Alien

Oct. 30, 2014 | 12:37 p.m.

‘Alien': Neil Marshall praises Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic [guest essay]

In the spirit of Halloween, Hero Complex reached out to select filmmakers to solicit their fondest memories of classic horror. Below, Neil Marshall — who recently directed the pilot episode of NBC’s new series “Constantine,” and who produced the ghost story “Soulmate,” which arrived on DVD this week — discusses his respect and admiration for Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” He also addresses its influence on his features, including the acclaimed thriller “The Descent,” a superlative horror story that sees a strong heroine fighting monsters in a confined setting. Few horror movies have had such a profound effect on me as Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece, “Alien.” Few movies of any kind have had as much of an impact and influence on the movies I make. I was too young to catch it at the cinema when it was first released, but my […]
Oct. 06, 2014 | 12:07 p.m.

‘Alien’ at 35: Sigourney Weaver reflects on Ridley Scott’s masterpiece

Sigourney Weaver and director Ridley Scott on the set of "Alien." (Robert Penn / 20th Century Fox)
Ridley Scott’s landmark “Alien” arrived in theaters 35 years ago this year, introducing moviegoers to an actress named Sigourney Weaver. As Ellen Ripley, Weaver delivered a mesmerizing performance that catapulted her into the Hollywood spotlight and broke significant ground for women in genre. Three decades later, Weaver notes that any message of empowerment the original film might have communicated was accidental and not an effort on Scott’s part to blaze a new trail. “I always felt that the decision to make Ripley the survivor was not made out of any great feminist sentiment,” the Oscar-nominated actress said. “It was, ‘No one will ever guess that this girl will end up being the survivor.’ It wasn’t a statement of any kind, but he really made it work.” Intentional or not, “Alien” set a new standard for outer space cinema, with Scott’s […]
Oct. 04, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Alien: Isolation’ review: Ripley’s daughter plays solitary to the hilt

Players control Amanda Ripley in "Alien: Isolation." (Creative Assembly / Sega)
THE PLAYER Though she’s long considered one of the great cinematic heroes, Ellen Ripley has generally been a forgettable one when it comes to video games. Steely in her beliefs yet unafraid to show emotion and a friend to felines, the character made famous by Sigourney Weaver in the “Alien” films possesses as much thoughtfulness as action-star bullheadedness. It’s a combustible cocktail of very human emotional traits that until recently were not easily translated into action video games. But is it any wonder the video game industry has struggled to turn “Alien,” especially the 1979 sci-fi horror film of the same name from Ridley Scott, into a notable game? After all, it’s a story in which firing a gun at the enemy, one that bleeds corrosive acid, is essentially suicide. So guns, the favored weapon for nearly all interactive heroes, […]
June 12, 2014 | 6:04 p.m.

‘Alien': Ridley Scott helped shape Ripley, Sigourney Weaver says [video]

While Sigourney Weaver always will be Ripley to some “Alien” fans, the actress said that the development of the character was really a team effort with director Ridley Scott. During a recent appearance at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival, Weaver said that, as a young actress, she knew she could trust Scott to help her mold Ellen Ripley in the right way and create a hero not traditionally seen in the science-fiction world. “Ridley was so instrumental in making her as powerful as she was,” she said. “Ridley just has such an eye for what’s real and what’s true and what’s right and I really felt like I could always depend on him completely.” Weaver’s appearance capped off the Hero Complex Film Festival, which took place May 30-June 1 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The […]
June 11, 2014 | 11:30 a.m.

Sigourney Weaver reflects on her ‘Aliens’ Oscar nomination [Video]

For Sigourney Weaver, being nominated for a best actress Academy Award for her groundbreaking turn in 1986’s “Aliens” had immediate and tangible effects. Weaver said she got the news while preparing for her role as Dian Fossey in “Gorillas in the Mist” and had been meeting with producers who wanted her to work with domesticated chimps to research the role. Weaver had been arguing that the endeavor wouldn’t be helpful to her. “After I got the nomination, suddenly, they listened to me very carefully,” she said during a recent appearance at the Hero Complex Film Festival. A tribute to Weaver at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood capped off the fifth annual event on June 1. The actress took the stage for an in-depth Q&A between screenings of Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 science fiction film “Alien” and James Cameron’s sequel […]
June 10, 2014 | 3:17 p.m.

