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 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!
on March 15, 2004
Ok let me start off by saying these movies are awesome. I would of given it a five but Alien ressuerection was what stopped me.(read on i'll explain).
This movie was very good. It had the horror, the suspense, and the question "what next".The seen with the chestburster was pure originality. It is about a ship with 8 crew members who are in hyper sleep and on their way home. They are then woken up by a distress call and go to a foreign planet to check it out. Little did they know this was a warning not a distress call. I give it a 9/10.
Even though the first was great this was much better. It has way more action, much more suspense, AND MOST IMPORTANT MORE ALIENS (INCLUDING THE QUEEN).In this movie Ripley is picked up by a spaceship where later she finds she's been asleep for 57 years. She then accompinies a military group to go to the alien planet to kill them all. Little does she know this is probably the biggest adventure she has ever faced.
I give this a 10/10 (best of the series)
Alien 3 (1992)
This is definetly the darkest of the series. I find it to be pretty good. It's a little slow at the beggining but it gets fast paced later on. In this one Ripley's ship crashes on a prison planet. She later finds out that the crash was caused by an alien who got on bored. She finds that all 25 men on the planet are all rapest and very religous and must be very careful around them. Nobody believes her about the alien that is on the planet and they find it to be true when they get picked off one by one. Then Ripley finds out that the Queen alien is IMPLANTED in side of her and will die. She is determined to kill the alien and then herself to save mankind.
This movie is decent and gets an 8/10.
Alien Ressurection (1997)
This movie was a disapointment to me. I hated the way ripley was so close to the aliens especially at the end when she crys as her "child"(the alien)gets sucked out of the ship. In the Fourth installment of the Quadrilogy Ripley is cloned(since she dies in the 3rd one) so scientist can get the alien out of her to breed and study. While she looks the same she has quality's like an alien(acid blood,temper,super strength). She then says she is the mother of the aliens. The aliens get loose and she must try to stop them with the help of the crew members.
I find this the worst of the series and it's lucky to even get the score i'm giving it 6/10.
If ressurection was better i would of given the set 5 stars. See for yourself.
on January 27, 2004
This set should only be bought if you liked at least 3/4 of the movies in this box set. I do not know why people are making a big deal about "Quadrilogy" versus "tetralogy". "Quadrilogy" may not be a word but who cares. The following statements are my opinions and not facts-keep this in my mind, I might have a different opinion then you!
The restoration of the movies:
Alien (1.85 anamorphic, English 5.1 DTS, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Surround, THX Certified): I was pleased with the restoration of this very old film (1979). 4.9/5
Aliens (2.35 anamorphic, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Surround, THX Certified) : The picture quality and sound were good but it was fullscreen instead of widescreen(all the rest of the films were widescreen). 3.25/5
Alien 3 (2.35 anamorphic, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Surround, THX Certified): Good sound and picture quality for the most part. 4.5/5
Alien Resurrection (2.35 anamorphic, English 5.1 DTS, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Surround, THX Certified): The best in terms of picture and sound quality but also the newest version (1997) thus the quality is expected. 4.75/5
These reviews are based on the theatrical versions and not on the special editions or directors cut.
Total: 4.4/5 (88% B+)
Alien: The first and in my opinion the most original is probably the best in the entire set. 4.9/5
Aliens: Also very good, though the acting from the little girl was kind of bad. 4.5/5
Alien 3: Underrated in my opinion. Liked the dark theme and the fact they killed off Ripley in the end. 4.75/5
Alien Resurrection: Bizarre, but in some places funny. In a way underrated but then it contains too many plot holes. 3.75/5
These reviews are based on the theatrical versions and not on the special editions or directors cut.
