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Discussion in 'New York City Region' started by The 1-2-3 Killam, Oct 19, 2012.
Round 2: Alien vs. 12 Angry Men
This poll will close on Tuesday, October 23rd at 5pm PT (ish)
This is a savage pairing. The greatest cinematic courtroom drama going up against the greatest sci-fi horror. Ultimately I find the former subject more worthy, relateable and accessible with more potential for discussion. I suspect I'm fighting a losing battle.
Ugh, such a tough choice.
The vast majority of 12 Angry Men takes place in a hot and stuffy jury room. It's a thriller, that's driven by dialogue and a great assortment of characters. The directing is precise and well-crafted, and the entire cast is just perfect, highlighted by some great performances from Lee J. Cobb and Henry Fonda.
Alien is known for its eerie and claustrophobic settings. In Alien, Ripley and other passengers are stuck in space, while a deadly creature reeks havoc. Alien features some great atmospheric tension, and this film provides the perfect blend of science fiction and horror.
It's a tough call, but I'm going with 12 Angry Men. The acting is superior, and 12 Angry Men is still praised as a modern classic. Alien is great, but you still have to deal with the "which film is better" argument, when comparing Alien and Aliens, and this comparison puts a slight dent in Alien's legacy.
I don't know if anyone has said this or not and it might be considered blasphemy in the minds of some but I'm gonna say it anyhow. Alien bored the ever lovin' shit out of me. From top to bottom, the movie is just plain, flat out dull and hugely overrated in my opinion.
For the first 30-40 minutes of the film, little to nothing happens. The crew of the Nostromos gets thawed out, stagger around for the bit, the camera slowly pans around & makes its way through the ship, the crew sits around eating while bitching about how lousy the food is, the ship's computer let's them know something's up. They bitch some more about the orders of their employers before landing on the planet. By then, the movie has already started to drag. The Alien creature itself, in most of the shots, looks good but nothing really frightening happens during the movie in my opinion. The Alien itself is a cool and innovative concept, but the movie in and of itself just blows.
Two films that thrive on suspense, claustrophobic settings, small casts and one person overcoming a seemingly unbeatable testosterone fueled foe.
Unlike Jack, I adore Alien and strongly feel that it is a better film than Aliens. My gripe against Aliens (and likewise T2) is that they go for FX and action overload whereas Alien and the original Terminator were all about the characters and overcoming a seemingly unbeatable foe - both are more human to me. The Alien in the original is smart; from the sequel apparently putting them in a group makes them dumb. I first saw the two as a special double bill at my Uni Cinema and the first one had me on the edge of my seat and on the edge of my nerve, the sequel just affected me like an (albeit excellent) popcorn actioner - I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.
12 Angry Men affects me for the exact same reasons. The claustrophobia is palpable, amped up by the heat the jurors are experiencing and Sidney Lumet's brilliant tactic of having the deliberation room shrink around them. At it's core we have a protagonist in Henry Fonda who (in theory) actually is closer to the Alien than Ripley. He hunts down every weakness in the other jurors motives and takes them out, he even does this with almost as little mercy as the xenomorph in some of the cases.
I love both shows and really don't think I can choose here but just had to throw my tuppence in (although I will keep an eye on the thread perchance someone sways me). Great match-up!