Reviewing one movie at a time…

2017

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant (2017) Trailer

Starring:  Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup

Director:  Ridley Scott

Runtime:  2 Hr 2 Min

Genre(s):  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

Following the outcomes of the movie “Prometheus” Alien: Covenant takes place about 10 years afterward. A colonizing crew with 2,000+ bodies are on their way to colonize a new world still 7 years away. Everyone is trained on what to do, everything is planned on how to do it. When they get a strange transmission from a habitable planet only a few weeks away they decide to consider this their new home. A decent entry into the Alien franchise, definitely ranked towards the top of this franchise. This movie will explore the origin of the “Aliens” we all know.

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

Seeing aliens walk upright always creep me out. Watching a white one walk upright and just stand there? Best scene in the movie. For me, anyway I thought it added a layer to these creatures knowing that they don’t just run around and tear up humans. I liked to see the aliens evolve in a way to see how they reproduce. To us, its the old fashioned way but this movie introduces the actual old fashioned way. By spore, initially evolving to a more efficient “implant eggs in your mouth” method. Which is what we are used to seeing in an Alien movie. Glad to see Ridley Scott back and in the Alien Directors chair. Following up his Prometheus “comeback” to the Alien franchise he keeps it rolling.

The casting is a confusing one for me. I’m ok with their main cast. Although the biggest parts went to Fassbender (2 roles) an unknown, and an unproven in this genre. The unknown being Katherine Waterston (Daniels) and the unproven being Danny McBride (Tennessee) more famous for his roles in anything with James Franco and his “Eastbound & Down” TV comedy series. It was the small roles by bigger named actors. Like Guy Pearce? I get the fact that his character was in Prometheus (much younger) via flashback. How about James Franco? He was in a 10 second video to his “wife” then gets burned up in his stasis pod. Was that even him in there? That was weird. Maybe McBride had him drop him off at work one day and he decided to hang out and act a bit. I’m throwing Billy Crudup’s role in there for a bit role, because honestly his role was shorter than a 2 year olds attention span during an episode of Matlock.

The plot was simple and straight to the point. Colonists that get detained by John Denver and a “rip your face off and then rip your buddies face off” killer species. The simple story-line is not what bothered me the most about the writing. It was the idiotic characters. Apparently in the future we emulate the movie Idiocracy because these people are pretty clumsy and dumb. 1. Why would anyone visit a new planet without wearing face-masks? Did they not learn anything from War of the Worlds? I understand a Quarantine situation. I don’t think these people quite got it. T’s wife lose’s it and goes back to the “quarantined” room to shoot the Alien? But first there’s blood to slip on. Same idiot then loses containment and then has a chance to shoot and slips on some more blood! Seriously, then she decides to shoot explosive containers. Idiot! I guess Tennessee did marry her for her looks. How about lowering the entire ship below “Safety precautions” and then after things calm down, they take another smaller ship to the planets surface. Why didn’t they just do that to start with without using so much time. How about the new captain shooting the alien over David’s shoulder? That was actually a smart move. What was stupid was the fact that he saw David wanting to trust these Aliens, and then he goes all Captain Dumb-ass and bites when the Android David asks him to look into the Alien egg. Idiot! And finally after being attacked by the last crazy android (David) they just assume that the android that is with them is Walter. Don’t they have some sort of Serial Number? I know when the future comes along and my Fassbender Android steps out of his box, I’m checking for a serial number.

I’m all for Ridley Scott being the director here. But honestly I think he did the best for the way it was written. Jack Paglan should have been spot on. Even Michael Green wrote “Logan”. But he does have the credit of writing Green Lantern. So… there’s that. I’m clueless at who to point the finger at. Maybe it was just better from their point of view because Ridley’s believe it or not story was believe it or not not so wonderful. Cohesive story? Well I really dug all of the interactions of the characters and story prior to John Denver. I was invested. Even with the side step to another planet, I was on board. When we met the Android David and he started just spouting off random crap. I lost interest. Seriously the “recorder/flute” scene had me like WTF is this?! Then we went into the events that followed the last movie and from there it was just a spectacle of seeing how Aliens were made. The special effects were grandiose and I appreciated that. But, Ridley was average on this day.

I didn’t think about it. I just watched it. The ending was predictable. C’mon we all knew that it was really David. The movie was sort of easy to watch, I mean, It didn’t piss me off for any real reason… except for the idiots. They upset me. Greatly. Seriously, didn’t they know it is the #1 rule to NOT have shower sex in a horror genre styled movie? That’s like auto-death right there. Nah, kidding. I liked the simplicity and more than anything it was neat to find out how the Aliens were birthed. The next one should tell us how they got to the planet Ripley found them on in the original movie right?