Total: 4.5/5 (90% A-)
Alien: Besides getting an extra version of the film (Directors Cut) you get a lot of featurettes, photo galleries, and theatrical trailers, teasers, TV spots, and audio commentary for both versions of Alien. Itâ€™s safe to say youâ€™re overloaded with extras. The Directors cut has only about 8 minutes added to it, you will watch it once but never again. As for the rest a lot of it is just recycling the rest but still for the most part you will be pleased with the extras for this movie. 4.8/5
Aliens: Same stuff (the new version is called a special edition instead of Directors Cut) as Alien except less of it but that means less recycling, you get about the same amount of information as Alien but not as redundant. The special edition adds about 20 minutes to film (including a lengthy look at what happens to the colonists) but same as before the original is best. 4.8/5
Alien 3: Same stuff as Aliens but its missing David Fincher (the Director, all the other movies had the Directors make appearances). I guess thatâ€™s so because of the history with Fincher and fox as you will find out from the featurettes. The special edition version (has some sound difficulty in the beginning) adds 30 minutes and some interesting bits to the story, but again the extra material slows down the pace of the movie. Some of the bonus material (like the audio commentary) comes off stale because of lack of energy but otherwise and in-depth look at an interesting event that surrounded Alien 3. 4.4/5
Alien Resurrection: Same as before. The special edition version had about 8 minutes but its hard to tell the difference between the two (even with such subtle changes I still prefer the original. Jean-Pierre Jeunet can be funny at times spicing up the commentary, but unfortunately there is very little interesting things to say about Alien Resurrection. 4/5
Total: 4.5/5 (90% A-)
Presentation of the material:
CD Layout: Very little to say except that the hours of hours of information was easily accessible with the menus (basically you did not have to hunt for the information like some DVDâ€™s make you do). 4.95/5
Box construction: Came un-glue with almost no use. I try to open it as little as possible to avoid wear and tear. Fox should have spent more time on this (at least it looked nice). 2/5
Sensible: It takes up little space once folded but unfolding it you might discover that itâ€™s longer than five feet. They could have made it like the Indiana Jones box set (higher quality material, individual boxes for movie in a huge box set, does not unfold Five feet!). 3.5/5
Total: 3.48/5 (70% C-)
Total for this box set: 4.22/5 (84% B)
This is probably best for fans, otherwise you might want to skip this one.
on December 30, 2003
First the good news; Fox has done an outstanding job with this great box set. Alien has never looked this good on DVD. There are a few minor drawbacks. 1) There's no isolated music track (seems that Fox couldn't get clearence from Goldsmith to do this) 2)No alternate music track (ditto). Other than that, Alien looks really good. Edge enhancement has been kept to a minimum and the use of a digital filter to get rid of some of the analog flaws, have improved the look of this dark film enormously. Someone commented on some of the effects looking fake--hey folks this was made 26 years ago (released 25).
Aliens--The film doesn't look a whole lot different from the previous version. There is less compression problems associated with the film but it's made from the same high definition digital master that the 1999 release was. Cameron's commentary (and that of the cast)is entertaining and very informative. Cameron makes a couple of brief comments about Fincher's sequel (he thought the film looked great but he knew the audience would resent the death of Newt and Hicks). The extended version is the one to watch as it has more depth and the story is much broader in scope.
Alien 3 appears to be the dark horse of the set. Fincher's version wasn't his--the film was taken away from him during the editing phase. He had constant battles on set and in post-production with Fox (there's 30 minutes missing from the documentary on disc 6. It was cut prior to the discs being pressed and released. Why? Fincher makes his feelings very clear in a couple of onset sequences such as calling Fox's executives morons, etc.). The extended version was prepared without Fincher's involvement which is really too bad as it's much better than the theatrical cut. Is it a perfect film? No. It's not up to the first two films for a variety of reasons chief among them the constantly changing script and some of the stinky rewrites. Still, some outstanding scenes, acting and a visual style that looks great.
Alien Resurrection actually would have benefited from the scenes added to the extended verison. The opening is completely different and sets the tone for the dark brooding comedy at the heart of the film. The opening wasn't finished (budget issues again)so it's reconstructed from partially finished effects. The ending on Earth, I thought, improved the film.
The second disc here isn't as informative as there were less problems than with Alien, Aliens and Alien 3. Everybody makes nice and no one says anything nasty.
