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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, September 18, 2014 - Edition No 915 
Reckoning

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ALIEN (1980): DVD

SYNOPSIS:
The commercial spaceship Nostromo is heading for home when it begins receiving a repetitious signal from a nearby planet and is obliged to detour and investigate. On landing, Kane (John Hurt) is attacked by an alien that attaches itself to his helmet and the scouting party returns to the Nostromo, where the octopus-like alien quickly asserts itself as an indestructible life-form adapting to its environment. Any environment. The crew is killed off (not always by the alien) until only Third Officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is left to defend the Nostromo and try to save herself – and the ships’ cat, Jones.

"As if you hadn't heard, Alien is a classic sci fi creature feature from one of the great filmmakers of our time, Ridley Scott. It was only his second feature, after The Duelists. A story teller of the first order, Scott has the touch of a master filmmaker, his use of silences to build tension contrasting with his ability to move the action along once it gets going. This 20th anniversary release is welcome - and a reminder of the film's great power as another pioneer in its genre, despite Scott's own admission that he owes much to Stanley Kubrick and 2001… The story of this freight carrying space train getting (horrifyingly) involved with alien life is as fresh today and as exciting as it was when it was first released in 1979. (Which was a time when space workers smoked cigarettes on board space craft.)

The DVD contains a feast of extras, from the extensive art and picture gallery that details the design background to the film, through production shots and the outtakes (two - one dull, the other fascinating) and deleted scenes: in the latter two, the image quality is sadly inferior. And of course there is Scott's commentary track. His voice a surprise (reedier than you might expect), Scott talks us through some spellbinding detail, including how and when cows stomachs and sheep intestines were used to fulfil alien creature bits and pieces, or when fresh oysters and clams were used. While he is at it, he tells us what was used for space food - it's a cereal, but we'll leave the detail for you to discover. To my own great relief, Scott reveals his rationale for all that dripping water in the bowels of the spaceship where Harry Dean Stanton meets his fate . . and also how he (Scott) managed to get such great reactions from the cat which plays a small but important support role. Of the deleted scenes, the most talked about one - the one near the end - reveals something about the alien's life cycle and is extraordinary. If you haven't had much to do with the Alien series, here's your big chance; if you have, you'll probably be ahead of me with this whole package."
Andrew L. Urban

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Also Available: Alien Legacy Box Set (5 discs – featuring all four Alien Movies plus 5th disc featuring 68 minute documentary on the making of Alien) RRP: $135.95

Aliens Special Edition featuring James Cameron's extended version & 17 minutes of restored footage, plus behind-the-scenes footage and James Cameron interview.

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We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

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The Alien Legacy Box Set DVD (RRP $135.95) features all four Alien movies plus an additional 5th disc that features a 68 minute documentary on the making of Alien that includes recent interviews with many of the production crew. The prize is courtesy Fox Home Entertainment.

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ALIEN (1980)(MA15+)
20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
(US)

CAST: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto.

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott

RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes

DVD Distributor: Fox Home Entertainment

DVD Release: May 24, 2000

RRP: $34.95







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