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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem: Unrated Edition DVD Review by Ian

Film: Well, I don’t know how you decided to celebrate Christmas morning, but Jess and I took in (well I dragged her, lest it appears voluntary) Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, which as you can tell from our earlier podcast I did with Derek that I liked it quite a bit. Yeah, the acting was a bit painful, but then again, it did have Alien vs. Predator (to paraphrase from Homer Simpson’s musing about a football in the groin). The best way to go into the film is to treat it as a monster film with lots and lots of violence, but still rooted in the ideas of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf-Man and King Kong vs. Godzilla. If that description sounds good to you, then give it a try. This two disc unrated edition contains added scenes that were left out for various reasons (explained in the commentary) in the theatrical cut.

Video: Fox delivers an anamorphically enhanced transfer for Alien vs Predator: Requiem. However, since we received a screener copy, I can’t give a final comment on the video (similar to what DVDTalk does). I don’t expect any problems in the retail copy as Fox DVDs (from my own experience) generally have excellent video quality. The transfer (as it was when it played in theatres) is dark as was the director’s original intentions.

Audio: Unlike the video, I can comment on the audio: It’s Excellent! The DVD features both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Surround Options (along with French and Spanish Dolby Surround tracks) and they sound great. It’s no surprise that a major Sci-Fi/Horror/Action film should feature an extremely robust soundtrack and Alien vs Predator: Requiem does just that. Brian Tyler’s excellent score, which features great new music mixed with chestnuts from the previous Predator and Alien films, comes thorough expertly mixed: never too quiet, nor too loud. The sound effects (blasts, roars, etc.) are excellent and also very immersive. This will be a great movie to test out your system. I expect the Blu-ray to be an excellent aural experience too.

Extras: Fox really went to town on this release in terms of extras. First, is a feature that allows you to see when footage was added to the film by way of a digital marker. Then we have a pair of audio commentaries, the first with directors The Brothers Strause and Producer John Davis. They open up discussing the issues of Predator indigestion, but soon go into discussions of their goal with the unrated edition and the tech end of the film (such as work going into the construction of the suit). The next one is with Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gilis who discuss the special effects work done in the film in more detail than the first track. In addition, there is around 50 minutes of original featurettes about the film dealing with the making of the Alien and Predator (and PredAlien) suits and the making of the film in general. They were very informative and will be of great interests to fans of the film. There are also various still galleries and two trailers (including the Red Band trailer which is why most of us went to see the film in the first place).

Overall: Simply put this is a must-buy DVD for fans of the film and those who want to see a great monster battle film. If you have Blu-ray, go and get the unrated Blu-ray version. Fox really put together an excellent DVD for Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.


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