Just out of curiosity, does anyone else think that the "Director's Cut" version of Aliens is actually a far weaker film? I know a lot of people like it, mostly because of those automated machine guns, but do they make up for how badly the pacing gets muddled?
The introduction to Newt's family and the banter scenes between the colonists... sure, they're interesting to look at once, for that glimpse of what life on LV426 was supposed to look like, but doesn't it seem irrelevant? I mean, once we know that Newt's father brought back an Alien (and what an odd coincidence that is), there is zero mystery and little suspense when the Marines land and investigation the abandoned Colony.
The scenes showing Ripley's emotional backstory... they were handled well but didn't they also seem a bit much? I mean, the writing is certainly believable but how much does it add to Ripley's character? We come to understand the ferocity of her maternal instincts later through the events of the film, we don't need to know that they stem from such a specifically melodramatic personal tragedy. Not only that, but I kind of find her intense need to save Newt just a bit creepy now that I have to connect it with the loss of Ripley's biological daughter. I mean, suddenly Ripley's actions aren't just heroic, but can be understood as stemming from emotional transference. Of course, this has always been the case, but now it's just too obvious.
Hudson's big "ultimate bada**" speech during the drop is utterly terrible. Hudson is a complete goofball, and the lines are so bad that I wanted to cringe from embarrassment. Originally they were a group of sci-fi space marines that somehow seemed mostly professional and surprisingly believable. Sure, Hudson always had wiseacre remarks, but they never seemed unnatural. Unfortunately the added lines completely push this tendency way over the top by making him (and by extension, the other marines) seem vapid, over-confident and irritating. The squad would end up being quickly decimated later on in the film, did Cameron really want the audience to see them as incompetent idiots from the start? Talk about ruining the surprise.
And finally, back to those automated machine guns... what can I say about those? Sure, it's a neat technological idea, but they just kind of sit there. In the movie, all we see is a bunch of shooting and smoke. The aliens are only hinted at, and the cast just sort of sit around staring at the screens. It extends the amount of time we spend waiting for the third act to start (or for it to get moving if you want to argue that act 3 started earlier). Ignoring the sci-fi military fantasy stuff, is really is just a boring scene that adds nothing. Anyone else agree?
Aliens (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)