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317 of 326 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 October 2010
Note: The review below is of the original 6 disc version of the Alien Anthology blu-ray set, not the re-released 4 disc version (Amazon list the same reviews for both versions). If you want all the available extras, you need the 6 disc version.

This boxset of the 4 Alien films to date, complete until Ridley Scott's planned prequel is filmed and rightfully ignoring the Alien vs Predator cash-ins, sets a new high standard for film re-releasing. Other studios should take note: if they want to continue to take our money for yet more re-releases of films we own several times over, this is the standard of reissue they need to reach.

Not only are the films presented in their best ever home video versions due to the hi-def transfers, but every single extra from previous single-film and box set releases is included along with many worthwhile new ones. Each film is present in the original cinema version along with a director's cut (or new studio cut in the case of Alien 3 given the fact David Fincher has disowned the film) and only in the case of Alien Resurrection is the new version a token change (a couple of unimportant minutes put back in). Tweaks have been made to clean up various issues - original actors have re-recorded lost dialogue from Alien 3 for example, and it looks like some technical issues have been fixed on the older films too - you can no longer see Lance Henriksen's real body under the floor when he's supposed to be ripped in two at the end of Aliens for example. An illustration of how much care has gone into this set for die hard move buffs: not only has each film got an isolated music score audio track, but it's got a separate "composer's cut" alternative, original version of the score before it was edited down to the final version.

The Blu-ray discs also have a so far unique search feature : click on something of interest while playing the films and your player keeps the Anthology menu when you swap discs to the extras, and you'll then be taken to the appropriate behind the scenes feature. This is useful as there are around 60 hours of behind the scenes extras (I'll believe the blurb - I've not timed it all!).

So the trimmings of the box set are top class, what about the films and does the step up from DVD make it worth buying them again? Thankfully they look great. Alien is over 30 years old now and shows it a little, but given the limitations of the original film stock, this version looks fabulous. There's normal film grain which is fairly especially obvious in the bright scenes, but flesh tones are good and details are bright and clear. Aliens is also presented in a "natural film" version with some grain, but I'd rather see that than an overly-cleaned up, artificially smooth looking print. Alien 3, ironically for a film with such a troubled production, is presented with beautiful clarity and the newest film, Alien Resurrection, looks fabulous too.

So, this set shows what studios can do with classic re-releases: picture quality can be brilliant, care can be taken with restoration of the films, and extra features can be both lengthy and innovative (e.g. with the cross-disc bookmarking). There's no excuse then for lazy, poor value double-dipping as films make their way to Blu-ray: as other's have noted, let's hope for example that New Line learn their lessons from the horrible first Blu-ray release of The Lord Of The Rings films and produce something close to the quality of The Alien Anthology with their second attempt.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
The Alien Quadrilogy [2003] is perhaps the best illustration of how DVD technology has consigned VHS to the dustbin of home entertainment history. This beautifully packaged boxed set is a splendid illustration of the capabilities of the DVD medium and certainly contains everything you ever wanted to know about Alien - and then some.
The 9 DVDs comprise both the original theatrical releases and extended director's cuts of all 4 movies. Audio and visuals have been tweaked to a noticeable degree to optimise home enjoyment. If you don't already possess a surround-sound system - buy one now!
The documentary disks accompanying each movie are crammed full of fascinating material - storyboards, backstage candid shots and tons of insightful and amusing interviews with the directors, producers, actors etc. One of the highlights for me being the Aliens 3 supplemental disk, which recounts the amazing story of the abortive "wooden monastery" first draft and the huge problems that beset the third installment. I wonder if one of the proposed taglines for another draft of Alien 3 - "On Earth *everyone* can hear you scream" may yet be used for a 5th movie? Also, seeing the legendary H.R. Giger at work in his bone-filled mausoleum of a studio was truly captivating.
Everyone is familiar with the movies themselves, so just a few brief words will suffice on each;
Alien: a sublime and seminal blend of intelligent sci-fi and gothic horror. Totally blew me away when I first saw it in '78 and it can still shock and grab you by the guts today. I prefer the theatrical release, as the extended version lacks a little pace in the denouement due to superfluous scenes - 10/10.
Aliens: Not quite the stunning claustrophobic impact of the first movie, but the breathless action easily compensates. Go for the special edition here for the more meaningful intro and the poignant scene where Ripley finds out about her daughter - 10/10.
Alien 3: Director's cut is *FAR* superior here - why the abbatoir scene and the nascent "bambi" alien were cut from the theatrical version is truly baffling. The strongest characterisation and human interest of the entire series, although the ending appears somewhat rushed and is not entirely satisfactory - 8/10.
Alien Resurrection: Generally held to be the weakest of the series (I agree), Jeunet dilutes the alien impact with some whimsical direction and downright annoying characterisation. In places Alien 4 descends, disappointingly, into black comedy. Cult actor Ron Perlman is great though and the alien effects are excellent. Stick with the slicker theatrical version - 6/10.
So, whilst I am not a great fan of the 4th installment, this collection, especially now at this bargain price, undeniably represents excellent value for money and is an indispensible purchase for the serious sci-fi fan. The Alien Quadrilogy is what DVD systems were made for!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2012
After this product was brought to my attention at the highly cometitive price of £10 I admit I was suspicious. I am aware that the blu-ray anthology had dropped to just below £20 and I was minded to get it. When I heard that it was £10 I moved quickly.

