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 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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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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on 7 November 2010
As pointless a release as I've ever seen. Two versions of each film, I was happy with the original cuts, so why would I waste hours of my time to see a few seconds difference here and there. 4 hours of unseen footage, normally left on the cutting room floor, and 60, yes SIXTY hours of cobbled together extras,(miniature sets etc.), probably rescued from the bin that sits by the door next to the exit of the cutting room, with a few 'interviews'for good measure. I personally believe (I really do)you'd have to be some sort of moron to watch every minute of the footage. Over 70 hours of footage, in one handy ill-designed handy bulky package. Really pointless. As for the quality of the MOVIES, they are good, but I would have been happier with 1 disc, 1 case, and then buy just the films I actually wanted. This release reminds me of THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY. The vast majority of that was rubbish sprinkled with a few reasonable alts'. A corporate money making exercise, and so is this. One for the absolute completist. Watch out for the eighteen disc blu-ray + dvd bonus set due out any time now. Probably. I did revise this to a 3* because it's so cheap now.
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on 2 September 2010
Why can't anyone actually wait for the item to be released before writing their own crappy review, this section should be a review of the actual product not someones opinion of the movies themselves, i'm pretty sure that anyone even considering buying these on Blu-Ray has already seen them so we don't need in-depth synopsis of each movie! (that's what IMDB is for). Let's just wait and see whether the movies are worth buying on blu-ray for the improved picture quality and hopefully improves audio quality too!!

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on 8 March 2012
suppose this is alright if you want to spend little. but the original blu ray anthology which is 6 discs packed with special features so i would say that the original blu ray anthology is far superior, im not sure if this set includes the originals and director cuts but im sure it must, i dont know just dont get why they have to re-release stuff. the original blu ray release is only a year old, and not as if the new release is superior its far less. but hey im not one of the big boys in the movie world just a little man from a little town trying to find his place in this strange world :) 3 stars cos its not really an improvement of the original blu ray release. but the movies are obviously brilliant and blu ray transfer (if the same as original) is really good.
(i have mentioned original 6 times in this review)
ah well the movie big shots always confuse me with their re-releases and all that..... just dont see the point, i mean if they re-released the 6 disc editions in a seperate format being alien through to alien ressurection in their own case and a seperate case for special features that would be good. ive always preferred to having them seperate instead of in a box styled set. looks better in your collection. but again what would you prefer a 4 disc set? or a 6 disc set.... :)
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on 28 November 2010
Alien Anthology [Blu-ray]

As many of you may already know, there are two major controversies surrounding this video release. The first revolves around the pricing of this item and unmitigated greed of the movie studio that issued it, and the second is a incompatibility issue with these DVDs and many players from 5 of the most prominent producers of DVD player in the world - in a word: unplayable

I purchased this set from Amazon UK as a direct result of the exorbitant over pricing of this item at Amazon USA. In effect, at the time I made the purchase, I saved about $30.00 by buying it here, but there was a major catch that had not been clearly outlined - the cost of returns.

I have a Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray Player, which I purchased new, less than 6 months ago, was from their current line, fairly high end, is running the most current firmware release, and is not listed by Amazon USA as one of the machines that should have a problem with this set of DVDs. However, I was unable to play any of the discs I received. When attempting to play these discs I would get to see the "Blu-Ray Disclaimer" screen and what I call the "Hey look at us - we are the greatest movie studio in the world" screen, and then nothing else, no matter how many buttons were pushed, cables switched or options tried or how many times the discs were inserted & removed or the equipment was powered off or restarted, including unplugging from the power supply.

I finally gave up and followed the Amazon return process, which allows for the item to be either returned for a replacement or a refund. Well, given the current incompatibility problems and my own experiences to that point, there was no way I was going to go the replacement route and risk wasting more time only to end up with another defect set of discs. So, I requested a refund. Here is where the catch comes in - irrespective of which choice one picks, it is up to the buyer to pay for the return of the item, and Amazon UK says they will reimburse the seller for those costs if they find that the problem with the item was a defect or was damaged through initial shipping. I returned the DVD set in the same box I had received it, in pristine condition and using the same method used to ship it to me, the postal service. I used the least expensive rate offered and it cost me $14.20 for the return. Amazon UK suggested the item be returned with insurance and tracking, but the USPS said that would require me to use First Class Mail, and the minimum cost for that would have been more than $35.00 (Luckily for me, I did not choose that route).

