20th Anniversary ed.
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Unbeknownst to the crew of a space ship, it has taken on an alien stowaway that incubates in some humans and hunts the rest. In space, no one can hear you scream.
A landmark of science fiction and horror, Alien arrived in 1979 between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back as a stylishly malevolent alternative to George Lucas's space fantasy. Partially inspired by 1958's It! The Terror from Beyond Space, this instant classic set a tone of its own, offering richly detailed sets, ominous atmosphere, relentless suspense, and a flawless ensemble cast as the crew of the space freighter Nostromo, who fall prey to a vicious creature (designed by Swiss artist H.R. Giger) that had gestated inside one of the ill-fated crew members. In a star-making role, Sigourney Weaver excels as sole survivor Ripley, becoming the screen's most popular heroine in a lucrative movie franchise. To measure the film's success, one need only recall the many images that have been burned into our collective psyche, including the "facehugger," the "chestburster," and Ripley's climactic encounter with the full-grown monster. Impeccably directed by Ridley Scott, Alien is one of the cinema's most unforgettable nightmares. --Jeff Shannon
- Alternate music and production sound track
- Deleted scenes
- Artwork and photo galleries
- Web links
- Booklet with production notes
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Top customer reviews
The widescreen anamorphic format lets you see director Ridley Scott's expert compositions, which are often packed edge-to-edge. Pay close attention to the secondary characters in the master shots (especially Ian Holm as Ash) and you'll see a wealth of subtle character development. I had never thought of "Alien" as particularly well-acted, but being able to see how the ensemble works across a wide, unbroken frame has given me a new appreciation for the whole cast.
Included is a collection of deleted scenes that expand on the "Alien" mythology, as well as the film itself. Some of them are rambling and unfocused, which allows you to see the actors working out their characters as they try find the right pace.
Director Scott's commentary track is full of wonderful trivia, and provides some insight into his superlative visual imagination.
And, of course, Jerry Goldsmith fans should be ecstatic since an alternate audio track contains his complete original score (much of which was never used), undiluted by dialogue or sound effects. Owners of CDs containing parts of the unused soundtrack can finally see how the music was supposed to sync-up with the picture.
"Alien" may not be a masterpiece on par with serious films by the likes of Kubick, Kurosawa, or Welles, but to dismiss it as just another brainless horror flick is to sell it way short. It's beautiful, disturbing, hypnotic, and ground-breaking.
And after twenty-plus years, we're still talking about it.
Director's editions of films are a bit like gambling; it's difficult to quit when you're ahead. Scott at the request of Fox went back and fiddled with his original classic. The original version (as Scott points out in his commentary)really is the Director's Cut.
This alternate version allows a slightly different take on the same material. The info here suggests that the alternate version is longer than the original film; that's not true and in fact the alternate version is a minute shorter (116 minutes). Scott made some trims here and there, added two complete scenes, allowed two other scenes to run a bit longer than they did in the original version.
Both versions look terrific--the transfer is top notch and Scott digitally cleaned up and enhanced the images of the film. Fans who preferred the previous DVD may be disappointed as the color is a bit different and the picture a tad brighter in spots but, hey, that's the way that Scott wanted them to be. There are some mild compression artifacts although edge enhancement appears to be less of a problem here compared to the 1999 version. The sound is terrific and has been remixed very well for this edition of the film. It sounds cleaner than the 1999 edition at least to my ears.
The commentary track by Scott, Weaver and the remainder of the cast (sans Kotto and Holm)is interesting. It's a slice and dice commentary track with bits and pieces of each group giving some interesting insights on the making of the film. Missing from this edition is the music only alternate track (they couldn't get permission for this edition is my understanding).
The Blu-ray doesn't have the extensive extras from the boxed set so if you're looking for those, you'll need to spring for that set.
Both versions look terrific in Blu and the extras although spare are pretty good. If you want all the special features of the boxed set you have to buy the boxed set.
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