Aliens is one of the greatest movies ever. With some Christmas Best Buy $$$, I snagged the "Collectors Edition." I had been looking for a DVD of the extended version of the film for a long time, but they had pulled them all from stores some time ago, since the huge Aliens Quadrilogy was coming to stores in time for Christmas. And although it looked pretty nice, there was no way that I was going to shell out my dinero for the 3rd and 4th fiascos, er films, in the series. But, I guess the marketing gurus figured other people had the same idea, and they've released them all individually. Woo hoo!
The extended version is really cool, with a good 20 minutes of extra footage. It's a mixed-bag. The extra scenes with Ripley at the beginning (on Earth) were good, but I really wasn't sure about the extra scenes with the colonists, Newt's family, etc. In a way, it's much more creepy to not know anything about what happened, when the viewer's first introduction to the colony is when the Colonial Marines arrive to find it abandoned. Spooky. Tense. Then again, there's an element of tragedy at this point in the extended version, because you realize what has happened to all the colonists (Big Wheel-riding kids included!). But, the best extended footage? More Marines! Including an extremely cocky Hudson giving a speech on the Marines' weapon-power, and those way-cool robot sentries.
All in all, the film rocks. It almost makes me want to watch the 3rd and 4th ones again to remember how the story continues. Almost.