It was my birthday this weekend and I celebrated by watching the entire Aliens saga.  (Ok, it wasn't really my birthday, but that's no reason not to give yourself a gift every now and then).  I have to say, I was even more impressed with this series than I was in the past.  Without question my favorite is still Aliens, but I'm definitely biased because I saw that first and it had a huge impact on me being so young.  But it's also an incredibly thrilling action movie with a group of characters that I've grown to love over the years.  You sort of feel like it would be safe to make a totally new movie documenting the exploits of just the marines before they landed on Acheron (of course, I’d prefer that they didn't so this movie can just stand on its own).  I still think the special edition sucks hardcore and the theatrical release is definitely the way to go.  Or alternatively, have the special edition but cut out every scene of the happy colonists before they encounter the alien ship.  After Aliens I definitely think I like Alien3 followed by Alien and Alien Resurrection for 3rd.  The themes of salvation, love, childbirth, greed, rebirth and a whole host of other fascinating topics are the real story and the action is just to keep the people interested who saw the second movie.  Any of you who liked these movies should also read Mark Verheiden's excellent Aliens: Book One.  While it differs from the movie universe as it was written before the last two movies came out (so hicks and newt are alive), it is as enthralling and as deep.  That was just four of the DVDs that came with this purchase, the other five I’m going to have to find time in between the Olympics to watch these now.  An hour of the Olympics, an hour of Aliens, an hour of the Olympics trying not to think about a chestburster ripping through the ribcage of one of the gymnasts, etc.