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Alien (1979)

NOTE: This commentary is only available on the non-Collector's Edition release (from before the Alien Quadrilogy box set was released.) The Alien Collector's Edition has a different commentary track.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Ridley Scott Rating:8.2/10 (40 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Blunt on June 7th, 2004:Find all reviews by Blunt
This solo track by Scott established him immediately as a director at ease with the DVD format. His art design background is obvious in his incredible attention to detail and so it is with this commentary, as he talks comprehensively about the creation of this sci-fi classic.
There's remarkably little crossover with the commentary on the Alien Quadrilogy version, though much of the information is covered in the documentaries. Still, Alien completists should not be without this version, which also has TWO other audio tracks : one being Goldsmith's isolated score, the other featuring alternative sound and music cues. The commentary is also helpfully divided into chapters.
Reviewed by rickumali on December 23rd, 2007:Find all reviews by rickumali
This commentary track is the first one that I have ever listened to. I cued it up, not knowing at all what to expect. It was wondrous. Ridley Scott's track on this version of the movie/DVD set a high bar for all the other tracks that I would listen to later. Scott's commentary is extremely smooth, and full of detail. It was clear he was well prepared. I gave this track a 10, but this is one track that definitely goes all the way up to 11.
Reviewed by msz on August 16th, 2008:Find all reviews by msz
Nothing much to add to the comments of the previous posters. A very informative and detailed track by Ridley Scott that covers a broad range of subjects from the graphic design of the title sequence to the limitations and "cheap tricks" that were used for the effects. It's a pleasure to listen to him talk about this movie, and not in a nostalgic way but rather matter-of-factly.
There are a couple of Scott's movies I don't care too much for, but I still would be interested to listen to him doing a commentary.
Reviewed by Buldrebisk on April 7th, 2009:Find all reviews by Buldrebisk
The Ridley Scott commentary on the other edition of Alien is a little better, but this is not bad at all. He is always great to listen to and has no trouble filling the running time. Great movie, good commentary. 7/10
Reviewed by budc25 on November 30th, 2009:Find all reviews by budc25
Based on my working draft of ratings guidelines, I gave this a 9.0/10.0, due to:
(5 pts) The level of depth of the discussion is extraordinary.
(4 pts) A compelling track that is more entertaining than the film.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
This is a working document that I have developed to assist me in rating commentaries in a consistent manner. I have noticed that some scores tend to be given in an arbitrary manner, without any evidence of thoughtful consideration.

How the rating is done
******************************************************************
Content PLUS Quality PLUS Originality MINUS Annoyances =
Content (50%)+ Quality(40%) + Originality(10%) - Annoyances (10%)
******************************************************************

Rating Content
The most important part of a commentary is its content. It accounts for 50% of the rating. You should be able to feel comfortable saying one of the following about the commentary being evaluated.

(5) The level of depth of the discussion is extraordinary.
(4) This is awesome! Film school in a box.
(3) Good.
(2) I found some parts informative.
(1) Carrot Top may be interesting to someone, but not me.
(0) Who wants to hear the catering crew? A complete waste of time.

Rating Quality
The second most important aspect of a video is its entertainment quality. It accounts for 40% of the rating. You should be able to feel comfortable saying one of the following about the commentary being evaluated.

(4) A compelling track that is more entertaining than the film.
(3) Entertaining and informative--kept interest through entirety.
(2) OK—had something of interest
(1) Not terribly interesting— did not hold my attention.
(0) I did not bother to finish watching it.

Rating Originality
Sometimes one will be "different" and "refreshing". This is when the originality point kicks in. Most commentaries should not receive an originality point but whenever necessary this is the place to take that factor into consideration. However, what is most important is that whenever you encounter such a video you should remove the "wow!" factor from the content.

(1) Wow! Never encountered one like this. Carrot Top is awesome!

Rating Annoyances (penalty)

(1) Poor editing, long silences toward the end, prepared script.
Reviewed by budc25 on November 30th, 2009:Find all reviews by budc25
Based on my working draft of ratings guidelines, I gave this a 9.0/10.0, due to:
(5 pts) The level of depth of the discussion is extraordinary.
(4 pts) A compelling track that is more entertaining than the film.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
This is a working document that I have developed to assist me in rating commentaries in a consistent manner. I have noticed that some scores tend to be given in an arbitrary manner, without any evidence of thoughtful consideration.

How the rating is done
******************************************************************
Content PLUS Quality PLUS Originality MINUS Annoyances =
Content (50%)+ Quality(40%) + Originality(10%) - Annoyances (10%)
******************************************************************

Rating Content
The most important part of a commentary is its content. It accounts for 50% of the rating. You should be able to feel comfortable saying one of the following about the commentary being evaluated.

(5) The level of depth of the discussion is extraordinary.
(4) This is awesome! Film school in a box.
(3) Good.
(2) I found some parts informative.
(1) Carrot Top may be interesting to someone, but not me.
(0) Who wants to hear the catering crew? A complete waste of time.

Rating Quality
The second most important aspect of a video is its entertainment quality. It accounts for 40% of the rating. You should be able to feel comfortable saying one of the following about the commentary being evaluated.

(4) A compelling track that is more entertaining than the film.
(3) Entertaining and informative--kept interest through entirety.
(2) OK—had something of interest
(1) Not terribly interesting— did not hold my attention.
(0) I did not bother to finish watching it.

Rating Originality
Sometimes one will be "different" and "refreshing". This is when the originality point kicks in. Most commentaries should not receive an originality point but whenever necessary this is the place to take that factor into consideration. However, what is most important is that whenever you encounter such a video you should remove the "wow!" factor from the content.

(1) Wow! Never encountered one like this. Carrot Top is awesome!

Rating Annoyances (penalty)

(1) Poor editing, long silences toward the end, prepared script.
Reviewed by Dura on April 6th, 2013:Find all reviews by Dura
Really enjoyed it. Had seen the movie countless times before trying out the commentary. A one-person commentary can be very dull, but Ridley handled his business.
Reviewed by Uniblab on December 6th, 2013:Find all reviews by Uniblab
I'm by no means a fan of Ridley Scott's arid commetaries, but this one is the best I've heard from him thus far...he even introduces himself! Unfortunately by half of the movie his unusually informative and stimulating tone gives place to the traditional style, which is talking at length about aestetical minutiae instead of comprehensive or matter-of-fact information.