A schizophrenic chapter in the Alien franchise, I had no idea what the hell to make of the movie when I watched this in the theater. Never before had a movie done so much during the opening credits to make me hate the movie before it even got going.
Outside of killing Hicks, Newt and Bishop, and the absolute lack of any explanation of how two face-huggers got into the Sulaco, let alone how one got into Ripply's Cryo-Tube, and how the other one survived outside a pod for however long the Sulaco was in transit, once you get past all of that, there is actually a decent story idea with mediocre execution and uneven results that I would rate as a 6 or 7 out of 10.
How does the Re-Essembly cut do? Well, there is no fixing the initial set-up problems, you simply have to acknowledge, accept and move on no matter what version of this movie you watch, and once you do, Xeno has crafted a highly enjoyable version of film from the various sources available thanks to the Quadrilogy release. The editing is great and the audio work is fantastic. There is one deleted scene which is visually integrated well, but the difference of quality in audio is noticeable, but no fault of the editor and I think the inclusion of the scene in its entirety adds a great deal to the film, so it is worth the slight change.
Ultimately I still only view the Alien Franchise as having 2 films, Alien and Aliens, but if you have to watch Alien 3, then this is a great way to do it and certainly a great improvement over the original.
I had the pleasure of (finally) viewing xeno_alpha’s Alien 3 Re-Assembly last night – heres my short and sweet review:
note – I mean no disrespect toward the editor I am merely reviewing what I saw in a constructive manner of criticism. The review does contain spoilers.
The DVD starts off with the standard red faneditor warning but with a great alien twist. I wont spoil it but it was a nice change and made me smile.
The menu features a very nice video montage from the film with a nice alien font complete with interactive icons for play, scene selection and bonus features.
very cool without being overly technical.
The main film is relatively seamless, the assembly cut footage does at times give itself away due to the less than optimal audio track but that is no fault of the editor. There were a few times where the audio seemed very (and I mean VERY) slightly out of sync. Off the top of my head the scene where Ripley wants Dillon to kill her w/ the axe comes to mind. It could be that it was assembly cut footage or maybe I am crazy. Its not bad enough to be fixed but it did seem slightly out of sync. there were a few other parts that had the same issue (to me) but I cant recall specific scenes at this time. Again its a very minor issue and not a deal breaker IMO.
I have never seen the original workprint but this re-assembly was a solid watch, it restored the (pivotal) Golic plot line from the assembly cut and incorporates pieces of the theatrical and assembly cuts to make an almost optimal version (I prefer the theatrical Dillon Motivational scene as it just feels so much more powerful) but that wasn’t the point of this edit. What scenes are present here trims the fat of the assembly cut but still tells a better more complete story than the theatrical cut. This results in a great “third option” for fans of the film.
The bonus features:
There are 2 deleted scenes features that total over an hour of material, both punctuated throughout with nice looking text cards that explain the individual scenes and why they were removed from this version. The first feature focuses on deleted material from the assembly cut and is nice to see what was cut and why.
The second feature, which IMO is the real gem of this disc, contains deleted and alternate scenes from the original Alien 3 Workprint. And while not at all pretty to look at, its a great addition for Alien 3 fans and series completionists. This stuff is very cool, and that alone warrants it a place alongside the quadrilogy set on my shelf.
So, if you liked the original film or the assembly cut this edit successfully bridges the gap and is definitely worth a look for fans of the film/series.
Video: Very nice image quality comparable to the source material. 9/10
Audio: Nice 5.1 surround, no glitches of note. 9/10
Editing: Other than obvious issues present in the assembly cut and minor A/V sync issues mentioned above, this edit was seamless. 9/10
DVD authoring: Nice menu, simple but effective. Bonus materials (especially workprint scenes) are a nice addition and inflate my score from a 7/10 to a 8/10
Entertainment: I think I may like this more than the other cuts available. Definitely better than the theatrical and better pacing than the assembly. Other than my personal preference differing on a few scenes/edits, this is an improved version of the film IMO. 9/10
This is a good edit, I really think you tried to fix this film the best you possibly could (its pretty sad that the Workprint is better than the final product here), and I respect that.
But the film is beyond repair, and it isnt your fault as an editor either. This film shouldnt have been made, and I know some people actually like it, but I don’t, and I knew I still wouldn’t enjoy it going in. Again, not your fault. An editor cant fix every frame of a film – because they would have to make a new film (obviously), and it just isn’t possible lol!
To fans of Alien3, I think that you’ll probably really like this edit, it adds more to the film than I expected (even though you simply cant fix this in my eyes), and my cousin who likes Alien3 actually enjoyed it much more than the original film. I would recommend this, but only to fans of Alien3.
For me, in my biased opinion, the film itself will always be a 1-3/10, the edit itself however, gets an 8.5/10 because it does what it says it does, and it does it relatively well too.
ELBARTO1 said before that the audio is just slightly out of sync at times, and I noticed this too, thankfully it probably wont be very distracting to an uneducated eye. The features are a must for any fan of the series (myself included). I do feel that this edit is more bearable than the original for sure, it raises my rating from 1/10 to about 3/10. I still don’t like the film very much, but as I said before, it would have to basically be a different movie for me to enjoy it.
Good job, and here’s hoping we see more from you in the future Xeno_Alpha_07!