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Aliens (Special Edition)
Special Edition
Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser
Director: James Cameron
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     1999     2hr 17min

In this action-packed sequel to Alien, Sigourney Weaver returns as Ripley, the only survivor from mankind's first encounter with the monstrous Alien. Her account of the Alien and the fate of her crew are received with ske...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser
Director: James Cameron
Creators: James Cameron, David Giler, Gale Anne Hurd, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, Walter Hill
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: James Cameron, Monsters & Mutants, Alien Saga, Robots & Androids, Space Adventure, Aliens, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/01/1999
Original Release Date: 07/18/1986
Theatrical Release Date: 07/18/1986
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 2hr 17min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Director's Cut,Special Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Deluxe edition of Cameron's classic film sequel
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 01/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Cameron did the smart thing with Aliens--go in a completely different direction from Ridley Scott's film and create something unique that still had his signature on it. In fact, Cameron already had a story he had written with the same basic premise--it just didn't have Ripley nor did it have the Aliens from the film series. He adapted it and made it work for this terrific 5 star sequel.This is essentially the same version that was released in the Alien Quadrilogy boxed set back in late November. Here's the deal; this picture quality isn't a huge step up from the previously available DVD. Cameron was very happy with the high definition transfer made in 1999 and, besides tweaking it a bit when it comes to compression artifacts, this isn't a whole lot different looking or sounding. The big difference is the commentary track from Cameron and various cast and crew members. This is kind of a slice and dice commentary. You get Cameron one minute, the main cast (with the curious exception of Paul Reisner and Weaver), producer Gale Anne Hurd and make up/creature effects wizard Stan Winston. It's a terrific commentary track and there isn't a lot of dead space so clearly this approach will work for most fans of the film. If you wanted to hear Cameron the entire time, well you're out of luck.The extras are pretty indepth including Cameron's original story treatment and every from pre to post production footage and information. It's a great package. I should warn you, though, that this is not an anamorphic movie. It wasn't shot that way (in fact a lot of Cameron's early features weren't shot in anamorphic widescreen because of the difficulty of lighting the optical effects among many other things but you'll hear more about that in the commentary section). So this is presented in its original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio but not in a anamorphic format.There are some minor compression issues. Since Aliens was shot on film stock that was very grainy (it was a new film stock and you'll notice a lot of films from the time with a similar look). It actually enhances the feel and look of the film capturing the Vietnam era references that Cameron was making with the film. So it was grainy before and still looks that way. Using a format called Extended Branching allows both versions of the film to be on the same dual layered DVD at the same time and saves disc space. I noticed a comment about the lack of a DTS soundtrack. My understanding is that Cameron was very happy with the sound on the original release and had no desire to fiddle with this version. All in all a terrific version of the movie. The packaging is probably going to be better here as the Quadrilogy had a fold out accordian format which I hate."
Classic Sci-Fi
Big Erik | USA | 07/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Excellent Sci-fi film. The premise of this movie is that Sigourney Weaver must go back to the original planet where her deceased crew made first contact with the Alien, this time with a troop full of marines. This is a great movie that has classic Cameron action sequences and special effects, but also a frantic and claustrophobic atmosphere. All of the acting is well done, namely Sigourney Weaver, Paul Reiser, Bill Paxton, and the little kid. The Alien Queen at the end still looks AWESOME. Quick warning, though, this is the SPECIAL EDITION, and that means you CAN ONLY CHOOSE THE DIRECTOR'S CUT, not the theatrical version. This may make a difference because about 17 minutes of footage are added, mostly for good reason, but occasionally it is unnecessary and/or slightly damaging to the suspense. My advice to you is RENT THE DVD first, just to make sure you like the new version and extra footage, and buy it later. In case you were wondering, most of the restored footage has to do with the colonists early on and some pretty cool sentry machine guns about 2/3 through. In my opinion, either version is great, too bad they didn't include both!"
Aliens - One of the best Sci-Fi action flicks ever made!
