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November 24, 2008

EmpireMag's 100 Greatest Movie Characters

As usual, no list, you have to click through each page (it's an advertising thing). Still, mildly diverting.

Four of the top five characters are villains, reinforcing the idea that Evil is Cool. Two out of the top six are characters played by Harrison Ford (Han Solo, Indiana Jones). For that matter, two out of the top four are from Star Wars, which is a good indication that fanboys dominated the selection.

My own choice for Greatest Movie Character (and also Greatest Film Hero) is at number nine. Yes, in all four films, even the bad one.

The Aliens films get a bad rap because the last film, Resurrection, was simply not awesome. If that hadn't been part of the franchise, no one would have mentioned it and the world would have moved on. Instead, it tainted the whole Aliens-verse because of how badly it squashed the good-will and expectations of fans. (And we will not mention the AvP films. DO NOT WANT.)

This is the same problem people have with Alien3, but that bothers me less since I never went into it with high expectations. It'd been out for years by the time I saw it, and I had appropriate cautions from others. Actually, it is my current favorite.

Think about it. We know all the slasher moments, the scares, the desperate scrambles of the crew, and the bizarre wickedness of Ash by heart. The second one is still fun, but dated, and Ripley became slightly less impressive when the action-hero cliche required that she have a gun. On the other hand, I'm still fascinated by the third one because we get so far inside Ripley's head.

And I confess, I love the ending. The only suitable way to finish Ripley's and the xenomorph's stories. As she said in the fourth one (paraphrasing), the point is that when you encounter the alien, you die.

I'd forgotten about this: If you like reading movie scripts, here is what William Gibson (yes, that William Gibson) turned in for Alien3. This was back when Sigourney Weaver did not seem interested in returning to the part, so Ripley spends almost the whole thing in a coma. This is Hicks' untold story, which is very much a successor to Aliens. It has an additional twist on the xenomorph, plus more background on the Company and the political situation in the Aliens-verse.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:57 AM

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