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Ok, now help me watch the Alien films!

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#1 of 58 OFFLINE   Todd K

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Posted May 01 2004 - 06:28 AM

Hello again all,

A number of months ago, you fellow HTFers offered valuable insight into my first viewings of the Terminator films:

Now, the time has come for me to discover the Alien films. To start with, I'm just going to focus on the first two movies. I've borrowed the discs from a friend of mine, but I have some questions.

1) First, let's discuss Alien. The version I borrowed is the 20th Anniversary edition, which I think may be out of print.(It's not worth anything, is it? My buddy never removed it from the plastic wrap.) I believe this to contain the theatrical version, as it says the running time is 116 minutes. It also lists deleted scenes in the special features. Now I have also seen that there is a director's cut available. I see it also lists 8 deleted scenes from the listings on Amazon.

So, are all the deleted scenes on my 20th anniversary disc included on the director's cut disc in some form? I'd really like to see the longest possible version of the movie, but I'd settle for this theatrical cut DVD I have if I knew I had access to all the footage at least.

2) Now, Aliens. I have the "special edition" single disc DVD. It runs 154 minutes and claims 17 minutes of restored footage. I would guess this is the director's cut of the film and should provide me with all the footage out there, right?

Well, that's about it. I see that there are also boxed sets like the Alien Legacy and Alien Quadrilogy. Any reason I should hold out for those?

So, if anyone has any input, I'd be grateful to hear it. I'll probably sit down with these in the next week or two.


#2 of 58 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted May 01 2004 - 06:41 AM

The newer versions of the Alien Quadriliogy are also availble seperately in 2 disc special editions, as opposed to the older 1 disc versions.

#3 of 58 OFFLINE   Jeff Jacobson

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Posted May 01 2004 - 06:58 AM

That's a good idea.

The new Alien DVD contains two versions of the movie: the Theatrical Cut and the "Director's Cut". The director's cut has added scenes, but it also has some scenes cut out. I would suggest watching the Theatrical Cut, then watching the added Director's Cut scenes afterwards. (And I should also note that the director was satisfied with the Theatrical cut of the movie. The "Director's Cut" was just a marketing thing to get more people into the theater.

#4 of 58 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted May 01 2004 - 07:03 AM

I wasn't impressed with the Alien films, after Aliens (the second one). I prefer the original, theatrical edition of Aliens. The extra footage in the SE gives away too much info too early. While the footage is interesting, some of it ruins the slow buildup that was so good in the original cut. -Scott

#5 of 58 OFFLINE   WillG



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Posted May 01 2004 - 07:19 AM

Also the 20th Anniversary edition has a very good commentary by Ridley Scott that was not brought over to the Quadrilogy. Scott recorded a new commentary for that.
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#6 of 58 OFFLINE   Ben_@


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Posted May 01 2004 - 07:27 AM

edit: Darn it Will! you beat me to it! Posted Image

The director's cut does not really have any 'cut'(as in removed) scenes, all the scenes are there, but Ridley Scott said that he trimmed the beginnings and endings of some shots simply for pacing. The scenes that are added back in (if you haven't already seen them) are OK, I wouldn't say that they completely change the viewing experience though (aside from the "nest" scene).
The 20th anniversary edition also has a different commentary, done by only Ridley Scott. Some people say its a better commentary. On top of the isolated film score, those are probably the only two signifcant differences.

As for Aliens, I'd have to agree with Scott. The added footage is probably more interesting if you've seen the movie once through. Fortunately, on the new release you have the option of either cut. The extras on both the new releases of Alien and Aliens are really top notch, definitely worth $40 for both movies.

#7 of 58 OFFLINE   Todd K

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Posted May 01 2004 - 08:15 AM

Thanks for all the quick replies. I was quite impressed. Based on this initial feedback, I think I will stick with the two DVDs I already have, though it means I'll have to watch the longer version of Aliens. So, I guess my final question is: If I watch the theatrical Alien, plus the deleted scenes from the 20th anniversary disc, will I be missing anything? Ben, you mention a "nest" scene -- is this in the deleted scenes?

#8 of 58 OFFLINE   Roger_R


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Posted May 01 2004 - 09:03 AM

The nest scene is included with the 20th. anniversary DVD in the deleted scenes section. I believe a slightly shorter version of that scene was put into the "director's cut" for the Quadrilogy set.

#9 of 58 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted May 01 2004 - 10:47 AM

I prefer the Director's Cut of Aliens, as it contains alot more character developement (such as why Ripley has such a strong connection to Newt). It should also be noted that James Cameron prefers the longer DC over the theatrical version.

#10 of 58 OFFLINE   jason:g


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Posted May 01 2004 - 12:10 PM

The Special Edition cut of Ridley Scott's Alien corrected the transition from Ian Holm's head to the fake prop head. Ridley fixed up little things like that. Unfortunately he added back a deleted scene that should have stayed deleted.

#11 of 58 OFFLINE   ChadMcCallum


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Posted May 01 2004 - 12:31 PM

Count me in as someone who perfers the theatrical cut of Aliens. The SE ruins the suspence for me. Once they get on the planet though I don't mind it. I could go for either version of Alien but I skip the nest scene in the DC.

