90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2009
Blu Ray review:
The Biggest thing about this BD of AVP that is consistently not mentioned is that the BD contains BOTH the PG-13 theatrical cut AND the unrated directors cut of the film. Amazon only lists the disc as the PG-13 version, and even an external BD review site failed to mention the inclusion of the unrated cut. So if you've wanted to get AVP on BD and haven't due to a lack of the unrated cut, fear not, it's on the disc.
Video quality is good. It's not the best picture I've seen, but it's nowhere near the worst. Definitely better than the DVD 4/5 overall
Sound is good as well. Just like video, it's not the best, but it's not the worst. Choices are DTS-HD 5.1 (4-4.6 mbps) in English. French and Spanish in Regular Dolby Digital 5.1 (not HD audio). Overall a 4/5 for the DTS-HD track.
This review isn't about the movie itself, nor is it meant to be all-inclusive. My main reason for writing the review is that the unrated cut isn't advertised by anyone it seems in regards to being on the BD version and that is a big deal to me. Hope this helps.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2005
For those of you who see "AVP Unrated" and think "Blood, Gore, Language, Violence, and Nudity"...THINK AGAIN!
Where there was a few flecks of blood, there is now a gallon. Where there were two "campy" scenes, there is now only one, But this is not even an "R" rating version of the film, evidenced further by the PG-13 rating on the back of the DVD case.
This fild should have stuck with the "Director's Cut" name and cut out the "Unrated" label, since in my opinion it does not deserve it. If you can swallow the plausability of the story even a litte bit, the this version is more serious and bloodier than the theatrical release, but not by much. "Campy" scenes still abound. Extra footage, edited in Deleted scenes from the Theatrical DVD version and a few other scene changes make this version a lot more fun to own than the first, but hard core fans of the original movies may still find this title a little wimpy.
With all that negative feedback out of the way, if you take a more objective, "outside the box" outlook on the film, it is fun and is a good mix of sci-fi and action. I would heartilly recommend this version over the standard AVP Theatrical version, and you will pretty much find all the original Theatrical DVD Extras included in this edition as well. (Commentaries, Making of featurette, etc.)
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2005
While most critics have dripped acid on Paul Anderson's "Alien vs. Predator," apparently due to prima facie objections to the very idea of a non-courtroom-drama with the word "versus" in the title, I was pleasantly surprised by AVP.
Is AVP as great as 1986's "Aliens"? Nope. But I think comparing AVP to "Aliens" is to employ the wrong standard. AVP is not competing with that film, in much the same way that "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" was not competing with the sensational "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." No, "Star Trek VI" was competing with the largely reviled "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier." Similarly, AVP is really competing with the oppressively dark, fundamentally unappealing "Alien 3" and strangely goofy, utterly unexciting "Alien Resurrection"; the last Predator movie, 1990's "Predator 2," was released so long ago and did such middling box office that it hardly figures in the popular imagination anymore.
Some have complained about AVP's characters, arguing that they're mere sketches compared to the colorful, indelible personalities that James Cameron provided us in "Aliens," and John McTiernan gave us in "Predator." While true, it's worth pointing out that the original "Alien" "suffers" from the same "problem," so much so that a defensive Ridley Scott once said, "The characters in 'Alien' are as defined as they need to be, no more and no less." Just as the characters in "Alien" were largely, nay, archetypically defined by their professions and their professionalism (or lack thereof), the characters in AVP are defined by their jobs and the proficiency with which they do them.
Some have also complained that many of AVP's characters are dispatched too quickly. However, that's part of what makes AVP interesting. It's a real throwback to horror films of yesteryear, films that weren't afraid to toss virtually everyone to the wolves. Just when you begin to think, "Oh, Anderson's spent too much time developing this character, giving him/her good lines and telling us stuff about his/her past, to just off him/her," that person buys it. It's delightfully perverse, and it's what the horror genre has historically been all about.
