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The Alien Anthology

The Alien Anthology on Blu-ray

Well, if you haven’t already bought one of the Alien DVD presentations already available you’re in luck: this is undoubtedly the ultimate collection.

Yeah, we've said that before, but Fox just keeps upping their Alien ante and with this dynamite collectors' Blu-ray set they've done it again.

And it's a heckuva package! Not only do you get all four ALIEN films, "reinvigorated for an intense Blu-ray high-definition viewing experience," but there's so much other stuff included - including a terrific (though a tad difficult to navigate through) book-like treatment that's really quite classy.

This release also marks Fox's debut of "MU-TH-UR Mode", which they say is a fully interactive companion that takes the extensive materials in anthology and puts them at your beck and call via your remote control - connecting you to the special features available on all six discs and providing an index of all the available content, including over 60 hours of special features and over 12,000 images.

Whew! There's enough stuff here to choke a, well, alien.

Basically, what they've done is to assemble the material from every home video release of the ALIEN saga including the 1991/1992 laserdisc (remember them?) releases, the 1999 "Legacy" release and 2003’s DVD "QUADRILOGY" into one complete Blu-ray collection. 

If that isn't enough, the set also includes two versions of each film and over four hours of previously unreleased exclusive material (including screentests of Sigourney Weaver made before they filmed the original movie, "new" deleted scenes, thousands of still photographs from the Fox archives, the "previously unseen original cut of 'Wreckage and Rage: The Making of ALIEN3,') and a lot more.

Here's how it breaks down:

DISC ONE: ALIEN

  • 1979 Theatrical Version
  • 2003 Director’s Cut with Ridley Scott Introduction
  • Audio Commentary by Director Ridley Scott, Writer Dan O’Bannon, Executive Producer Ronald Shusett, Editor Terry Rawlings, Actors Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt
  • Audio Commentary (for Theatrical Cut only) by Ridley Scott
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Composer’s Original Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • MU-TH-UR Mode Interactive Experience with Weyland-Yutani Datastream

DISC TWO: ALIENS

  • 1986 Theatrical Version
  • 1991 Special Edition with James Cameron Introduction
  • Audio Commentary by Director James Cameron, Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Alien Effects Creator Stan Winston, Visual Effects Supervisors Robert Skotak and Dennis Skotak, Miniature Effects Supervisor Pat McClung, Actors Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, Carrie Henn and Christopher Henn
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by James Horner
  • Composer’s Original Isolated Score by James Horner
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • MU-TH-UR Mode Interactive Experience with Weyland-Yutani Datastream

DISC THREE: ALIEN3

  • 1992 Theatrical Version
  • 2003 Special Edition (Restored Workprint Version)
  • Audio Commentary by Cinematographer Alex Thomson, B.S.C., Editor Terry Rawlings, Alien Effects Designers Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., Visual Effects Producer Richard Edlund, A.S.C., Actors Paul McGann and Lance Henriksen
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by Elliot Goldenthal
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • MU-TH-UR Mode Interactive Experience with Weyland-Yutani Datastream

DISC FOUR: ALIEN RESURRECTION

  • 1997 Theatrical Version
  • 2003 Special Edition with Jean-Pierre Jeunet Introduction 
  • Audio Commentary by Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Editor Hervé Schneid, A.C.E., Alien Effects Creators Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., Visual Effects Supervisor Pitof, Conceptual Artist Sylvain Despretz, Actors Ron Perlman, Dominique Pinon and Leland Orser
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by John Frizzell
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • MU-TH-UR Mode Interactive Experience with Weyland-Yutani Datastream

DISC FIVE: MAKING THE ANTHOLOGY
In addition to over 12 hours of candid, in-depth documentaries, you now have the ability to go even deeper into Alien Anthology history with nearly five hours of additional video Enhancement Pods created exclusively for this collection, presenting behind-the-scenes footage, raw dailies and interview outtakes from all four films. At topical points in the documentaries, you may access these pods to enhance your experience, or watch them on their own from the separate Enhancement Pod index.

The Beast Within: Making ALIEN

    • Star Beast: Developing the Story
    • The Visualists: Direction and Design
    • Truckers in Space: Casting
    • Fear of the Unknown: Shepperton Studios, 1978
    • The Darkest Reaches: Nostromo and Alien Planet
    • The Eighth Passenger: Creature Design
    • Future Tense: Editing and Music
    • Outward Bound: Visual Effects
    • A Nightmare Fulfilled: Reaction to the Film
  • Enhancement Pods

Superior Firepower: Making ALIENS

    • 57 Years Later: Continuing the Story
    • Building Better Worlds: From Concept to Construction
    • Preparing for Battle: Casting and Characterization
    • This Time It’s War: Pinewood Studios, 1985
    • The Risk Always Lives: Weapons and Action
    • Bug Hunt: Creature Design
    • Beauty and the Bitch: Power Loader vs. Queen Alien
    • Two Orphans: Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn
    • The Final Countdown: Music, Editing and Sound
    • The Power of Real Tech: Visual Effects
    • Aliens Unleashed: Reaction to the Film
  • Enhancement Pods

