Customer Reviews: Aliens [Blu-ray]
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Revised for Blu-ray:The Blu-ray edition of "Aliens" features a stunning looking transfer. Yes, it does still have film grain (well, it should-it was shot on film and removing the grain using digital noise reduction would also remove much of the fine detail). Fox has done a masterful job of transferring this for its Blu-ray debut.

The Blu-ray includes both versions of the film--the original theatrical cut as well as the extended version.

The Blu-ray looks exceptionally good in its presentation here. Audio sounds positively stunning at times with a nice immersive mix of the soundtrack (for a film of its time).

Cameron did the smart thing with Aliens--go in a completely different direction from Ridley Scott's film and create something unique that still had his signature on it. In fact, Cameron already had a story he had written with the same basic premise--it just didn't have Ripley nor did it have the Aliens from the film series. He adapted it and made it work for this terrific 5 star sequel.

Special Features:

The big difference is the commentary track from Cameron and various cast and crew members. This is kind of a slice and dice commentary. You get Cameron one minute, the main cast (with the curious exception of Paul Reisner and Weaver), producer Gale Anne Hurd and make up/creature effects wizard Stan Winston. It's a terrific commentary track and there isn't a lot of dead space so clearly this approach will work for most fans of the film. If you wanted to hear Cameron the entire time, well you're out of luck.

The extras are pretty indepth including Cameron's original story treatment and every from pre to post production footage and information. It's a great package.The film wasn't shot using anamorphic lenses (in fact a lot of Cameron's early features weren't shot in anamorphic widescreen because of the difficulty of lighting the optical effects among many other things but you'll hear more about that in the commentary section). This is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.


There are some minor compression issues. Since Aliens was shot on film stock that was very grainy (it was a new film stock and you'll notice a lot of films from the time with a similar look). It actually enhances the feel and look of the film capturing the Vietnam era references that Cameron was making with the film. So it was grainy before and still looks that way.

Using a format called Extended Branching allows both versions of the film to be on the same dual layered DVD at the same time and saves disc space. I noticed a comment about the lack of a DTS soundtrack. My understanding is that Cameron was very happy with the sound on the original release and had no desire to fiddle with this version.