Then there are the complaints about the film's storyline, with some asserting that it's too simple (e.g. humans find buried pyramid; humans enter buried pyramid; sh*t hits fan) and others arguing that it overshoots the mark (e.g. humans enter buried pyramid and discover that it's remarkably complex, revealing all manner of information about the origins of human civilizations, namely that the titular Predators, much like the Monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey," made a marked impact on the future course of homo sapiens long ago). But I had few problems with the film's premise. Even the rather silly, pulpy quality of AVP's grander narrative conceits didn't bother me that much. (Then again, such conceits didn't really bother me in "Stargate" either.) And the simpler aspects of AVP's plot were its strongest suits, for they grounded the movie in a kind of gritty, easily understood "reality," the kind of reality that was very effective in John Carpenter's better actioners, from "Assault on Precinct 13" to "Escape from New York."
Yes, it's true that AVP never achieves the epic heights of "Aliens," the best film from either franchise, a film so complex and dynamic that it required a running time of 137 minutes to tell its tale. But "Aliens" was, and remains, an exceedingly special film. "Aliens" is the like the filmic equivalent of one of those outsized rock songs from the 1970s, such as Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"; AVP, at approximately 100 minutes in length, is more like a Ramones tune: short but sweet.
In fact, two of AVP's biggest problems seem to be the result of breakneck-speed sloppiness: 1. the Alien lifecycle is inexplicably abbreviated, with chestbursters making their nasty debuts in tens of minutes rather than tens of hours; 2. the Predators' long-range weapons (e.g. spears and throwing stars) are acid-resistant, yet their close-quarters materiel (e.g. wrist blades and body armor) are not.
Regarding Issue One: I've read that Anderson accounted for this in the film, explaining that the Predators had injected bizarre hormones into the Alien Queen they'd captured to seed their battlegrounds, causing the eggs she produced to contain embryos that matured far more quickly than usual. This expository material was allegedly ordered cut by Fox because they felt it needlessly slowed the pacing of the film. If true, Anderson must be given a pass by the legions of angry fanboys who've ripped him a new one over this.
Regarding Issue Two: According to fanboys familiar with the AVP comic books, this is explained therein thusly: the Predators must earn every acid-resistant armament they receive. So if the Preds in the AVP movie didn't have acid-resistant wrist blades or body armor, that's on them. But it's also on Anderson to have somehow explained this in his film. However, I'm willing to let Anderson slide here, as the best characters in AVP to have provided this explanation were the Preds themselves, a decidedly taciturn group of individuals.
All in all, AVP did its job. With the exception of a handful of (de rigueur) overly-jittery/super-slow shutter-speed shots in otherwise well-made action sequences, AVP is a polished piece of work. Thanks to Anderson's direction, the ADI FX Workshop was forced to abandon the Mr. Hanky-looking design of the creature from "Alien 3," as well as the beastly, overly slimy appearance of the extraterrestrials from "Alien Resurrection," and provide the silver screen with its best looking xenomorphs since 1986. Moreover, if you can't bring yourself to buy it when Sanaa Lathan's Lex throws in with and throws down alongside the last-standing Big Ugly Motherf*cker, nor get certifiably juiced when the Alien Queen finally extricates herself from Predator-imposed bondage and goes on an angry rampage worthy of a T-Rex in a "Jurassic Park" movie, then I'm afraid AVP simply isn't for you.
387 of 492 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2004
I just read a report of an interview with director Paul W.S. Anderson (director of AVP). He said quote "that all the best scenes were cut from the film." He also said that the movie was always going to be R-rated until the studio enforced a PG-13 rating 3 WEEKS before releasing the film. In addition to the violence and gore cut from the film, a sub-plot that further explained the plot was cut as well. If it had been in the film, the cut footage would have cleared up many continuity issues. For example, the sped up alien life cycle in this film is not a careless error at all; the machine that holds the alien queen captive also injects horomones and drugs in to her, speeding up the facehugger/chestburster process. The footage that was cut would have explained that and also would have given the characters more screen time. Director Paul W.S. Anderson also mentioned that the explosion at the end took up HALF of the 65 million dollar budget (which is ridiculously low for a film like this).
