on November 28, 2011
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... but, the reason he's brilliant is that he has a definite artistic vision and he sees the project a certain way and he is extremely stubborn about doing it his way and not listening to the studio, no matter how many suits are standing around on the set watching him and wagging their fingers everytime he wants to take that one extra shot to get it just right. This 'making-of' was the most interesting of all of them because of what Fincher was up against coming into this film and the studio pulling the plug on him later and him washing his hands of the whole thing, once it was done. He's the only director who's missing from the extensive commentaries and interviews, which is a shame. But, at least, the 'director's cut' of the film has the restored beautiful exterior scenes which show how the doctor finds the barely-alive Ripley washed up on the shore.
Monsieur Jeunet's "Alien Resurrection" seemed to be a piece of cake for everyone involved. In his commentary he implied that he felt privileged to be shooting a huge Hollywood movie, he loves the 'Alien' series and he was there to give the studio what it wants. His attitude made for a smooth-running set. A lot of people dismiss "Alien 4" but I like his visual style. His D.P., Darius Khondji, brings that beautiful "City of Lost Children" look to this film. I even like most of his humor and sense of parody. I don't really like the ending or the new creature he came up with, but the story of the making-of this film is fascinating.
The Bonus 9th disc is one of those "let's amaze them by giving them 9 discs instead of just 8" sort of things. A truly archival disc containing a lot of written extras from the laser discs of the first 2 'Alien' films then just endless trailers from all of them. They did stick in some photos, drawings and video clips to break up the mountain of reading in the laser disc information, but it mostly seems like more work than it's worth.
On the whole, as a movie fanatic and collector, I'd say I'm happy with this set. After going through the whole thing I feel that I won't want to see another face-hugger or chest-burster for as long as I live... or at least not until next year when I go through the whole box again.
on November 3, 2010
Absolutely great set, with hours and hours of bonus features. It may be a little expensive, but there's lots of options to import it (the UK Amazon site is cheaper). Regardless, the video and audio are some of the best on Blu-ray, and the best this series has ever looked. Well worth your money, if you're willing to spend it. Plus, there's over 50 hours of special features (estimates put it at 65+), not to mention the "digibook" set is absolutely gorgeous and maybe the best set I've ever seen for any release, period.
If Star Wars gets this sort of treatment next year, I'll be super happy!
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.I found it a bit of a bugboo intially but the more you play with it the more you get the hang of it.
"Alien" was a groundbreaking picture in its' day and the rest of the movies have kept that tradition alive and well and each new director/movie has expanded on that idea(with their own sense of vision) while keeping faithful to the Alien dictum.
20th Century Fox did a superb job on this set in its' release year of 2003 and did the franchise proud in doing so;easily standing the test of time.That is why it is so unfortunate to see the franchise being dragged down by Foxs' AVP series,especially the latest offering "Requiem".Whether Fox has the where withall to stop this slide is problematic.
However we do have this set to remind us(and Fox) what exactly the Alien franchise is all about/should be all about;good actors,good acting,good scipts,good direction,good special effects and an unerring sense of the essence and spirit of the Alien universe.These films in this set are the foundations of the series and are a must see/have for all Alien and Sci-Fi fans everywhere.At this price there is no time like right now to get your set.
on September 20, 2011
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. Our heroes can also see there is a huge horde moving into the room directly after the sentry guns stop (with a very small amount of ammo left). This makes more sense when you compare it to the theatrical version. The aliens are forced to crawl through the crawl space to avoid sentry fire. Instead, Ripley ostensibly forgets to think to check for a small crawlspace above them(not included in blueprints, possibly in both cases) in the theatrical version as they see the horde close in, on the motion tracker. Also the sentry gun scene is just plain cool, and even if you prefer the theatrical release of any of these movies; its still nice to own the extras. On top of the special edition/director's cut discs you get all 4 theatrical versions on their own, with seperate bonus features. As well, you get extra behind the scenes features and "making of" documentaries. Very interesting to watch for any fan, and includes directors some talk about the ideas behind, and characteristics of the alien lifeform and unexplored/unexplained questions . With all the films bundled together this is a perfect buy to get ready for Prometheus, the quasi-Alien prequel, if you don't yet own any of these films on blu-ray or DVD
on July 31, 2013
I am an Aliens fan. I am rating the disc quality, not the movies. After 25 years some of the movie scenes seem cheesy compared to today s technology, like a computer screen that makes teletype noises and strobe lights on a space ship and steam blowing out everywhere on a ship,etc, but its still a good watch. (Sorry, had to throw that in.) So far I have only watched the first movie of the four. But I assume as others are saying that most of the quality is in the first and second film. I agree that the first film is very nice. The restoration is very good to excellent on blu-ray. I would say almost as good as any new movie. Good colors and sharp images. The sound was good as well. I did notice what I thought was a bit of distortion for about 30 seconds in the first part of the movie when they are outside in the planet winds but I'm not sure if its distortion or if that's the way its supposed to sound. Anyway, good sound, good movies.
on December 19, 2011
The four films are better looking than ever on blu-ray. The special features are more in-depth than they've ever been. I particularly like the making of "Alien 3" documentary, with all the restored footage of David Fincher's issues with the studio, and learning all about the original screenplay that almost was (and would've been far better in my opinion). A true gift for fans of the series.
on October 25, 2005
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!
