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%
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X-Men: First Class (2011)

Xmen1stClass

Trailer: http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8ccSiH4olo

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Ran-Dizzle-

Where to start with this movie, Well I choose this movie as a continuance of what happened in X-Men in the beginning with Erik.  When watching this movie though it felt like it follows another universe line but not one I am familiar with, there are alot of holes in this film involving the characters and well their acting abilities.  Something that bothered me about the character picks were there was 2 of the original X-men that existed with the classic X-Men comic line, Professor X and Beast. The rest were more modern characters.  If you go back to X-Men how come the Hench men in X-Men like Mystic not really know her way around the castle? Since evidently she was there before and grew up there.

As far as acting abilities, let’s start off with the worst actors in the movie. It’s sad when a random Russian Soldier on a ship that in uncredited acts better then the guy that was playing Banshee. Dear god his acting was horrible, there were so many scenes that this “Ginger” made my skin crawl when he would open his mouth. Banshee is SCOTTISH to boot, and not once did he attempt an accent, but that’s ok because he’d probably butcher that too. One of the scenes that bothered me was when he asked Hank McCoy if he could fly this plane just really bothered me.

I’d say the best acting was done by January Jones, to me her acting never broke once, she stayed in character the whole time, but that was a tough call because Kevin Bacon did a fantabulous job portraying Sebastian Shaw, Going from German to the Campy 60’s coolness wonderful. January was able to keep the cool, cold heart with a little bit of sexiness she played a James Bond Villainous attitude very well as the White Queen has always portrayed to me.

The Story was ok, but like I said earlier not a line I am familiar with but in away I kind of liked that because it was interesting story. However when your trying to piece together other story lines like let’s say X-Men, or Wolverine Origins…you can’t really do that you can have references but then again in the X-Men post I mentioned it’s hard to compare movies due to being in the Marvel Universe. So I can’t really count off for that, But some of cheesiness that was going on with the Havok calling Hank a Bozo…a little lame.

Soundtrack not really much of one just alot of action music so that was ok.

Just think they needed to get better casting for parts or better character roles.

3.5‘s

Willie Good-Cook-

^—Is done doing movie reviews.

5‘s

Big JD

What is supposed to be the First incoming class of the X-Men team this turned out to be more of a “Origins” story for Professor X & Magneto.  Which makes me wonder if this movie is pulled fromthe X-Men Origins: Magneto movie that was in development for many years.  In any case this movie was good.  It had many, many continuity problems but as a standalone movie it was terrific.  And for the record I see this group of kids as pre-members of the X-Men team.

Writing within the continuity seems to be something that writers are incapable of doing in Hollywood today.  They don’t want their “story” to be hampered by previous stories.  To me it’s just laziness.  In some cases it would just be a statement or a small dialogue to explain everything away.  Because this is NOT being done it just seems that they don’t care.  Then they hide behind the statement “this is a standalone movie and we aren’t connected to any of the other movies… sort of.”

Every one of these X-family films have had continuity and character issues.  This would have been the perfect time to tie some of those up and give the fans real X-Men.  But instead we get a watered down version of Bryan Singer’s X-men.

