First off this will be my go to when re-watching the franchise. I can actually add these two (combined) to the collection.
The originals as we know have always been a disappointment (Covenant reminiscent of the bargain bin days) but honestly this was a stroke of genius regarding editing. Combining the two for a David-centric story line (as it always should of been) provides us with all of the best moments the films produced i.e. Fassbender meets Fassbender.
My only gripes are some minor character elements which would of given just that bit extra (honestly not much to add at all) i.e. Tennessee's reaction to his wife's outcome as I find I don't really care at all for the rest of the cast which could just give this edit that final chord. Also the ending's choice of music (Beatlemania); as an intense atmosphere is created throughout, when it came to the end the choice of song just didn't sit with me and I found myself brought out of the terror that is the final curtain draw. Even just using the voice-over (which I liked) and maybe cutting in that song as the ship drifts off into the black sunset might of made a difference for myself.
But please folks do yourself a favor and watch this excellent edit!
I am a huge fan of the two Alien movies but have not cared for another one since.
I had high hopes for Pandora when I watched it in theaters, and while there were definitely things I liked, it just fell flat. I didn't understand some of the mythology, or why it was included in the movie. Some things seemed connected to Alien lore, some didn't. I felt there were a lot of unnecessary scenes, and severe pacing and continuity issues. It was a genuinely frustrating experience.
After Pandora, I almost didn't watch Covenant. When I finally did watch it, I turned it off around the half-way point. Same problems as Pandora and the lore continuity issues were made even worse.
It always irritated me that an IP with such a solid start (the first two movies) was mishandled time, and time again. Thank God for fan editors.
Paradise not only salvaged both films but also creates consistent lore: Paradise -> Alien -> Aliens -> Ripley (another fan edit).
Alien was the first horror movie I was allowed to watch on cable TV as a kid, and it blew my mind. Later, I remember going to the theater intending to see some other movie I don't remember, then seeing Aliens on the marquee. I wasn't old enough to get in, but the alien queen herself couldn't have stopped me. I bought a ticket for some PG movie, and promptly switched theaters. Then did it again the next weekend.
These movies were a part of my childhood, and now I have FINALLY been able to watch more satisfying installments to the franchise.
A huge thank you to the fan editor. It's a damn shame some of these beloved IPs are ruined by studios, but at least they are fixed now.
"It's christmas and I want to open my presents". That's how I felt about watching Paradise.
It's probably my favorite fanedit ever because of how skillfully it manages to make a really good movie out of two bad ones.
Nowadays it's once in a blue moon that we get to see a grandiose sci-fi tale, packed with appalling visuals of Ridley Scott's expertise, but not marred by ridiculous writing and superfluous gimmicks. And that's exactly what Paradise is. It's technically masterful - the edition is seamless and everything fits as if it was the original montage of the movie. I would say the overall highlights are the now unburdened beautiful setpieces and the brilliant design of space-faring vehicles and whatnot. But most definitely, a movie for David to call his own.
If I am to indulge in nitpicking though, there are some things I would have edited further to improve the narrative as per my personal enjoyment - if I were to master such arts:
Vickers - It feels like she doesn't belong anywhere anymore. Even though she acts like she owns the place, she has no agency at anything, her ultimate fate is left unknown (as opposed to the original version) and the synthetic ambiguity about her character is reduced with the removal of most of her lines. I don't know to what extent her absence would impact the editing, but I feel like she could be completely cut off, making the edit even tighter.
Both original movies introduce a disgusting freakshow roster of creatures (mostly Prometheus) that I am glad are mostly gone in Paradise (along with the gorier death scenes). However, I still have a gripe with Shaw's surgery and the Neomorph's spawnings. These scenes are very graphic and I would be completely fine with it if they were addressing the Xenomorph. Instead, I find them utterly distracting since they're just exploiting the parasitic horror for shock value (same thing for the snake creature that runs off of Millburn's corpse. What movie is this again?) I would ditch the whole Shaw cesary scene since it does absolutely no impact to her for the rest of the movie - it surprisingly doesn't affect her neither mentally nor physically (which is terribly unconvincing, no matter how many drug doses the movie shows her injecting herself). But I know that one would be tricky since it's followed directly by Weyland's reveal where Shaw appears half naked and visually debilitated, so it would make little sense without the previous events. As for Ledward's spawn, his back burst could lead directly to the newborn neomorph lunging for Karine and skipping the brief CGI sequence that shows the thing rising up from it's placenta - the same for Lope's husband one (whose infection is confusingly overlooked).
The engineered virulent pathogen is also something I never liked about the original versions. I understand how it fits into David's carrying on the Engineers' ploy, but it feels like a disservice to the classic Xenomorph biological glory and mystery. It also feels too mundane that the Engineers big plan was an old-fashioned terrorist-esque biological weapon. I love that David is the Xeno's father and that he created the "perfect organism", but it's an underlying tone inconsistency that the movies can't decide if they want to go with the contagion theme or the infection theme. That's to mention some really silly sequences that demonstrate the processes: Holloway seeing his eyes' worm thingy on the mirror, and Ledward's spore infection through his ear canals. They're both brief CGI sequences that take weight off the suspense. We already know they have been infected, yet the movies go the extra mile to graphically demonstrate it. It's uncalled for and in bad taste. Classic case of less is more. Also, Oram's Xeno mimicking David remains laughable. Personally, I would have gone further in editing out all of these.
If there's one scene I would not have cut is the cargo lift showdown from Covenant. It sure could do with some cuts of the most slapstick action and impossible physics, but it's a truly heart-pumping piece with both Daniels and the Xenomorph showing their full prowess and resilience - definitely Aliens inspired. I also understand the scene takes away a little of the suspense from the chase aboard the Covenant that follows, but I actually missed it from Paradise.
All in all though, these are issues I have with the original material. I just felt like this was the right place to share them, with fellow fans that actually edited out a better movie off of what we were given. I'm very thankful for Job's edit, and again, it just might be my favorite one - hence my passion in dissecting it thoroughly. Look upon his works, Paradise is definitely a proper Alien prequel.
Deftly weaving between two films that each had their own unique problems that could be and needed to be fixed, Paradise creates a strong narrative of its own, while retaining Ridley Scott's original themes and removing the attempts to cater to a more mainstream audience. There are so many perfect little cuts that vastly improve the narrative (my favorite being the removal of the close up insert shot of David spiking Holloway's drink).
The editing is flawless and the additions are perfect. Quality is fantastic, although I would be interested in a fully uncompressed BD.
Leave it to a mash-up of two decent but wildly divisive films to make Beatles songs terrifying. If something as impossible as that can be made possible, then the faneditor has to be doing something right. Much like Ripley, this manages to take two very flawed if not all that bad films and put them together into a single narrative that works surprisingly beautifully. Many of the elements that bog both films down are removed and the clever back-and-forth editing not only keeps this moving at a smooth pace but also further emphasizes the themes of creation and its relationship with the creator in a way that's incredibly engaging and meaningful. The addition of deleted scenes and marketing material, i.e. the Peter Weyland TED Talk, is much welcome. I'm shocked by how much I enjoyed this.