Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

New home video editions of James Cameron’s masterful Sci-Fi action classic Aliens starring Sigourney Weaver mostly come out on the film’s big anniversaries.


This year marks the 30th anniversary of Aliens making it a home video refresher prime target. What Fox delivered is the Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, a suitable package for the film’s fans not satisfied with the lesser previous Blu-ray release or interested in owning the massive yet affordably priced Alien Quadrilogy box set.

The biggest difference between the new Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray and the 2014 Aliens Blu-ray is the Anniversary edition includes both the theatrical and director’s cut of the film. Owners of the 2014 edition know all too well the director’s cut is the only option.

The 30th Anniversary Edition also comes packaged with a streamlined selection of previously released bonus features as well as one all-new one. The Inspiration and Design of Aliens spends some quality time with James Cameron as he reflects on conceiving and planning the film. Enjoying this new featurette requires using a code included in the package at the website. It’s a small hassle to subject oneself to but a hassle nonetheless.

If pushing one of the bonus features off to a website helped keep the price down and not interfere with an already solid remastered transfer that doesn’t attempt to completely clean away the film’s age, I’m all for it.

A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track carries forward from the previous Blu-ray. It sounds a bit weak compared to modern action mixes yet still manages to please. Motion trackers ominously pulsing sound good at any volume.

Another Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition exclusive is a small package inside the main case that includes Art Cards and a small Concept Art Booklet. Physical extras like these are usually reserved for more elaborate and far more expensive box sets so they’re a welcome addition.

Aliens 30th Anniversary Blu-ray cover art

Here’s a rundown of the other extras:

  • Introduction to the 1991 Special Edition — James Cameron’s provides a short intro after you cue up the director’s cut.
  • Theatrical Isolated Score — Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
  • MU-TH-UR Interactive Mode — The only way to access a series of previously released featurettes. An overlay appears on the film while watching and allows branching access to the featurettes at the appropriate time in the film.
  • Deleted Scenes — Can be viewed separately or as one extended montage.

The packaging is an inch-thick hard slip case that houses the traditional Blu-ray snap case and the physical extras inside. All-new embossed artwork graces the front while the rear also surprisingly receives the embossed treatment to complete a sharp overall package.

Perhaps the best part about the Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray is its price. At only $14.99, this new fancily-packaged edition sporting both versions of the film is a steal.

Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review
out of 5

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