So when you see this film and end up hating it, dont blame the director. He made a film that, if it had been released in the original cut, would have pleased long time fans of the franchises. But instead, the studio made it PG-13 (so more people could see it) and cut out a lot of footage to make the film way too short (to fit in more screenings per day).
BUT, the changes the studio made are helping. Currently the film is making A LOT of money, mostly because of the PG-13 rating. This means that the studio will be more likely to greenlight AVP 2 or, more importantly, ALIEN 5. But try to realize that if the film had been released in the original uncut version, it probably would've only made half the money the current cut has because not as many people would have been able to see it.
Luckily, an R-rated Director's cut WILL be released on DVD sometime in the future. This edition will up all the violence and gore to an R-rated level (all the off screen deaths will now be ON-screen as originally filmed) and add in an additional sub-plot that will clear up continuity issues, give the characters more screen time, and make the plot development clearer. As a long time fan of the original 6 R rated movies, I was ECSTATIC to hear this.
Unfortunately, movies aren't made to be good anymore. They're made to make money, and AVP is doing that right now. So when you see this film, know that you aren't seeing the final version of the film. But PLEASE see it because it needs all the money it can make. And also, PLEASE buy the director's cut DVD when it comes out because its gonna kick a**.
The website that containes the link to the original report can be found here:
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2010
This movie is far better than these reviews indicate. I think expectations were too high when it first came out. The lead female actress was fantastic, as was most of the cast. The special effects were top notch. The fight scenes were awesome! They did stretch out how quickly the aliens are hatched and mature, it's true, but this I could easily forgive. I have watched this flick about 7 times now, and I still enjoy it. In my view, this film strengthens both the Predator and Alien series. If you liked either/any of those movies, you will like this.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2008
Before this film even existed I was never familiar that there was a whole universe of Alien vs Predator type stuff like comics, games etc so I was quite shocked that they made this movie and felt it would simply be another vs movie much like Freddy vs Jason. In a way it became what I expected it to be but with a little more on top, it was disappointing yet enjoyable at the same time. The major tag line for the movie was "Whoever wins, We lose" which when you watch this film you come to learn that actually that's not strictly true. The story is about a team of Archeologists who discover that there may be an ancient Aztec temple 2,000 feet under the Antarctic ice and they want to go on an expedition to explore this temple, however they find themselves in the middle of an even greater problem, a war between Alien species.
This wasn't a reflection of what you would expect from a typical Alien or Predator movie as there is very little blood and guts and little genuine horror. We are given, however, a more human look at the Predators as we come to learn that them being on our planet is simply a hunt and they don't injure or maim those who are un-armed. To those familiar with the comics or graphic novels of the AVP series this may be a regular thing to see but to those who are just familiar with both sets of movies, this is a surprising dimension to be given to the Predators.
Paul W.S. Anderson received a lot of criticism for this movie and to some it may be rightly so but to me I feel it's unfounded as I saw this to be a very good and entertaining movie that most everyone should own.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2006
When Aliens vs Predator originally came to DVD I decided to hold off on getting it. Interviews of the movie's director indicated that this was not exactly what he had in mind when he made it, mainly because the studio executives told him to chop it down to a PG-13 90-minute movie instead of the R rated two hour one he made. Despite the decision resulting in AvP making a good showing at the box office, the movie itself could have been better. Knowing this, I was waiting for the Director's Cut to come out on DVD.
Well, it looks like I jumped too soon. This is NOT the actual Director's Cut, but instead a Special Edition with about thirty seconds of new material added in to make it just a wee bit more bloody, (or as best as I can tell that is). There is nothing new to the story. There are no new scenes. Nor are there any of the explanations or missing sub-plot the Director mentioned. Overall, I'm more than a little disapointed in this DVD because it's not what it should have been. For obvious reasons, the thing doesn't even have a comentary from the Director either.
