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Old 01-23-2010, 09:05 PM
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Default Aliens - 1986 movie (was Dog Soldiers)

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Not just isolated, but faced with something clearly outside of their experience and training., but maintaining discipline anyway. The Colonial Marines in Aliens come off very poorly to the troops in Dog Soldiers.
Aliens is my favourite film of all time. It was sad that the Colonial Marine squad in that film was led by a green new Lt. He was a total loser and they should have fragged him at the earliest opportunity. If they hadn't lost Sgt Apone so early on they might have done better, he was very crusty. You have to admit, the machine gunner Vasquez and Cpl Hicks were very effective. The other machine gunner, Drake, was also hard as nails but didn't do so well once he was covered in acid then set on fire.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:14 PM
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Drake certainly kicked arse up until that point with both machinegun and then flamer.

Speaking of game mechanics, T2K tends to punish those who don't follow common sense. Aliens takes that idea and runs another mile or two with it.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:30 PM
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the machine gunner Vasquez
My favorite piece of trivia about Aliens is that the actress who played Vasquez really did show up for the movie audition expecting it to be about illegal aliens. The joke from the film (regarding illegal aliens) was added because of that.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:34 PM
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My favorite piece of trivia about Aliens is that the actress who played Vasquez really did show up for the movie audition expecting it to be about illegal aliens. The joke from the film (regarding illegal aliens) was added because of that.
Hah! I didn't know that, thanks. Very funny!

I love this quote from Al Matthews who played Sgt Apone - "I spent six years in the United States Marine Corps; I hold thirteen combat awards and decorations, including two purple hearts. I was the first black Marine in the 1st Marine Division in Viet Nam, to be meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant; I served with Kilo Battery, Fourth Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division, of that I am very proud."
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:36 PM
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To quote graebarde from the original post: -
graebardeII 12-19-2005, 08:07 PM
...Actually it was Last of the Dogmen starring Tom Berenger. The People were Cheyenne, Northern Cheyenne to be more specific...

grae
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As for Aliens, it would not have mattered who led the team, who survived or even what military they were from, James Cameron wanted a gunfight/survive-against-the-odds movie so things were always going to happen in the way they did. If it had been realistic it would have been a whole lot less entertaining.
The other trivia piece about Vasquez is that she wasn't even played by a latina but by Jenette Goldstein, who might be remembered from yet another Cameron movie, John Connor's foster mother in Terminator 2
Yes, IIRC, she's actually a freckle-faced redhead. I remember reading in People that the makeup artists had fits covering up her freckles.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:40 PM
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The other trivia piece about Vasquez is that she wasn't even played by a latina but by Jenette Goldstein, who might be remembered from yet another Cameron movie, John Connor's foster mother in Terminator 2
The 1987 film Near Dark has several of the actors from Aliens in it including Jenette Goldstein, Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton. Not a bad film IMO.

The Wikipedia article on Aliens shows the full names of the Colonial Marines (many of which I didn't know) and its interesting that the writers used the actors' real first names for the characters they played.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:17 PM
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Probably made it easier on the actors. If they made a slip and used their real name, there would be no need to edit it out or reshoot the scene.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:02 PM
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Probably made it easier on the actors. If they made a slip and used their real name, there would be no need to edit it out or reshoot the scene.
That's what I thought too. In the original script, before filming started, the characters were probably only referred to by their surnames. There would be no downside to writing in their first names as the actors' first names.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:16 PM
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That's what I thought too. In the original script, before filming started, the characters were probably only referred to by their surnames. There would be no downside to writing in their first names as the actors' first names.
Bishop's full name was Lance Bishop 341-B; sort of makes you think how many androids were based on the original Lance Bishop's template. And it has to be an ego trip -- having a series of Androids, with far better abilities than you, but wearing your face and body.

I also remember the scene where he's about to go down through the tunnels with Bishop and Newt; he's handed a handgun, which he refuses. Makes you wonder after experience with earlier androids, they programmed Asimov's Three Robotic Laws into the androids.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:07 AM
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I also remember the scene where he's about to go down through the tunnels with Bishop and Newt; he's handed a handgun, which he refuses. Makes you wonder after experience with earlier androids, they programmed Asimov's Three Robotic Laws into the androids.
I have thought many times about that scene. I don't think his decision was directly related to Asimov's laws of robotics as Bishop wasn't anticipating combat with humans, but possibly indirectly related in that perhaps androids, even androids assigned to military missions, were deliberately not programmed with any direct combat skills.

