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Alien: 20th Anniversary Edition

Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien is a perfect concoction. Part sci-fi flick, part horror story, were it not a movie it would be best suited for telling to your friends late at night around a campfire, miles away from civilization. The crew of the Nostromo, an interstellar towing vehicle, respond to a distress call on an uncharted planet, resulting in one of their members being possessed by a mysterious life-form — a life-form the crew must return to the ship with their helpless comrade. It is only when the creature begins to gestate in an unpredictable manner that the crew finds themselves pitted against an unknown-but-deadly presence. With a remarkable cast (Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto), chilling direction by Scott, and special effects that still hold up after 20 years (and frankly, surpass much of the CGI in use today), Alien was destined to be a cross-genre classic the day it was released. The gloriously creepy art direction by noted Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger has been often copied by subsequent films, but never matched. Excellent transfer from a very good source print, DD 5.1 or Dolby 2.0. Twentieth Anniversary-edition extras include a commentary with Scott; deleted scenes (including the oft-discussed "cocoon" sequence); conceptual art by Giger, Ron Gibb, Jean "Moebius" Giraud, and Chris Foss; storyboards by Scott; production photos; promotional art and photos; and a screensaver and Web links as DVD-ROM content. Hidden extras (you'll have to look for them) include personnel files of the Nostromo crew, an analysis of the alien reproduction cycle, and DVD production credits.
—JJB

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