Wreckage and Rage: Making ALIEN3

  •  
    • Development Hell: Concluding the Story
    • Tales of the Wooden Planet: Vincent Ward’s Vision
    • Stasis Interrupted: David Fincher’s Vision
    • Xeno-Erotic: H.R. Giger’s Redesign
    • The Color of Blood: Pinewood Studios, 1991
    • Adaptive Organism: Creature Design
    • The Downward Spiral: Creative Differences
    • Where the Sun Burns Cold: Fox Studios, L.A. 1992
    • Optical Fury: Visual Effects
    • Requiem for a Scream: Music, Editing and Sound
    • Post-Mortem: Reaction to the Film
  • Enhancement Pods 

One Step Beyond: Making ALIEN RESURRECTION

    • From the Ashes: Reviving the Story
    • French Twist: Direction and Design
    • Under the Skin: Casting and Characterization
    • Death from Below: Fox Studios, Los Angeles, 1996
    • In the Zone: The Basketball Scene
    • Unnatural Mutation: Creature Design
    • Genetic Composition: Music
    • Virtual Aliens: Computer Generated Imagery
    • A Matter of Scale: Miniature Photography
    • Critical Juncture: Reaction to the Film
  • Enhancement Pods
  • MU-TH-UR Mode Interactive Experience to Access and Control Enhancement Pods

DISC SIX: THE ANTHOLOGY ARCHIVES
ALIEN

  • Pre-Production
    • First Draft Screenplay by Dan O’Bannon
    • Ridleygrams: Original Thumbnails and Notes
    • Storyboard Archive
    • The Art of Alien: Conceptual Art Portfolio
    • Sigourney Weaver Screen Tests with Select Director Commentary
    • Cast Portrait Gallery
  • Production
    • The Chestbuster: Multi-Angle Sequence with Commentary
    • Video Graphics Gallery
    • Production Image Galleries
    • Continuity Polaroids
    • The Sets of Alien
    • H.R. Giger’s Workshop Gallery
  • Post-Production and Aftermath
    • Additional Deleted Scenes
    • Image & Poster Galleries
  • Experience in Terror
  • Special Collector’s Edition LaserDisc Archive
  • The Alien Legacy
  • American Cinematheque: Ridley Scott Q&A
  • Trailers & TV Spots

ALIENS

  • Pre-Production
    • Original Treatment by James Cameron
    • Pre-Visualizations: Multi-Angle Videomatics with Commentary
    • Storyboard Archive
    • The Art of Aliens: Image Galleries
    • Cast Portrait Gallery
  • Production
    • Production Image Galleries
    • Continuity Polaroids
    • Weapons and Vehicles
    • Stan Winston’s Workshop
    • Colonial Marine Helmet Cameras
    • Video Graphics Gallery
    • Weyland-Yutani Inquest: Nostromo Dossiers
  • Post-Production and Aftermath
    • Deleted Scene: Burke Cocooned
    • Deleted Scene Montage
    • Image Galleries
    • Special Collector’s Edition LaserDisc Archive
    • Main Title Exploration
    • Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright
    • Trailers & TV Spots

ALIEN3

  • Pre-Production
    • Storyboard Archive
    • The Art of Arceon
    • The Art of Fiorina
  • Production
    • Furnace Construction: Time-Lapse Sequence
    • EEV Bioscan: Multi-Angle Vignette with Commentary
    • Production Image Galleries
    • A.D.I.’s Workshop
  • Post-Production and Aftermath
    • Visual Effects Gallery
    • Special Shoot: Promotional Photo Archive
  • Alien3 Advance Featurette
  • The Making of Alien3 Promotional Featurette
  • Trailers & TV Spots

ALIEN RESURRECTION

  • Pre-Production
    • First Draft Screenplay by Joss Whedon
    • Test Footage: A.D.I. Creature Shop with Commentary
    • Test Footage: Costumes, Hair and Makeup
    • Pre-Visualizations: Multi-Angle Rehearsals
    • Storyboard Archive
    • The Marc Caro Portfolio: Character Designs
    • The Art of Resurrection: Image Galleries
  • Production
    • Production Image Galleries
    • A.D.I.’s Workshop
  • Post-Production and Aftermath
    • Visual Effects Gallery
    • Special Shoot: Promotional Photo Archive
  • HBO First Look: The Making of Alien Resurrection
  • Alien Resurrection Promotional Featurette
  • Trailers & TV Spots

ANTHOLOGY

  • Two Versions of Alien Evolution
  • The Alien Saga
  • Patches and Logos Gallery
  • Aliens 3D Attraction Scripts and Gallery
  • Aliens in the Basement: The Bob Burns Collection
  • Parodies
  • Dark Horse Cover Gallery
  • Patches and Logos Gallery
  • MU-TH-UR Mode Interactive Experience

Now that's what we call a package!

The movies look absolutely spectacular on Blu-ray, and Fox deserves kudos for doing it right. They're all presented in 1080p widescreen, of course, and even the original 1979 film looks simply gorgeous, with a razor sharp image that's incredibly detailed and alive. If it weren't for all the cussin' and dyin', you'd probably see this shown in electronics stores as demo material.

Heck, you might anyway...

The superb detail really comes in handy in these films which, like a lot of horror outings, feature many dark scenes. But it works everywhere, from close ups of the creature to the models, etc. It's a fabulous presentation.

Likewise the sound, presented in dts HD Master Audio surround, is also enveloping and dynamic. It's fantastic, whether it be booming explosions, the hissing of - well, whatever happens to be hissing at the time, subtle sonic clues of what's about to be unleashed upon the cast - it's the sound track for which we were hoping.

In short, this is definitely the definitive Alien collection, and we recommend it highly.

We welcome your comments!