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Movie Franchise Stand-Off: Alien vs. Jurassic Park

Updated on November 10, 2017
Craig Easom profile image

Craig has been a writer on HubPages since 2013. He is currently studying for Marketing at Nottingham Trent University—in the land of Robin.

Alien Franchise - At first, there was Ridley Scott's "Alien", then there was James Cameron's "Aliens", then David Fincher's "Alien 3", and... well, who cares about the rest.
Alien Franchise - At first, there was Ridley Scott's "Alien", then there was James Cameron's "Aliens", then David Fincher's "Alien 3", and... well, who cares about the rest.
Jurassic Park Franchise - Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park". Steven Spielberg's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park". The rest is a mystery... and, here's to those holding out for another great Jurassic Park/World/Whatever movie
Jurassic Park Franchise - Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park". Steven Spielberg's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park". The rest is a mystery... and, here's to those holding out for another great Jurassic Park/World/Whatever movie

Alien Franchise

Alien is a franchise that was born out of creative innovation in the horror genre that was starting to embrace the outer space scenery, and the alien species are something that mankind has been pondering over ever since science proved that there was life beyond earth. James Cameron and Ridley Scott had the idea together to create a new movie that could explore the otherwise unknown reaches of the far and distant space, and jumping ahead in time they wanted to take mankind way into the technological future where there are ships souring the great reaches of space for new life and inhabitable planets. The punchline with the movie “Alien” is that when a scout ship comes across a wreckage on a distant planet, they come across alien life in the form of a crawling creature that jumps attaching itself around the face and neck of its victim. The facially enveloped crew member is brought back on board the ship where they are taken to the medical room where the alien creature drops dead on the floor, but things get gruesome when at the dinner table the crew member that was exposed to alien life has a seizure as an alien monster bursts out of his chest. As it turns out, the alien creature was merely seeking out a host, and the real alien monster resides in the egg that was implanted inside of the human-being crew member’s chest. To cut the story short, the alien-bursting-out-of-a-mans-chest is let loose on the ship and the rest of the remaining crew must go in search of the seemingly small alien monster, but before long the sweet little alien becomes a giant six-foot tall alien monster that is extremely deadly on all floors - with two mouths one inside of the other both skull blistering and flesh tearing in force, a spike-pointed tale that can be used to inhale a person, hands and feet that are as deadly as the velociraptors claws, and even the blood is acid making them deadly even in death.

Its a little known fact that Ridley Scott and James Cameron were given the run of the mill when it came to the movie-making of the Alien movie, when it was released back in 1979, as the studio funding the project 20th Century Fox Studios did not see the potential for the movie to become an immediate commercially viable success, but rather a mere money maker that could fund other movie projects that the studio was better focusing on. This may have worked out for the best, as James Cameron was able to do all of the work making and designing the look for the alien creature in the movie, “Alien”. James Cameron (director of Avatar, 2009) is a movie-making visionary, but he is also the mind behind the creation of the Alien, Terminator and Avatar characters, each of which have gone on to become the lead character creations in popular movie franchises. With James Cameron working on the special effects and writing for the “Alien” movie, this left the freedom for visionary directing from Ridley Scott (director of Gladiator) who wanted to create a suspense-driven story that would resinate with the space curious audiences. To put the story short, James Cameron and Ridley Scott both equally added their ideas to Alien, and have both long been fascinated in outer space and life away from earth. Alien also has a horror theme that has surely gone down in history as one of the best horror cinematographies in all time, and Sigourney Weaver captivated audiences with her performance as the lead character Ripley.

Fighting for the Alien Franchises Side (vs. Jurassic Park franchise)

The Alien franchise was one of Hollywood’s many great franchises, and to blend the horror genre with the science-fiction genre is simply groundbreaking. The first Alien movie released in 1979, and launched what was to become one of 20th Century Fox Studio’s biggest franchise money makers, something that feels a little like an all-round laugh in the face of one of Hollywood big studios, at least that would have been the case if they weren’t still making a mountain-heap ton of cash from the franchises continual income. Why laugh at 20th Century Fox? Well, in the dawn of the Alien cinematic series Fox Studios were adamant that the Alien franchise would not be anything more than a money maker, if even that. Oh Fox how you can do so much wrong, except find the clumsiest luck that has ever been made available to the Hollywood movie business, and that of course being the accidental stroke of genius whereby a movie made to die becomes a movie franchise lighting up some serious heat over at the box office.

It may be worth noting that James Cameron and Ridley Scott were not known as Hollywood iconic moviemakers until the success of the Alien movie, and it enabled them to thereafter receive great freedom in their business as respective moviemakers, since the two very really work with one another on their movie projects. Ridley Scott saw the Alien movie as a gateway to the future, and given his vast and weary knowledge of space he wanted to bring audiences into a world where mankind has found better, alternative resources on other planets, and that mankind had moved on from earth long ago as their progression into the unknown began to form in space travel. Space is mankind’s greatest fear to overcome as the future becomes more known/where before there was the barbaric unknown - contaminated with all sorts of bacterial infections and oxygen depriving skull-crushing forces, and the ideal future has been chosen in the movie “Alien” where there is a grasp and tangible scope on mankind’s understanding of space travel and planet discovery.

