Alien: Legacy Special Edition 20th Anniversary Dvd Boxed Set
There are some places in the universe you dont go alone
Ridley Scott / James Cameron / David Fincher / Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Running Time: 472 minutes
UK Certificate: 18
Country: United States
If youre already familiar with the Alien tales, and dont need to see them in chronological order to know whats going on, take this piece of advice: watch these four movies in reverse order. Get the sub-standard Alien: Resurrection and disappointing Alien3 out of the way early, so you can settle down on a comfy sofa, pull the curtains closed to make sure its dark, and watch the good ones.
Alien and Aliens are a couple of crackers. The first one kicks off with John Hurt strolling around a strange planet and ending up with a big spidery thing clamped to his phizog. Once back aboard his own spacecraft the Nostromo the beastie detaches itself and it looks like everythings going to be okay. That is, until a hissing monster bursts out of his belly and embarks upon a massive killing spree among the crew. And so an unlikely hero is born, in the shape of Sigourney Weaver as the deceptively hard Lieutenant Ellen Ripley.
The sequel replaces Ridley Scott with Terminator bigwig James Cameron in the directors chair, and moves from horror to action as Ripley accompanies a gang of marines on a gun-totin romp around the planet where the original alien was first discovered.
Unfortunately, this DVD set takes a swift nosedive in entertainment level from then on, first with the seedy prison-set Alien3 and then the near-ridiculous tale of DNA-cloning that is Alien: Resurrection. Somewhere along the way, the series loses its original meaning, stops asking serious questions and degenerates into standardised action fare. But try not to let that detract from the first two.
It's Got: Sigourney Weaver in the role that made her career.
It Needs: Some improved DVD features for the last two films just because theyre disappointing movies shouldnt mean their extras have to be.
DVD Extras Discs 1 and 2 are packed with documentaries and features, but its as if they couldnt be bothered putting the same effort into the extras for the final two films which is probably quite fitting, actually. An extra fifth disc included in the set contains a 60 minute documentary in which members of the original crew talk about making Alien 20 years on. We get to meet artist H.R. Giger, who created the alien and talks like a Transylvanian, and executive producer Ron Shusset whos inexplicably dressed as a farmer. A programme or two talking about the series as a whole would have been a nice addition, but unfortunately theres nothing like that here. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
Alternatives:Predator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Terminator
A nicely-packaged collectors item which anyone whos a fan of the series will love. Anyone else would be better off just getting the first two that ways cheaper, and you really wouldnt be missing out on much.