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110 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe edition of Cameron's classic film sequel
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...
Published on January 4, 2004 by Wayne Klein

versus
88 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WATCH OUT
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...
Published on September 27, 2011 by Michael Reed


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110 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe edition of Cameron's classic film sequel, January 4, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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.

ABOUT THE DVD:

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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88 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WATCH OUT, September 27, 2011
By 
Michael Reed "Lounge242" (Brooklyn, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Aliens [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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80 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Sci-Fi, July 30, 2002
This review is from: Aliens (Special Edition) (DVD)
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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43 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aliens - One of the best Sci-Fi action flicks ever made!, January 19, 2004
By 
K. Wyatt "ssintrepid" (Cape Girardeau, MO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Aliens (Special Edition) (DVD)
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aliens Blu-ray Review, April 12, 2011
This review is from: Aliens [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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!...you 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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 years later, it's still the best. The SE is even better!, July 15, 2000
By 
Oliver Taylor (Albuquerque, NM USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Aliens (Special Edition) (DVD)
Let me start by saying this, if you haven't seen this movie you've missed out on one of the true originals. I know it's a sequel but nevertheless it has set a standard in the industry which has yet to be surpassed. In all sci-fi movies I now watch I see how many references/rip-offs/tributes I can tally, the number has never been under seven. The fact that 14 years later it is still the best, most effective, and without a doubt the scariest alien genre film produced for the screen makes it my favorite film.
In James (best visual effects Oscar) Cameron's epic sequel to the 1979 classic Aliens, Lt. Ripley returns, frozen, 57 years later to Gateway Station orbiting earth. "The company" investigates the loss of the cargo ship in the first film, which she destroys to kill the alien, and of course they think she's crazy when she tells them stories of aliens that gestate in human hosts and have acid for blood. They revoke her flight status, effectively ruining her career.
Visited by nightmares that leave her in a cold sweat every single night, it is clear the demons are not gone and she is racked with a need for retribution and closure. After losing contact with a "shake and bake" colony Ripley is approached by a representative of the company, Carter Burke, and the colonial marines. They want her to return to LB427 and advise the team of elite marines going in. At first she is reluctant, rude even, but the promise of a reinstated flight status and her recurring dream proves too much and she agrees to go.
Once there they discover every single colonist missing, "Whatever happened here I think we missed it". After a bit of technical know-how is utilized the colonists are located and they discover the terrifying truth. In the issuing battle most of the team is lost and Ripley is left to organize what's left and find a way out, but the aliens prove to be much smarter than anticipated, cutting them off at every turn. On top of that it is revealed that Burke has double-crossed Ripley in the name of millions of dollars.
In Roger Ebert's 1986 review he said, "I have never seen a movie that maintains such a pitch of intensity for so long". Almost the entire last half of this film is pure action, and some of the best ever put on film. In an interview on the DVD edition, which I highly recommend, James (I can spend more money than you) Cameron said something like, I think too many puppeteers focus on details and forget that the most important thing is movement. People need very few pixels to recognize a human, but movement makes it - real, and that's what's scary.
That single, yet all-important knowledge made it possible to film this movie with only six costumes (you'll be amazed when you realize this as you watch), and made it possible to create creatures so believable there hasn't been an original alien design since.
Transporting us to another world, this film makes us forget we are in our comfortable homes with a warm sweater and buttery popcorn. Instead we feel the panic of the terrified marines as countless aliens leap and screech, it makes us feel the pure adrenaline-pumped primal need to survive under all circumstances.
