Alien Anthology

Alien Anthology

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Alien Anthology review

Film description

In a nutshell:

The greatest sci-fi horror franchise in cinema hits Blu-Ray with a medium defining six disc package with two versions of each film and over 60 hours of bonus material.

Trailer:

Taglines:

In space, no one can hear you scream...

This time it's war.

Start running... again.

We are not alone.

Quotes:

'That's it man, game over man, game over!'

Synopsis:

Starring Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley – feminine, ferocious and recently voted the greatest female character in cinema by totalfilm.com – the Alien saga is sci-fi at its most iconic.

Deliciously dark and dank, the four Alien movies enter new worlds on Blu-ray, as previously impenetrable crevices of the Nostramo now give up their secrets.

HR Giger’s sleek, razor-toothed ETs, meanwhile, get close and personal like never before, screeching into our ears and spraying their acid blood into our blanched faces.

The Alien Anthology is the greatest Blu-ray collection on the market, exploring the Alien universe in mind-melting detail. Creature concepts, behind-the-scenes footage, alternative cuts... This is just the start.

Better on Blu Ray:

You’ve heard of Ridley Scott, James Cameron and David Fincher.

But when you come to take delivery of the stonking new Alien Anthology, the name you want to address your thanks to is one that’s probably less familiar: Charles de Lauzirika.

One of the world’s most renowned DVD and Blu-ray special features specialists, de Lauzirika has been responsible for assembling some of the finest special editions known to man.

It is safe then to assume what was previously known as the Quadrilogy will be the absolute last word on the space-terror franchise from hell.

“When Fox came to me about the Blu-ray set I kind of scratched my head – what more is there to do after 50 hours of content?” he said.

“But believe it or not, we kind of blew the doors off the Quadrilogy set.

Alien Anthology Blu-ray is pretty much everything you’ve seen before plus a whole bunch of new stuff, and really amazing material that I frankly thought would never see the light of day on home video at all, period.”

De Lauzirika says the real reason to care about a Blu-ray upgrade is its “superior video and sound”, and he’s made sure to deliver both.

Thankfully, we’re talking less neurotic George Lucas levels of endless tinkering, more subtle edgesharpening.

De Lauzirika even managed to sweet-talk James Cameron, at the time busy fiddling around with a little project called Avatar, into taking some time off to personally oversee the project.

And the tech wizards at Lowry Digital – responsible for the immaculate remasters of the Bond movies – were enlisted to carry out the subtle job of tweaking the film to Cameron’s new specifications without creating anything that looks at all like a digital fiddle.

Cameron promised that the new version would be “De-noised, de-grained, up-rezzed, colour-corrected."

That’s exactly what we get, the director personally supervising a transfer of the film that has seen the grain content reduced significantly.

There’s no noise, only a fine, well-judged level of grain, and a wonderfully precise colour palette throughout.

Most strikingly, there’s more depth to the image than ever before, largely as a result of better managed contrast. The work maintains the intentional elements of the film’s distinctive look.

As de Lauzirika says, “Aliens, of all four films, is the most different visually. You can’t just shoehorn it into the look of the other three.”

Indeed, in the case of Aliens, the reworking is quite extensive. It includes two versions of the film: the theatrical cut and James Cameron’s extended edition from 1991.

The former at last gets the transfer it always deserved, with great care being taken to preserve how it looked in its original 35mm production, and it easily surpasses any of its troubled DVD incarnations.

Meanwhile Cameron’s preferred cut has undergone some extensive adjustments.

There’s been extensive work on Alien, too, most specifically on its audio track. As de Lauzirika explains, “People said the sound was bad, and it was, but we had the best we could muster at the time.

This time we did a whole new mix, bringing back some of the actors to re-loop their dialogue. Lance Henriksen came back, Charles Dance came back.

So a lot of the stuff that was really muddy and you couldn’t make out the first time – a lot of the lines where you hear it’s just blowing fans, that’s now been cleaned up.

It’s yet another new version of the Alien special edition with much better sound and picture quality.” - Words by Brendan Connelly.

Blu Ray Extras:

Highlights;

THE INFLUENCE OF ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY’S DUNE

Alien Resurrection’s concept artist Sylvain Despretz is one of the more thoughtful contributors to the special features.

His explanation of how the whole saga owes a debt to Jodorowsky’s unmade version of Dune is a fascinating lesson in the history of big-screen sci-fi.

ALIEN EVOLUTION

Three are now two versions of the much-loved Channel 4 documentary included.

The first was also packaged in Quadrilogy and focused on just the first film, while the new version has content relating to the entire saga. Now with added Mark Kermode, for better or worse.

STAN WINSTON’S CHALLENGE, STAN WINSTON’S LEGACY

A conversation with, and a feature about, the great monster-maker who built the aliens for Aliens.

All the more touching considering that the honest and sincere tributes predate Winston’s premature death. Supplemented by test footage of his creations in action.

SAUSAGE-MOTIVATED ALIEN WHIPPET

Some bonus behind the scenes time with Touch, the whippet who drew the short straw and ended up in an alien suit on the set of Alien3.

Worth watching just to discover what the hell that title’s all about...

THE ART OF SLIME

FX builder Alec Gillis talks about the seminal slime that drips from the Alien’s maw, what it symbolises and how it improves the film’s aesthetic.

Better still, he’s aware of how it can be used as a storytelling device with great psychological impact. Attention to detail without pretension.

Extras by disc;

DISC ONE: ALIEN
    * Audio Commentaries
    * Introduction (SD, 1 min)
    * Isolated Score
    * Deleted Scenes Index (HD, 7 min)
    * Deleted Scene Footage Marker
DISC TWO: ALIENS
    * Audio Commentary
    * Introduction (SD, 1 min)
    * Deleted Scenes Index (HD, 20 min)
    * Deleted Scene Footage Marker
DISC THREE: ALIEN³
    * Audio Commentary
    * Deleted Scenes Index (HD, 50 min)
    * Deleted Scene Footage Marker
DISC FOUR: ALIEN RESURRECTION
    * Audio Commentary
    * Introduction (SD, 1 min)
    * Deleted Scenes Index (HD, 12 min)
    * Deleted Scene Footage Marker
DISC FIVE:
Alien
    * Documentary: "The Beast Within: Making Alien" (SD, 175 min)
Aliens
    * Documentary: "Superior Firepower: Making Aliens" (SD, 186 min)
Alien³
    * Documentary: "Wreckage and Rage: Making Alien³" (SD, 180 min)
Alien Resurrection
    * Documentary: "One Step Beyond: Making Alien Resurrection" (SD, 175)
DISC SIX:
Alien
    * Pre-Production (HD, SD)
    * Production (HD, SD)
    * Post-Production and Aftermath (SD, HD)
Aliens
    * Pre-Production (HD, SD)
    * Production (HD, SD)
    * Post-Production and Aftermath (SD, HD)
Alien³
    * Pre-Production (HD)
    * Production (SD, HD)
    * Post-Production and Aftermath (SD, HD)
Resurrection:
    * Pre-Production (SD, HD)
    * Production (HD)
    * Post-Production and Aftermath (HD, SD)
Anthology:
    * "Alien Evolution" (SD)
    * The Alien Saga (SD, 109 min)
    * Aliens 3D Attraction (HD)
    * Aliens in the Basement: the Bob Burn Collection (SD, 17 min)
    * Parodies (SD, 3 min) (Family Guy, Spaceballs)
    * Still Galleries (HD)

Click here to buy Alien Anthology on Blu Ray.

Release Dates

UK Blu-ray release
October 25th 2010