An interesting feature of Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection, worth watching together if only for the chance to see how different directors handle essentially the same idea. The results are decidedly mixed. R... more »idley Scott's Alien is the most traditional of the bunch, essentially a haunted-house picture set on a space freighter, where a monster is picking off crew members one by one. James Cameron's Aliens is the all-out adrenaline bath, a pulse-pounding action thriller from start to finish. It plays a little like a Western in outer space, where the settlers are waiting for a cavalry that never comes--and the Indians are acid-veined aliens. And David Fincher's Alien 3 is the rock-video version, in which substance and storytelling are sacrificed to editing and imagery, as the aliens attempt to take over a space penal colony. --Marshall Fine« less
"You're not reading this for a critical review of the movies; if you haven't seen the movies, you've been living under a rock for the last 20 years (in which case you should rent them, then buy this set). You're reading this because you want to know if this set is worth owning.Yes, yes, and yes. Simply put, this is the best usage of DVD to date. Picture quality and sound are outstanding, and that's just the beginning. What makes these discs shine is all the attention that was put into the extra goodies on the discs themselves. Pop in the Aliens disc, and the menu is as if you're watching one of the Marines' helmet cameras, investigating the lost colony. Put in Alien and you'll be traveling down the famous claustrophobia corridors of the Nostromo choosing your options. After seeing these you'll take a different point of view on a lot of your other DVD's, once you witness how good they could have been but aren't.On these discs there's deleted footage, commentaries, theatrical trailers, making-of documentaries, and too much more to name here (although, if you once owned the Aliens laserdisc, there isn't quite all the stuff there was on that version, like Cameron's script drafts and other written material). A feast for fans. The best DVD purchase I've ever made, and a rediscovery of the old Alien magic. Highly recommended."
If you already own this....
Christopher Cox | Just over there... | 01/28/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"...then you have my sympathies.I own this set, but found out today that Fox are going to be re-releasing another Alien box set with each film getting the 2-disc super duper ultimate edition treatment. If you haven't got this set then wait until the middle of the year for the new 9 disc boxed set."
Great series, but wait for re-release
J. F. Cramer | VA | 06/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's great that this set was finally released, even though it lacks special features on the last two in the series. Here's a quick synopsis of the movies:ALIEN: Scary, exciting, and suspensful sci-fi/horror film which makes a great start to the series. After recieving a signal from a remote planet, Captain Dallas (TOM SKERITT) and his crew (which includes SIGOURNEY WEAVER, IAN HOLM, YAPHET KOTTO, and HARRY DEAN STANTON) land on the planet only to find a derelict spacecraft filled with hundreds of mysterious eggs which have aliens insdie them... soon enough one of the aliens gets inside the ship and all hell brakes loose. Some shots of the alien look very obvious. Comes with many speical features on the DVD. Directed by Ridley Scott. 1979; filmed in 2:35:1 widescreen. RUN TIME: 116 minutes. GRADE: A-.ALIENS: A visceral, more action oriented/shoot-em-up approach to alien series. 57 years after "Alien", Ripley (SIGOURNEY WEAVER) goes back to the planet from the original movie with a squad of marines (which includes MICHAEL BEIHN, BILL PAXTON, and LANCE HENRIKSEN) to wipe out the alien infestation. Soon enough, the marines and Ripley become trapped in the compound and they must find a way out without being killed by the aliens. There are many magnificent action scenes in this movie, but you'd expect that from director James Cameron. Some people may not like that all of the suspense and horror was taken out to make room for shooting. The DVD includes a photo gallery, an interview with the director, and a longer version of the film. 1986; filmed in 1:85:1 widescreen. RUN TIME: 154 minutes. GRADE: B+.ALIEN 3: Underrated sequel in which Ripley crashes on a planet where there is a huge prison inhabited by ex-cons. Soon enough, Ripley realizes that an alien has somehow gotten in to the prison. Now, Ripley must lead the ex-cons (which includes CHARLES DANCE and CHARLES S. DUTTON) to destroy the beast, but it's more complicated because in the prison there are no weapons of any kind. Director David Fincer (Fight club, Se7en) utilizes the same concepts as director Ridley Scott did in the original movie. There is much bloodshed/gore in this movie and the alien sometimes looks fake, but Alien 3 has by far the best finale of the entire series. 1992; filmed in 2:35:1 widescreen. RUN TIME: 115 minutes. GRADE: B-.ALIEN RESURRECTION: Interesting but unbelievable sequel has Ripley being cloned with alien DNA on a medical research ship 200 years in the future where experiments on aliens are being performed. Soon enough, the aliens escape and all hell brakes loose (again) on the ship. Ripley, along with a band of smugglers (which includes MICHAEL WINCOTT and RON PERLMAN), a scientist, and a security guard (RAYMOND CRUZ) must make it to an escape ship before they are killed and the ship blows up. Director Jean-Pierre Jeaunet fills the movie with absurd close-ups and gore aplenty, (more than Alien 3) but still manages to create a humorous, action packed movie with some good special effects and chilling music. Some people may not like the ending. 1997; filmed in 2:35:1 widescreen. RUN TIME: 108 minutes. GRADE: C+.Good series, but I advise you not to buy this set because it lacks special features. There will most likely be a re-release loaded with commentaries, documentaires, etc so just wait for that.493 minutes; all films are Rated R for scenes of strong violence/gore, frequent strong language, disturbing images, and some sensuality."
