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Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

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Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Old 03-26-15, 10:17 PM
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Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Looking at reviews of Alien 3 online, I was amazed how much smack gets talked about the theatrical cut of "Alien 3". I think the theatrical cut is the better film. Please hear me out.

The theatrical cut is leaner and more merciless. There's no scene in the Assembly Cut that adds anything to the characters or the story. The pointless Golic subplot is the best example. Usually the extra bits of dialogue seem clunky and ruin the flow of the editing. The theatrical cut has a leaner, cleaner feel to it.

As for the alternative scenes:
The chestbuster coming out of a dead ox doesn't have the dramatic power of it bursting out of a live, innocent dog. It was a more dramatic and sympathetic choice.

There are also notable scenes that were excised in the Assembly Cut.
Examples are after the EEV crash, the scene of the computer graphics coldly introducing the fate of the "Aliens" characters. It's a prologue that would dovetail to the equally cold impersonal ending describing the fate of the the prison colony. The Assembly Cut removes this scene for something more prosaic.

There's even a small blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene in the theatrical cut was of "85" wiping away the condensation from the mirror the same way Ripley did earlier. It symbolized (at least to me) that he would be the next victim of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation (who eventually murdered him). Again removed from the Assembly Cut. (True, that itself is not that important, but it's a nice touch that doesn't interfere with the flow of the story.)

Ultimately, I'm arguing personal preferences, but I've watched both cuts many times and I think the Theatrical Cut gets a bad rap. Give the TC a spin sometime, you might be surprised how much of it contains the same good stuff the Assembly Cut gets credit for.

Last edited by PatD; 03-27-15 at 12:44 PM.
Old 03-26-15, 11:01 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

For the record, I really prefer the theatrical cut of Alien (1979). The Brett egg in the other cut was too much.

It's been a while since I've seen both cuts of Alien 3. Which cuts had:
- Ripley telling Bishop that he's insane.
- Ripley telling Bishop 'No.'
- Ripley's chest bursts open and she pushes the alien back in with her.
- both cuts had the same Bishop dialogue, right? I liked the part where he desperately pleads that he wants the alien.
Old 03-27-15, 12:05 AM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
For the record, I really prefer the theatrical cut of Alien (1979). The Brett egg in the other cut was too much.
Agreed. In fact the Special Edition of "Aliens" is the only alternate cut of an Alien film that I like.


It's been a while since I've seen both cuts of Alien 3. Which cuts had:
- Ripley telling Bishop that he's insane.
Assembly Cut

- Ripley telling Bishop 'No.'
Both cuts, I believe.

- Ripley's chest bursts open and she pushes the alien back in with her.
Theatrical

- both cuts had the same Bishop dialogue, right? I liked the part where he desperately pleads that he wants the alien.
Both cuts have Bishop II pleading for the alien. The theatrical cut cuts out the pointless fat of the dialogue.

Last edited by PatD; 03-27-15 at 12:54 AM.
Old 03-27-15, 02:32 AM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

I never had a problem with the theatrical version of Alien 3 told its story. The only thing that looks like it would be better in the assembly cut would be Ripley's sacrifice. It's a little too Hollywood perfect that as she commits suicide the chestburster would pop out in just the right moment for audiences to see. I think it appears more realistic and tragic the way the assembly cut shows it.

I'm going to have to buy this on DVD after discussing it so much around here. I hate the direction they went with the story but everyone involved did a great job of making the third installment so distinctive and stylish. A great film by David Fincher.
Old 03-27-15, 08:12 AM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

I actually prefer Ripley's theatrical death because it came across to me as not a matter of timing but rather that of the survival instinct of the xenomorph. I always assumed that it came out too soon because it sensed its host threatened. Much like how the facehuggers would feet oxygen to their hosts and coil ever stronger around them if someone tried to pull them off.
Old 03-27-15, 12:29 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
For the record, I really prefer the theatrical cut of Alien (1979). The Brett egg in the other cut was too much.
I prefer the theatrical cut of Alien too, but I am grateful that Ridley Scott created the so-called director's cut (which he did only because the other Alien films were getting 2 different cuts released on DVD, so he provided a 2nd cut as well).

This is because Alien is one of my favorite films and I've seen the theatrical cut so many times that I have it practically memorized in a shot-by-shot way. Ridley Scott's so called "director's cut" (which really should be called his "alternate cut" because he's completely happy with the original theatrical cut) is like a gift to fans that allowed me to see a favorite movie in a new and interesting way (it is a very good cut in its own right). It's the closest thing to being able to see the movie again for the 1st time and for that I thank him.
Old 03-29-15, 05:43 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

For Alien 3, I wish there was a cut that provided the best parts of each cut.

I definitely prefer the chestburster scene with the dog instead of the ox - it just has more stylishness to it.

