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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SciFi Horror masterpiece
What more is there to say about Scott's masterpiece that hasn't already been said? Not a lot I suspect. Basically, it's `an old dark house' murder mystery but set aboard a monstrous spacecraft, `Nostromo', returning to Earth from the farther reaches of the galaxy laden with 20,000,000 tonnes of mineral ores from distant planets. The inhabitants are in suspended animation...
Published 12 months ago by still searching

versus
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alien DE - excellent film,shame it isn't the Steelbook DE though1!!
Alien is one of the best scifi films, not much can be said about it's awesomeness, especially this cut w/ DTS!
However - I once again fell victim to the "non-steelbook edition" syndrome that has been haunting these Definitive Edition DVDs recently (see Robocop DE) hence the 3* rating - the piccie here definitely shows the steelbook version. I received a standard card...
Published on 17 Feb 2008 by J. BLIGHT


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SciFi Horror masterpiece, 30 Nov 2013
By 
still searching (MK UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Alien [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
What more is there to say about Scott's masterpiece that hasn't already been said? Not a lot I suspect. Basically, it's `an old dark house' murder mystery but set aboard a monstrous spacecraft, `Nostromo', returning to Earth from the farther reaches of the galaxy laden with 20,000,000 tonnes of mineral ores from distant planets. The inhabitants are in suspended animation allowing them to survive the equally monstrous periods of time involved in traversing such mind numbing distances. In the opening scene we, the ghostly viewers travel through the vast ship along empty corridors, accompanied by the almost subliminal sounds of the ship's engines and machinery, until we reach the life support chamber in which the crew sleep unsuspectingly. There is one jarring moment here: no-one else is on board and we, the omniscient viewers, do not have to open doors through which to travel and yet, in order to enter the chamber in which the crew are ensconced in their life support systems, doors slide open with the faintest of sounds as if air has entered with us, and then close behind us! It's a minor thing but jarring none the less!

Slowly, within their life support pods, the crew begins to stir and the second in command, Kane (John Hurt) is the first to awaken from his enforced slumbers. The pod canopies open. He sits up, slowly opens his eyes and then gets up. Gradually, the others begin to show signs of life. Cut to the next scene in which the crew is at breakfast sharing cereals and coffee and chit-chatting about mundane things like bonuses, which is a particular `beef' with maintenance engineer, Parker (Yaphet Kotto), and his side kick, Brett (Harry Dean Stanton). In the midst of this ordinary domestic scene, in which navigator, Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) has a towel draped around her neck as if just having left the shower, the ship's captain, Dallas (Tom Skerritt) is alerted to a signal from the ship's computer, Mother, by Science Officer, Ash, (Ian Holm). He goes to investigate. Upon his return he tells the other members of the crew that the ship is only halfway home and the crew have been woken to attend to a signal of unknown origin coming from a strange planetoid, which has a gravitational field 0.86 that of Earth's. They land about 2000 m from the signal origin during severe weather sustaining damage to their landing gear and we learn that the ambient conditions are dreadful with a primordial atmosphere and temperature well below zero. Nevertheless, the captain decides they have to investigate, since it's part of their contract, and assigns Kane and Lambert to accompany him.

It is then that the film's title registers in our consciousness. The alien ship from which the signal emanates is like nothing the crew or we have seen before. This feeling is enhanced when we get inside. The alien ship, created by the Swiss artist, H. R. Giger is cavernous, of enormous proportions and has a strange unearthly geometry, reminiscent of that described by H. P. Lovecraft in his weird tales, principally, The Mountains of Madness. Eventually they find one of the ship's alien crew members, presumably, in the main deck area. The crew member is also enormous by human standards and, with a huge open gash in its abdominal region, looks as if it has been dead for a very long time. They leave the main deck to investigate elsewhere, which is where they find what appear to be hundreds of large leathery pouches beneath a blue gaseous haze. This scene, which shows Kane descending on a line into the vast cavernous chamber containing the `pouches', is truly awesome evoking that upon first seeing the inside of the Krell's huge machine in `Forbidden Planet'! Of course, we now know the results of Kane's curiosity and its implications for him and the rest of the crew!

