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Bravo to 20th Century Fox for having the balls to let people give honest responses!

Bravo to 20th Century Fox for having the balls to let people give honest responses!

 
Old 12-10-03, 12:20 AM
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Bravo to 20th Century Fox for having the balls to let people give honest responses!

I just watched the extras disc for Alien 3 (Quadrilogy) and I was blown away at the fact that FOX let those being interviewed give honest answers about how badly FOX screwed up the production of Alien 3! I think this is what makes this boxset the best one I have ever encountered with it sheer honesty by those being involved with the production of these 4 films! It was also refreshing how the Alien 3 featurettes make it extremely clear that the Director David Fincher was NOT the reason this film turned out like it did and that it was FOX who meddled and basically told Fincher how to make the film! I have enever seen such complete honesty about a production on a DVD (especially when it was honesty that made the studio look bad)!

BRAVO FOX! You are a class act for putting this boxset out.
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Old 12-10-03, 12:47 AM
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Well, Fincher now is a hot director, and has been since Se7en. I think if I were Fox, releasing a movie series like Alien for the third time on dvd, I'd go ahead and be honest..... cause all it will do is increase sales, and won't harm relations with Fincher... especially if the studio execs then have now left.

I haven't gotten it yet, but I'll post my reactions as well. Bookmarked.....
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Old 12-10-03, 12:59 AM
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"the views expressed by anyone in the commentary do not reflect the views of 20th century fox"

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Old 12-10-03, 01:10 AM
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Well, you may want to withhold your applause just a bit. Fox actually cut about 30 minutes from the documentary. This footage all involved Fincher's problems with the film.

DJ
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Old 12-10-03, 02:06 AM
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Originally posted by djtoell
Well, you may want to withhold your applause just a bit. Fox actually cut about 30 minutes from the documentary. This footage all involved Fincher's problems with the film.

DJ
I'll certainly NOT hold my applause for FOX!

If you watched the ALIEN 3 featurettes there were numerous people ripping FOX and it's executives for there mishandling of this film and sticking their nosees where they didn't belong! I have yet to see a studio release a DVD that had anything more then a slight hint of disastifaction (from those working the film)with a studios handling of the production, and in this case FOX was made to look very bad for what they did (and rightfully so). So it didn;t have every minutes of footage included, so what! It had plenty ebough in there indicating the real culprit for the film not doing well.
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Old 12-10-03, 02:06 AM
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Dupe!
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Old 12-10-03, 02:13 AM
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I was generally impressed with the frankness they seemed to allow in the Pre-production featurettes as well. I felt like the A3 featurettes portrayed Fincher as a "good soldier trying to rescue the squad and keep his head down in an otherwise hopeless situation." Which probably wasn't accurate (based on the digital bits review) which begs the questions, How does Digital Bits know what WAS in the soon-to-be infamous uncut disc 6? While I'm not doubting that they know their stuff, I just wonder why the elitist attitude about the information? What's the big secret; Just tell us what was so earth shattering that fox needed to cut it? Overall, I suspect the drama of the fact that it was cut is more interesting than the actual cuts themselves. Finchers directorial record isn't actually that good as to suppose a masterpiece was "lost"along the way... But that's just my opinion...

Overall the comments I did heard once again got me thinking, "Why is it that almost every bad or screwed up movie seems to begin with 'a list of changes' from the producers?" It seems to be that a smart Hollywood exec could reduce these people to a 1-line PERL script...
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Old 12-10-03, 02:36 AM
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Now having seen ALIEN 3 at the movies and hating it and not planning on getting this set.
What is it that the FOX exec. do the film.
Was it their idea to kill off Ripley?
Have the soldier & Knewt die at the begining?
Have the Alien monster on a planet being used as a prison?
Would any of the above have changed if the director had total control and if so to what?
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Old 12-10-03, 05:42 AM
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How does Digital Bits know what WAS in the soon-to-be infamous uncut disc 6? While I'm not doubting that they know their stuff, I just wonder why the elitist attitude about the information? What's the big secret; Just tell us what was so earth shattering that fox needed to cut it?

