Summary: perfect monster movie
Review: This film is almost flawless - the acting, the sets, the script, the special effects, the originality. As the writer indicates in the documentary, 'Alien Saga', the creature was inspired by a drawing of H.R. Giger and was intentionally intended to disturb the subconscious of the target audience (males aged 18-24) by the use of imagry that resembled the violence of male rape (forced oral invasion, resulting in impregnation, followed by a deadly painful birth of a phallic-shaped, flesh colored predator). Unlike previous genre films, the protagonist also ends up being the female character - Ripley. In any case, this is one of the best horror films of all time.
Of special note is one of the deleted scenes included on this DVD (and presumably in the 'Alien: Director's Cut' to be released this month). In this scene, the ship's captain who disappeared chasing the alien earlier in the film is found by Ripley, barely alive, cacooned by the Alien for insemination by a waiting egg. Of course, we find out in the next installment that only the huge queen alien can lay alien eggs.
Summary: A classic
Review: Alien is a masterpiece...and one of Ridley Scott's best films, along with Thelma And Louise, Blade Runner, and others (but not Gladiator!)...This is not only a suspenseful film, it's also an esthetically perfect movie. The dark planet where they find the eggs, the spaceship with incredible lighting effects, all this atmosphere makes the film one of the scariest you'll ever see. The sound is also perfect, with a calm ambiance, that suddenly breaks, but stays in a very special mood. The acting is very good, especially from Sigourney Weaver and Ian Holm. It's one of those "It started it all" movies...the storyline is so simple, but they made such a beautiful film with it. And in despise of what many people say, "Aliens" isn't better than "Alien", it's just about the action factor...but the beauty of the first one is only seen in the first one...The storyline is the following: Some people on a spaceship capture a creature on a strange planet, and it evolves, and starts killing the passengers...conventional, you'll say? Maybe, but being conventional can be very good, it depends on the what you do with your storyline...let's take the example of "Sleepy Hollow" from director Tim Burton, which has a very simple story, but the images are so nice and perfect, and dark that you can enjoy a lot more the movie than you would enjoy a very complex movie..."Alien" is for people who can recognize good directing, and a good atmosphere, otherwise, if you prefer action, see "Aliens" or "Alien:Resurrection". But this is the first and the best of the Alien series...and I'd say my second favorite Science-Fiction movie, after 2001:A Space Odyssey...Extraordinary film! 10/10
Summary: Great DVD package for sci-fi/horror landmark
Review: I'll not re-tread what the other reviewers have said. Alien is, indeed, a landmark science-fiction film, a great horror-suspense film, and more evidence (like it was needed) that Ridley Scott is The Man. It has been often copied (including by the rest of the Alien franchise), but never really equaled. You don't have to like sci-fi at all to like this movie, but you do have to like to be scared out of your pants to like this movie.
What is impressive is how good the film looks, both in terms of the DVD image quality (vastly improved over earlier video and DVD versions), and in terms of the special effects themselves. Although the methods used were simple even by the standards of the time (no computer motion controlled cameras like were used in Star Wars), they were so well executed that in many respects the film has more visual impact than movies using much more sophisticated methods. Like most really good film makers, Ridley Scott made the absolute most of what he had to work with (much like director Nick Meyer did with Star Trek II).
The new digital surround sound mix is also outstanding, and captures a lot of the little ambient sounds that were harder to pick up in the crappier video and DVD versions.
Piles of special features are included with the Collector's Edition, and are generally very good. The audio commentary track to the movie, however, isn't so hot. It is basically a re-hash of what you already heard from some of the special features, and since about a half dozen people are talking on the track, it mostly consists of unfocused rambling.
As Ridley Scott himself notes in the little booklet that comes with the DVDs, The Director's Cut is NOT the superior version, but rather more of a novelty he made at the studio's request. The original version (also included with full re-mastered audio & video) is his favorite version, and will probably be yours too. You have to give big kudos to Fox Video for giving you both versions of the movie in this set.