On their return, third in command, Ripley (the superb Sigourney Weaver), back up in the main deck area, can remotely operate the air lock to allow them entry. Sensibly she refuses citing the standing orders regarding quarantine. Ominously, Ash overrides her objections by manually operating the doors to the air lock - and the rest is (movie) history!

The film has everything including a few irritations; for example, in addition to that mentioned earlier, there is the sound of the ship's engines outside in empty space where we should hear nothing. This is annoying since the movie makes a big deal of the fact that `in space no one can hear you scream'! But these are minor compared to its many accomplishments. The opening title sequence vividly sets the tone, the screenplay is brilliant, the editing taught, the acting excellent, the production design literally out of this world and the twist towards the end that is no longer quite so surprising still manages, also quite literally, to pack a visceral punch! And then there is the brilliantly evocative score by Jerry Goldsmith that incorporates, seamlessly, passages of Howard Hanson's 2nd symphony, The Romantic.

Along with Scott's other masterwork, released three years later, Blade Runner, this should be on anyone's list of all-time great SiFi/horror/fantasy masterpieces.

I'm only really concerned with the original movie and can take or leave the sequels but the Blu-ray 4 disc anthology, for the price, is also ridiculously inexpensive too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SCI-FI/HORROR CULT CLASSIC MUST-HAVE MASTERPIECE., 5 Nov 2014
By 
This review is from: Alien [Blu-ray] [1979] (Blu-ray)
REVIEWED VERSION: 2011 20th Century Fox US Blu-Ray (Single Disc)

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto

SYNOPSIS

Spaceship Nostromo receives a distress call from an unknown planet. The ship's computer "Mother" wakes the crew from their cryo sleep and they set out to investigate the signal's origin.
They discover an alien in form of a parasite. Despite Ripley's heavy protests quarantine procedures are ignored and the alien life form is brought on board...

THE PROS & CONS

ALIEN is a sci-fi/horror cult classic and even by today's standards it is a great movie. The ALIEN series, next to the first two PREDATOR movies are definitely my favorite sci-fi movies of all times.
First of, the incredible cast, especially Sigourney Weaver who would (deservedly) achieve cult status and become one of the most famous female heroines in movie history, but also Tom Skerritt, John Hurt and Ian Holm deliver outstanding and naturalistic performances.
Director Ridley Scott made the most out of what he had available in 1979 and many sci-fi movie today can't achieve what he has accomplished. ALIEN is a movie that will haunt you. The spooky mood and the slow pans get as much out of the film as possible. ALIEN is a very dark movie and it benefits greatly from this. Scott gives the alien minimum screen time and hides it in the shadows which is very effective in my opinion. Your imagination gets to fill in the blanks and it works fabulously. The slow build-up works to the movie's advantage, the set designs and especially the alien itself, created by H.R. Giger are ingenious. Note that the alien creature looks better than many CGI creatures created today. Pure atmosphere dominates, not blood, guts and gore (although there is a very notorious gory scene in the movie). Taking place almost entirely on a spaceship, the atmosphere is claustrophobic, the brilliant lighting and sound effects are so effective.
Critics have called the more action-packed ALIENS (the first sequel) the superior film, but I don't agree, I prefer the calmer "survivor horror" original and the brilliant third entry to ALIENS. The shocks are greater in the original, you do not see the Alien until late into the movie, in the sequel you know what you're dealing with, here you don't.
ALIEN is a classic and has a special atmosphere that none of the sequels or numerous clones could ever reach. ALIENS and ALIEN 3 are great masterpieces of their own (in respectable distance to ALIEN) but ALIEN 4 - RESURRECTION and ALIEN VS. PREDATOR 1 & 2 best remain unmentioned and forgotten.

