Aliens: An Analysis

Started by Scorpio, Jan 27, 2018, 02:12:52 AM

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Aliens: An Analysis (Read 36,895 times)

ralfy

ralfy

#720
Quote from: BlueMarsalis79 on Jul 23, 2023, 11:56:02 AMhttps://y.yarn.co/8730d5c7-4173-415e-bb38-b99dc79f8c78_text.gif

Can't give any counterarguments or relevant points, so devolve to memes.





From a 2014 analysis:

https://themetaplex.com/reviews/2014/aliens-movie-review-and-analysis

QuoteSequels, even good sequels, fall into a trap of just reshaping the original instead of building upon it. Based on a 90-page screenplay written before he ever directed The Terminator, Cameron only needed the first fifteen minutes to shake the rules of the universe. For instance, the themes and symbols of the first Alien are reversed. Where the first film grappled with deeply Freudian ideas like the male fear of pregnancy and rape, Aliens is a meditation on maternity. The plot could be summarized in one simple sentence: Two matriarchs go to war. There is a deeply symbolic subtext to the entire film that becomes instantly palpable once you become aware it exists. Much has also been made of the film's powerful anti-war leaning. Cameron toys with American iconography, from the sci-fi jet-copters that have the cockpit of a military chopper to the commandos covered in green-brown camouflage like they're storming a jungle. There's also the basic premise, which can be seen as blatantly anti-imperialistic. For the Weyland Corporation (military industrial complex) to successfully gain control of another territory, LV-426 (Vietnam), they have to amend, revise, and prevail over the natural order of the area they are invading. In the film, this is done through terraforming (invading). The natural environment is so hostile to their unwanted presence that the air (Vietnamese) kills them.

Freudian interpretations look forced; the Lovecraftian interpretation of cosmic horror looks better.

"Pregnancy and rape" also took place in the second movie via the colonists.

The idea of matriarchs going to war, though, is notable, i.e., Ripley vs. the queen.

The anti-war view, though, is most notable, because it goes against the Dick Dastardly view of the movie, i.e., the only villains are Burke and the aliens, and at one point, even Ripley couldn't tell which one was worse. LOL. Instead, we have multiple villains: Burke, the aliens, the company that supposedly doesn't care, and the military as part of the government. Why's that? Because according to various commentaries and Cameron himself, the movie essentially refers to the Vietnam war, and thus the military industrial complex.

Here's how it works: Eisenhower warned about collusion between the rich (industry) and the military that would lead to proxy wars, i.e., the U.S. would not only become aggressive but even create wars through false flags, but using weaker countries to do the fighting or as battlefields, from which the rich would profit through arms sales plus exploitation of countries affected, and the military through strategic advantages. And since the military is under the government, then the government would obviously gain, too, which is why some refer to the phenomenon as the military-industrial-congressional complex.

True enough, what Eisenhower said took place: the U.S. is the most warmongering country in the world. With over 800 military installations worldwide, it has engaged in multiple proxy wars, supported various dictators and armed criminal groups, sold armaments to both sides, manipulates elections, instigates coups and revolutions, and employs onerous foreign and economic policies like structural adjustment. And the main goal is to protect the interests of the 10 pct of Americans who own 70 pct of the nation's total wealth.

This is clearly seen in the Vietnam war, and I'll give more details on that in the future. For now, Cameron effectively alludes to that in the movie, as the arrogant Marines with "state-of-the-art firepower" get their "a---- kicked" by the aliens. In this case, though, the writer adds the point of anti-imperialism, with W-Y and the ECA trying to "colonize" the rock (although it has no indigenous lifeforms, as pointed out by the ECA rep).

The ones who provide that firepower are the defense industry, which in this case is represented by a mega-corporation, as it deals with mining and terra-forming, too. And it's a faceless organization with one-dimensional men who go through the motions as part of their mission, to earn and get it over with, or to profit: the Nostromo crew referring to full shares in discoveries, the colony manager doing his job and following Burke's orders, Burke as head of the research division and who's doing his job but also a go-getter, Ripley who's part of the same space trucker crew who is also offered a percentage of earnings from the find, the Jordens who are wildcatters and, like Ripley and the rest, blue-collar and contractual workers who want to hit it big and retire early, the the Marines who are referred to as grunts, with several complaining about "another bug-hunt" and wanting to finish their "tour". Meanwhile, there are the bureaucrats who don't care about anything other than their functions (like the board of inquiry in the movie), synths who interestingly work like humans (and referring not only to Bishop but also to Ash), and civilians caught in the middle, like Newt.

