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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > Action > Alien Vs. Predator - The Unrated Edition (DVD-Video)

Alien Vs. Predator – The Unrated Edition (Widescreen/DTS)

 

Picture: B-     Sound: B+     Extras: C+     Film Cut/Uncut: C/C+

 

 

Alien vs. Predator (2005) has been a real pain and annoyance for fans of the two franchises, especially in the way in which is has driven them to nit pick over all kinds of problem they saw in the film.  Many just do not even count it as part of either franchise and at least in some of the revisions and liberties it takes with the early Alien films, its own separate entity.  Of course, Alien Resurrection already did major damage, so this film is more of a scapegoat than it needs to be.  Now, The Unrated Edition has been issued as a 2 DVD set and the big question is, how much of an improvement is the new cut?  Well, I agree with our previous review that “the story here is terrible, and covered with plot holes that just can’t be forgiven by your average moviegoer” among other things, but this is a better version because the PG-13 cut was more butchered than I expected.

 

The attacks on human and their resulting mutilation, pain and torture is more fully defined and realistic to make the film have more impact, yet I expected the battles between the title entities to be more hardcore and brutal.  That never materializes, so I now know that anything between them director Paul W.S. Anderson (Event Horizon) intended made it to the big screen.  It should have been more brutal.

 

Sanaa Lathan is the lead of a still very forgettable and underdeveloped cast, save Lance Henriksen, who is not on screen long enough to help out.  One thing the film does have going for it is more physicality thanks to the extensive make-up and creature effects, but the blood we get in this new cut looks fake.  Alien Resurrection reportedly had an NC-17 at first, but this film never goes that far, which will disappoint fans.  The plot that both creatures have a previous history on earth is one of the worse in cinema history, but getting them together is interesting enough, though the Dark Horse comics that inspired it seem somehow more realistic and brutal.  Anderson’s directing is the other saving grace that keeps one watching, as the screenplay constantly fails over and over again, as the journey is not that memorable except as pop culture pastiche.  If they do another battle film, they should go further or cancel it, but get a new cast!

 

Miss Lathan’s role is interesting because when we look back, it will be apparent that along with Gabriele Union in the far more failed Night Stalker TV revival, they are female pseudo-hero characters that seem to be reflecting of all people: Condoleezza Rice!  Yes, the now Secretary of State even made an appearance as “herself” (via another actress) in Ang Lee’s catastrophic Hulk revival.  In all three cases, it seems to represent revisionist history in more ways than one as if some people have a desire to overturn previous African American women of power images (like Tina Turner) and replace them with something more “domesticated” and that is disturbing.  It is also boring and a constant failure, not necessarily reflecting the real career of Miss Rice, but something she may want to consider in what does and does not work for her media-wise. 

 

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 Super 35 image is the same exact transfer as the previous edition and the extra footage is of the same quality, so the extra footage is seamless.  All is overdigitized, but what can you do.  The sound is almost the same as the last edition, all pretty good, for the Dolby Digital 5.1 English and 2.0 Pro Logic surround Spanish & French versions, but the 5.1 DTS actually sounds better in this case with a little more punch and impact.  That is especially good in the uncut footage.  Extras repeat much of the previous edition, including the two 2 separate commentaries for the theatrical cuts only that are only so listenable.  DVD 2 has three featurettes on the making of the film, a new featurette on the Dark Horse comic series that inspired the film, but sacrifices all the other comic-based features form the original DVD release (including a covers gallery, the making of that book, background study and an AVP graphic novel preview) and also offers the HBO Special on the film, three trailers, a plug for the Alien Quadrilogy and 35th Anniversary DVD of Planet Of the Apes, both also reviewed elsewhere on this site.  Diehard fans will want to keep both versions of Alien vs. Predator, though everyone will at least want to see unrated cut once.

 

Best of all, through a special feature, the uncut footage can be identified through the set up.  When the new footage shows up, a little white “Curled Alien” logo shows up on the right hand side of the screen.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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