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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finallly....
This film was never going to have an easy ride after the sucess of Aliens (1986) and has been heavily slated. I can understand why people hated it so much, the incredible downer after the "happily ever after" ending of Aliens, the lack of "gung-ho" weapons, the claustrophobia of Fury 161's prison complex etc.
I really rate this film. I think alot of people were put...
Published on 17 Nov 2004 by C J R

versus
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Very Flawed
After the success of Alien and the massive success of Aliens, everybody wanted to do the next Alien sequel. Most early scripts had a recurring theme of Ripley (the star of the franchise) and Hicks (the military survivor from Aliens) teaming up and taking the fight to either the Alien homeworld or battling the creatures on Earth. Unfortunately, none of these scripts proved...
Published on 6 Dec 2007 by crouteru


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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Very Flawed, 6 Dec 2007
After the success of Alien and the massive success of Aliens, everybody wanted to do the next Alien sequel. Most early scripts had a recurring theme of Ripley (the star of the franchise) and Hicks (the military survivor from Aliens) teaming up and taking the fight to either the Alien homeworld or battling the creatures on Earth. Unfortunately, none of these scripts proved different or even suitable enough for filming.

Having already invested much money into the development and hiring of various Hollywood writers and directors, Fox eventually settled on Vincent Ward's bizarre idea of a wooden planet populated by religious monks who've turned their back on technology. Some time into the development of this idea, studio execs suddenly produced a list of changes, which angered Ward and forced him to leave.

This left the pre-production process in some what of a mess, with half built sets and a muddled script. Fox went on to hire David Fincher, who was willing to follow their changes made to Ward's story, making the wooden planet an old mining colony instead. The problem that everybody was now faced with was that Fox had already set a release date, and without a finished script, there was no choice but to begin production and make things up as they went along.

During the production process, Fincher was constantly being undermined by Fox, who would tell him to cut various parts of the film or simply not to shoot some scenes. In the end, Fincher walked out during post-production, which explains how the movie was released with the butchered theatrical cut and sub-standard special effects. Fox then invented a smokescreen to cover themselves of any wrong doing, instead placing the blame on Fincher. Even the featurettes of the Alien Quadrilogy release were cut down by Fox to cover themselves of any wrong doing.

The story of the film, then, is a surprising direction after Aliens. Many were expecting the previously mentioned battle with the aliens on their homeworld or Earth. Instead, Alien 3 dealt more with the character of Ripley than the alien. This storyline was difficult to embrace by the viewing public because of its dark atmosphere, where Ripley is once again on her own after the other survivors from Aliens (Hicks and Newt) are killed off-screen during the opening titles. Aliens director James Cameron called this "a slap in the face" to Aliens fans.

Similar problems included an inexplicable facehugger egg on the Sulaco at the beginning with no explanation as to how it got there, nor any way it could fit with events seen at the end of Aliens. Due to cuts made by Fox, several sub-plots involving religious prayer and a disturbed prisoner named Golic were removed, when they were actually important to the storyline. This left the theatrical release with a number of plot holes and some disappointing post-production effects.

When the Quadrilogy set was released, a new restored version of Alien 3 was seen for the first time, solving many of the plot problems above, though obviously not un-doing the deaths of Hicks or Newt nor explaining the presence of the egg. Still, this new version, which is the version included in this definitive edition, is so much better than the theatrical version. Unfortunatley, while better, Alien 3 is still not the classic that Alien or Aliens were. Maybe if Fincher had been allowed to properly finish the film, it may have fared better.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finallly...., 17 Nov 2004
By 
C J R "Chris" (East Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Alien 3 - The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
This film was never going to have an easy ride after the sucess of Aliens (1986) and has been heavily slated. I can understand why people hated it so much, the incredible downer after the "happily ever after" ending of Aliens, the lack of "gung-ho" weapons, the claustrophobia of Fury 161's prison complex etc.
I really rate this film. I think alot of people were put off by the fact that the film was so depressing but I think that this really added to the Aliens saga showing the really "dirty sci-fi" concept originally introduced by "Star Wars", - "no women...no freezers...no f**king ICE CREAM!" was a particularly funny example.
The introduction of the "Bishop" human character was also a great, yet disheartening scene at the end of the film and is further enhanced by a couple of additional shots of "human reacting to being hit over the head with a metal bar" which the lack of in the original left some question as to the actual identity of the "real Bishop".
The CG Aliens in this film was pretty appauling and although this was made at the dawn of the "digital age", a man in a suit combined with 1st person camera angles and under-cranked shots would have made the "CG" scenes more convincing rather than using CG for CGs sake.
After watching the "Special Edition" I felt extremley satisfied at how much the extra footage improves the film. The characters were given alot more room to develop and the "trap" scene was an excellent addition. The audio can be quite bad in some of the extra scenes, with the "reverb" on the voices cutting out strangly and some incredible hiss over some of the diaglogue which was quite distracting.
I can imagine how frustrated Fincher felt, this was his directorial debut and having to proove yourself as a director when the studio keep covering everything in red tape can not be easy.
All in al, I reccomend the special edition to any "real" Alien fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The directors cut did restore the movie, 9 Oct 2013
When this movie first came out it was a letdown because the negative tune the movie gave and also it did not help that the characters in this film are all life sentence prisoners who committed the crime rape, murder, and child molesting.
But after a couple of years the movie start to grow and now it is a classic and one of the favorite alien movies with Aliens and Alien. And since the new version of this film came on DVD the story in this film has now been restored

