Alien

Ridley Scott’s director’s cut of Alien isn’t much different than the version that had its world premiere (!) at SIFF ’79. In truth, Scott confessed of this 117-minute edition, adding back a couple of deleted scenes didn’t really help the pacing. But they don’t really hurt, either, not when all of us know the inexorable plot to this sci-fi classic. Long before Snakes on a Plane, there was monster on a cargo ship, and the creaky, leaky, smoke-filled old Nostromo only gets smaller and more claustrophobic as the alien parasite eats and grows. Basically unknown when she was cast, Sigourney Weaver is now the inevitable heroine as Ripley. But the movie doesn’t begin that way. Instead, the slow, procedural windup pits a grumbling, resentful crew against the evil corporation that employs them. At first, nobody looks like a prospective hero. These blue-collar space drones don’t want to detour to the distress beacon; they don’t want to leave the ship to investigate. Only Ian Holm—because he’s been programmed that way—has a cold-blooded curiosity about the creature they take on board. Would it be too much to hope for a preshow Q&A from local actor Tom Skerritt? (Followed at 10 p.m. by James Cameron’s very worthy, very different 1986 sequel Aliens (through Sunday), your chance to scream “Game over, man, game over!” with Bill Paxton.) (R) BRIAN MILLER

Oct. 2-6, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 3, 2 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 4, 2 p.m., 2009

 
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