#12 of 58 OFFLINE   Scott_MacD


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Posted May 01 2004 - 03:34 PM

I unabashedly prefer the original theatrical cut of Alien. I miss a few scenes from the theatrical version, like Dallas' conversation with Mother, the computer, which can't tell him his chances against the alien. It's an excellent scene, which forbodes his eventual fate, and there's no really good reason for it not to be in the new cut. Also, there's another scene deleted where Ripley and Dallas discuss the motives of the science officer in keeping the dead facehugger on the ship. Pretty important, and a solid setup methinks. Stick with the theatrical cut, and if you're only interested in the first two movies, then you'll miss out on the laserdisc extras on the Quadrilogy set. Fabulous stuff.. (Whether it's worth the shame of owning Alien : Resurrection is debatable, of course!) And, I prefer the SE of Aliens..

#13 of 58 OFFLINE   WillG



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Posted May 01 2004 - 04:18 PM

POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM.... Unfortunately, this is not true. As stated above, the final scene with Dallas and Mother is excised in the Director's cut. I agree that losing this scene is a mistake. It shows the inability of the computer to practically help the crew in dealing with the Alien. This is actually a cool lesson in computer science even in the future. It also has my favorite piece of score. Thankfully it is not the only place it was played. I am of mixed feeling about Dallas speaking about Ash. Part of me thinks it's too much foreshadowing, similar to the deleted scene about "The dark spot" on Kane's lung. The coccon sequence, while it is cool to see completed and integrated into the film, I feel is in an illogical spot in the film Also, one must keep in mind that the in the Quadrilogy, the theatrical version is not actually the true theatircal version. For example. The Quadrilogy uses the newer "20th Centuty Fox" intro on both versions. Also the new color timings and enhanced starfields also appear on both versions. If you have the 20th Anniversary Edition, do not get rid of it, even if you have the Quadrilogy.
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#14 of 58 OFFLINE   Edward Brand

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Posted May 01 2004 - 06:40 PM

WillG, That is not entirely true. The enhanced starfields do not appear on the theatrical cut of the film. I agree with you that one should hold on to the 20th anniversary dvd mainly for the isolated score. It is a must have imho. --Edward

#15 of 58 OFFLINE   WillG



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Posted May 02 2004 - 04:32 PM

Well there are some exterior shots of the Nostromo that had a black blob around it that were excised from the D.C. so those paticular shots may not have been touched, but what about space shots that were common to both the T.C. and the D.C.?
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#16 of 58 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted May 02 2004 - 09:28 PM

My votes:

Alien theatrical

Aliens extended

That's all. Posted Image

#17 of 58 OFFLINE   Will*B


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Posted May 02 2004 - 11:23 PM

Agreed 100%.


#18 of 58 OFFLINE   Bryan Tuck

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Posted May 03 2004 - 12:47 AM

I agree, too; I prefer the original theatrical version of Alien and the special edition of Aliens. It's nice to have both versions of each on the new discs, though. And Will is correct, there are some notable scenes taken out of the director's cut.
Don't know for sure about the enhanced starfields or color timing, but I think both versions of the film have the old 20th Century Fox logo and the old fanfare as well. At any rate, I also held on to the 20th anniversary disc, mainly for the aforementioned Ridley solo commentary and the isolated score track.
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#19 of 58 OFFLINE   Mike Williams

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Posted May 03 2004 - 03:10 AM

I really must point out that getting the NEW release of Alien is an absolute must for no other reason than the picture quality is absolutely stunning. The movie, now 25 years old, looks like it was shot yesterday. If you prefer the theatrical release, it's right there on the disc, but still in beautiful restored glory. Don't settle for what you have. There is no comparison.

#20 of 58 OFFLINE   WillG



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Posted May 03 2004 - 05:57 AM

I can tell you that the new golden color-timing where Brett is looking for Jones that was done for the D.C. is present in both versions in the Quadrilogy. I would have to double check starfields. As for the 20th Century Fox logos. In the Quadrilogy, both cuts do use an older logo and fanfare, as compared to what they use today. It seems like it was from the 80s. But the original DVD of Alien uses the Original Fox logo and fanfare, which is even older, like it may have been around since the 60s. Now there are really minor concerns. Probably was not worth branching alternate logos, color-timings and starfields, or maybe it was not even possible. The word is that the Quadriliogy discs were maxed out in terms of disc space. This was the reason given for Scott's original commentary not to be included. So hold onto the 20th Anniversary discs if you have them. Personally, I probably would have sacrificed the DTS track on the Alien disc in favor of including that original commentary. I'm sure others will disagree on that, though. One more thing of note. And I may be incorrect on this, but it seems that on the Alien disc, in the quadrilogy, the deleted scenes that did not make it back into the D.C., some of them seem to be different takes than what was shown in the 20th Anniversary Deleted scenes. For example, the "Planning The Search" Deleted Scene seems to be different between the two versions. I think there may have been one or two more that seemed to be different takes, but I can't recall off the top of my head.
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