Oh, now you're just being silly. Are you really saying that it's intuitively obvious that interstellar freight missions are equivalent to interstellar scientific exploration missions?
Also, that's one film. Care to try again?
"Better production values" doesn't cut it in terms of describing the work Giger put into the creature design, as well as the direction & photography of the film itself.
You seem to be trying to suggest that Alien only has these positive attributes because someone threw money at it. I'm saying that as well as money, it took craft and skill and hard work to achieve that effect. It's not some rubbish exercise in pyrotechnics (eg Battleship) - it's a strong film in its own right as well as a compelling horror film.
That's one film.
So Alien is unoriginal in its depiction of space travel (because it sort of maybe ish resembles the space travel depiction in 2001) and it's unoriginal its depiction of human|alien interaction (because of this thing) and it's unoriginal as a horror (for unspecified reasons).
You're missing my point - you claim "unoriginality" as though loads of films have trodden the same territory as Alien, then fall back to one or two examples. (And I'm not disputing there are clear similarities, I just don't see them invalidating the entire film the way you do).
You ignore all attempts to explain that a substantial part of the film's merit is the quality of execution of its ideas (including the creature design) as though these are all tiny facets and irrelevant when compared to the enormity of its failing in the area of originality.
By that criteria, watching almost any film ever made must leave you grinding your teeth in disgust.
Right, that'd be why it won a Saturn & Hugo award, because everyone thought it was a load of clichéd rubbish.
Besides which, we're still talking about the thing in this detail over 30 years after it came out. I think that's a strong argument against it being quite as narratively cack-handed as you insist, at least in terms of its general reception
I'll wait for the reviews. What I've seen so far is ho-hum: oh, look, ancient astronaut invitations blah-blah Stargate aaaah Run Away! etc.
Folks are reacting as though I think Alien is crap. I don't.
I just don't think it's one of the greatest films ever made as stated in the OP. I very much doubt that Ridley Scott thinks so either.
Don't get me wrong - if you don't like the film, or you didn't enjoy it, that's fair enough.
What I find strange is your assertion that it's unoriginal - while there are a couple of low-budget crapfests that share some similarities (and there are some narratives and at least one film that it appears to have cribbed rather a lot from, even if subconsciously), I don't think that can be considered enough to render the film unoriginal, or at least not sufficiently unoriginal to be devoid of any merit.
Even if we were to accept it as a run-of-the-mill horror, it's executed in a much better fashion than almost any comparable film at its time of release - the script isn't anywhere near as clunky as most, the acting is solid, and the direction is confident and professional. So it still raises the bars quite considerably for horror films, which is worthy of note (especially considering the perennial popularity of the slasher whose adherents will forgive all sorts of things if the filmmakers know to adhere to formula). It's a disservice to the film to merely address this with "oh, it had good production values" - it had excellent production values and great execution (reflected in its success in terms of winning awards for direction, design, sound, cinematography & visual effects) in areas where similar films usually had terrible ones, which is a large part of why it's so effective.
Getting back to the film 'Alien'. Can anyone explain, and or correct me if I'm wrong; When they (The Mining/Cargo vessel) received a distress signal from the Alien ship which had ? crash landed and they went to investigate it et cetera. Why then later in the film was it revealed that this signal was in fact a warning beacon i.e to stay away. Why was this? If the 'Alien' wanted to continue 'its life' why would they/it/the Aliens send out a warning beacon instead of a distress signal? Ok I know they were bad news but ......