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Old November 29 2010, 10:06 PM   #1
Candlelight
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Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

*** This is for Alien 3 fans only. This is not a disussion about Alien 3 Vs Resurrection, or how you negatively view Alien 3. ***

There are two versions of Alien 3. The Theatrical Cut and the Assembly Cut. Both of them have their merits and for me I can't say which is best cos I like bits of both, so I thought I'd do a small deconstruction; scene by scene (to a degree), where the movie differs greatly, state your favourite version. If there’s a scene I’ve missed please add it.

Ripley's arrival on Fury 161
Theatrical Cut - Ripley's EEV is investigated by prisoners along with Spike the dog. Spike is later threatened by a facehugger.
Assembly Cut - Ripley is found by Clemens on the beach near the prison and is brought inside by him.
Theatrical. Practically the whole movie is set within the claustrophobic confines of the prison except for this one scene.

Dog-burster Vs Ox-burster
Theatrical Cut – Spike is found by Murphy with cuts on his face, clearly a victim of the facehugger. During the funeral, Spike goes into convulsions and the alien emerges from him.
Assembly Cut – Two prisoners bring the dead body of an Ox into the prison, saying she was in her prime and not sure why she died. One prisoner holds up the dead form of a larger facehugger. Later during the funeral scene, the Alien emerges from it.
Theatrical. Having Spike made it a closer connection to the inmates rather than just some ox out in a field. Seeing the "super-facehugger" in the theatrical cut would've been good though.

The Toxic Waste Sequence
Theatrical Cut – The prisoners barely escape from the fire but the Alien escapes.
Assembly Cut – Prisoner Junior sacrifices himself to trap the Alien in the toxic waste chamber, the prisoners say a prayer, Ripley converses with Aaron, Golic escapes from the infirmary and releases the Alien, which then kills him.
Assembly. This isn't such a bad deleted scene, and does allow for more character scenes. Plus it does give closure to Golic's character, who vanishes part way through the Theatrical cut, and we're supposed to just think he's one of the inmates killed at the end of the movie.

The End of Ripley
Theatrical Cut – Ripley has a longer fall into the fire, and clutches the Queens as it emerges from her chest to make sure it doesn’t jump clear.
Assembly Cut – Shorter fall, no alien emerges from her chest.
Theatrical by a long shot. The music in the Assembly cut just seems off, and the shot of Ripley grabbing the queen in her final moments is powerful.
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Old November 29 2010, 10:56 PM   #2
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

I'm stuck on the issue of her arrival. The theatrical version is good in many ways, but the assembly cut version at least explain how she survived while the others didn't (the damage to her tube caused it to break open and pull her out to sea while the Super-Hugger kept her alive).

I do like the Dog burster better, but I want to keep the Super-Hugger (they used the Oxen to pull the EEV to the prison, which is how the Super-Hugger got on one). So I guess just having the Superhugger get the Dog works best.

The ending, the AC version. If she was about to burst then there's no sacrifice. But if she WASN'T going to burst then killing herself is a real sacrifice.
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Old November 29 2010, 11:05 PM   #3
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

I'd have to watch them again, but I thought I preferred the Assembly cut, but you make some good points.

Thinking on it now, I agree about Spike being the better "carrier." His death is more tragic because the prisoners have a connection to him, as well as the fact that he's a dog in general. We have more of a connection to dogs than to oxen. There's a step of removal, there. Plus, we don't see it suffer, so it lacks even that bit of emotional impact.

Plus, the shape of the alien is more dog-like. When I first saw this movie, I was intrigued by the idea of the alien taking on some of the physical characteristics of the host animal. It got one thinking about all sorts of variations on the alien design. (The toy line really ran with that idea, as I recall.)

I might disagree on Ripley's fall into the fire, though. Again, I'll have to watch it, but the scene struck me as over-the-top, especially when the chestburster chose that convenient moment to emerge. You could make the argument that it popped out prematurely because it knew it was about to die, I suppose.
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Old November 30 2010, 12:04 AM   #4
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

Candlelight wrote: View Post

The End of Ripley
Theatrical Cut – Ripley has a longer fall into the fire, and clutches the Queens as it emerges from her chest to make sure it doesn’t jump clear.
Assembly Cut – Shorter fall, no alien emerges from her chest.
Theatrical by a long shot. The music in the Assembly cut just seems off, and the shot of Ripley grabbing the queen in her final moments is powerful.
I know what you mean about the music, definitely, but I like the increased tension of how it takes Ripley longer to build up the courage to do it.
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Old November 30 2010, 12:24 AM   #5
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

Anwar wrote: View Post
The ending, the AC version. If she was about to burst then there's no sacrifice. But if she WASN'T going to burst then killing herself is a real sacrifice.
She told Bishop that 'she just felt it move', meaning it was about to burst anyway. Yes coincidental but to see the Alien queen screaming as it's born and Ripley holding it close was far better than her simply falling in.