That all sounds quite remarkable, but Ridley Scott has various altercating perceptions of space and its limitless dangers to the flimsy protection of the human body, and this is something that he wanted to gravitate to in the movie. James Cameron played his fair share part in the creation of the movie “Alien”, as it was his ideas and visions that led to many of the designs, feels and executions within the final full movie. Cameron envisioned the alien creature, and designed everything about it, and fans are pleased to have had the input from one of Hollywood’s greatest movie visionaries of all time. The ship and its inner parts was also helped in design and overall features from the great James Cameron, and there has been nothing but good taste thrown into the movies overall design and projecting from the two (Cameron and Scott), that ultimately made the movie such an expertise show for other movie directors to follow after.

The Alien franchise started out with Ridley Scott’s movie “Alien”, a tense and suspense-driven horror/science-fiction movie that pushed the boundaries of movie making, as everything in the set design had to be made from scratch to make it appear as though the movie is all happening and taking place in space. This is nothing less than a climb to the peak of mount everest, as everything not only has to look like it is in space but also feel like it as well. That puts an immense set of resources into creating the right special effects, and trust us when we say that special effects were no easy task for movie makers back in the late 70s, and anything beneath the belt of realistic would be slammed by movie critiques and audiences from around the world. James Cameron was nothing short of a genius in his roles co-creating the movie “Alien”, as although he took no part in the movies direction he was however there for the movies set designing, and helped make the alien creature model that was used in the movie, and the hardest part was making it look at though the alien creature was moving around as this involved a heap load of creative thinking to make a reality. Ridley Scott spent his time on the actual direction of the “Alien” movie, and had to somehow make audiences feel amazed by the future of space travel and planet discovery, whilst all the while making sense of the evil that lyes within the alien parasite that gets inside of one of the crew members bodies through a face grappling alien creature. It would be the alien parasite that is implanted inside of the infected crew member that would become the alien from hell, as the parasite was in fact an alien egg, and once it has grown and hatched it tears its way out of the hosts body through the skeletal front of the chest. That is what happens, and suddenly there is a small alien creature running around the ship inhabited by a small group of crew members, but when the crew finds the alien it has grown into a six foot tall killing machine. Maybe this is saying something about James Cameron’s creative thinking, as he is both obsessed with killing machines and confined spaces for death by zed killing machines.

Either way, the “Alien” movie moved audiences passed the boundaries for having a great horror/science-fiction movie without any of the ridiculously poor special effects and visionary that only comes from mediocre minds. There was finally a cinematic alien creature that could pour fear into the minds of vast audiences, and it all starts from a somewhat believable parasite that lays eggs in the human chest where something deadly will kill the host and cause endless death and destruction to its path into a newly known habitat. The sequel to Alien is “Aliens”, a movie directed by James Cameron, and on its release this was a big deal as there was already committed fans with invested interest in the Alien franchise, and James Cameron took a back seat for the direction of the first Alien movie. Finally, James Cameron’s “Aliens” emerged, and it promised more action, more humour, more Ripley, and more aliens than previously seen in the first Alien instalment. “Aliens” was arguably better than the first, as James Cameron was less interested in slow releasing suspense, and instead opted for intense suspense-driven action that would take the movie from its slow story-driven start to an ending that would be epic in the eyes of the audiences. There is an old saying in Hollywood, “the sequel is always the best one”… well, I never said it was a great saying, but in the case of the Alien movies this may just be the case, that is if having more badass humans vs. aliens fights than previously seen before is considered better in your eyes of the Alien franchise.

The third Alien movie, “Alien 3”, was directed by David Fincher, and was perhaps the third worst Alien movie to date, right after Alien: Resurrection (Alien 4), Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, and sorry most recent Alien spin-off movies - no, continuing the Alien series without Ripley is not acceptable, and yes the fans of the Alien franchise have become exasperated by the attempts at wooing us with false pretences in the Alien universe. This could be the point when everything falls apart for the fight for the Alien franchise, since the Alien movies without the leadership of James Cameron seems to have fallen to pieces, but this could be a sign that James Cameron jumped ship before the franchise could tear his Hollywood reputation to shreds, or maybe he simply didn’t see the franchise being significantly profitable in the future. Whatever the reason, the exiting of the long-successful and distinguished James Cameron has doomed the Alien franchise to the immensely oversaturated works of Ridley Scott and his team of poorly constructive writers and producers for the more recent Alien franchise movies. In regards to Aliens 3, the movie was a good movie, but the setting was simply not the one that fans would have been hoping for, and this ultimately led the franchise down a path of oversight and misdirection.

