Have you ever noticed how beer pong and xenomorphs have a lot in common?
I was at a friend’s party yesterday and was for the first time in my life one of the more experienced beer pong players in the room. This is not to imply that I am good, but simply that I have played more often than some of my other friends in attendance last night. While explaining the rules to one of our rookie pals, the host explained how when the ball rolls around the rim of a cup she, as a woman, can blow into the cup to attempt to remove it, while he, as a man, must finger it out with a flick. I elaborated this with a comparison that he, being a fellow movie buff – and one of the few I have met who is more experienced in that than myself – would understand. I explained that beer pong, like the Alien franchise, is rife with sexual themes, and that the blowing and fingering are drinking game counterparts to oral sex and digital penetration. It may not be as subtle or artistic in beer pong as it is in Alien, but sex is symbolized in both.
But I didn’t come here to talk about beer pong. I mean, sure I could regale you with the tale of how I won a round of four-on-four civil war when I was the lone man against three others, yet that is probably not what you want to read about. Unless maybe… no? Okay, I’ll move on to the main event for today. Yes, instead of a focus on the finer points of beer pong from me, I offer to you an excellent video essay on the Alien movies from someone else. In particular, the video I have included is the latest in a series from the YouTube channel The Long Take where main man Rafael breaks down Alien 3 (I’m not doing the “cubed” notation thing). Previously, he analyzed the first two films in the series, but this recently released review is unique in that it covers the film that marked the point where the franchise started to falter.
Generally speaking, Alien 3 is not a good movie. It is instead the epitome of a film ruined by studio interference, as well as a testament to the skill of David Fincher, who became so frustrated with Fox Pictures that he practically begged for his name to be removed from the director credit of the first film he was hired to direct! As we know now, things turned out okay for Fincher (can’t wait for that Mindhunter season two!), and while financially xenomorphs still bring home some bacon, the quality of each film that followed Fincher’s (or rather what became of the film he tried to make) has deteriorated. Even with Ridley Scott at the helm of the franchise he masterfully started and made his cinematic name with, the latest round of Alien movies have been pretty sub-par, if not God awful. However, God and awful are major themes that are worth looking at in the movie that we got with Fincher’s first directing effort. Simultaneously, we get to see the promising rise of a (then) young director as the film traces the tragic fall of its protagonist and philosophy. Unfortunately, it resulted in the disappointing fall from grace of an astoundingly promising franchise that had hit so well with its first two efforts as so few have. Nevertheless, there is much done right with Alien 3 and you can learn about it here:
Thanks for reading and watching! I highly recommend The Long Take’s takes on Alien and Aliens too if you’re interested. I also recommend returning here next week for more out of this world fun (it’ll be about anticipation for Star Wars). As always, send me any questions, comments, or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
11 days to go,