We start the continuity/character issues with Charles Xavier growing up with Raven Darkholme (Mystique).  That just had me like “WTF!”.  It did bring her to Magneto and explained why she walks around without clothes but that stuck out to me as bothersome.  Michael Fassbender playing Magneto.  Is this before or after he loses his wife & child in a fire set by an angry mob of villagers?  I would have liked to have seen that included.  Moira McTaggert is a CIA agent?  Seriously?  She will always be a Dr. to me.  She is supposed to have a relationship with Charles & then fall in love with Banshee.  Well, Banshee is an awkward kid so, that’s not happening.  Riptide:  The Hellfire member that creates tornadoes.  Wow, this is something that Ghost Rider filmmakers would do.  They changed his look, powers and even team.  He was never a part of the Hellfire Club.  His powers were to spin/rotate his body incredibly fast & able to generate Shuriken that can punch through steel.  Oh, and he had white hair and did not dress in a suit.  As for Azazel:  Again, he was never a member of the Hellfire Club.  Not even sure he knew of Sebastian Shaw.  He did father Nightcrawler through an unwilling Mystique but that was never even hinted towards in the movie.  (she was married to another man in Germany at that time.)  His powers were teleportation but they left out his Metamorph/Bending Will/Parylization powers.  Oh, and he can’t spend long periods of time on Earth.  It’s really confusing to me.  Did Mathew Vaughn learn to do this from Michael Bay?  He borrowed his “pull a character from a hat” routine.  Banshee is not Scottish.  Why can’t they include the different nationalities in these characters?  Is this racism in Hollywood?  William Stryker is too old for being placed in the 60’s.  He looks older than the Cox/Stryker in X2.  This would have been shortly following the Huston/Stryker in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  He aged really fast I guess.  I guess Danny Huston wasn’t available.  Emma Frost:  The White Queen of the Hellfire Club.  She was as close to her character as anyone but don’t people remember that a few years before this she was a kid helping a young Cyclops escape captivity with the help of Wolverine in his movie.  Speaking of a young Cyclops.  His younger Brother Havok is an older version so now he’s the older brother?  Is this movie saying that the Professor knew Alex Summers before Scott?  BS!  Since they have made him out to be a felon then I guess this is before he attains his masters in Geophysical Science.

The acting on a whole was good.  Kevin Bacon’s German accent was top notch.  I really felt he was German.  Even though he was a skinny version of Sebastian Shaw he did well.  James McAvoy did fairly well playing Professor Xavier.  Although each time he used his power he had to touch his temple.  That felt forced a bit.  Beast:  In human form with big feet?  Yes.  They got that right.  Was he a “pre-member” of the X-men?  No, but did he build the first Cerebro?  No.  Not even in these movies.  Professor X stated in X-Men (2000) that Magneto helped him build the Cerebro in the Mansion.  I’m guessing that they made up & Magneto helped him build it and then they were enemies again?  BS!  Angel Salvadore:  The winged girl that should have gone by Tempest.  She wasn’t even created as a character until 2001.  She doesn’t go to the Xavier Institute until Emma Frost finds her way to “the good side” and is a teacher there.  She was never portrayed as a stripper.  She was never a member of the Hellfire Club nor did she ever “side” with them.  She does however have a relationship with “Beak” which was another “picked” member that was thrown into the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie.  He was the guy that could light the unlit lightbulbs.  Ugh!  Oh, and that stuff she spits out?  She uses that to digest her food.  Yuck.  Darwin:  The guy that could “adapt”.  His first appearance wasn’t until 2006 so, the question is “Why?”.  Obviously he wasn’t a pre-member of this team.  He was on Dr. Moira McTaggerts special team.  So, maybe someone missed something there.  He is still alive in the comics today.  That concludes my rant on how these characters were thrown together with pieced together origins for the writers convenience.  So frustrating.

Okay, so we get to see the friendship of Magneto & Professor X blossom.  We see how Mystique finds her way to Magneto’s arms.  We also see Beast become a Beast.  I would like to mention that Beast’s voiceover work was terrible.  We also see a movie version of how Professor X loses the ability to Walk.  Let me just tell you here and now that he lost his ability to walk in a fight with Lucifer.  Look it up.  And he lost his hair by the age of 16 due to his mental powers being so strong.

The Score was very catchy.  I enjoyed it.  The overall plot for a standalone movie not based on these iconic characters was a good story.  And in the end I liked the movie.  Mainly because I’m a fan of the X-Men.  Not because I liked the casting/writing.  Can someone tell Michael Fassbender that switching to a Scottish accent during his “Brothers” speech makes him come off as a horrible actor?  Ah, it’s ok.  He’s a great actor.  I barely noticed it.

3.0‘s

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

IGB Title

Running Time:2hrs 33 Min

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Written by: Quentin Tarantino

Plot Summary: During World Was II, A group of American Soldiers known by the German’s as “The Basterds” are send to Nazi-occupied France to exterminate the Nazi’s in hopes of ending the war. While in the process “The Basterds” meet up with a British Officer who is there to design a plan to assassinate several High Ranking German officers at a Premiere of a movie based on  “Heroic” German War Hero called “Nation’s Pride” The British Officer meets with a German Spy that has some new information on some new developments for the Premier.  After the cover of the British Agent is blow it’s up to “The Basterds” to attempt to finish the plan and take out the Nazi’s during the Premier.