Aliens was a great sequel, but also a very different movie from Alien. Where Alien was a suspense/horror film that took its time to screw with your head several times over, Aliens was an extremely well done full-on action thriller. The other two movies in the franchise are a waste of time. In a way, the best sequels to Alien and Aliens weren't the next 2 movies in the franchise at all, but rather The Thing (as a sequel to Alien) and Predator (as a sequel to Aliens).
Review: Well worth buying. And if you haven't seen the movie, don't read that long post below mine because it'll spoil the movie.
Not to be rude, but the next time you write a review, make sure you don't spoil the movie for people. Just give the synopsis, describe a few scenes that don't give away any secrets and say why you liked it without giving an in depth summary of the movie's entire storyline :)
Summary: Reinventing an old tale.
Review: Transplanting the tired formula of the 'slasher flick' from the woods to a space ship seems like a rather dumb idea on paper (and surely this movie would have failed if not for it's multi-talented director), ALIEN manages to elevate itself above it's own cliches through sheer craft and style. Ridley Scott's fine attention to detail and almost uncanny ability to create atmosphere and suspense is just one of the high points this film has going for it. Remarkable performances, beautiful cinematography, and a eerie, understated score by Jerry Goldsmith all add to the claustrophobic feel of the film, leaving the viewer gasping for breath the whole way through. While the special effects have lost much of their punch over the years (the alien creature was really a guy in a rubber suit and that's EXACTLY what it looks like, too), the infamous chest-burster still shocks and the amazing set pieces still dazzle the mind. At it's very core ALIEN is an old tale: something is stalking a group of individuals, eliminating them one-by-one until a sole survivor remains. However, the unique locale and sharp writing keeps the surprises coming until the very end. The DVD edition of the film is the best way to see it. Not only is the picture crystal clear and sharper then ever, the disc also boasts an impressive art and design gallery, an informative audio commentary track by Ridley Scott, and a small handful of deleted scenes (including Ripley's discovery of the alien's nest - a supremely powerful scene that worth the price of the disc all by itself). This is undeniably a classic of the genre and a must-own for all fans of shocking and powerful cinema.
Summary: Scared the pants off me
Review: There's a violent vicious alien on board our large empty spaceship. Let's all go into dark rooms alone to look for it. Oh dear, it's got me.
There's more to it than that of course, including an intriguing subplot about the venality and greed of "The Company" who want to study the Alien, and many long lingering shots of the, admittedly stunning, set design. But it's the set up of the scares that's the important thing about this movie.
As a monster movie it has few peers.
It all starts very quietly. The crew of the Nostromo, a deep space cargo vessel, are woken from hypersleep by their computer.
"Mother" wants them to investigate a distress signal on a previously uncharted planet, and Ian Holm's science officer is strangely keen on the idea.
We find out why when the investigating shore party find the remains of a huge alien spaceship. The pilot, a giant alien, is long dead, its skeleton strangely buckled as if exploded from within. John Hurt goes down into the bowels of the alien craft, and in one of the great SF scenes of all time, finds a nest of alien eggs. He foolishly gets too close to one, and it hatches, releasing a face-hugging alien that wraps itself tightly around Hurt's head, refusing to let go.
When they get Hurt back to the Nostromo, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is reluctant to break quarantine to let them on board, but Ian Holm's science officer overrides her, and Hurt is taken to the medical bay.
Sometime later, the facehugger seems to fall off Hurt's head and he wakes up, seemingly recovered. The crew decide on one last meal before returning to hypersleep.
So as not to spoil one of SF cinemas great shocks, I'll just say that it's about now that the alien makes it appearance, a sharp toothed monster with concentrated acid for blood and a very mean disposition.
And the real shocks start to pile up as one by one the crew are picked off by the alien, until Ripley is left to fight the menace alone.
This film changed the look of SF movies for ever. Ridley Scott was a graphic artist, and his attention to detail and eye for a great visual shows in the set design and cinematography. The corridors of the Nostromo are like a series of dark caves, and the strobe-lit chase scenes have the quality of your worst nightmares.