In short, just as some argue that reality is sometimes "just like the movies," this movie is "just like reality," and not like a cartoon.






Jonjamess

Jonjamess

#721
@ralfy

You are taking the bug hunt thing too literally. Nope the Marines are not specialist Xenomorph killers.

If you are to take anything from "it's a bug hunt" the average person would assume this is indigenous "pest" type lifeforms that present little threat. The Marines act like a "bug hunt" is a boring routine assignment.

The WY representative even states "and found something never once recorded in over 100 surveyed worlds".

Nobody has come across a creature like the Alien before, the Marines are clearly freaked out when they encounter them.

So simply, no the Marines are not specialist Alien killers! At least not the type of Alien life that presents serious threat to life.

You also keep mentioning Aucturians like they are an Alien humanoid. This is never once stated, it comes across more like they are colonists with gender reassignment (lady boys or similar). There's no mention that they are aliens and it doesn't even fit the context of the movie. The movie is about scary aliens, why would you mention "friendly" aliens in a throw away comment at the beginning of the movie, it would be counter productive to the tone the movie is trying to create. Cameron's intention is clearly not that the marines have had sexual encounters with aliens.

Stitch

Stitch

#722
If anything, the marines in the movie come across as the slackers who can't be trusted to do anything other than janitorial work, hence why Hudson asks if it's going to be a stand up fight, or another bug hunt. The implication being they're glorified pest control.

That's also why Gorman is put in charge, even with his limited experience. It's not supposed to be dangerous. It's supposed to be effectively a training mission.

ralfy

ralfy

#723
Quote from: Jonjamess on Jul 24, 2023, 12:22:43 PM@ralfy

You are taking the bug hunt thing too literally. Nope the Marines are not specialist Xenomorph killers.

If you are to take anything from "it's a bug hunt" the average person would assume this is indigenous "pest" type lifeforms that present little threat. The Marines act like a "bug hunt" is a boring routine assignment.

The WY representative even states "and found something never once recorded in over 100 surveyed worlds".

Nobody has come across a creature like the Alien before, the Marines are clearly freaked out when they encounter them.

So simply, no the Marines are not specialist Alien killers! At least not the type of Alien life that presents serious threat to life.

You also keep mentioning Aucturians like they are an Alien humanoid. This is never once stated, it comes across more like they are colonists with gender reassignment (lady boys or similar). There's no mention that they are aliens and it doesn't even fit the context of the movie. The movie is about scary aliens, why would you mention "friendly" aliens in a throw away comment at the beginning of the movie, it would be counter productive to the tone the movie is trying to create. Cameron's intention is clearly not that the marines have had sexual encounters with aliens.

Yes, someone writing for Ars Technica (I think) pointed that out: it's supposed to be a play on a "snipe hunt". In addition, the "bug stomper" logo for the first dropship might have not been what the unit specialized in as the second dropship is said to have a "smart ass" logo.

The problem is that you don't use the type of firepower they had in the movie to take down pests. I'd imagine tech with pest control. Given that and the firepower involved (sentry guns, grenades, flame units, shotguns, battle rifles with grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, nerve gas, APCs with heavy guns, and dropships with missiles), I think they have been hunting much bigger game. The problem, in this place, is as Gorman pointed out, they thought they were dealing with only one xenomorph. That's probably they weren't so concerned, especially given the point that the squad was just sent out right after completing one mission and was complaining about not having a break.

Next, I think it was the ECA rep who talked about not seeing anything like what Ripley describes, and adds that on the rock they saw nothing more than virus.

I don't remember seeing the Marines freak out, but I remember them retreating and shooting back, with Gorman temporarily catatonic. I think they didn't exactly see the alien for the first time, as any brief, like that of Ripley, would have contained at least an artist's depiction of the creature and even the facehugger given Ripley's description. This might explain why even Hicks managed to make fun of Burke when one facehugger tried to "kiss" him. LOL.

In which case, the Marines are obviously not specialists in killing this specific xenomorph but have may encountered similar, but probably more stupid, which is why they were very overconflident for this mission. This also explains why later Hudson tells Burke that they just got their "asses kicked" and that they need to nuke the aliens from orbit.

Finally, some refer to Arcturians as colonists, and you might be right, as the context involves "juicy colonists' daughters," but according to a manual they are a humanoid extraterrestial species:

https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Arcturian

So that argument can go either way. See also

https://www.avpgalaxy.net/website/articles/arcturians/

I don't know if you would consider Rico Ross' point.



