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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

watch it: “Is That Your Boy? Private William Hudson in Aliens”

Stop yer grinnin’ and drop yer linen… It‘s Aliens reedited so we get only the perspective of Private Hudson: all of Bill Paxton’s lines are here in six or so minutes, and nothing else.

As Matt Singer at IFC News says:

It’s funny, of course, to see all of Paxton’s whinging re-edited into one six minute long mega rant. But played out this way, Hudson’s arc takes on tragic dimensions too. He’s priggish in the beginning then terrified and scared after the first alien attack. He also has a moment of personal reflect that I must admit I’ve never really paid attention to before while watching “Aliens” at its full length; babbling about how he was four weeks away from getting out of the Marines. After that, he regains his resolve before succumbing to his final fate. Oh, Hudson. You were too beautiful for this world.

Though I confess that I can’t see how anyone could have missed Hudson’s lament that he was so close to getting out. I’ve always found that moment very poignant. Bill Paxton’s fantastic performance in this film must be one of the most underappreciated bits of movie acting ever. I mean, people love Hudson, but I’m not sure how many realize that it’s not necessarily so easy to make it look this effortless onscreen.

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