Review Detail

8.8 33 10
FanMix April 04, 2011 6094
(Updated: July 19, 2012)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
This review represents an evaluation of the edit only and as such is intended as constructive commentary only.

Alien 4 is my least favorite installment of the Alien franchise, but one which I *want* to like. So the question for me was, could The Man Behind the Mask rescue it?

Video Quality: As usual, great work. Video holds up wonderfully on a 52″ Plasma. Color work is also fantastic.

Audio Quality: Again, great work here. Levels are great, never had to touch the remote.

Editing Quality: As I have come to expect from The Man Behind the Mask, the editing here is flawless, and invisible. It has been years since I’ve watched the original version and I can safely say that none of his edits are visible. Audio is seamless. Of particular note are the added visual effects. Because it has been so long since I watched this movie, I couldn’t spot any of his changes on a conscious level. The only one I knew of for a fact was one which was discussed while this was In-The-Works. The rest of the visual changes I noticed on a hrmmm.. I didn’t notice that/recall that is how it went kind of way.. particularly during the climax. In a single word, the effects work is fantastic.

The question is, with all of his work, what has he created?

Story: The original Alien 4 is a failure in my opinion. It was a great opportunity which was miserably executed. Joss Whedon’s script, an obvious testing ground for the crew which would eventually populate Firefly, has many gems in it, but horribly missed opportunities. Every installment in the Alien franchise always boils down to the formula of good guys must race against time to kill/escape the Alien(s). With Alien 4 they attempted to throw a new twist by introducing the human-alien hybrid – yet this twist didn’t change the story, it was still good guys running against time from the bad guys, and even worse, the human-alien hybrid is absolutely horrid to look at, it’s just a pile of melting flesh and bone, and looks marginally better than the failed rock-monster-demons from Star Trek V.

TMBTM’s version is leaner, tighter and to the point. More impressive is that he created an entirely new twist to the ending. In all fairness, the formula remains the same; good guys run from the bad guys, but his solution to the human-hybrid mess actually makes a lot of sense given the set-up of the first half. But at the end of the day, did I care about these characters any more? Not really.

Now if I’m going to watch Alien 4 again, this is likely the version I would watch.. on the rare occasion that I would want to watch it.

Where I would give the original a 5.5 out of 10, I would say that TMBTM has improved it enough to give it a 7.5 out of 10, and when I consider the amazing editing work that went into this project it rounds up to an 8 for me.

The final product isn’t amazing in my book, but his work to get it there IS amazing and I think has made it as good as Alien 4 can get.
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