So, David Fincher participation? Unknown.
(2010) Special Edition version basis:
Seeing Clemens walk alone, immediately establishes him as a loner to the audience-
even amongst "his own people" -the imagery of Ripley covered in oil and insects also;
immediately defines both the idea that nothing is sacred here and she's covered in insects.
It's beautiful cinematography. Beautiful location establishment. Heroic.
Seeing Andrews type reflected in the monitor both establishes him as an authority figure
and the overseer before he utters a word.
The ADR works better here with the overhead shot of the EEV,
because now it makes sense that what
Frank says sounds like it's coming from a distance;
rather than the camera being right up in his face.
(I know the EEV is upside down in this shot, but I'm going to say it doesn't matter
as it's honestly hard to tell each side from the other as they lack many defining features,
especially when covered in debris.)
As for the rest of the opening, I just like it better because it's kinder to Newt-
it means that we're on the same page regarding Newt with Ripley because
Clemens could be telling the truth about her drowning in her cryotube unawares.
(Additionally, personally: I prefer to think he is.)
(The shots of Bishop and Hicks are rad too.)
The message confirmation- (I don't think it's in the theatrical release)
is a minor detail that establishes that these aren't just the facility's
private records but that a link with a company or government exists.
I must conclude the dog birth/death version's superior-
if only for the shot of the dog barking at the Facehugger.
(And the fact the opening shows a regular Facehugger
on REDACTED's face, it's simpler to conclude that there
are two stowaway Facehuggers. With the Egg shot omitted.)
"Was she your Daughter?"
I think is also particularly poignant and worth keeping,
because it adds the additional layer of the idea-
that not only is Ripley grieving but she isn't entitled to her grief;
which makes sense in the following scene when Kevin asks
"What is she doing?" Because Ripley's behaviour is strange
if she was Newt's mother, but now additionally so to Clemens
as he is aware she's not in-fact her mother.
Which adds another layer to their interactions and
Clemens' reluctance in the autopsy.
In this version where Golic has a pivotal role to play;
The scene between Rains, Boggs, Golic and Dillon is important.
Not for Rains and Boggs' sake, although this scene certainly
gives you better insight into their personalities through their
excellent naturalistic performances- but for Dillon and Golic.
It establishes for the latter two a relationship, despite
the fact Dillon is clearly the leader- Golic makes people
uneasy to the point they both openly question his sanity.
Dillon defends Golic, even patting him on the shoulder
as he leaves. This is setup for Golic's "arc" in the story,
importantly it also establishes Dillon's care for Golic so
the "He's never lied to me! He's crazy, he's a fool but he's not a liar!"
doesn't come out of nowhere.
"As I thought, Mr. Aaron. As I thought." "You called it, sir."
Not immensely important, but good for character.
"Why we're waiting for God to return- and raise his servants to redemption."
I think this and it's musical cue is particularly important, because
it's prefaced with "What are you waiting for?" Ripley's used to rape and death-
by this point, but Dillon shows that's not all he is.
(I'd sound pretentious if I rambled on any longer about this conversation,
suffice to say; I think it highlights the themes of the film in an important way.)
"I've been out here a long time."
"So have I."
Reciprocation people, important for any relationship.
"I think you owe me an answer. Being in my bed's got nothing to do with it."
Further establishes Clemens as a good, decent person- and intelligent.
Which is good because it means his demise has extra sting.
For both Ripley and the audience.
This is someone she could've opened up to and the moment she dies-
or is about to "You first." The Alien takes that from her, like it takes everything.
"Light a candle for Murphy."
Murphy being good to Golic is a nice little additional detail that adds to his estrangement.
"You screw with me one more time I'll cut you in half."
This is an interesting addition, not for the above quoted line as that's in both versions-
But for the idea that Andrews doesn't want Aaron to see the dissention in the ranks.
Or for the prisoners to know that the relationship between Clemens and Andrews is tepid at best.
Further reinforcing "I don't want ripples in the water." Not for anyone's safety but his own.
Not including Aaron in on the conversation is an indication of why Aaron has the warped view
of Andrews as a good man that he does, when to me this calls into question Andrew's trustworthiness.
"She told me she was part of a combat unit that came to grief, beyond that I assume it's all classified.
I haven't pressed her for more."
It's cool that the events of Aliens are both acknowledged and an indication of some real trust Ripley has with Clemens.
Or trust issues depending upon what way you interpret that.
Eric dropping the plates, sets up that he's prone to break down under pressure-
just like he does when he sets the piston off prematurely later on.
I also like, just personally that Golic is found doing something mundane.
It echoes a serial killer's derangement of treating their acts as though it were any other day.
The tension is much, much superior with the extended version of the Dragon sneaking up
on Clemens and Ripley, with Golic squirming in fear.
