Just as he did with Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott is treating his fans to an incredible value blu ray release that, this time round, features all four alien films restored and in high definition (See video for more product information).
Personal opinions on the four films...
Its a straightforward plot - a cargo ship, whilst cruising through space, intercepts a transmission from another planet that awakens the present crew members from their hypersleep. Is it a good idea to explore that planet even when you're returning home? With no knowledge as to who (or what) is sending the transmission, the crew descend and investigate, but they may be coming back with an uninvited guest...
Without a doubt the most significant film of the quadrilogy for it, singlehandedly, spawned a whole new genre of filmmaking - even influencing 'spin-offs' through the 80's that largely failed. You may be pondering then;
"Its rated 18, its got aliens... Typical horror film?"
Far from typical, there exists a great difference between the original 'Alien' and other horror films. I would argue that, whereas the typical horror film explicitly uses violence as a means for entertainment or an expected motive of the story (as is so common these days), suspense is rarely created, and you just end up laughing at ridiculous deaths. The fact is, many filmmakers today are impatient and unwilling to create ambience because we are so bombarded with information in our eyes and ears. This film is my personal favorite of the quadrilogy as I believe it demonstrates a truly complete piece of work that need not suffer the complications of prequel and sequel continuity. We shouldn't forget that for 1979, the photography was absurdly ahead of its time and still amazes me even today. The film is a perfect lesson in how to build atmosphere through precise audio-visual relationships, and how a film may change pace so dramatically.
No-doubt the fans favorite, 'Aliens' is a completely different project in that it is, first and foremost, an action film that is entirely relevant in 'seeing unfinished business'. The pacing is faster, edits are more rapid and in typical 80's fashion, its got some damn fine props. However, 'Aliens' is still a James Cameron film and that brings a number of questionable elements - in particular, Bill Paxton and his completely bizarre/over-the-top acting (intended or not) which does always leave me scratching my head. Whilst I love both 'Alien' and 'Aliens', the latter does deservedly bring a fantastic finale that could rightly end the film saga there and then. Maybe some will prefer it that way...
As if our protagonist Ripley hasn't gone through enough hell, she this time round finds herself in a prison inhabited by male convicts of... shall we say, questionable psychotic stability, after her space ship crash lands on another planet. My problem with Alien 3 is quite simple; it doesn't need to exist at all, for it merely forces a brand new and depressing storyline that, unlike 'Aliens', does not follow naturally from its predecessor. As a stand alone film it is actually well directed, yet I just can't hold myself to watch any more as it doesn't represent a good nights entertainment, which is what we all want surely.
Yep... She's back once more, only this time involuntarily! Ripley is regenerated through 'science' (I say 'science' as, at the time of writing, we are only just cloning sheep with silly names) and the film unfolds into a rather mindless action film - all because a bunch of aliens escape from their enclosure onboard another large ship. This forth installment lacks originality, but unlike the previous film, is certainly watchable and provides some descent fun. Heck, even the aliens have even to learnt to swim this time round!
Of course, the Alien saga represents many mixed opinions, so i'm more than open to a difference of thought and would love a discussion through the Tab below.