3.0

STARS

Comic Book Connection Michael Fassbender: X-Men Franchise – Billy Crudup: Watchmen, James Franco: Spider-Man 1,2,3 – Guy Pearce: Iron Man 3
Nudity Bonus Amy Seimetz (Faris) during the Shower scene.  Very small but it still counts!  (the scene not the other… c’mon!)
Favorite Moment Any scene with the Black Long Head Alien in it really.  The standing Alien was cool but I’m a sucker for the OG.
Most Hated Moment Tennessee’s Wife with a shotgun.  That’s all I have to say.  I’m getting heated up just thinking about it.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded of the original, maybe it was Daniels haircut but something took me back to the original.
What did my wife think of this movie? I really liked it.  It was a well told origin story that tied well into the Alien franchise.
Box Office Budget 97 Million
How much it made Domestically $74,213,560.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Failure
Did you notice? 1.  The Xenomorph “Alien” was last seen 10 years ago in the Aliens vs. Predator movie.  Before that was 10 years as well.
2.  When Daniels fought the Alien she said the same thing Ripley said in the original.   “I got you, you son of a bitch.”
3.  Even though it only made 74 million domestically it did pull in 232 Million Worldwide.  I guess the world loves Aliens.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 71%
Audience 59%

To The Bone (2017)

 

Trailer: To The Bone (2017)

Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Leslie Bibb

Directed by: Marti Noxon

Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins

Genre(s):  Comedy, Drama

Review by:  John Dixon

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

To the bone is a dreadful glimpse into a young girls struggle with anorexia. Not only how it affects her as a person but everyone that is in her life past, present and future. Will she accept the help that she needs or will she continue walking around in the sack of bones that is her life. I would pass on this romp in depression if you had the chance to. If you’re forced to watch it then, I would just sit back, relax, and appreciate the acting.

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

 

This movie in no way will make you understand what it is like to fight anorexia (I’m assuming) but it will make you feel the desolation and hopelessness one would associate with such a disease. The Doctor gave an unconventional view of looking at things. Some would say that the view is a fresh and much-needed approach to most people living in America in 2017. Grow a pair. Find a way through it.

Lily Collins did a fantastic job. I’m most curious though if she actually dropped the immense amount of weight to star in this movie. She was Skinny yo! She provided a dark Queen vibe to her character that in fact dealt with her problems in dry sarcastic way. I related in a way, but couldn’t fully relate because I’ve never had an eating disorder. I do have a weight problem. I can’t weight to eat! OK, that was tasteless. Moving on. The supporting cast was acceptable. Keanu Reeves played a small part but believable while there. Leslie Bibb even smaller and was quick to exit (She lost weight too). Carrie Preston gets my “most annoying” award. I had a feeling that someone would get it, I didn’t think it would be the True Blood alumni but it was. Her stuffy self obsessed with image character drove me nut-balls. I’m just glad that she was the only character to make my blood temp go up.

The plot was probably more deep than I’m giving it credit for. If you are reading this spoiler section I shouldn’t have to warn you again that spoilers do occur in this part of the review. The movie was lacking direction. Throughout the movie we are watching this girl go through pain and suffering. Constantly saying that she’s sorry but never showing it. Never really turning any corners. There was a period of her “getting better” but it was written so obviously I could see a mile away that her and Luke’s relationship would go downhill and in turn the 3rd act would begin. I was truly on board waiting for that turning point or maybe like her doctor had said “that rock bottom point that was necessary for her” to happen but before that happened I fell off the bus when Ellen/Eli’s mom broke out the Rice milk bah bah. It was hard to go forward from that. Having Ellen/Eli then pass out like I’m sure she’d done many a times suddenly realize that she wasn’t dead this time was what made her want to live? I just didn’t buy it.

My first review for a Netflix Original movie! That is a first. I just hoped that it would have lived up to the Netflix quality standard. The side characters were in and out. I would have liked to have seen more from each one. Maybe how they were affected by Ellen/Eli’s life would have been narrative-ly in place. But we didn’t really see that. They were supporting characters to watch this character drown further and further, and did little to actually support.

Once she hit rock bottom, the movie was basically over. She went home and hugged an awful person, said hi to her sister and went and stood in the doorway to the “Threshold”. Did she stay? Did she go back? Did she see Luke? She said that she would be alright but I just sat through an hour and a half can I get some more closure? Nope. I just have to assume that everything worked out for young Eli.

2.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, Iron Man 2), Keanu Reeves (Constantine),
Nudity Bonus Ok, yeah I think it was Lily Collins but it was sad seeing her naked body so skinny.  During her fall to rock bottom.
Favorite Moment When Ellen was able to eat a goo goo chocolate nutcluster.  It was monumental for her.
Most Hated Moment Anything 1 second after Susan (Carrie Preston) said anything.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded of many movies that depresses the shit out of you and then doesn’t give you a strong positive feeling before it ends.  Not saying all movies need to do this but this movie put the character through the ringer with little to no pay off in the end.
What did my wife think of this movie? “It was good.  I thought it was a touching and realistic expression of what people who deal with this go through.”
Box Office Budget This may not count as budget but, Netflix bought the film for 8 million dollars.
How much it made Domestically Netflix doesn’t release these numbers
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success?  Who knows.
Did you notice? 1.  Lobo was played by “Retta” from Parks and Recreation.  What day is it?  “Treat yo self day!”
2.  Keanu reeves didn’t say “whoa” one time during the entire hour and 47 minutes.  Old joke.  I’m retiring it.
3.  When close-ups of Ellen’s body was shown showing her “skinniness” her head is not shown.  Body double??
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 73%
Audience 71%