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Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by thing, May 11, 2017.
I'm going to watch this soon I guess. I never made it to the theaters for it.
Alien Covenant -
Well I saw it. I only watched those two prologue shorts some months ago and I didn't watch them before seeing Alien Covenant. And now after seeing the movie, The Last Supper short has some really bad foreshadowing and overall comes off as amateurish. I can see why it was cut. Plus The Crossing short with David and Shaw just shows who is the real bad guy before the movie even starts. Other than that, I only watched bits of one trailer but didn't remember anything from it.
Similar to Prometheus the movie looks beautiful although a bit darker once we get to the planet. The action moments are good as well. And I like the idea behind the crew of space explorer couples traveling to a new world. It was cool considering current events that the couples are an interesting mix of backgrounds and types. I'm a bit biased as I love a good space exploration movie. We don't get enough of those. I thought the little I read about the movie was wrong at first as I was into the movie and it didn't seem that bad. And then something happens and after that the movie takes a down turn that I couldn't believe. For the rest of the review I'll have to go into spoilers just in case people haven't seen it.
Of course from the opening, we know David will show up and I'm sure most remember his actions in Prometheus. When he appears the movie becomes something we've seen before in better sci-fi movies and tv shows. Namely the plot of the stranded scientist who goes crazy. Except we already knew David was crazy in Prometheus. So he goes even more nuts.
So we now have a new crew who stumbled into trouble on an unknown planet because of a picked up communication, just like in Alien, who will find themselves in an even more perilous situation with David and his creations. This would all be ok if the movie was smart and if some of the crew members weren't really buffoonish, especially in the later parts of the movie. I gave Prometheus a pass because I got what was going on. The CEO who paid people he could care less about to do a job. The biologist who was showing off to the scared mapper that got lost because the tunnels all looked the same even though his tech should have led them out. But in Covenant we have a security guard character who pokes at plants on an alien ship, another security character who wanders far off alone on a now hostile planet because it's her time to die (the sort of thing Scream made fun of), a captain who looks into an alien egg because he's told to by a crazy android after that android was talking to a creature that just dismembered the crew mate who went for a walkabout, and a new android who doesn't sense danger fast enough from an older model that he knows has a problem and who already tried to kill him. Perhaps one of these is kind of ok. But all of them in a movie that you are supposed to take seriously? I don't think so.
This is silly low budget horror movie stuff and really dumb writing for characters who are supposed to be smart and prepared to go across space. The funny thing is, all the characters who stumbled into trouble were soldiers. You would think soldiers of all people would be the most aware since they are supposed to be protection, therefore wouldn't go around stepping on pods, poking pods, and washing up in distant corridors without their sidearm. Also take the situation with the soldier lady wandering off to clean up, a leader wouldn't just say don't go too far but take another character with you in that situation. Perhaps you can forgive exploring a planet but when you know you're in danger and don't take precautions it's foolishness. I've taken more precautions in the countryside and foreign countries than this crew.
Ridley Scott is now questionable for future Alien movies for me. He chooses great shots and obviously is a skilled director. I had few problems with Prometheus. The main one being the black goo with various properties. But perhaps Prometheus was the warning sign. How the space jockey was really a giant gray guy in a space suit. I always thought or assumed that the space jockey and alien were related. How the suit was designed similar to the ship and its corridors. Even in Prometheus there was that mural that looked like a shrine to the alien and of course the design of the dome structures. But now we have a human android responsible for the notable alien creation and even the eggs. That sort of thing sounds like the worst of fan fiction. People were right, this is the Alien version of the Star Wars prequels.
So now after two movies there are still the questions of how all those eggs got on the original space jockey's ship, crashed, and who put the warning signal out since we know from Prometheus that the space jockey characters want humanity dead. I can't imagine that there is a good space jockey after the destruction of the Engineer's home city. Also, that there are two additional planets with aliens roaming around. Who is going to be the hero of this mess because I'm sure many thought it would be Shaw. And it doesn't look like it's going to be Daniels either. The more I think about it, it seems like Ridley Scott is out of good ideas and finding writers to throw stuff together and mix things from the previous classic movies. At least Prometheus felt new. Covenant has many nods to Alien, Aliens, and even Blade Runner. I did like the hysterical female pilot who acted similar to Lambert. But the updated erotic horror of Lambert's Alien encounter scene in the first movie was taken to its unexpected and generic modern version with nude scene near the end.
After Covenant part of me doesn't really care anymore if we get another Alien movie. And if we do maybe Ridley Scott shouldn't make it. You would never think back when Alien and Aliens came out that the story of the aliens involved our own android. I really don't want to see a future movie where David learns how to create an alien queen using Daniels as a host. Nor some relative of Ripley that just happens to have an encounter with an Alien. I don't know why people want that. The Alien series shouldn't be some myth like Star Wars where a Skywalker has to be involved.
