Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

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“I think if we are kind, it will be a kind world.”
– Walter

SYNOPSIS: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape. – via IMDB

Alrighty, this is a movie I have been looking forward to for some time, and I know that my review is rather late in posting, especially considering I actually watched it weeks ago when it first came out. Alien: Covenant is worth the watch. I know that there has been some bitching online, but people need to breathe. There were some niggles to be had here, and there were some things that should be celebrated too.

First and foremost, Covenant managed to balance what I had hoped Prometheus would have when it came out: the gore and the existential philosophising. This is handled really well. The creation question still emerges and is dealt with far better here than in its predecessor, as it handles the themes as introduced in Prometheus more successfully, yet still delivers the blood and gore one craves when watching an Alien movie. It sets an atmosphere again that is both isolated and creepy as hell, much like the Alien films of old. It also has plenty action and some deep themes to look into, and there is blood. Oh yes, all that blood.

The cast, too, was pretty good here. Yes, a lot of them were there purely for sacrifice and the bloodletting we spoke about above, but then there are some performances that stand out. I was surprised that Danny McBride didn’t get under my skin as always, and I actually quite enjoyed Tennessee’s scenes, he was entertaining. Then there is Katherine Waterson’s Daniels, a resolute woman who is easy to root for, and I appreciate that. Naturally everybody has been raving about Michael Fassbender’s performance(s) in this, and I totally get why. The man is brilliant and an absolute scene stealer. I mean wow. He totally got involved here and brought all the goods to the table.

Now, I did have some issues. I didn’t like that the one huge plotsie that was set out here is so damn transparent it is impossible to miss. I would have liked some more mystery there. Another thing, I was not overly sold on all the different xenomorphs here. Yes, we get different ones for each film, yes, they all bring something to the table, but these ones made me thing a lot of the cat-like, super bad CGI xenomorphs of Alien³. Really. Also, the effects were a little dodgy at the best of times and pulled me totally out of the experience, which sucked a bit. A huge gripe I had was that ridiculously unnecessary sex/shower scene that was tacked in here. It had no place in the movie, and was totally uncalled for. Not a fan.

Alien: Covenant hits the ground running with its story and execution. Definitely nothing new at all, but it is brutal, fast paced, carried by good performances, and sets an atmosphere for the audience. The pacing is also quite good, as it doesn’t feel rushed or drawn out. While not a perfect movie, it is a damn enjoyable one. Scott gets to balance out his Prometheus themes with the horror of his original Alien, and so Covenant is birthed and I can appreciate it. Worth a watch I say, especially if you are a fan of the Alien franchise.

Rapid Review: Fanboys (2009)

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fanboys poster

“Greatest deed Luke Skywalker ever did was take down the Death Star, right? As far as I’m concerned, that’s what everybody needs. You need that one bad-ass thing that lets you live on forever, you know.”
– Hutch

SYNOPSIS: Star Wars fanatics take a cross-country trip to George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch so their dying friend can see a screening of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) before its release. – via IMDB

fanboys it was a romance in a sci fi opera

GRADE 7So on a movie watching day recently, a good friend of mine brought Fanboys with when she heard I had never seen it. Especially knowing how much I love Star Wars. Let me tell you, I had an absolute blast with this. I don’t care what the scores online say, this was hilarious and silly and entertaining and endearing… I had so much fun! The references sprinkled throughout this is absolutely fantastic, and the Star Wars vs Star Trek war that went down in this, again, exaggerated but a lot of fun. I liked this because it is not something I took seriously, which I think would be a surefire way to kill this, and I think you have to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy this one as much as the creators were hoping. It is cheesy, it is silly, it is what it is and it embraces that wholeheartedly, which works, in my opinion, so even with all the flaws, one can have fun with it, and I sure as hell did. I thought that it was great to see Chris Marquette in something again (although I am late to the party with this – I used to watch so much Joan of Arcadia growing up), and Sam Huntington was entertaining, too. Jay Baruchel has such a nasally annoying voice, but it suited his character down to a tee here. Dan Fogler was probably my favourite of the lot, even though he was super nasty at the best of times. I also liked the cameos we had of both Star Wars and Star Trek actors in this, it just made it so much more awesome. The whole journey to steal The Phantom Menace for a dying friend was great, I just feel so sorry for the guy knowing that was the only movie of the prequels he got to watch – what a disappointment :/ This movie definitely won’t be for everyone, there is no doubt in my mind of that, but I had fun, and it was great to watch this with my friend, who loves this, and Star Wars, it just elevated the whole thing in my mind.