Quote from: Stitch on Jul 24, 2023, 01:23:22 PMIf anything, the marines in the movie come across as the slackers who can't be trusted to do anything other than janitorial work, hence why Hudson asks if it's going to be a stand up fight, or another bug hunt. The implication being they're glorified pest control.

That's also why Gorman is put in charge, even with his limited experience. It's not supposed to be dangerous. It's supposed to be effectively a training mission.

The catch is that they went down heavily armed, and their movement upon entering the compound was the opposite of how they acted in the hanger and even in the dropship, and this even before they opened the compound doors. It was when they saw the damaged walls around them that they realized that it was going to be a stand up fight instead of a bug hunt.

I don't know why Gorman was put in charge, but it looks like they were not expecting a lot of trouble. As Gorman put it, following Ripley's brief, "a xenomorph may be involved," which is also what happened in the first movie. As they were heavily armed and trained, then they would have had a greater chance of taking down the creature than the Nostromo crew did.

In short, it wasn't so much a training mission but a bug hunt, and given the size of the creature given Ripley's report, they were expecting at least a fight from something much larger than a bug.



Some interesting points here:

"The throwaway line in Aliens that spawned decades of confusion"

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/08/the-throwaway-line-in-aliens-that-spawned-decades-of-confusion/

I don't remember it spawning decades of confusion, as a xenomorph is what the writer describes: an alien life form. The reason for not using the word, then, is weird.

The writer is right in referring to the title of the movie and what viewers were expecting, and this is notable because it may have shown the complacency of those involved and which the viewers may have been anticipating: they were expecting a bug hunt and not a stand-up fight; that is, involving just one alien and not dozens.

Side note: I heard that that's what got producers excited, as Cameron was said to have sold them the idea by writing the word "Alien" on a board and then just adding "s" at the end. If it was already exciting to have one alien, which is what happened in the movie, imagine having loads of fun with a lot more of them. LOL.

The point that the Marines probably did both bug hunts and stand-up fights given Hudson's query sounds right: that is, it's not so much a training mission as just another bug hunt, in contrast to a stand-up fight, which he prefers. Only, I think they were expecting only one alien and not a lot of them.

The point about Burke asking if these are the creatures described in Ripley's report is odd, but I think it's because Burke was wondering how one creature could engage in such mayhem (as the damage done by the same in the first movie--and likely described in detail by Ripley in her report, i.e., about the hole created by acid from the facehugger--was not significant compared to what the Marines saw when they entered the compound). It did not occur to them that there were many, which is why they wondered later why the colonists were huddled together underneath the reactor.

The reference to the point about quarantines is notable, i.e., the perception that Ripley was also like others in the second movie because in the first it looked like she was more concerned about protecting herself and the rest of the crew than allowing Kane and the other members of the expedition back into the ship. The same goes for the writer's reference to the manual which implies that there are several sophisticated alien life forms even as the board of inquiry implicitly shows the opposite.

Finally, the writer points out that Burke, following Cameron's explanation is a special projects director of a research division of the company. This implies that he wasn't working alone. In fact, every point in the movie leads to that: Burke explains to Ripley that the board consists of representatives for the company, the insurer, the federal government, the ECA (which is in charge of administering colonies), and the ICC (which is in charge of interstellar commerce and rules governing that, such as quarantine protocols), and Burke is not only the representative of W-Y but given Cameron's point the perfect representative for it. There are also the points that according to Burke W-Y has a bio-weapons division which provides goods to the military and is dependent on his research division for material to exploit, Burke's point about Ripley becoming rich because she would get a percentage of earnings from such exploitation (following the contracts that the Nostromo crew members signed), and so on.




Jonjamess

Jonjamess

#724
Yeah I'm just going to ignore him now. Absolutely unhealthily obsessed with repeating himself and claiming the whole company was in on it (100's of times).

While ignoring everything else anyone is saying. And then going into another rant.

And someone else mentioned it will go into bullying territory. They are right. I've no idea who I'm talking to and no idea of their circumstances or background so it's best to stop.

Local Trouble

Local Trouble

#725
This reminds me of MacReady's monologue from The Thing:

QuoteI know I'm human. And if you were all these things, then you'd just attack me right now, so some of you are still human. This thing doesn't want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation. It'll fight if it has to, but it's vulnerable out in the open. If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it. And then it's won.

I think ralfy's won.

oduodu

oduodu

#726

ralfy

ralfy

#727
Quote from: Jonjamess on Jul 25, 2023, 07:28:52 PMYeah I'm just going to ignore him now. Absolutely unhealthily obsessed with repeating himself and claiming the whole company was in on it (100's of times).

