Laserdisc

Aliens Wide-Screen Collector's Edition

Details Distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Lit by the fireworks of countless explosions and blinking red-alert panels, these two futuristic sequels from director James Cameron look sensational in laserdisc's CAV format, in which crystalline freeze frames and slow motion let you dissect each obsessively detailed shot. (Cameron himself supervised both transfers.) But are these versions worth more than twice the price of the non-CAV videodisc editions also in release?

With T2, you'll feel duped if you shell out the extra bucks. CAV effects seem useful only in the ''morphing'' scenes, where Schwarzenegger's robotic rival changes form. And the sole supplementary-section booty is a making-of documentary that plays like an extended E! channel trailer. FoxVideo's Aliens, however, delivers plenty of grainily atmospheric slime for the buck. It reinserts 17 minutes of scenes trimmed from theatrical prints, and most of that footage genuinely improves the movie by fleshing out Sigourney Weaver's Ripley character. There's also a meaty interview with Cameron and a gallery of ; production photos, script excerpts, storyboards, and effects explanations, even if all the annotation may ultimately serve Cameron's ego better than it serves most movie buffs.
Terminator 2: B
Aliens: B+

Originally posted Jan 17, 1991 Published in issue #101 Jan 17, 1992 Order article reprints
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