On their voyage home, the crew of the deepspace tug Nostromo investigate an alien distress signal, inadvertently picking up and bringing aboard an extraterrestrial life form with violent and lethal survival instincts.
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It's fairly common knowledge that some, especially critics, say this film hasn't aged well. The usual things cited are things like dated special effects, a slow pace, an obviously low budget, and that it just isn't that great by today's higher standards. Whether or not you're in the camp that agrees with this or not, or even if you haven't seen it yet, just be informed that they're insane. If you're wondering, "Wow, are they insane?" then yes, you now know with certainty. This is obviously one of the best sci-fi horror films ever made for a variety of reasons, the biggest ones being atmosphere and cohesive storytelling, and I could go on for a long time about it, but it has never really been topped at any point in time. Actually, sci-fi horror has been a dead genre for quite some time primarily because it doesn't sell that well, and has a rather poor profit ratio due to the whole sci-fi thing upping budgets more than, say, a conventional slasher flick would. With film being so exclusive now where everything has to be a hit or it's never seeing the light of day, you just don't get film like this anymore, because it's not really permitted in the industry. It's kind of a shame, but if nothing else, we'll probably always have this to come back to, to remember what sci-fi horror is supposed to be like.
What makes Alien a cut above 99% of the sci-fi movies out there is the acting and the characters. No one is thumping their chest how great they are, there are no super heroes, there are no sappy love interests, The banter and the dialogue is what you'd expect on a space shuttle mission once they are up. Ridley Scott just went for straight, steel cold realism. The acting was just dead center ten ring from the whole cast. In the space sci-fi genre, I'd say only Alien and 2001 have been able to achieve such lifelike characters that seem like actual people. At any rate, a classic.
If you are a fan of this movie or genre this disc is must for you. Is it a PERFECT transfer? No. But it's gosh darned close. Starting from the clever menu screens, you can tell some care, creativity and respect has gone into making this disc. Both the original 1979 original theatrical cut and the later director's cut are offered here. (Which is better? Oh no, leave me out of that debate. Decide for yourself) What is here is gorgeous transfer, a variety of audio options, delightfully black blacks, moments in sound that will have you picking the shards of your woofers off your carpet if your not careful , and an overall attention to detail that makes you glad to be a blu-ray owner in the first place. Reference quality? Meh. Not quite. But you won't be disappointed. In short: GET IT.
Well, well, I am writing this review as I am watching the movie, and I have to say the 4K transfer is excellent. You can really notice the HDR in the darkest parts of the movie, which is almost everywhere. This is particularly noticeable in the darker areas of the ship, and Parker, being a black man, when he is seen in those darker areas, he is nearly invisible at times. As for the lighter areas of the movie, and ship, again the HDR stands out very well. I am really pleased with how this came out. I am especially pleased that both the theatrical version, and Director's Cut were included on the 4K disc (I personally enjoy the Director's Cut more, as it includes material not seen in the theaters). I was disappointed, however, that the digital code was both only for the theatrical version, and HDX, rather than 4K, and the Director's Cut, but it sort of makes sense that only the theatrical version was made available on digital, as this is a 40th Anniversary Edition of the movie, which came out in 1979, whereas the Director's Cut was made in 2003. The only other thing I'd like to mention is that when I tried to pause this for a few minutes, and then un-paused it, the audio/video was out of sync, and I had to press Stop, then Play again, in order for it to get back into sync. Now, this is not the first time I have had this happen with a 4K disc, which is why I haven't dropped a star for it; I just find it curious, and would love to know why this happens with some 4K discs, and not others. Other than that, there doesn't appear to be any other problems with the playing of the disc. Another note is that the blu ray disc included is from the 2014 Quadrilogy set, and brings nothing new to this release. The special features on both the 4K, and blu ray discs appear to be ported over from previous releases.
Overall, I am very happy with this, and have given it 5 stars because, well, it's Alien, man! I highly recommend this, and it's practically a steal at fifteen bucks (at the time of this writing), so go for it.
A fantastic film from Ridley Scott. The pacing, acting, lighting, composition, and everything else are superb. Some people say the beginning of the film is too slow, but I completely disagree; the beginning of the film slowly builds tension while giving you sufficient time to admire some of the best sets ever constructed in the history of cinema.
As for the Blu-ray itself, the image quality is excellent. Despite being a dark film with high contrast in nearly every shot, I never noticed any color banding or other artifacts. A major plus is that the disc jumps straight into the menu without making you watch trailers.
I first saw this in high school with my best friend (still my best friend decades later). After the first time I saw it I informed my friend we would never go to a horror movie together again - my arm looked like I’d been beaten up because she get grabbing me at every scare. Watching this movie a good 35 years later, it holds up 100%. It’s still cool, moody, and treats it’s female heroin the way very few films do even to this day.
5.0 out of 5 starsI thought I bought the movie 'Aliens'
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 14, 2017
I've heard about the Aliens series and how it been widely talked after the 80s. I thought that this movie was 'Aliens' and not the precursor to Aliens, so I ended up buying this accidentally and I'm thankful I thought it because it made more sense when I went to purchase the sequel to this movie or direct closely tied spin-off, Aliens, whatever anyone wants the follow up.
Movie wise, it is a good movie and the characters are well done. Good production and the story is told very very well. The movie is rather dated but it's nice to see how back towards the 1970s, how they've created and put together those science fiction movies together with the ideas present at the time. Another one of those movies.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn iconic must watch film for Sci-Fi fans.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2017
One of my favorite Ridley Scott directed films and a Sci-Fi Horror classic that really was ahead of its time. In this post 2000 remastered edition of the film it is as fresh and chilling as I'm sure it was in 1979 all be it a little retro adding to its appeal. You may need to ramp up the volume for full immersion as the soundtrack is a somewhat quiet but remains good quality so I can't knock it.
5.0 out of 5 starsThis is one of my favorite horror movies ever
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2018
This is one of my favorite horror movies ever. Even tho it took nearly a month for the movie to arrive, even tho it should have arrived sooner, I am happy to watch this movie on my PS3 system and from my TV. This is movie is a classic and it's awesome that the Blu-Ray version comes both with the Director's Cut and also the original versions of the movie. Ridley Scott back then knew how to give us a good scare and also to balance out the music with tense moments. :) For any Sci-Fi or horror movie fan, this is a must buy. I also recommend getting the sequel Aliens as well. Even if that movie is more action focused, it still has it's awesome and memorable moments.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2015
Many people have seen this movie and if you have not- you should watch it. not just watch it, also own the DVD and you wont regret it. Its one of top movies of all the time. Even with modern technology we have today, many sci fi movies nowadays cant beat this film.
Ive lost the count how many time ive watch this film but I watched it again recently and it reminded me why i was right to order for this DVD so its worth the every penny.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe famous fantastic first chapter in the alien franchise
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 28, 2018
I love this movie and I have been meaning to watch it since I was a kid. Fantastic scary moments including the famous alien chest buster scene which is so famous for many sci fi horror fans and the alien xenomorph looks amazing and I highly recommend this to many fans of the alien franchise.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2016
Stands the test of time. Superb, classic, and highly enjoyable. I never tire of watching this and it is a rare thing to have so many great performances from a cast that renders it difficult to pick out a favourite. The mother of sci-fi terror.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2015
Just re-watched the whole Alin/Promethus/AVP series. Great version of a classic film, the young Sigournrey is brilliant and I love the slow pacing and tense build up, even if its just starting to look/feel very slightly dated.