BLU-RAY DETAILS

Feature running time: 116:37 mins. (Theatrical cut) / 113:05 mins. (Director's Cut)
Rating: R (MPAA)(Theatrical Cut)/Unrated (MPAA) (DC) / 15 (BBFC) (rerated)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 / 16:9
Audio: English DTS-HD 5.1, English 4.1 (Theatrical version only), English 2.0, Portugues 5.1, French 5.1 DTS, German 5.1 DTS, Spanish 5.1
Subtitles: English HoH, Portugues, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Commentary
Extras: 2 Audio commentaries, 2 Isloated Scores for Theatrical version, Deleted Scenes (6:39), BD Live, Mu-th-ur Mode
Region: region free

Picture quality: B+
Audio quality: B
Extras: B
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4.0 out of 5 stars I Admire It's Purity, 17 Nov 2014
By 
J. Clarke "Alright Sally" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alien [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
Origins
Considering the colossal success of the Alien franchise (plus my fondness for it), it's only fair to judge the films, especially this one, without too much bias based on special effects due to its age. Also, with the release of the video game 'Alien Isolation', I've found myself watching the films again to get in the spirit since been crapping my pants playing said game - review to come shortly. This kind of film may have been attempted before, but never to such a grand scale. So much so that this has become the benchmark for horror/sci-fi's and although it probably wouldn't get rated an 18 now, it was certainly enough back then with a strong amount of gore (one scene in particular) and a huge dose of terror, inciting genuine feelings of terror amongst the audience. How fitting the film's tagline would be 'In space, no one can hear you scream'

Bring back life form. Priority One. All other priorities rescinded (Plot)
Once the camera is done ogling the well crafted set of the spaceship 'Nostromo', we see the crew awaken from their super futuristic stasis pods. All the gadgetry, even today still looks classy, although admittedly dated. When a message from 'Mother' comes in about a nearby distress beacon, a new directive is initiated, one that ultimately results in unhappiness amongst the crew who believed they were headed home. Now, landing and searching for signs of life, Kane encounters a hostile parasitic organism that attaches to his face, penetrating his mouth, even through a chunky space suit helmet. More arguments about his quarantine and the safety of the others are ignored and this 'thing' is brought on board to operate on. They soon find that whatever it is, it aint letting go without taking the life of its host and that it contains some serious defence mechanisms.

The events that follow would prove to shape not only the films direction but the future of the genre, along with a creature so fearsome original and sinister in appearance. From it's grisly, explosive entrance, it's relentless killing spree and it's desperate finale, H.R Giger's creation forever embedded itself in the memory of everyone watching. Some might say that it's a slow burner, building anxiety and a tense atmosphere, others would just say it's bloody long.

Crew Expendable (Characters)
A brilliantly diverse, ragtag team of conflicting personalities makes for some real drama aboard. Each engaging in their own quirky traits and quotes before they inevitably bite the dust. One of my favourite aspects of the film and it's characters is that I never got a sense of who was going to survive the ordeal, if any. It dithered on possibly being captain Dallas or the seemingly intellectual superior Ash. Its secret about one of the crew members also being an unexpected twist that shaped the plot. That and, unlike the majority of horror films today, had a crew that you didn't particularly want to see get torn apart - whereas films nowadays you typically want to see the highly polished, plastic, prats suffer their fate. That being said, this did promote the careers of Sigourney Weaver (all Alien films), Tom Skerritt (Top Gun), Ian Holm (Lord of the Rings)... in fact the entire crew would find success in their future endeavours, largely thanks to their portrayals here.

I admire it's purity (Overall)
Everything about the film feels designed to cause fear, the dark and dank, claustrophobic bowels of the ship, the exploration, the discovery, the erie soundtrack, the aliens birth, the aliens habits, the aliens body-just everything about the alien in general is pretty terrifying. Classic filmmaking 101 for scares, keeping something relatively obscure and hidden, giving it that fear of the unknown vibe - only with this, the sight of it is just as horrifying as the build up. A long, tough watch for newcomers, but still a classic worth seeing, perhaps not for the scare element but definitely for quality filming, possibly the mother of all sci-fi horrors.
Something worth checking out though, is the special addition extras (probably somewhere on youtube) of early footage of the alien. Like a silent film with a basic, obvious costume of the alien, only just as creepy.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucas Take Note, 11 Mar 2004
By 
R. L. Ricketts "lee" (South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alien: The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
Quite frankly, this is the ultimate in customer care. A number of us do not want Alien 3 & 4, so did not buy the box set. by releasing them seperatley, you get to buy just the ones you want.
A very nice feature is being able to choose between the original issue of the film or the new version. George Lucas, take note of this with your imminent Star Wars releases please.
The remastered print is amazing - visual and audio quality superb.
The extras are too numerous to list here - an outstanding example of how to reissue a classic film properly.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALIEN BLU-RAY, 25 Jun 2012
By 
A. Page (Norwich, Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alien [Blu-ray] [1979] (Blu-ray)
Brilliant! Click on a Blu-Ray and get 200 reviews of a DVD!! I've said it before and I'll say it again, C'mon Amazon sort it out, how hard is it to seperate the reviews. I like most fans of the Alien films have the Anthology on Blu-Ray and I watched Alien last night. All I can say is WOW, I can't comment for those of you who have a TV the size of a wall but on mine the amazing transfer made it look like a film released this year, so crisp, clean and no grain that I could see. I think I love this film even more now than I loved it already and I can't wait to watch the other 3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 23 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Alien: The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
I love the movie and I love this DVD, I haven't watched the extra features, but they look great. The DVD was in great condition and I'm very happy. The deleted scenes were awesome if you ask me :P I got told I'm a geek but a proud one!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 5 Jun 2004
This review is from: Alien: The Director's Cut (Two Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
The director's cut of this seminal sci-fi film is only slightly longer than the theatrical release.

