Alien vs. Predator on DVD
Its deadly killing machine against deadly killing machine,
and whoever wins, we lose.
A satellite owned by billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance
Henriksen) has picked up something weird: a pyramid buried thousands of feet
below the surface
of Antarctica. Naturally, they want to head to the ice
continent to examine things a little closer, so they enlist a team of experts,
including cold weather explorer Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan), archaeologist
Sebastian de Rosa (Raoul Bova), and geologist Graeme Miller (Ewen Bremner). Not
to mention several other random soon-to-be-victims, mostly riggers and drillers
After a lengthy trip to the large icy rock, the team is puzzled to
discover that someone has beaten them to the punch. Upon their arrival they
find a large shaft already drilled in the ice, leading directly to the
underground pyramid. This is about the point at which most logical people would
leave well enough alone. But characters in sci-fi/horror/action movies are very
So down the team goes. After taking their sweet time, they finally
enter the pyramid, awed by its size and scale, and by the fact that it appears
to have characteristics of at least three ancient civilizations. Whether it be
on purpose or not, the team eventually splits up (of course they do!). Some
stumble upon what appears to be a hi-tech gun cabinet, while others come across
a room full of eggs.
Oh, did we forget to mention that an Alien Queen is being held
captive in the pyramid, just recently awakened by
reason? And if youre able to put two and two together, you probably
already know that the Predators will be showing up pretty soon. Naturally, our
human friends get caught in the middle of a really hardcore battle. Or perhaps
theyre there for another reason?
Alien vs. Predator is the kind of film people will argue about for
years to come. The more open-minded individuals will appreciate the effort that
went into making it, and enjoy it for what it is: senseless, mindless fun.
Others will detest it for not staying 100% true to both franchises and refuse
to suspend their disbelief, thereby creating a chain reaction that results in
them wasting 100 minutes of their life.
Fortunately, we fall into the former category. AVP is not a
cinematic masterpiece. Certain aspects about it dont even make a lick of
sense. But who cares? Were here to see the Aliens fight the
Some things must be mentioned, such as the far-fetched theory of a
pyramid thousands of feet below the surface of Antarctica, which would have had
to have been built millennia ago, before the continent was just a big chunk of
ice. This also would have been long before humans ever came up with the idea of
civilization. It also must be mentioned that the alien gestation period seems
normal in some unfortunate souls, but is greatly accelerated in others,
whatever the particular scene calls for.
However, these are mere trifles, counteracted by all the fun
tributes to the series that are thrown (subtly and otherwise) into the
film but we wont spoil them for you here.
Paul W.S. Anderson has the thankless job of directing the movie
(and also wrote the script based on a story by himself and original Alien
creators Dan OBannon & Ronald Shusett). His work includes such
underrated flicks as Resident Evil, Soldier, and Event Horizon, and as a
talented filmmaker hes managed to make a better Alien vs. Predator movie
than you might expect.
Sure there are holes, and the movie isn't going to win any awards,
but its a great-looking, fun flick that manages to look like it had a
bigger budget than it did. The sets are huge and elaborate, the effects are
phenomenal, and the action very well staged. It even comes up with a pretty
good (if not completely satisfying) explanation as to why things are the way
Alien vs. Predator rocks, despite what some naysayers would say
(which would probably be nay). Its pure popcorn fun, provided
you dont plan on taking it too seriously. Certain folks should save
themselves the agitation and just stick with the original series.
On DVD, AVP is just as good. Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic
widescreen, the sparkling video transfer features great use of dark elements, a
good blend of colors, and appropriately subtle fleshtones. Detail is always
perfectly visible, and the lack of light never interferes with the action
(unless it was the filmmakers intent).
You can choose between a 5.1 Dolby Digital or 5.1 dts audio track,
and both will give you a feeling of being trapped on all sides by monsters that
can kill you without a second thought. Even when there is not much going on,
the surround speakers always try and keep busy. Whether it be the score, random
dialogue, or just good old fashioned sound effects, theyre always doing
something, while the front channels still handle the bulk of the work.
Its during the action scenes that you can hear aliens, predators, and
people screaming or shouting or whatever it is that they do in such situations.
At one point we were forced to jump slightly as an alien leaped from the back
of the room into the TV, a bit that was very nicely done.
While this isnt the directors cut DVD that Anderson
once hinted at, there are still plenty of extras and an alternate opening that
wasnt shown in theatres. It adds about a minute and forty seconds, and
features some scary things happening at a whaling station in 1904 (well
give you a hint it involves Aliens and/or Predators). Its a nice
tone-setting scene that really had no reason to be left out of the theatrical
Moving on, we also get two audio commentaries. The first is by
director Anderson and actors Henriksen and Lathan. Generally what happens is
that one of the actors will say something or tell a story from the shoot that
will get Anderson going on an even better anecdote or explanation. His passion
for making movies is commendable, and he almost always has something
interesting to say. The second commentary is by visual effects supervisor John
Bruno and creature effects designers/creators Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr.
This is only for those interested in the technical aspects of filmmaking, as
they talk endlessly about special effects and how they did the things they did.
They do, however, also ask each other some intelligent questions, leaving ample
opportunity for intelligent answers. One of the better technical tracks
Three deleted scenes run a total of a little over two minutes, and
appear to be nothing more than minor extensions of existing scenes that add
nothing to the story. In fact, we had a hard time figuring out what the
differences were. The Making of Alien vs. Predator is nearly 25
minutes of fluff and actual making-of information. It blends them nicely, not
going too far into either category to bore anybody.
Finally, there are some AVP promos and a Dark Horse Cover Gallery,
that is interesting if not superfluous.
Alien vs. Predator, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
100 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital &
Starring Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen, Ewen
Produced by John Davis, Gordon Carroll, David Giler and Walter
Screenplay by Paul W.S. Anderson
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
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