In addition to the 'Back to the Future' trilogy, last week saw the release of another hugely-important, geek-friendly franchise: the 'Alien' quadrilogy. Redubbed 'The Alien Anthology' for its Blu-ray iteration, the set offered not only all four of the 'Alien' films in remastered high definition, but included all of the extra content from previous releases as well as several hours of all-new material. But while these films superficially seemed perfect for at least one installment of this column, both 'Alien' and 'Aliens' are pretty much undisputed classics, even if I'm one of the few people on the planet who still prefers the theatrical cut of 'Aliens' to James Cameron's director's cut. And even though 'Alien: Resurrection' is probably exceedingly well-suited for a look back on its, well, limited merits, given David Fincher's ongoing but especially recent success, it seemed appropriate to take a trip back to 1992 and revisit his feature directorial debut, 'Alien 3.'
Fincher, of course, has since become one of Hollywood's premier directors. But upon its release in '92, the third film in the 'Alien' series was looked upon as a disappointment, not the least of which because Fincher's muscular visual sense still occupied the post-music video ghetto that critics and many other filmmakers found empty or distasteful. But with the benefit of hindsight, was 'Alien 3' a better film than we gave it credit at the time?