Ran-Dizzle (Host)

So due to Django Unchained being released around the time of the movie choice, I decided to dedicate this movie to one of my favorite directors Quentin Tarantino.

As mentioned in the summary of the film this is a World War II drama, The original was done in 1978 which is on my list of movies to watch.  I think the best thing about this movie is the cast is filled with some big names Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Christoph Waltz (Also in Django Unchained) as well as some others that have been in several movies, Over all the cast was amazing, I believe Brad Pitt, and Christoph Waltz where my favorite Characters.
**SPOILER ALERT do not go any further if you haven’t watched the movie.**

HOWEVER, I did feel one person was pointless and really just a waste of time until the next point…it saddens me to say it. Mike Myers character was truly unnecessary as much as I love Mike Myers I felt that General Ed Frenech was nothing to the movie, He asked questions to which he knew answers gave little information to Lt. Hicox other then to meet a German spy who is an actress (Bridget von Hammersmark)IGB3 and developing the Operation, again who’s bright idea is it to let an actress who has had no experience in anything leading to knowing how to kill, or be a spy.

Another point in the movie that makes you stop and go Hmmmm…. is at the beginning of the movie the French Dairy Farmer is cutting wood, however at the chopping block there is no wood he is chopping…I had to go back and rewatch it you might want to also…go ahead I’ll wait…
I told you he did.

Another one involving about that same scene but let me fast forward Tarantino style and then come back to that point. Durring Nation’s Pride, Zoller tells the Audience “Who wants to send a message to Germany?!”IGB14 then Shoshanna (Meow- Meow as Big JD refers to her) says “I have a message for Germany” now I love that scene but here is what made me go Hmmmm… All this time during the movie she has spoken only French, and Zoller has only spoken in German/French…Interesting is it not? Now going back to the beginning point I was referring to, Landa asks LaPadite “While I hear no disturbances I am guessing they do not know English?!” Interesting is it not that all the sudden Meow-Meow now knows English perfectly after 4 years past her families deaths?!?!

I do have to say my favorite scene in the entire movie,  is where Landa and Raine are speaking Italian (or attempting to) saying his name is Gorlami…Classic.  There were plenty of action scenes that made me giddy as a redneck in Cabela’s on an Ammo sale but this movie to me is well worth it even with the little flaws I have caught.IGB15

((Feels weird giving Muppets Christmas Carol and 5 and this a 4.5…))

4.5‘s

Big JD

Quentin Tarantino goes the route of World War II for this epic alternate universe look at what would happen if you watched a movie for 2 ½ hours and finally got some retribution against the most rotten man in existence.  Hitler.

Honestly that’s what this movie felt like to me.  It was like Tarantino said to himself, “I want to kill Hitler., wait a tick!  I can!  I am a famous director, and I can do anything!”  I want to cover what the film was missing first before getting into what I dug.  Also, if you are afraid of *spoilers* then you should stop here.

IGB11First, the entire Shosanna (meow meow) storyline was inept and totally unnecessary.  Why do I say this?  Well, what did her storyline contribute to the movie?  The answer:  Nothing.  There were 2 storylines going on throughout this movie and her storyline was no more important than Brad Pitt eating in another film.  She escaped Col. Landa in the very beginning and that’s were it started.  That scene was to describe his “evil” henchman tendencies.  Also, to show his worth as a excellent detective.  She goes on to own a Theatre that will house most of the Nazi SS during a movie and she wants to burn it down.  That’s great but the other storyline intrudes on that idea and does it with more vigor.  In fact if she didn’t “burn it down” it would have exploded nicely the way it was.  And by having her die In the end left any chances of retribution against Landa dust in the wind.  Thus, me saying that it was worthless to have that storyline in there.  I would have felt much better if it wasn’t in there and we could have seen more exploits of the “Basterds”.  I mean, they do own the title of the film.  Qui?  I would have thought Tarantino would write a better story than this.  I think he focused more on the interrogation scenes and left everything else to fall as it may.  Interesting plot hole for the unnecessary storyline.  She knew that they would be sitting in the balcony seats but yet she did nothing (in her well thought plan) to keep them from running for the doors.  The patrons down below were all locked in but up above?  It wasn’t in her plan to have the Basterds intervene to eliminate those exits.  Well, Tarantino knew this, he just forgot to show that Shosanna supposedly had it covered.  Or did she?  Also, with the trauma she experienced at a younger age would she seriously go over and comfort the German soldier that she just shot in the back 4 times?  I don’t think so.  But to piss me off he made it so.  So much so, that it made me detest the ending.IGB12

