"I feel great"
Returning back to Earth, the crew of the mining ship Nostromo
are awoken for cryogenic sleep early to investigate a distress call coming
from a nearby planet. Setting down on the adverse surface, Dallas (Skerritt),
Lambert (Cartwright) and Kane (Hurt) set out to find the source of the SOS.
The three discover a huge crashed alien ship and inside the body of a long
dead pilot whose species they have never seen before. While investigating
the rest of the ship, Kane enters a room full of strange eggs. Moments later
back on the Nostromo, Ripley (Weaver) receives a message from Dallas saying
they are returning to the ship because Kane has been attacked and something
has attached itself to his face.
The film might have spawned numerous sequels and thousands
of imitations but when it comes to answering the question of which is the
best Sci-Fi Horror movie ever made then there is only one answer. Alien.
Ridley Scott has gone back and took a look at his 1979 science
fiction masterpiece and given us his director's cut of the movie. Unlike
most revisits to old material however, this hasn't got a load of added scenes
that are just slotted into to extend the run time, in fact this edition
is actually loses 40 seconds off the original length of the theatrical cut.
Don't worry there are new scenes, just not that many. The extended sequences
mostly pad out the scenes between Ripley, Brett and Parker but the main
one is the inclusion of the Dallas cocoon scene that would bring greater
relevance to Ripley's reaction to seeing a cocooned human in Aliens. The
inclusion of this scene slightly slows down the frantic climatic moments
of movie, but you can see why Scott wanted to include this scene, as it
is a very powerful image and insight into the Alien.
What makes the film different from many others in the Sci-Fi
genre is the way it concentrates on character and not spectacle. Yes the
special effects and overall look of the movie is brilliant and testament
to Ridley Scott's brilliant eye for detail, but this movie is all about
this small group of humans struggling against a menace that you only fleetingly
see. Watching the film is like being a member of that same crew as you witness
what they see and feel their fear along with them. There are characters
to like and dislike but however much you like or loathe, you still feel
for each one of them as creature approaches.
The film is filled with so many classic science fiction moments
that they are too numerous to count. From the egg opening to Ripley's final
confrontation, each moment of this movie sticks in the memory and set new
standards in horror, suspense and Sci-Fi. Alien is a classic and for those
of you who haven't seen it yet prepare to be scared witless as you marvel
at one of the greatest science fictions movies of all time.
Presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen with a choice between Dolby Digital
5.1 and dts surround soundtracks, this THX digitally remastered print is
the best version of the movie you will ever see or hear. The picture quality
is superb throughout with really deep blacks that emphasis Ridley Scott's
dramatic use of shadow through the movie. The sound is also of the highest
quality with sharp, precise dialogue and coming into is own during the climatic,
Version (111.02 mins)
Introduction by director Ridley Scott (0.58 mins)
A quick introduction to the movie and about the changes he made to the film.
Audio Commentary from director Ridley Scott, writer Dan
O'Bannon, producer Ronald Shusett, editor Terry Rawlings and actors Sigourney
Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt
This informative and fun commentary talks about all aspects of the movie
because of all the people speaking. Director Ridley Scott contributes the
most to the commentary track, as you'd expect as he reminisces about casting,
shooting styles, costumes, sets and the influence of H.R. Giger. He also
talks about adding the forth act in the shuttlecraft and he chats to Sigourney
Weaver about the existence of extra terrestrials.
The Beast Within:
The Making of Alien (2h 58 mins)
(Split into sections)
Featurette - Star Beast: Developing the Story
Storywriter Dan O'Bannon and co-screenwriter Ronald Shusett talk about developing
from an idea O'Bannon had while making his student movie 'Dark Star' with
director John Carpenter. They also reveal how it was originally going to
be a low budget Roger Corman movie until Star Wars hit in 1977.
Featurette - The Visualists: Direction and Design
After the picture was green lit, the producers set about finding a director.
Ridley Scott talks about how he came to be involved in the project and his
influences behind the design and look of the film.
Featurette - Truckers in Space: Casting
Ridley Scott talks about wanting to cast a good ensemble of actors and not
just one big star. The featurette also includes many of the original screen
tests for the actors and reveals how John Hurt was a late replacement for
a previously cast actor.
Sigourney Weaver screentest (4.29 mins)
With optional commentary from Ridley Scott, you can watch Sigourney's original
screentest on the set of the movie.
Art of Alien galleries
Over 160 images from the pre-production of the movie including Ridley Scott's
original story boards and H.R. Geiger preliminary designs.
Featurette - Fear of the Unknown: Shepperton Studios 1978
Revealing how the production was under intense pressure from the studios,
Ridley Scott still managed to shot the movie on time and on budget. The
director's style means there is a lot of behind the scenes footage as Scott
films all of the actor's rehearsals. The featurette also reveals the sheer
size of the sets and what the actors had to go through wearing the space
Featurette - The Darkness Reaches: Nostromo and Alien Planet
Making the sets for the planet, the alien ship and the Nostromo on the huge
soundstages at Shepperton was quite an undertaking. The featurette reveals
the extent of the sets and how H.R. Geiger was totally involved in the design
and construction of the Alien ship.
Featurette - The Eighth Passenger: Creature Design
H.R. Geiger and the rest of the special effects team talk about the design
and construction of the Facehugger, the Chestburster and the Alien itself.
It takes you behind the scenes for each of the creatures revealing that
the cast where kept in the dark about what they looked like to increase
their reaction in the scenes.
Multi-Angle segment: The Chestburster scene
With optional commentary by Ridley Scott, you can now view the most famous
scene in the movie from 3 different camera angles.
158 images of the Alien showing the design of the creature and how it was
brought to life on the screen.
Over 320 behind the scenes images taken during filming.
Chestburster Gallery - H.R. Geiger's Workshop
Over 23 images taken in H.R. Geiger's workshop showing the various designs
of the Chestburster.
Featurette - Future Tense: Music & Sound
Ridley Scott and composer Jerry Goldsmith talk about the problems that occurred
scoring the movie. The featurette reveals the clashes between the studio,
Scott and Goldsmith over the music and how the main theme was replaced much
to Goldsmith disgust.
Featurette - Outward Bound: Visual Effects
Interviews with the special effects crew behind the building of the huge
models used to represent the Nostromo. They talk about how models still
look better than CG produced ships.
Featurette - A Nightmare fulfilled: Reaction to the film
The cast and crew talk about watching the completed film for the first time
and how the first screening didn't go down too well with the audience. It
also reveals some of the reactions the film got from the audiences, such
as people screaming and running out to people actually being sick after
the chest-bursting scene.
Deleted Scenes (14.57 mins)
Seven deleted scenes that didn't make it back into the directors cut of
the movie. Entitled "Kane in the Morning", "The Derelict", "Kane's condition",
"Repairs interrupted", "Regrouping", "Ripley & Lambert" and "The Airlock",
The Derelict is probably the most interesting of the scenes as it shows
more of the Alien spacecraft.
126 images taken during post-production, which includes shots of the Nostromo
This is one of the best special edition DVD release you will
ever see. Fox have done an exceptional job of putting together both version
of the movie, which are beautifully remastered, and combining this with
some of the best supplementary material to ever accompany a DVD. This is
a must buy for fans and anyone else who loves good science fiction and an
exceptionally put together DVD.
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