‘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…
It’s been “revealed” recently that Shane Black’s ‘The Predator’ set for a 2018 release will NOT feature the return of Arnold Schwarzengger’s iconic character ‘Dutch’ from the original (and by far best Predator flick of them all). Apparently Mr. Black who actually starred along side Arnold in the 1987 movie met with him and the two couldn’t agree on the right role for his character Dutch to play in the upcoming blockbuster. This what Arnie recently had to say about it:
“They asked me, and I read it, and I didn’t like it — whatever they offered, So I’m not going to do that, no. Except if there’s a chance that they rewrite it, or make it a more significant role. But the way it is now, no, I won’t do that.”
So Predator fans all over seem a bit bummed about the news. Black had basically gone on record saying this installment of the franchise was going to feel like a big mysterious event for all the fans rather than just another throwaway Predator installment to make a few bucks. He’s stated: It would be an”inventive sequel” to the 1987 movie and not a remake. “Why start over, when you’ve all this rich mythology yet to mine? I like the idea of expanding and exploring the existing Predator mythology, rather than hitting the restart button.” He’s also said he was resisting the urges to use CGI and keep it in line with the original’s spectacular practical effects. From what I understand he’s kinda going for a “Force Awakens” of the franchise and I just don’t see how you can really do that with Arnold involved.
So I’m throwing it out there that I think Arnold’s statement is pure BS to throw the fans off. I bet he’ll indeed be included to the cast, but as it stood it sounded like Shane wanted Dutch to appear at the end of the movie in a way similar to how Luke Skywalker appeared in the Force Awakens. So let’s consider this though, Arnold is 69 years old, though he still looks great, if he’s gonna appear in a Predator movie it better be fucking soon! To make a great sequel to the ORIGINAL movie you absolutely need Dutch, one of the only people on earth to survive an actual confrontation with the alien killing machine. I’m sure Black knows this and I just can’t imagine he wouldn’t include the character in this next movie. Arnold be the ideal addition to a team of mercenaries who try and fail to kill the creature, who then seek him out to lead the mission. Wouldn’t the cast seen in the picture below be 100 times more epic if Arnold was included?
He certainly can’t go hand to hand against a Predator when he’s nearly 70 years old but he could still get in on the action with a big ass gun and help the team in their fight, employing his knowledge & some tricks he used against them back in ’87. It’d be amazing and the only thing that’d make this sequel even better was if they also added Danny Glover from ‘Predator 2’ to the cast as well. The two of them could lead the team in their final confrontation in this installment. Again, Shane Black must know that the rich mythology and classic characters returning in “The Force Awakens” was a huge part of what made the movie a bonafide blockbuster for all ages. I realize neither Glover or Arnold have the box office draw that they did back in the 80’s, hey neither did Mark Hamill until you linked him to the Star Wars franchise. What better surprise for fans for Dutch to appear in the movie mid way through?
So now I’ve recently heard that ‘The Predator’ has been pushed back from a Feb 2018 release all the way to August 2018. Hmmm…perhaps Shane is actually reworking the script to include Arnold in a bigger role? I’m completely willing to bet this is the case. I don’t have much faith in the idea that we’ll be seeing Danny Glover appear, though it’d be absolutely amazing for the die hard fans. However I just don’t believe Shane’s gonna let a direct sequel to Predator hit the theaters without Dutch. It’d be a huge mistake. He wants this one to be epic for all Predator fans and you simply can’t do it without Arnold. The Terminator franchise more recently rammed Arnold in as a Terminator and it felt forced as fuck. Arnie again as ‘Dutch’ however feels completely natural and essential for a true Predator sequel. What do you think? You think we’ll be seeing Arnold in the next Predator or has my fanboy fantasy warped my mind?
‘Bubba Ho-tep’ is easily one of my favorite movies and one of, if not Bruce Campbell’s best performance of his career. It’s also helmed by the legendary ‘Phantasm’ franchise’s creator Don Coscarelli and the two make an incredibly awesome combo together. So now there’s word that Joe Lansdale who wrote Bubba Ho-tep in novella form way back in 1994 has finished writing the prequel ‘Bubba and the Cosmic Blood Suckers’ a book that will be available this coming October from Subterranean Press. This is exciting news for fans of the novella and also for fans of Bruce Campbell & the movie.
For years there’s been talk of Don Coscarelli doing another “Bubba” movie, it even had a working title, ‘Bubba Nosferatu: The Curse of the She-Vampires’. This as awesome as it sounded however never came to be, though Coscarelli was totally down to make it Bruce Campbell refused to do another film unless Joe R. Lansdale wrote it. This led to rumors of Bruce being replaced by Ron Perlman which would have been pretty cool as well. That never came to be either dammit! Well now it seems the right ingredients have arrived as Lansdale’s book could lay the groundwork for us to finally see the sequel/prequel to the 2002 cult hit.
