Alien (1979) coming to UHD (4K) Blu-Ray per The Digital Bits

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Alien (1979), 40th Anniversary Edition coming to UHD (4K) Blu-ray, 1 April 2019 (yes I know what day that is).

NOTE: The April 1st release date is for the UK version. TDB noted that a U.S. release may follow a week or so later.

http://thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/011419-1100

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Kevin Collins

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92 Comments

  1. This has been rumoured for a while. I quite liked the look of the Blu-ray, & it was a massive upgrade over the DVD (Aliens even more so). In the eighties my neighbour worked for Thorn EMI who released the (4×3) VHS in the UK, & I remember him telling me that copies were being sent back to EMI by the truckload, it seems that EMI had a one light transfer done from a projection print & the picture was so dark you couldn't see what was going on, they had to redo it. I've said it before, we're spoiled rotten these days.

  2. I honestly have yet to convert to 4K, but whatever they do with this release, I hope they at least retain the isolated score track reflecting Jerry Goldsmith’s original intent (which I much prefer to the cut-and-paste assembly Scott created).

  3. I think you can safely assume that it'll be the Anthology Blu-ray (which still holds up even upscaled) paired with a UHD made from the same transfer as all released cuts of both Alien and Aliens were scanned in 4k for that set. Presumably the extras will be replicated on both although I suspect the "Final Isolated Score" will ommit the Freud and Hanson Symphony #2 cues again.

    Also Atmos probably isn't in the cards for this one. As far I am aware Alien is a CE3K style situation where only the 4.1/2.0 printmasters exist in complete form and the stems are long gone.

  4. darkrock17

    I'm hopping that isn't the final artwork, as that's A. not the Xenomorph from this movie but the one from Aliens instead. and B. what is wrong with using the iconic egg poster?

    The original poster is iconic but not that dynamic or even well designed, honestly. Just the egg and the title. I'd never expect a major studio to use that artwork in 2019 for a mainstream release like this.

  5. The teaser poster is indeed good but it’s the classic egg poster for me all the way. I did have an original of the egg before it got “misplaced” during a house move. Not been able to get another due to cost. That image along with review/ad spots with John Hurt discovering the egg were very powerful at the time movie was originally released in the UK- well at least for me :).
    The anthology art work is pretty damn good as well but not a fan of the image currently shown for the 4K release.

    Regards,

  6. dpippel

    If true, awesome news! I hope this also means that a 4K UHD release of Aliens isn't too far behind it.

    My theater back in October started showing classic movies every Sunday & Wednesday through a company called Flashback Cinema and Aliens was the movie for the week of Jan. 6th. So I guess there could be a possibility of it coming this year. They had Die Hard the week before and it was awesome seeing both of them on the big screen.

  7. I've seen Alien almost too many times over the years but I wouldn't mind seeing it on the big screen again. Last time I saw it on a big screen was on a giant old school theater screen in Colorado during the movies first run. Was an awesome experience.

  8. When it comes time for the Blu-ray trailer to come out, hopefully 20th will stick with and use the original again just with some added narration maybe. The original tells you everything you need to know about this film to pull you in.

  9. John Sparks

    I'll wait for the reviews that say it's better than the last BD version. It's getting hard to buy these UHD discs when they try to suck you in for $5 more for HDR.

    Apparently its a new scan…although they already HAD a 4K scan done for the Anthology.

  10. A new scan is nice, but why the lack of features though. This being the 40th anniversary, I was expecting a nice look back 40 years later with the remaining cast and a tribute to both Sir John Hurt and Harry Dean Stanton.

  11. darkrock17

    A new scan is nice, but why the lack of features though. This being the 40th anniversary, I was expecting a nice look back 40 years later with the remaining cast and a tribute to both Sir John Hurt and Harry Dean Stanton.

    That would be nice, but they’ve sold the Alien franchise in many formats. Maybe they figure they can’t sell enough of this edition to make new extras worthwhile. I know I’m waiting for reviews to tell me it’s at least a noticeable upgrade image-wise, before I buy.

  12. I've mentioned this on twitter, but I'll mention it here, too. The end credits for this movie were different on 70mm prints. They were over a moving star field as opposed to the static one on the 35mm prints. These credits, which were shown theatrically, have never been on home video. I'd love to have them as a bonus feature.

    Neil

  13. Johnny Angell

    That would be nice, but they’ve sold the Alien franchise in many formats. Maybe they figure they can’t sell enough of this edition to make new extras worthwhile. I know I’m waiting for reviews to tell me it’s at least a noticeable upgrade image-wise, before I buy.

    This 40th edition is just rehashing all of the previous releases, it seems that the only release that has the worthwhile features is the Alien Anthology.