All in all a terrific version of the movie. The packaging is probably going to be better here as the Quadrilogy had a fold out accordian format which I hate.
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on July 30, 2002
Excellent Sci-fi film. The premise of this movie is that Sigourney Weaver must go back to the original planet where her deceased crew made first contact with the Alien, this time with a troop full of marines. This is a great movie that has classic Cameron action sequences and special effects, but also a frantic and claustrophobic atmosphere. All of the acting is well done, namely Sigourney Weaver, Paul Reiser, Bill Paxton, and the little kid. The Alien Queen at the end still looks AWESOME. Quick warning, though, this is the SPECIAL EDITION, and that means you CAN ONLY CHOOSE THE DIRECTOR'S CUT, not the theatrical version. This may make a difference because about 17 minutes of footage are added, mostly for good reason, but occasionally it is unnecessary and/or slightly damaging to the suspense. My advice to you is RENT THE DVD first, just to make sure you like the new version and extra footage, and buy it later. In case you were wondering, most of the restored footage has to do with the colonists early on and some pretty cool sentry machine guns about 2/3 through. In my opinion, either version is great, too bad they didn't include both!
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on September 27, 2011
Use EXTREME caution when buying either "Alien" or "Aliens" on blu-ray in the single disc formats. There are virtually NO BONUS FEATURES included. All of the great bonuses are only available in the big Blu-Ray box set that has all 4 Alien films (which sucks because most people dont want or need Alien 3 or 4). I waited until "Alien" and "Aliens" were available individually and after purchasing them, was disappointed to learn that the bonus stuff wasnt included. It really sucks. I guess its a good way to force people to cash out for the box set. I wish the companies wouldnt do that kind of stuff.
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on January 19, 2004
If you're searching for a high speed, low drag super action thriller, search no more because "Aliens" is the film you're looking for! Even if you've not seen the first movie, "Alien" you'll still be able to enjoy this film to the fullest. That was of course by the design of the producers and this films superb director, James Cameron. Few sequels ever out do or exceed the accomplishments of their predecessors but "Aliens" can certainly be counted among those select few! With an exceptional script and an extremely talented cast, James Cameron crafted one of the best films to have ever graced the silver screen and the home theater screen.
Few films raise the blood pressure such as this one does as James Cameron and crew crafted a film that excels in all points, from intense suspense to breakneck pace in action. What's even better is that this film bears many viewings; I can't even begin to remember how many times I've watched this extraordinary film. The VHS tape I had for the film died long ago and this review is for the June of 99 DVD release that has long since completely sold out prompting the latest DVD release!
If you've watched more than one James Cameron film, you might begin to notice a bit of a recurring pattern as far as the exceptional actors that always seem to make it into his films, time after time. "Aliens" of course stars Sigourney Weaver in the role that has made her a household name and her performance for this film is extraordinary to say the least. Chief among the Cameron cronies (meant in a nice way of course) are Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein who all perform brilliantly in this film and can be found in many of his other exceptional films. Also of note in "Aliens" is the dramatic role for Paul Reiser, a genre he's long since abandoned for comedy but his performance is quite memorable.
Director James Cameron also wrote the script for "Aliens" along with David Giler and Walter Hill, all of which deserve all of the accolades they've received and continue to receive for their work on this incredible film. Few directors capture the imagination as he does. Of note also is James Horner, who was responsible for the score and the work he did on this film turned out to be quite exceptional, as is usual, whenever his name appears in the credits, the film is usually a huge success.
Just a note on the "Space Marines" featured in this extraordinary film, from a present day soldier's point of view. No matter what happens in the future, I seriously doubt that the Marine Corps would ever adopt wearing US Army rank insignia on their uniforms. I'm sure that many a present day Marines has had their feathers rustled a bit upon noticing this minor error in costume design.
The Premise:
It is nearly sixty years after the conclusion of "Alien," Ripley and Jonesy the cat are still quite happily sleeping away in their cryo-freeze compartment aboard the shuttle after sending the first alien out the airlock. The film opens with a salvage crew opening up the shuttle and finding her and the cat! After she's awoken, she learns that she's been floating around for fifty seven years and the company she works for is none to sympathetic to her cause, basically blackballing her. Unbeknownst to her, the "company" sends someone out to investigate her story and not too long thereafter nobody from the planetoid is heard from again. This of course prompts the company to send the space marines and Ripley as an advisor to find out what happened to the terraformers...
What follows from there is one of the best and most intense Sci-Fi action/thrillers to have ever been made and I would highly recommend this film to any and all who are fans of films in this genre!
This review is for the June of 99 DVD release. I found that the THX and 5.1 Surround worked quite well for this film. The seventeen minutes of the restored footage for this film is quite seamlessly added to film and serves extremely well in enhancing the experience of this movie.
With reference to the latest release, I would definitely recommend that version if you don't already have a copy, especially if you're into a lot of the Special Features. While the version I'm reviewing today seems a bit sparse in the special features area, the new release appears to be replete with them, making it a very wise purchase. {ssintrepid}
Special Features:
-Behind the Scenes Footage
-Interview with James Cameron
-Still Photo Section
-Original Theatrical Trailer
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 20, 2012
Having recently acquired the "Alien Anthology Blu ray collection" this is my first look at the second of the set in the original franchise. I chose the "director's cut" which adds about 17 minutes to the original theatrical cut. The biggest add on provides more of a back story for the character Newt, the young girl Ripley essentially adopts. Another section provides more substance as to why Ripley would return to the planetoid that was inhabited by vicious alien creatures.

With Ripley's crew wiped out in the original "Alien," she travelled alone inside the lifeboat/escape ship in statis until rescued by chance by a merchant ship. She learns she has been adrift for 57 years. The military tells her that the planetoid is now the sight of a huge scientific mission to make the air breathable. Communication between the colonists and home base has ceased and they want Ripley to accompany a unit of Marines to check it out.

Under director James Cameron this great sci-fi classic builds on the wonderful horror film, "Alien," that preceded it. Much more action oriented, especially the last 35 minutes which may be the most exciting ever filmed. Sigourney Weaver's Ripley character is fully developed here and she manages to show both a tender side and one kick-ass lady at the other extreme. Like all great films of this nature Cameron doesn't show us the alien creatures until into the film more than an hour. And when they do show up, it is in great numbers.

This is an early film for Bill Paxton whose goofy Pvt. Hudson suggests the idea of an ant like colony of creatures with a queen. Others in an early stage of their careers include Michael Biehn as Cpl. Hicks put in charge by default, comedian and actor Paul Reiser as the corporate shill, Lance Henriksen as the android Bishop and Carrie Henn as Rebecca (Newt). Without question "Aliens" remains one of the great action/horror films of all time and this longer version is the one to watch.

