glover took on Predators - who won?[/quote]

That's because the greatest of all super-heroes  is Plot Device Man. They won because the scriptwriter and director and producer said so. Man as the most dangerous game goes way back in fiction, and that's what the Predator series is about. They are more advanced, better armed, have more martial skills, and shiftsuits that make them invisible, and yet, Ahnahl manages, though sheer human tenacity, a bit of cleverness, and a lot of dumb luck, to triumph.

I love this trope, I use it all the time, and I'm not the only one. You think Tom Cruise could be captured by the Japanese and after less than a year, learn how to swing a samurai sword well enough to tag the local sensei?

The mixed-martial arts champ being taken out by the good-hearted kid using a good-old American haymaker?

Rocky Balboa -- pick a number ... ?

QuoteOf course Predators are more advanced - goes without saying.  But to say Aliens are about as smart as dogs, boggles the mind frankly.

And I still say I haven't seen any proof otherwise.  They breed, they feed. Anybody ever see them doing anything else?

QuoteBut it's so cliched and boring.  Much more sinister to have these things evolve naturally.  Maybe they did have natural predators (with a little p) at one point, but they outlasted them.  Even Dan O'Bannon's original take that they evolve into intelligent cultured beings after satisfying their adolescent bloodlust is vastly more interesting, than tired old bio-engineered weapons story.

But when the idea was first broached, it wasn't a tired, old *movie* cliche. Remember this is all based on the movies, and *everything* they do is cliched compared to written genre material. Anybody here think that The Matrix was cutting edge when it came out? Go back to H.G. Wells in the 1890s ...

Generally by the time it shows up on the silver screen, it's been done to death in stories and novels, certainly in horror and science fiction and fantasy.

QuoteThat the Predators used the Aliens as training devices runs through the series. It is what it is, no help for that. I don't see it as demeaning at all.

QuoteI know you didn't come up with the concept, but to take this dangerous creature that is so difficult to kill and make it the plaything of some cowardly boogie men who get their botties spanked by Arnie and Danny - not buying it.

Cowardly boogie-men? A race that has FTL travel and lets the unarmed and pregnant ones live? And the only reason they lost to Ahnahl and Danny was because that was in the script ...



steveperry

steveperry

#54
Quote from: Rhadamanthys on May 22, 2007, 03:10:24 PM
Come on leave alone Mr. Perry  :P Aliens sux :p j/k

Forget all about aliens smart, ants etc etc

I have a question:

What do you think about the next movie AVP2? and what do you expect of it?

Thx beforehand

No idea how it will turn out, I'm not in that loop. My experience with these things is that the more writers you have on a project, generally-speaking, the worse it is. Not that a single or pair or writers automatically means it will be good -- I've seen some dreadful movies across the scale, from one writer to eighteen, but if there are nine guys listed, that means nobody could satisfy the producer or director or both.

I would have been happy to see AvP based on the graphic novel/novelization from Dark Horse/Bantam, and not just because my daughter and I wrote it, but because it had a better story than the one they made.

A lot of folks in La-La-Land don't think the writing matters. They think that if you load it up with special effects and lots of action, nobody will care if the plot doesn't work and the dialog sucks. As a writer, I know that there are fifty people who can screw up a great script along the way -- director, actors, camermen, editors, the producer's girlfriend; but without a solid script going in, making the movie better? That is really hard. If everybody does a bang-up job, the best they can, nobdy screws up, if the script is terrible, the movie will be terrible.

What I'd like to see is a backstory that makes the Predators into something other than hunters, and digs into the Aliens a little deeper. I would like to see characters I can root for -- or against -- that I care about. I'd like, as I did in A2, to cheer when somebody like Ripley comes out in the forklift suit and tells the Queen to get away from Newt.

The reason A2 is -- in my opinion -- the best of the movies is because Jim Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd came up with a terrific script, and they love the genre, so that shows. There's a line in the original script, a copy of which I got from somebody, in a shot description, which the audience never sees nor hears. Camera is moving in on the dead ship in the opening scene, and it's described as "cold and remote, like the love of God."

That's a great line, and unless you read the script, you won't ever know it was there. It's indicative of Cameron's skill, and an example of the writing throughout.