The film was groundbreaking in other ways as well - Sigourney Weaver became one of the first females to carry a major blockbusting movie, (and has gone on in the sequels to an even stronger screen presence)
It also created one of the great SF monsters. Giger's creation went on to become a worldwide phenomenon in comics, models, tie-in novels and posters, almost as well known as those other icons King-Kong and Godzilla.
The recent DVD issue also contains a deleted scene that afficionados have been waiting for - Ripley encounters the first case of alien cocooning when she discovers what the monster has been doing with the crew members it has been taking. It's a pity this scene was deleted, as it explains parts of the second film, and also provides motivation for Ripley's hate of the monster more than just emphasising her fear of it.
To today's audience the first half of the film may seem far too leisurely - there are no establishing shocks in the first reel, and little action until they get into the alien ship. But Scott handles the rising tension brilliantly, and once the alien makes an appearance, it's a white knuckle ride with few equals.
Just don't have lunch before watching it for the first time.
Summary: An Intergalactic Thrill Ride.
Review: After the successes of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the unbeatable Star Wars, Ridley Scott gave us the impecable classic Alien. Alien is different than all sci-fi classics. It is a little more believable and a little more sophisticated. The art design is great. The acting is very real and honest. The special effects are amazing, and the score is also wonderful. The cinematography is one of my favorite aspects of the film, because it takes you deeper into fear. The movie is great to watch on a large TV and the special edition DVD is really good. I highly reccomend this.
Summary: Classic that still holds up
Review: This film set the bar for serious sci-fi/ horror movies forever. So serious in tone, such epic sets and unforgettable scenes. The original theatrical release is better than the directors cut but you have them both here. what can one say, but get this film. The first 3 Alien movies are all great.
Summary: Alien (1979)
Review: Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphett Koto, Veronica Cartwright.
Running Time: 116 minutes.
Rated R for violence, gore, and language.
Not too often does a film come along that changes the course of a genre such as "Alien". While "Halloween" transformed the slasher film category from an underground gimmick to the mainstream, "The Exorcist" made demonic cinema not only appalling by Oscar-worthy, and "Jaws" set the tone for all future summer blockbusters, "Alien" slipped under the radar and eventually become one of the most acclaimed science-fiction/horror films of all time.
The principle is basic (and used hundreds of times since its release in 1979): a space crew has to emergency land on an unknown planet due to a ship malfunction. While they are fixing up their craft on this mysterious world of LV-426, they encounter strange-looking parasites, yet think nothing of it. One of the parasites latches onto a crew member and discharges a horrific creature inside--which bursts from the chest and proceeds to feast on the rest of the crew members. Sigourney Weaver is brilliant as the unsuspected heroine, battling the acid-spitting, face-for-a-tongue monster with all of her grit and might.
Director Ripley Scott uses a gloriously constructed set to develop a tense, terrifying film that has lasted the tests of time to still be considered one of the best. Weaver's performance was not only a chance to showcase her acting ability, but also a metaphorical stange for the entire female industry--proclaiming that men do not always have to be the heroes in film. Good special effects, a passable script, and fine performances throughout. Has lost its effectiveness over the years and was outdone by the stupendous sequel "Aliens", but the original is still a master work of terror and is just as important as any film in the late 1970s.
Summary: Alien - the One that started it all
Review: Alien is probably one of the best science fiction movies ever made. This movie is about a commercial ship headed back to eath when the computer intercepts a signal from a strange planet. Three astronauts (out of seven) go down to investigate. On the planet, on of them gets a stange spider -like creature on his face. But the real problem starts when everyone gets back on the ship and the first creature dies, only to unleash an even more horrifying creature - the alien that is now loose in the ship.This DVD has a lot of extra features including about eight or so interviews and featurettes about the making of the film, sets and Alien itself. It also includes two versions of the film - the 2001 director's cut and the original 1979 release of the film. In all, five stars for an excellent movie.