Alien Quadrilogy

Alien Quadrilogy

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Andrea Mullaney

Onto the extra discs: firstly, a Making Of for each film. The Alien material (The Beast Within) is pretty hackneyed; if you've ever been interested in the franchise, you probably already know all this stuff about Giger's connection with the project and how John Hurt's infamous chest-bursting scene was done.

Superior Firepower (Aliens) is more interesting, revealing the difficult tensions on set as American and British crews clashed, while Cameron, notoriously tyrannical, ranted. It also features the grown-up Carrie Henn (Newt), who has never acted on screen since.

Copy picture

Alien 3's extra disc doesn't get a special name, possibly because it's a more half-hearted affair in terms of contributions, with Fincher represented only by old promo interviews. But it does contain lots of unusual, if ultimately redundant, material about early scripts, which were going to feature a wooden monastery planet.

Resurrection's background material also seems less than the full story: given hints, which have leaked out from original scriptwriter Joss Whedon, among others, there seems to have been more behind-the-scenes shenanigans than we're told here, in this upbeat profile.

As well as all that, there are commentaries, on-screen scripts - hard to read, but possibly useful to some - outtakes, design galleries, information about the creation of the sets and effects, cast profiles, trailers ... and on and on. This is really far more than anyone should ever want to know - and does make you wonder how they will find time to watch anything else, like a new movie, for instance. Sometimes, it has to be said, less should be more.

But, even if you just dip into the extras now and again, and if the new versions of the films aren't, ultimately, hugely different, this is still a nifty package, assembling everything together in one neat glob. If it isn't here, you don't need it. Honestly.

Until the mooted fifth film comes out, that is.

Reviewed on: 15 Dec 2003
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Alien Quadrilogy packshot
Nine-disc DVD offers two versions of each of the four Alien sc-fi fright flicks, with bonus extras.
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Product Code: 25231DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Alien: commentary and introduction by Ridley Scott; deleted scenes; The Chest Buster - multi angle sequence; Star Beast - developing the story; The Visualists - direction and design; Truckers In Space - casting; Fear Of The Unknown - highlights Veronica Cartwright on set during the Chestbuster scene; The Eighth Passenger; Creature Designs; A Nightmare Fulfilled - reaction to the film. Aliens: commentary and introduction by James Cameron; pre-visual animatics; 57 Years Later - continuing the story; Building Better Worlds - from concept to construction; Preparing For Battle - casting and characterisation. Alien3: commentary; EEV Bioscan - multi angle vignette; Developement - concluding the story; Tales Of The Wooden Planet - Vincent Ward


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