  14. darkrock17

    This 40th edition is just rehashing all of the previous releases, it seems that the only release that has the worthwhile features is the Alien Anthology.

    Except that it's 4K UHD, a format that it's never been released on. I've already got the Anthology with it's exhaustive extras and am happy with them, so what I'm primarily interested in is how this looks. If it's a significant improvement over the current Blu-ray I'll buy it, and Aliens as well if it's also a quality 4K release. The rest are just fine in 1080p for me.

  15. dpippel

    Except that it's 4K UHD, a format that it's never been released on. I've already got the Anthology with it's exhaustive extras and am happy with them, so what I'm primarily interested in is how this looks. If it's a significant improvement over the current Blu-ray I'll buy it, and Aliens as well if it's also a quality 4K release. The rest are just fine in 1080p for me.

    I don't care about UHD though

  16. I have the Anthology blu-ray and it looks good! But if this transfer is done really well since I have the Sony XBR55A9F OLED I will purchase Alien on 4K Blu-ray! My two favorite of the series is Alien and Aliens so those two I will buy again on 4K but happy enough with the good transfer on standard blu-ray!

  17. I'd be disappointed if everything from the Anthology wasn't ported over at the very least, but I wouldn't be completely shocked.

    That being said, I have zero problem getting the UHD release and keeping the Anthology on the shelf for the extras. I regularly put one of the docs on for no good reason other than the high quality of those extras.

  18. Jason_V

    I'd be disappointed if everything from the Anthology wasn't ported over at the very least, but I wouldn't be completely shocked.

    According to the specs virtually none of the extras are being ported over except for the commentaries, isolated scores and some deleted scenes.

    ALIEN 40th Anniversary Bonus Features:

    • 1979 Theatrical Version
    • 2003 Director’s Cut
    • 2003 Audio Commentary by Ridley Scott and the Cast & Crew
    • 1999 Audio Commentary by Ridley Scott (1979 Theatrical Version Only)
    • Final Theatrical Isolated Score – Dolby Digital 5.1 (1979 Theatrical Version Only)
    • Composer’s Original Isolated Score – Dolby Digital 5.1 (1979 Theatrical Version Only)
    • Deleted Scenes
  19. Jason_V

    Yeah, I just saw that in the other thread. Oh well. I keep the Anthology. It's not the worst thing ever.

    Me too. The box doesn’t take up a ton of real estate and the only other UHD from this series that I want is “Aliens”. Who knows when James Cameron will get around to it (and if he does he might do a T2 hit job to it).

  20. darkrock17

    I don't care about UHD though

    If you want to talk about your love of watching Star Wars on the original VHS, go have that conversation in the appropriate thread. If you want to come to UHD release threads and moan about how you don't care about UHD…don't.

  21. Lord Dalek

    Problem with the Anthology set is the packaging can scratch the discs. Its happened to me a couple of times.

    Try the UK version – it's region free, exact same discs as the US version, but packaged in a conventional plastic case inside a slipcover. It's often cheaper than the US version too!

  22. Josh Steinberg

    Try the UK version – it's region free, exact same discs as the US version, but packaged in a conventional plastic case inside a slipcover. It's often cheaper than the US version too!

    Nah I'm good at the moment. The only problem is my copy of Alien now has art that doesn't match the old release because Fox redid it for no apparent reason.

  23. Lord Dalek

    Nah I'm good at the moment. The only problem is my copy of Alien now has art that doesn't match the old release because Fox redid it for no apparent reason.

    Which version do you have, as every release except for Comic Con has been the Xenomorph. What was wrong with using the egg, it's iconic.

  24. I have heard on several occasions, there is a version of ALIEN with revised effects to replace the dated spaceship+ planetary shots. If this is true, I've never seen it +/or it hasn't been released on video in U.S.
    If not, that's unfortunate IMHO, considering the limitations of the orig. FX (and as I see it, if we can get optional digital FX on old Dr. Who episodes, why not a major Sci-Fi film like Alien?).

  25. darkrock17

    Which version do you have, as every release except for Comic Con has been the Xenomorph. What was wrong with using the egg, it's iconic.

    [GALLERY=media, 5480]15513254743772575044235438856846 by Lord Dalek posted Feb 27, 2019 at 10:47 PM[/GALLERY]

  26. Tom St Jones

    I have heard on several occasions, there is a version of ALIEN with revised effects to replace the dated spaceship+ planetary shots. If this is true, I've never seen it +/or it hasn't been released on video in U.S.
    If not, that's unfortunate IMHO, considering the limitations of the orig. FX (and as I see it, if we can get optional digital FX on old Dr. Who episodes, why not a major Sci-Fi film like Alien?).

