The Alien Legacy

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Al Barnes

Plot: What’s it about?

This boxed collector’s set comes with all four of the Alien series, too much for a complete review of each movie. All the DVD’s are Digitally THX Mastered and each are packed with plenty of extras. Before you even play the DVD, each comes with a glossy booklet with Cast/Director bios that give some insights to the main actors and their backgrounds and some interesting facts for you trivia buffs.

When you watch the special features…I always wait till after the movie…you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the time and effort that went in the production of the different segments. Each of the DVD’s has trailers from all four, which is a bit repetitive, but if you bought one separately you wouldn’t want to be shortchanged. A different director for each movie was given the task of bringing something new to the audience and I feel each one was successful in his own way. I felt Alien and Aliens were the best of all and that Ridley Scott and James Cameron respectively are two of the most artful directors in the business. They both have many talents such as the ability to draw their own storyboards to convey their thoughts to the others responsible for developing the ideas of the director.

It is a lot easier to understand what’s in a person’s mind when you can see a pictorial representation along with a verbal description. James Cameron writes many of his movies screenplays so he already knows the moods and color he wants to be seen in his final product. The extensive bios for all 4 movies show the eclectic make up of a cast that gives us a finished product. They range from actors trained in Community Theater to graduates of Julliard and directors who have risen from their beginnings as set decorators and film students to box office marvels.

Video: How does it look?

All four transfers were done well based on what we saw with the original films. Alien Resurrection is the best overall but that is expected since it is the most recent. Aliens 3, while not a bad transfer was intentionally shot in a dark and gothic format was the least enjoyable video wise. The lack of any “Techno Goodies” (I like ’em) in Alien 3 to fight the creature didn’t help either. After the first two releases it is obvious you need more than big stick and a shovel to kill it…dah! Before you get too upset I know that Alien is dark and gritty, but I saw it on the day of its release and jumped in my seat like everyone else in the theater and it left a lasting impression on me (especially the egg scene).

Audio: How does it sound?

This area is the weakest of all with the exception of Alien Resurrection, which came across the best of all in 5.1. The worst is Alien 3 because even when virtually no other sound in the scene the dialogue drops off to a whisper you can’t hear. I even bumped up my center channel a couple of db’s above normal but it didn’t help at all.

Supplements: What are the extras?

It takes some serious time to read and view everything that comes with these DVD’s. I enjoyed all of them. You even get a packet of Premium Trading Cards and a coupon for a free DVD, titled “A Behind The Scenes Look At The Making Of Alien” which is 68 minutes long. It takes every bit of the 4 to 6 weeks they say to deliver but is a great addition to the box set.

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