Video Picks Archive

December 8, 1999
This Week's Video Picks
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This week my picks are Deep Blue Sea (1999 - ) and Alien (1979 - ).

Some critics cast dispersions on the first film when it came out this summer. I enjoyed it for what it is: a popcorn movie. Samuel L. Jackson visits a marine research center where Saffron Burrows has been breeding sharks. She has made their brains bigger so that she can extract a fluid that cures Alzheimer's disease. The side effect: smart sharks who ain't gonna take it no more. Unlike the deplorable Jaws rip-off Lake Placid, Renny Harlin's Deep Blue Sea is an exciting and scary ride. The screenplay is no masterpiece, but constant surprises and suspense make up for it. Just try not to think too hard.
Full review from July 28, 1999

Instead of Jaws, Harlin's film is actually reminiscent of the second film. A seven member crew aboard a mining ship is invaded by a malicious space creature. As her shipmates are being killed off, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) must find a way to kill the beast and get back to Earth. Ridley Scott's second film is a masterful work, displaying a fresh visual style that has been copied many times since. James Cameron even managed to surpass it with his sequel: Aliens. It would be followed by the less successful Alien³ and Alien Resurrection. All four have been released on VHS and DVD as "The Alien Legacy", in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of Alien. I've rented the first DVD, and if you like this film, I'd highly recommend buying it.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Alien (1979)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
Deep Blue Sea (1999) -- VHS
Deep Blue Sea (1999) -- DVD
Deep Blue Sea: Original Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
Alien (20th Anniversary Edition) (1979) -- VHS
Alien (20th Anniversary Edition) (1979) -- VHS Widescreen
Alien (20th Anniversary Edition) (1979) -- DVD
The Alien Legacy -- VHS
The Alien Legacy -- VHS Widescreen
The Alien Legacy -- DVD
Giger's Alien, artwork by H.R. Giger -- Paperback
The Alien Trilogy (1996 Studio Recording) -- Compact Disc Home
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Capsule Reviews © 1999 Matt Heffernan