Bruce played an elderly Elvis in Bubba Ho-tep & could easily now step into the role of the younger middle aged character seamlessly for the prequel. I’m thinking that the possibility of seeing this one materialize on the big screen is pretty damn strong. Check out the synopsis here, this book sounds pretty fucking awesome and a movie version of this helmed once again by Don Coscarelli would be the icing on the cake:
“Part of a secret government organization designed to protect civilians, Elvis Presley and a handful of hardcore warriors set out to save the world from an invasion of hive-minded, shape-shifting vampire-like creatures from a dark dimension who have taken up residence in a New Orleans junkyard.
Besides Elvis, among these righteous warriors is a hammer-wielding descendent of John Henry of railroad fame, a Blind Man who sees more than those with sight, Jack, a strategic wizard, and Elvis’s right hand man and journal writer, Johnny, all thrown in with Raven (real name Jenny) a female recruit who is also a budding pop star, and like Elvis, high on the charisma chart.
Their leader is none other than Colonel Parker, Elvis’s cutthroat manager, and a warrior himself, directly in contact with President Nixon, or possibly one of his doubles.
It’s an unnerving peek into a secret world, and a possible delusion. It’s what happened before Elvis, aka Sebastian Haff, found himself in an East Texas rest home, mounted on a walker, fighting an Egyptian mummy and worrying about a growth on his pecker.
Strange monsters, wild fights, sex with a beautiful ghost, a drug-induced trip into another dimension, and all manner of mayhem ensue, along with a Mississippi riverboat ride on a giant paddle wheel, and of course, there will be 3D glasses, fried peanut butter and ’nanna sandwiches, and a few hard working zombies.
Bring the kids, but plug their ears and blindfold them. This is one wild and nasty ride to the dark side, but with laughter.”
Let’s get on Bruce Campbell & Don Coscarelli’s ass about making this a movie ASAP!
I finally got a chance last night to check out the latest Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider, The Gravedancers) ) horror movie starring none other than one of my fave 80’s action icons Mr. Dolph Lundgren! What we’ve got here is a pretty sweet lil’ horror / action hybrid that’s likely to please any fan of good ol’ Dolph. This one puts Jebidiah Woodley (Lundgren) front and center as grizzled demon hunter who strolls into a small town where a recent string of murders has got the folks in a panic. He tries to convince the local cops that something supernatural is afoot but of course they all just think he’s some crazy ass dude and end up locking him away for a night in jail. They soon figure out though Jebidiah ain’t all that crazy after all as they come face to face with a creepy possessed killer while he’s locked up. Lundgren is quickly freed and leads the police on a bit of a wild goose chase to find the pesky demonic killer.
It’s a nice simple plot, short and sweet. The movie’s barely 80 minutes long but packs a fair amount of excitingly gruesome scenes into it’s short run time. ‘Don’t kill It’ is a damn good time, it’s an old fashioned 80’s style movie that borrows a bit from the Denzel Washington/John Goodman horror thriller ‘Fallen’. Heck this one could almost be considered some sort of sequel despite the tonal differences of the two. Lundgren totally shines here and is utilized in exactly the way I hoped he’d be, more like an Ash type anti-hero who cracks his fair share of one liners while thoroughly kicking evil ass. He’s easily the best thing about this one and I’m already hoping that we see him return for a sequel that brings him into the fold of even more insane mayhem. The only real problem is that the movie maybe peaks a little to soon as it’s shining moment takes place about one third of the way through. A town hall meeting gone incredibly wrong becomes an insanely grotesque show of over the top action, comedy & gore. Continue reading
Here’s a cool new comic book from ‘Black Mask’ that packs a visually stunning slice of dirty raw color to the space pirate genre. From page one I’ll admit for this one it really didn’t matter how solid the plot would be for ‘Space Riders: Galaxy of Brutality’, the first page showcases some awesome artwork that’s a breath of fresh air in the current comics spectrum. Black Mask has been putting out some pretty impressive shit for quite some time now. Space Riders #1 continues that trend with a solid debut that could possibly be more fun to look at than read. This is apparently a sequel series, but it’s new to me and I’ll have to take a moment to hunt down the first trade. So if you’re late to the party like myself, I don’t think it really matters all that much. We’re given a cast of outrageous characters from the get go, some crazy space bikers, weaving through the stars, wreaking havok on a refugee ship full of aliens. It doesn’t take long for the giant floating skull space craft, with our main characters aboard to vaporize the scavengers dead in their tracks. This sets the tone for the type of crazy shit visually and plot wise that’s on the horizon.
I totally dig it, it’s a straight forward story so far filled with some insanely colorful characters that harken back to classic vintage style space voyage that would’ve fit nicely in the pages of ‘Heavy Metal’ magazine. We’ve got the gruff wise guy Captain Peligro, a tuff guy baboon human hyrid co-pilot, cyborg babes, bat people, marauding space bikers, galactic maidens and cool space vagina portals. It’s a damn fun first issue that’s jam packed with eye candy galore and just a ton of weirdo oddball landscapes & evil aliens. I like these kind of stories sometimes that don’t rely too much on paying attention to crazy details and more so on just having a good old fashion ruff around the collar space adventure. This is the perfect book to roll a joint, kick & absorb the madness of it all.
