Alien: Covenant – #review

We have the sixth solo installment in a science fiction franchise that blends both horror and space travel. While the last film in this series (released 2012) was met with split opinions, this movie dares to challenge the naysayers and hopefully flip their opinions into positive fandom. So, was the goal met? Will this be the success story that sways the opinions into positive critiques? Let’s dive in and take a look at “Alien: Covenant” in this box office review…

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Ridley Scott returns as director for this film. While many did not like “Prometheus” I found it enjoyable. I was happy to see his return as this marks his 3rd directors title for the franchise he launched back in 1979. To his credit, I’ve enjoyed all 3 of his “Alien” films. He balances character backstory and personality with tension and drama well in this franchise. We get enough information about who the characters are so when they start being hunted and killed by the aliens it is impacting, emotionally speaking. Is every character important? Of course not. However, I didn’t really feel like any character was an ancillary character. It felt like each character served a purpose, even if that purpose was short lived. Their purpose might be as simple as inhaling alien dust to move the plot forward. It worked and therein lies their value.

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After watching this movie I’m convinced that Michael Fassbender could play any sociopath or serial killer in any film, ever, going forward. There’s an entire scene where he plays two robots and they’re discussing purpose and what their directives are as A.I. for the humans. The two robots names are “David” and “Walter.” David, if you saw Prometheus, is the original A.I. created to be more human-like than robotic. Walter, the most recent model, was created to be the ideal support for human space exploration, etc. While I didn’t feel like I got much from Walter, I got everything from David. He is calculating and methodical. His demeanor is so calm it is chilling in this movie. I can’t celebrate this performance enough or the talent that Fassbender gives us in this role.

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The overall film is tonally dark. It took my eyes a few minutes to adjust to the film because the world this takes place in does not have much sun light and frequently has rain storms. The xenomorphs are also jet black in this movie which was awesome when paired against the dark world this story inhabits. It looked like shadows running around killing and being killed more than aliens. It was this mysterious shadow killer look that really won me over. This wasn’t a film that was dark for the sake of being dark. It all plays together to create a dangerous and mysterious planet that is set on destroying/consuming all life.

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Alien: Covenant” is in theaters now! I definitely recommend people see this on the big screen if they’re into science fiction meets horror. If you’re a fan of this franchise I also recommend you see this. It’s not a perfect film but it’s definitely entertaining. Plus if you’re a fan of the franchise you’ll appreciate the nods to previous movies. I loved when the camera gave us the aliens point of view. The first time that happened was in David Finchers “Alien 3” circa 1992. There’s little moments like that in this film that we as fans get to enjoy. If you don’t like science fiction meets horror stay away from this film. If you do, finish reading this and then get over to the theater. It’s worth your money!

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Life- Review

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Science Fiction meets horror is not a new concept. The idea that aliens exist in space and upon meeting humanity decides it’s time for us to die is pretty standard. The creativity in this type of story can be found in the particular methods used by the alien(s) or space explorers. What makes this alien take over attempt different and therefore worth watching? Let’s dive in and see with “Life” in this box office review…

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An international space station crew is preparing to capture a pod that is traveling back from Mars. They catch the pod, as we have seen in the movie previews, and begin studying a single cell life form that seems to be growing at an alarming rate. Things go awry for the crew and it becomes a battle for survival. This is the basic premise or plot of this particular movie.

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Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the film. It starts with a scene that is completely unnecessary to anything in the story and then jumps right into the characters on the space station. I did appreciate how the story wasted no time in getting to the conflict of the movie which is the alien life form. Almost immediately we see that the alien is becoming aware and dangerous and the tension builds from there. Unfortunately, the overall pacing is very unbalanced. At times my heart rate was up and then it grinds to a halt and seems to linger in these slower moments before racing back to tension again. It was stop and go and that was annoying for me, personally.

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The acting in this film was all done well. The talented cast played their specific roles to a believable level and took what was a subpar movie and made it adequate at best. Thankfully we have the cast that we did otherwise this movie would’ve been one big snooze fest. The fear, the happiness, the pride, the sadness are all emotions delivered on screen by each character and it gave me a connection to each one of them before they are killed. Once they’re killed the camera lingers a bit long on a corpse. I speculate this was done to create a sense of loss and heightened tension. Quite the opposite effect for me, it came across as wasted screen time in what was an energized and engaging scene.

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Life” is in theaters now! I don’t recommend you see this on the big screen. There’s nothing spectacular about this film that warrants your hard earn dollars being spent on ticket prices and concession. It’s a mediocre movie at best and the ending was edited so oddly that it confused me instead of surprised me. I believe the ending was designed to surprise us, and maybe for some it did, but I was confused. When I replayed the scenes in my mind I didn’t get how that ending transpired. It’s worth $1 at Redbox once it’s available and even then you have to enjoy science fiction meets horror films to care.

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