Top critical review
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Probably misjudged but still reasonably entertaining box set
on 13 June 2012
As something of an alien purist fan, I was deeply mistrustfull of this whole crossover franchise. I couldn't resist treating myself to the films out of curiosity though and I will confess to being pleasantly surprised by the first A v P. The Antarctic setting is deliciously creepy, with the sense of isolation being reminiscent of The Thing. We also get plenty of close up and dirty action with everyone's favourite xenomorph, including some terrific scenes of the Queen Alien stomping T-Rex-like after our heroine. Those of you who have seen Prometheus will spot plenty of parallels here, such as the huge pyramid, the heiroglyphs and of course an old and sickly Weyland insisting on coming along for the ride. A v P is certainly a better film than Alien 4 Resurrection and looks terrific on Blu-ray. Certainly worth 3.5 stars.
On to A v P Requiem. This sequel picks up immediately after the first A v P, but has a very different look and feel. Instead of Antarctic isolation, we get to see Aliens and Predators in a good ole American town and we are treated to a couple of reasonably horrific scenes, including the deliciously twisted notion of an alien rampage in a maternity ward. It all seems a bit frantic and strained though with nowhere near the style of Aliens. Furthermore, I originally bought this on DVD and it looked awful. Far too dark and grainy. At least the Blu-ray is a huge improvement in picture quality. Not a great film overall, but watchable leave-your-brain-at-home fun. Perhaps 2.5 to 3 stars.
Surround sound is used to good effect on both movies - you'll often hear things scuttling around behind you. The extras include the usual commentaries and a 'Weyland-Yutani Archives' interface, which is worth a read and includes some footage from all the previous Alien and Predator movies.
To summarise, whilst I'm still not convinced that this crossover franchise should ever have been launched, this Blu-ray box set certainly delivers a tenner's worth of entertainment. I really hope though that the advent of Prometheus has knocked this slightly dodgy series on the head.