It also added another strength to her - usually victims die almost instantly (Kane in Alien, the female colonist in Aliens), but here she's still able to cling to life and make sure the Alien dies with her.

EDIT: Whoops, I was supposed to quote Spiffy about the timing, not you Anwar!
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Old November 30 2010, 01:46 AM   #6
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

I'm staggered at the news that the Assembly Cut was ever released. How did I miss that? I'm assuming it was only included in the 9-disc "quadrilogy", which I never paid much attention to, as it was way out of my price range. It sounds amazing though. Loved "Aliens" but "Alien 3" was much more in the spirit of the original "Alien", and as such, I've never understood the hate some people have for it.
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Old November 30 2010, 02:11 AM   #7
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

The AC? It's been out for 7 years man!
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Old November 30 2010, 02:28 AM   #8
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

You can get it in the Quadrilogy set yes but if you're a Blu-Ray fan then try and get the new Anthology set, which for anything has a better audio transfer mainly due to the new ADR recorded for the set.
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Old November 30 2010, 02:37 AM   #9
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

Anwar wrote: View Post
The AC? It's been out for 7 years man!
Perhaps so, but this is literally the very first time I've heard that this version was ever completed, let alone released. And I spend the vast bulk of my Internet life on sf and movie boards, so, again, I don't know how I missed it. Hence my utter amazement that I'd somehow managed to not learn of it til now.
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Old November 30 2010, 02:44 AM   #10
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

I prefer the one I didn't see. As in "I didn't see Alien 3."
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Old November 30 2010, 03:19 AM   #11
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

chardman wrote: View Post
Loved "Aliens" but "Alien 3" was much more in the spirit of the original "Alien", and as such, I've never understood the hate some people have for it.
Since (and let the record show) that chardman brought it up...

I love Aliens as much as anyone, but Dean Ebert wasn't wrong when he said that its torrent of violence and suspense bordered on gruesomeness, especially since the whole two movies only take a few days of Ripley's waking life. Given all they've been through, she and her new daughter deserve some peace and quiet.

For all I know, A3 is a decent action movie, but if I'm going to experience the relative emotional sadism of seeing Ripley suffer even more, "decent" isn't enough, A3 would have to be a bloomin' masterpiece - and the consensus is pretty clear that that's not the case.

Ergo, I'm with Dennis. Until someone makes another movie in the series that doesn't continue Ripley's torture, I'm sticking the two classics.
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Old November 30 2010, 04:14 AM   #12
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

I never bought into her relationship with Newt in the first place. I mean seriously, she forget all about her REAL daughter and is SO attached to a girl she's known for a day at most?!

You may not like the relationship she had with Doctor Clemens in A3, but at least she knew him longer than she knew Newt and Hicks.
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Old November 30 2010, 04:20 AM   #13
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

Theatrical cut for everything, except for the Assembly cut of these two scenes:The Toxic Waste Sequence &
End Of Ripley.
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Old November 30 2010, 05:47 AM   #14
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

Anwar wrote: View Post
I never bought into her relationship with Newt in the first place. I mean seriously, she forget all about her REAL daughter and is SO attached to a girl she's known for a day at most?!

You may not like the relationship she had with Doctor Clemens in A3, but at least she knew him longer than she knew Newt and Hicks.
What does length of time have to do with anything where human attachment is concerned?

Ripley recently had a small child (who grew to old age without her in what was a short time for Ripley and a very long time for her).

Newt is a defenseless child who has remarkably managed to stay alive on a planet of monsters - monsters who Ripley has a very personal dislike of and who killed Newt's parents.

Of course Ripley grows close to Newt and tries to protect her. God, how can people who don't relate to this kind of thing get any enjoyment out of narrative movies at all? It's mind-boggling.

Frankly, if that kind of thinking is supposed to constitute an argument in favor of Alien 3 let's just burn all the negatives right now.
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Old November 30 2010, 06:02 AM   #15
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Re: Which version of Alien 3 do you prefer?

In response to the Ebert critique above, isn't it strongly implied that at least a few weeks (if not longer) go by between Ripley's hearing and the visit Burke and Gorman pay her?
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