- Note: Blu-ray discs are in a high definition format and need to be played on a Blu-ray player.
Alien Anthology [Blu-ray]  [6 Disc Set]
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UK import Blu-ray/Region All pressing. With two cuts of each movie and over 60 hours of extras, this Blu-ray box set is the definitive edition of the legendary xenomorphic saga, with stunning HD transfers that finally give these seminal sci-fi classics the treatment they deserve. So, what are you waiting for? Secure that box set, Hudson!
It’s hard to see just where the Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset could have been improved. Nominally a collection of the four main films in the franchise, what’s actually been bundled together here is one of the finest DVD or Blu-ray boxsets to date, boasting a series of features that genuinely go into a lot of depth about the movies themselves.
And what movies they are. Alien and Aliens are both exceptional pieces of cinema, and rightly regarded as classics in their own right. Alien 3, meanwhile, has to be classed as an interesting and muddled failure, yet it’s still got a lot to like about it. Alien: Resurrection? It’s perhaps the least ambitious of the four films, but in the early stages at least, it’s still with merit.
Each of the films is presently strongly, surprising given the variable DVD versions of each we’ve seen to date. But it’s the mammoth package of extras that set a template for pretty much every other Blu-ray boxset on the market. Spread across six discs, you not only get two cuts of each film, but you get extra features that are as impressive as they comprehensive. Presented brilliantly, it’s an unmissable box set, and you get at least two all-time classics as part of it. --Jon Foster
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The quality of the Blu-ray transfer on each film is extremely well done. You do notice a little of the original film grain here and there but this and the colour grading looks very pleasing and not in the least over enhanced like some poorer Blu-ray movie transfers I've seen.
Apparently the full 6 disc Blu-ray set comes with pretty much the same extras as the 9 disc DVD I have and they're still only in standard definition. This time round I only wanted the movies so I am happy not to pay for extras I have already seen. I would say anyone wanting these movies in hi-def could do no wrong buying this 4 disc for these (at leat the first two) sci-fi classics at a truly bargain price.
All the films come in 2 flavours. The original theatrical, and the directors/assembly/extended versions. I'm not 100% sure, but this blu-ray edition might use the extra disk space (over the DVD version) to hold both copies of the films. This is different to the DVDs limited storage and the way the DVD was able to play the 2 versions.
With the DVD, they used a flag to chapter skip to the additional parts, or end some scenes early depending on which version you wanted. It was a good technique, but some players had noticeable pauses as the player skipped round the disk surface. It seems logical that the blu-ray's extra capacity allows the 2 versions of the film to be stored seperately. Theres no pausing, layer break issues, nothing to detract from enjoying the films.
The films themselves are supposedly enhanced digitally. Not too sure of the virtues of this on the whole, but there is one glaringly obvious bonus for 'Alien 3' aficionados. Some of the audio that had been ruined after scenes were cut, and now reinserted for the assembly cut of the film, has been markedly improved. There's still an obvious background hiss, but at least now you're able to hear the dialogue. Aside from that, you'll just have to take thier word that the digital enhancement does anything accross the disks.
Each film comes loaded with additional features. Unfinished scenes, documentaries, commentaries, picture galleries, trailers, interviews... They all seem standard fare for blu-ray now, but this set really does the franchise justice.
This was one of my first blu-ray purchaes, even though I already owned (and still do) the DVD edition. I'm not in any way regretting buying this.
I have since bought the Blu-ray versions with the directors' cuts, but for the value - this box set is a real bargain for fans - with absolutely loads of background info and extra features. Having the DVD versions is great for being able to convert and create mobile versions for your tablet or mobile to watch whilst away.
One of the best franchises.
Everything else is just gravy really.
I watched Alien 3 out of duty - the look is amazing but it's a tedious slog to a predictable conclusion. It's no surprise the films development was both tortuous and troubled. The extended/directors cut/assembly cut/whatever doesn't rescue it for me. It's still a well photographed film with a bunch of Brits. The poor Alien doesn't really shine in this one.
I'm not even going to rewatch Alien 4.
Did you know that the explosion at the end of Aliens was done with a light bulb and cotton wool? There are lots of gems like that when you dig through this wonderful collection.
I thought that the Amazon ask price of £30 approx for the set was Mmmm... reasonable. I'm always on the look out for a bargain and always check other sources before, invariably, coming back to Amazon for actual purchase.
After all that waffle... I bought, received promptly and converted the 4 film Alien Quadrilogy to mp4 with no problems and they now reside on my Plex server and are being enjoyed by the whole household.
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