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Alien Quadrilogy (Alien / Aliens / Alien 3 / Alien Resurrection)

Sigourney Weaver , Michael Biehn , David Fincher , James Cameron    Unrated   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 49.98
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Product Description

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The Alien Quadrilogy is a nine-disc boxed set devoted to the four Alien films. Although previously available on DVD as the Alien Legacy, here they have been repackaged with vastly more extras and with upgraded sound and picture. For anyone who hasn't been in hypersleep for the last 25 years, this series needs no introduction, though for the first time each film now comes in both original and "special edition" form.

Alien (1979) was so perfect it didn't need fixing, and Ridley Scott's 2003 director's cut is fiddling for the sake of fiddling. Watch it once, then return to the majestic, perfectly paced original. Conversely, the special edition of James Cameron's Aliens (1986) is the definitive version, though it's nice to finally have the theatrical cut on DVD for comparison. Most interesting is the alternative Alien 3 (1992). This isn't a "director's cut"--David Fincher refused to have any involvement with this release--but a 1991 work-print that runs 29 minutes longer than the theatrical version, and has now been restored, remastered, and finished off with (unfortunately) cheap new CGI. Still, it's truly fascinating, offering a different insight into a flawed masterpiece. The expanded opening is visually breathtaking, the central firestorm is much longer, and a subplot involving Paul McGann's character adds considerable depth to story. The ending is also subtly but significantly different. Alien: Resurrection (1997) always was a mess with a handful of brilliant scenes, and the special edition just makes it eight minutes longer.

The Alien Quadrilogy offers the first and fourth films with DTS soundtracks, the others having still fine Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation. All four films sound fantastic, with much low-level detail revealed for the first time. Each is anamorphically enhanced at the correct original aspect ratio, and the prints and transfers are superlative. Every film offers a commentary track that lends insight into the creative process--though the Scott-only commentary and isolated music score from the first Alien DVD release are missing here. Each movie is complemented by a separate disc packed with hours of seriously detailed documentaries (all presented in full-screen with clips letterboxed), thousands of photos, production stills, and storyboards, giving a level of inside information for the dedicated buff only surpassed by the Lord of the Rings extended DVD sets. A ninth DVD compiles miscellaneous material, including an hourlong documentary and even all the extras from the old Alien laserdisc. "Exhaustive" hardly beings to describe the Alien Quadrilogy, a set that establishes the new DVD benchmark for retrospective releases and looks unlikely to be surpassed for some time. --Gary S. Dalkin