Now the problem here I gotta say is that Space Riders takes about five minutes to read. I’m not exaggerating either it’s filled with a ton of huge panels and splash pages. While those can all be cool to look at I’ve said before comic books these days need to make some changes for readers who’re expected to throw down four bucks per issue for five minutes of story. Too many books out there don’t seem to give us enough bang for our buck. What do you think? Can you afford the rising prices of comic books? Well if you can I recommend Space Riders #1 it’s got a unique look and it bound to go to some pretty cool ass places…
Holy Hell! I’ve got to make some time here to give some props to Hugh Jackman’s “last” run as Wolverine! I know everyone and their mom, dad & parakeet are talking about how great this movie is and yeah I agree it’s a glorious final chapter. They finally took the gloves off and let Wolverine be Wolverine. I find it funny how damn long it takes Hollywood to figure out what us comic book fanatics knew way back in the year 2000. We want our Wolverine to be a savage lil’ a-hole and you just can’t really do it with a PG-13 rating. So as you know by now obviously Logan is bloody, gritty and tonally different than any of the other movies. It’s a no BS affair, it’s personal and it has real heart. There are no giant CG robots or even a weak ass version of Sabretooth anywhere in sight. Nope Wolverine here is a cussin’, drinkin’, pissed off SOB and it’s great to finally see him the way he was more or less supposed to be all along. Sure he’s older and weaker here but hey I’ll take what I can get dammit!
Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier is amazing and so is Dafne Keen’s X-23. They both nearly steal the thunder from Logan time and time again throughout the movie. By now you’ve likely heard it ALL and probably seen the movie. It’s great and I’ll see it again, soon. BUT, yes there is a but here and it needs to be addressed (SPOILERS AHEAD). My biggest problem with ‘Logan’ was it’s villain/villains. That’s not to say I didn’t dig Donald Pierce and his Reavers, they were forgettably fine but let’s be honest they could have been AMAZING. When I heard that they were going up against Wolverine in this final flick I was fucking thrilled. The Reavers could have and should have been a seriously scary force to be reckoned with.
Sure Donald Pierce had a dinky lil’ cybernetic hand but he could have been a lot more like his counterpart from the comics with four cybernetic limbs & superhuman strength. They failed to make him a truly deadly opponent and the rest of The Reavers should have been modeled after the legendary comic book team. Imagine the original Reavers with an even deadlier Lady Deathstrike back again looking more like comic book counterpart. It should have been Logan and co taking on serious threats more similar to ‘The Terminator’. That would have been amazing. They missed an opportunity to really bring us the psychotic cyborgs we deserved to see. They gave us a lot of throwaway soldiers for him and x-23 to mow down sure, but none of them served any other purpose than just that.
The real threat here was X-24, a villain that to me felt as about exciting as “Deadpool” from X-men Origins: Wolverine. I was really disappointed to see a Hugh Jackman ‘clone’ as the big bad muscle of the movie. That was a serious mis-step in my opinion. I only say this because we could have gotten any number of amazing Wolverine villains in his place. Imagine for a second that their secret weapon was Omega Red?! Or Cyber? Daken? Razorfist? Heck even a bigger badder version of Sabretooth would have been welcome.
My point being we really didn’t need any of them, we already had Donald Pierce and The Reavers. They could have supplied us with all sorts of frightening cybernetic mayhem. Instead they went the overused “fight your clone / fight yourself” route. Ahhh well what can I say, I am a picky comic book bastard. It just irritates me that they got so close to me having to just shut the fuck up and admit perfection. At least they finally got ol’ Wolvie right. It took them seventeen years to figure it all out and I’m damn glad they did. This is clearly a groundbreaking movie that’ll change the way comic book movies are made from this point on. Don’t get me wrong I give ‘Logan’ a solid A-, but in the future though let’s give the same care to the villains as we do to the heroes cuz a hero’s only as good as his villain! Oh yeah one more thing I highly doubt this is the last time we’ll see Mr. Jackman in the role of Logan, this movie is a box office smash and we all know money talks…why stop now anyway when you finally figured it all out?!!
I saw M Night Shyamalan’s new movie ‘Split’ a couple nights ago and I’m quite happy to say he’s definitely found his footing once again. I’d pretty much given up on him after ‘The Happening’ and then came ‘The Last Airbender’ and then ‘After Earth’ which I admit I never even gave a chance. However when he was given a small budget to make ‘The Visit’ I had a feeling that maybe, just maybe he’d deliver once again. I really enjoyed that one and liked that Night kinda took the gloves off and made a straight up fright flick. So Split was a movie I was pretty excited about for a while. If you’re a fan of his older movies you’ll most definitely like Split for different reasons, one of the strongest being James McAvoy’s performance as some one who suffers from extreme multiple personalities. 23 to be exact.
He’s clearly the star of the show here as he brings to life many of the strange & dangerous personas that threaten three teen girls he’s taken captive in a subterranean maze. The movie builds pretty nicely to an intense climax and Shyamalan’s skills are once again top notch in creating a chilling atmosphere that really could lead you anywhere by the film’s end. Also I was delighted to see Anya Taylor-Joy co-starring here she was great in “The Witch” and once again shines as the final girl here. I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns for Night’s next film too.
SPOILERS AHEAD: Continue reading