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'Aliens' Academics

September 07, 1986

Career academics have a habit of creatively cobbling up nonsense to fit a prefabricated thesis.

In the case of "Aliens," the thesis is that James Cameron's violent Rambo scenario contains some deeper human meaning that might somehow justify a mass audience's embrace of a movie which, without a subtext, would be just another ugly, boring, illogical two-hour headache.

And the nonsense in point is Nancy Webber's labored and para-logical "How 'Aliens' Mirrors Feminine Fears" (Aug. 24). It functions on a par with the tunnel vision of an asthete who champions the brevity of, say, old Roger Corman films, without realizing that those films are so short because good old Roger cut them to fit on two reels instead of three, to save on shipping costs.

Sigourney Weaver herself hit closer to the truth by summing "Aliens" up as "Rambolina." That's what "Aliens" is. That's all Aliens is. Because that basic hardware-and-slaughter plot, first seen in "The Terminator" and in the Stallone film, is apparently all that Cameron can write.

DAVID J. SCHOW

Los Angeles

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