Apr 262019
 

Alien is of course a sci-fi/horror classic and obviously a cash cow for the studio with numerous re-releases on various formats and now it has come to 4K UHD and it does look excellent and ported over an already great lossless track.

 

 

Alien
— 40th Anniversary Edition —
(1979)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Horror, Thriller
Fox | R – 116 min. – $22.99 | April 23, 2019

Date Published: 04/26/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Writer(s): Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett (story), Dan O’Bannon (screenplay)
Cast: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
DISC INFO:
Features: Audio Commentaries, Isolated Score, Deleted/Extended Scenes Marker
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (DTS 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Twentieth Fox Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The movie, features and audio portions were copied over from my 2010 Alien Anthology Blu-ray review.


THE MOVIE — 4.5/5


Plot Synopsis: When the crew of the space-tug Nostromo responds to a distress signal from a barren planet, they discover a mysterious life form that breeds within human hosts. The acid-blooded extraterrestrial proves to be the ultimate adversary as crew members battle to stay alive and prevent the deadly creature from reaching Earth.

Quick Hit Review: Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror show is a brilliant piece of filmmaking that traps the viewer as the alien wreaks havoc upon a crew, taking them on one by one and thanks in large part to writers Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, they started a new subgenre that so many others have tried and failed to copy, hell one could argue some of the sequels failed at copying the formula.

One also has to commend O’Bannon, Shusett and, of course, a young and new-ish Sigourney Weaver for bringing forth one of the first strong female leads in an action movie. Her Ripley character showed that women can kick ass and look good doing it leading perhaps to other great and memorable characters across all platforms including Lara Croft in the video game realm. The supporting cast is also sharp with Tom Skerritt as the lead with John Hurt and Ian Holm making the biggest impact of the bunch as the corporate hack that caused everything to go into motion (including Alien Resurrection).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5


This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy as well as the original Blu-ray disc. Still a shame Fox did not include some of the features from the Quadrilogy set pertaining to this film…

There is the 1979 Theatrical Version (1:56:37) and 2003 Director’s Cut (1:55:49) with the latter getting an Introduction (0:57) by Ridley Scott (Blu-ray only).

Audio Commentary #1 – Available on both versions, this track features Director Ridley Scott, Writer Dan O’Bannon, Executive Producer Ronald Shusett, Editor Terry Rawlings and Actors Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt. This track was recorded in 2003.

Audio Commentary #2 – This track is only available for the theatrical version and is with Ridley Scott. It was recorded in 1999.

You can also check out the Final Theatrical Isolated Score and Composer’s Original Isolated Score from Jerry Goldsmith if that sort of thing interests you (I prefer listening to these in my iPod).

Deleted Scene Index (6:39) – With this, you can check out the additional scenes that were inserted into the director’s cut.

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Alien comes to the 4K format presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p high-definition transfer. Although the Blu-ray transfer already looked good this one takes it up a slight notch to the next level. Detail is incredibly sharp but the most noticeable difference was with the pop of bright colors during the respective scenes and black levels that don’t appear crushed and where you can still discern what is happening on screen.

AUDIO – 4.75/5


I knew I was in for a treat when the scores, for each film, are immersive before getting into the film where it continued to make full usage of every channel. The dialogue levels are also great and don’t have the flatness you often find with certain older films and the sound effects (such as the alien screams), which is probably the highlight on each movie, gives you the full home theater experience that I often miss out on even for recent releases.

 


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Overall, Alien is of course a sci-fi/horror classic and obviously a cash cow for the studio with numerous re-releases on various formats in the 40 years since its theatrical release, and now it has come to 4K UHD and it does look excellent and ported over an already great lossless track, but it is a shame more wasn’t included, especially at least carrying over the featurettes from the Quadrilogy set. Still, the price point is about right to make this worth picking up.

 

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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