The Blu ray transfer is beautiful to look at. The film-like quality shows some grain as it should but check out the close-ups on the faces of various characters. Skin pores, eye color, clothing stains all vibrant and clear. You'll swear the juicy drool coming from queen alien is getting all over you. The DTS-HD Master Audio is even better. Applied to 5 channels plus the LFE, everything comes to thunderous life. This is a really good, demo quality disc.
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VINE VOICEon January 26, 2007
Aliens is perhaps the best Action/Sci-fi flick ever made.

I'll never forget seeing Aliens in the theater on the day that it was released back in 1986. My expectations were for a film that mirrored Alien in the sense that the sets would be kept dark, you'd not really get a good look at the creatures, and the looks that you did get would be puppets or men in Alien suits.

But, man, what an exhilarating scene in Aliens when Michael Biehn (Cpl. Hicks) pushed up that ceiling tile to reveal an army of aliens crawling toward him. Then as they dropped through the ceiling into the room...that was some intense movie making and holds true to today.

A lot of movies that you watched pre 1990 you may remember as awesome, only to be let down by a refreshed viewing in the current day where "it just doesn't seem as cool or scary anymore for some reason". But rest assured, Aliens is not one of those let downs.

Aliens Director James Cameron is perhaps one of the best writer/director/producers in the business. He is the master of bringing realism to fantasyland. Terminator (T1, 2 & 3), True Lies, Titanic, Point Break...all movies...just like Aliens...that once you've seen 'em, you never forget 'em.

Be sure to choose the Director's Extended Version play mode of the Aliens DVD; it's one of the rare Director's cuts that adds substance rather than fluff.

Side note: If you're looking to acquire the all of the 2-disk Alien series (Alien, Aliens, Alien3 and Alien 4...Alien v Predator not included), Amazon often has the box set "Quadrilogy" at about half the price that you'd end up paying for all 4 individually.
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on April 12, 2011
This is my blu-ray review for "Aliens" from the Alien Trilogy set. Anyone who has seen "Aliens" a million times like me knows that it is a VERY grainy film. I blame this on the film stock used at the time. I will try to give you a fair/balanced review without getting too much in detail. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the film DID look better then I expected on blu-ray. (And no! can't always expect a blu-ray to look better). I assume the film I'm viewing will be the same as the single blu-ray "Aliens' which will be released in the near future. I know I wanted all four of them so I bought the whole thing. Yes!....I frowned on Alien 3 for many years to later REALLY like and respect it. Alien-Resurrection being the worst of the set and even it "got better" over the years. Will you see grain in Aliens?....most certainly yes!...three areas mostly that I saw....1. When Ripley is rescued (opening of the movie: the outer shuttle shot looks great, it's the inner shot where the salvage team comes in).....2. When Ripley is waking up at Gateway Station.....3. Where she is sitting at the garden bench waiting for Burk before the inquest wanting information about her daughter. Other then these three areas I found grain to be at a minimum. It seemed like the film improved as I got further into it. Some of the grain could be where the added footage for the extended version was cut in. I found grain most of the time where I wouldn't expect to see it and didn't see it where I held my breath knowing I was going to see it. The very few space shots of the Sulaco and the tactical landing craft are for the most part clear as a bell (these being the darker shots you would expect to see grain). There are scenes where you are simply amazed at the clarity (given what you're used to seeing). Flesh surfaces look rather good..not fantastic....I did notice surface texture (metal, fabric, hair, flesh) details more and could actually read nomenclature tags clear. I don't remember watching the dvd and being able to do so. I did notice the tactical landing craft wing lights were very sharp and clear as well as on the top of the air making facility tower. Anyone who has apprehensions to spending the money for a blu-ray version rest easy. You will not be disappointed. I am eagerly waiting for Cameron to do a blu-ray treatment on "The Abyss".....
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I bought this recently because it is one of my favorites. I was concerned that it might not hold up well since it was released in 1986 (I was a teenager when the original ALIEN was released). This is the Director's Cut, Dolby, Special Edition, THX, with Widescreen. It was directed and written by James Cameron; Produced by Ridley Scott; and has a great cast including Sigourney Weaver, classic Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, and great in this role - Michael Biehn (by far my favorite movie with him in it). It looks great, the filming is spectacular, and you really cannot tell that the movie is 25 years old. Huge science fiction fans, this was the first time my kids (3 teenagers) saw the movie and they loved it. Beware - there is profanity, but no nudity. Really fun if you like horror, science fiction and intense creature films.
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on February 1, 2016
Aliens was James Cameron’s attempt at a follow up to Ridley Scott’s masterful 1979 film Alien. While I am biased toward Cameron (he is my favorite director), his sequel is absolutely one of, if not the best sequels of all time. Cameron offered a fresh and unique look to the film franchise with this film, causing many to forget that a template was created with an original film, and delivered in every way that a ‘80s action movie is supposed to.

