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1979 117 mins
dir - Ridley Scott
stars - Tom Skerritt - Captain A.J. Dallas
Sigourney Weaver - Warrant Officer Lieutenant Ellen L. Ripley
Veronica Cartwright - Navigatior J.M. Lambert
Harry Dean Stanton - Engineering Technician S.E. Brett
John Hurt - Engineer G.W. Kane
Ian Holm - Science Officer Ash
Yaphet Kotto - Chief Engineer J.T. Parker
Bolaji Badejo - 'Alien'

 Alien [DVD](1979) DVD
A commercial spacecraft is "invaded" by an extraterrestrial creature that feeds on humans, bleeds acid and is seemingly indestructible. Sigourney Weaver, Yaphet Kotto, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt lead the crew that must defeat the alien and learn its terrifying secret in director Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic. 116 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English 5.1 and Dolby Surround, French; Subtitles: English, Spanish; audio commentary by Scott; deleted scenes; artwork and photo galleries; original storyboards; isolated original score; alternate music track; DVD-ROM features; web links; theatrical trailers; scene access.

This is the product of another of my (in)famous DVD swaping missions. I drew up a DVD wish list yesterday and my brother recommended Aliens, so you could imagine my joy when I went to Woolworths and got £40 for the Playstation2 game that I won on Tuesday and then saw that all four of the Alien films were on a special 3for2 offer. So, I got Alien, Aliens and The Thin Red Line and even got £6 change so that made my Saturday afternoon.

Anyhoo, for some reason I never used to watch these sort of films as a wee lad, I must have thought that they were just mindless horror films and consequently I hadn't seen the whole movie before. The last time I partially watched it was in about 1992 or something like that at Walpole's birthday, so naturally I was looking forward to renewing my acquantance with this "Sci-fi/Horror classic" as CRushton reliably informed me.

And a Sci-Fi classic it is. First of all what was most striking about the film for me was that it looks absolutley perfect, it's dark and metallic and the environments in which the action takes place (ie.on the planet and in the ships) could not have been bettered, and when you consider that it was made in 1979 it looks all the more impressive. The Alien itelf is just good. The same approach is used in Alien that was used to such good effect by Steven Speilberg in Jaws - don't show to much of the monster because if it ends up starring in its own film it doesn't just work.

And so having said this I must mention Ridley Scott. I think that the success of many of his films, again have a lot to do with how good they look. Alien for one as I have already mentioned, then you've got Blade Runner which although I'm not a big fan of is similar, in that the future Los Angeles that he created sets the basis for the whole mood of the film as it did in Alien, and we all know about the effort that went into making Gladiator. All three are extremely detailed and created until they look perfect for the movie. I particularly liked all the stuff he did with the T.V screens and the sound when the crew go down to check out the planet and they are in communication with the ship. It was pretty cool. All the technical points of the film are first class.

Another point about Ridley Scott as the director is that there is an overwhelming feeling of suspense and anticipation during the majority of the film, everytime someone walked round the corner or opened a door you felt that the Alien would be there waiting to rip their head off (but it never was!) There are so many memorable bits in Alien and at least four points that genuinely make you jump. For example - The Alien has got to be one of, if not the most easily recognisable image in all of the Sci-Fi genre and you could even argue the fact for movies in general. Then there is the bit where it jumps out of the egg onto John Hurt's face, then the bit where it explodes out of his stomach, then the first time you see it fully grown. The damn thing's got ultra-corrosive blood for Pete's sake, how good is that.

I was trying to find something to critisise this film for so that I could give it 9 instead of 9.5 because I've been told that Aliens is better, but I couldn't because it's more or less perfect.


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