Then again perhaps Asimov's laws of robotics were precisely the reason he didn't take the pistol - perhaps he thought that by taking it he would be denying the use of one of the few available weapons to the remaining humans, thereby placing them at greater risk. Through reading Ripley's reports on her original alien encounter, his own research in the colony science lab, his own observations and through processes of logic Bishop may have (probably correctly) come to the conclusion that the aliens would be unlikely to attack a non-living object such as himself if it presented no direct threat to them. The queen alien was much smarter than her drones however and obviously did consider Bishop to be a threat or potential threat when she ripped him in half aboard the Sulaco.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:32 AM
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Through reading Ripley's reports on her original alien encounter, his own research in the colony science lab, his own observations and through processes of logic Bishop may have (probably correctly) come to the conclusion that the aliens would be unlikely to attack a non-living object such as himself if it presented no direct threat to them.
The book actually describes an encounter Bishop has with aliens while crawling through the pipe. A hole had been torn through the bottom and underneath he sees a horde of the beasts, close enough that they could easily reach him. They notice him, but do nothing - he has no signs of life (beyond movement) and therefore is judged not viable as either a host or food source.

An hour or so later and that decision to let him go comes back to bite them...
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:36 PM
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The queen alien was much smarter than her drones however and obviously did consider Bishop to be a threat or potential threat when she ripped him in half aboard the Sulaco.
I attributed that attack to sheer malice more than anything else.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:06 PM
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You have to admit, the machine gunner Vasquez and Cpl Hicks were very effective. The other machine gunner, Drake, was also hard as nails but didn't do so well once he was covered in acid then set on fire.
Drake and Vasquez struck me as quite undisciplined. They had no intention of obeying the order to not have gunfire under the reactor and Drake opened fire on Newt when she first appeared.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:23 PM
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Drake and Vasquez struck me as quite undisciplined. They had no intention of obeying the order to not have gunfire under the reactor and Drake opened fire on Newt when she first appeared.

On the other hand, they did have a complete novice for an officer and they themselves had probably been involved in dozens of combat missions. Trust, or more accurately lack of, was definately an issue. Ensuring the machineguns were operable when going under the reactor was obviously a good thing in the short term (it allowed at least a few to escape), but long term was another matter.

Gorman should have explained WHY firing was not allowed and immediately withdrew the marines, re-equipped them with shotguns, flamers and whatever else non-penetrating they had. Sending them onwards with little more than four flamers was just plain criminal.

Can any of us say they wouldn't have done the same as Vasquez and Drake if in a similar situation?
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:04 PM
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On the other hand, they did have a complete novice for an officer and they themselves had probably been involved in dozens of combat missions. Trust, or more accurately lack of, was definately an issue. Ensuring the machineguns were operable when going under the reactor was obviously a good thing in the short term (it allowed at least a few to escape), but long term was another matter.
I agree. As it turned out though it was the drop ship crashing into the side of the atmosphere processor that caused it to go critical, not the firing of weapons inside.

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Gorman should have explained WHY firing was not allowed and immediately withdrew the marines, re-equipped them with shotguns, flamers and whatever else non-penetrating they had. Sending them onwards with little more than four flamers was just plain criminal.
Agreed. Gorman should have thought about the location before sending in the section though. Once they were inside the structure their comms were very patchy. A detailed explanation of why weapons should not be fired inside probably would have been half buried in static once they were in.

