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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 24 November 2003
"Hudson be cool!" snaps Vasquez. No chance, because Hudson must have seen the first film and he KNOWS whats coming. That's right, Ripley and the Aliens are back in an all-out action sequel that takes a new perspective on the 'Alien' Saga. The direction, screenplay and music all travel at light speed and the end result is simply astounding. Instead of one man in a suit, there are hundreds, thousands and it's gonna take a lot more than a cattle prod to sort this mess out.In the first film, a good 40 minutes of build up goes by before the alien strikes. Here, it takes just as long (longer in this version). The difference? The first's build-up made me look at my watch a few times and sigh. Here, I looked at my watch and it was suddenly an hour later! This movie is so fast-paced, eerie and has a great follow up story to the original. In this Director's Cut, the extra footage ranges from the slight (extra seconds of footage looking for colonists) to entire sub-plots (Ripley recovering from losing her "life" and daughter after 57 years hypersleep). I think the best touch is a first-name-sharing moment towards the end between Hicks and Ripley, which really shows what we've thought all along about their relationship. But don't get this alone, wait for the Quadrilogy in December!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2006
On the cover Aliens is the sequel to the masterful Alien. However both films are entirely different. Master director James Cameron refused to go down the same path as his contemporary, the ever great Ridley Scott. And after watching thsi movie Cameron made a very wise descision. This film is truely mind blowing and despite its associations with the first film, this film is difficult to compare with the first one. The action is amazing, and heart-pounding and Cameron doesn't give the audience enough to breathe before they are pummled into another action scene. However the most impressive thing about this movie was the introduction of the Queen Alien. The whole scene is so well done, with the aliens about to attack Ripley only for them to receive an order from the Queen to back off, which they do so gracefully its just sheer bliss to watch.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2004
I had each of these films on video and wanted to get them for DVD instead. When I saw this "three in one" package, I figured this was fantastic - if it was the special editions of the films.
The Fifth Element, as far as I'm aware, has no Director's Cut. This is the version that I remember from the cinema, which is in itself a fantastic film. To me, this is one of the best edited films ever: there are a significant number of places where threads continue seamlessly through short cuts to various different people in various different locations. This is film coreography at its finest, and I can only congratulate the production team on this piece of genius. In itself, the film is very watchable, and laden with humour and effects. The sets are good, and the actors well chosen. And Mila Jovovich is gorgeous, which never hurts...
This is the Director's Cut of Aliens, which has about 15 minutes of extra footage. This adds some nice touches to the film, but no significant extra plot. For those that don't know it, Aliens has to stand as one of the best sequels ever, as both Alien and Aliens stand alone or together as fantastic, though different films (but please don't think that's a recommendation for parts 3 or 4 of the series as well). Alien relies on one monster (or maybe 2 if you've read the book) against some poorly prepared ship's crew , whereas Aliens ups the ante by placing seemingly hundreds of them against a group of well armed, highly trained space marines - which doesn't stop this starting to show psychological impact when they lose half of their number in the first encounter. The alien effects are even more impressive, and the film incredibly atmospheric with its setting in a barren, hostile environment.
The Director's Cut of the Abyss turns it from a somewhat confusing film about apparently ignorant aliens into a brilliantly plotted affair where they react strongly to being threatened. As a diver, I could point out weak points in the technical aspects of the plot, but this doesn't detract from this being an utterly enjoyable and absorbing film.
Given the films involved here, this set is an absolute bargain, and worth every penny. If you're thinking about getting it, think no longer and order it. The three films here total almost 7 hours of excellent viewing for any sci-fi fan.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2001
Alien = The original and arguably the best. The most atmospheric and genuinely scary film of the lot. Aliens = I cannot believe some people have the nerve to say anything bad about this. This film is simply full on action from the man behind The Terminator and True Lies. Uncomparable to Alien as they are completely different. The first builds tension and is more of a horror film where as this is just a massive bullet fest. Sheer class. Alien 3 = Admittedly this does not match up to the previous installments but look what you are comparing it to. In it's own right this is a great film. It relies more on tension and suspense and in that respect is more like the original than Aliens. David Fincher does a fantastic job with a good script. A worthy addition to the series. Alien Resurrection = The final part of the alien saga rounds it off nicely with a return to the more action orientated format of Aliens. It ends the series on a high note.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Ridley Scott's Alien is one of the Sci Fi/Horror genre's greatest films ever. It set new standards at the time and has been a major influence on many films that have followed. I first saw Aliens in 1986 on its cinema release. Being a fan of the original made me have very grave doubts indeed about just how good a sequel could be, let alone approach the standards of the original. Well those doubts were simply blasted away by what was up on the screen. Aliens is simply that rare animal, a sequel that is better than the original.

