Movie Class 101 – Week 006 – A Hero – Pure and Simple

May 31, 2012

Week Six: A Hero – Pure and Simple

Ellen Ripley is a bad-ass.  She was a bad-ass in 1979.  She was even more of a bad-ass in 1986.  In the world of Epic Bad-Asses…. Ellen Ripley is QUEEN!

“In 2011, Total Film ranked her first of their top of the 100 Greatest Female Characters. Ripley has been selected as the eighth greatest hero in American cinema history by the American Film Institute, as 5th coolest hero in pop culture by Entertainment Weekly, the 9th greatest movie character ever by Empire (the highest-placing female of the list), and the eighth best movie character of all time by Premiere, In 2011,
John Scalzi called her “Clearly the Best Female Character in Scifi Film”.

On June 8th, Prometheus opens.  Considering that it is a movie built with Alien‘s DNA, it just makes sense to catch up before this summer block buster comes out.

The last box set calls it the “Alien Anthology”.  Alien (directed by Ridley Scott) in 1979, Aliens (directed by James Cameron) in 1986, Alien 3 (directed by David Fincher) in 1992, and Alien Resurrection (directed by Jean-Pierre Jeune) in 1997.  I’m sorry but I am not counting AVP (Alien Vs Predator directed by Paul W.S. Anderson) because… I just can’t.

You can call it Horror, you can call it Sci-Fi, you can call it Thriller.. it really doesn’t matter.  It’s good storytelling.  It’s good film making.  It’s good acting, directing, set design… hell it’s good gaffing.  These are good films.  Genre films, sure, but at their core they are simply good films.

Nota Bene:  Alien co-starred Ian Holmes and John Hurt.  Sir Ian’s career spans 44 years; Sir John’s 50.  And the more I look at these gentlemen’s work, the more I think… yeah if they are in a film, I should probably watch it.

This week’s film list:

1. Alien (1979)
2. Aliens (1986)
3. Alien 3 (1992)
4. Alien Resurrection (1997)

Discussion questions:

1 – After Ellen Ripley, who do you think is the greatest film heroine?
2 – Do film series improve or degenerate with the loss of the original director?  (give arguments for and against)
3 – What genre do you classify each of the Alien films?

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