from her you Bitch!"
years have passed since the destruction of the Nostromo and Ripley (Weaver)
is found adrift in the shuttle pod. Transported back to Earth and suffering
from extreme post traumatic stress, Ripley is shocked to discover that the
company plans to do nothing about her encounter and even worse the planet
where her crew found the derelict ship has now been colonised. A few weeks
later, company representative Carter Burke (Raiser) comes to see Ripley
and informs her that they have lost contact with the colony on LV-426. He
asks her if she will accompany him on an expedition to the planet to see
what has happened. Ripley instantly refuses, knowing what has happened to
the colonists but Burke informs her that they are not going to find out
if they have been taken over, they're taking a platoon of heavily armed
Colonial Marines to wipe them out because this time its war.
Arguably one of the best science fiction movies of all time
gets one of the best sequels in cinema history.
The Alien is back and this time there are hundreds of them.
James Cameron did something very seldom seen in the movie business at the
time, made a sequel that wasn't a complete rehash of the original. George
Lucas had done it with "The Empire Strikes Back", Frances Ford Coppola with
"The Godfather Part II" and Aliens could now be mentioned in the same breath
as those masterful continuations of a story.
Taking the creature and main character from Ridley Scott's
original and then expanding the universe, Cameron has created a whole new
chapter and style for the franchise. Combining blistering action, genuine
scares and brilliantly realised characters, Aliens is a complete departure
from the slow paced, tension filled shocker that made the original so memorable.
The tag lines says "This Time it's War" and the movie really
means it. As soon as the marines enter the atmospheric processor you know
they are in trouble and from then on the action never stops. As Aliens come
from every direction we lament as characters we have been introduced to
start to fall at the hands of the murderous horde. This is because Cameron
spent the first hour building and introducing character dynamics. He wanted
you to care about these people. He wanted you to see the overly confident
marines, who are afraid of nothing, refusing to listen to Ripley's cautionary
reflections of her previous encounter. This makes the death of any character
all the harder to take.
These characters are brought brilliantly to life by an excellent
ensemble cast. Sigourney Weaver moves the character of Ripley on as we learn
more about her life, her strengths and her weaknesses. This is a powerhouse
performance by the actress that redefined the action genre to make it possible
to have a female heroine. Michael Biehn followed on from his great work
in The Terminator by creating another memorable action character in Corporal
Hicks. Bill Paxton's career got a major injection with the role of Private
Hudson, the loud mouth of the squad. Lance Henrickson introduced us to Bishop,
a character that would become a key element of the series and its spin-off
(Alien vs. Predator). Paul Reiser showed there were more strings to his
bow than just comedic acting and Carrie Henn gave one of the best ever child
performances in a movie.
If the original cut wasn't good enough the director's cut
takes you in even further. Adding more character interaction and a brilliant
robotic sentry gun scene, the altered cut just adds more to the movie and
increases your enjoyment.
Aliens is an amazing achievement and an astounding film in
its own right. Featuring the mother of all bitch fights, rip-roaring action
and special effects that still put some modern productions to same (it was
released in 1986), this is one of the best sequels you will ever see. Sign
me up for that bug hunt.
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
sound, remastered again by THX, the picture is just as good if not better
than the previous release. The picture quality is extremely sharp with no
pixelation at all. The colours are very good and you can really see the
contrast between the overly bright lights of the Sulaco and the darkness
of the subterranean levels of the environmental processor. The sound is
also excellent, especially during the first Alien encounter and the climatic
scenes. You feel like you are in the thick of the action.
Introduction by director James Cameron
The director talks about this version of movie had been his true vision
for the picture and the fact that this is the better version of the film.
Audio Commentary by director James Cameron, producer Gale
Anne Hurd, Creature Effects Creator Stan Winston, Visual Effects Supervisors
Robert Skotak and Dennis Skotak, Miniature Effects Supervisor Pat McClung
and actors Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Janette Goldstein,
Carrie Henn and Christopher Henn
An informative and sometimes funny commentary from the people behind this
amazing film. For this intercut commentary James Cameron does most of the
talking, informing you about how he got the job and what were his inspirations
behind the film. Gale Anne Hurd and Stan Winston talk about making the cuts
for the theatrical version and Cameron reveals how they removed an entire
reel. The Skotak brothers and Pat McClung talk about the visual effects
side of the production, talking about the different techniques used to make
everything look believeable. The best parts however, are the reflections
by the cast. Bill Paxton is hilarious throughout, especially during this
character's death scene.
You can also choose to watch the original, shorter version of the movie.
Superior Fire Power: The Making of Aliens
57 years later - Continuing the story (11.04 mins)
Director James Cameron and producers Gale Anne Hurd and David Giler talk
about continuing the story of Alien. In this interesting featurette, Giler
reveals how the studio didn't want to make the sequel straight away and
how Cameron was asked to write the screenplay in 1983 and the studio were
so impressed they decided to wait until he had filmed The Terminator.
