Saturday July 30th 2011 is a day we’ll always remember. It’s the day we started our relationship and the day we saw our first film together. So, what better way to celebrate our anniversary than to divulge to literally tens of people what that film means to us? The film was James Cameron’s sci-fi masterpiece, Aliens. The place was the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Sq (arguably the UK’s best cinema). The sharing snack of choice was Minstrels (arguably the best chocolate of all time).
Alex: As you can see I had planned this get together as “friends” to a tee. I’d take Josie to see a testosterone fuelled 80’s action horror that she’d never seen; we’d be in a supposedly haunted former adult movie theatre; and we’d be snacking on chocolate that she couldn’t eat due to her sensitive teeth… But, as the lights went down and the old, scratched film print whirred into action, I knew I was in safe hands. How could Aliens not win over a girl whose favourite film is Die Hard 4.0?
Josie: Aliens has a surprising amount of sentimental value for the above and very obvious reasons. If it weren’t for this film, some cocktails, sushi, and more booze, we might have never got together. So, in that way, that’s why the film is important to me. Not so much for the subject matter, but for the memories. And by the way, I never thought I was going on a date, so I didn’t do any special make up or flowing girly dresses.
Alex: As a film, Aliens is unmatched. Not only is it a great action film, with Writer/Director James Cameron expertly being able to raise the stakes for the characters as well as the pulse of the audience in every scene, but it is also a cracking sci-fi epic, with a slew of big ideas and themes. Ideas and themes that feel effortless, unpretentious and whole – something the meandering Prometheus should have taken note of.
It’s also a film with likeable characters whose relationships build the foundation of the narrative. Yes, it has explosions and gratuitous violence, but the family dynamic between Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Hicks (Michael Biehn) and Newt (Carrie Henn) is what the film is hinged on. Ripley’s arc and the theme of the movie also weaves its way amongst this, as Ripley longs to be the mother the Alien robbed her of being. This means the climatic and iconic battle between Ripley and the Alien Queen is about more than survival.
Josie: I wouldn’t say that I’m brimming with passion for Aliens, but it is enjoyable. There are great moments of suspense and scares that will really make you scream. The face hugger (apparently that’s what it’s called, you can guess who told me that!) is a creepy spider monster that summons up an unknown level of terror, especially if you’re deathly afraid of spiders. Of course the film has dated – Sigourney’s perm is something to behold – but what I enjoyed most was Ripley. She’s a terrific character and something that is rarely seen – if at all – in Hollywood films.
The fight that she endures not only with her inner turmoil, but the aliens and the bureaucracy around her makes her a character ahead of her time. Even now you rarely get women in films that kick ass as much as she does and that can only make womankind proud.
Alex O’Neill & Josie LovettPin It