K. Wyatt | St. Louis, MO United States | 01/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you're searching for a high speed, low drag super action thriller, search no more because "Aliens" is the film you're looking for! Even if you've not seen the first movie, "Alien" you'll still be able to enjoy this film to the fullest. That was of course by the design of the producers and this films superb director, James Cameron. Few sequels ever out do or exceed the accomplishments of their predecessors but "Aliens" can certainly be counted among those select few! With an exceptional script and an extremely talented cast, James Cameron crafted one of the best films to have ever graced the silver screen and the home theater screen.Few films raise the blood pressure such as this one does as James Cameron and crew crafted a film that excels in all points, from intense suspense to breakneck pace in action. What's even better is that this film bears many viewings; I can't even begin to remember how many times I've watched this extraordinary film. The VHS tape I had for the film died long ago and this review is for the June of 99 DVD release that has long since completely sold out prompting the latest DVD release!If you've watched more than one James Cameron film, you might begin to notice a bit of a recurring pattern as far as the exceptional actors that always seem to make it into his films, time after time. "Aliens" of course stars Sigourney Weaver in the role that has made her a household name and her performance for this film is extraordinary to say the least. Chief among the Cameron cronies (meant in a nice way of course) are Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein who all perform brilliantly in this film and can be found in many of his other exceptional films. Also of note in "Aliens" is the dramatic role for Paul Reiser, a genre he's long since abandoned for comedy but his performance is quite memorable.Director James Cameron also wrote the script for "Aliens" along with David Giler and Walter Hill, all of which deserve all of the accolades they've received and continue to receive for their work on this incredible film. Few directors capture the imagination as he does. Of note also is James Horner, who was responsible for the score and the work he did on this film turned out to be quite exceptional, as is usual, whenever his name appears in the credits, the film is usually a huge success. Just a note on the "Space Marines" featured in this extraordinary film, from a present day soldier's point of view. No matter what happens in the future, I seriously doubt that the Marine Corps would ever adopt wearing US Army rank insignia on their uniforms. I'm sure that many a present day Marines has had their feathers rustled a bit upon noticing this minor error in costume design.The Premise:It is nearly sixty years after the conclusion of "Alien," Ripley and Jonesy the cat are still quite happily sleeping away in their cryo-freeze compartment aboard the shuttle after sending the first alien out the airlock. The film opens with a salvage crew opening up the shuttle and finding her and the cat! After she's awoken, she learns that she's been floating around for fifty seven years and the company she works for is none to sympathetic to her cause, basically blackballing her. Unbeknownst to her, the "company" sends someone out to investigate her story and not too long thereafter nobody from the planetoid is heard from again. This of course prompts the company to send the space marines and Ripley as an advisor to find out what happened to the terraformers...What follows from there is one of the best and most intense Sci-Fi action/thrillers to have ever been made and I would highly recommend this film to any and all who are fans of films in this genre!This review is for the June of 99 DVD release. I found that the THX and 5.1 Surround worked quite well for this film. The seventeen minutes of the restored footage for this film is quite seamlessly added to film and serves extremely well in enhancing the experience of this movie. With reference to the latest release, I would definitely recommend that version if you don't already have a copy, especially if you're into a lot of the Special Features. While the version I'm reviewing today seems a bit sparse in the special features area, the new release appears to be replete with them, making it a very wise purchase. {ssintrepid}Special Features:-Behind the Scenes Footage
-Interview with James Cameron
-Still Photo Section
-Original Theatrical Trailer"
Aliens: the best of sci-fi/action and the Alien series
Eric | Tennessee | 03/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"(Review based on director's cut version) Aliens is the only true masterpiece in the entire Alien series as it not only sustains nerve wracking tension and explosive action, but also takes time to develop the characters and create dramatic depth. No other film in the series has been able to do this even moderately well.Aliens takes place 57 years after the original. Lt. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the only survivor of the Nostromo, where her entire crew was killed by a hostile alien creature that seems to live only to kill and breed. She is found by a salvage crew and tells her story to company officials. It's met with skepticisim but when contact is lost with a colony on a planet (the same one where Ripley's crew found the egg that hatched a face hugger), a team of marines is immediately sent in along with Ripley. Members of this crew include Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn), Private Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein), Lt. Gorman (William Hope), Private Hudson (Bill Paxton), and Bishop (Lance Henrikson), a friendly android. After exploring the empty colony they find the only survivor, a little girl named Newt (Carrie Henn), and a bond is already created between her and Ripley. Not long after, the marines get into a brief battle with the aliens that proves fatal. Most of the marines are killed and taken back to the alien nest for cocooning. Now, Ripley and six others must survive in a colony infested with over hundreds of aliens and find a way to escape.The aspect of Aliens that most everybody loves this film for is the action. Most of it doesn't actually begin until the last 45 minutes of the film but it's truly exciting, tense, and non-stop. I can see why this film is considered a roller coaster ride. Particularly, the best sequences are when the aliens chase the remaining humans into small tunnels and when Ripley arms herself to the max and rescues Newt. Director James Cameron established himself as a true action auteur with this film and it's easy to see why he's so revered by legions of fans.There's a deep dramatic depth in this film along with character development. Despite the fact that the film has a running time of 154 minutes, it never feels long and the character interaction is far from dull and boring. There's three very interesting relationships that develops from Ripley to Newt, Hicks, and Bishop. After the death of her daughter, Ripley finds solace and comfort with Newt, who also likes Ripley's company. They form a tight mother-daughter bond. Another relationship that develops is between Ripley and Hicks. It's all quite subtle but it's actually very fun to watch. The peak of this relationship is not when they kiss as in most films(they actually never do kiss) but when they exchange their first names and one wishes the other luck. The other interesting development is between Ripley and Bishop. After the first film, Ripley distrusted all android since one of them indirectly caused the deaths of her whole crew. She dislikes Bishop at first but it's easy to tell she admires him by the end.All the performances in this film come off strong. Weaver is the best as she creates a strong and take charge heroine. Her character is a lot more complex than what is portrayed in Alien. Michael Biehn is very good as Corporal Hicks, a brave but far from gung-ho soldier. Also delivering good performances are Carrie Henn, Lance Henrikson, Bill Paxton, and Jenette Goldstein. Henrikson's character is the one the audience seems to think is untrustworthy since he rarely displays any signs of emotion. But he's actually quite caring and is perhaps the most trustworthy of the entire marine crew.Once again, like the first movie, the special effects are excellent. The creature effects are slightly different in this one as the aliens appear to be a bit more scaly with smaller heads but the end result is still a frightening creature.Also noteworthy is a fine musical score from James Horner. It's creepy, fast-paced, and fits the tone of the film just fine.If you have never seen any films in the Alien series, I would recommend you begin with Alien, a pretty good and decent (though not spectacular) horror space opera. Then you should watch Aliens but stop after that. The opening scenes to Alien 3 ruin all the development that occured in Aliens. Alien Resurrection itself is okay, but Weaver's character takes a turn for the worst."