11-Year Olds Watch ‘Aliens’

Matt Zoller Seitz, editor-in-chief at and TV critic for New York magazine shows his son and his friends Aliens for the first time:

“I like the way this looks,” one said. “It’s futuristic but it’s old school. It’s almost steampunk.” “This is like Team Fortress 2,” another remarked. “Dude, shut up, this was made like 20 years before Team Fortress 2,” said the kid next to him. “This is, like, every science fiction movie ever made,” another said, as Ripley operated the power loader for the first time.

“This movie has so many cliches in it,” a boy said when Colonial Marines disembarked the drop ship and made their way through rainy darkness to enter the alien-infested colony. My son told him, “This movie was made in 1986. It invented all the cliches.” Another of his friends was impressed by the “personal data transmitters” implanted in the colonists—impressed that someone had thought of that back in 1986.

“Vasquez was the MVP of the movie. I think all eight boys might have a little bit of a crush on her. When she pinned a xenomorph to a wall with her combat boot and blew its brains out, one exclaimed his delight with profanity, then apologized to me for it. Another boy said Vasquez reminded him of “this lady who works at Costco.” He didn’t say which Costco. There was a wave of applause for Lt. Gorman and Vasquez holding hands as they blew themselves up. (“She died like a boss,” one said.)”

Full essay: Notes on Watching Aliens for the First Time Again, With a Bunch of Kids

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