Notable inclusions are: the whole crew listening to the garbled SOS signal (very chilling), Ripley getting punched/slapped in a fight with Lambert because she wouldn't let the investigating party back on bord (quarantine rules), and the infamous Dallas scene where he is coccooned as either food / host material (but without dialogue).

The only problem with this last scene is that it has been argued that it tends to break up the action and suspense that has been building as Ripley messes around with Nostromo's self destruct/ runs from the alien...but I think it's paced very well.

Despite this though, there's not much to choose between both versions.

This is a visually remastered (the film's original negative has undergone some digital cleanup and restoration) attempt with DTS so it is also an excellent reference DVD with which to show off your home cinema system (the opening shots as they orbit the planet are great).

The only dissapointment is the exclusion of "original trailers" from the extra's, which is there on the "standard" single disc edition (although, maybe I simply couldn't find them :D ).

Overall though, this still doesn't detract from an excellent dvd release that includes a whole host of other great extra's like HRGiger art....

Enjoy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALIEN - A HORROR CLASSIC, 17 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Alien [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
When I realised that Alien was going to be released on DVD, fully restored and with brilliant extras, I didn't delay in purchasing it. Either should you. This film is often described as Ridley Scott's Fright Machine - an endless foray of atmosphere, startling images and genuinely terrifying moments. The DVD features give the film itself justice, it includes great insights into the production of the film and Scott's commentary is really interesting and actually helpful to the audience. The disc also includes some fantastic deleted scenes - most notably a scene where Riply encounters Dallas cocooned and is forced to burn him.
The two sequels which followed this classic (lets forget the abyssmal Alien Resurrection shall we) were fantastic, but don't match the horror and sheer ferocity of this. The film made stars of Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott and became a milestone of the horror genre at the time. It is without doubt one of the best films of the productive 1970's, and still haunts audiences today. I'll give you two reasons why you should buy this. Number One - to witness the scene on DVD where Dallas is chased by Alien in the the air vent, boy that's scary! Number Two - it would fit into any proper DVD collection out there. Enjoy.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance on a budget, 19 Jan 2004
By 
This review is from: Alien [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
This superb film makes a mockery out of the "megabuck" sci-fi attempts that have followed it, including I'm afraid its own follow-ups.
I can remember watching it in the cinema when it came out and therein lies the only problem, it is far better watched on the big screen.
Its portrayal of a spaceship as a Damp and grimy hulk was a revelation at the time when white plastic and spandex suits were what the future was supposed to look like !
All made on a small budget in the U.K. it is simply the best sci-fi horror ever made.
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5.0 out of 5 stars still the best sci-fi horror space movie today, 21 Oct 2014
This review is from: Alien [Blu-ray] [1979] (Blu-ray)
All time Classic Fantastic movie and looks and sounds stunning on blueray and for a 1979 movie it looks better than some of the new movies out now days for the people that say it's borning cus there is only one alien and it's slow that's how it's ment to be filmed so you get the feeling that you no somthing is there but you cant see it still its to late only hear it moving i wud say if the people that gave it low stars don't watch it simple go watch Pacific rim or a another action movie
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