Monday, May 16, 2011


Last week, 20th Century Fox released the four films in their core Alien franchise as individual Blu-ray discs. Previously, they were only available as a "Quadrilogy" boxed set. I thought about buying that set, but it was damned expensive, and frankly, it's only the first two films in the series that I really like. I don't care for Alien 3 at all and I've only seen Alien Resurrection once. It didn't impress me much at the time, but one of these days, I'll probably give it another chance.

My wife and I watched both Alien and Aliens (which, since it was released in 1986, is a bit beyond the purview of this blog) on Saturday night, and I was very impressed with 20th Century Fox's efforts on the restoration and remastering of the films. The HD transfers are nearly flawless, and the audio was great (still not quite as full and rich as my old laserdiscs, though). These Blu-ray editions are, by far, the best these movies have ever looked on home video; in Alien, especially, we were noticing numerous visual elements we'd never seen before throughout the film.

I was also impressed that, like their Planet of the Apes Blu-rays, Fox included the alternate cuts of the films on the discs, instead of releasing them - and charging for them - separately. I hadn't seen Ridley Scott's "Director's Cut" of Alien before, and it was cool to finally see a major scene that I remembered from Alan Dean Foster's novelization re-integrated into the film. I know that the "Quadrilogy" box included a lot of exclusive bonus features that I would probably enjoy, but I'm very happy with the discs I bought - especially since our local Best Buy had them marked at only $15 each!


  1. As an Alien movie, Resurrection is somewhat lacking. However, if you can watch it while keeping in mind that Joss Whedon wrote the script, it becomes something like a trial run for ideas he'd have a chance to more fully develop in Firefly, and much more interesting as a result. Once I realized Ron Perlman's character was Jayne, the rest fell into place.

  2. As an Alien film Resurrection is terrible in every way. As a vehicle for Ron Perlman to be awesome for 90 minutes its pretty fun.

    I don't like anything Whedon has ever done though. Its all too clever writing and quippiness.

    I hate Alien 3 more but that's because it pretty much undoes everything that made Aliens so damned wonderful. Hell it negated the whole POINT of the movie.

    I only bought the Aliens Blu Ray and it does look quite nice. Sadly by not buying the Quadrilogy version you miss out on gobs of special features, but I have the original DVD version of that set.

    I just have to hope Alien is still readily available by next week when I can afford to pick it up.

  3. Actually, I've found that Resurrection only really falls apart at the end when the Hybrid comes on screen. Up till that point, I kind of enjoyed it both as an Alien film and a survival horror/action film.

  4. The laserdisc audio tracks are richer?

    I'd like to hear more about that....

  5. Because the analog audio on laserdiscs aren't compressed, I find that on most of the later LDs, the 5.1 audio is generally fuller and richer sounding.

    Unfortunately, the video resolution is not as high as DVDs or Blu-rays, so it's a trade-off.

  6. So, surely now we'll see Signourney Weaver as a Space Babe soon, right?