i see now why it's been so overshadowed by cameron's sequel.
despite a talented director and cast and marvelous sets and visuals, the writing was a huge disappointment. ridley admits in the commentary that nothing happens for the first 45 minutes -- but that's the way he wanted it. there's too too much nothing, and not nearly enough something (as good as the something was). one thing its favor though -- jonesy had a lot of screen time and was apparently so well liked humans were willing to risk their lives to save his. and i'm glad it was as successful as it was.