Subtitles are an acquired taste.  Actually, subtitles are always the hardest the first 5 minutes in a movie.  That is because you eventually get use to it.  This movie never allows you to get use to subtitles.  Switching back and forth catching you off guard every time.  By the end of the movie I had gotten use to it but I’ll tell you what I didn’t get use to.  The speediness of the subtitles.  Sometimes they would just flash on screen with two lines of dialogue and expect you to read it in a second and a half.  Subtitles in this movie told a story along with the actual speech.  Wouldn’t you think that you would leave the subtitles on screen long enough for the audience to read them?  Apparently not.

What it did well with?  Yes, the casting and the acting of that cast was excellent.  Tarantino even got some surprise guests in there as well.  I was shocked when I heard Samuel L. Jackson narrate twice in the film.  IGB8Also, it wasn’t hard to point out Mike Myers and his unwillingness to stretch his acting ability.  BJ Novack (from The Office) made an appearance as “The Little Man”.  Funny.  “you can’t control the nicknames that you’re adversaries give you”.  Also, when Brad Pitt speaks Italian is classic.  Reminds me of his early years when actually getting an accent was nonexistent.  “Bonjourno!”   I loved the interrogation scenes as well as the intense (someone’s gonna die) dialogue.  Quentin does very well at this and always has.  There were also many good one liners throughout.

The soundtrack was classic Tarantino.  Nothing new here.  Quite expected actually.  About as expected as a montage.  No wait, this is good.  A Makeup Music Montage.  I had to laugh at the ridic.  But not as expected as seeing a French man chopping at air in the beginning scene.  Maybe I’m not well versed in chopping wood, but I was under the impression that you put “wood” on the chopping block then you chop the wood.  Using the chopping block as a “stopper”.  But in this scene he was just going away at the chopping block.  Still confused with that.  Also, did he and his daughters end up living or what?  Somebody tell me now!  I need to know.  Damn you Tarantino!  I need answers!!!

Comic Book Movie Plus:  Michael Fassbender – X-Men: First Class, Samuel L. Jackson (uncredited narrator) – The Avengers, The Spirit, Iron Man 2, Marvel Post Credits

3.5‘s

Willie Good-Cook

-Glorious Bastards!-

For once, I was really happy with Ranny’s pick. Usually I am not a fan of movies with subtitles in it due to it being shot in a foreign language. Honestly, it didn’t bother me in this movie. The nice part about this Tarontino movie was that it didn’t try to go over the top in some weird way. Like the torture scene in Reservoir dogs, or the blood shooting 30 feet high in kill bill. He kept to a more realistic setting which I enjoyed.

One of my favorite characters is the milk drinking jew hunter. The first scene in this movie is one of my favorite scenes in cinema to date. The dialogue between him and the man hiding the Jewish family was very intriguing. The Hitler scene was also very entertaining. “Nin Nin nin nin nin!” And the bear jew is still my favorite character period.IGB5

IGB10The plot was fairly strong and the music fit well. Now i finally know what the German 3 looks like.  The Mexican stand off involving genital mutilation was also hilarious, but i felt they took out Til Schweigar was taken out of the film a little too soon. I really enjoyed his character. Brad Pitt playing Aldo was also very entertaining. “I want my scalps.” Classic.

The ending of this movie was ok, not the feel good romp most movies end with, but still good. I felt it could have went a step further but with it already being a 2 and a half hour movie, I can see why they stopped where they did.

IGB9

-Suggestion-

Overall a great movie, but I wouldn’t suggest watching it with your kids.

4‘ s