On its own merits, Aliens vs Predator is a 3-star flick... average at best. It's not bad, but it's not all that great. But should they come out with a REAL Director's Cut with all the stuff they chopped out to make it more appealing the the masses, odds are I'll buy that one too, but I'll be more cautious next should they try to re-bag the same movie again.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2009
There are some movies these days that just don't stand a chance when people notice something or someone about them that they don't like. Given today's angst-filled audience's hypercritical viewpoints on EVERYTHING, there are shows that could literally shine as works of Hollywood art, yet will probably be villified into obscurity. AVP (Aliens versus Predator) may just be one such movie.
For any of you who are reading this review and haven't yet seen AVP, I give you fair warning that the next few paragraphs give away several spoilers and might hamper your enjoyment, so you might consider skipping over it to the next section.
The year is 2004. Low Earth Orbit. There's an object nearby, silhouetted in sunlight and coming closer. Memories of another story come floating to the fore. That shape... so familiar... is it... a queen? It passes under your field of view and you discover that, no, it's actually a satellite and the logo on the side identifies it as belonging to the Weyland corporation. Floating high above the Antarctic, it notices something and decides to relay that information to the satellite tracking station. The attendants check the data and find a heat bloom approximately 2000 feet underneath the ice. Nothing at all should be there. Curious...
Over the course of the next few days, a team is assembled from all over the world, including a guide, a drilling team, security and archeologists, to begin an expedition, led by CEO Weyland himself (played by Lance Henriksen), whose company is a pioneer in the field of robotics, to discover what exactly this potential prize is. The only thing known about it is that it's a pyramid of gigantic size and the markings on it suggest it may have been constructed by the world's first civilized culture. The job is rushed, against the advice of the guide, on the assumption that other companies are on their way as well, in an effort to be the first to stake a claim.
When they get there, they discover a path already made to the site that wasn't there the day before, set at a perfect 30 degree angle. No one on the team understands how this can be, because there is no technology found on Earth that could possibly have dug to such a depth in that short a time. The mystery deepens.
On site, they enter the pyramid and discover a sacrificial chamber, which heightens the brooding sense of uneasiness among the crew. Something dark happened here in the past. Further in, they uncover a sarcophagus bearing a lock based on the Long Count, the ancient Aztec calendar. Inside, there are three objects that nobody can identify. They look completely out of place, in that they appear much more advanced technologically than the surrounding architecture indicates they should be. Removal of these objects initiates a periodic shifting of the pyramid's interior, cutting off the team members from each other, turning the search into a hunt for a way out to safety. In addition, the team finds that they are now being hunted by two other species of creatures, neither of which are from this world. And both of them are definitely hostile.
Over the course of the movie, it's discovered that the first species of extra-terrestrial, colloquially known as Predators, found Earth many thousands of years ago and taught humanity the rudiments of civilization. In return, they demanded subjects to submit themselves to become hosts for the second species of creature. These creatures were used as quarry for a hunt, which purpose was to usher in the Predator adolescents to adulthood; a rite of passage in order to be accepted as full members of their specific clan. This pyramid was their ritual training ground, used for just that purpose. In the event that the Aliens got out of control (a likely scenario given their instinctive aggressiveness; indeed sometimes it was hard to tell who was hunting who), the entire site was obliterated.
The Aliens end up getting out of control.
The guide (the last surviving human) ends up teaming up with the last surviving Predator and narrowly escape the destruction of the site just ahead of the blast wave. Once outside, the human is marked with the symbol of the Predator's clan, thereby being accepted into it, and they cooperate to bring down the Queen Alien. During the battle, the Predator is killed. His corpse is brought onboard his clan's ship for his return to the homeworld and the human ends up going her own way, now ready for whatever the future will bring.
The last scene aboard the Predator's starship is that of the dead adolescent, lying on a slab next to a porthole looking out over the Earth.
He's at peace...
...and then his chest suddenly ruptures outward, exposing the head of a newborn Alien. Segway into 'AVP: Requiem'.
End of Spoiler
This movie and its sequel came about because of a short scene in Predator 2, where Danny Glover's character, Los Angeles police detective Lt. Hardiman, entered a hidden Predator clan ship in search of a member of the clan which had butchered his entire squad. On one wall, there hung several skulls; trophies of kills that clan had made. One of the skulls was that of a warrior Alien.