Special Features

Available Subtitles: English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
Discs 1-2: Alien (1979)
Theatrical version (117 min.)
2003 director's cut (137 min.)
Commentary by Ridley Scott and technical crew
1.85 anamorphic, English 5.1 DTS, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Surround, THX Certified
Preproduction: Star Beast (developing the story), First Draft of Screenplay by Dan O'Bannon, The Visualists (direction and design), Ridleygrams (original thumbnails & notes), storyboard archive, Art of Alien (Cobb, Foss, Giger, Moebius), Truckers in Space (casting), Sigourney Weaver's screen test with optional commentary by Ridley Scott, cast portrait gallery
Production: Fear of the Unknown (Shepperton Studios, 1978), production gallery, The Darkest Reaches (Nostromo and alien planet), The Sets of Alien, The Eighth Passenger (creature design), The Chestburster (creature design)
Post-Production: Future Tense (music and editing), 8 deleted scenes, visual effects gallery (photo archive), A Nightmare Fulfilled (reaction to the film), poster explorations, special shoot, premiere
Discs 3-4: Aliens (1986)
Theatrical version (137 min.)
1991 special edition (154 min.)
Commentary by Michael Biehn, Jenette Goldstein, Carrie Henn, Terry Henn, Lance Henriksen, Gale Anne Hurd, Pat McClung, Bill Paxton, Dennis Skotak, Robert Skotak and Stan Winston
2.35 anamorphic, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Surround, THX Certified Pre-Production: 57 Years Later (continuing the story), Original Treatment: by James Cameron, Building Better Worlds (from concept to construction), The Art of Aliens (conceptual art portfolio), Pre-Vis Anamatics
Preparing for Battle (casting & characterization), Cast Portait (still gallery)
Production: This Time It's War (Pinewood Studios, 1985)
Production Gallery (photo archive), Continuity Polaroids, The Risk Always Lives (weapons and action), Weapons and Vehicles (photo archive), Bug Hunt (creature design), Beauty and the Bitch (Power Loader vs. Queen Alien), Stan Winston's Workshop (photo archive), Two Orphans (Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn)
Post-Production: The Final Countdown (music, editing and sound), The Power of Real Tech (visual effects), Visual Effects Gallery (photo archive), Aliens Unleashed (reaction to the film), Film Finish & Release, Easter egg (A Boy and His Power Loader)
Discs 5-6: Alien 3 (1992)
Theatrical version (114 min.)
2003 special edition (restored work print version) (155 min.)
Commentary by Terry Rawlings and crew
2.35 anamorphic, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Surround, THX Certified
Pre-Production: Development (concluding the story), Tales of the Wooden Planet (Vincent Ward's vision), The Art of Aceron (conceptual art portfolio), pre-production part III featurette, storyboards, Art of Fiorina, Xeno-Erotic (H.R. Giger's redesign featurette)
Production: Production part I featurette, Production Gallery (photo archive), Furnace Construction (time-lapse sequence), Adaptive Organism (creature design), ADI Workshop, E.E.V. Scan Multi-Angle Vignette, Production part II
Post-Production: Post-Production part I, Optical Fury (visual effects), Music, Editing and Sound, Visual Effects (photo archive), Post-Mortem (reaction to the film), Special Shoot
Discs 7-8: Alien Resurrection (1997)
Theatrical version (109 min.)
2003 special edition (119 min.)
Commentary by Jean Pierre Junet and crew
Intro (extended cut only)
2.35 anamorphic, English 5.1 DTS, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Surround, THX Certified
Pre-Production: From the Ashes (reviving the story), First Draft Screenplay by Joss Whedon, French Twist (direction and design), Under the Skin (casting and characterization), Test Footage #1 (hair/makeup), ADI Effects, Mark Carro Photo Gallery, The Art of Resurrection (conceptual art gallery), storyboards, Pre-Visualizations (multi-angle rehearsals)
Production: Death from Below (underwater photography), In the Zone (the basketball scene), production gallery (photo archive), Unnatural Mutation (creature design), ADI Workshop, ADI Test Footage
Post-Production: Genetic Composition (music), Virtual Aliens (computer generated imagery), A Matter of Scale (miniature photography), Visual Effects Gallery (photo archive), Critical Juncture (reaction to the film), Special Shoot (promotional photo archive), Easter egg (Alien extra)
Disc 9: Bonus disc
ALIEN:
Alien Legacy , Alien Evolution, Experience in Terror (promotional featurette '79), Ridley Scott Q&A
Alien Laser Disc Archive: Part I (pre-production), Part II (production), Part III (post-production), theatrical trailer A, theatrical trailer B, TV spot (Egg), TV spot (Now Playing)
ALIENS:
Aliens Laser Disc Archive: Part I (pre-production), Part II (production), Part III (post-production), theatrical trailer A, teaser trailer, domestic trailer, international trailer, TV spot (Now Playing)
ALIEN 3:
6 trailers, 7 TV spots
ALIEN RESURRECTION:
Theatrical teaser, 2 theatrical trailers, 4 TV spots, Bob Burns Alien Collection
Dark Horse Still Gallery
DVD-ROM (script to screen comparison)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Badgley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is another of my retro reviews for a product that has been around for quite awhile but I have never turned my attention to,until now.
First off I cannot believe the price drop that has occured since its' initial release;a drop of about $60-70.00....amazing.
This is a set NO Alien fan should be without.This is the WHOLE enchillada,and then some.What you get here are all four Alien movies,presented in their original widescreen formats and in two forms;in their original theatrical presentation AND in new director cuts.The most material added was in Aliens by director James Cameron and the least in the last,Alien Ressurection.I have viewed all movies in both versions and after viewing the directors' editions I have never watched anything else.The bonus footage is definitely a plus.
I have owned this set almost since its' inital release and I cannot tell you how many times I have watched and rewatched this series and it always keeps me coming back for more.Each film has been transferred wonderfully and everything,picture and sound wise,is as it should be.There is included here an extra disc with a multitude of fascinating extras and all in all the back slip cover tells us there are nearly 50 hours total worth of extras throughout the entire series discs.Just phenomenal.