    A: Doesn't exist.

    B: Because the visual effects are not dated.

  27. Josh Steinberg

    Try the UK version – it's region free, exact same discs as the US version, but packaged in a conventional plastic case inside a slipcover. It's often cheaper than the US version too!

    That’s what I have.
    When I bought it for $35 it was crazy cheap compared to the US price.

    The holders are the plastic snap hubs and the disc hole is shaped like an egg.

  28. Ken Koc

    Is the Directors Cut also in 4K?

    They already did 4k scans of that material for the previous release. Assuming that it wasn't rescanned, it shouldn't be too hard to include on the disc.

    Although technically the theatrical cut IS the Director's Cut.

  29. Lord Dalek

    They already did 4k scans of that material for the previous release. Assuming that it wasn't rescanned, it shouldn't be too hard to include on the disc.

    Although technically the theatrical cut IS the Director's Cut.

    It does say theatrical cut and directors cut…..hoping its branched and it is all 4K

  30. darkrock17

    What in your opinion is dated?

    Mostly the external planet views, outer space and ship exterior views. They didn't actually appear dated to me until I saw the film in digital (DVD) quality for the first time..

  31. Tom St Jones

    Mostly the external planet views, outer space and ship exterior views. They didn't actually appear dated to me until I saw the film in digital (DVD) quality for the first time..

    That's part of the charm, at least for me. Be default, everything will look dated the minute the movie or show comes out. (And knowing there were ship models and planet miniatures and the like is really cool to know for me…and I fully admit I'm a nerd when it comes to these things.)

    I tend to go down YouTube rabbit holes a lot and I'm finding promos for different movies premiering on different networks in the 80s and 90s. Movies like Star Trek III, Superman, etc. At the time, they looked great and cutting edge and futuristic. Today..not so much. Star Trek III is a terrible offender: the costumes are pretty awful, some of the sets are laughable, the model work is…you get the point. But please don't start replacing things with CGI. Let what the original artists and craftspeople did stand.

  32. Jason_V

    Star Trek III is a terrible offender: the costumes are pretty awful, some of the sets are laughable, the model work is…you get the poin

    I agree about the costumes and some of the sets but the Visual effects by ILM still hold up terrifically imo.

  33. Tino

    I agree about the costumes and some of the sets but the Visual effects by ILM still hold up terrifically imo.

    I'm thinking specifically of the lighting on the Enterprise when it blows up. It just doesn't look right to me for some reason…but none of it is as "off" as Star Trek V. (I may need to revisit The Search for Spock this weekend with the pups…)

  34. Jason_V

    I'm thinking specifically of the lighting on the Enterprise when it blows up. It just doesn't look right to me for some reason…but none of it is as "off" as Star Trek V. (I may need to revisit The Search for Spock this weekend with the pups…)

    Nothing could ever make the effects of STV passable. Not then. Not now. Not ever.

  35. I know of atleast a couple recent major Blu-ray releases that contain, along with the orig. version and/or directors cut of the main feature, bonus FAN-MADE alternate versions… i.e. there may be hope for Star Trek V yet.. (and maybe even Alien Resurrection)

  36. Tom St Jones

    I know of atleast a couple recent major Blu-ray releases that contain, along with the orig. version and/or directors cut of the main feature, bonus FAN-MADE alternate versions… i.e. there may be hope for Star Trek V yet.. (and maybe even Alien Resurrection)

    I don’t think you do.

  37. Tom St Jones

    I know of atleast a couple recent major Blu-ray releases that contain, along with the orig. version and/or directors cut of the main feature, bonus FAN-MADE alternate versions… i.e. there may be hope for Star Trek V yet.. (and maybe even Alien Resurrection)

    Which ones?

  38. Ken Koc

    Is the Directors Cut also in 4K?

    The theatrical cut is the director's cut in this case…the other cut is just the Ridley Fiddley cut. He's not calling that a "director's cut" now is he?

  39. Peter Apruzzese

    View attachment 56564

    They called it The Director's Cut for the last reissue.

    Good god, that's misleading. I thought Mr. Scott had stated he was not at all calling the recut version a "director's cut" because the things he reinserted into it were trims that he felt they got correct on the theatrical release. I think the only thing he felt good about in the recut was that he shortened the scenes showing the Nostromo early in the film because he felt today's audience would find them "boring."

  40. Peter Apruzzese

    View attachment 56564

    They called it The Director's Cut for the last reissue.

    Emphasis on "they". Ridley has stated multiple times (even in the liner notes for the Quadrilogy box) that Fox demanded it be billed as a Director's Cut for marketing purposes. Therefore its NOT a true director's cut ala the '92 Blade Runner.

