30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucas Take Note
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...
Published on 11 Mar 2004 by R. L. Ricketts
3.0 out of 5 stars Film Study Book
My son needed this book as part of his film studies course. The book supplied the necessary detail for his course.
Published 7 months ago by Lininho
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucas Take Note,
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.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scared the pants off me,
There's more to it than that of course, including an intriguing subplot about the venality and greed of "The Company" who want to study the Alien, and many long lingering shots of the, admittedly stunning, set design. But it's the set up of the scares that's the important thing about this movie.
As a monster movie it has few peers.
It all starts very quietly. The crew of the Nostromo, a deep space cargo vessel, are woken from hypersleep by their computer.
"Mother" wants them to investigate a distress signal on a previously uncharted planet, and Ian Holm's science officer is strangely keen on the idea.
We find out why when the investigating shore party find the remains of a huge alien spaceship. The pilot, a giant alien, is long dead, its skeleton strangely buckled as if exploded from within. John Hurt goes down into the bowels of the alien craft, and in one of the great SF scenes of all time, finds a nest of alien eggs. He foolishly gets too close to one, and it hatches, releasing a face-hugging alien that wraps itself tightly around Hurt's head, refusing to let go.
When they get Hurt back to the Nostromo, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is reluctant to break quarantine to let them on board, but Ian Holm's science officer overrides her, and Hurt is taken to the medical bay.
Sometime later, the facehugger seems to fall off Hurt's head and he wakes up, seemingly recovered. The crew decide on one last meal before returning to hypersleep.
So as not to spoil one of SF cinemas great shocks, I'll just say that it's about now that the alien makes it appearance, a sharp toothed monster with concentrated acid for blood and a very mean disposition.
And the real shocks start to pile up as one by one the crew are picked off by the alien, until Ripley is left to fight the menace alone.
This film changed the look of SF movies for ever. Ridley Scott was a graphic artist, and his attention to detail and eye for a great visual shows in the set design and cinematography. The corridors of the Nostromo are like a series of dark caves, and the strobe-lit chase scenes have the quality of your worst nightmares.
The film was groundbreaking in other ways as well - Sigourney Weaver became one of the first females to carry a major blockbusting movie, (and has gone on in the sequels to an even stronger screen presence)
It also created one of the great SF monsters. Giger's creation went on to become a worldwide phenomenon in comics, models, tie-in novels and posters, almost as well known as those other icons King-Kong and Godzilla.
The recent DVD issue also contains a deleted scene that afficionados have been waiting for - Ripley encounters the first case of alien cocooning when she discovers what the monster has been doing with the crew members it has been taking. It's a pity this scene was deleted, as it explains parts of the second film, and also provides motivation for Ripley's hate of the monster more than just emphasising her fear of it.
To today's audience the first half of the film may seem far too leisurely - there are no establishing shocks in the first reel, and little action until they get into the alien ship. But Scott handles the rising tension brilliantly, and once the alien makes an appearance, it's a white knuckle ride with few equals.
Just don't have lunch before watching it for the first time.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD for Ridley Scott classic,
I must confess to not finding this film scary in the slightest scary. As a result, I have been more interested in the first half, in which Scott deftly creates atmosphere and foreboding, and the intelligent script sets up the relationships between the characters with great subtlety. The film becomes a little more formulaic after the ‘chest busting’ scene, but there are still surprises, and I admire he way that Scott is content not to play all of his cards at once, never really revealing the alien completely. The film’s originality and brilliance are undoubtable.
The picture and sound on this DVD are uniformly excellent. The picture has been specially cleaned up, and the refined sound allows us to appreciate the dramatic contrasts that are created with the minutely detailed sound effects, particularly in the contrast between the noise of the planet, and the eerie silence of the ship.
Ridley Scott provides an interesting and informative commentary, in which he explains technical aspects of the film, as well as explaining how certain problems were solved within the budgetary constraints. He is full of anecdotes about the shooting of the film and about working with the excellent actors.
Other extras include some deleted scenes, most interesting of which is a scene in which Ripley visits the alien cocoon. It is easy to see why many of the scenes were left out of the finished film, as many are slightly superfluous, and in many cases, the characterisation which they were intended to bring is easily achieved in the completed film.
As well as some slightly repetitious trailers, there is some brilliant conceptual art work from H R Giger and others, and perhaps most surprising of all is the amazing set of storyboards drawn by Ridley Scott, which were good enough to convince the studio to double the film’s budget. There is also a set of production stills which effectively show the process of making the film.
