Both the 137-minute 1986 theatrical edition (with deleted/extended scene index) and the 154-minute 1991 Special Edition (with James Cameron introduction and deleted footage markers) are included with commentary by director James Cameron, producer Gale Ann Hurd, Alien effects creator Stan Winston, visual effects supervisors Robert Skotak and Dennis Skotak, miniature effects supervisor Pat McClung, and actors Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, Carrie Henn, and Christopher Henn.The supplements on Disc Two are separated into "Aliens" Pre-production, Production, and Post Production submenu selections. Featurettes included in the Pre-production menu, ranging in running time from 11 to 17 minutes, are: 57 Years Later: Continuing The Story, Building Better Worlds From Concept To Construction, and Preparing For Battle: Casting & Characterization. Additionally, there are multi-angle pre-visualizations with optional commentary by miniature effects supervisor Pat McGlung and galleries that include concept art, cast images, and original script treatment by James Cameron. The Production menu offers five more featurettes: This Time It
Also available in the nine-disc "Alien Quadrilogy" DVD set. Individual editions also available in a version with a French-language alternate soundtrack.
James Cameron takes the helm from Ridley Scott, bringing his own directing style to the continuing saga of Ellen Ripley (Weaver), whose escape pod is finally recovered from space after more than 50 years adrift. She learns that the planet she so fears has been colonized. But suddenly, contact with the colonists is lost, and Ripley is asked to join a group of Colonial Marines on a mission back to the planet. Both the 137-minute 1986 theatrical edition (with deleted/extended scene index) and the 154-minute 1991 Special Edition (with James Cameron introduction and deleted footage markers) are included. (Suzanne Hodges)
Both the 137-minute theatrical and 154-minute special editions of "Aliens" are available on this disc, and compared to the previously released DVD (Issue 33), this anamorphically enhanced picture (the only entry in the series shot in 1.85:1) appears to be the same. Images are sharp and can be very nicely detailed, with excellent facial and clothing textures. Much of the picture is dark in nature, but contrast and shadow delineation are well balanced. The picture exhibits somewhat dated fidelity, at times looking even older than Alien, and can have a soft character at times. There is a bit of grain inherent in the source element, but no obvious scratches or dirt. Occasional pixel breakup or shimmering is noticed, but only for a moment at a time. You will be hard-pressed to find any distracting edge enhancement. (Suzanne Hodges)
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