Jurassic Park Franchise

Jurassic Park is Steven Spielberg’s most priced work in Hollywood as a movie director, and even earned Spielberg fees in the approximate figure of around $200 million. There has never been a dinosaur movie in cinematic history before Jurassic Park that had been taken seriously by the wider audiences, that is if we were to not include the legendary battles between King Kong and the dinosaurs inhabiting on the same mysterious lost island. In Jurassic Park (set in modern day, 1993), released in 1993, John Hammond the owner of a large corporation Ingen, finds an island of the cost of the US of A where they have found mosquitos buried deep into earths natural rock, and within these mosquitos lyes the dinosaur DNA of the species living during the Jurassic period. Hammond in his mad obsessions has spent billions of dollars in research and development within Ingen to create real-life dinosaurs starting with the dinosaur DNA genetics found in the mosquitos, and by mixing this genetic make-up material with the DNA of animals living on earth today, such as giraffes, lizards, snakes, etc. Cutting the story short, Ingen have created real-life replicas of dinosaurs that lived on earth millions of years ago, and they have all been birthed in Ingen labs where they have been genetically made, and are then raised on the island that is now under the complete control on the Ingen corporation, supported by the US government and huge investors for the dinosaur theme park project. Ingen have built enclosures for the dinosaur species, and the herbivores have been given wide open fields to live on, whilst keeping the carnivores separated from the herds in tighter spaced enclosures. The main event for the Jurassic Park theme park on the island is the Velociraptors and the T-Rex, and the velociraptors have been kept in an electrified cage pen, whilst the T-Rex is kept in a wide open space with electrified wire walls to prevent any escapes from the enclosure.

Jurassic Park was as amazing as it sounds, which can be somewhat surprising to many audiences whom have seen the Jurassic Park movie for the first time, as since the 1993 movie there has not been a whole lot of competition for this level of movie-making spectacles of ingenious movie production. Sure, there has been some pretty epic action movies, science-fiction good vs. evil spectacles, but there has not been the level of curiosity or realism in the higher end to movie making that could stand alongside of the Jurassic Park movie with shear pride. Even the Jurassic Park sequels and the Jurassic World spin-off stand aside the first with a complete loss in spectacle, as the best thing to happen since the first Jurassic Park movie was the disappointment that the sequels provided that made audiences appreciate the first all the more. "Jurassic Park” had an amazing score, great acting, a warm family story and plot-underlining, and the dinosaurs were not only envisioned brilliantly but also executed astonishingly well in ways that only animatronics blended with ingenious special effects could be achieved.

Fighting for the Jurassic Park Franchises Side

The Jurassic Park franchise all started back in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 cinematic production of “Jurassic Park” (based of the novelist work of Michael Crichton), and for the time this was a great step forward for cinematography, special effects, and the use of animatronics has been greatly received through the powerful efforts of the ILM team in making the necessary special effects scenery for Spielberg’s 1993 Jurassic Park movie. The realism in the features, movements, sounds, and various other visuals in Jurassic Park were remarkable and is innovation even now in 2017, and that makes Jurassic Park one of the few movies to contain special effects that could stand up alongside modern CGI works in 2017. Basically, in Jurassic Park there is a lot of dinosaurs to showcase, as audiences take a journey through the BETA faze for John Hammond’s newly created real-life living dinosaur theme park. Spielberg has not simply created a movie with Jurassic Park, but an epic journey of rediscovery through the biological creation of jurassic period dinosaurs in modern day, and emphasises how dangerous it is to thrust millions of years of evolution to the side simply to create a magical experience for young children and parents alike to enjoy on a weekend getaway to the worlds first dinosaur theme park. Really, the movie plays on some pretty wacky ideas, and without seeing the movie with your own two eyes it would be difficult to imagine the studio doing what they did, even today in 2017.

Without Jurassic Park it may have taken forever for the special effects studios to innovate far enough into the future where they could push past the boundaries of the budget and profit norms, and this is that one movie that wowed audiences into submission in accepting that special effects and CGI creations would become the future for movie making. It only makes audiences in 2017 wonder what has happened to make it so that the Jurassic World (Jurassic Park spin-off) movie is not even nearly as powerful as the franchises original movie in bringing to life an emotional journey that could be enjoyed over and over. Perhaps it is something to do with the large movie studios today opting out of using animatronics since it is far cheaper, easier and less risky to outright make the CGI works direct from a computer, and this is somewhat disappointing as seeing the animatronics gives a greater feeling for the shape, feel, and danger that would come from the raw scale of the carnivorous dinosaurs.

Jurassic Park used the right actors/actresses throughout their casting, the director was a visionary that new and loved the works of the original novelist behind the original book, and Spielberg even waited out on the pre-production of the movie so that he could use Richard Attenborough as the actor to play John hammond. It is this style of movie making that we see so rarely today in movie making, as holding out for the right actors/actresses is not typically in the planning for big budget movies today, as it is more economical to simply outsource the final castings to outside firms, and the only thing this has proven is that the blockbuster movies in 2017 have a whole load of unknown names with faces we barely recognise let alone want to see in popular franchises. Jurassic Park was filled with actors/actresses that people had relatively little knowledge about, and children audiences will not have had any clue as to who these actors were, but this is a part of what made the movie so great, but this comes from a time when casting for big budget movies was done in-house.

Aliens or Carnivorous Dinosaurs

Which movie franchise is better?

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