Another rarely encountered feature is the option of isolated music track, which showcases the wonderful score by Jerry Goldsmith (although its similarity to his score for the same year’s ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ did put me off slightly), as well as the option for production sound track, which includes eventually unused music and pre mixed sound as the actors heard it, and it throws up a few previously unheard surprises.
Overall, this is a very good DVD of a very good film; perhaps my only wish is that there had been a ‘making of’ documentary. Ah well, you can’t have everything.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien....a faultless fright machine,
The idea for Alien came from the film "Dark Star -- 30th Anniversary Special Edition " which had been made by Dan O,Bannon and John Carpenter in 1974 . The film had an alien ( not a very scary or convincing but then it was that type of film ) invade a space ship and O,Bannon wanted to use that premise to make a new film but as a horror instead of a comedy. Years later working on the story for the film , provisionally entitled "Starbeast" ( luckily they abandoned that idea) he joined up with Ronald Shusett and through a number of differing ideas( usually filched from other films like "Forbidden Planet - 50th Anniversary 2 Disc Special Edition " which they freely admitted) they came upon the basic premise of Alien .
At that time science fiction was , thanks to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Limited Edition, Includes Theatrical Version) , all the rage so they had little trouble securing a deal to make the film with Brandywine productions aligned to 20th Century Fox. Brandywine led by Walter Hill and David Giler re-wrote the script making the dialogue more naturalistic ( one of the films great strengths it must be said) and introducing the character of the android Ash ( Ian Holm) with connections to the "company" who want the murderous alien taken alive for research purposes - something , which given that the ship "The Nostromo" ( named after a Joseph Conrad novel ) is returning to earth on a commercial venture, certainly rings very true.
Several things make the film work so effectively. The obvious one is the design of the alien itself - a truly shocking creation - but not just that but the life cycle of the creature, which has precedents in nature with it bursting forth from a living host exerts a truly primal fear of our bodies being invaded by a remorseless voracious entity. HR Giger , the Swiss artist who designed the overall look of the film had come to O,Bannons attention when he did pre-production work on a film version of the novel "Dune" ( later made by David Lynch) and once he showed Gigers work to director Ridley Scott they agreed that the films biggest problem -it,s look - had been solved. The bio-mechanical look
Scott was given the directors job because the studio wanted the film to be more than just a b grade creature feature and they had been impressed with his film "Duellists, The " .Scott,s approach to the film with detailed story boards led to the films budget being virtually doubled. The film was shot using old style models and Scott gave certain sections of the Nostromo a grimy industrial look , as befits a working environment.
This also tied in with the use of an older cast with Veronica Cartwright (Lambert) at 29 and Sigourney Weaver as Ripley at 30 the youngest. Tom Skerritt( Dallas) was 46, John Hurt (Kane ) 39, Harry Dean Stanton (Brett) 53, Yaphet Koto( Parker) 42 gave the crew a realistic working frisson ( especially as there was on set tension between the less experienced Weaver and other cast members) and aided the concept that they were looking for as "truckers in space". It also made the characters like ordinary working men & women( Brett and Parker griping about money and contracts) and therefore more likely to gain the audiences empathy.
The other notable departure for Alien was , of course , making one of the female crew members the heroine of the piece. The decision to make Ripley the most adaptable and one surviving member of the crew ( apart from Jones the cat) was a masterstroke creating one of the most iconic female characters in cinema history and giving subsequent sequels a defining story arc. Ironically Scott wanted the Alien to kill Ripley at the end of the film but he was overruled by the studio ( an all too rare case of them getting something correct ) who felt the creature had to die.
This DVD offers the viewer the choice of watching the original cut of the film or the directors cut complete with the much hyped Dallas cocoon scene. This cut is actually slightly shorter than the original release cut and i must say i prefer the original. There is also an excellent commentary by a cigar chomping laconic Scott and deleted scenes. This is a quality release in every way.