Disc nine has an interesting Q&A from the 2001 screening at the Egyptian (just 3 days after 9/11)in Hollywood. There's also a great BBC documentary on the making of the first film. Sadly, Yapett Kotto and Ian Holm are not included in this either. The laserdisc extras are archieved here as well.
Why not five stars? Well the edited documentary on Alien 3 and the lousy packaging. I also would have preferred to have one single director's commentary vs. a mish mash of director/crew/actors. 1 commentary track each would have been better.
Now, is anybody else sad to hear that they are maing Alien vs. Predator? Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil)co-wrote the script and is directing. The plot concerns an archelogy dig in Anarctica where the discover...Aliens and a number of teenage Predators ready to hunt them down. Sounds like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein--the end of the line of the series. Hopefully Anderson can make this plot (with elements adapted from the books)fly. I'll keep my fingers crossed although it isn't too promising.
on December 30, 2003
Ditto about all the good stuff that others have written about the set; picture and sound are superb, and it gives one a whole new perspective on ALIEN 3. But.....that glitch on the first disc is no illusion. It occurs at 1:09:58 on the Director's cut of ALIEN, and a few seconds before that on the theatrical release....in the middle of Skerrit's speech about blowing the creature out the airshaft. Then, after a frame freeze (during which the DVD counter continues to advance!), it skips back to the beginning of the chapter. When it plays through the moment again, it skips to a different place. Eventually you have to jump the section entirely.
But here's the interesting part. It only does this on my Sony machine (usually the best of my 3). It does NOT skip or freeze on a rather cheapo RCA combo DVD/VCR, NOR on the DVD drive of my PC; so it's rather hard to justify a return or exchange from the retailer.
2 questions: Does anyone out there know a way to contact Fox's Quality Control/Consumer Info department with this? (Unlike Sony, they don't offer a toll-free # on their products.) And...do any DVD player experts out there happen to know what causes this to happen on some machines with this particular disc, but not on others? It's a bit maddening....
on December 27, 2003
Almost everything one wants to know. The pluses are the huge amounts of details shown and the negatives are that there is a lot of repetition of information in the audio commentaries. In the supplemental background information each individual is identified as they come on screen each time so it is easy to keep track of their role in the process.
Alien (1979) still holds up as a very scary movie and Aliens (1986) as a rip roaring thrill ride. As indicated at the start of each DVD the comments within do not reflect the comments of the film company, etc., and that is certainly true for Aliens3. The background and commentary cleary spell out the turmoil behind the film and what happens when 'suits' exert detailed control over the film, and shooting without a finished script. The major emphasis on this audio commentary is on how the look of the film was conceived. Also, as noted, Alien3 had only one digital effect.
Alien Resurrection is the only film with any amount of computer digital effects and this process was in its infancy. Miniatures, rod puppets and hand puppets were used and there is mention of the rotoscope process to remove the rods, etc., but no background on how this actually worked. Alien Resurrection has good background features, especially on the water scenes, and the audio commentary was primarily on the look of the film. The 200 years (chronological) between the 3rd and 4th film saw the demise of the 'evil' fictional Wayland-Yutani Corp. The company that bought them out is mentioned by name, and some may find this name amusing, and others perhaps more scary than the Alien Queen.
Of the four film commentaries, I enjoyed the one for Aliens best, especially the comments by Bill Paxton.
Of the nine DVD's, I found a technical glitch on disc 1, with two quick and successive freezes, duplicated on a DVD payer with progressive scan and one without that ability.
I wasn't initially happy to have to purchase all four films when I only felt strongly about two. This collection has made me appreciate the last two better.
Clearly Alien (1979) is superior. The next films were not meant to be sequels but as new treatments of the menace.
This collection is a must for fans of SciFi and for anyone who appreciates a superb movie (Aliens, 1979) or a great thrill ride, (Aliens, 1986).
By the way, be prepared to see a lot of cigarette smoking, in the movies and in the background features.
on December 27, 2003
Let's be honest, folks, how many of you out there who have bought this have actually viewed all these extras? Ahhh... that's what I thought. And how many of you will some day be able to say you've seen every extra? Well, that's about 0.004% of you.