Notable performances include Sigourney Weaver, who was nominated for best actress. Paul Raiser, giving a standard-setting performance as the corporate slime. Michael Biehn, in the classic yet somehow not tired role of the exhausted I've-seen-too-much team leader.
The film was nominated by the Academy or won in the following categories: Best Actress, Art Direction, Film Editing, Score, Sound, Sound Effects Editing and of course - Visual Effects.
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26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aliens: the best of sci-fi/action and the Alien series, March 5, 2000
By 
Eric (Tennessee) - See all my reviews
(Review based on director's cut version) Aliens is the only true masterpiece in the entire Alien series as it not only sustains nerve wracking tension and explosive action, but also takes time to develop the characters and create dramatic depth. No other film in the series has been able to do this even moderately well.
Aliens takes place 57 years after the original. Lt. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the only survivor of the Nostromo, where her entire crew was killed by a hostile alien creature that seems to live only to kill and breed. She is found by a salvage crew and tells her story to company officials. It's met with skepticisim but when contact is lost with a colony on a planet (the same one where Ripley's crew found the egg that hatched a face hugger), a team of marines is immediately sent in along with Ripley. Members of this crew include Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn), Private Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein), Lt. Gorman (William Hope), Private Hudson (Bill Paxton), and Bishop (Lance Henrikson), a friendly android. After exploring the empty colony they find the only survivor, a little girl named Newt (Carrie Henn), and a bond is already created between her and Ripley. Not long after, the marines get into a brief battle with the aliens that proves fatal. Most of the marines are killed and taken back to the alien nest for cocooning. Now, Ripley and six others must survive in a colony infested with over hundreds of aliens and find a way to escape.
The aspect of Aliens that most everybody loves this film for is the action. Most of it doesn't actually begin until the last 45 minutes of the film but it's truly exciting, tense, and non-stop. I can see why this film is considered a roller coaster ride. Particularly, the best sequences are when the aliens chase the remaining humans into small tunnels and when Ripley arms herself to the max and rescues Newt. Director James Cameron established himself as a true action auteur with this film and it's easy to see why he's so revered by legions of fans.
There's a deep dramatic depth in this film along with character development. Despite the fact that the film has a running time of 154 minutes, it never feels long and the character interaction is far from dull and boring. There's three very interesting relationships that develops from Ripley to Newt, Hicks, and Bishop. After the death of her daughter, Ripley finds solace and comfort with Newt, who also likes Ripley's company. They form a tight mother-daughter bond. Another relationship that develops is between Ripley and Hicks. It's all quite subtle but it's actually very fun to watch. The peak of this relationship is not when they kiss as in most films(they actually never do kiss) but when they exchange their first names and one wishes the other luck. The other interesting development is between Ripley and Bishop. After the first film, Ripley distrusted all android since one of them indirectly caused the deaths of her whole crew. She dislikes Bishop at first but it's easy to tell she admires him by the end.
All the performances in this film come off strong. Weaver is the best as she creates a strong and take charge heroine. Her character is a lot more complex than what is portrayed in Alien. Michael Biehn is very good as Corporal Hicks, a brave but far from gung-ho soldier. Also delivering good performances are Carrie Henn, Lance Henrikson, Bill Paxton, and Jenette Goldstein. Henrikson's character is the one the audience seems to think is untrustworthy since he rarely displays any signs of emotion. But he's actually quite caring and is perhaps the most trustworthy of the entire marine crew.
Once again, like the first movie, the special effects are excellent. The creature effects are slightly different in this one as the aliens appear to be a bit more scaly with smaller heads but the end result is still a frightening creature.
Also noteworthy is a fine musical score from James Horner. It's creepy, fast-paced, and fits the tone of the film just fine.
If you have never seen any films in the Alien series, I would recommend you begin with Alien, a pretty good and decent (though not spectacular) horror space opera. Then you should watch Aliens but stop after that. The opening scenes to Alien 3 ruin all the development that occured in Aliens. Alien Resurrection itself is okay, but Weaver's character takes a turn for the worst.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Aliens" ends the franchise... but?, September 17, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Aliens [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Preface

