August 21, 2012

Blu-ray Essentials- Alien (1979)

When it comes to buying horror movies on Blu-ray, we have one issue; we already own so many horror movies on DVD, that upgrading them all to Blu-ray would cost a small fortune. There are some titles that we have to own in the best format available however, and so we open to you our Blu-ray Archives which consist of what we consider to be Must Own Horror & Genre Blu-ray's.

Alien (1979)
Director's Cut & Theatrical Version
20th Century Fox
Price: $15.95+
Discs: 1 50 GB Blu-ray Disc
Video: 1080p
2.35:1 AR
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: DTS 5.1
Spanish/Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese.
Region Free

Alien is the seminal Haunted House picture, although it takes place on a spaceship and doesn't involve ghosts at all... the aesthetic of a Haunted House story, however, is something that is alive and very well in this movie. It's essentially a bunch of people alone in a dark and sprawling mansion, all of them trying to survive the thing that's going bump in the night.

With Alien and Blade Runner, Ridley Scott helped to change the validity of Sci-Fi movies forever. It also helped to legitimize the horror genre, giving audiences a monster movie that wasn't cheesy and that didn't feel fake. Many have tried to reproduce Alien's Gothic horror in the years since its release, but it still stands in a class all by itself.

Ooh, an Engineer!
A great print that is clear, with perfect black levels and vivid color, Alien looks amazing in BD. It's still beautifully grainy in some parts as it should be, but most of this transfer is so slick and pretty that I'm not sure if I care in this case. It's a major improvement over any DVD version Ive ever owned, and the bottom line is that it looks stunning.

Giger's Xenomorph is truly breathtaking to behold in HD.

...and the Chestburster scene is a thing of exquisite beauty on Blu-ray.
Alien's DTS-HD 5.1 Audio mix is perfect. It's quiet when it needs to be, bombastic when it should be, and it immerses you in the audio world of deep space horror perfectly.

He can't hear much of anything.
The most special feature of this movie is that it looks and sounds so amazing. Seriously, I was floored from the start. Of course that's more of a standard feature, but it was special to me.

  • 1979 Theatrical Version
  • 2003 Director's Cut with Ridley Scott Introduction
  • 2003 Audio Commentary with Director Ridley Scott, Writer Dan O'Bannon, Executive Producer Ronald Shusett, Editor Terry Rawlings, and Actors Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skeritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, and John Hurt
  • Audio Commentary (for Theatrical Cut only) by Ridley Scott
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Composer's Original Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (1080p, 6:39)
"All those features..."
A superb film in a stunning Blu-ray package, Alien is an absolute must own. Amazon has it for $15.95 right now, but we found ours at the local Best Buy for $9.99 not that long ago. No matter what price you snag it for, snag it you must.

The Movie
The Blu-ray Experience
Alien also gave birth to the female heroine with Ellen Ripley; she was no doubt the template for most if not all movie tough girls that came after her. *Yes, the picture below is from Aliens, not Alien, but it illustrates out point perfectly. So shush.

1 comment :

  1. This movie rocks; one of the best ever in any genre.

    I saw it when at college, iirc; I walked home afterwards along the sea front to the digs I was staying in; it was dark, and raining - I neely died from fright when I saw black tenticles fluttering in the wind - it was a shredded, black plastic bag. :D