Excellent!!!! Great production !!!
oren cohen (email@example.com) | Jerusalem, ISRAEL | 10/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD production is awesome!!! Great movies made greater!. I've expected the old alien to be dull and poor on a DVD, but no!. All the legacy got THX remastered , and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. The menus are the most interactive menus I ever seen , and there are a LOT of extra features!!!. Simply Best Buy , for the right people!......"
An uneven effort - appears rushed to the market
Edward Ju | San Gabriel, CA USA | 06/08/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am assuming that you have seen all four Alien films, so I will skip the review on the contents of the films and focus on this special DVD edition instead. Unlike the VHS edition, the DVD box does not come with the behind the scenes special/making of Alien Legacy which was included in the VHS edition. Instead, you get a coupon which you can use (with the usual hoops of original receipt & S&H fees to jump through) to redeem the 5th disc, which is available "while supplies last". The 20th Anniversary edtion of Alien on DVD is a very impressive disc - the deleted scenes, including the unfilmed ones, were included in the disc, complete with written/director commentary. The deleted scenes demonstrate director Ridley Scott's ability to recognize the fact that the unseen can generate more fear than excessive gore. The Aliens DVD was clearly the best of the bunch. It is basically the reissue of the Aliens Special Edition Laser Disc box that went out of print for years, and you sure get the most bang for the buck with this DVD, now priced at about a quarter of the LD box's price with enhanced sound and picture from digital remastering. The animated menu is also very cool, clearly the most impressive of the four. All the supplement materials from the LD box was meticulously transferred to the DVD edition. The only shortcoming was that the disc was incomplete in the trailers department. There were a lot of TV spots made for Aliens, most of which are still available in QuickTime format downloadable from the Web (please do not e-mail me for the URL, since I don't have it). However, the disc offers only 1 theatrical trailer from each of the Alien films instead.Alien 3, on the other hand, suffers a lack of features (with a behind the scenes/making of that probably aired on HBO when the film was released) and the bad DVD authoring has resulted in a "pause" in the movie at approximately 58 minutes and some 20-odd seconds into the movie, which sticks out like a sore thumb and really ruined the movie for me. I haven't sat through the other 3 movies yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same problem exists on the other discs as well. The fact that Fox lets this kind of glitch slip by while charging more for their DVDs compared to their competitors says something about their attitude to consumers, IMHO. I was also disappointed the legendary "director's cut" featuring substantially different dialog and plot lines was not presented with this edition. Alien Resurrection has similar problems with Alien 3 in the (lack of) feature department. With a behind the scenes/making of featurette that already aired on HBO (IIRC), there really isn't much else to offer. A director/cast/crew's commentary track is sorely missing.This special 4 disc boxset also comes with nine collector's cards - they are about baseball trading card size and were tucked in between the pages of the insert booklet of Alien Resurrection. Due to the substantial mass of the 9-card package, the insert booklet suffered deformity as a result of the unsecured pack of cards being shuffled around during shipping. Looks like the folks at Fox did not do their homework.In conclusion, if you missed out on the Aliens special edition LD boxset, go for the Aliens DVD itself. But if you are a diehard Alien fan and are not picky about lack of features or technical glitches, this is a good addition to your DVD library. This boxset appears to be rushed to the market in order to meet the deadline for the 20th anniversay of Alien, because nothing new was presented with all but the first film. Let's hope Fox fixes the pause glitches and issue a more comprehensive edition in the near future."