While it appeared from the completely inadequate Amazon listing, and some other sources, that the 154-minute extended Version (the 1991 DVD Special Edition release containing 17 minutes of mostly great back-story and fill-in footage) was not included, it thankfully has been: there is a choice in the Blu-ray's opening menu as to which version to play. So, Hollywood aliens are definitely in hibernation, and for a change, the new separate of "Aliens" contains both the 137-minute theatrical and extended versions of the complete movie, and some bonus materials, though the anthology is the package to get if bonus material is really important to you, and if you don't mind paying the premium for the last two, worthless installments, Alien III and IV, which are a stain on the franchise.

Blu-ray technical review

The 1991 Special Edition DVD plays very well on up-converting Blu-ray players, noticeably better than on regular DVD players, so well that I was really not all that anxious to pay for a Blu-ray upgrade to get what has been unanimously reported by anthology owners to be a somewhat better picture in HD. But the reduced-price offer worked, and I got my Blu-ray.

On the technical review, my HD/UC-DVD comparison, using an LG 42-inch, 1080p, HD TV and LG Blu-ray player, was on the extended, Special Edition version on Blu-ray, against the DVD Special Ed, as played through the same Blu-ray player, up-converting the DVD. As to the HD quality of the Blu-ray, compared to up-converted DVD, the bad news is that there is a fine-sand grain, nearly through-out all but the brighter levels, most apparent in warmer tones and grays in medium- to low-light levels. This grain might be the cause of the "white snow" reported in one review, which would be possible if the output settings of the TV are over-driven, as they usually are by non-critical users, and as they also usually are in the settings of those users' computer monitors. There is no such snow effect on my disc/system. But, even as this grain appears in my system, it is not really so apparent if you're not looking for it, as I was for the purpose of comparative evaluation. This is the only drawback, and it is cancelled out by the pluses.

First, and best of which, there is a very worthwhile improvement in sharpness resolution and color saturation over UC-DVD, first apparent in the special-effects scenes where star fields are much more distinct and more stars visible, and in shots where the salvage ship docks with Ripley's vehicle. Enhanced color is first noticeable as the blowtorch cuts through the hatch, where it is noticeably more yellow. The resolution improvement is most pronounced throughout the screen in the FX shots, but it is only because of reduced depth of field in close-ups that the nicely increased resolution of details "appears to be" more selectively improved in skin textures, iris details, and costume fabrics. And, with black level, while it is the same in the Blu-ray as the DVD, there is nonetheless also a welcome improvement in dynamic range (the range of light to dark in which details are visible), though not as great as the improved sharpness and saturation, but a little goes a long way where dynamic range is concerned, as in more visible stars and details in Ripley's dark hair, as well as in those sometimes-deadly shadows. And, with my 5.1 sound set-up, there is also a greater dynamic to the Blu-ray's DTS 5.1 sound (Dolby also available; the DVD has only Dolby 5.1). So, all in all, the Blu-ray gets a technical 4-star rating and upgrade is very much worth it, particularly at the $14.95 price.

Movie reviews

As to the review of the movies, "Alien," the brilliant first release, gets five stars, easy. But look, by now, fans have seen it two or three times (me), fanatics more, and for a movie designed around a build-up to a scare, and to bring us the first sights of the monster, once the scares and the creature were out of the bag, there's no surprise or mystery or apprehension left, and only so much I can take to watch again... no more, unless force-viewing to show to a friend who never saw it, and I'm passing on the Blu-ray and keeping my DVD version of that because, until a few years from now, when I can get the "Alien" Blu-ray for $2 or $3, and might want to watch again, through the incentive of a better picture, I'd rather watch my DVD version of "Alien" for that rare-or-never occasion than spend again for the Blu-ray or a rental of "Alien." But if you've never seen these films, you're going to find they're both worth it and there's nothing better in the genre since, so DO rent or buy "Alien" before watching the sequel, "Aliens." You'll probably want to watch "Alien" again, sometime, but you should buy "Aliens," because you'll definitely watch it more times through the years.

"Aliens" is a seamless and story-enhancing sequel--five stars, not for its quality of production over the first, which is equal, but for its expanded scope, on all levels, especially with the added footage that was edited out of the theatrical release, which makes it the best of them all, and for me, it is where the "Alien" story ends. They're both five-star movies, and they're both entirely different kinds of drama, one being an extension of the other. "Aliens" isn't a scare-fest that depends almost entirely upon the unknown and a build wrapped in suspense, like "Alien," the first movie. It pivots around solid action with great characters, pretty well fleshed out, and it is also well-written with sharp dialogue, but it's the kind of flick with a logical and broadening extension of the story-line that you can watch again and again and again and...

Now, some spoilers follow:

"Aliens" opened up so many avenues for pushing the story and characters at its conclusion that it is hard to believe the producers dead-ended it with "Alien III," which was too depressing and too monotone, dreary brown, to go with it--2˝ stars, because even though I certainly don't care for what "Alien III" is, and particularly for the garbage can where it took the story, it was done well and was a believable circumstance, except for the meteor-like crash of the escape pod into the water, which was not survivable. But no matter how well done, "Alien III" is nonetheless a cancer on the heart of the story that has, in my mind, along with "Aliens IV," been excised, and had I known what III and IV were, I never would have watched them at all, letting the story in motion-picture form end with "Aliens." But, I didn't know and now I just have to think of III and IV as bad and terrible alternate endings and try to forget...