James Cameron takes up the story, 50 years on from the original which sees the rescue from deep space of the two survivors of the original film's Nostromo - Warrant Officer Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver and the ship's cat - Jonesey.
Ripley is taken back to Earth and finds her account of what happened to the Nostromo dismissed out of hand by the authorities, and her own motives and sanity questioned. To her horror while she acclimatises to a life fast forwarded 50 years, she also discovers that terraforming colonists have settled on the forbidding planet that held the ship full of Alien eggs which led to the destruction of her ship and crew. News then comes of a total loss of contact with the colony, and Ripley reluctantantly agrees to go along as an advisor on a military mission to see what has happened to the colonists....

Aliens succeeds brilliantly as an out and out action film which on a first viewing, will leave viewers with white knuckles as they are taken through a series of terrifying sequences, all the way to that amazing confrontation between Ripley and the gigantic Alien Queen, a scene that has deservedly taken its place in movie history....
Along the way, Ripley takes an orphaned girl under her wing and their growing mother/daughter relationship is convincing against the backgound of what is going on, and becomes an integral part of the film's plot.

Aliens is one of James Cameron's very best films. It is an exhilerating ride from start to finish. Some of the sequences with the marines are a little camp at times but add to the enjoyment factor anyway. As for the inclusion of the 20 mins of 'lost footage', I think it enhances the film and gives the viewer some insight into the lost colonists which was lacking on the original release of the film.
A must see film which I recommend very highly, indeed.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
James Cameron made his second masterpiece with this, the sequel to Ridley Scott's classic space horror show. Cameron, a director who will always ensure he gets exactly what he wants, extremely talented and ingenious, brought the series in a new direction, keeping much of the tension of the original, but upping the excitement and action.

After Ripley went into hyper-sleep at the end of Alien, hoping that someone would find her floating through space and pick her up, she travelled for over 50 years before being picked up by 'The Company'. She wakes up and tries to come to terms with all that has happened since she was asleep-her daughter grew up and died, 'The Company' has become more interested in the alien she claims to have encountered, and the planet where she found the alien has become a mining colony. During interrogation she tells the suits what happened to her, and expressed the need for someone to investigate the 'alien' planet. They charge her with the destruction of her previous ship. However, when they receive a distress call from the planet, a group of marines is ordered to investigate. Burke, a company Rep persuades Ripley to come along as she is the only one to have encountered an alien, and because her recurring nightmares are stopping her from living her life. We are introduced to each marine, all tough, hardened fighters, seemingly well-equipped for any danger.
Aliens must surely rank as one of the most exciting movies ever made. At well over 2 hours it is a testament to Cameron, the script-writers and the cast that the pace of the film never slows. Every time the characters think they may have a chance, something happens to make them think otherwise. Everything is giving the most acute detail, from the marines' garb, to the miniature sets and craft designs. The score is militaristic, keeping with the charge and feel of the movie, and the action is very strong and brilliantly edited. The aliens themselves are still terrifying, and The Queen is awesome. The famous power-loader fight scene is excellent, just one of the many highlights. The planet itself is grim and dark, the perfect place for the creatures to be, and the darkness and tight corridors of the colony add to the tension, atmosphere and claustrophobia.

There is a wide range of characters here, each distinct much like the first film. Even if we do not get to see them for very long, we are given a strong impression of their backgrounds because of their own personal dress and dialogue. Every performance is worthy of mention too, and Weaver's performance was definitely worthy of the Oscar. Ripley progresses here, becoming one of the strongest female characters in movie history, learning and adapting with the Marines, but retaining her maternal instincts and disgust for the company. In fact, the fight and chase involving the Queen, Ripley and Newt is almost like custody battle, a fight to see who is the best mother. Burke begins seeming friendly, but of course his interest is in bringing back a specimen. Bishop is a brilliant inclusion remembering Ripley's last encounter with a Droid. Hicks, played by Biehn is an excellent character, strong marine but not an emotionless, stupid grunt. Paxton steals many scenes as Hudson, spitting out some of the film's best dialogue, at times tough and terrified. Henn as Newt is a revelation in her first performance, dealing with the script and content perfectly. Vasquez must go down as one of the best cult action characters, equally as strong as any of the men, even if she has a short fuse. Goldstein is very good in the role. Apone as the 'Sarg' is also good, and Gorman begins as a fool but redeems himself later. The rest of the cast are all good, even if most are only their to be killed. With such a good cast, Aliens becomes even better.