Good writing triumphs EFX every time, in my mind.

I would surprised if that's what they give us.

Deathwing.

Deathwing.

#55
Thank your very much for that answer Mr. Perry, u have reason, i think the best part of the movies is the background (the history) but i think Hollywood only want money in this days and that harms much the histories.

You haven't think about proposing FOX a Script for a film of AVP or Predator? I believe that you are the best person in the world that can make that job you have experience, great novels about A/P.

Corporal Hicks

Corporal Hicks

#56
Quote from: steveperry on May 22, 2007, 02:55:41 PM
Not really. A3 was made by a guy who hates science fiction, and crashing the ship at the beginning makes A2 meaningless. A4 was, despite some fine shootin' by the new crew, not particularly inspiring.

...so does Ridley Scott.

SiL

SiL

#57
Quote from: steveperry on May 22, 2007, 02:55:41 PM
Not really. A3 was made by a guy who hates science fiction,
Ridley Scott wasn't a major fan, either.

Quoteand crashing the ship at the beginning makes A2 meaningless.
Thematically poetic and consistent with the series. Just when thigs start to look good, bam, life kicks you in the nuts. Hard.

QuoteA4 was, despite some fine shootin' by the new crew, not particularly inspiring.
I don't find Aliens particularly inspiring, either ;)

QuoteAnd yet, ants, despite their numbers, don't rule the world ...
But they're teeny tiny. Aliens aren't teeny tiny.

QuoteI wasn't the guy said dogs were dumb, I said I viewed the Aliens as about as bright as German Shepherd.
I didn't say you said dogs were dumb. But Dogs can't do science experiments. At least none that I've heard of.

QuoteSo are drone bees and ants. But they are limited as to what they can accomplish on their own. Can they drive a truck? Pilot a ship? Paint a bedroom? As far as I can tell, the only things Aliens do is breed and eat people. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but c'mon.
But they don't need to pilot vehicles - Impregnate the driver, or a passenger. Alien baby spreads to the far reaches. Alien, anyone? And paint bedrooms? Well, they do seem rather handy with hive resin.

QuoteThe first time they knew something was in the ship and they split apart? Morons.
Once they figure that there's really nothing they can do about it - Dallas attempting to drive it by his lonesome - they figure the best idea is to do the same thing, but together. Then, of course, Ash goes berserk and the plan flies out the airlock. At which point they break up again, but they want to get the hell out of there and it's easier if they do two things at once. It makes sense.

QuotePlease. They could let it starve to death in there.
They had limited resources once out of hypersleep, and they had no idea if the thing even needed to eat. On top of that, as far as they knew it would charge in at them the first chance it got. So, best defense was a rather piss-poor offense. ... Which failed. Miserably.

QuoteAnybody ever see them doing anything else?
They set traps in Alien Resurrection, cut the power in Aliens...

QuoteAnd the only reason they lost to Ahnahl and Danny was because that was in the script ...
It was because they have bloated egos, one thing that has been consistent since Predator. They're cocky bastards, and they pay for it.

A question, though; Have you read Alan Dean Foster's novelisations at all? If so, what did you think?

SM

SM

#58
QuoteCowardly boogie-men?

Shooting at inferior (script considerations aside) prey from long range, with energy weapons, while invisible, always struck me as rather cowardly.  Then when they ditch the weapons and go mano-a-mano they get their arses handed to them.

SiL more or less addressed what I was going to.  You're obviously pro-Predator while I'm an Alien geek and ne'er the twain and all that.  :)

Just to back to an earlier question - You set Earth Hive in 2092, yet as far back as 1979, it was established Alien was set in the 22nd century, making the 2092 date about a century too early.  Did you come up with th 2092 date or did Dark Horse give you the wrong info (the '92' bit seems about right following Aliens).

steveperry

steveperry

#59
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on May 22, 2007, 06:56:22 PM
Quote from: steveperry on May 22, 2007, 02:55:41 PM
Not really. A3 was made by a guy who hates science fiction, and crashing the ship at the beginning makes A2 meaningless. A4 was, despite some fine shootin' by the new crew, not particularly inspiring.

...so does Ridley Scott.


Yeah, but at least Scott knows how to make movies. He has a great visual sense.


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