Extras are nice to have, but the real question is, how do the movies look and sound? Great--the best they've ever looked and sounded. Satisfied? You should be.
That said, the movies vary dramatically in quality--the first movie being an undisputed masterpiece, the second being merely fun, the third being inconsistent and confused, and the fourth being unspeakably inane and worthy of a long, drawn-out death.
Alright now, what happened to the isolated score for Alien? I felt slightly ripped off when i bought this--perhaps the most enjoyable extra (with the also-missing Scott commentary a close second)--is mysteriously missing from the new set. How depressing! So sad that isolated scores are seldom offered on newly-made DVD sets.
Ahhh well.... buy this set for the fabulous look of the movies--particularly the first one. If there's one movie that I can watch two nights in a row and not get bored for a second, it's Alien. And now we can all enjoy it in its full glory.
on December 22, 2003
This boxset is most beneficial if you want to see the process of making an Alien film and why each one turned out the way it did. We follow the journey of each film from its conception, to its production, its release, and finally the reaction it received, both critically and commercially. We see this through extensive interviews with many of the people involved in making these movies, and footage of all stages of production. Plus we are given a view of the films in hindsight through present-day interviews with many members of each film's cast and crew. We also get an insight into each film's particular drama, be it high or low, and how this affected the final product. Having the two versions of each film allows us to view the results of these dramas, and can be also be used as comparative pieces, especially when particular decisions were controversial. So we get the films we know and love/hate, plus a version of the film that tells us what should've/would've/could've been. The Special Edition of each film is either just a curiosity piece, a chance for the makers to fix minor problems, a satisfying completion, and/or an illustration/examination of a production plagued with problems.
It would mainly be of interest to the many Alien fans who know the movies inside-out, but it would also be of interest to those wanting to see the relationships between those involved in making a film- particularly a well-known franchise- from the writers, directors, to the studios, the producers, and the cast and crew...to each other and to the Alien story. We can see all the conflicts that occur in this process, as well as the creativity.
This boxset seems to include all the available material from all the Alien films, and has great nostalgic appearances by the actors playing the well-known characters, though sorely missed are appearances by some cast members (e.g. Yaphett Koto, Ian Holm and Winona Ryder in particular) and crew (director David Fincher). Also, it does not contain present-day audio commentaries by Sigourney Weaver, though she is interviewed. The previously-released "The Alien Legacy" was sufficient in terms of having the films in their final form and nothing else, but this is the definitive Alien boxset, at least until they possibly make the much talked-about Alien 5 sequel.
on December 18, 2003
I cannot believe how much they managed to throw into this box set....
As a fan of the Alien "Quadrilogy," this is the ultimate service. All four films, in both original theatrical and extended director's cut/special edition versions. The extras discs are amazing. I haven't watched every possible thing to watch on them. It's like attempting to watch all the extras on the old "T2: Ultimate Edition DVD" in one sitting.
Even though I've seen each movie scores of times (with the exception of the ho-hum Alien 3), the DVD transfers are just awesome. Especially the transfer of Alien. Amazingly crisp and clean.
The new cut of Alien 3 doesn't make up for the theatrical release or make it "good;" it's simply interesting.
The reasons this set gets only four out of five stars are 1.) the awkward and flimsy packaging, 2.) the sound, which is a tad disappointing and 3.) not getting any real insight into the mess that was Alien 3 in the extras for that film. From what I understand, the behind-the-scenes footage is heavily edited (not to mention an MIA David Fincher; no commentaries or anything).
Other than that, flawless!
To address the "locking up" issue some people seem to have:
Are you using your PlayStation 2 as your primary DVD player? I do and Alien locked up on me at exactly the same spot another reviewer mentioned. Since some DVDs have a tendancy of skipping/locking up on the PS2, I always run "problem" DVDs through my alternate player, which is in my PC. After running the DVD from where it erred on my PS2, it continued on smoothly and without fail. So, if you are using your PS2 to run the DVDs either attempt to rectify the problem by installing the new media drivers that come with the official Sony PS2 Remote (which I do not have and may not work) or watch them with another DVD player.