This film cannot be praised enough. Although there are those who feel it is inferior to the first because it has more action and supposedly weaker characterisation, it has to be said that the two films are different entities, the first a horror, the second a sci-fi action. Like The Terminator, Cameron puts in many effective scares so that it transcends the genre, becoming something more. Cameron says he wants to return to Sci-Fi. Please make one as good as this.

This Double discer has everything an Alien fan would want and the presentation is perfect. Essential
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2003
This is definately better than the first film as there is more action and it feels more intense. The marines are much more likeable than the bunch of outcasts in the first film.
Its funny that, even though this film is almost 20 years old, it doesnt show its age at all. Other old films look totally crap and couldnt scare a 4 year old. I agree that good old fashioned models and animatronics are far more scarey and realistic than any computer generated characters (just look at the difference between Jaws and Deep Blue sea).
This has got to be my favourite film of all time, but it is a shame that after this film, the series lost its soul and became average instead of stunning.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
What an amazing experience this film is!

The first time I watched it I can just remember being totally immersed and on the edge of my seat. The claustrophobia and tension is genuinely harrowing.

Full of brilliant characterisation the film makes you really care for the hapless marines, Ripley and Newt, whilst Burke is wonderfully slimy as the company man. You also can't help but feel sorry for poor Bishop ("I may be an android, but I'm not stupid.")! It is the acting that really brings the film to life with the cast being totally convincing throughout - they all look genuinely terrified! Some excellent one liners (plus the legendary banter between Hudson and Vasquez - "Ever been mistaken for a man?") and witty dialogue really helps flesh out the relationships between the characters and put their struggle into a more personal context.

Sigourney Weaver is simply phenomenal throughout - her passionate relationship with Newt is moving, especially when Ripley goes back in against the odds in a vengeful fury to rescue the little girl from the hive. (The scene where she stumbles into the egg chamber and comes face to face with the Queen while carrying poor little Newt makes your spine tingle. The moment of hesitation before cocking her head and unleashing hell is subtle brilliance) Throughout you really connect with Sigourney's lead character who is really fleshed out further in this sequel.

To have seen the first Alien film is recommended before watching this film. Also the extra scenes on the special edition are well worth watchnig. Learning that Ripley's daughter has grown up and died whilst Ripley was in hypersleep again helps put the relationship between Ripley and Newt into context.

The action is non stop and the way the tension builds and builds before the first encounter is masterful. Cliche as it is it has to be said that this film genuinely is a tour de force - James Cameron at his best and one of the best films ever.

I only wish I could have seen it at the cinema when it first aired...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2001
After the wonderful Alien, James Cameron would have been forgiven for producing a down-right awful sequel, nothing great should have been expected, which makes this film even better. The 'boy's action genre' rarely produces more than big guns, loud explosions and bad acting. Every rule has an exception, this is the exception.
Going into greater depth on subjects such as the company conspiracy, the intelligence of the creatures and exploring new themes such as the Alien Queen and the nest, this film almost matches the greatness of the original. Technology had advanced in the seven years since Ridley Scott first chilled our bones and so Cameron could show the beasts in more detail without letting the audience in on the fact that this was just a bunch of guys in rubber suits. The aliens move fluidly and strike swiftly in large numbers. The music is one of the best scores ever recorded for a movie and adds tension as the soldiers fight for their lives in a situation that they cannot hope to win. Ripley plays the perfect heroine and proves herself as hard and deadly as the soldiers and develops the .. image that would spread into the next two movies in the classic scene when she battles the Alien Queen.
James Cameron may not have been able to beat Ridley Scott in terms of directing, but he does his best and comes close, and for that we must be thankful. He also showcases the aliens well and certainly we see more of them, especially at the end of the film, but they maintain that horrific image. The action is first class, especially the scene when the aliens attack them from the ceiling. All in all, this is one of the greatest action movies of all time, with fantastic scenes and clever direction, Aliens would become a more than worthy sequel to Alien and remain fresh in our minds 15 years later. If only the series had stopped there!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2012
This is not a review of the film so much as a review of the blu ray version. Firstly i am not a techno geek, nor do i possess a state of the art tv so the high end technical talk will not be found here. Having said all of that the film looks and sounds amazing. Having owned the film on dvd already i wasn't too sure about buying the film again but it was definately worth it. Where you really notice the difference is in the darker shots where the colours just have so much more depth allowing you to see new details for the first time. Even if you own this film on dvd i highly reccomend upgrading to the blu ray version, as you will be gobsmacked by how good this film looks now.
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