However, once I looked at the stats I noted that this was a 4 disc version and not the 6 disc version that came out a couple years ago. I was a little dissapointed to say the least. I was resigned to having to buy a version almost twice the cost if I wanted the extras. That said, my main aim was to upgrade my DVD version of the anthology, mainly for the quality of the HD transfers of the films.

Being who I am I decided that I wanted to check reviews for the 6 disc version before buying. I did so and learned that save for a few minor additional interviews, 99% of the extras were not only presented in stardard definition, but where the ones from the old DVD anthology, which I already owned. Furthermore, all of the most desirable features, such as isloated scores, the director's and teatircal cuts of each film and all the deleted scenes are on the £10 set - because simply the £10 set is the very same set without the two documentary/interview discs.

Ultimately what it boiled down to was whether or not I wanted to pay almost double for a few extra minutes of interviews (and it's literally only about 1% of new stuff at that). Well, it was a no brainer. I quickly placed my order for the set. I am not dissapointed. The quality of the HD versions, especially the first two movies, are astoundingly good. ANyone who has seen the recent Star Wars transfers or the 2011 release of Superman The Movie on blu-ray will know the work that can now be done to 30 year old releases to make them look at sound better than they ever have, Aliens, and especially the original Alien, very much follow this pattern. They are stunning. You would think they were made yesterday.

If you are a purist or you don't have the original DVD set then go get the 6 disc version. But if you have the old DVD set and essentially just want the new HD bits, then this set is an absolute steal. How can anyone turn down a fully remastered Alien with isloted score, deleted scenes and director's version included, for a mere £2.50.

Highly recommended. Buy before the price goes up.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2010
I was a bit skeptical on hearing this was reelased on bluray as i already had the 9 dvd box set released in 2003 but i read a few reviews of this new BLURAY box set and decided to purchase it even tho i owned the previous DVD set-i wasn't dispointed as the pic and sound is far better than the dvd versions and i loved using the new MU-TH-UR interactive exprience as it made the movie more intresting and i'm a real fan of bonus features and so this new bluray is far superiour to the features on the dvd version-i have got 60 hours of bonus features to sit-down and watch and i have only skipped through aliens,alien 3 and alien ressurection but from what my eyes have seen thier much more remastered than the old DVD versions-they look like brand-new films when you consider ALIEN which was made in 1979..all-in-all a superb and value-for-money bluray box set and a set ideal for bluray geeks like myself..its been reduced now to only £25 so thier is no excuse to not purchase this aamzing box set.(even if you own the 9 disc dvd set)
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108 of 115 people found the following review helpful
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...

*Alien 3*

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.

*Alien Resurrection*

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.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2012
I've not seen the alien films for a few years so this anthology box set is perfect. Looks amazing, sounds amazing and the special features and uncut material blew me away. A must have for any Alien fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2008
For £22.00 on Amazon you get a grand total of 9 discs containing all 4 Alien films remastered, with both the theatrical and extended cuts, which in the case of Aliens and especially Alien 3 is an improvement on their original release. For each movie you get two discs, disc one containing two versions of the film and disc two has probably the most comprehensive in depth look into just about every aspect of the Alien saga. From the first draft of the script to casting to principal photography to special effects and many more story/technical features including input from directors Ridley Scott, James Cameron, and Jean Pierre Jeunet and the cast in crew of each film everything is covered.

Particularly enjoyable was the split interview between creator Dan o Bannon and producer Walter Hill, both claiming other had less to contribute to the pictures etc. Each Disc two contains detailed files on pre production-post production work. Just everything is packed in, in a fascinating look into the films, in particular the look into what went wrong on Alien 3 with frank interviews from various cast and crew members along with producers and so on which shows you how NOT to make a movie. Seeing the films digitally is something to savour on this format with commentary tracks for each films including Scott, Cameron and Jeunet and various cast members including Sigourney Weaver for the Alien track, the only commentary she does on any Alien film.