The folks at the DigitalBits have just finished writing and publishing book about DVD. While writing the book they had the privilige of being a part of the process of the creation of the Alien Quadrilogy. Since they were involved in the process they've seen a prerelease version of all of the DVD content originally authored for the DVD. At the last minute Fox decided to trim or tone down the content for Alien3. Perhaps they can't reveal the cut content due to confidentiality reasons but it seems suspicious that the only content cut seems to be for Alien3 and only about Fincher. There could be more to it that's in their book but I haven't read it.
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Old 12-10-03, 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by chipmac
The folks at the DigitalBits have just finished writing and publishing book about DVD. While writing the book they had the privilige of being a part of the process of the creation of the Alien Quadrilogy. Since they were involved in the process they've seen a prerelease version of all of the DVD content originally authored for the DVD. At the last minute Fox decided to trim or tone down the content for Alien3. Perhaps they can't reveal the cut content due to confidentiality reasons but it seems suspicious that the only content cut seems to be for Alien3 and only about Fincher. There could be more to it that's in their book but I haven't read it.
Interesting.
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Old 12-10-03, 07:37 AM
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I have the Digital Bits book and am reading it now.
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Old 12-10-03, 08:04 AM
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I doubt FOX is responsible for all the problems with the film. Much too easy to blame the studio.

If Fincher didn't like it - he could've left. He stuck around - so he takes part of the blame.
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Old 12-10-03, 09:33 AM
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Odd... I don't see any problems with the film.
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Old 12-10-03, 12:23 PM
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WMLopez,
(What is it that the FOX exec. do the film.)
IMHO-It appears that the studio wanted "more of the same", ie more money. To do so, they dictated to their talent how to make a movie by committee rather than through the use of the artistry that made them successful in the first place.

(Was it their idea to kill off Ripley?)
Not really but that's not what makes the movie bad...

(Have the soldier & newt die at the begining?)
That was the beginning of the downfall wasn't it? Abandoning/Ignoring what came before, not a good idea in SciFi.

(Have the Alien monster on a planet being used as a prison?)
It does seem the execs picked the prison idea, in the original script it was supposed to be a wooden planet inhabited by anti-technology monks.

(Would any of the above have changed if the director had total control and if so to what?) God knows, would a wooden planet have been better than a rotting prison? Seems unlikely. I think either direction was the wrong approach... (see below)

Chipmac, Thanks for the info.

Coral,
In this case I disagree. I think FOX execs are primarily to blame.
Fincher was trapped and if he left A3 his career would have probably been over. Regardless, look at it from Finchers perspective, he was picked to make a sequel to a cult film and was given basically an crappy outline of how to make it. He did what he could but essentially it amounted to his big break into hollywood. With his second film, he started with a remarkable script and suddenly he has a real career and the ardent fan-boy base to go with it. By letting the rumors build and not really talking about A3 he generally protects his career and artistic mystery. Anything he says at this point can do NOTHING but harm the situation. Let the fan boys have the fight, don't diss the studio too much, just stay nice and quiet and move on...


Overall, I think it's biggest problem with part 3 and 4 are that they are NOT really natural continuations of the franchise. Aliens was successful for many reasons but primarily because it was a logical extension of Alien. Something bad happens; People return to check it out.

For part 3, I think the fans expected what part 4 promised (in the teasers) but never delivered. "Aliens on Earth." Anything else could have never amounted to more than a mere distraction.

