Aliens

One mad mama trumps 100 space marines.

When the alien acid really hits the fan, the trained killers start screaming (and dying) like first-time rookies.

Game over, man, indeed.

Instead, it’s the far-tougher-than-she-looks Ellen Ripley who straps on the weapons of war and heads out to kick some ass to protect those she loves.

Ridley Scott’s original built big-time suspense with its cat-and-mouse games on the edge of the galaxy, while James Cameron comes in and ramps up the action the second time around.

Honoring what came before while finding a creative reason to continue the story — a sequel done right.

 

The Abyss

There’s wonder under the water.

Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio lead a superb cast in an innovative sci-fi film which goes to great depths to show us shimmering images captured lovingly by James Cameron.

Whatever you do, watch the extended version, otherwise known as the version which makes sense.

Originally chopped up by studio nitwits, Cameron’s vision of first contact between humans and alien visitors soars when given time to fully explore its bold ideas and operatic emotional moments.

Crafted by a director with a resume full of landmark sci-fi flicks, The Abyss is my favorite of his films.