Queering James Cameron’s Aliens (1986)

Aliens (1986) is curiously progressive in its sexual politics for a movie released at the height of the Reagan years. Take, for instance, the exchange between Hudson (Bill Paxton) and Frost (Ricco Ross) when they sit down in the mess hall. Hudson asks about the mission, to which their Sarge replies, "It's a rescue mission. … Continue reading Queering James Cameron’s Aliens (1986)

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Alternate Reality Reviews: Alien 3 (1989)

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Never has this been more true than with Alien 3 (1989). The sequel to the critically acclaimed box office hits Alien (1978) and Aliens (1986), it tried in every way to one up its predecessors and failed miserably. Rather than taking the lead from … Continue reading Alternate Reality Reviews: Alien 3 (1989)

The Voyeuristic Gaze in The Fifth Element and Alien: Resurrection

In 1997, two French directors released movies they'd made in the United States. The first director, Luc Besson, had already announced his arrival with 1994's Leon: The Professional. The second director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, would have a very tumultuous first American product. While these two men have much in common, what's most striking with The Fifth Element … Continue reading The Voyeuristic Gaze in The Fifth Element and Alien: Resurrection

Down There, in the Basement: The Hopeful Nihilism of Alien³

Although it took about 20 years, I eventually came around to loving Alien³. The nihilism, the imagery, the subtext; this is a dense movie. The setting is brilliant, because the lack of weapons not only restores the xenomorph's threat, but devolves the cast back to medieval times. They might as well be in a Gothic … Continue reading Down There, in the Basement: The Hopeful Nihilism of Alien³

Conquest of Paradise: A Post-Colonial Reading of Ridley Scott’s Alien Trilogy

In Alien, is the "Original Sin" of the series that the crew of the Nostromo mined all that ore? On the surface, Captain Dallas and his crew are seemingly regular joes, space truckers they've been called, who stumble into a horrific situation. It's just bad luck, not unlike opening of Pitch Black two decades later. … Continue reading Conquest of Paradise: A Post-Colonial Reading of Ridley Scott’s Alien Trilogy