Original Treatment by James Cameron
Your chance to read the original 40-page treatment that Cameron produced
Building Better Worlds - from concept to construction (13.31
Conceptual artists Syd Mead and Ron Cobb talk about designing the military
look of the movie. They talk about the Sulaco, the drop ship, the APC and
the push for a high tech Vietnam look for the marines from James Cameron.
The Art of Aliens - Conceptual Art Portfolio
Concept images of Gateway Station, vehicles, weapons, Aliens and the Queen
are included for your perusal.
Previsualisations - Multi-angle Videomatics
With audio-commentary by miniature effects supervisor Pat McClung, you can
watch how the special effects team planned the large special effects shots
and compare them to the finish sequence.
Preparing for Battle - Casting & Characterisation (17.05
Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, Jenette Goldstein
and Mark Rolston talk about how they came to be cast for the feature and
their memories of the preparation they had to go through to get ready for
the part. Sigourney Weaver reveals how the movie was written with Ripley
as the main star before she had even signed on and the fact that she is
totally apposed to anything to do with guns.
Cast Portrait Gallery - Photo Archive
View promotional images of the cast and crew from the production of Aliens.
This Time it's War - Pinewood Studios 1985 (19.43 mins)
Special Effects supervisor John Henderson, creature designer Stan Winston
and the cast and crew talk about the difficulties James Cameron had making
the film. While the director had all the respect in the world for the quality
of the work produced by his crew he could not get used to the typical British
working day that included lots of tea breaks. The crew also thought he was
a taskmaster and slightly resented the fact that someone else was shooting
the film and not fellow Brit Ridley Scott.
Production Gallery - Photo Archive
View images from preparation and filming and of the Narcissus, Gateway Station,
Colony Life, the Sulaco, the arrival on Acheron, the main colony complex,
Ripley rescuing Newt and the Final Battle epilogue.
With the film shot out of sequence, Diane Dill had the job of making sure
that props, hair and makeup looked the same for each scene. She did this
by taking loads of polariods.
The Risk always Lives - Weapons and Action (15.16 mins)
Special effects supervisor John Richardson, stunt co-ordinator Paul Weston,
armourer Simon Atherton and the cast talk about the action and the weapons
used in the movie. The marines talk about using and carrying the heavy weapons
and Atherton reveals how he made modern weapons look futuristic.
Weapons and Vehicles - Photo Archive
Your chance to views images of the marine's body armour and weapons plus
pictures of the vehicles such as the APC and Powerloader.
Bug Hunt - Creature design (16.28 mins)
Stan Winston, Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis talk about creating a less
gory movie than the first. The featurette shows you how the Facehugger,
Chestburster and the Alien itself were redesigned to emphasise terror not
Beauty and the Bitch - Powerloader vs. Queen Alien (22.30
Special effects gurus John Rosengrant, Stan Winston, Richard Landon, Tom
Woodruff Jr, Shane Mahan, Pat McClung and Joss Williams reveal the secrets
behind climatic fight between the Queen Alien and Ripley. The featurette
shows you how the Queen and Powerloader were designed and actually operated.
It also shows you what Lance Henriksen had to go through for Bishop to be
part of the heart pumping final battle.
Stan Winston's Workshop - Photo Archive
Creature designs and finished models from the amazing creative minds
at the inventive studio.
Two Orphans - Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn (13.51 mins)
Sigourney and Carrie talk about the fact that they were the only two actors
left on the production when it came to film the Newt rescue sequence. Carrie
talks about what it is was like to be nine and on the set of a major movie.
She reveals how she really loved the slide down the ventilation shaft, that
she didn't like spending time in the water and she was scared of the dummy
The Final Countdown - Music, Editing and Sound (15.34 mins)
Gale Anne Hurd reveals secrets about editing techniques used in the movie.
Composer James Horner talks about the difficultly of scoring a movie that
wasn't finished and the fact that he only had three weeks to do it. Dubbing
Mixer Graham Hartstone discloses facts about the use of sound in the movie
including the insertion of quiet moments before a big scare.
The Power of Real Tech - Visual Effects (27.53 mins)
Visual effects supervisors Robert Skotak, Dennis Skotak and Pat McClung
take you through the techniques used to bring the world of Aliens to life.
From the use of miniatures to the photo tricks used to produce the colony
of Hadley's Hope this is a fascinating look into the world of visual effects
in the 1980s, most of which still stand up today.
Visual Effects Gallery - Photo Archive
Images of all the vehicles and miniatures produced for the movie.
Aliens Unleashed - Reaction to the film (11.22 mins)
The cast and crew talk about seeing the finished film for the first time
and how the audience reacted to it. Gale Anne Hurd reveals how there were
no test screenings and how excited they were when Sigourney Weaver gained
an Oscar nomination for playing Ripley.
Film Finished and Released - Photo Archive
Images taken during the music recording, the premiere and on set to use
as promotional pictures.
An outstanding film gets a tremendous DVD package. With well over three
hours worth of extras, this is a brilliantly put together presentation.
The extras reveal every aspect of the production of the movie. Add to this
the inclusion of both version of the movie and you have a must buy for all
fans of the franchise and anyone who wants to see how a sequel should be
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