Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Alien vs. Predator - The Unrated Edition

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Sanaa Lathan as Alexa Woods
Raoul Bova as Sebastian de Rosa
Lance Henriksen as Charles Bishop Weyland
Ewen Bremner as Graeme Miller
Colin Salmon as Maxwell Stafford
Tommy Flanagan as Mark Verheiden
Joseph Rye as Joe Connors
Agathe De La Boulaye as Adele Rousseau
Carsten Norgaard as Rusten Quinn
Sam Troughton as Thomas Parks
Petr Jákl as Stone
Pavel Bezdek as Bass
Kieran Bew as Klaus
Carsten Voigt as Mikkel
Jan Filipensky as Boris

Special Features:
- Concept Art

- Storyboard Gallery

- DISC 1: Widescreen Theatrical Version

- Seamlessly branched Unrated cut

- Commentary by Paul W.S. Anderson, Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Lathan

- Commentary by: Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr. and John Bruno

- Added Unrated Footage: Antarctica 1904, Argument, Chamber of Skulls, Sacrifice, Weyland's Death & Predator Ritual

- DISC 2: Pre-Production: AVP The Beginning

- Branching Footage: ADI Workshop

- Production: AVP Production

- Branching Video off of Making of AVP: Miniature Whaling Station, Facehuggers & Eggs, Trouble at the Mouth of the Tunnel

- Post-Production: Visual Effects Breakdown

- Deleted Scenes with optional Director's Commentary: The Sister, Miller Gets Caught, & Love Scene

- Licensing the Franchise: Aliens vs Predator the Comic Book

- Monsters in Miniature by Todd McFarlane

- Marketing: HBO Special

- Theatrical Trailer #1

- Theatrical Trailer #2

- Theatrical Trailer #3

- Alien Quadrilogy & Planet of the Apes 35th Anniversary

Other Info:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 108 Minutes

Synopsis:
When satellites for the Weyland company discover a strange pyramid buried 2000 ft below the Antarctic ice, company founder Charles Bishop Weyland assembles a team to investigate. He chooses Antarctic expert Alexa Woods to lead the expedition.

When the team arrives, they discover many strange stone carvings and hieroglyphics on the pyramid depicting sacrifice, hunting, and strange creatures. Little does the team realize that they have stumbled upon an ancient training ground for the Predators. The alien race of hunters placed the pyramid there thousands of years ago as a location for a hunting rite of passage. Inside, they hunt the Alien, one of the fiercest creatures in the galaxy and an integral part of their hunting culture.

As luck would have it, the humans have been lured to the pyramid just in time for the latest Predator hunt. The human team is needed to incubate the Alien young. The human team quickly realizes their dangerous predicament, but will any of them survive the battle between Alien and Predator?

This is the unrated version of Alien vs. Predator, but the theatrical version is rated PG-13 for violence, language, horror images, slime and gore.

The Movie:
Since this is the "unrated" version of AVP, you might expect the new material to be some gory stuff that was the difference between an R or a PG-13 rating. Well, you'd be wrong. There are only 6 new scenes included in the film and they mostly consist of the humans talking with each other when not being slaughtered. The only exception is an alternate opening that takes place in Antarctica in the 1800's. This scene, which was included on the previous edition of the DVD, shows a whaler being chased down and killed by a Predator before he gets a nasty surprise by an Alien.

As for the other scenes, an early one shows one of the military guys arguing with one of the scientists before the expedition starts. Another scene shows the expedition discovering a room full of skulls and spines mounted on a wall as well as a fossilized face hugger. Later in the film, another scene shows Weyland marveling at a Predator gun while standing over the body of a killed employee. Weyland's assistant reminds him of the high cost of finding the technology. The flashback scene where the history of the Predators is shown features a little more lead-in narration indicating that the Predators in the temple are "teenagers" going through a rite of passage. Finally, a little more is added to Weyland's death scene.

While there's 8 minutes of added footage, it doesn't make the movie any better or worse. You might not even notice it. The real reason to get this DVD is for the bonus features.

If you'd like to see my review of the original version of the DVD, click here.

The Extras:
The extra disc of bonus features is the real carrot to buy this DVD. While a few features, like the two commentaries and the deleted scenes, are on the previous DVD, most of them are new and get much more in-depth into the making of the film.

First of all, there's an extensive "making-of" documentary broken up into three parts – pre-production, production, and post-production. All together they make up around 2 hours of footage. They discuss the development of the story, the creation of the monster suits and the new weapons, and more. They then move into the casting, shooting in Prague, and the sets. Finally, in post-production they show the CG Queen, the Alien attack scenes, and other cool stuff. Within these documentaries you can access "Branching Footage" which is just a fancy way of saying shorter featurettes. They cover the ADI Workshop where the creatures were made, the Miniature Whaling Station, Facehuggers & Eggs, Visual Effects Breakdown, and Trouble at the Mouth of the Tunnel which features a major fire that broke out on the set. Overall it's a great look at the making of the movie.

A few additional deleted scenes are also included. They are very minor. In one our heroine mentions that she has a sister who is not quite as adventurous as her. Another shows the character Miller getting caught by the Aliens. Finally a scene misleadingly called "Love Scene" shows our heroine making lovey eyes with the archeologist before they make the big jump across the chasm.

The bonus features then move on into the licensing of the franchise. The first feature is "Aliens vs. Predator the Comic Book" and it details the origins of the AVP comic book at Dark Horse Comics. (The idea was literally thought up while one of the DH guys was in the bathroom.) They talk about the development of the story, how they influenced the movies, and how their Predator comics influences Predator 2. If you're a comic fan you're going to love this. Following it is "Monsters in Miniature by Todd McFarlane". This is mainly a profile of Todd McFarlane and his company, not really the toys he makes. While I found it interesting, it focused a lot less on AVP that I would have liked.

Rounding out the offerings is Concept Art, Storyboard Galleries, and Theatrical Trailers. An HBO "Making of" special is also included, but it's kind of redundant after seeing the main documentary on the making of the film.

The Bottom Line:
If you haven't bought AVP yet, this is the edition you'll want to get. If you already own it, you'll have to decide whether the extensive bonus features are worth it. Fans of Alien, Predator, and comics will probably think it's worth it and will gladly be puppets of Fox by buying another copy.

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