Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Unrated DVD

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Unrated DVD

  • Format: NTSC, 5.1 Dolby, 5.1 DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen.
  • Language: English, French.
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish.
  • Region: One.
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1.
  • Number of Discs: 1.
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox.
  • Home Video Release Date: April 15, 2008.

Overview

The AVP-R unrated single disc DVD includes the unrated version of the film; five production featurettes; six stills galleries; audio commentary by Alec Gills and Tom Woodruff Jr. and Greg Strause, Colin Strause and John Davis; a deleted footage marker that consist of an icon depicting an Alien and Predator while additional, alternate or extended scenes play; and both the Red Band and Green Band AVP-R trailers.

The DVD menu is a simple interface with four main options – play, language selection, scene selection, and special features – all overlaid against a montage of Alien and Predator images from the film, cued to a sample of Brian Tyler’s original score.

Unrated Cut

The unrated cut of the film is about 7 minutes longer than the theatrical release, coming in at approximately 101 minutes, as opposed to the 94 minute theatrical release. And although one would not think 7 minutes of extra footage would amount to much, relatively speaking it’s a lot of additional scenes for such a short film.

Whereas many films incorporate deleted footage in large chunks, most of the additional footage in AVP-R is scattered evenly throughout the film, with the exception of two or three longer alternate or additional scenes. This, however, made some of the shorter, more subtle, alternate scenes difficult to spot at first, especially since it’s been over three months since first watching the theatrical release. But a second viewing with the deleted footage marker turned on (a great feature I might add!) shed light on all the alternate footage there was to offer.

The additional footage included mostly character development scenes between Kelly, Tim and Molly, or Dallas and Sheriff Morales; while most of the extended scenes help to capture more of the gore that was cut from the theatrical release (my personal favourite being the on-screen chestburst of Sam Benson!).

All-in-all I really enjoyed watching the film again, and I stand by my original review of the film with a 7 out of 10 rating (even though I did enjoy the unrated extended cut more than the theatrical release). Notwithstanding that the film will not be on anyone’s ‘Best Picture’ list anytime soon, it is a great popcorn munching Alien and Predator action film, that actually has a great rewatch value (I’ve watched it twice this week already and will probably watch it twice more to listen to the audio commentary tracks). I think part of the re-watch value is the fact the film is relatively short, so it’s easy to pop in the DVD for a quick hour and a half monster romp!

As noted by other reviews, the film is still quiet dark in some scenes. Although I can’t say for sure if it was brightened or not for the DVD release, I was always able to follow the action without problems (better than when I viewed it in theatres as I recall).

At the end of the day, it’s still damn good fun.

Deleted Scenes

With the help of the deleted footage marker I’ve compiled a list of all additional, alternate or extended scenes in the film. Each description is followed by a timestamp as it appears in the unrated cut.

  1. Predator mothership does a flyby of Saturn, and then a smaller Predator craft detaches and heads towards Earth. 1:39-2:19
  2. Sheriff Morales and Dallas discuss Dallas’s recent jail time. 7:57-8:21
  3. Sam Benson’s extended on-screen chestburster. 15:11-15:14
  4. Wolf mourns a dead Predator comrade in the crashed Predator ship, and then puts on his mask to watch the helmet footage of the PredAlien attacking the Predator crew. 21:15-22:39
  5. Kelly and Tim discuss Molly’s difficulty readjusting to Kelly’s return home after two tours of duty in Iraq. 25:50-26:36
  6. Darcy Benson talks to Sheriff Morales before starting the search for Buddy and Sam, townsfolk arrive, and Nathan and Dale Collins insist on helping in the search. 29:50-30:23
  7. Dallas watches a television report covering the disappearance of Buddy and Sam while eating breakfast in a diner. 33:53-34:09
  8. Dallas and Kelly look at eat other in the diner. Tim calls Molly to the breakfast table to eat. 34:25-34:30
  9. Dallas asks Sheriff Morales if he told Carrie that her husband, Ray, was found skinned. Morales says no. 45:05-45:10
  10. After Nathan Collins is killed by an Alien headbite at the power plant, a co-worker finds the body, and then flees when he sees Wolf watching him from above. 45:38-47:07
  11. Dale’s friend dies in a blood stained watery grave when he is attacked in the swimming pool by an Alien. 50:34-50:36
  12. Dispatch calls Sheriff Morales to the power plant explosion, which is caused by Wolf’s plasma blasts. 51:17-51:35
  13. Sheriff Morales finds a blood trail leading into the locker room when investigating the attack at the pool. 54:42-55:14
  14. Carries’s belly burst in the diner. 56:26-56:48
  15. Kelly and Molly run into the cemetery. 56:54-57:06
  16. Kelly and Molly find another man, who is armed with a revolver, hiding in the cemetery. 57:42-58:15
  17. While telling Kelly to keep Molly quiet, the man in the cemetery is killed by a headshot from Wolf, who is administering first aid to himself in a nearby tree. 58:32-59:31
  18. A National Guard soldier is killed by an Alien headbite after he peeks into a car window. 102:42-102:54
  19. The blood of a National Guard solider splatters against a car window. 103:09-103:10
  20. The National Guard commanding officer, Lt. Woods, dies from an Alien headbite after looking out the turret of his armoured vehicle. 103:28-103:30
  21. Inside the sporting goods store Dallas tells Scotty and Earl to grab some rifles. 104:17-104:19
  22. Sue’s belly burst in the hospital. 110:05-110:07
  23. Kelly, Molly, Dallas, Ricky and Drew walking through hospital morgue. 118:33-118:34
  24. In the hospital Jesse is pinned to the wall and cut in half by one of Wolf’s stray shurikens. 121:45-122:02
  25. Dallas provides cover fire during the rooftop escape. 125:33-125:48

Featurettes

For a single disc, the extra features section of the DVD is packed with strong content. There are five production features that include cast and crew behind-the-scenes commentary on the film. I’ve broken down each with running time, a list of commentators, and major points of interest.