But I also want the scene with the alien getting captured and then released by the disturbed inmate. That was not only great, but shows what happened to some characters who just inexplicably disappear in the theatrical cut.
Old 03-29-15, 07:49 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

^^
I thought the Golic subplot was interesting, but something best left in the deleted scenes section of a DVD/Blu ray.

The extra missing prisoners (including Golic) in the theatrical cut could (and was) explained away as being killed in the fire after the failed capture in the theatrical cut.
Old 03-29-15, 07:53 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Guess I'm going to watch the TC of Alien 3 now. I only really remember the AC of it . Cuz that's what I have preferred. The TC is pretty non existent in my memory. Time to put in the BD now.
Old 03-29-15, 08:06 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
Guess I'm going to watch the TC of Alien 3 now. I only really remember the AC of it . Cuz that's what I have preferred. The TC is pretty non existent in my memory. Time to put in the BD now.
Please let us know what you think of it after you see it. I have to confirm that I'm not crazy!
Old 03-29-15, 08:10 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa, man. I can't confirm that you may not be crazy. TC being better or not. Crazy is all on you, dude.
Old 03-29-15, 08:12 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

He ain't crazy. The AC is an interesting curiosity but it is indeed the inferior cut of a movie that's troubled in both versions. The only EC of the Alien flicks that's worthwhile is the EC of Aliens. The rest are just interesting novelties.
Old 03-29-15, 10:37 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

I agree that the TC is the better cut. Ripley's death scene in the TC is perfect, and never fails to give me goosebumps. A lot of that is due to the music cue, which was altered for the DC. I also prefer the dog to the ox.

And I agree with RocShemp that the Xenomorph burst out at that moment not because a coincidence of timing/lazy fan service, but because it could tell that it was about to get roasted and was trying to escape. Ripley clutching it in both a way of preventing it from escaping AND in a motherly gesture of sympathy is far more powerful than the alternate take.
Old 03-29-15, 11:15 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by RocShemp View Post
I actually prefer Ripley's theatrical death because it came across to me as not a matter of timing but rather that of the survival instinct of the xenomorph. I always assumed that it came out too soon because it sensed its host threatened.
Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
And I agree with RocShemp that the Xenomorph burst out at that moment not because a coincidence of timing/lazy fan service, but because it could tell that it was about to get roasted and was trying to escape. Ripley clutching it in both a way of preventing it from escaping AND in a motherly gesture of sympathy is far more powerful than the alternate take.
That's the way I saw it too.
Old 03-30-15, 01:19 AM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

I'd like to see a fan edit that brings together the best parts of the TC and the AC.
Old 03-30-15, 02:30 AM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by dhmac View Post
I'd like to see a fan edit that brings together the best parts of the TC and the AC.
This.

The assembly cut is not a finished product and is in no way near what Fincher would have delivered.
Old 03-30-15, 11:50 AM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Wrong. The Assembly Cut is better.
Old 03-30-15, 12:35 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

I saw the TC as I was going to do yesterday. Jesus. I need to see the AC now just to tell the differences. Felt like a whole new world to me w/ the TC. I still think the dog bit is stupid. The exit on that dog is way too damn small for the xenomorph.
Old 03-30-15, 08:47 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
I still think the dog bit is stupid. The exit on that dog is way too damn small for the xenomorph.
The shot of the chestburster is a close-up.
Old 03-30-15, 08:54 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

well goddamnit. Now I need to see that scene again.

I'm going to see the AC tomorrow. MAYBE tonight but... the pacing in the TC is pretty solid. Flawed movie still but the pacing really goes. Doesn't feel like the running time.
Old 03-31-15, 12:25 AM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Just read that there was a 139 minutes extended cut of Alien but Ridley said that was too long. I think the TC is perfect but it'd be interesting to watch that extended cut. The extra scenes with Lambert and Ripley in the DC were interesting.

I just watched the end of both Alien 3 cuts and still prefer the AC ending. I think the chestbuster at the end makes the alien somewhat sypathetic. It's like showing a full shot of the wampa missing his arm in the SE, in the OOT, you only see his arm chopped off.

Alien 3 is entertaining but too unhappy an ending for Ripley. So I tend not to watch it much.
Old 03-31-15, 06:23 AM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
Alien 3 is too unhappy.
That is what makes it fantastic.
Old 03-31-15, 10:47 AM
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It is probably one of the most nihilistic mainstream movies I've ever seen.
Old 03-31-15, 12:01 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by Lt Ripley View Post
That is what makes it fantastic.
Exactly. But it's what makes it so polarizing too. Tons of fans of the series just can't handle the deaths of beloved characters at the beginning and end of the movie.
Old 03-31-15, 02:48 PM
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Re: Alien 3: Theatrical Cut > Assembly Cut (please hear me out)

Originally Posted by hanshotfirst1138 View Post
It is probably one of the most nihilistic mainstream movies I've ever seen.
And David Fincher's next film was Se7en which is also one of the most nihilistic mainstream movies ever made.

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