Episode 103: Aliens (1986)

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The guys wake up from a great 57 year nap in space, only to go on another bug hunt with Ripley on this week's podcast on James Cameron's Aliens. The continuation of Ridley Scott's original 1979 film sees Sigourney Weaver return, this time with plenty of rest, as she's ready to attempt to end the Xenomorph plague once and for all with a new rag-tag group of soldiers, featuring some of the most amazing characters that have ever been thrown together for a bug hunt: Bill Paxton as Hudson, Michael Biehn as Hicks, Jenette Goldstein as Vasquez, Al Matthews as Apone, and Paul Reiser as Burke, the necessary corporate presence for such a rescue mission. Things don't seem so bad at first, when they only find a very dirty child named Newt, played by Carrie Henn, but they begin to find more and more that is really not all that pleasant. Namely, a nest of acid-bleeding monsters ready to rip some guts and spread some goo. The Bit Players talk about how Cameron takes an already beloved film franchise and puts his own genre stamp on it, how truly remarkable it is for two films to be so wildly different yet both so consistently good, and the things that Aliens gets right that maybe Alien didn't. Ripley's progression as a character is — aside from, of course, every single thing Paxton's Private Hudson says — what makes the sequel stand apart as its own masterful work of cinema, and the guys break down the seeming differences in the ways that Scott and Cameron view both humanity and technology through their respective films' robotic/human heel turns.

Featuring "Bishop's Countdown" by James Horner

02:34 Number Crunching
14:09 Aliens Introduction
14:53 Sequel Continuation and Alien Franchise's Authorial Reach
18:20 The Film's Introduction and Director's Cut Content
20:28 Military Element and Ripley's New Crew
22:52 James Cameron's Playing with Franchise Expectations and the Difficulties of Making a Sequel
24:30 Aliens as an Action Film
28:36 Ripley Takes Charge and Her Character Arc
33:20 Newt
37:18 Jarryd's Cinema Experience
40:14 The Role of the Synthetic and the Differences in Ridley Scott's and James Cameron's Filmmaking Philosophies
46:57 Clark's Corner: Recast, Blu-Ray Combo Pack, Porno Version, How Does Daniel-Lay Lewis Prepare to Play the Xenomorph Mother?
57:07 Ratings

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