Movie Review


As Alien’s beautiful opening title sequence lit up the screen, the first thing I heard was the man beside me exclaim, “Wow, what a beautiful print!”

This is the reason to see Fox’s reissue of the sci-fi classic when it comes out Oct. 29. Digitally remastered and in Surround Sound, the reissue represents first chance for anyone born in the last two decades to see the film as it should be presented—on the big screen.

Director Ridley Scott, who went on to make Blade Runner and Gladiator, has even slightly re-edited the film for its re-release, having had 24 years to reflect on the editing decisions he made the first time around. A few scenes have been added, and several have been altered by a few seconds, supposedly to make the film run more smoothly. For the most part, however, these changes will be indiscernible to even the most diehard of Alien fans, so don’t go looking to discover previously censored scenes or important plot nuances.

Alien tells the story of a crew of space explorers whose return to earth is postponed when they receive an SOS signal from a nearby planet. Ordered to investigate, they discover a damaged spacecraft infested with thousands of alien eggs. When one of the eggs hatches and its man-eating inhabit arrives aboard the humans’ own ship, the crew endangered and a mutiny nearly breaks out when Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) tries to get the crew to leave, despite the new weaponry it is believed they might find.

Seeing the movie in a theater will open your eyes to what is almost indiscernible when watching the DVD—Alien’s incredible art, sets and lighting. The crew’s space craft “Nostromo” is magnificent on screen, its halls full of beautiful detail from the dazzling interface of the computer “Mother” to the damp, organic airducts in which the crew confronts the alien. Many of the small details of the ship and mysterious planet jump off the screen in the reissue.


For those who have seen the film before, the new scenes fill out the commentary about gender roles in the original version of Alien, which is generally credited with creating the first female action hero in the form of Weaver’s Ripley. After Ripley attempts to quarantine the explorers in the Alien’s opening scene, she and a professional rival nearly have a physical altercation. The scene pits Ridley—the first major female action hero—in a catfight that reveals the lack of respect for her authority held by the rest of her crew. In the movie’s final scenes, Ridley discovers another character half alive and part of Brett’s body trapped by the alien in a sort of lair, which she deals with in a fashion reminiscent of scenes in later Alien sequels.

The reissue of Alien truly is a remarkable chance for a new generation of moviegoers to see a beautiful classic film.