It would have really been nice if they would have cut Ripley and the little girl, Newt, a break, making the crash on the prison world just a stop-over on the way to Earth, where Ripley and Newt survive fighting the alien (unfortunately, Cpl Dwayne Hicks still has to die in the escape-ship capsule for this to happen) along with beating back the horny and the pedo prisoners, where Ripley gets to fight-off and rescue Newt from another kind of monster, to finally get them both back to Earth and have a life, making guest-role appearances for Weaver after that in further releases, as a consultant/expert. That's why I only wanted to get the extended "Aliens" on Blu-Ray, because in my mind, that's what happened, and all that followed in the franchise, after "Aliens," never did. I'd love it to have seen Ripley star in a after-she-got-her-life-back sequel to a re-written "Alien III," but you know that there's no way she'd ever give up playing mom to Newt to go back into space to face aliens again.

What ifs

So, now, if they hadn't killed off Newt and Ripley, they could make a movie where the little girl, now grown into a tear-`em-apart bombshell, goes after the aliens in a critical situation on some other colony to avenge her family's death (in "Aliens")--if they had kept her alive. And Ripley would star, to finally go with Newt after failing to talk her out of it, to help her and try to keep her safe. This would be the place where Ripley should have died, at the climax of a fight where she is mortally wounded by an alien that was attacking Newt, which she kills before collapsing from her wound:

Newt runs to Ripley, kneeling beside her and lifting her up into her arms, "I'm so sorry I made you come here, Mother." Newt touches the clothing torn open on Ripley's torso, and her face turns from frantic to despair as she scans the wounds... "You're dying... and it's my fault."

Ripley, bleeding and breathing heavily, gasps, struggling to speak, "NO, you can't blame yourself, Darling. You had to meet your own devils, just as I did when these monsters brought us together."

Newt, tears rolling from her eyes, her arm warming with Ripley's flowing blood, "Oh, Mom..."

Ripley strains to speak, but her voice is failing, softening, "I never thought anything good would come from going back, but Newt, listen to me... remember, I'll never regret going back, NEVER... because it gave me you." Ripley lifts a trembling arm to put her hand upon Newt's, grasping it, as if, through her, to hold on to life for just a few moments more, "And now... you... you are fulfilling YOUR destiny."

Newt quickly lifts her eyes from Ripley's face to scan the area. They are alone in the darkening chamber, no aliens, alive, and no one to call to for help. She hears Ripley groan and, turning back to her, Newt begins to sob, "Oh...Mom..."

Struggling to hang on, Ripley pulls Newt closer and whispers, "NEVER blame yourself." Ripley's brow angles with intent as she locks her eyes on Newt's, "I am so proud of you. You have made me SO happy..." Ripley's face relaxes into a blankness as her gaze begins to shift, looking somewhere above Newt now, as if blind, pale, fading away, "And... and I will always... always love you..."

And so, as she dies, Newt's reply, "I love you, so much..." echos in a dream as she passes...

just before the climax, as Newt, filled with anger and sorrow, goes on alone to avenge Ripley and her own family by wiping out the Alien origin hive and its overlord.

Instead of that, we were given the meaningless, back-story death of Newt and the insanity that was sprung from the dead-end disaster of "Alien III," when the franchise went into a realm of unbelievability, going way too far with "Alien Resurrection," where some of the characters were way too comic-bookie, along with the situations, from the cloning, made necessary by the ridiculous decision to kill Ripley off in "Alien III," to the space-running cadre, invoking a universe where space travel is more like Star Trek than the believable reality that was portrayed in the first two movies. And the aliens are scary enough, as they can only be, with no need to make an ugly, comic, abortion version that really wasn't so scary at all in comparison, and which, in keeping with the for-kids-only flavor of the flick, is made to be a monster that cries like a baby... some weird, creative attempt at hinging humanity to the creature? Well, the fact that the aliens were drooling around the universe was enough, and the attempt, in "Alien IV," to evolve an abortion that would be more dreadful than Geiger's monster was a complete failure. I gave that release a very generous two stars, and all of them for Weaver's portrayal in it which, as in the previous movies, was one where she made the best of a bad situation which, in this case, was not the making of the aliens in the realm of the story, but rather the external, creative decisions of the project's leaders.