  41. Tino

    Which ones?

    For clarity's sake, I wasn't referring to the Alien series but other titles..
    eg. The new Arrow edition of Kevin Costner's (famously polarizing) WATERWORLD contains, along with the theatrical + directors cuts, a fan-made version known as the "Ulysses Cut".
    (unfortntly, I dont recall the other title at the moment)

  42. Tom St Jones

    For clarity's sake, I wasn't referring to the Alien series but other titles..
    eg. The new Arrow edition of Kevin Costner's (famously polarizing) WATERWORLD contains, along with the theatrical + directors cuts, a fan-made version known as the "Ulysses Cut".
    (unfortntly, I dont recall the other title at the moment)

    Are you thinking of "Dances with Wolves"?

  43. Raising Cain Scream edition apparently has a Fan-Edit that was sought after and approved by DePalma to the point of even labeling it a Director's Cut.

    Clive Barker's Nightbreed Cabal Cut may be the one you're thinking about though

  44. A forty year old film should be a bit dated. I think this is dated in a good way, a very classy well made film with an amazing Jerry Goldsmith score (it has a great score…that dates it!). I prefer the directors tinkered about version, as it annoyed me that I didn't know what happened to the crew.

  45. Billy Batson

    A forty year old film should be a bit dated. I think this is dated in a good way, a very classy well made film with an amazing Jerry Goldsmith score (it has a great score…that dates it!). I prefer the directors tinkered about version, as it annoyed me that I didn't know what happened to the crew.

    The problem with that scene though is it completely messes up continuity with the rest of the franchise. I mean why do you need a queen if you can just convert hosts into eggs?

  46. Lord Dalek

    The problem with that scene though is it completely messes up continuity with the rest of the franchise. I mean why do you need a queen if you can just convert hosts into eggs?

    It's also in the wrong spot. Ripley's supposed to set the auto-destruct after the cocoon scene, when she knows for certain she's the last one alive. In the 2003 cut, she sets it before the cocoon scene.

  47. Neil S. Bulk

    It's also in the wrong spot. Ripley's supposed to set the auto-destruct after the cocoon scene, when she knows for certain she's the last one alive. In the 2003 cut, she sets it before the cocoon scene.

    I think it’s fair for her to assume everyone else is dead before the cocoon scene. She does in the original cut without the scene. Adding the scene doesn’t change her state of mind when she sets the auto-destruct.

  48. 40th Anniversary of Alien on 4K UHD Blu-ray has been pre ordered! Like I mentioned in my last post I can not wait to see how good this title will look on my Sony XBR55A9F 4K OLED! I expect inky blacks and really nice picture detail. Am also expecting a great sounding audio track as well!

  49. Just got notice that my copy of Alien has just shipped and that is one title I will be watching on my next day off if I receive the movie in time. I will also not hesitate to buy Aliens if and when it arrives on 4K UHD Blu-ray. I want the first two movie on a disc not a digital version.

  50. Digital Bits Review.

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/item/alien-40th-anniversary-uhd

    From the review.
    Fox’s Alien: 40th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD release is an absolutely terrific upgrade of the film itself, offering a significant image improvement over the previous Blu-ray release. But the audio options are the same as before, the Blu-ray itself is not remastered, and – features-wise – much content from those previous Blu-ray and DVD editions has been omitted.

  51. On this week's edition of Bill Hunt says something stupid he'll have to retract:

    "The Director’s Cut material appears to be upsampled from the 2003 scan of that footage (likely done in 2K)."

    The Director's Cut was already scanned in 4k for the 2010 disc.

    EDIT: "That includes the Director’s Cut material, which had an oversaturated appearance in the 2003 Blu-ray presentation that many fans found objectionable. The landing gear bay (where Brett searches for Jones), for example, now has a slightly brassy but natural metallic appearance instead of the overly golden tones of the Blu-ray. The Dallas cocoon scene still has a golden/orange look, but it’s not quite so gaudy here."

    …was he even watching the Anthology disc? I don't know wth Bill is talking about. Clearly this is why I haven't taken him seriously as a home video critic since the Star Wars trilogy box fiasco. SKIP.

  52. It do think it may be time for Bill Hunt to pack in, but I have read (from other forums) that the picture quality of the "Director's Cut" specific scenes are noticeably inferior.

    I am not a fan of the DC, but it's a shame those scenes have gone from getting equal treatment on DVD & Blu-ray to the short shrift on UHD. I see this as just another sign that catalog releases don't warrant the big bucks like they did during DVD's heyday, and I am sure one day this will impact something I actually care about.

    On the other hand, if that's what it look to get this at the ridiculously low price of $14.96, then so be it!

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