We’re on hiatus from The Challenge, so the crew sits down to discuss the forgotten horror movie, The Scorned starring Challenge alum Trishelle, Tonya and Steven. No drama this time around, or challenges or eliminations, but we do discuss blood and gore and death scenes. That’s similar, right?
When I told friends I saw the most recent addition to the Alien family last week, the first question was always the same: Was it more like Alien or Prometheus? And my answer is always the same, Yes but it is also it’s own. Ridley Scott’s masterful direction is both a sequel to Prometheus and a gateway that is leading the audience to Alien. The film’s prologue begins with a young Peter Weyland introducing his latest creation David (played by one of the best parts and performances of this movie Michael Fassbender) to the world. This is where the elements of Prometheus begin, the religious overtones of creation/God making Man. When David asks Weyland, “If God made Man, who made God?”, you can see Weyland’s’s face shift to the realization that his creation has questioned him and asked what he himself would like to know.
Then, piece by piece, the opening title sequence takes you back to Alien and the tone is set of what the audience is in for. It’s 2104, 10 years after Prometheus and 18 years prior to the original Alien. The Covenant is carrying the frozen cryosleep crew of twelve and 2,000 other sleepy frozen passengers along with 1000’s of embryos on a 7 year journey to a distant planet Origae-6 when it is thrown off course by a burst of crap/space storm/neutrino shock wave that shreds this gold shield thing and nearly kills everyone. Luckily, the humanoid watching over the ship, Walter (also Fassbender) wakes up the crew and saves the day, except for (spoiler alert) James Franco. If you are not a Franco fan then this is the movie for you because his demise is not pretty. The crew mourns briefly, fixes the ship, hears a beacon on a seemingly perfect new planet and despite the fact that they have a course set to a destination I’m pretty positive some really smart people have done a ton of research on, they take 3/4’s of the remaining crew and go to this equally inhabitable planet to explore and shortly after that all hell breaks loose.
So here are the pros: Covenant is a dark, haunting, exhilarating exploration in space and bloodier than the previous films in the franchise that brings the scares Prometheus lacked.The Xenomorphs are magnificent in size and scare factor and the introduction of the Neomorphs (add that to your lexicon) are both terrifying and adorable. Plush Neomorphs and baby Groots may be THE gift for the kids this summer. There is also a POV from the Xenomorph that I don’t recall experiencing as an audience member before. As for the performances, the standouts are
Daniels (Katherine Waterston despite her Floyd Christmas haircut) the female lead reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley cautious, couragous and kicking ass. Faris (Amy Seimetz) the ship’s co-pilot who has the most believable performance from the moment she awakens from cryosleep to her encounter with an ill crew member and what transpires after, she is the only member of the team that follows protocol and her fear looks more than real. The standout and star is David/Walter (Fassbender) who is outstanding and entertaining especially in scenes where he acts with, himself. It is clear that writers John Logan and Dante Harper enjoyed writing the scenes between these two characters with a line like, “Watch me…I’ll do the fingering.”
Which leads to the cons: While practical effects were used, there is a quintessential scene where they were not and in my opinion missed the mark where it was an easy target. Award for worst crew in space goes to…. The Covenant. You have 2,000 lives on board your ship and you decide to go exploring? Last time I checked you had a mission and a destination but this shiny penny planet apparently means more than human existense. And who takes 3/4 of their remaining crew to “check out” a perfect uninhabited planet? Do they not show reruns of ANY television show set in space in 2104?
The character development is abysmal. What angers me about this is the 4 minute teaser trailer released 2 months before of a Last Supper with the crew that establishes relationships, personalites, banter and makes you feel and at least know more than 4 of the charachters names. Why this was not added to the final film I don’t understand because this 4 minute addition would have been that touch the film needed.
Despite the lack of character development and storyline plotholes, Covenant is a gorgeous film that splits the feel of Alien and Prometheus. The Covenant ship is a dead ringer for the Nostromo while the landscape of the planet, both barren of life and beautiful is reminiscent of Prometheus.The production design department led by Chris Seagers will be, in my opinion, nominated and possibly winning many accolades during awards season because of their exquisite craftmandship.
Alien:Covenant is a transition film that is an equal mix of Alien and Prometheus with the horror and tension of the original and the ambition to answer the question of creation and life from the latter. While it did not leave me feeling, anything actually, I do believe it is a film with some misses but a film that should be watched and enjoyed in the theater. I guess my disappointment is that I know this is a an A movie that ended up being a B. This is not the end however, which makes me hopeful. Alien:Covenant opens in theaters May 19th.
After last week’s surprise cameo and non-stop action, we take a second to catch our breath and relax. For a second.
Is Ash losing his mind? Was this whole thing just a bad dream? Is he truly insane and imaging it all after killing his friends in the cabin that fateful night? I guess the only ones that know the truth are Ash and his puppet.
While Ash vs. Evil Dead circles across this internet are calling this a boring filler episode, they’re only 1/2 right. This set up Ba’al as a tough mofo and featured Lucy Lawless in a nurse’s outfit. I mean, how bad could that be?
Oh baby, this review will contain spoilers.
I nerded out hardcore at Ash vs. Evil Dead episode 6. It had been spoiled for me that Cheryl would be making her return, so unfortunately I missed the fun of the big reveal. What I did not miss, however, was the amazing attention to detail paid by the amazing AvED writers.
First off, check above for the make up. They paid tribute to the original movie with the forehead bandage and cheek scratches, although maybe goring them out a little bit. After all, 35 years have passed so maybe they’re infected? She should try some antibiotics.
Another nice touch was the art desk in Cheryl’s room. Who could forget Cheryl’s clock masterpiece before the Book of the Dead took over her drawing hand to ruin it?
And I think “I’m gonna make like a tree and fuck you” may be the best quote from anything Evil Dead related. Movies and series combined.
Generally speaking though, I think this episode really encompassed the general feeling and tone I’ve loved from the Evil Dead movie series and continued into the TV series. Throwbacks and references to the original, bizarre and sometimes hacked together continuity, fun and silliness combined with “true” horror.
Cheryl was the original deadite and I, for one, was thrilled to see that same deadite reprise her role. Will we see more from other lost souls from the movie series? I’d love to see Scotty or the original Linda. How about Annie or Bobby Joe? Those may not have the same impact as Ash’s sister, but we fans would love to see them.
I was a bit worried that the TV series would not live up to the original movie series I’ve loved so much, but these last few episodes have put all those remaining worries to rest.