This set is better than the Star Wars set, the Indiana Jones set, the Jurassic Park set, holy cow! This has two discs for every movie, plus a bonus disc with tons of other cool features! Man... every Sci-Fi fan needs to own this, as well as the Predator films. It don't get better than this!!!!!!
on December 30, 2013
The human race is DOOMED if these buggers ever get to earth!!!
Got this set on for a great deal ($21).
The layout of the set is pretty cool. It's a book you open up and the discs are slid into the pages.
The on screen menus are pretty neat too.
Quality of the picture is awesome. I couldn't believe how great ALIEN looked, considering how long ago it was made.
This is a great set for any ALIEN series lover!!!
on June 6, 2004
Here's the big question regarding the Alien series: do you spring for the massive 9 disc boxset, or do you save a little cash (and time) by only picking up the two good movies in the series?
Folks, the first two films are inarguably classics of their genres. But the last two films are pretty disposable. Especially 3, a movie that just exists for no explainable reason. If you haven't seen it, consider yourself lucky, as it basically makes mince meat of everything that was great about the first two. The fourth one is good by comparison, just because there wasn't getting much worse than 3.
Why do we need 9 disc sets? Why do we need alternate cuts of movies? I'll tell you, it sure is nice to finally be able to have the vastly superior Theatrical Cut of "Aliens" rather than the unnecessarily bloated extended cut.
Two movies are classics, two movies are crap. But- and this complicates matters- part four is ENTERTAINING crap. But these features, man- I can't bring myself to wade through three hours of features about a classic, let alone three hours of features for a crappy movie.
on April 2, 2004
Finally, some of the greatest movies ever are collected in one huge set, getting the special DVD treatment that they deserve. 2 Discs per movie, with a final special features disc, making up 9 discs in all...what more could you ask for?
Alien gets a great treatment, remastered and extended with some of the scenes originally left on the cutting room floor. Its the same edition that was played on the big screen in November of 2003. It kind of slows down the movie just a bit, but its nice to see some more of the plot elements and extra shots of the alien that were left out. The original movie is also included, and looks great. The commentary sheds alot of insight into the film and the extras are well worth it. This is one of the best special treatments in the set.
Aliens is still awesome. The Special Edition, which has been out for many years, looks better than ever. Also included is the original theatrical version, though I much prefer the extended edition now. The commentary and extras are all well worth it, and Aliens still stands out as the best movie in the series, though the debate still rages between Alien and Aliens.
Of all the movies however, I found Alien 3 to be the most intriguing in the set. After so many years of hearing about it, the 'Workprint Edition' is FINALLY shown. Adding an extra half hour to the film, Alien 3 takes on a whole new face. Bloodier, darker, and with completely new plot elements, Workprint edition was definitely an interesting spin on the Alien 3 plot. The death of Hicks is shown in more unnecessarily gruesome detail(to this day I don't know why they opted to murder him so horribly). The birth of the alien and prisoner Golic's obsession with it are two of the most notable differences. There is ALOT of things that they could have left in, but at the same time, I see why they cut alot of it out. The workprint edition was restored to the best of their ability, but some sound is muffled. They provided sub-titles for the scenes were the audio is too low to hear, or is being drowned out by background sound. I would've liked to have seen more of the alien shots that were included in the workprint edition, but the original movie is ok the way it is. Not all of the workprint material was included either...some brief shots were still cut out. Overall, this was the most interesting aspect of the set.
Alien: Resurrection is still utter garbage...it's just another 8 minutes of utter garbage, complete with the director rather arrogantly explaining how he thought his movie was a masterpiece and he didn't feel the need to add the deleted footage. Depiste this, Resurrection is still one of the worst movies ever conceived, and definitely the movie that ruined this series. I watched it once, and never had a desire to pop it in again.
The discs were all in pristine working condition and nicely decorate. The extras disc is ok...its mostly promotional material from all the films. Most of the best stuff is one the individual movie discs themselves.
There is one thing wrong with this set...and as many people pointed out, it is the unbeleivably ridiculous packaging. You practically need a dining room table to stretch out the entire box and pick which movie you want. I don't know who the genious was who came up with the packaging, but he/she needs to be smacked about 2 dozen times. Some of the movies could have had a bit more extras, and maybe cleared up just a bit more, but otherwise everything else is fine. As for the other criticism I see about this set...the word 'Quadrilogy' not being a real world...who really cares? I think its more ridiculous to complain about that...you're buying the set for the movies, you aren't buying it to grade it on grammar or turn it in for your doctorate thesis.
Overall, if you're an Alien fan, then you must own this set. However, I recommend buying each DVD individually and save yourself the trouble of dealing with the ridiculous packaging on this box set. Each 2 disc movie and the special materials disc can all be bought seperately, so you won't be missing anything. Regardless, get this set! Alien fans won't regret it!