Sigourney Weaver: Will ‘Avatar’ sequels pave way for new ‘Alien’ film?

Could Sigourney Weaver be preparing to revisit one of her most iconic characters? The answer appears to be yes. News broke this week that the actress would return to the world of Pandora for James Cameron’s upcoming sequels to “Avatar,” but speaking at the Hero Complex Film Festival earlier this month, Weaver also pointed out her willingness to play Ellen Ripley, the heroine at the heart of the “Alien” franchise, one final time. “I do feel that there’s more story to tell,” Weaver said. Weaver’s appearance capped off the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The actress took the stage for an in-depth Q&A between screenings of Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 science fiction film “Alien” and Cameron’s 1986 sequel “Aliens.” (Cameron was a guest of honor at the festival on Saturday, on […]
June 10, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

E3 2014: ‘Alien: Isolation’ invents powerful heroine in Amanda Ripley

The alien is an "unstoppable force" in "Alien: Isolation." (Creative Assembly / Sega)
There was one primary rule given to players who settled in for a demo of Sega’s upcoming game “Alien: Isolation”: Do not try to kill the alien. “Alien: Isolation,” due this October for most major consoles, takes its inspiration directly from Ridley Scott’s 1979 landmark space film, which introduced audiences to the menacing, H.R. Giger-designed creature. The ultimate goal of the game, its writers and designers say, is simply to stay one step ahead of the monster, which cannot be outrun or eliminated. “What we have thought throughout the project is that this is an homage to the original movie, where the alien is unstoppable,” said Will Porter, one of the writers on the game being developed by Creative Assembly. “The alien is death. From that, that’s where the game play comes from. That’s where the tension comes from. It gives it a different feeling from […]
June 02, 2014 | 6:08 a.m.

Sigourney Weaver eyes new Ripley adventures at Hero Complex Film Fest

Sigourney Weaver takes questions from fans and talks about the lasting significance of the "Alien" franchise at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Sigourney Weaver was midway through praising her character of Ellen Ripley, her iconic role from the “Alien” franchise, whom she called “an existential hero” with a firm “moral compass,” when she alluded to a very popular discussion among fans. “Had we done a fifth one, I don’t doubt that her humanity would have prevailed. … “I do feel like there is more story to tell.” Weaver’s appearance capped off the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The actress took the stage for an in-depth Q&A between screenings of Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 science fiction film “Alien” and James Cameron’s 1986 sequel “Aliens.” (Cameron was a guest of honor at the festival on Saturday, on hand for a Q&A of his own between screenings of “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”) Weaver […]
May 13, 2014 | 5:57 p.m.

H.R. Giger, Surrealist artist, ‘Alien’ designer, dead at 74

H.R. Giger poses with two of his works at the art museum in Chur, Switzerland. (Arno Balzarini / AP Photo/Keystone)
H.R. Giger, the legendary Swiss surrealist artist whose designs for Ridley Scott’s “Alien” changed the cinematic science fiction landscape, has died at age 74. Giger won an Oscar for 1979’s “Alien,” and his work appeared in the sequel “Alien 3″ as well as the 1995 movie “Species.” In addition to his sculptures, he painted and designed furniture, and amassed a macabre collection of unusual artifacts that included eight human skeletons. In a 1998 interview with Times staff writer Kathleen Craughwell, the then-58-year-old said that his otherworldly art was influenced by the cruelty to animals he witnessed as a child in his native country: “I could see how [the farmers] knock down a cow with the big hammer. One was holding her and the other was hammering this cow. It was terrible. And they’d cry, and this noise, I never will […]
April 29, 2014 | 9:30 a.m.

James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver top Hero Complex Film Festival lineup

cameron-weaver
Revolutionary filmmaker James Cameron, groundbreaking actress Sigourney Weaver and venerable writer-director Joe Dante will be among the special guests at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival, set to take place May 30-June 1 at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. Festival programming also will include a special tribute to the recent TV series “Battlestar Galactica,” with actors Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell and Jamie Bamber and creator Ronald D. Moore; a preview of the animated sequel “How to Train Your Dragon 2″; and a special “quote-along” Sunday matinee showing of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Celebrated Australian comics artist Nicola Scott (“Birds of Prey,” “Secret Six”), who currently illustrates DC Comics’ “Earth 2,” created the out-of-this-world image for this year’s festival poster, pictured at right. The festival will open May 30 with a free screening of the 2003 […]
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