Sci-fi is making a comeback in a big way right now. But the genre was not always big and definitely not always mainstream. But it has its milestones and benchmarks. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Star Wars. Westworld. Blade Runner. And of course, Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece Alien. But seven years after Alien something happened that rarely happens in the movies. A sequel was released with another phenomenal director taking the series into a completely different direction, but the film was not only as good as the original, many consider it superior. James Cameron’s Aliens was released in 1986 and was a huge hit. And it has become one of the most beloved sci-fi films ever in the time since. This month sees a new edition of the film on Blu-ray to celebrate the films 30th Anniversary.
Fifty-seven years after the events in Alien, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is back on Earth and wakened from her hypersleep. But when she relays the story of the monster that killed her crew and almost killed her on LV-426, her story is not believed. The planet has now been colonized but Earth has lost contact with the inhabitants. Now Ripley is asked to accompany a team of Marines back to LV-426 to see what happened and Ripley believes it may be the only way for her to cope with her nightmares. To face once again the monster that haunts her dreams.
Aliens took what was most effective about Alien: atmosphere, tension, character building, and put all that into one of the most fast paces, nail biting action films ever made. Weaver was joined by a fantastic cast including Michael Biehn in his iconic role of Corporal Hicks, Carrie Henn as child survivor Newt, Paul Reiser as douchebag corporate whore Burke, Lance Henriksen as artificial crew member Bishop and Bill Paxton as the whiniest Marine ever. Aliens has everything you could possibly want including tension, scares, humor, great character development, drama, action and even a splash of romance. It is a pretty much perfect film crafted by one of the most innovative and consistent directors of all time, James Cameron. In my opinion Cameron has never made a bad film (Piranha II: The Spawning doesn’t count). All of his films have become high benchmarks in each genre they are made in and Aliens may be one of his best.
The new Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition includes both the theatrical version of the film as well as the extended Special Edition, isolated scores by James Horner, a new introduction by James Cameron, deleted and extended scenes and a cool set of art prints of Cameron’s original concept art and a special Aliens comic art book. And all for a crazy low price. If you haven’t scooped up Aliens yet this is the perfect opportunity. Very highly recommended.