This film, like Alien 3, was BUTCHERED by 20th Century Fox
J. F. Cramer | VA | 08/20/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I just read a report of an interview with director Paul W.S. Anderson (director of AVP). He said quote "that all the best scenes were cut from the film." He also said that the movie was always going to be R-rated until the studio enforced a PG-13 rating 3 WEEKS before releasing the film. In addition to the violence and gore cut from the film, a sub-plot that further explained the plot was cut as well. If it had been in the film, the cut footage would have cleared up many continuity issues. For example, the sped up alien life cycle in this film is not a careless error at all; the machine that holds the alien queen captive also injects horomones and drugs in to her, speeding up the facehugger/chestburster process. The footage that was cut would have explained that and also would have given the characters more screen time. Director Paul W.S. Anderson also mentioned that the explosion at the end took up HALF of the 65 million dollar budget (which is ridiculously low for a film like this).
So when you see this film and end up hating it, dont blame the director. He made a film that, if it had been released in the original cut, would have pleased long time fans of the franchises. But instead, the studio made it PG-13 (so more people could see it) and cut out a lot of footage to make the film way too short (to fit in more screenings per day).
BUT, the changes the studio made are helping. Currently the film is making A LOT of money, mostly because of the PG-13 rating. This means that the studio will be more likely to greenlight AVP 2 or, more importantly, ALIEN 5. But try to realize that if the film had been released in the original uncut version, it probably would've only made half the money the current cut has because not as many people would have been able to see it.
Luckily, an R-rated Director's cut WILL be released on DVD sometime in the future. This edition will up all the violence and gore to an R-rated level (all the off screen deaths will now be ON-screen as originally filmed) and add in an additional sub-plot that will clear up continuity issues, give the characters more screen time, and make the plot development clearer. As a long time fan of the original 6 R rated movies, I was ECSTATIC to hear this.
Unfortunately, movies aren't made to be good anymore. They're made to make money, and AVP is doing that right now. So when you see this film, know that you aren't seeing the final version of the film. But PLEASE see it because it needs all the money it can make. And also, PLEASE buy the director's cut DVD when it comes out because its gonna kick a**.
The website that containes the link to the original report can be found here:
Better than the Theatrical Release, but not by much.
J. Maynard | USA | 11/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those of you who see "AVP Unrated" and think "Blood, Gore, Language, Violence, and Nudity"...THINK AGAIN!
Where there was a few flecks of blood, there is now a gallon. Where there were two "campy" scenes, there is now only one, But this is not even an "R" rating version of the film, evidenced further by the PG-13 rating on the back of the DVD case.
This fild should have stuck with the "Director's Cut" name and cut out the "Unrated" label, since in my opinion it does not deserve it. If you can swallow the plausability of the story even a litte bit, the this version is more serious and bloodier than the theatrical release, but not by much. "Campy" scenes still abound. Extra footage, edited in Deleted scenes from the Theatrical DVD version and a few other scene changes make this version a lot more fun to own than the first, but hard core fans of the original movies may still find this title a little wimpy.
With all that negative feedback out of the way, if you take a more objective, "outside the box" outlook on the film, it is fun and is a good mix of sci-fi and action. I would heartilly recommend this version over the standard AVP Theatrical version, and you will pretty much find all the original Theatrical DVD Extras included in this edition as well. (Commentaries, Making of featurette, etc.)"
Blu-Ray of AVP DOES have the unrated cut.
J. D. Schart | Chicago, IL | 02/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Blu Ray review:
The Biggest thing about this BD of AVP that is consistently not mentioned is that the BD contains BOTH the PG-13 theatrical cut AND the unrated directors cut of the film. Amazon only lists the disc as the PG-13 version, and even an external BD review site failed to mention the inclusion of the unrated cut. So if you've wanted to get AVP on BD and haven't due to a lack of the unrated cut, fear not, it's on the disc.
Video quality is good. It's not the best picture I've seen, but it's nowhere near the worst. Definitely better than the DVD 4/5 overall
Sound is good as well. Just like video, it's not the best, but it's not the worst. Choices are DTS-HD 5.1 (4-4.6 mbps) in English. French and Spanish in Regular Dolby Digital 5.1 (not HD audio). Overall a 4/5 for the DTS-HD track.
This review isn't about the movie itself, nor is it meant to be all-inclusive. My main reason for writing the review is that the unrated cut isn't advertised by anyone it seems in regards to being on the BD version and that is a big deal to me. Hope this helps.
In Defense of AVP
Glenn X | Las Vegas, NV | 05/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While most critics have dripped acid on Paul Anderson's "Alien vs. Predator," apparently due to prima facie objections to the very idea of a non-courtroom-drama with the word "versus" in the title, I was pleasantly surprised by AVP.
