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Alien Quadrilogy [DVD] 
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The terror begins when the crew of the spaceship Nostromo investigates a transmission from a desolate planet and makes a horrifying discovery, a life form that breeds within a human host. Now the crew must fight not only for its own survival, but for the survival of all mankind.
Sigourney Weaver returns as Ripley, the only survivor from mankind's first encounter with the monstrous Alien. Her account of the Alien and the fate of her crew are received with skepticism, until the mysterious disappearance of colonists on LV-426 lead her to join a team of high-tech colonial marines sent in to investigate...
Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the lone survivor when her crippled spaceship crash lands on Fiorina 161, a bleak wasteland inhabited by former inmates of the planet's maximum security prison. Ripley's fears that an Alien was aboard her craft are confirmed when the mutilated bodies of ex-cons begin to mount. Without weapons or modern technology of any kind, Ripley must lead the men into battle against the terrifying creature. And soon she discovers a horrifying fact about her link with the Alien, a realisation that may compel Ripley to try destroying not only the horrific creature, but herself as well.
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) died fighting the perfect predator. Two hundred years and eight horrific experiments later, she's back. A group of scientists have cloned her, along with the alien queen inside her, hoping to breed the ultimate weapon. But the resurrected Ripley is full of surprises for her "creators", as are the aliens. And soon, a lot more than "all hell" breaks loose. To combat the creatures, Ripley must team up with a band of smugglers, including a mechanic named Call (Winona Ryder), who holds more than a few surprises of her own.
• Alien Evolution
• Experience In Terror: Promotional Featurette '79 Ridley Scott Q&A
• Alien Teaser Trailer
• Alien Theatrical Trailer B
• Alien TV spots
• Alien Theatrical Trailer A
• Aliens Teaser Trailer
• Aliens Domestic Trailer
• Aliens International Trailer
• Aliens Production
• Aliens TV spots
• Alien 3 Trailer A
• Alien 3 Trailer B
• Alien 3 Trailer C
• Alien 3 Trailer D
• Alien 3 Trailer E
• Alien 3 TV spots
• Alien 3 Advance Featurette
• Alien Resurrection Theatrical Teaser
• Alien Resurrection Theatrical Trailer
• Alien Resurrection TV Spots
• Bob Burns Alien Collection: Interview With James Cameron
• James Cameron Interview/Film Footage
• Ridley Scott Interviews
• Alien Prodcution Footage
• Alien Post Production Footage
The Alien Quadrilogy is a nine-disc box set devoted to the four Alien films. Although previously available on DVD as the Alien Legacy, here the films have been repackaged with vastly more extras and with upgraded sound and vision. For anyone who hasn't been in hypersleep for the last 25 years this series needs no introduction, though for the first time each film now comes in both original and "Special Edition" form.
Alien (1979) was so perfect it didn't need fixing, and Ridley Scott's 2003 Director's Cut is fiddling for the sake of it. Watch once then return to the majestic, perfectly paced original. Conversely the Special Edition of James Cameron's Aliens (1986) is the definitive version, though it's nice finally to have the theatrical cut on DVD for comparison. Most interesting is the alternative Alien3 (1992). This isn't a "director's cut"--David Fincher refused to have any involvement with this release--but a 1991 work-print that runs 29 minutes longer than the theatrical version, and has now been restored, remastered and finished-off with (unfortunately) cheap new CGI. Still, it's truly fascinating, offering a different insight into a flawed masterpiece. The expanded opening is visually breathtaking, the central firestorm is much longer, and a subplot involving Paul McGann's character adds considerable depth to the story. The ending is also subtly but significantly different. Alien Resurrection (1997) was always a mess with a handful of brilliant scenes, and the Special Edition just makes it eight minutes longer.
On the DVD: Alien Quadrilogy offers all films except Alien3 with DTS soundtracks, the latter having still fine Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation. All four films sound fantastic, with much low-level detail revealed for the first time. Each is anamorphically enhanced at the correct original aspect ratio, and the prints and transfers are superlative. Every film offers a commentary that lends insight into the creative process--though the Scott-only commentary and isolated music score from the first Alien DVD release are missing here--and there are subtitles for hard of hearing both for the films and the commentaries.
Each movie is complemented by a separate disc packed with hours of seriously detailed documentaries (all presented at 4:3 with clips letterboxed), thousands of photos, production stills and storyboards, giving a level of inside information for the dedicated buff only surpassed by the Lord of the Rings extended DVD sets. A ninth DVD compiles miscellaneous material, including a Channel 4 hour-long documentary and even all the extras from the old Alien laserdisc. Exhaustive hardly begins to describe the Alien Quadrilogy, a set which establishes the new DVD benchmark for retrospective releases and which looks unlikely to be surpassed for some time. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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To begin, lets go through the movies: First up, 1979's 'Alien' is a peerless classic. When the crew of the merchant starship 'Nostromo' receives an unknown transmission that they decipher as a distress call, they decide to investigate the source on a neighbouring moon... however, when one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form, that latches itself to his face - things take a turn for the worst. Now, with a desperate race back to earth, the alien creature begins its assault on the crew, first escaping from the hapless crew member and embarking on a life cycle both extraordinary and shocking that renders the remaining crew in a life or death struggle for survival... Next, 1986's 'Aliens' - the highly anticipated follow up which jettisons the 'Friday the 13th' in space style horror aesthetic and instead goes for all out war focusing on the remaining heroine from the first movie, Ripley (an excellent Weaver) and her return to that very same planet some 57 years later. This time, flanked by a team of hardened marines (led by Michael Biehn's Hicks) and a handy 'synthetic human' called Bishop (a great Lance Henriksen), its not long before they're knee deep in Xenomorphs and again a race for survival is number one on the cards... Again, this one is a classic and if honest, slightly better than the original with richer characters, heightened danger and impressive visuals.
Now, things start to take a slightly downward spiral with 1992's 'Alien 3' which finds Ripley operating on a prison planet called Fiorina Fury 161. Isolated by the inmates and questioned by the authorities as to her amazing story of an acid spewing alien, she's totally alone again in an extremely hostile environment. However, when a series of strange deaths occur shortly after her arrival, she soon realises that she's brought something along with her on this trip that won't stop until she and her follow counterparts are dead or impregnated... Its not a terrible film by any standards, but its bleak atmosphere and lack of a final act make it an interesting curio rather than an impressive endeavour… Finally, we arrive at ‘Alien Resurrection’ the fourth entry in the series and sadly the weakest. This time we are 200 years in the future and aboard the military ship Auriga where they’re scientific team have successfully cloned Ripley. For what purpose we are yet to discover but when a team of mercenaries, led by the enigmatic Elgyn (an excellent Michael Wincott) and a mysterious passenger called Call (Winona Ryder on Yellow Pages reading form) soon find out the hard way when a group of aliens escape and hunt our hapless heroes down. Impressive visuals and great turns from Wincott, Weaver and Leland Orser portraying a doomed crewman do help elevate proceedings, but the jokey vibe and juvenile screenplay by (a since dismissed) Joss Whedon fail to take this one into new territory. Again, not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, but if honest it is a case of same old, same old…
Fox’s UK Blu-Ray Anthology edition is a marvel. Collecting the series into a nicely designed package offering both theatrical and directors editions of all 4 films makes for a highly rewarding experience. Throw in a number of exhaustive documentaries, featurettes and extras ensuring this is one of the better boxsets on the market. Highly recommended.
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I have since bought the Blu-ray versions with the directors' cuts, but for the value - this box set is a real...Read more
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