Alien Franchise (1979-?)

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aox
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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset

#101 Post by aox » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:24 am

They went back and remastered the inserted footage in the Assembly Cut of Alien3. They also got the original actors to come in an rerecord their lines for the BD release. The Assembly Cut has been completely revamped. I agree with you that the Assembly Cut, though still heavily flawed, is actually a decent film compared to the Theatrical Cut. I actually don't mind watching Alien3 now when I am blazing through the first two films (I only really hate the 4th film).

I also agree that the uncut Alien3 documentary is incredible. So much candid information and it probably is more interesting than the actual film. I couldn't believe the contempt that most everyone shared and the jabs everyone took at each other and I can understand why this was heavily edited on the original DVD release.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#102 Post by aox » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:42 am


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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset

#103 Post by Roger Ryan » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:27 pm

aox wrote:...They also got the original actors to come in an rerecord their lines for the BD release....
Yes, I was quite happy when I read this before purchasing the set and the result is quite good. I like the idea of Lance Henriksen coming in (probably at scale) just to scream "I'm not a droid!" a couple of times! The first issue of the "work print" version was frustrating with it's occasions of wild sound and subtitles, so it's nice to have this superior version of the film cleaned up.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#104 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:59 pm

I'm definitely getting the boxset at some point, but those covers are awesome.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#105 Post by Finch » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:42 am

In case you don't want to wait until the US Blu-Rays are sold separately, DDDhouse.com has the Hongkong versions up for preorder (although they won't ship until 1 May at the earliest due to the extended Hongkong holidays). Like the upcoming US releases, these are barebones but with different covers to the US releases (in fact, the same covers as the Japanese discs). I've put in a paypal invoice request for the first film.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#106 Post by Matt » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:37 pm

Finch wrote:In case you don't want to wait until the US Blu-Rays are sold separately
You'd have to be pretty impatient, they come out in less than 2 weeks.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#107 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:32 pm

Special on Amazon has it at 52.99. Annoyingly done the day after I bought it...


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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset

#109 Post by Skidmark » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:05 am

Finch wrote:RR, your breakdown of the workprint changes and additions really makes me eager to see it. Given that I was more fascinated than enthused by the theatrical cut, would you recommend a blind-buy of the surely forthcoming (mid-2011 perhaps?) individual re-release? Does it turn Alien 3 into a genuinely good film in your opinion? The only thing from the workprint I can see working against it, is the queen not bursting from Ripley's chest as she falls into the furnace. That should have been kept or inserted.
Although David Fincher would strongly disagree, the Assembly Cut of Alien³ is one of the best movie ever made, if not THE. It could have been even better with at least two additions : Ripley's longer hesitation towards Bishop's offer at the end (a moment Fincher was keen upon keeping) and obviously the original, very gruesome, Newt autopsy. About the reason why, I quote the architect of the Assembly Cut and the Quadrilogy box set, Charles de Lauzirika : "Why those additional deleted scenes didn't appear elsewhere in the Quadrilogy set requires a more complicated answer, but the very short answer is, we simply ran out of time and money. The Quadrilogy project was an incredibly ambitious one and even though I'm largely happy with the final product, there are still some components of it which leave me somewhat unsatisfied. [...] But in regards to "Alien 3," there are some sound issues in the workprint that I would love to correct. And there are some things I'd like to fix and add to in the supplements."

So...

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset

#110 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:56 am

Finch wrote: The only thing from the workprint I can see working against it, is the queen not bursting from Ripley's chest as she falls into the furnace. That should have been kept or inserted.
It's been said that the reason for the queen (originally) not bursting from Ripley's chest was for greater ambiguity, firstly as to whether she really has an alien embryo inside her at all, and secondly, for her death to be much more a suicide, than dying due to the alien bursting from within.
Both which make for a stronger, and of course darker end. Alien 3, from Vincent Ward's script & Fincher's apparent intentions, was very much the final act in Ripley's story. Of course, Fox clearly just wanted another Aliens rather than something much more personal - being another sad story of a studio unable to recognise the potential in the world of these films for want of pleasing the widest possible audience, and making some quick cash.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset

#111 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:29 pm

Skidmark wrote:...Charles de Lauzirika : "Why those additional deleted scenes didn't appear elsewhere in the Quadrilogy set requires a more complicated answer, but the very short answer is, we simply ran out of time and money. The Quadrilogy project was an incredibly ambitious one and even though I'm largely happy with the final product, there are still some components of it which leave me somewhat unsatisfied. [...] But in regards to "Alien 3," there are some sound issues in the workprint that I would love to correct. And there are some things I'd like to fix and add to in the supplements."

So...
To clarify for anyone who's curious, the Blu-ray Anthology edition does indeed correct the sound issues for ALIEN 3 and expands the supplements as Mr. de Lauzirika hoped to do. However, I don't think there is any additional footage of Newt's autopsy shown (I've found the brief glimpses shown to be more chilling by not showing more).