Nine days later I received several emails from Amazon UK declaring that they had received the item back, telling me they had issued me a refund, and giving me the details of that refund. Firstly, they did give me a full refund of the purchase price, which they broke down and said included their cost of $5.18 to ship the item to me. They then went on to tell me that they had issued me $2.08 refund to cover my shipping costs - over $12.00 less than what it had actually cost me and $3.10 less than what it had cost them to ship the same item to me, using their special bulk shipping rates. Basically, what this means is that I have wasted almost 3 weeks of my time to get and return a clearly defective item, no fault of my own, I have nothing to show for it and it has cost me more than $12.00 for the experience. Needless to say, it is highly unlikely that I will ever be purchasing anything else from Amazon UK given the risks involved.

Purchase at your own risk.
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on 7 April 2012
This boxset does what it says, its the 4 films on 4 discs with minimal extras. The review from Amazon is a lazy cut and paste job from the 6 disc version. If you are in need of the extensive extras then pay the extra- they are good if you like that sort of stuff. Otherwise this 4 disc set is more than adequate and gives the same HD quality as the other sets. Four excellent films for a tenner? Der!!!! What decision is there to make? Buy them ......buy them now!
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on 22 October 2010
For those of you looking for a real review, look no further!!!
I'm a massive alien fan...my copy is the limited edition with egg statue, the discs live in the base. And dispite the mixed bag history of all these films lets just face the fact that the alien movies ROCK!!! But how good is the transfer? and what are the special features like?

NOTE - I've only watched the special editions not the theatrical releases which is were my interst lies and this is a review for such.

Alien - Quiet possibly the cleanest and most vibrant video transfer I've ever seen. All the blacks are black, the light and shadow really show up fantastic with this new remaster.

Aliens - Put you're fears to rest, this film is the best it's ever looked but still has its film grain!!! Fox obviously listened to the complaints from the Predator - Ultimate Hunter Edition [Blu-ray] [1987] uber-clean up. While the grain does sometimes become a distraction in some scenes, there are some scenes that clearly were made with better quailty film and look super clean in comparasion...but even with that said, this is still the best this film has ever looked.

Alien 3 - Even the work-print edition looks great, but some of the primitive CGI used in this film does show it's age. Again, the best the film has ever looked.

Alien Ressurection - I've always thought this film looked pretty ugly in places (bad CGI, poor lighting mix, etc.) and even the great remaster does nothing to change certain scenes...however this is the best the film has ever looked.

All four films have a great full re-mixed audio that blasts out of my surround sound system and the isolated soundtrack scores blow my mind!!! Alien 3's work print edition now has fixed audio for most of the scenes that had bad static and interference.

each film has the same SD intro to each of the extended editions that featured on the Alien Quadology DVD set, and speaking of that excellent dvd set - the full set of features from that collection appears hear along with a whole host of new and extended stuff...my personal favourite addition being the mythical "Burke Cocoon" Deleted Scene that so many people have been telling me about for years (it appears in the novelisation and I thought no where else).

This is THE Blu-ray set of the year. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that so far, it's the only awesome blu-ray release made to date.
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on 2 February 2009
Sound well out of sync with picture on all but last disc which I didn't even bother with. Occasionally picture froze too. Returned, doubtful will bother with site's DVDs again, as also had trouble with Thorn Birds, which I threw in bin.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 November 2014
Returning from a deep-space mission the crew of the 'Nostromo' are awoken by 'Mother' the ships computer
that has picked up signals from a mysterious vessel.
The crew are duty-bound to respond to what they believe to be a distress call.
When reaching the small planet a three man team shuttle down to the surface to investigate the source, they
find a strange craft.
Boarding it they come across remains, meanwhile third Officer 'Ripley' try's to contact the crew that have boarded
the strange ship, she believes the signal was a warning and not a distress call.
'Kane' is attacked by a strange creature that has wrapped itself around his face, the remaining ground crew 'Dallas'
the 'Nostromo's' Captain and 'Lambert' try to bring 'Kane' back to their ship for help, 'Ripley' insists the returning
crew should not board believing their may be a risk of infection, she is following protocol, however 'Dallas' will
not leave 'Kane' behind.......a decision that would have profound consequences.
Cast - 'Tom Skirritt' - 'Dallas
'Sigourney Weaver' - 'Ripley'
'Harry Dean Stanton' - 'Brett'
'John Hurt' - 'Kane'
'Yaphet Kotto' - 'Parker'
'Ian Holm' - 'Ash'
'Bolaji Badejo' - 'Alien'
'Helen Horton' - 'Mother' (Voice)
I first saw this movie at the cinema during it's rounds back in 79' - i remember the film to be pretty tense and a
little scary.
Back then it was a film certainly ahead of it's time.
I remember finding the scene in which the alien being burst out of 'Kane's' stomach quite unnerving back then.
The tension builds throughout the film as one by one the crew fall victim to the alien leading to it's exciting climax.
Great Blu-ray upgrade, picture and sound quality is superb.
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