Retribution

Actually, they could redeem themselves and reignite the franchise, making a new flick, "Aliens--After the Dreams," where, on the way back to Earth, after blowing up the colony (after "Aliens"), they drifted through the core systems (as was the case after "Alien"), but this time, because something went wrong with a part of the hyper-sleep system, they began to age at some point, so that when their ship was finally intercepted, Ripley appears as she (Weaver) does today, and they select an appropriately-aged actress to play grown-up Newt, and Ripley tells her the strange dream she had while in the long sleep, about being on a prison world and Newt being dead, and Newt tells Ripley about a strange dream she had about this far-out military spaceship that was breeding alien abortions, and where Ripley was a clone!

"I've never had such absurd, insane dreams in all my life," Ripley would say, Newt, nodding in agreement.

And the doctor would reply, "We cannot account for all the effects of such extended sleep on the unconscious mind, especially in a case such as yours and Newt's, where your metabolism and subsequent aging process was accelerated more than it should have been. But physiologically, I can tell you that if not for the reserve nutrition available to you because of the early, complete failure of Cpl. Hick's capsule, you both would have starved to death."

Then, they could go get aliens again, in the new flick, in a new story that has some semblance of quality like the first two.

But I'm glad they've come out with separates, and that the extended version of "Aliens" is in there. It's a jump-off point for imagination, where, post "Aliens," in my mind, Ripley and Newt live on, chasing aliens and being chased by them... in my very best nightmares.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Space, 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best sci-fi thriller ever!, March 2, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Aliens [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Unlike most sequels, "Aliens" far surpasses its predecessor, "Alien" in what we expect from sci-fi thrillers. James Cameron, who had recently risen to fame as director of "The Terminator", utilized much the same formula in creating cycle after cycle of gut-wrenching suspense, followed by astounding action payoff. There's far more payoff here than in 'Alien", as there are a whole lot more aliens who show up for the party! "Aliens" is no mere "wipe 'em out" 'B' movie extravaganza. Graphic evidence of the aliens' impossible intelligence and intentions keeps presenting itself, amplifiying the fear of an already horrified audience. The only thing scarier than an alien is a bunch of really smart ones who are determined to get you, and they're coming! The relentless, emotionally-charged pace continues nearly to the end, and just when you're sure it's over, the most adrenalin-pumped terror is about to begin. Sigourney Weaver reprises her role as Ripley, lone survivor of the Nostromo, an interstellar ore-carrier she set for self-destruction to kill the alien that'd wiped out the rest of her crew in "Alien." Ripley's escape pod is recovered, and she is returned to earth, only to learn she has been asleep for 57 years. The Company blames Ripley for the Nostromo's loss, considering there was no evidence of any alien presence on the now-colonized planet where the Nostormo had encounterd it. Overwhelmed with guilt, grief and recurrent nightmares of her ordeal, Ripley sinks into depression, until Earth's contact with the planet colony is suddenly lost, and Ripley is recruited as an advisor to accompany a Marine platoon on an investigative / rescue mission and reluctantly agrees to go. Cameron-favorite Michael Biehn plays a Marine corporal; Biehn's presence is almost invisible at first, but his cool 'never-say-die' screen persona becomes the audience's dearest hope as the story builds to climax. Other Cameron disciples appear. Bill Paxton plays a whiney, yet wise-cracking Marine private, and Lance Hendriksen plays a synthetic, or as his character puts it, "an articficial person" whom Ripley intensely despises and distrusts. Paul Reiser plays what would nowadays constitute an off-beat role for him; a double-crossing corporate flunky, whose secret objective is to assure preservation of the aliens' physiology for the Company's weapons technology division...at any expense to the mission and personnel, of course. Expect a distinct sensation of "exhaustive relief" by the time the credits roll.
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Aliens [Blu-ray]
Aliens [Blu-ray] by James Cameron (Blu-ray - 2011)
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