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#112 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:19 pm

If you (unlike me) have room for another ostentaciously packaged Special Edition, FOX apparently has a few of those Limited "Egg Package" Editions of the Alien Anthology Blu-ray they're trying to get rid of at a cut rate ($59.99) on their official eBay store. If you look at the Sold page, it appears that one person bought 10 of them, so I'm guessing they're collectible or valuable or something.

Image

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#113 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:03 pm

And just plain butt ugly. Jesus, it looks like a radioactive turd.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#114 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:22 pm

Just like Alien Resurrection

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#115 Post by cdnchris » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:39 pm

I hadn't seen that film since theaters and caught it on SyFy a week or two ago. Man, I completely forgot about the
SpoilerShow
alien bursting through the guy's head and the alien/human hybrid getting sucked out through a pinhole.
How could I have still hated the film so much with those two things?

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#116 Post by knives » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:21 pm

I think it's the best of the series though 3 is my favorite.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#117 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:25 pm

I'm glad Resurrection's getting its due, I love that movie- though I really do love all of them, each in their own way. I think 3's my least favorite, if only because I think it succeeds at its own aims the least.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#118 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:40 am

Roger Ryan wrote:
Mr Finch wrote: I'd like to hear from someone who was lukewarm on Alien 3's theatrical cut and seen the workprint if they thought it raised the film to another level.
Well, that would be me. I did see the theatrical version of ALIEN 3 first and was disappointed with what appeared to be lapses in continuity and illogical ideas.
SpoilerShow
I especially disliked the Queen alien bursting out of Ripley as she fell.
I was definitely lukewarm on it.

The work print is about 35 minutes longer, but is quite different altogether. The opening 10 minute set-up is completely altered and much better for the changes. Also, the alien is birthed in a completely different (and more) logical manner than in the theatrical version. A huge set piece in the middle of the film (excised for the theatrical version) clears up a lot of continuity problems (and it's a great, exciting scene - no idea why it would be cut). In a number of instances, the cutting within existing scenes is different and improved, making a couple of alien attacks more suspenseful and frightening (a bit rushed in the theatrical version). The work print isn't able to salvage much of the "anonymous bald guys running around" climax, but at least you feel like you know these guys a bit better.
Having finally watched the workprint version of Alien 3 now, I would agree with much of what Roger Ryan says above. It seems mind boggling that much of that material was dropped, particularly the excellent opening with Clemens finding Ripley washed up on the shore. The Golic subplot also gets hugely expanded, making sense of the whole middle section of the film now - I still have the Alan Dean Foster novelisation of Alien 3, which I remember reading at the time and was surprised by the Golic sections not turning up in the final film, so it is great to see it included again. There also seem to be more little individual character moments fleshing out the final section too, which helps to move the film away from the "anonymous bald people running through interchangable industrial corridors" issue. I don't know how much was added (I will have to go back to the theatrical cut to check or put on the deleted scene marker on a next viewing) but it at least gives the prisoners as much characterisation as the marines from Aliens had now. (Though of course the scenes between Clemens and Ripley have always been great, in whichever version, and manage to throw a Psycho-style twist in there, with the film managing to perform the difficult feat of not only trading on the emotion of killing beloved cast members from the second film but building up and then dispatching an important character in its own right. Something which, along with the reinstated Golic material, helps to compound the bleak thesis of the third film being about the different ways in which everyone confronts their inevitable end)

However I do prefer the alien birthing scene involving the live dog from the theatrical version rather than from the dead ox. For me it is similar to the shooting of the live dog/dead dog change in the original and remake of Insomnia, even though the ox carcass was the original intention for the scene here. The use of a live animal makes the scene much more impactful, especially in the ironic intercutting from the slightly more distant and cerebral loss expressed in the funeral with the harrowing immediacy of the painful death of the dog.

The later scene with Murphy peering into the hole before being hit with acid and stumbling into the fan would also need to be slightly amended in the workprint version, as the motivation for looking into the hole is to see if his dog was hiding there. With there being no dog in the workprint version, it makes Murphy calling into the hole seem a little strangely motivated (in the novelisation, which uses the ox, he is motivated by showing his new discovery of the shed alien skin off to the superintendant in order to perhaps win favour from the company and have his sentence reduced. Although that kind of motivation would be difficult to pull off non-verbally, and clunky if given a bluntly obvious "I bet this will reduce my sentence!" line of dialogue or, even worse, voice over of Murphy's thoughts at that moment!)
Adam Grikepalis wrote:It's been said that the reason for the queen (originally) not bursting from Ripley's chest was for greater ambiguity, firstly as to whether she really has an alien embryo inside her at all, and secondly, for her death to be much more a suicide, than dying due to the alien bursting from within.
This scene did not particularly bother me in the original (I always felt that the alien was overdue to be born anyway given the speed with which it normally bursts out, and Ripley has already committed herself to the suicidal leap at that point anyway, so I do not feel that it detracts too much from the decision she makes), so either ending works fine for me. Despite the coincidence of it popping out just at that moment, the chest bursting scene also adds more to that saintly image of Ripley too, I think. However having both versions works really well - perhaps in any future edition there could be a random choice of which scene plays at the end, in order to surprise the audience!

