Thursday, May 25, 2023

Project: ALF – Liberation Hall (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1996
Director: Dick Lowry
Writers: Tom Patchett, Paul Fusco
Cast: Paul Fusco, Miguel Ferrer, William O'Leary, Jensen Daggett, Scott Michael Campbell, Beverly Archer, Charles Robinson, John Schuck, Ed Begley Jr., Ray Walston, Martin Sheen

Release Date: June 13th, 2023
Approximate running time: 91 Minutes 16 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Aspect ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: LPCM Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $19.95

"The film begins where ALF ended, with Gordon Shumway (otherwise known as ALF), being captured by the US Air Force's Alien Task Force (ATF) while attempting to depart Earth. ALF is detained at Edmonds Air Force Base and despite everyone's worst fears, ALF has been thriving in captivity. Acting independently, the head of ATF security plans on killing his prisoner under the guise of a beauty treatment, for which he has left a paper trail implicating his aide Learning of this, two Air Force scientists, Major Melissa Hill and Captain Rick Mullican, help ALF escape, hiding at a cheap motel. ALF's annoying behavior results in him being ordered to hide in the restroom, reminding him of when the Tanners would do the same. Unwilling to surrender his creature comforts, ALF sneaks outside and contacts one of his former guards in an attempt to arrange a supply drop, before mistakenly entering a strip club named "Kitty Kat Lounge", assuming from its name that it is a restaurant that serves cats. Hill learns that Moyers has set up a secret auction alongside the broadcast that would reveal ALF to the world, intending to sell the alien to the highest bidder. After she refuses to participate, he imprisons her. ALF, unaware of the betrayal, revels in being the center of attention until stage fright and the increasing hostility of his host lead ALF to lock himself in the bathroom, giving the military time to shut down the broadcast. Back at Edmonds, the general gloats that ALF's escape means he will be able to convince his superiors to have the alien executed openly, his hatred being revealed as seeking payback for an alleged alien abduction that drove his mother insane. A military panel authorizes promotions for the three officers involved in taking down the General and apologizes to ALF, before declaring him an ambassador to Earth. The scene ends with ALF's usual self-aggrandizing behavior leaving the people on the panel to question whether they have made the right choice." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Project: ALF comes on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 21.8 GB

Feature: 21.1 GB

The source used for this transfer is in excellent shape. Colors and flesh tones look correct; image clarity, contrast, and black levels are solid; and compression is very good.

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM stereo mix in English, and removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds clean, clear, balanced, and at times surprisingly robust.

Extras:

Extras for this release include a stills gallery, text bios for Ken Kaufman, Dick Lowery, Tom Patchett, Paul Fusco, Martin Sheen, and Jensen Daggett, and an audio commentary with Paul Fusco the voice of ALF.

Other extras include a trailer for the Robocop TV series.

Summary:

ALF was a television series that ran for four years between 1986 and 1990. A planned fifth season would not happen after NBC withdrew its support for the series. Six years later, the ALF character would get a proper sendoff by taking elements that were meant for a fifth season and molding them into what would become Project: ALF.

Even if you’re not familiar with the television series that preceded Project ALF. The result is something that actually stands really well on its own, despite all of the main cast except ALF not being in Project ALF. With the opening setup laying out what happened to ALF after the television series ended. There is even a brief mention of the Tanner family, whom ALF lived with for four seasons.

When discussing Project ALF, all discussions end with the ALF character, who is clearly the main attraction. Just like the television series, ALF displays a biting humor that is infectious and, more importantly, rarely misses the mark. Also, all of the character traits the ALF is known for are on full display, and anytime the ALF is on screen, he dominates. And when it comes to the moments where he is not on screen, many of these tend to drag.

While watching Project ALF, it is easy to see how someone who has never seen the television series might not enjoy what is unfolding. There are also going to be some ALF fans let down by Project ALF. Ultimately, Project ALF is all about fanfare, and in this regard, it delivers in spades.

Project: ALF gets a first-rate release from Liberation Hall that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and an informative audio commentary, highly recommended.

 







Written by Michael Den Boer

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