Opening the set itself can be a bit unwieldy at first and takes time to get used to.It is folded into two large sections and when you take them out of the protective large cover/box it is in you lay them down and they fold out into two main parts.Each in turn folds out about three times in opposite directions so if you want to open the entire set you need ALOT of space underneath it.I would only recommend opening one section at a time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien Quad Nov. 28 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm sure everybody's seen these movies. This is a great set, great picture, great sound, lots of commentaries on each of the 4 films. The best part of this set is just to watch the 2nd disc of each movie, back to back and see the whole "making-of" saga unfold. Ridley Scott's "Alien" seemed easy-to-make, compared to the struggles of Cameron and Fincher. Of course, Ridley always makes the 'near-impossible' seem easy. He's so well-prepared and has such great, inventive, pre-CGI ideas that save so much money and keep the studio happy. Yes, those are really his hands, inside those washing-up gloves, fluttering inside the plexiglas egg that Kane is about to stick his foolish face into.
Cameron's "Aliens" was a fight from day one. James is a perfectionist who knows everyone's job, on the set, and can do it better than them all. His movie sets would run smoothly if there were simply 100 Jimmy Camerons surrounding him. Cameron has a hard enough time with crews in America, but plunking him down into a typical British crew in Shepperton who have their tea break at 11 and a liquid lunch later on and stop for the day at 5... well, you can just imagine the conflicts. "Let the sackings begin!"
David Fincher's first film, the 'trial-by-fire', "Alien 3" was a fight between him and the studio all the way. This is a typical Hollywood story (like the story of Coppola and The Godfather). The clever studio hires the brilliant young director to basically do as he's told and save a bunch of money for them...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for fans Sept. 20 2011
Format:DVD
Great buy, good value, and definitely worth checking out if you're an Alien fan, or even if you're new to the series and just need to see the movies. I personally prefer the special editions/directors versions of all the movies because they add a lot to the story in each. I find the special edition of Alien Resurrection on par with Alien 3 theatrical version, because now the extra minutes at the beginning and the pacing give you the sense that Ripley could be just as much Alien as the Aliens are. And that's something I think they intended; for the viewer to see Ripley as a potential antagonist early on in the basketball scene and in the fight with the space pirates, demonstrating how strong she is. It just flows better, and the new opening/extended conversations about Ripley's cloning made me really dig the movie this time around, and I appreciated what they did with the alien getting her characteristics, and vice versa much more. Everything about A:R is better in special edition imo, especially Call(Winona Ryder) and a few other characters. Alien 3 is also much better overall in the special edition imo, it fleshes out the characters a little more, but substitutes the dog-xenomorph for an ox-xenomorph(nothing really changes about the actual creature other than the animal it gestates in). Aliens' themes and ending are more powerful to me with the stronger focus on the theme of maternity (extended scene where Ripley finds out about her daughter's death). The sentry guns always made me more tense instead of breaking the tense, claustrophobic feeling of Aliens, as some internet posters claim. This is because we see the sentry guns empty as the creatures just keep coming. They were confident the sentries would help keep them safe, but we can clearly see there were still some left. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Collection
Master pieces of Sci-fi with lots of extra material to watch :) This box set has it all, great purchase :)
Published 3 months ago by Valeria Tovar Contreras
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien Quadrology
Purchased this item for a gift off of my brother's wish list. As he lives scary movies I expect he would give the top rating of 5 stars.
Published 4 months ago by Dianne Standing
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Intelligent Masterpiece!!!
I originally just wanted to get the first Alien film from 1979, but when I saw this 'Quadrilogy', with all of these great extras, and at a nice price, I had to have it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by B. H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien Quadrilogy (Alien / Aliens / Alien 3 / Alien Resurrection)
5 stars. Alien Quadrilogy (Alien / Aliens / Alien 3 / Alien Resurrection) = Great. Thanks. Three more words required
Great.
Published 15 months ago by dalli052
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
as good as expected and very desired copy of the previously vcr copy...we love to see it on cold winter days...coocooning
Published 15 months ago by Danielle Vallieres
5.0 out of 5 stars Great deal!
At this price I can't believe it was such a good box set! Yes It's not all blue/ray, but it wasn't then either. Read more
Published 19 months ago by spike
5.0 out of 5 stars amazon is overpricing this film
This is a great set, but if you are going to purchase it look to futureshop.ca as they sell it for $39.99. Amazon.ca is ripping everyone off here. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2008 by George Carlin
5.0 out of 5 stars mind-blowing sci-fi flicks
Why not buy this set? It comes with the terrifying horror masterpiece of alien, the epic adventure of aliens, the cult classic alien 3 and the Hollywood spin off, alien... Read more
Published on June 27 2006 by Rob Larmer
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-own for an Alien FAN!! (Like me.)
Holy heck where do I start? I dunno how this set is only worth a hundred bucks! Nine discs and every single thing any Alien fan could ask for! Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2005 by RICK
5.0 out of 5 stars David Finchers negative critics, GET A LIFE
You dont understand why David Fincher did'nt contribute on Quad?????? tell me what would you do?????, June 25, 2005
Reviewer: M. Read more
Published on June 24 2005 by dandy w
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