Alien 3 is not as good as the first two Aliens. It's not even good by the standards of the Alien franchise. Though by regular movie standards, it's more than OK. After pissing off everyone by murdering Hicks and Newt offscreen(and shaving Sigourney's head due to a head lice problem on the planet) before the credits with Bishop only having one scene due to being damaged beyond repair, we see Ripley now being stranded on a prison planet. Turns out a stowaway joined them at the end of Aliens. And now a new xenomorph has entered the picture, birthed by a dog in the theatrical version and instead coming out of a dead ox in the Assembly Cut. Personally, I find it more plausible that the xenomorph came out of an ox rather than a dog as while the dog allows for a more emotionally devastating scene, the ox explains why the xenomorph has already been born that big. It does have its tense moments and I found myself hoping that everyone makes it out okay. It also is visually stunning. And it all comes down to a tearjerking ending that is sadder in the theatrical version than the Assembly Cut. They're both quite dramatic, really. So, yeah. Alien 3 (Alien cubed?) is not as good as the first two movies in the Alien franchise and it gave off a bad first impression for David Fincher due to executive meddling that nearly discouraged him from directing the mystery classic Se7en but Sigourney Weaver's performance, the special effects, a terrifying logo variation and a dramatic ending(plus better execution in the Assembly Cut) make Alien 3 entertaining in its own right.
But this film is one of those "what should have been" movies that was torn apart by studio paranoia and their distrust of a very talented man- this man being David Fincher, who directed this movie. The theatrical version of this movie is a decent film and it more or less works on its own.
But then, 11 years later a brand new version of ALIEN 3 was released as part of what is probably the best-produced DVD set of all time (next to the extended versions of the 3 LORD OF THE RINGS films) called the special edition. This film featured more than 45 minutes of new and alternate footage, making it almost exactly 30 minutes longer than the theatrical film. Most extended versions of films add deleted footage that adds some interesting threads to the film and creates some interesting insights but for the most part the addition of new footage is often ineffectual and changes the movie a little bit. ALIEN 3, however is a different case all together.
This new version of ALIEN 3 is quite a different film altogether- this is apparently the film that Fincher wanted to make. There are whole new character threads, plot threads, expositions and elements that are introduced here. Even the birth of the Alien is different. This version, even with its often useless production sound is more interesting and feels far more complete than the original version.
Theatrical version: 5.5/10
Special edition: 7.5/10
Overall, I thought "Alien 3" was okay but very inferior compared to the others, thus making it - to me - the least favorite out the original series. (I know there is an "Assembly Cut" of the film that many found much better than the original, but I only saw the original; so until then, my review still stands).