So while I think my 'perfect' version of Alien 3 would perhaps be a mix of aspects of the theatrical and workprint scenes (with, it has to be said, more of an emphasis on the workprint additions), this is a prime example of the importance of providing multiple versions of a film when such things are available. I do not think I would be totally satisfied with purely the workprint version, if that was the only one presented, as I would miss certain elements of the theatrical one; and having now seen the workprint version, there are scenes and moments that add so much to the rather too cut down theatrical version.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset

#119 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu May 30, 2013 1:07 am

Roger Ryan wrote:I just finished watching the new Blu-ray version of "The Making of ALIEN 3" which increases the running time to nearly three-and-a-half hours (including the "Enhancement Pods" outtake selection). This fascinating documentary extra is probably better than either version of the film itself and is perhaps the most contentious bonus feature yet created. Participants can barely contain their contempt for each other (although the Brits handle this better than the Yanks) as they recount every misstep and disappointment, along with a wealth of technical info on set and creature design and visual effects. Nobody seems particularly happy with any aspect of the project; even the effects guys complain about how the matte paintings were photographed or the Alien was composited into the image. Just watching this feature, you would think the film is a lot worse than it actually is.
I just re-watched a lot of it again. Probably one of the better documentaries of this kind, especially with the deleted stuff added. How it languished in development hell through Renny Harlin (who I found to be surprisingly humble and honest about his failings in trying to create something interesting and worthy of the previous two) and Vincent Ward (all I kept thinking is they hired the wrong Australian since Alex Proyas was developing Dark City for Fox around this time) is almost as interesting as what happened once they started to shoot with Fincher aboard.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#120 Post by zedz » Thu May 30, 2013 5:15 pm

The Alien3 (which maybe should have been subtitled "Portrait of a Clusterfuck") making-of is much better than the finished film, in my opinion. Same goes for Benjamin Button.

And since when was Vincent Ward Australian? He's never even made a film in Australia.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#121 Post by knives » Thu May 30, 2013 5:20 pm

I actually find Alien3 to be one of the best in the series, but then I generally prefer giant clustefucks.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#122 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu May 30, 2013 6:13 pm

I like the workprint version of Alien 3. Not more than the first two in the series (it's still very flawed), but it's much, much more satisfying than the limp theatrical version.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#123 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:32 pm

zedz wrote:And since when was Vincent Ward Australian? He's never even made a film in Australia.
My bad. Point still stands though, the wooden planet idea seemed a bit thin. That said some of the drawings that were shown, if they were fleshed out would have looked very grotesque and perfect for the franchise. The one that stood out to me, the best way I could describe it was a four-legged alien creature with a man's face for an ass.

I like the third one, overall not as much as the previous two, but it had a lot going for it. As wrapped up one could get in the Ripley/Newt/Hicks dynamic, killing that off right away was a brave move and quickly reminded you more of the dire elements of the first film rather than the high-energy octane drive of the 2nd one. The way it was done in the theatrical cut was a more severe laceration than in the workprint cut I feel. The use of CGI telling you how so-and-so died felt more Fincher than in the workprint version. I also really liked the chase from the point of view from the alien itself.

The one element which I'm beginning to like much better as compared to the previous two, is Elliot Goldenthal's score. I'm most familiar with his stuff in the two films he did with Michael Mann, and hear a little bit of what was to come here. It has bombast and mayhem where it's needed, but compared to Horner and Goldsmith's stuff it's way more melancholic, which fit this story just fine.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray

#124 Post by Zot! » Fri May 31, 2013 10:21 am

zedz wrote:The Alien3 (which maybe should have been subtitled "Portrait of a Clusterfuck") making-of is much better than the finished film, in my opinion.[/i].
Agreed. I think this doc probably benefits from Fincher's absence.

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Re: Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset

#125 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:59 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:...development hell through Renny Harlin (who I found to be surprisingly humble and honest about his failings in trying to create something interesting and worthy of the previous two)...
Even though I'm not a huge fan of his films, Harlin is always great in any of the interviews I have seen him in, and always seems humble and self-deprecating about his work. I'm speaking from memory here but those great anecdotes with him peppered throughout the Nightmare on Elm Street Encyclopedia disc (and later in the Never Sleep Again documentary) involving him down on his luck but trying to get the job of working on the fourth film, and having Bob Shaye talk to his mother in Finland are wonderfully endearing! And (incidentally?) help to elevate New Line of that era to seem like a kind of 'family' company ready to take chances.

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