I remember Tarantino talking about how some directors get old and make a really bad movie. This might be it for Ridley Scott. Some were saying how many scenes were gory or at least more graphic than we are used to. Maybe I've seen too many horror movies but I didn't see anything in Covenant that pushed the boundaries of what we've seen before. And looking at the box office results, Covenant made less than Prometheus which isn't a good sign. Sequels should make more not less. Even James Cameron commented and he usually he doesn't comment on other director's films. You can tell he's being polite and kind of referring to Alien 3 as well.
Alien Covenant is a movie that makes Prometheus better. But also damages that movie. It's like a drink or meal that starts off good but has a bad aftertaste. What they did to Shaw made me angry and you now have to conclude that she had mental problems during Prometheus. Just like the Star Wars prequels, Covenant is starting to do harm to how you'll feel about Alien and Aliens. Unless of course you forget that you've seen Covenant. The thing about Alien and Aliens is that they aren't two of the best sci-fi horror movies for nothing. Everything about them is well thought out. There aren't any characters doing stupid, borderline retarded stuff just because they are in a horror movie. The movies stand on their own without the need for sequels. Two movies in, there is no way future Alien movies can clean up the events of Covenant. It feels like even though Prometheus was successful, many wanted an Alien movie. So we have the "Alien" title before Covenant and the true aliens. But also Ridley Scott wanted to do something else so mix in the crazed, abandoned mad scientist trope. That bad aftertaste only gets worse when you think about it. I typed this after watching and listening to the movie a second time and it will probably be the last time I ever see the movie.
*** For anyone curious, I thought Prometheus was the third best movie in the Alien series. And the first movie to even be considered to go next to the classic Alien and Aliens movies. I would put Alien Covenant with the rest of the bad movies that I don't even consider owning. And another thing, someone on another forum pointed out that the twist with David erases that clever Predator 2 scene at the end with the Alien skull. All for what?
That was a lot to read through but you make really good points and I pretty much agree with all of them. I think they should just wipe the slate clean and pretend these new Alien films don't exist. They do it with certain superhero movies so I dont see why they cant here.
Fox is talking about rebooting the Alien series, after Covenant crashed and burned.
Too me, both prequels are alternate universe stories, just like the AVP movies.
The true origins of the Xenomorphs, and the crew on the crashed ship, in the original, are still unknown, and should stay so.
God I hope so. That would be great if they start again. I don't think the origins of the Xenomorphs need to stay unknown per say, but should they be explored again I think they need to be a hell of a lot more interesting. I mean I never saw the Space Jockey being an alien in a suit. The thing looked organic as did the ship. That alone is more interesting than the crap Ridley put to film.
Yeah, in the original design it wasn't a suit.
You can clearly see the mouth of the creature screaming.
That's not a helmet.
Ridley is just getting senile, and either forgot about these details, or he just don't give a shit about fucking up the continuity.
I just don't think Ridley cares. He's obsessed with his "who crated us" angle. Something really interesting could be done with an origin story I'm sure.
I agree, but with a new director on board.
Maybe the reboot can fix this.
I rather see the Space Jockeys like this:
Absolutely. Scott has shown he is no longer right for this franchise. That illustration looks way better than what we got. At least it looks like what might have been in that chair.
I still need to get that Alien Vault book. I wonder how much back story from the original movie is in that book?
But they might as well reboot it since Covenant does something I still can't believe. Or better yet, create a new space alien creature. Since it's fairly apparent at this point that no one will come close to making something in the series as good as Alien and Aliens.
The thing is, I would be all for Ridley Scott making a separate origin of humanity movie. Or a separate mad scientist movie. Maybe the suits wouldn't go for it even with a known director. Perhaps they wouldn't approve the budget. I'm sure after Prometheus no one thought we would get a mad scientist movie mixed with some best of moments from Alien, Aliens, and in some ways Alien 3.
I watched the Blu-ray extras and I'm still not impressed. None of the cut scenes would have made the movie better. Maybe some of Walter's thoughts on David. But not really. I was surprised by the different opening scene with Walter. Also the lady soldier that goes for that walk is shown in a cut scene removing her weapon from her leg. I don't think that was in the movie. But also taking the gun out of the holster a bit. Still, most would think a gun is better at your side then out of reach on a table. This was the soldier who was previously attacked by an alien. I remember Ripley telling Ash to go with Parker when he needs to refill the flamethrower in Alien. Parker says he'll go alone or something like that. It's a far better handled scene. It's just shocking that the person who made Alien is taking the series on this path.
I might watch the movie one more time in the future though. I read the The Digital Bits review on the 4K version that mentions the Dolby Atmos track. I keep hearing good things about Atmos in the home but I don't have the speakers.
Another thing that bugged me was how obvious the ending was. Usually in good movies or tv shows that pull the twin switch. It's early so we can see the bad twin do damage but also have the crew be smart and figure it out. When David cuts his hair you know what's going to happen. But when it happens late without time left. It's not a surprise. Especially when the twins finally fight and the result is off screen. It's always the bad one that escapes / wins the fight.