I recently recommended the new Blu-ray Alien Anthology set, and now that I have sat down and watched some I can proudly say that my recommendation was totally correct.
I started out with Aliens, specifically the scene where the Marines first encounter the aliens, since I knew it has always been a bit murky because of all the intense detail and the black on black colors. Friends, let me tell you that I saw everything that scene had to offer. The black on black is the most impressive – all the detail work is finally revealed. There’s no color bleed with the oranges and reds (and all the other colors too, it’s just that the reds are more likely to bleed). It’s like watching the movies for the first time all over again, and this is from someone who has seen these movies more times than I can count. A quick review of all four films:
Alien – I watched this one in its entirety. And it is gorgeous! The colors pop like never before, and the lack of color bleed makes everything even more crisp.
Aliens – Watched several key scenes, and I feel like this is the movie that benefits most from the Blu-ray upgrade. The darker scenes are clear and finally you are able to pick up all the textures of black on black on black. I can’t describe just how beautiful this upgrade looks. Amazing.
Alien 3 – Watched about half. The colors are beautiful – Fincher went for a very orange pallet, and the lack of bleed in the tones again makes for a much crisper picture. One negative – the added clarity helps to emphasize just how weak the CGI alien is, but then again, it looked pretty weak when it was first released, so I wasn’t surprised. The practical effects look terrific.
Alien Resurrection – This is the one disappointment in the set. I watched about half, and found that while the colors are crisp, the overall picture is grainy and not nearly up to the level of quality of the other three movies. Even the underwater scenes, which I figured would look the best, still looked grainy. This is especially apparent in the darker scenes where the black backgrounds are more murky and bleed a bit.
I would recommend this to everyone. Not only are these terrific movies, but this is seeing them with new eyes. For those of you out there with a Blu-ray player, this is worth your money and you will not be disappointed. These movies were meant for Blu-ray.