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Alien: 3

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 5, 2000 | E-mail the Author
"The Game" director David Fincher's take on the "Alien" series was certainly not enjoyed by most fans and I can sort of understand why. The film takes the series to some new and unexpected places and adds a far darker tone to the film than had ever been added to the previous films in the series. The interesting thing that's on display here is the beginings of Fincher's visual style, apparent in a lot of the images and scenes throughout the film.

This film follows Ripley on yet another tale; this time she's crash-landed on a prison colony, years after the events of "Aliens" were over. Unfortunately though, an alien has followed her along on the ship and begins to make itself known once more.

The performances are just as enjoyable as the previous films, but it's the general tone and pace of the film that brings it down. Fincher's dark style adds an interesting tone to the film, but the general pace and feeling is rather a downer. The first films were certainly dark, but not this dark. It seems like Fincher took his risky choices to add to his film slightly too far.

It's not a bad film by any means, but it certainly doesn't contain the excitement or thrills that the first two films were able to present to audiences.

THE DVD:
VIDEO QUALITY: A very strong anamorphic transfer that has little or no flaws, except for one main problem: the framing is slightly off from the original 2.35:1 framing. I didn't notice too many scenes where this was distracting, but either way, it still is off a little bit. It's quite a strong image though; colors are pure and rts really fully saturated, looking phenomenal throughout, capturing the look of Fincher's film perfectly. There are some scenes that look slightly grainy, but otherwise there are no problems with artifacts or anything like that. The film itself looks fine as well, nothing in the way of scratches in the print itself. Flesh tones are generally accurate or close to accurate throughout and shadow detail looks strong throughout the film. Even though there are a lot of smoky, dark scenes in Fincher's film, the image looks clear throughout, well-defined and enjoyably presented for overall, a really enjoyable looking DVD, looking excellent and well-detailed throughout. For a movie that is thought of as "murky", I was consistently amazed at how well-defined the image looked on this DVD. The layer change is at about 58:20.

SOUND: Thrillingly agressive presentation, full of greatly detailed and forceful surround sound that envelops the viewer in the total experience. The soundtrack presents strong bass throughout and although some of the score combined with the image occasionally makes the film seem a bit too much like a rock video, it's certainly presented clearly and fully. Dialogue is clear and natural sounding throughout. It's a loud, forceful sound mix with great impact.

MENUS: Stylish menus, but certainly nothing like the details that make up the menus from the first two films.

EXTRAS: Not nearly as packed as the first two films, there are only a few extras on this disc. The main one is a fairly long, but kinda old "Making Of" documentary that isn't too bad. It's about 20 minutes or so long and contains interviews and thoughts from the cast of the current film and the two previous ones, along with some scenes of production during the 3rd film. Also included are the trailers to the rest of the films. I certainly think that Fox could have done a more impressive job with the extras category on this disc, even though there was a lot of controversy when this picture was originally released between 20th Century Fox and director David Fincher(although the two seem to have cleared up their problems since Fincher will be releasing his "Fight Club" through Fox in Summer '99). It's just that, compared to the first two discs, there isn't much of anything here in terms of suppliments.

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