The 115-minute 1992 theatrical version (with a deleted/extended scene index) and the 145-minute 2003 Special Edition/Assembly Cut (with deleted footage marker) of "Alien 3" are offered on Disc One, both with audio commentary by cinematographer Alex Thomson, editor Terry Rawlings, effects designers Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., visual effects producer Richard Edlund, and actor Paul McGann.Following the same format as the first two movies, Disc Two -- supplements relevant to "Alien 3" -- is split into Pre-production, Production, and Post-production. Starting with the former, you will gain access to four featurettes: the 17-minute Development: Concluding The Story, which discusses the difficulties in making the film; the 13-minute Tales Of The Wooden Planet: Vincent Ward
Also available in the nine-disc "Alien Quadrilogy" DVD set. Individual editions also available in a version with a French-language alternate soundtrack.
The action in "Alien 3" begins after Ellen Ripley (Weaver), the last human survivor from Aliens, crash lands on a dark and gloomy prison-planet, unaware that one of the aliens has joined her for the ride. The planet is occupied by an all-male group of messianic murderers and rapists with shaved heads. To make matters worse, apparently yet another alien, and embryonic queen, has ensconced itself in Ripley
The anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1-framed DVD picture for the theatrical version appears to be virtually the same as the previous edition (Issue 33), though alternate scenes on the Special Edition exhibit adjustments in color and contrast (for example, compare the shot of the man mopping the floor in Chapter 23 of the Special Edition and 16 of the previous version). As with "Aliens," there can be some inherent softness in the picture, but otherwise detail is very nicely rendered. There can be a minor edginess to the some of the higher contrast scenes, but hardly resemble anything like the annoying halos that are apparent on more and more DVDs. (Suzanne Hodges)
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