I remember all of the hushed whispering that erupted when that scene showed in the theater and myself thinking "Oh yeah!". Soon after, Dark Horse Comics starting running a series involving confrontations between the Predators and Aliens set in the future, when humanity had branched out to the local stars. I knew then that something was going to come of that and wasn't at all surprised when AVP trailers started broadcasting during prime time tv.
And yes, when I saw this movie in theaters, I enjoyed it immensely. Now that the extended cut has come out on DVD, I enjoy it even more.
This movie got a bad rap because 1.)Paul Anderson directed it and 2.) there weren't a lot of big-name actors starring in it.
I remind everyone that none of either the Alien or Predator movies starred first-tier actors when they originally aired (except for the very first Predator, and that one was touted as being a 'Schwarzenegger movie' typical of the style of 1980s shoot 'em up action films), yet all of those actors did first-rate jobs with the tasks they were given. 'Alien' was Ridley Scott's second directorial effort and 'Aliens' was also Jim Cameron's second time as a first-unit director. 'Alien 3' was David Fincher's first feature film after a bout of directing music videos. The purpose for this was so that viewers would focus on the stories rather than who was in it. They succeeded. Despite the various negative reviews, each of the movies (depending on which one it was) has collected a cult following that's stood the test of time for the past thirty years. This movie and its sequel allow both franchises to survive on their own, without having the fame factor of either Sigourney Weaver or Arnold Schwarzenegger propping them up, because the story behind each is bigger than either of the characters those two actors portray.
There may be some scenes in this movie that seem somewhat cliched, but these scenes are in there to remind folks exactly which background universe the story takes place in. AVP also took the characters in the show and made them more than just faceless, nameless victims of the slaughter and I applaud the director for doing so. Some people also decry the use of CGI in today's movies. I hate to say it (well... no, not really), but CGI is here to stay. Might as well get used to it. I personally have no problems with it. I remember the old way they used to do special effects, and the photorealistic CGI visuals look a LOT more natural in the scene. The ones in this movie look awesome. Ian Whyte, the actor portaying the main Predator, has gotten the movements of the creature down exactly. I watch this and it reminds me of Kevin Peter Hall's movements in the original 1987 show starring Arnold.
Sound in movies these days has only gotten better with digital clarity and the score and ambient effects in this show fit both franchises to the letter.
SPECIAL FEATURES-5 Stars
This DVD includes both the theatrical version and the unrated extended cut on disc 1. The special features included on disc 2 are pretty meaty and detail the production of this movie from start to finish. It also shows the comic series AVP is based on from Dark Horse, the 'Monsters in Miniature by Todd McFarlane' featurette and the AVP HBO special.
Despite what many might say, I feel that this IS a worthy addition to both the Alien and the Predator backdrops. It shows us that we may not actually be alone in this universe and what we come across out there might not be that friendly. Prepare yourselves for what you may find.
Two Thumbs Up.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2005
As a moderate fan of this film's predecessors - namely the "Alien" series - I was eager to see this mighty-idea-of-a-flick long ago when Internet promotion flourished as much as a year before the film's theatrical release. It's a mammoth undertaking to bring two screen legends to one place at one time - left to duke it out until the best, or most ugly, man/thing is standing. It happened nearly two years earlier with the successful "Freddie Vs. Jason", which went on to slash away a whopping $82.2 million dollars from US theater goers; plus it was surprisingly effective, ultra bloody, and even a bit scary. "Alien Vs. Predator" grossed a couple million less, but made up for it with a far-sturdier script and dazzling special effects display.
The screenplay is well-below prolific, but as far as monster movies go it should win the Monster Oscar. The dialogue is not jerky or forced, the settings are SMART (thank goodness it's set in present day, on Earth, and not on some unbelievable distant planet or some floating space ship - we've reverted to ancient history rather than space-age fiction), and the development and flow is speedy and quick with enough suspense in just the right places. The writers deserve a loft paycheck for making such an unlikely meeting so much fun to watch, weaving the two movie franchises together (with direct assistance from the comic book, no doubt), and paying attention to plot and dialogue when other script writers would have relied solely on gore to sustain the movie.
