Aliens 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 272, March/April

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number):
(MPAA Rating):
(Rating Reason):
Monster violence and language
(Retail Price):
(Disc Type):
Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
(Widescreen Edition):
(Full Screen Edition):
(Running Time In Minutes):
137 / 154
(Color Type):
(Chaptered/Scene Access):
(Closed Captioned):
(Regional Coding):
(Theatrical Year):
(Theatrical Release):
(Direct-To-Video Release):
(Disc Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
James Cameron
(Screenplay/Written By):
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer):
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers):
(Academy Awards):
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio):
(Measured Disc Aspect Ratio):
(Disc Soundtrack):
Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
(Theatrical Sound):
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(DTS Bit Rate):
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate):
(Additional Languages):
(French Language):
(Spanish Language):
(Portuguese Language):

In "Aliens," 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. (Suzanne Hodges)

Both the 1986 theatrical version (02:17:14) and the 1990 Special Edition (02:34:26) are available for viewing. Special features include 2003 commentary by James Cameron and the cast and crew, the final theatrical isolated score, and direct access to new/additional scenes from the special edition (20:03), the featurettes: "The Inspiration And Design Of Aliens" (HD 30:54). "Superior Firepower: Making Aliens" (03:04:59), "Superior Firepower: Making Aliens Enhancement Pod" (58:31) and "Pre-Production" and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photograph on Eastman 5384 film stock using the Arriflex 35-III and Moviecam SuperAmerica camera systems and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. Grain has essentially been eliminated or minimized in this restoration. Picture quality is superb. Production design is breathtaking with imagery that virtually appears three-dimensional. The color palette paints realistic color with wonderfully nuance hue shadings. With all the machinery, gear, weapons and the alien-infested planet rock landscape gray hues are prominent. There is a close-quarter alien encounter scene with a red-hued color that sets a very dangerous situation. Explosions and fire light up the screen. Flesh tones are also light up the screen with perfect naturalness. Much of the picture is dark. HDR contrast is excellent with deep blacks, incredible shadow delineation, and brilliant white levels, which enhance the darkly lit harsh environments. The contrast between human hues and the other grayish blue and black hues of the space environment, ships, and creatures is dramatic. Outer space vistas are spectacularly rendered and dimensional. Resolution is impressively sharp with very fine detail exhibited in every frame, down to every brushstroke of the makeup on Sigourney Weaver's face. Facial features, as well as hands, reveal extraordinary detail in skin pores, lines, sweat and hair. Flesh tones provide life-infused color in the otherwise sterile-machinery-focused cinematography. Clothing and Marine battle attire and gear also exhibit incredible detail including virtually every thread of the costumes. The Alien creature is incredibly detailed in texture and density. Object textures are amazing in their detail. This is a picture that is exceptional in terms of its incredible resolution, dimensionality, sharpness, and clarity, and is the new definitive reference for this science fiction classic. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is amazingly dynamic sounding. Sound effects of all manner, including gunfire, explosions and space ships, and the alien creatures are emotionally impactful. At times, all channels put out extreme SPL energy. The panning of sound effects is quite effective, with gunfire punchuating the side and rear-channel surround loudspeakers and massive brutal explosions filling the soundfield. Sudden bursts of sub-25 Hz LFE deliver power effects enhancement, and there is a seemingly near-constant background clamor of spaceship "high tech" sounds that underlie the action. Alarms enhance the situation dangers. The dynamics project remarkable low-level resolution of atmospheric sounds and Foley sound effects. The soundtrack delivers a full scale aggressively dimensional holosonic® soundfield experience when all the channels are fully engaged, which is often. The stereo soundstage is impressively directionalized. The James Horner orchestral score is eerie and haunting, providing an intense mysterious presence, with a wide and deep soundstage presence that extends into the surrounds. Dialogue is intelligible throughout, even in the most intense alien encounter scenes.

The Immersive Sound element is coo[rised of a subtle extension of James Horner orchestral score, though there are signifcant lapses in its presence. There also are a few sporatic sound effect, but not particlarly significant except or an emergency PA announcement. Far, far more could have been accompished but was not addressed.

This is a powerfully dynamic holosonic® soundtrack that effectively delivers a sense of enveloping immersion and dimensionality that dramatically enhances the excitement and terror. (Gary Reber)