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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cool Ass Cinema Book Reviews: On the Set With Aliens


By Simon Ward

144 pages; hardcover with dust jacket; glossy color and B/W; first edition 2016

The 30th Anniversary of James Cameron's ALIENS (1986) is celebrated within these 144 glossy pages of behind the scenes photos and production stills. Bursting with many never before seen images and all-new anecdotes from Carrie Henn (Newt) and Jenette Goldstein (Vasquez), devout fans will surely wish to face-hug this oversized coffee table tome. If you're expecting insight or lengthy interviews into the production you'll be disappointed. The focus is on--as per the title--the set photography. Primarily a picture book (all the images come equipped with trivia-laced captions), it will nonetheless complement collectors of Ridley Scott's famous film--particularly the 1986 sequel it birthed. Read on if you wish to purchase... "it's the only way to be sure".

The ALIEN franchise has long been a fan favorite for not just the films but the merchandising as well; everything from patches, T-shirts, toys and books. Both ALIEN (1979) and ALIENS (1986) are benchmarks in the genres of Horror and Science Fiction and there have been a few publications written about them. 

Simon Ward's new book details the behind-the-scenes story of James Cameron's classic Action-SciFi-Horror in picturesque fashion. Lavishly illustrated with imagery (broken up into three sections--cast & crew; on set; and behind the scenes), all the major sequences are covered, as well as the creation of the sets, the monsters, and the weaponry.

Beginning with 4 pages of Carrie Henn detailing how she got the role of Newt and her time working on the picture, Jenette Goldstein is also on hand for some new remarks about her on-set experiences. Further anecdotes from both actresses are spread over each chapter.

Regarding the content, the opening chapter by Ms. Henn is as extensive as it gets in regards to the written word. Primarily a photo book, every image has a caption that details names and trivia relating to the corresponding picture. This reliance on imagery may frustrate some but bear in mind the title of the book is "The Set Photography". New insight by two of the main cast is a nice addition, but with little in the way of in-depth opining this possibly won't be enough to warrant a purchase for anyone but the most dedicated of the series. 

Still, if you love the ALIEN universe, and especially this sequel, Aliens: The Set Photography will make a nice addition to your collection--whether on the shelf or the coffee table.

You can purchase the book at amazon HERE.

You can also visit the Titan Books website to see more about this release and upcoming books HERE.

For reviews on two other ALIEN-related books from Titan click HERE.

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