While ignoring everything else anyone is saying. And then going into another rant.

And someone else mentioned it will go into bullying territory. They are right. I've no idea who I'm talking to and no idea of their circumstances or background so it's best to stop.

The only rants that I'm getting are from forum members like this.

As for bullying, read the thread posts very carefully: I was the only being bullied, and in response to that I've been responding with detailed and rational posts. At one point I even answered back humorously by stating that it's just a movie. My only reason for posting here is that I'm a fan of the franchise, and AFAIK this is supposed to be a forum for fans of the same. At least that's what I implied when I responded to one who was surprised that there's on-going discussion for an old movie. FWIW, the franchise itself is is over four decades old.

Since I've received no trolling from him, then I won't ignore him for now, but I'll try to respond to every post made. As for those who resorted to pretending to use AI to come up with senseless responses, among others, you can forget about it.

Local Trouble

Local Trouble

#728
"Pretending to use AI" :laugh:

ralfy

ralfy

#729
From

https://nummtheory.blogspot.com/2022/05/aliens-1986.html

QuoteThis is understandable, since ALIEN's weakest point is its grand conspiracy, whose architects somehow know enough about the stranded E.T. vessel that (a) they want an alien specimen of their very own, and (b) to get one, they set up the Nostromo to voyage to the site of the vessel and to play Judas goat-- which proves to be a mistake, since one of the goats, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), manages to slay the "lion." Ripley survives the destruction of the ravening alien and the Nostromo, submerged for 57 years in shuttle-cryosleep, until a salvage crew finds her and returns her to Earth. If there are any of the conspirators still rattling around, they're more than willing to stay hidden in the shadows, while Ripley takes the heat for blowing up a company-owned vessel, allegedly to destroy a hostile xenomorph.

I don't think the Nostromo was set to retrieve an alien specimen. Rather, the computer was programmed to change the course of the ship to investigate phenomena such as distress beacons, and the crew was reminded that they had to investigate such because it was in their contracts. In return, they would receive a "full share" of whatever is monetized from what's discovered; the deal was similar to that given to the Jordens, according to the colony manager.

The conspiracy lay in the the special order discovered by Ripley, and also programmed into Ash, which made retrieval the top priority and any other order, like delivering minerals, rescinded. In addition, crew and company assets were considered expendable.

From there, how does this affect what happened during the inquiry in the second movie? Given the ability of computers to do things like navigate a large ship for long periods and maintain the same while the crew is in hypersleep, then one can safely assume that a flight recorder by that time could record more than just the fact that a ship landed and took off, including the landing location. It would have also recorded the fact that the computer changed the ship course and due to a distress beacon. This alone would have partially validated Ripley's story; investigating the landing location would have done the rest.

This is important for the last point given in what was quoted because it would have not made sense for the company to blame Ripley for the loss of the ship, as they don't get anything from insurers by doing so. If any, the insurance company would have been the only one happy with the conclusion of the case as it would have shown that force majeure was not involved.

More important, there's the little matter of a bio-weapons division, which is stated in the movie, as well as Burke's position in the company, as explained by Cameron in a commentary. These would have made the earlier claim in the thread that the company didn't care and coveniently "forgot" about its special order, implying that it's no longer in the business of retrieving alien organisms and tech and exploiting them, sound absurd.




Here's another analysis to consider, and similar to the analysis given in the first post which started the whole thread:

https://unclefishbits.com/is-it-woke-capitalism-greed-labor-exploitation-sex-and-gender-politics-in-the-alien-universe/

QuoteIt doesn't make sense people could be fans of this universe and miss the subtext or pretty obvious narrative and what it's trying to say. Did they watch the films? All 6 films and the Alien: Isolation game are EXPLICITLY about the military-industrial complex using human lives as pawns. It's about greed. It's about capitalism. It's about labor exploitation (THE SHARES? Riiiiiiight). It's about sex and gender politics. It's right in your face.

I'll probably respond to issues about sex and gender politics and the movie in the future, but the one that I'm more interested in is the idea of capitalism.

The reference is spot-on and echoes my argument: the franchise itself is an effectively critical view of the military industrial complex, and also explains why the OP refers to the Reagan administration. Here's how it works:

Given the idea of a corporatocracy, large, private corporations rule the world and not governments or "the people". This happens because they have lots of money, and doing so brings with it a lot of financial power. Not only do private individuals depend on them for paychecks and returns in investment, even the government and the military depend on them for funding and goods and services made available by their businesses.