Part 4 was more of the same as well. It was slightly interesting to see elements of Firefly in A4 however. Joss Whedon seems to be a very talented writer who is very astute to his generation sensibilities but also seems contrained by the need to write to this singlular audience. Anyway that's another topic...
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Old 12-10-03, 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by Coral
If Fincher didn't like it - he could've left. He stuck around - so he takes part of the blame.
Having trouble understanding the concept of employment, eh?
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Old 12-10-03, 01:15 PM
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TELawrence:

I don't agree that Aliens is a logical extension of Alien. By picking up 57 years later, it has very little (if any) responsibility to the first film. Nothing bad happened on LV 426 in Alien. Aliens would be a logical extension if it were about the company trying to exploit the alien--but it doesn't, it seems to forgot it ever sent anyone there for it. Aliens is about loss and redemption--Alien is about neither of those things. The Ripley character is not just expanded on in Aliens, she's practically a whole new one--one who does not contradict the Alien Ripley, but also one have emotions other than fear or anger.

Actually, Alien 3 does continue some themes (although I believe them to be completely unintentional)--the killing off of Hicks and Newt resembles the loss of Ripley's daughter, for example. Ripley's been running from the first alien for 57+ years and, like the rest of the Nostromo crew, she finds it futile.

As for Alien 4: Bill Badalato sucks and it's all his fault, well--the second two films are, generally, from Ripley's perspective. The first is initally third person, then gradually becomes from Ripley's. The fourth film is as foreign (I was going to write alien then realized how tacky it would be) to the other three films as the new Star Wars are to the originals.

Oh, and on topic,
I want to unreleased "Rape and Wreckage" cut of the Alien 3 documentary. The changes have to be significant for the producer to take his name off (or he's just a putz, but he doesn't sound like one from the interviews I've read).
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Old 12-10-03, 04:22 PM
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Fox actually AXED a lot of the extras on the Alien3 extras. From thedigitalbits review:

Okay... so here's the part Alien³ fans have all been waiting for. Are the supplemental materials created for the film on this disc good? Yes. So good in fact that if this were any other film, this bonus disc would rate an A. Why the B then? Well... because unfortunately, this is Alien³ we're talking about. This is a production with a troubled history, that has long needed to be revealed for what it was, and with a fan base that has waited a long time to hear and see that truth. Unfortunately, however, much of what fans really wanted to hear and see has been left out here.

The documentary on Disc Six, now simply titled The Making of Alien³, was originally called Wreckage and Rape: The Making of Alien³. More than thirty minutes of material that was produced for this documentary was cut at the last minute. You might be wondering what difference thirty minutes could make in a three hour documentary. A big difference. Gone now is much of the honesty and truth about the hell director David Fincher went through on the production. Among the footage lost were actual moments with Fincher on the set, where you saw his frustration and anger. You saw his struggles with producers. You heard from Sigourney and the other cast and crew members talking about the problems, and what a raw deal Fincher got. You even heard from the film's producers and Fox executives talking about what went wrong. Simply put, this disc was about as good a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Alien³ as you could ever hope to get, short of Fincher returning to address the production himself (and he WAS asked to do so, but declined). Unfortunately, what you get now, while it still does contain some of the above (including material that you've never seen before), it sort of teases the stuff you really want to know, then glosses by it.

... this is the featurette where the cuts made by Fox are the most unfortunate and damaging to the whole. For example, in the final version of this piece on the disc, there's a shot where you see Fincher sitting in the director's chair in a blue shirt and wearing an Alien III hat, obviously looking very frustrated. He looks at the camera for a moment... then we cut to something else. In the original edit, Fincher then reached up for a boom mic above his head, and said something to the effect that it's hard to believe Fox is the number one studio because they're all a bunch of morons. It's the really, brutally honest and frank moments like this one that have been cut from this disc unfortunately. Again, everyone else gets to say what they think in interviews except Fincher himself, and everyone makes an obvious attempt to justify their opinion or position at the time. Since Fincher declined to do new interviews, the plan was to let him speak for himself using vintage material. But you won't find much of that now. I can only assume that Fox didn't want Fincher to come off looking badly. But as a result of the changes Fox made to this documentary, lots of former Fox execs and producers now get the final word on Alien³, while Fincher gets no word. And fans of Fincher in particular aren't going to like that much.
...
So that's Disc Six - a somewhat frustrating experience to be sure. Undeniably, there's still plenty of great material here, including the Vincent Ward conceptual art, the interview clips with Giger, cool behind-the-scenes footage and the like. But after watching this disc, you really can tell that the very best bits were taken out. Left unedited, this supplement disc would absolutely have been the best of the lot in the Quadrilogy set. As it is, it's very solid but may disappoint some fans of Fincher and this film in particular. I'm still hopeful that Fox will rectify their mistakes with this DVD somehow, by releasing the disc that could (and should) have been.
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Old 12-10-03, 05:15 PM
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Andrew,
Yeah you're probably right, it just worked well in my rant...
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Old 12-10-03, 05:33 PM
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This is a highly entertaining and informative thread, probably the most I've seen in a while.