"Magnificent." (This is a good, short homage to "Perfect Organism" IMO-
Showing that awe has completely overthrown fear in Golic's mind.)
The shot of the inside of the vent, covered in blood-
whilst Jude mops up is not only a fantastic shot but
is a direct through line to much of the cinematography
and language of the film. The prisoners, the humans-
generally are always filmed from below.
Yet Ripley and the Alien fall from the sky,
with the first three times (Boggs and Rains) Golic,
the Clemens, then Andrews- the Alien descends
from above, from above the dirty existence of the prisoners.
The film's visual language is strengthened by this shot.
And it leads perfectly into what's literally being said;
"The apocalypse is upon us! Let us be ready!
Let your mercy be just!"
"Sounds good to me."
Morse is blaming Ripley, and I think this is good insight
on her state of mind because it shows that maybe she
does blame herself, for the deaths of everyone she couldn't save.
In this way "Morse... Why don't you shut the f**k up?"
Has more poignancy because IMO- he's not just speaking to Morse-
but also Ripley, mirroring later on when Ripley wants to die
but Dillon refuses to let her, because unless both Aliens are dead;
her sacrifice would be totally in vain and bullshit-
then it's more suicide than sacrifice.
Arthur and Troy checking through batteries.
(Visual representation of;)
"Nothing much works here!"
"No video surveillance, no f**king ice-cream!"
The extra footage of the quinitricetyline plan makes sense,
because in this version it actually has a payoff.
More Dillon caring for Ripley in this version, that's good-
not only does it reinforce the relationship between them
and endear us to Dillon but it's a nice little hint at the "reveal."
Visually there's a fantastic addition in that Ripley
helps two of the inmates that attempted to rape her,
Junior whom we can distinguish from his teardrop tattoo
most importantly, sees Ripley doing something for her fellow
man regardless of what happened earlier.
This with guilt, obviously inspires him to take the action he does
and give his life for those of his fellow man.
"Oh Jesus, this makes ten."
Is removed and rightfully so,
I don't believe Dillon would say this
even if the operation was a failure.
The speech honouring them is much more fitting.
For Dillon's character and the bittersweet note
that this sequence ends on.
It's also worth noting that the conversation here
where Aaron doesn't believe in or respect the beliefs
of the prisoners, and Aaron leaving the prisoner
he was with to burn- is part of Aaron's arc
that leads him from "A Company man" to hitting
Michael Bishop over the back of the head with a wrench.
As well as the W-Y transmission's introduction
as foremost the new main problem.
Importantly confirms W-Y's intentions to the audience
and the characters.
"No more cigarettes for you."
The influence of the Alien,
has completely overthrown Golic's reason at this point,
the film even infers this visually with a reference to a horror classic;
Bela Lugosi's Dracula as Golic's eyes are highlighted before he's dispatched.
"Dillon we've got a teeny weeny problem..."
Morse's failure to contain Golic is addressed-
as it logically would be.
"Well, I'm out of ideas!"
With Ripley's "morning sickness" cropping up
one final time, third time's the charm.
Ripley disappears, disillusioned-
She finds out about the Queen.
Our heroes are now at their lowest point.
(Which wouldn't have happened had sacrifices not been made
and the creature not been captured in the first place.)
Not only has Ripley lost everyone close to her,
the Alien is loose again and there's two ticking time bombs-
W-Y and the one inside her chest.
When he remembers the Alien is afraid of fire.
Let's make it to the furnace.
I believe this is important because it's as The Fifth Element would say;
A little light of life, it's a moment of hope the film desperately needs.
The descent between the prisoners reminds me of the
"Parker. Shut up!" scene in Alien, in regards to how they
could possibly kill the Alien. You could take it or leave it.
But I wouldn't leave it.
"I was violated. And now I get to be mother of the year."
In addition to what I said earlier on this scene,
it raises the stakes because the implication is that
if this thing gets off Fiorina 161- not Earth,
not humanity, but all life, is at stake-
"wipe out the whole universe" & I believe it,
because this is Sigourney Weaver's best performance.
"This is as good a place as any to take our first steps to Heaven".
The extended speech and score is superior, no explanation required.
Before the chase & bait begins,
there's several tiny scenes showing how the different prisoners
react to their situation, I think that's fairly appropriate-
to get you acquainted with where everyone is in the tunnels.
Rather than one scene of David criticising the plan.
Although- why not both?
"I think I've found Vincent!"
Speaks for itself doesn't it? lol
Mysterious Mark Vincent. Redact it.
Not necessary but love this scene.
Especially Ripley's reaction.
(Insert "You're gonna need a bigger cage than that.")
"And then it's over."
"I'm not a droid!"
Included for obvious reasons.
I believe Ripley would pause for contemplation,
so I prefer her death in the SE-
although ,"You're crazy." Redacted.
and no bad slo-mo.
More graceful fall in a cross position.
In tune with the film's thematics.