The film is based around a unit of elite Colonial Marines that are sent to LV-426 with Ripley and others to discover what has happened to a group of several hundred colonial farmers and workers. The biggest connection that Cameron makes with his film is the character development and attachments that you feel to people like Hicks and Hudson, as well as another synthetic named Bishop (played by the venerable Lance Henriksen). The story is simple enough to imagine with all its ‘80s violence and action sequences, but underneath we are shown a tale of heroism, fear and absolute desperation by hero and villain alike. The film climaxes with a clash between Ripley and the queen alien, with Ripley coming out victorious, and we are left to believe our heroes succeeded in ridding the galaxy of these terrible pests.

While I have seen every incarnation of this film: VHS, DVD, extended DVD, and now Blu-Ray, the Blu-Ray version is almost a flawless way to view this timeless film. The color and texture of the picture is simply stunning to behold for an ‘80s film transfer, while the sound and effects are better than ever imagined as well. The film looks so good that it almost seems as though it could have been released just a couple years ago, and the fresh looking scenes give the terror and action a whole new lease on life. The Blu-Ray also comes with both theatrical and extended cuts of the film, but once you see the director’s cut I can’t imagine wanting to watch it any other way.

For long time fans of the franchise wondering about upgrading to Blu-Ray from your old DVD copy, all I can say is do it. I was reluctant at first as well, but now I am so glad that I have this film in a new and digitally restored greatness that allows me to enjoy it in an all new way. Of all the films in the franchise this one and the original benefitted the most from Blu-Ray transfers, but Alien 3 and Resurrection look pretty good too.
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on December 7, 2004
I give 4 1/2 stars for the theatrical version, 5 stars for the special edition and 5 for the DVD. Here are the new scenes added in for the special edition:

Chapter 4: The Park

This new scene shows Ripley sitting down for a while and Carter Burke comes to talk to Ripley about her upcoming meeting about the fact that she destroyed the Nostromo for what the people going to be at the meeting think for reasons unknown. Ripley asks about her daughter, finding out that she died two years ago at the age of 66.

Chapter 5: Inquest

This extended scene of the meeting shows Van Lewen sentencing Ripley to psychiatric probation and suspending her warrant officer license.

Chapter 6: LV-426

This new scene has new characters in it, and it shows the families at LV-426 working.

Chapter 7: The Big Score

This new scene fully introduces Newt's family. Newt, her brother Timmy and her parents drive around in their space car (not sure what it is called, but it's a guess) and they find the Alien ship that was in the first Alien movie. Newt's parents go and look the area over, and Newt's father comes back with a facehugger attached to his face.

Chapter 8: Home Alone

This extended scene is an extended conversation between Lieutenant Gorman, Burke and Ripley.

Chapter 10: Sulaco

This new scene is the uncut version of the introduction the Sulaco.

Chapter 14: Express Elevator to Hell

This extended scene shows Hudson bragging about all the weapons the Marines have.

Chapter 15: Arrival

This extended scene shows Hudson and Vasquez's radar detecting a lifeform inside. When they go inside where the lifeform is, and it is only a mouse.

Chapter 16: Memories

This extended scene first shows Ripley, Gorman and Burke entering the complex. Then, Ripley hesitiates for a moment.

Chapter 26: Barricade

Hicks reveals everything that survived from the wreckage of the Sulaco dropship. And they plan where to put the sentry guns

Chapter 27: A Mother's Love

This extended scene shows more dialogue between Ripley and Newt.

Chapter 28: Speculation

This extended scene shows Hudson making up an "ant" theory.

Chapter 29: The Tunnel

This new scene shows the sentry guns in the tunnel firing and killing the Aliens.

Chapter 31: The Corridor

This extended scene first shows the other sentry guns unloading onto the Aliens.

Chapter 37: Ripley's Promise

This extended scene shows Ripley and Hicks exchanging first names.
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