Alien is a film superb in every style of it,s execution. Scott gives us a faultless display of how to create terror and build tension. The use of light/ shadow and sound is exemplary proving the old maxim that in making an effective movie monster is about what you cannot see as much has what you can....although a good monster helps too.Has there ever been a better movie monster than the nightmarish xenomorph that stalks the Nostromo?Usually we wake up from a nightmare but in Alien the crew of the Nostromo are woken up by "Mother" and find themselves in one. The tag line for Alien said "In space no one can hear you scream". But we heard them alright and we joined in.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate SciFi-Thriller and the best set of the series,
By A Customer
Seven "space truckers" on service of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, two women and five men, are on their way back to earth on a space towing vehicle called "The Nostromo". Their hypersleep suddenly gets interrupted by a seemingly casual signal from a nearby unknown planet. The crew decides to make an intermediate landing on the planet to examine the source of the signal. A short while later, three members of the crew - Captain Dallas, the Navigator Lambert and the 1st Officer Kane - find themselves aboard a strange looking space ship wreck that harbors a dead, over-dimensional, non-human pilot with a big hole in his chest, and a large number of mysterious looking pods or eggs. A living something within one of the eggs catches the attention of the 1st Officer Kane. He bends over the egg and, although he examines it very carefully, a nasty creature suddenly jumps right through his helmet onto his face and crams a hose-shaped trunk down his throat. Dallas and Lambert are not able to remove the alien creature from the face of their unconscious comrade, and so they carry him back to the "Nostromo" where he is brought directly to the surgery room. But even here, they can't get rid of the alien because it spatters highly aggressive, caustic blood as soon as it is scratched with the scalpel. The helpless crew backs of for a discussion how to proceed. A bit later, when someone of the crew is looking after Kane, the "face hugger" beast lies dead and rolled up on the floor. The astronaut is conscious again, however can't remember what happened. When Kane says that he feels no pains whatsoever, the crew decides to go back to hypersleep and continue their way to earth. Then, during a quick meal before the flight, the terrible happens: Kane winces and cries like mad under pain, so that the crew has to hold him on the table. The T-shirt suddenly colours red and a horrible creature bursts through his chest - a shrill cry escapes from its tooth-armed mouth and it finally vanishes lightninglike into the dark corners of the space ship, leaving behind a dead Kane and a crew that is totally stunned with horror.
What made this film, whose story and characters look rather like those of a "Roger Corman" SciFi B-movie, so special and finally similarly famous as Stanley Kubrick's legendary "2001: A Space Odyssey" or George Lucas's "Star Wars" series? Well, I think that several things contributed to its enormous success.
The "Alien" series has had two major DVD releases so far, the "Alien Legacy" 4-disc set (1999) and the "Alien Quadrilogy" 9-disc set (2003). Each film from the two box sets was/is also available as standalone version with the exception of the extra bonus discs: "Alien Legacy" (1999) and "Alien Evolution" (2003). So, this new "Alien" 2-disc set is 100% identical to the one from the "Alien Quadrilogy", including the theatre and director's cut version of the film and all "Alien" extras (film commentary, "Behind the Scenes" featurettes, cut scenes and photo galleries). The director's cut is a nice variation of the original film and worth watching, but it doesn't quite match the brilliant original cut. The bonus material, on the other hand, is a feast not only for fans. It is nicely done and very extensive, in fact, it is quality-wise probably the best on today's DVD market. The bonuses, including Ridley Scott's film commentary, are completely new and therefore also interesting for people who already own either the "Alien Legacy" box or the first standalone "Alien" disc. If you liked the whole series, you may want to buy the complete 9-DVD set instead of this 2-disc set as it also contains the extra disc with an additional 1-hour featurette, the cinema and TV teaser trailers of all four films (which can't be found on the standalone disc-sets), and more. In addition to either this new 2-disc set or the Quadrilogy, you may also want to take a look at the "Giger's Alien" film book, which is also available from Amazon. It's written in the form of a diary and has a lot of additional fine pictures and comments by the "Alien" father himself, H.R. Giger.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ULTIMATE EDITION,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
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....
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance on a budget,
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.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALIEN BLU-RAY,
This review is from: Alien [Blu-ray]  (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.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'this place gives me the creeps',
you ain't going to like this.
because i believe this is the ultimate monster movie.
watch in awe as weird prosaic horror descends on your everyday 22nd century mining operation.
a superb ensemble cast,
set design and art direction that still looks good today,
possibly jerry goldsmith's best ever score,
and fantastic sound design that compliaments it
(i can listen to this film without pictures)
they say there are only 12 stories in the world,
and this is one of them.
the moral being, beware 'the company'
a luscious sci-fi tone poem on celluloid.
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Alien - Definitive Edition [DVD]  by Ridley Scott (DVD - 2007)