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Can any of us say they wouldn't have done the same as Vasquez and Drake if in a similar situation?
No. I think Drake and Vasquez did exactly the right thing. Even if they had disrupted the cooling system the facility wouldn't have gone up right away. They all would have had time to get back to the Sulaco and watch the whole facility turn into a glowing glass bowl. Problem solved. Carter Burke was the only one who was insisting that the facility be saved because of the "significant dollar value attached to it". They should have strung him up by the balls at the earliest opportunity.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:20 PM
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As it turned out though it was the drop ship crashing into the side of the atmosphere processor that caused it to go critical, not the firing of weapons inside.
Hmm, must be a different movie you're been watching...
The APC was moving away from the processor and from what I can remember the dropship crashed from the rear of the APC (taking it out in the process) and ended up spread across a very wide area of broken, but open ground.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:26 PM
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Hmm, must be a different movie you're been watching...
The APC was moving away from the processor and from what I can remember the dropship crashed from the rear of the APC (taking it out in the process) and ended up spread across a very wide area of broken, but open ground.
Yes the dropship hit the APC, then the bulk of it tumbled into the processing plant. I have the extended edition on my hard drive, you can see it quite clearly. Also the write up of the film in Wikipedia suggests that it was the dropship crash rather than firing inside the facility that caused it to go critical. That makes sense when you consider the difference between the energy released by the relatively small amount of firing inside compared to many tonnes of dropship travelling at high speed, plus ordnance, hitting the side of the facility.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:22 AM
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Of course a ten millimetre minigrenade (which is effectively what the guns were firing) at a rate of say ten per second is likely to chew through cooling systems and control circuits pretty damn fast....
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:00 PM
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Of course a ten millimetre minigrenade (which is effectively what the guns were firing) at a rate of say ten per second is likely to chew through cooling systems and control circuits pretty damn fast....
The Colonial Marines Technical Manual lists the pulse rifle as firing 900 10x24mm rpm and the smart gun as firing 1,200 10x28mm rpm.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:28 PM
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So roughly twice as fast as an M60 (650 rpm) and equivilant to the MG-42 the movie weapon used as a base.

I'm rather inpressed Jenette Goldstein was able to throw what must have been a rather heavy rig about so effortlessly. The steadicam mount probably helped, but the total weight must have played hell on her knees.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:36 PM
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So roughly twice as fast as an M60 (650 rpm) and equivilant to the MG-42 the movie weapon used as a base.

I'm rather inpressed Jenette Goldstein was able to throw what must have been a rather heavy rig about so effortlessly. The steadicam mount probably helped, but the total weight must have played hell on her knees.
That's part of why they they chose her over the Latina actresses available -- she had the muscle, but didn't look like a steroid monster.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:40 PM
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The Colonial Marines Technical Manual lists the pulse rifle as firing 900 10x24mm rpm and the smart gun as firing 1,200 10x28mm rpm.
That's pretty good for a small projectile! In the book they say part of why it's called a Smart Gun is that the rounds are IR-guided, and could be programmed to ignore specific heat signatures (in the book, they were programmed to avoid humans). That projectile has to have a guidance package, small thrust squibs, and still have enough energy to kill its target!

...and I just thought, that might explain the different sound the Smart Gun makes -- it's the guidance thrusters firing. They'd just be tiny little shots of gas.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:35 PM
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I'd always thought the guidance was contained within the weapon itself. If there's a risk of hitting an invalid target, the weapon simply doesn't fire until the barrel is pointing elsewhere. Likewise, the weapon doesn't fire until the targeting software believes there's a good chance of hitting a valid target. The device Hicks gave Ripley (and subsequently handed to Newt) as well as the implanted transmitters the colonists had could act as IFF transmitters and the weapon programed not to fire at them.
Would save a LOT of ammo!

The system could be overridden by the operator though and manually fired even at the risk of hitting unintended targets - this allows for covering fire over areas or at concealed targets.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:54 PM
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I'm rather inpressed Jenette Goldstein was able to throw what must have been a rather heavy rig about so effortlessly. The steadicam mount probably helped, but the total weight must have played hell on her knees.
The CMTM lists the complete weight of the M56 Smart Gun (including harness and ammo) as just under 18kg.

(perhaps we should split this into an Aliens tread now
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:56 PM
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The movie prop may have weighed even more which makes her feat even more impressive.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:26 PM
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I'd always thought the guidance was contained within the weapon itself.
I'd always assumed that too. I don't own a copy of the Colonial Marines Technical Manual but I do have a copy of the Aliens RPG packed away somewhere.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:59 PM
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I'd always assumed that too. I don't own a copy of the Colonial Marines Technical Manual but I do have a copy of the Aliens RPG packed away somewhere.
I have a PDF version somewhere, but I've never read it. Maybe I should take it with me when I take my mom to her doctor's appointment tomorrow (it'll be a long one; she's getting some sort of special EEG done), but I have to find it first...
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:43 AM
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Typical American gung-ho attitudes...
Wow. Nice.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:31 AM
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Typical American gung-ho attitudes...
I'm reminded of a line from The Golden Child, "Ahh, those wonderful Americans. So much power, and so little idea of what to do with it."
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:44 AM
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I'm reminded of a line from The Golden Child, "Ahh, those wonderful Americans. So much power, and so little idea of what to do with it."
"He is like Germany ,ambitious but misunderstood"
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