Blu-ray Picks of the Week for May 10th

This week we’ve got the Alien set, now available as stand-alone Blu-ray discs at a friendlier price, and a load of Digibook releases on BD that are definitely worth a purchase for your HD library.

Released as the Alien Anthology (previously on DVD as the Quadrilogy) on Blu-ray back in October, 2010, 20th Century Fox has now dipped in and given fans the chance to purchase these excellent Blu-ray discs individually, which means now is the time to get that master-class in horror filmmaking, Alien, and the slam-bang hard-as-nails follow-up, Aliens, while considering maybe the strange, moody Alien3, and perhaps giving the last film in the series, Alien: Resurrection a pass (worth a rental, for most folks).  For completionists, the Blu-ray boxed set is still very much worth the price… as you won’t get the bonus discs that were just loaded with features (soup to nuts production items from all four films… real nuggets of gold here for fans).  For the true fan, Fox offered a limited edition set with more goodies including a pretty neat desk sculpture, but for the average movie fan who loves the first two films and generally loathe the last two in the series, Fox is presenting the films on single disc editions with limited extras (mostly commentaries, deleted/extended scenes and trailers relative to each film).  You’ll find these single disc BDs on sale just about everywhere this week… Fox has gotten about all it can from folks on this series, and unless a new physical media format is foisted on us in the future, these might be the last time these films end up on disc in pristine condition (heck, you can see them in HD with 5.1 surround through various VOD services).  Here’s a breakdown of each disc.  Again… for those that really dig these films, especially the first two and would like to really understand the filmmaking talent that went into creating them, the BD Anthology is still highly recommended… it’s truly an awesome set.   For the record, they all look and sound terrific in 1080p with lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks, though they lack the MU-TH-UR Mode that the Alien Anthology‘s discs offered (MU-TH-UR is the ridiculously named interactive BD-Java-powered “experience” that allowed you to view certain extra features while playing back the films… no big loss unless you like dancing baloney in front of the actual movie).

Alien (20th Century Fox)

  • 1979 Theatrical Version
  • 2003 Director’s Cut with Ridley Scott Introduction
  • Audio Commentary by Director Ridley Scott, Writer Dan O’Bannon, Executive Producer Ronald Shusett, Editor Terry Rawlings, Actors Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt
  • Audio Commentary (for Theatrical Cut only) by Ridley Scott
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Composer’s Original Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Audio: English: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio / Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital / French: 5.1 DTS
  • Language (Dubbed): English, French & Spanish / (Subtitled): English, French & Spanish
  • Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 2.35:1 / MPEG-4 AVC / 1080p

Aliens (20th Century Fox)

  • 1986 Theatrical Version
  • 1991 Special Edition with James Cameron Introduction
  • Audio Commentary by Director James Cameron, Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Alien Effects Creator Stan Winston, Visual Effects Supervisors Robert Skotak and Dennis Skotak, Miniature Effects Supervisor Pat McClung, Actors Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, Carrie Henn and Christopher Henn
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by James Horner
  • Composer’s Original Isolated Score by James Horner
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Audio: English: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio / Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital / French: 5.1 DTS
  • Language (Dubbed): English, French & Spanish / (Subtitled): English, French & Spanish
  • Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 1.85:1 / MPEG-4 AVC / 1080p

Alien3 (20th Century Fox)

  • 1992 Theatrical Version
  • 2003 Special Edition (Restored Workprint Version)
  • Audio Commentary by Cinematographer Alex Thomson, B.S.C., Editor Terry Rawlings, Alien Effects Designers Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., Visual Effects Producer Richard Edlund, A.S.C., Actors Paul McGann and Lance Henriksen
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by Elliot Goldenthal
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Audio: English: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio / Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital / French: 5.1 DTS
  • Language (Dubbed): English, French & Spanish / (Subtitled): English, French & Spanish
  • Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 2.35:1 / MPEG-4 AVC / 1080p

Alien: Resurrection (20th Century Fox)

  • 1997 Theatrical Version
  • 2003 Special Edition with Jean-Pierre Jeunet Introduction
  • Audio Commentary by Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Editor Hervé Schneid, A.C.E., Alien Effects Creators Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., Visual Effects Supervisor Pitof, Conceptual Artist Sylvain Despretz, Actors Ron Perlman, Dominique Pinon and Leland Orser
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by John Frizzell
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Audio: English: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio / Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital / French: 5.1 DTS
  • Language (Dubbed): English, French & Spanish / (Subtitled): English, French & Spanish
  • Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 2.35:1 / MPEG-4 AVC / 1080p

WHITE SPAC

For all this week’s Blu-ray Disc releases visit Amazon.com.

Some highly recommended Digibook releases are out on Blu-ray this week as well and note that the re-release of the classic war movie, Patton, should be a huge improvement over the terrible initial BD release of this great f

ilm:

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Digibook) (20th Century Fox)

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Digibook) (20th Century Fox)

Patton: 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (Digibook) (20th Century Fox)

Rocky (Digibook) (MGM)

The Usual Suspects (Digibook) (MGM)

The Terminator (Digibook) (MGM)

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Also recommended are some non-Digibook releases, including Blue Valentine, one of the best films of 2010, and a Criterion release of a very fun Jonathan Demme movie, Something Wild, that may be worth a rental or even a buy.  For Marilyn Monroe fans, a few cl

assic films come your way and offer BD-quality transfers of old faves:

Blue Valentine (Starz/Anchor Bay)

The Misfits (MGM/UA)

Some Like It Hot (20th Century Fox)

Something Wild (Criterion)

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As for the rest, here’s what’s coming your way for Tuesday, May 10, 2011:

The Almighty Thor (Echo Bridge)

Another Stakeout (Mill Creek)

Black Death (Magnolia)

Chobits: Complete Collection (FUNimation)

Cougars, Inc. (Lionsgate)

Dahmer vs. Gacy (Virgil Films and)

Flicka 2 (20th Century Fox)

Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall – Live! (Eagle Rock)

The Hit List (Sony)

The Horse Soldiers (MGM)

I Saw the Devil (Magnolia)

The Illusionist (Sony)

An Innocent Man (Mill Creek)

No Strings Attached (Paramount)

Shigurui: Death Frenzy (FUNimation)

Straight Talk (Mill Creek)

Top Gun: 25th Anniversary Edition (Paramount)

V.I. Warshawski (Mill Creek)

The Violent Kind (Image)

Get a list of all this week’s Blu-ray Disc releases available at Amazon.com.

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Christian Hokenson

Christian Hokenson

Christian Hokenson enjoys knife throwing, growing exotic mosses, and that warm spot where the sun shines through the corrugated box. Christian also writes for Gadget Review. You can also find Christian on Google+, and Twitter.

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