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Alien (Blu-ray) Review

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Alien, Harry Dean Stanton | CREEPY MONSTERS Harry Dean Stanton in Alien
The Kobal Collection

Alien (Blu-ray)

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
116 minutes
performer:
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver
director:
Ridley Scott
distributor:
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
genre:
Mystery and Thriller, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it an A

Last year, Fox trotted out a ritzy, six-disc box set with all four Alien films on Blu-ray for the first time. They looked great and were stuffed with extras. Problem was, you had to cough up $140 for two movies you wanted and two you never wanted to sit through again. Now, thankfully, the studio is releasing them separately. So it?s a good time for a refresher on one of the best (and, at times, worst) sci-fi sagas ever created. When Ridley Scott kicked off the franchise with 1979?s Alien (R, 1 hr., 56 mins.), it felt at once oddly familiar and totally fresh. Basically a ?50s haunted-house cheapie set aboard a beat-up spaceship, Alien pushes the limits of funhouse scares (the famous stomach-bursting scene) while introducing us to a creepy race of monsters and the most badass feminist hero anyone had ever seen: Sigourney Weaver?s Ripley. Despite its deliberate pace, the movie is a tense masterpiece. Subtlety went out the window with James Cameron?s amped-up 1986 sequel, Aliens (R, 2 hrs., 17 mins.). Weaver was back, saddling up with a crew of gung-ho space marines to blast a new crop of face huggers to hell. She also discovers her maternal side, thanks to a little girl named Newt (Carrie Henn). Aliens has less on its mind than the original, but it?s arguably more fun. The studio tapped an unknown, David Fincher, to helm 1992?s Alien3 (R, 1 hr., 55 mins.). Sadly, it?s a bleak downer and a slap in the face to fans, as several key characters are killed off, including — spoiler alert! — Ripley. Of course, even death can?t halt commerce. So Ripley was cloned for Jean-Pierre Jeunet?s last gasp, 1997?s Alien Resurrection (R, 1 hr., 49 mins.), a gooey, slimy mess with two redeeming bits: a butch Winona Ryder and one very cool underwater chase sequence. A

See all of this week’s reviews