The story begins with Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) wake up from her cryo sleep only to find out that her escape shuttle has crashed on a prison colony planet and her friends Hicks and Newt are dead and the droid Bishop (Lance Henriksen) is smashed and cannot be repaired.
She get greets by dr. Clements (Charles Dance) to tell her the prisoners are all murderers and rapist and haven't seen a woman in years.
But the situation get worse when Ripley find out that an alien got onboard her escaped shuttle and is now killing the prisoners one by one, now she must join forces with the prisoners to fight back against the monster, the good news is the prisoners are willing to fight with her, the bad news is there are no weapons of any kind....

In the director's cut we see more scenes that make sense, you get to know the characters better, and get to understand the situation of living in that planet.
The only nitpick I have is in the new version, the alien burst out from an ox and that doesn't make sense because this alien is supposed to be like an animal with hunt instincts, in the original cut it burst out from a dog, and that makes more sense because dogs has hunt instincts but that just a small nitpick

This movie is one of the best Alien movies and the whole thing should have ended with this movie

Verdict? See it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There is a trick to getting something out of this film, 13 Sep 2013
This review is from: Alien 3 - The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
Firstly, let me get off my chest that I loved `Alien' and `Aliens,' therefore, I was one of the legions of fanboys who eagerly awaited the next instalment of the franchise. And, like so many others, I was left severely disappointed at what I got.

Alien 3 continues the story, but just wasn't what the - numerous - fans were after. You can look up online as to the many problems the production went through. To this day the director has still disowned it.

I hated it. People were basically expecting `Aliens Part II' and they got this. They say a sequel should be `everything good about the original and more.' Aliens is one of the few films where (some) people claim it is actually an improvement on the original. Whether you agree with that or not, it does offer `the same and more' of its predecessor. Alien 3 didn't just take one step back, but TWO. It's less tense than Alien and not as action-packed with such memorable characters as Aliens.

So, it was pretty much despised by all. However, I still watch it from time to time (mainly the extended 2003 edition - you don't want to bother with the original cut) and, begrudgingly, it does have its merits - not many, but a few. The trick to enjoying it is to simply not consider it a part of the Alien franchise. Don't think of it as the sequel to Aliens, but just a horror/sci-fi movie. To me the saga ended with Aliens. I watch this for something different. It is well-directed, with its distinct own look. Plus it succeeds in creating a very bleak atmosphere and vision of the future (in stark contrast to the upbeat ending of Aliens). The sets are nice, too.

Overall, it's not the travesty that so many - including me - once made it out to be. It'll never be Alien or Aliens, but let it be what it is - a stand-alone effort which dares to try and explore new territory (albeit with mixed results).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but could have been better, 15 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Alien 3 - The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
I think this is a fairly underrated film and whilst it's not a patch on the first two I like it because it gets back to premise of the Alien as a lone, intelligent and and deadly entity. The extended special edition version adds a fair amount of content which helps the storyline but the sound quality in some of these restored scenes leaves a lot to be desired. De-sync on voices and very poor audio mar what should have been a more complete package.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alien 3, 15 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Alien 3 - The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
Just had to get the Directors cut
I found watching the Directors cut a lot better and a better story and with a lot of British actors.
A lot of my friends like this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God will take care of you now, sister!, 6 July 2012
This review is from: Alien 3 [Blu-ray] [1992] (Blu-ray)
First of all, if your only experience of Alien 3 is the Theatrical Version where the alien bursts out of a dog then you owe it to yourself to watch the 2003 Special Edition. With 12 additional chapters it almost feels like a different film. Everything that happens makes sense and there is much more character development. Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance and Charles S. Dutton give absolutely fantastic performances. Paul McGann is also great as Golic. The only real negatives are some of the special effects, there are a few shots of the alien that leave a lot to be desired.

