November 02, 2015
Editor JobWillins previous edit - Derelict - was an arresting and entertaining comparison of two of the stronger entries in the Alien canon. If anything, Derelict shows how much the Prometheus lot echoed / borrowed / swiped from the original Alien movie. This second edit mixes two of the most misunderstood, if not roundly disliked Alien films, Alien³ and Resurrection. Skepticism notwithstanding, I dropped in to have a look.
Video - 1280 X 720p MPEG-4. As with Derelict, Ripley is also rendered black n white. Too dark, especially in the first third, to my liking. Brightness could be boosted a bit, and yes I understand filmmakers use smoke and shadows to mask budgetary limitations. I strained to make out foreground details. A curious thing I noticed was two (2) video streams. After demuxing, the smaller stream revealed itself to be a series of ten still frames. Time markers for the editor perhaps? Or perhaps an abandoned menu design? I had never seen that before.
Editing itself was uniformly fine. Now and then, an inspired cut from one film to another. Most struck me as random.
Audio - 2 Channel AAC, 251 Kb variable. No subs. Despite being a pair of actioners, the dynamic range is not especially sweeping. Dialogue understandable throughout.
Narrative - Ripley suffers in comparison with Derelict. Ripley is two films from two different periods of the timeline. The edited story bounces about like a pinball. There seems no reason for this. The editor simply could have assembled his film chronologically, rather than this random method. Both storylines are weak on plot. Characters are poorly drawn, and even Ripley is barely more than a cipher. This is especially true for the Resurrection half.
Part of the problem lies with the original films themselves. Garbage in, garbage out, as the saying goes. JobWillins is trying to forge a superior viewing experience from poor stories.
Enjoyment - Less than ecstatic, I’m afraid. I disliked both films when I first screened them theatrically. They failed to improve after seeing on VHS and later DVD. The stories are simply weak, the characters unmemorable. This edit did nothing to improve my opinion.
The closing credits ought to have mirrored the opening credits, by the way. The dual closing credits are too busy and an unfortunate choice.