The acting is less-than-impressive, but, again, the film creators were on-task to assist. Writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson along with a team of 6 other contributing scriptees excelled so astoundingly that they pumped enough appeal and energy into their cast - helping to elevate them from "B" movie actors to "B+" actors with the flip of a pen and the turn of a lens. Sigourney Weaver is painfully absent (as a prequel, her character hadn't been born yet), but Arnold Schwarzenegger is thankfully M.I.A. (Though it might have been fun to see Weaver cream Arnold's butt.)
The cinematography is unexpectedly progressive and smooth. The camera movements, lighting, and set design are smart and efficient. The special effects are some of the best I've ever seen, and certainly more convincing and impressive than any of this film's ancestors. The long-headed, saliva-toothed Aliens are more alive than I've seen them before (mama Alien even comes out to run amuck this time), and Mr. Predator's dreadlocks have never looked more lively and quick. The scenes in the ancient, underground pyramid get a bit too monotonous after a time, and the repetitive far-off eerie sounds (oh my we should be scared!) aren't as effective or as chilling as they ought to be, but you can't help but feel an impeccable rush of adrenalin when the two vile foes come face to face time and again.
Now that it's on DVD, see it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2005
I love it when a mediocre sci-fi movie like AVP comes out and people who write internet reviews use thousands of words to eviscerate it as if it was filmed with the specific intent of offending them and them alone. Look, anybody who went into this movie hoping for high art can't be expected to review it competently. Now, because I myself had such low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised that this turned out to be an entertaining movie. And that is precisely what AVP is supposed to be: mindless entertainment. Paul W.S. Anderson is not and will never be considered a great writer or director, but he obviously enjoys what he does and I think that enthusiasm translates to his films. In all honesty, I think Anderson missed his true calling and should have gone into comic books because every one of his films feels like a live action comic book. Again, this isn't necessarily the end of the world so long as you watch a movie like AVP with that in mind. And this movie is indeed a comic book. It is rife with innaccurate facts and illogical propositions, but like most comics the movie is at least internally consistant in its faulty assertions. Now, some people were certainly disappointed that AVP was made in this way because it doesn't seem to make sense when held against the original Alien and Predator films. That is a very valid point, but these people forget that AVP is based on the series of stories done by Dark Horse Comics in the early 1990s. In fact, the oft mentioned Alien skull in the Predator ship in Predator 2 was only there because Dark Horse had released the first AVP comics a year or two earlier. It also bears mentioning that aside from the original AVP mini-series (which is one of the best Aliens or Predator storylines Dark Horse ever did) and the strangely fascinating yet largely incomprehensible "Deadliest of the Species" series written by Chris Cleremont (of X-Men fame), the bulk of the AVP titles were mediocre at best and pointless drivel at worst. Now, having said that, it does pain me that no one decided to simply adapt story of the original AVP mini-series for the screenplay (although some elements of that story, mainly the ritual scarring of the Predators and the strange respect/friendship between the Predator and the female main character, do appear in the movie). Of course, I said the same thing about the third Alien movie as well since the first three Aliens comics mini-series' by Dark Horse were fantastic.
Anyway, this movie is not as bad as some bitter Aliens/Predator fans would have you think even though it doesn't have a shred of the raw, cinematic power that infused the first two Alien films and both Predator movies. AVP has more in common with video game and comic book inspired action movies like The Chronicles of Riddick, Underworld, The Scorpion King, Van Helsing, and Anderson's previous film, Resident Evil, than it does with the Alien and Predator movies. Don't try to convince yourself that it's the fifth Alien movie or the third Predator movie and you won't come away with such a bad taste in your mouth. AVP is a reasonably entertaining movie, hence the average 3 star rating on a scale of Blade Runner (5) to Battlefield Earth (1). It's not a "must have" DVD by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a fun movie that's definately worth at least a rental. Just remember to check your more refined film sensibilites at the door and you'll be just fine.