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DVD Review: ALIEN Vs. PREDATOR

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PHOTOGRAPHY

AvP: ALIEN VS. PREADTOR

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 100 minutes/102 minutes, 2 full length audio commentaries, 3 deleted scenes, making of featurette, AVP Cover Gallery, DVD-ROM content on AVP comic books

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 1-25-2005

ANALYSIS: Back in the early 1990, I read the ALIENS VS. PREDATOR comic book. It wasn't a bad read and I wouldn't have minded a ALIENS VS. PREDTOR movie. Now director Paul W.S. Anderson has directed an ALIEN VS. PREDATOR movie. While it is an entertaining popcorn movie, AvP suffers from a poorly written script. I loved seeing Lance Henrikson as Charles Bishop Weyland. Also Predator culture was interesting. I just think the movie is weaker than any of the ALIEN or PREDATOR movies.

The plot of AvP boils down to a research team (funded by cancer ridden Weyland) to go investigate a temple buried 2,000 feet under the ice at Antarctica. It just happens they come across and let loose some chaos that brings forth alien eggs which lead to Aliens that kill humans and predators alike. Definitely the movie isn't getting any rewards for it's script and not written by rocket scientists.

VIDEO/AUDIO: AVP is presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Colors and blacks are good. Image detail is sharp, but the movie has lots of grain in the second half.

You can hear AVP in English 5. Dolby Digital, English 5.1 DTS, French 2.0 Dolby surround, or Spanish 2.0 Dolby. Subtitle options are English or Spanish. Dialogue is sharp and clear. Music is loud and booming.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Three deleted scenes are included on the DVD. None of them add anything to the movie, but the Predator Humor scene is fun to watch. If you want to see the alternate beginning (since it isn't among the deleted scenes), you have to play the Extended Version of the movie.

THE MAKING OF ALIEN VS. PREDATOR is a great 23 minute featurette that goes from the origins of the comic book (Aliens Vs. Predator) to the movie that Paul W.S. Anderson made (he really wanted to make an Alien movie). You see Paul Anderson show the production art, see inside the AVP Creature shop from the Predator gauntlet to the animatronic Alien, and a look at how the special effects were done from miniatures to fake snow. Other than promos for Super Bowl XXXIX and Seth McFarlane's new animated series, AMERICAN DAD, there is a gallery for the AVP comic books.

Additional content can be found when you insert the DVD into a DVD-ROM. You can read the first issue of the first Aliens Vs. Predator comic book. Also you are treated to a text history of how the first Alien Vs. Predator comic book in addition to seeing the layers of a few pages from the upcoming AVP graphic novel from Dark Horse Comics in the MAKING OF AVP COMICS. Then you can read the first 16 pages of the upcoming AVP Graphic Novel, Thrill Kill. Rounding out the DVD-ROM content are links to the official sites to Dark Horse Comics and the AVP movie.

COMMENTARY TRACKS: The first audio commentary for the theatrical cut is with director Paul W.S. Anderson, and actors Lance Henrikson and Sanna Lathan. All of them talk about the production of the movie and what shots they loved. Lance talks about watching screenings of ALIENS and THE ABYSS with James Cameron. Paul mentions the KY Jelly coming into Prague would get seized because the authorities thought the AVP production was with the porn industry. Lance phone goes off during the commentary (during the death scene of a character). It is Lance's wife. The story about the Germans blowing up the set is hilarious

The second audio commentary features Visual effects Supervisor John Bruno and Creature Effects Designers/Creators Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. They talk about the effects and creatures in the movie. They mention someone actually wrote a Predator dictionary!

PREVIEWS: MR. AND MRS. SMITH, behind the scenes of ELEKTRA, and skippable trailers for DAY AFTER TOMORROW, MAN ON FIRE, and AVP.

FINAL ANALYSIS: The ALIEN VS. PREDTOR DVD has some good extras for a DVD. The movie is only good for a rental due to the poor script, but AvP is enjoyable.  Buy only if you're a diehard ALIEN and PREDATOR fan.

this DVD Review is (c)1-18-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and site updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia