Note to self: when a press screening is held at the studio, or a private screening room, you don’t need to get there until about 15-20 minutes beforehand. Not knowing that “rule”, Matt and I found ourselves hanging out at Fox for about 45 minutes before the screening of Alien – the Director’s Cut.
Anyone who knows me knows that Aliens is certainly one of my favorite films. The first film was always a “good film” to me, even if it was a bit dated, and slow at times. So, it was with minor trepidation that I went into the Director’s Cut, because I wasn’t quite sure how well the film would hold up. I did see it a few years back, in 1999, at the 20th Anniversary Premiere in Hollywood. It worked then because of the situation – I mean, I was pumped up for the event, I was in the same room as Sigourney Weaver, James Cameron, Tom Skerritt, Ron Cobb, John Hurt, etc. etc. – and so of course the film will be awesome. But would it work in a “regular” environment?
Yes, I think it will. For anyone who hasn’t seen the film on the big screen, it is worth it – it pulls you in, and doesn’t let go. The pacing is better (Ridley Scott trimmed some stuff down). The print and sound look amazing. Goldsmith’s score is still gripping as ever. (I was annoyed by the press release, which indicated that “Goldsmith’s score remained untouched” – since the whole frickin score had been re-arranged from what Goldsmith intended in the first place, back in 1979!) The alien is still frightening, and with the exception of one shot (the side shot when he’s coming for Lambert), it works really well.
There are (to the best of my knowledge) no other major horror films coming out this Halloween, except for a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – which also looks pretty good. But I haven’t seen it (yet), and you know you can’t go wrong with a classic.