There is also an hour-long documentary about Alien, along with trailers, still galleries a look into HR Gigers design for the Alien and how it was made real through sculptures and animatronics. All these features are highly entertaining and then you have the films. For me anyway Alien and Aliens are two of the best Sci-Fi thriller/horror or in the case of Aliens action movies ever made but to go through all the things that made those movies great would require two more very long reviews, and the DVD collection covers it pretty well anyway trust. If you're an Alien fan buy it is EASILY worth its price tag and is tremendous entertainment in the films alone then all the many bonuses will provide hours of viewing pleasure, there is also a sleek booklet contained it the case which shows the time line between each movie and lists the bonus features cast crew and an interesting little snippet on Alien 3. This set is a great addition to any DVD collection and contains some of the most detailed and fascinating documentaries I have seen for any films. Though for people who live in Ireland anyway, the DVDS are a mere 20.00 in HMV, trust me that's some bargain for 9 discs, 4 films and for the above mentioned extra features which are so good the films themselves ALMOST become the bonuses in this mammoth set.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2004
Primarily Alien films are about a space beast which hunts and kills in an age where space travel is common. What you can expect to see in an Alien film is a lot of people running down corridors scared and being killed. You can also expect to see it done in very artistic way and also for the story to have a deeper, hidden meaning.
Alien the most atmospheric of the series introduces the Alien as an erotic being able to utterly subdue its prey. Alien has some unforgettable images; it's very scary and quite slow. Despite it being praised as a horror classic the characters are not very engaging are never really feel anything for them.
Aliens is an exciting action/war movie. With blazing machine guns and tension building, beeping motion detectors this is something of a classic of the action/horror genre. It is also more involving as the main characters form a surrogate family, a family that mirrors the spawning motherhood of the Alien Queen. In my view Aliens is better than Alien. The director's cut is not an improvement.
Alien3 is brilliant. Alien3 is a mess. Alien3 is the end of the line for our heroine and takes elements from the first two films and takes them to there inevitable conclusion. Drastic, intimate, epic and soulful Alien3 hides its brilliance behind dodgy CGI and narrative dead ends. Alien3 is a unique and daring film, one of my favourites of all time. The new cut is interesting but not a great improvement.
In Alien4 the monsters are not as scary, the action less thrilling. It isn't very involving and the humour is very hit and miss. It still offers ever further variations on the dark themes of the originals, motherhood, birth and death. I used to despise this film but now it has grown on me a little.
The DVD extras are interesting. Thanks to tyranny of the producers you come to realise that none of the films were easy to make and you get to see interviews with most of the key players.
Is worth the money, buying all four films? In my view, yes it is.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2006
First off, the head is not as cool as it looks. Istill think its an awesome design and stunning to look at but not as good as it is made it look. The head is made out of plastic, except the lid which looks like acrylic, and the inside of the case where the velvet is where you put in the DVD's. The velvet is ever so soft on the discs, and the head protects them so they can not be harmed inside the head. This is not one of those toys which will dissapoint people because they are far to small, this will appeal for anyone who needs a good decoration in thier room, it really is big. The insie of the head looks really cool, you can see the aliens brain and skull! The head has been very finely crafted, the detail is amazingly good.
The DVD's come in the Quadrilogy box like they usually would, seperate from the head.
Also the films of course are amazing, and the tonnes of extras, including deleted scenes, interviews, audio commentry and many more. Alien: A spaceship encounter a alien ship on LV-462, when an alien is on board, the crew members must survive the threat, a classic. Aliens: More concentrated on the fighting - Ripley has been drifting through space for over 50 years and is found by spacestation, she learns there is now a civilazition on LV-462 and so she returns with the company of some badass marines. Alien 3: The ship ripley escaped on in aliens crashes on a planet with a maximum security prison, she is rescued but learns that a alien was on the ship and that there is a queen inside her. Alien Ressurection: 20 years later some scientists have made a clone of Ripley, this time she's got a lot more attitude, she soon learns that loads of scientists are experimenting on aliens, and they go wrong. Good story, graphics and acting in all four films.

The one tiny promblem is that the lid of the head comes off very clumsily.
I would only reccomend this to serious fans of the alien series (like me) because it does cost loads, it would be a waste for someone who doesn't like them that much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2011
Its a very good box set if you`re a fan, 6 discs....all 4 films with 2 versions of each ( original theatrical one, and modern directors cut etc. ) and 2 extras ones.
I was pleasantly surprised when opening it to find a 6 disc PLASTIC blue case, instead of the expected cardboard offering!

The actual quality of the recording is hit and miss for this collection I feel - overall the scenes, as you know, are quite dark and as such it doesn`t make for a sparkling transition to blu-ray.
The high definition is most noticeable in close ups of faces, skin tones etc....but I have to say, not a lot else!
The sound is where it sparkles mostly though - It`s so much noticeably clean and pure!

We watched all 4 movies back to back on consecutive evenings, and though we`ve seen them all before, thoroughly enjoyed them all - there`s always things you didn`t notice previously!
Don`t be put off with my saying it`s not quite so good a transition to blu-ray as other titles might be - it`s still a pretty sharp and clean picture on every movie, which prompts us to sell our DVD collection of these titles on!

Overall, i`d say - especially at this reasonable price - go for it,`s a very worthwhile addition to any blu-ray collection, recommended! :-)
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