I have yet to capture the Alien set, but look forward to checking this documentary out!
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Old 12-11-03, 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by Coral
I doubt FOX is responsible for all the problems with the film. Much too easy to blame the studio.

If Fincher didn't like it - he could've left. He stuck around - so he takes part of the blame.
I think he had no choice but to stick it out. At the time he was a 28-year old director with his first film production. Do you think he would've worked again if he'd walked out? I mean who's gonna pony up millions of dollars to a director, with no track record (at the time, other than making music videos) with a tag that he walks out during production.
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Old 12-11-03, 08:52 PM
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Okay I'm back with some sleep this time,

AndrewWickliffe,

Actually I disagree, Aliens is a logical extension of Alien. The fact that it picked up 57 years later, makes perfect sense if you factor in the science of space travel, which its explained that people in space need to hibernate.

"Aliens would be a logical extension if it were about the company trying to exploit the alien..." Perhaps I've read too much into the story but Aliens is about trying to exploit the Alien... Granted it doesn't go very well for the soldiers sent to do the job but that essentially is why they are there... No?

Adding in your other comments overall, it seems we have different opinions about what the movies are about, the themes and the characters so we'll probably never agree. Regardless I think Aliens was a logical next step and 3 was just a random idea throw into the mix while 4 was simply pointless and bizarre.

Tarantino,
I also disagree with you, I think there have been many more informative and entertaining threads. I recommend that you do not pick up this set until the uncut stuff from disc 6 is readded and Fincher is allowed to rewrite and refilm the entire movie as he intended. That'll teach Fox! Hmmm perhaps a 10-disc Ultimate Alien Legacy Quadrilogy box set is in the works... :-) JK
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Old 12-12-03, 06:53 AM
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I'll certainly NOT hold my applause for FOX!

If you watched the ALIEN 3 featurettes there were numerous people ripping FOX and it's executives for there mishandling of this film and sticking their nosees where they didn't belong! I have yet to see a studio release a DVD that had anything more then a slight hint of disastifaction (from those working the film)with a studios handling of the production, and in this case FOX was made to look very bad for what they did (and rightfully so). So it didn;t have every minutes of footage included, so what! It had plenty ebough in there indicating the real culprit for the film not doing well.
The director of the documentary was so upset about the censoring (and yes this is censoring) that he had his name removed from the documentary.
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Old 12-12-03, 10:43 AM
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What is everyone's opinion on the extended version of Alien3? From a long time ago I heard there was a better cut and have wanted to see it, but reviews don't seem to cheery on the additions including that they're not good video-wise. I have the old set and the new set is in the mail, but if this cut doesn't live up to expectations, I don't think I need to spend another $50+ on it.
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Old 12-12-03, 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by chanster
The director of the documentary was so upset about the censoring (and yes this is censoring) that he had his name removed from the documentary.
Yea!!! Somebody used "censoring" correctly!!!
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Old 12-12-03, 11:16 AM
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I'm guessing Fox edited out stuff that actually named names and/or showed video of the actual producers in question. Who can blame the studio for this? If the people in question are former employees, they might be able to sue for slander - if they are current employees, Fox is just protecting its family. It's one thing to say "Fox screwed up Alien 3" it's quite another to say "Joe Producer screwed up Alien 3".
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