This is a big step up from the DVD version. Picture and sound are fantastic.

Highly Recommended.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent version of a great film, 25 Mar 2004
By 
This review is from: Alien 3 - The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
'Alien 3' is to my mind the best of the alien saga. Fincher has purposely opted against making yet another gun toting, high action film, instead delivering a dark, bleak and menacing film of a style we have come to associate with him (particularly due to 'Seven'). This time Ripley crash lands on a backwater prison planet home to a skeleton crew of penal workers. Without the aid of weapons or postmodern technology, the single alien this time round is far more deadly and menacing than the hordes of them in 'Aliens'. The bleak backdrop of 'Fury' 161 and the dark, abandoned prison-mining complex serves as the perfect setting for the most profound, beautiful and ultimately distressing film in a series characterised by these qualities.
The title of this disc is misleading. Fincher apparently refused to contribute to this work (supposedly because he considers his first work to be largely compromised due to difficult editing and outside intervention). What is presented here is the original assembly cut (the finished work before theatrical editing). This is a fascinating insight into how Fincher originally intended the film to be. Not only is there over half an hour added to the film, but some of the story has been drastically changed. The opening has been extended (featuring visually stunning scenes of the 'Fury' landscape which were not in the original), the explosives scene has been extended and altered, and original dialogue has been added.
All this makes for a vastly improved, extended film which serves to clarify some of the more obscure sections of the plot which added to the popular feeling of frustration when alien 3 was originally released. It is not often that a 'director's cut' or 'special edition' really improves the an original cut, but here Fincher's original vision creates a far more lucid, complete and beautiful work. Some of the additional speech is slightly fuzzy (presumably it was abandoned after the original editing), and the touched up cgi simply serves to display the primative nature of the special effects here (after all it was only 1992!). But all in all this is a worthy purchase for anyone who doesn't already own the box set.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien 3, 15 July 2010
By 
Je Salter (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alien 3 [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
I know that a lot of people slammed this film but it's actually one of my favourites. I first saw it at the cinema when it first came out and have watched it time and time again since.

This film has bags of atmosphere, excellent acting and brilliant special effects along with a great storyline. Filming was done in the UK and the tunnels where filming took place are fantastic and provide superb surroundings.

As well as Charles Dance, Charles S Dutton and Pete Postlethwaite, and obviously Sigournay Weaver there are others that create the atmosphere and dark humour. Long story short, Ellen Ripleys escape pod crash lands on a prison planet after the events in Aliens, where she finds herself surrounded by life term criminals, who effectively have been abandoned by the authorities.

What follows is humour, horror, suspense, death, shaven heads by the dozen and the third instalment of one of the very best science fiction series of films ever. If you haven't seen it already, where have you been? If you haven't seen it, your in for a treat! Imagine how it would be to be in a position to have never seen this series of films! Even though I have and repeatedely, I still watch them again and again and will continue to do so! Excellent!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first cut!, 31 Oct 2005
This review is from: Alien 3 - The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
There are already reviews on this film, and maybe your asking yourselves "why am I reading another 'fan' ramble", well I feel that the other reviewers didn't give enough justice to the DVD set and most people who I've talked to about this film, who only saw the original cut, hated it in some way and won't watch it again.
Originally, before the release of the special edition set, I would agree with their views, which usually consisted of:
- no action like aliens
or
- went back to original Alien roots and failed
I, however, liked the idea that David Fincher went with - despite the critisisms of other folk. Once the Alien Quadrilogy boxset came out I got it straight away. When I saw the first cut of Alien 3 (Special Edition version) I instantly realised what a mistake Fox had made in not letting the first cut go through - I'm my eyes this still may not have done better than Aliens or Alien but it would have done much better than the original cut that Fox released.
This first cut follows closely with the book and has a clearer and a flowing storyline (I didn't like the version with the alien coming out of a dog fully formed, it didn't sit right and had a rushed feel to it). The other thing about the two cuts is when you see the first cut and the original version you start to see how terribly cut the original was.
All in all I feel that this film deserves a second chance (especially since this title is giving you both a special edition and original version). I strongly reccommend getting Alien 3 just for the special edition cut and before you watch it forget the problems of the first one - trust me you'll start to enjoy the first cut of David Fincher's masterpiece.
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