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Published on June 1st, 2008 | by simeon

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ALIEN: The Directors Cut

In the vast reaches of space, seven people sleep in suspended animation blissfully unaware of the nightmare that they are soon to encounter.
The seven-member crew of the commercial towing vehicle Nostromo is en route to Earth with a load of mineral ore in tow when the ships intercepts a signal of mysterious origin. The master computer awakens the crew and informs Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), as to the reason behind the ships unscheduled detour. The crew thinks they are about to dock at Earth and are less than thrilled to learn that they are forced to investigate the transmission as failure to do so would result in a total loss of their share in the cargo.
The crew still finds themselves on a strange and barren planet trying to locate the source of the signal and is also forced to repair damage the ship sustained in a rough landing on the planet. During the repairs to the ships, three of the crew don spacesuits and walk to the source of the transmission unaware of the dangers they face. Before long, the crew comes upon a derelict spacecraft of alien origin that is filled with thousands of objects that look like eggs. The eggs contain a parasitic life form one of which attaches itself to the face of a crewmember named Kane (John Hurt).
Despite the quarantine orders of officer in charge Lt. Ripley, Captain Dallas is able to convince the science officer Ash (Ian Holm), to break quarantine and allow the injured Kane and the life form aboard the ship. This event not only leads to tension and dissent amongst the crew which eventually becomes pure terror as the creature grows and stalks the crew through the ship.
In a manner associated with Agatha Cristie’s classic “Ten Little Indians” the tension mounts as the creature eliminates one member of the crew after another as they are largely defenseless to the terror that is amongst them.
The film is a marvel that still scares and entertains many years later. The film does have a familiarity to the 5o’s classic “IT! The Terror from Beyond Space”, but it is still a very influential and copied film decades later.
Director Ridley Scott masters in the visuals of the film and expertly blends the human element into his creation, as despite the futuristic setting, Scott never allows the film or the characters to lose credibility.
Weaver is solid as the tough Ripley in the role that launched her career and defied the standard role of women in films of the genre.
The director’s cut looks and sounds fantastic, as Scott has seamlessly edited in the new material so that almost all of it is hard to differentiate from the original version. The cocoon scene is lovingly restored in this print and though subsequent films in the series have undermined this portion of the story, it still remains a tense and interesting scene that is worthy of inclusion.
The alien creature is still daunting and Scott wisely has avoided tricks such as digital enhancements and lets the creature remain as it was in the original release. The influential artwork by H.R. Geiger is still as haunting now as it was then as the creature invokes upon a wide arrange of psychological fears as is as unforgettable as it is terrifying to the crew.

Despite the years, “Alien: The Directors Cut” is a film well worth seeing and a classic for the ages.


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