In the U.S., this is known as the "military industrial complex". Eisenhower warned about this back in the 1950s, and it continues to this day: the defense industry works with the military, and both profit. The defense industry sells armaments to the government, which pays for it by passing on the cost to the public as debt. The armaments are then used by the military which is ordered by the government to "restore peace and democracy" in one place or another, and in turn allowing the U.S. to ake control of that place and using it for economic and military advantages. Some have also called it the "military-industrial-congressional complex" as wars involve congressional approval.

But it goes beyond that: if there's more peace, then both don't earn. Thus, there has to be "forever wars," and even proxy wars, where the U.S. and military rivals use weaker countries as battlefields so that they won't confront each other directly, as that can lead to things like nuclear war.

In addition, such places are manipulated through bribes, secretly funding rebel and opposition groups, and onerous foreign policies to topple regimes that aren't friendly to the U.S. and set up the opposite, which can be used for the benefit of the rich and powerful in such and their counterparts in the U.S.

One of those examples is the Vietnam war, for which the Pentagon Papers revealed that the U.S. had intentions much earlier to make sure that regimes in Indochina work in favor of the U.S., so that the latter could take advantage of natural resources in the region plus set up military installations to counter Soviet rivals.

In addition, the Vietnam war also became the venue not only for weapons of mass destruction but also things like chemical weapons, and generally armaments that could be tested on Vietnamese, including civilians.

This is notable because Cameron himself pointed out that the movie itself is partly a critique of the Vietnam war. What's also important is that it's also a critique of the military industrial complex underlying that war. That's why the same complex can be seen in the movie: Burke heading the research division of a very large corporation, the same having a bio-weapons division plus armaments manufacture (several point out that the armaments used by the marines were made by W-Y), and "grunts" in different forms (the Marines, Ripley the Nostromo crew, the Jordens, and the colonists) all working for and being exploited by the same company, and implicitly the government not surprisingly taking the company's side (hence, the ICC and ECA dismissing Ripley's story as part of it involves her insistence that W-Y was responsible for what happened to her, her crewmates, and even their ship and cargo.

Finally, that's why the cartoon interpretation that Burke was some sort of Boris Badenov, working alone in exchange for fully profiting from the find, and secretly manipulating not only Ripley but even the colonists and the Marines as some sort of private citizen supervillain, doesn't make sense.




Engineer

Engineer

#730
Quote from: Local Trouble on Jul 26, 2023, 01:54:52 AM"Pretending to use AI" :laugh:
I bet ChatGPT is offended by that assertion

Local Trouble

Local Trouble

#731
Quote from: Engineer on Jul 26, 2023, 05:08:57 AM
Quote from: Local Trouble on Jul 26, 2023, 01:54:52 AM"Pretending to use AI" :laugh:
Uber ChatGPT is offended by that assertion

I suspect he thinks that everyone is as willing and able to churn out walls of text as he is, so I must have written all those posts myself and inexplicably signed them as ChatGPT for some reason.

𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔈𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔥 𝔓𝔞𝔰𝔰𝔢𝔫𝔤𝔢𝔯

Quote from: ralfy on Jul 26, 2023, 01:48:42 AMAs for those who resorted to pretending to use AI to come up with senseless responses, among others, you can forget about it.

Don't think he's pretending mate.

I've always suspected that Local might be a bot. The new asshole model they are putting out.  ;)

Engineer

Engineer

#733
Quote from: Local Trouble on Jul 26, 2023, 05:15:33 AM
Quote from: Engineer on Jul 26, 2023, 05:08:57 AM
Quote from: Local Trouble on Jul 26, 2023, 01:54:52 AM"Pretending to use AI" :laugh:
Uber ChatGPT is offended by that assertion

I suspect he thinks that everyone is as willing and able to churn out walls of text as he is, so I must have written all those posts myself and inexplicably signed them as ChatGPT for some reason.

Damn! You quoted me faster than I could "quick edit" my typo lmao

Local Trouble

Local Trouble

#734
Quote from: Engineer on Jul 26, 2023, 03:34:02 PM
Quote from: Local Trouble on Jul 26, 2023, 05:15:33 AM
Quote from: Engineer on Jul 26, 2023, 05:08:57 AM
Quote from: Local Trouble on Jul 26, 2023, 01:54:52 AM"Pretending to use AI" :laugh:
Uber ChatGPT is offended by that assertion

I suspect he thinks that everyone is as willing and able to churn out walls of text as he is, so I must have written all those posts myself and inexplicably signed them as ChatGPT for some reason.

Damn! You quoted me faster than I could "quick edit" my typo lmao

That's because I'm a bot.  The latest asshole model.

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