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ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM Unrated Special Edition
aka AVP-R Unrated Special Edition
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 101 minutes, two audio commentaries, added footage marker, 5 featurettes, 7 photo galleries, digital copy of AVP-R
VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English 5.1 DTS, French DS, Spanish DS
Subtitles: English, Spanish

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox/ Brandywine

ANALYSIS: ALIENS VS. PREDATOR (aka AVP) was a disappointment. The sequel, ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM (aka AVPR), is a disappointment on some levels while being better in other areas than AVP. I did enjoy watching AVPR in the theater, but it is so easy to take apart. It has definite problems.

First, I'll tell the basic plot. The predator ship from the end of AVP crash lands in the forest oustide of some American town (as the result of that Preadtor Alien wrecking havoc on the hsip). The first victims of the aliens are a hunter and his son and some homeless people. A lone predator is sent to dispatch the aliens (I wonder why only one- they should have explained that one). So the aliens start causing problems to the town in no time as the military get ready to deal witha way to contain it.

AVPR is fast and action-packed. It can make you jump and the alien fights against the humans and the predator work sometimes. However, the script is full of cliche characters belonging to some other film. You have the teenager infighting plot and the cex-con brother trying to find a job and so many other clutter that I could tear apart all day. They don't even bother to develop the military mom home from Iraq in any detail. They could have used her character to do more instead of focusing on an ex-con and his younger brother (who pines over a blond who gets killed anyway). AVPR could have used more character development and more suspense (slow the movie down, Strause Brothers). The little fanboy nod at the end is cool. As a mindless popcorn action movie, AVPR works great. As a follow-up to AVP and the other Alien and Predator films, it is a little weak. Maybe it is time for Fox to restart the Alien and Predator film series instead of another potentionally lame AVP sequel. The script read bad and the trailer looked cool. It just that AVPR could have been so much better.

Some of the deleted material does add to ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM, but it still doesn't make up for it's shortcomings. AVP-R falls into two caterioes when I have seen it for the second time: the elements that make it work and the homage elements that the directors rely on too much. They were too much in love with James Cameron's ALIENS, but they still didn't know how to equal it or improve on it. The action elements are great (plenty of smackdowns between the aliens and the predator), but the horror elements give mixed results (too many shock moments instead of genuine terror). I still think AVP-R is better than AVP, but it still doesn't match the intensity and greatness of the ALIEN and PREADTOR films.

20th Century Fox should have just included all the extras on one unrated edition instead of splitting it into two unrated versions. They should have just thrown the one disc with audio commentaries off a cliff into the junk heap and marketed the two disc edition with all the extras if they still insisted on the digital copy option. The one shortcoming is that they should have included seamless branching for the R and unrated extended cut (which both are only available on Blu-Ray while the R and unrated are on seperate standard def DVDs) for the DVD.

First, the added footage marker is a helpful option to point out deleted and extended/alternate scenes for those who have only seen the R version in the theaters.

The two audio commentaries were recorded for the film- one by Directors Colin and Greg Strause and Producer John Davis while the second track is with Creature Effects Designers/ Creators Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr.

Five featurettes are on the 2-disc Unrated:
PREPARE FOR WAR: THE DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF AVP-R- a look at the making of the film while using elements from the Alien and Predator series and guys ina lien suits
FIGHT TO THE FINISH: THE POST-PRODUCTION OF AVP-R- editing, digital visual effects, pre-viz, and the music of AVP-R
AVP-R: THE NIGHTMARE RETURNS- CREATING THE ALIENS- a look at the work that went into making the alien suits (they went back to the James Cameron's ALIENS) and the face huggers created for the AVP sequel.
CROSSBREED: THE PREDALIEN- they show concept art for the PredAlien and what went into creating the creature suit (and filming the action for the PredAlien scenes).
BUILDING THE PREDATOR HOMEWORLD- concept art for the Predator homeworld and the look they finally settled on. They drew on the design work in AVP and Predator 2 in addition to a Japanese building.

The Green Band (theatrical) and Red Band (internet) trailers for AVP-R are included in addition to 3 Design (Alien, Predator, PredAlien) and 4 On-Set (The Hive, The Rooftop, The Sewer, Cast And Crew) Photo galleries.

FINAL ANALYSIS: AVP-R is a better movie in some aspects from AVP, but it still doesn't match the benchmark set by the ALIEN and PREDATOR films. The featurettes are insightful while the added footage to the unrated cut does add while still not making up for AVP-R's shortcomings.

this DVD review is (c)4-19-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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