November 02, 2015
Ripley takes two films I consider rather awful and combines them into a fan-edit that I found genuinely impressive and haunting. The incorporation of a non-linear time-shifting narrative is strikingly well-executed and it also works beautifully with Ellen Ripley's characterization. This is a woman who has gone through so much in her long, long life just to make her demons go away, and yet each and every time she believes she's conquered them, they come back to put her through everlasting pain and suffering. Whereas this element is handled rather poorly in David Fincher's original Alien 3, it's gorgeously realized in this fan-edit, thus her tragedy and eventual triumph actually manages to ring true. Somehow, elements I didn't like in Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, from Winona Ryder's android Call to the generic pirates of the commercial freighter Betty to the death and autopsy of Newt, are actually very engaging here. That absolutely blows my mind. Since the two films have wildly different tones and visual styles, Alien 3's being more moody and Gothic and Alien: Resurrection's being more over-the-top and heavily stylized, the fan-edit ditches traditional color for black-and-white, an inspired choice that works terrifically in the long run. Not only does it manage to hide some of the more bad effects work of Alien 3, but it also somehow manages to make the visuals appear even more striking as well as complement the dark, borderline nihilistic tone. Elliot Goldenthal and John Frizzell's scores also mesh together quite terrifically. Ripley doesn't always make sense, but considering just how well-executed this turned out, I'm willing to let that slide. This is unbelievably impressive. If you want the definitive third installment in the original Alien franchise, I highly recommend giving this effort a look.