Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Danny Webb, Christopher John Fields, Holt McCallany, Lance Henriksen, Christopher Fairbank, Carl Chase, Leon Herbert, Vincenzo Nicoli, Pete Postlethwaite
Written by: David Giler, Walter Hill, Larry Ferguson, based on a story by Vincent Ward
Directed by: David Fincher
MPAA Rating: R for monster violence, and for language
Running Time: 114
Date: 05/22/1992

Alien³ (1992)

3 Stars (out of 4)

A Close Shave

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Former TV commercial and music video maker David Fincher made his feature directorial debut with Alien 3, which was received in the summer of 1992 without much enthusiasm. Fincher had the audacity to kill off little Newt in the film's opening minutes, and failed to anticipate the mysterious power that Cameron holds over Hollywood and moviegoers alike. (The general perception was that, since his film was not Aliens, it was not any good.) But it's an amazing film on many levels, switching 180 degrees to a grungy, dreary mood, with a bald Ripley holding court on a remote men's prison planet (where she crash lands). Here she's even more wary and guarded, dealing with the loss of her "child" and with her own "pregnancy."

Fincher apparently had troubles with Fox and his preferred cut does not yet exist. (Though a longer, "assembly" cut does exist, and is available on the Alien Anthology box set.) Charles S. Dutton and Charles Dance co-star, and Lance Henriksen makes an appearance. The movie received a single Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.

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