Ridley Scott is a man who has dipped his toes into many waters. He’s helmed two of the finest sci-fi classics ever with “Alien” and “Blade Runner” (and back-to-back nonetheless). And his current box office hit, “The Martian,” broke the curse of the red planet. While it took until this year for “Blade Runner” sequel talks to evolve into anything tactile (the followup is officially in the works), studios capitalized quickly on “Alien.” Scott himself kept his hands clean of the matter, letting James Cameron and David Fincher (among several others) take the reins, even as everything after “Aliens” has been viewed as diminishing returns. The director has returned to the “Alien” universe with “Prometheus” and the brewing followup, and all of this is to say that “Alien” started a craze and gave the sci-fi genre one of its finest characters ever in the form of Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley.
She’s a tough-as-nails, smart-as-hell badass who just won’t die. And despite the lackluster quality of some of the following films (looking at you, “Alien 3”), Ripley’s arc, thanks mostly to Weaver’s dedicated performances, stayed compelling and she became even more layered and complex. Cue Job Willins. Earlier in the year, Willins dropped a truly captivating nugget of cinema on the world with “Derelict,” a re-edited imagining of “Alien” and “Prometheus” cut together into a single-film origin story. The result looks to stand as its own complete work, utterly new and familiar at once. And Willins is at it again, clearly still drawn to Weaver’s heroine, with “Ripley.” This time Willins culled from “Alien3” and “Alien: Resurrection.” Once again in black and white, “Ripley” is a surprising reimagining of two rather independent works. With the beginning quality of these two films, it isn’t much of a stretch to say that “Ripley” has turned a pair of rote stories into a very watchable character study of one of sci-fi cinema’s finest creations.
Got a couple hours to spare? Give “Ripley” a watch and let us know what you think of the re-envisioning in the comments below. [Live For Films]