AVP-R: Preparing for War: Development and Production.

Running Time: 15:50.

Commentary By: Greg Strause, Colin Strause, Tom Woodruff Jr., Alec Gillis, Dan Zimmerman, John Ortiz, Reiko Aylesworth, John Davis, Dan Pearl, Jeff Habberstad, Ian Whyte, Ariel Gade, Johnny Lewis.

Points of Interest:

  • Discussion of ideas and concepts behind the movie (Earth setting, etc.).
  • Explanation how the PredAlien got the name Chet – so when call sheets or production notices, or if a leaked copy of the script got out, nobody would suspect that Chet was actually a reference to the PredAlien.
  • Casting for Kelly – Reiko Aylesworth audition tape.
  • The directing style and approach by the Brothers Strause.
  • In camera effects versus digital effects.
  • ADI’s involvement, Tom Woodruff Jr.’s costume acting, and Alec Gillis’s puppeteering.
  • The decision to make it hard R rated.
  • The PredAlien reproduction method.
  • Cinematography style and the approach of Dan Pearl.
  • Sets including sewers, hive, rooftop and Molly’s room.
  • Creating a story bridge between the AVP franchise and the first Alien film.

AVP-R: Fight to the Finish: Post-Production.

Running Time: 12:12.

Commentary By: Joshua Cordes, Matthew Santoro, Greg Strause, Colin Strause, Dan Zimmerman.

Points of Interest:

  • Discussion of the various cuts of the film and the editing process.
  • More discussion of practical effects versus computer generated effects.
  • Storyboarding and pre-visualization.
  • Production teams – concept artists and modelers.
  • All sound effects remastered from Predator and Predator 2, Alien, Aliens and Alien 3, except for the Predator clicks (which was done for AVP-R by a voice actor who was actually an employee at Hydraulx).
  • Discussion of Brian Tyler’s original score.

AVP-R: The Nightmare Returns: Creating the Aliens.

Running Time: 7:34.

Commentary By: Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr., Greg Strause, Colin Strause.

Points of Interest:

  • Discussion of Giger’s original Alien design and how it influenced the designs for AVP-R.
  • Design throwbacks to Cameron’s Aliens with the ridged head design and its relationship to the camera and lighting.
  • Tom Woodruff Jr.’s performance in the various creature suits (Aliens, PredAlien).
  • Advances in suit technology over the years.
  • Facehugger attack techniques.

AVP-R: Crossbreed: Creating the PredAlien.

Running Time: 8:21.

Commentary By: Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr., Greg Strause, Colin Strause.

Points of Interest:

  • Explanation of how the PredAlien wasn’t originally written into the film past the second page and how it’s part was increased to a major role in subsequent drafts.
  • Discussion on how to keep a hybrid distinctly Alien while introducing Predator genetics.
  • Overview of the sculpting process.
  • Design features of the PredAlien suit.

AVP-R: Building the Predator Homeworld.

Running Time: 6:37.

Commentary By: Joshua Cordes, Matthew Santoro, Greg Strause, Colin Strause.

Points of Interest:

  • The crew took design cues from the Predator temple from the first AVP, the Predator ship in Predator 2, and various modern buildings such as a convention centre in Japan that features upside down pyramids.
  • Overview of the various homeworld concept designs which culminated in a tribal, techno-industrial, tropical environment, that included binary suns.
  • Review of Wolf’s throne and armory sets.
  • Stills Gallery

The DVD includes an extensive stills gallery as follows:

  • Designing the PredAlien.
  • Designing the Alien.
  • On Set: Rooftop.
  • On Set: The Sewer.
  • On Set: The Hive.
  • On Set: Cast and Crew.

Summary

I have a hunch that this will be another great DVD release for Fox, especially the extreme unrated DVD and Blu-Ray. I’d be willing to wager the discs will pull in a good percentage of the total box office, making the overall investment of the film’s production a profitable one. Barring a big turnaround in direction at Fox I’d be surprised if we don’t see an AVP 3 some time in the next few years.

If you were among the fans that had middle-of-the-road feelings on the theatrical release, or haven’t seen the film at all, the DVD is definitely worth picking up as I think the unrated cut is a stronger version of the film. The extra features are also informative and entertaining, even if just for the jokes from Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr.!

I almost forgot, because it’s a small point to note, but I really liked the scene selection feature as it allows for a running scroll-through of the scenes, whereas many DVDs change screens as you browse through each of the scene numbers.

One thing I found strange about the DVD was that a lot of pre-production material was covered in a featurette intended to be a post-production featurette (ie. storyboarding and pre-visualization). It would have also been nice to be able to choose to watch the unrated or theatrical cuts of the film separately. But in no way did either of these aspects detract from my enjoyment of the DVD.

As a final rating I give the DVD 8 out of 10.

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