‘Alien: Covenant’ finally dropped at theaters yesterday, and after all the hype the smoke finally cleared as I sat back for a late night viewing of the “prequel” for the legendary horror franchise. Ridley Scott returns again after the lackluster ‘Prometheus’ for purely passable installment that is Alien: Covenant. I wasn’t a huge fan of Prometheus, it’s one of those movies I can’t say I ever care about seeing again and same is the case also with ‘Covenant’. It does though fit quite nicely alongside the current trend of forgettable sequels to once amazing movie franchises of the 80’s that are cranked out these days. It’s like the ‘Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull’ of the Alien series, making the third and fourth installments of the Alien franchise suddenly feel more legit.
This doesn’t mean I hated the movie, it just means that I’m quickly growing tired of the trend of sequels that I once endlessly pined for. It pains me to see Ridley Scott now for a second time bringing us such uninspired pieces of cinema. The movies large cast of characters hasn’t got anyone in it you’re likely to give a damn about and spends it’s time focusing on the android “twin btother” characters played by Michael Fassbender instead. ‘Covenant’ simply feels like Ridley has run out of ideas and decided to start lifting major plot points from ‘Bladerunner’ simultaneously trying to re-create a “best of” compilation of scary scenarios from his first Alien movie.
So while no one from the cast gets much time to develop into much more than alien prey you might think that at the very least we’d get quite possibly the best most bad ass version of the legendary ‘Alien’ creature now that it’s 2017 and they’ve more than got the budget to do so. Quite the contrary, ‘Alien: Covenant’ can’t even get that right for fans. For a movie that’s been boasting impressive practical fx work from day one you’re likely to be disappointed by it’s incredibly cartoony looking aliens littered about the movie frantically. Heck the fx work in this movie makes the two ‘AVP’ flicks suddenly feel kinda legit as well and that’s a damn hard thing to do. Long gone is the suspense & stylized horror of the old movies, instead you’ll be treated to the same old CGI schlock you’re used to from all the huge summer blockbusters. The Alien franchise officially lost it’s heart & soul quite a long time ago and even bringing Scott aboard hasn’t resulted in finding it. Right down to final battle, this movie simply fails, proving that we ALL really miss Sigourney Weaver in a BIG way. Ridley has now truly mastered mediocrity as I honestly may’ve actually enjoyed Prometheus more than this, because at least with that one I wasn’t expecting much there from the start.
At least one thing Ridley got right were the locations & sets he used in filming this movie. It’s visually stunning in that respect. However I’m realizing I was actually quite fine with NOT knowing the backstory of the Alien and honestly liked it when we knew nothing about it’s origins when it was little more than a monstrous stow away. The mystery is gone and instead what we end up with plot wise begins to feel a bit absurd and a tad cliche. This is a classic case of “they just don’t make em’ like they used to”. It’s a bit sad but I realize not everyone can make a ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and sometimes attaching the original directors to these sequels clearly doesn’t always equal movie magic. That being said, after seeing this last night my excitement level for the upcoming sequels to Bladerunner & Predator has severely lowered. I’d say if you’re a casual fan of the Alien franchise you’ll likely have a good time at the movies with this one but if you’re looking for the magic of the first two (or heck even the third & fourth) you’re bound to feel a bit empty as you exit the theater. At least now I’ve developed a new urge to revisit the ‘AVP’ movies, I mean damn, I was way too hard on those I think…
I finally got around to watching “The Thing” 2011 prequel I have been trying to avoid for so long. The original 1982 movie of the same name is probably my favorite monster movie of all time! So giving this new movie a chance after hearing about how shitty it was really was a hard thing to do-but I decided to see for myself if the movie sucked as bad as the reviews suggested. My verdict? Yeah it was pretty damn sucky.
First of all this movie was really not much of a prequel. It was basically a remake that tried to do everything the original did but just ten times less impressive. Sure it linked at the end to the Carpenter version but overall this movie didn’t bring anything new to the table. The story was pretty bland, as were the characters even though the movie was pretty well shot and looked very similar to the original-all except for the special effects.
Now we all know that the 1982 version is really the king of practical monster effects. It still remains to this day as perhaps the most creepy and realistic looking effects on screen. The new version however looked as fake and pathetic as ever. Like something out of DOOM interacting with real people. But was it always meant to be that bad? I guess not. The movie originally boasted that no CGI would be used and from what I have read 80% of it was shot with bad ass practical monster effects. Then when the movie was show to the studio they were told the monsters were too slow and they needed the monsters to be jumping around more ect. So they had to go back and reshoot and mostly cover up the old effects with CGI to give it a more modern look. By modern it ended up getting a more fake video gamey look that the kids love so much today. Anyway I am curious-is there a version out there with the original effects?! How about releasing a special edition original cut version? Well here’s a little video that shows you some of the magic that could have been in the 2011 version…