Is AVP as great as 1986's "Aliens"? Nope. But I think comparing AVP to "Aliens" is to employ the wrong standard. AVP is not competing with that film, in much the same way that "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" was not competing with the sensational "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." No, "Star Trek VI" was competing with the largely reviled "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier." Similarly, AVP is really competing with the oppressively dark, fundamentally unappealing "Alien 3" and strangely goofy, utterly unexciting "Alien Resurrection"; the last Predator movie, 1990's "Predator 2," was released so long ago and did such middling box office that it hardly figures in the popular imagination anymore.
Some have complained about AVP's characters, arguing that they're mere sketches compared to the colorful, indelible personalities that James Cameron provided us in "Aliens," and John McTiernan gave us in "Predator." While true, it's worth pointing out that the original "Alien" "suffers" from the same "problem," so much so that a defensive Ridley Scott once said, "The characters in 'Alien' are as defined as they need to be, no more and no less." Just as the characters in "Alien" were largely, nay, archetypically defined by their professions and their professionalism (or lack thereof), the characters in AVP are defined by their jobs and the proficiency with which they do them.
Some have also complained that many of AVP's characters are dispatched too quickly. However, that's part of what makes AVP interesting. It's a real throwback to horror films of yesteryear, films that weren't afraid to toss virtually everyone to the wolves. Just when you begin to think, "Oh, Anderson's spent too much time developing this character, giving him/her good lines and telling us stuff about his/her past, to just off him/her," that person buys it. It's delightfully perverse, and it's what the horror genre has historically been all about.
Then there are the complaints about the film's storyline, with some asserting that it's too simple (e.g. humans find buried pyramid; humans enter buried pyramid; sh*t hits fan) and others arguing that it overshoots the mark (e.g. humans enter buried pyramid and discover that it's remarkably complex, revealing all manner of information about the origins of human civilizations, namely that the titular Predators, much like the Monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey," made a marked impact on the future course of homo sapiens long ago). But I had few problems with the film's premise. Even the rather silly, pulpy quality of AVP's grander narrative conceits didn't bother me that much. (Then again, such conceits didn't really bother me in "Stargate" either.) And the simpler aspects of AVP's plot were its strongest suits, for they grounded the movie in a kind of gritty, easily understood "reality," the kind of reality that was very effective in John Carpenter's better actioners, from "Assault on Precinct 13" to "Escape from New York."
Yes, it's true that AVP never achieves the epic heights of "Aliens," the best film from either franchise, a film so complex and dynamic that it required a running time of 137 minutes to tell its tale. But "Aliens" was, and remains, an exceedingly special film. "Aliens" is the like the filmic equivalent of one of those outsized rock songs from the 1970s, such as Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"; AVP, at approximately 100 minutes in length, is more like a Ramones tune: short but sweet.
In fact, two of AVP's biggest problems seem to be the result of breakneck-speed sloppiness: 1. the Alien lifecycle is inexplicably abbreviated, with chestbursters making their nasty debuts in tens of minutes rather than tens of hours; 2. the Predators' long-range weapons (e.g. spears and throwing stars) are acid-resistant, yet their close-quarters materiel (e.g. wrist blades and body armor) are not.
Regarding Issue One: I've read that Anderson accounted for this in the film, explaining that the Predators had injected bizarre hormones into the Alien Queen they'd captured to seed their battlegrounds, causing the eggs she produced to contain embryos that matured far more quickly than usual. This expository material was allegedly ordered cut by Fox because they felt it needlessly slowed the pacing of the film. If true, Anderson must be given a pass by the legions of angry fanboys who've ripped him a new one over this.
Regarding Issue Two: According to fanboys familiar with the AVP comic books, this is explained therein thusly: the Predators must earn every acid-resistant armament they receive. So if the Preds in the AVP movie didn't have acid-resistant wrist blades or body armor, that's on them. But it's also on Anderson to have somehow explained this in his film. However, I'm willing to let Anderson slide here, as the best characters in AVP to have provided this explanation were the Preds themselves, a decidedly taciturn group of individuals.
All in all, AVP did its job. With the exception of a handful of (de rigueur) overly-jittery/super-slow shutter-speed shots in otherwise well-made action sequences, AVP is a polished piece of work. Thanks to Anderson's direction, the ADI FX Workshop was forced to abandon the Mr. Hanky-looking design of the creature from "Alien 3," as well as the beastly, overly slimy appearance of the extraterrestrials from "Alien Resurrection," and provide the silver screen with its best looking xenomorphs since 1986. Moreover, if you can't bring yourself to buy it when Sanaa Lathan's Lex throws in with and throws down alongside the last-standing Big Ugly Motherf*cker, nor get certifiably juiced when the Alien Queen finally extricates herself from Predator-imposed bondage and goes on an angry rampage worthy of a T-Rex in a "Jurassic Park" movie, then I'm afraid AVP simply isn't for you."