Alien:Covenant

This film has been on my mind a fair bit since its release. I had mixed feelings going into it due to Prometheus. Prometheus is a movie I think is very beautiful to look at and has some decent bits in, but overall is a bit of a mess. It feels like it’s trying to tell two stories by two different camps from the production standpoint. In one camp you’ve got the urge to make an prequel film for the Alien franchise, and the other camp want to make a film about creationism. Add in some daft elements in the script (run off to one side!) and we’ve got a film which is hard to love, also the technology is massively advanced compared to the other films. I know the Prometheus is an advanced space craft but they could have easily made the tech look like that of the previous films (Sorry, this is something that really bugs me!).

The problem of what film is being made carries on into Alien:Covenant. On one side we’ve got a story about colonists wanting to find a new world to settle on, then on the other side we have the urge to look at this creationist storyline. I’ve watched this movie maybe half a dozen times now and I really believe there is a good movie in here, if you take away that creationist element, and some of the dumb-ass choices the characters make. There’s a bit early on about a funeral that shows there is friction between the characters, but it feels ham-fisted. The funeral is forbidden due to repairs needing to be done, but the repairs could wait and the funeral is brief. It feels like it’s there just to create conflict.

If they took away the David storyline, the plot device of wondering off to another planet and just had a story about colonists arriving at a new planet to then find it was once inhabited by an alien race that died out. Then they find an egg and chaos ensues. Why couldn’t we have had that movie? Up until David shows up we’ve got the makings of a really good atmospheric horror movie and then it slips into a psycho-robot-with-delusions-of-being-a-god movie.

When I think about the original Alien movies they were pretty straightforward. Horror and action pretty much, what you saw was what you got. They never really felt like there was a grander story happening that needed to be addressed. They were just what they were. There was social commentary there, but it was subtle. You didn’t feel like you were being hit over the head with it. Maybe that’s what they need to get back to. Imagine the type of social commentary we could of had in this film if it had been about landing on a planet for colonisation only to discover these horrific aliens that had maybe already wiped out an alien species that had been on the planet before.

Where this series goes in the future, I don’t know. There’s rumours that this new generation of Ridley Scott Alien movies is a trilogy and there’s a third part coming, but this movie didn’t do especially well. So I’ve got to wonder if Fox will give it one more go, drop the franchise for the time being, or go in an entirely different route altogether.

Time will tell, but I know how I’d like it to go.

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Beyond Skyline

Okay, if you’ve been reading my blog for a few years now you’ll have seen the odd post/rant I’ve written about the movie Skyline, directed by The Brothers Strause. Without going into another full blown post about Skyline my biggest complaint was not enough attention was on the live action sequences and too much was spent on the CGI, which granted was very beautiful. It just didn’t fulfil an amazing potential I thought.

Beyond Skyline was not Skyline, it took that potential and made a movie I enjoyed a lot. The CGI looks beautiful, the plot line kept my attention and the actors held the screen well, and more importantly I cared about what happened to them. Frank Grillo and Bojana Novakovic were both very good, and I enjoyed Iko Uwais as well. It was fun seeing Callan Mulvey playing a role which wasn’t a mercenary as well.

I liked how the story went from the events in Skyline and took it further and looked at what was going on in a lot more depth and moves across the globe a little and we see how the invasion is being looked at by another culture. We saw a lot more of the aliens and their little world as well. I really liked the final confrontation at the end of the movie. Not only is there some great CGI action, but some of the fighting the characters do on the ground level is beautiful! The Choreography is very well done.

This is the first film where I’ve seen Iko Uwais and I liked him a lot. He held the screen well and when acting opposite an actor of Frank Grillo’s calibre you need that.

The whole cast was pretty solid I thought, no one felt out of place and none of them felt ‘Meh’ for lack of a better phrase. I thought they felt genuine, we don’t know what we’ll be capable of until we’re pushed out of our comfort zones.

There was a couple of moments where I found my eyebrow raising a little but nothing drastic that took me out of the film any more than a passing second.

I was a little anxious that this was Liam O’Donnell’s directing debut, but I liked where he took the story (he wrote it as well). Some of the visuals were stunning and he got a great balance between the live action and the CGI. They complimented each other very well. Overall I liked his direction and I really hope they do more of these. I will definitely be looking out for what O’Donnell does in the future.

Overall, Beyond Skyline is a film that’s well worth watching. I’m glad I’ve brought it on Blu-Ray as I think I will be re-watching it more than a few times.

Diving In With No Idea

A couple of times recently Tracie (My Girlfriend) has talked about the movie Shutter Island, and how much she wants to talk to me about it. Now I haven’t seen this one and Tracie dosent want to ruin it by giving anything away so she wants me to watch it. It’s based on a book though, now for me that means I want to read the book first, so I’ve got it 🙂 I need to read it quickly though because I think Tracie would really like to have this chat about this movie.
The only thing that I know of this story is the title, and that Leonardo DiCaprio is in the movie. That’s it, I know nothing else and that’s how I’m going to read the book. I’m not going to read the blurb, I’m not going to google it, nothing. All I know is that people seemed to like the movie.

I like the idea of going in blind, in this day and age we think we know everything when we rarely do, but as I’ve said, I know nothing about this book, author, movie or the director of the movie. It feels a little liberating not having preconceptions 🙂

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Movie Review: World War Z

***Minor Spoilers***

Hey guys I just thought I’d share a few quick thoughts on World War Z. It was good, but don’t go into it expecting to see a movie with lots of blood and guts and any real reference to the book. As I watched it I noticed a couple of minor references to the book. It felt like they were after thoughts to be honest. If you’ve read I Am Legend by the late Richard Matheson and then seen the Will Smith movie of the same name you’ll know what I mean.
They is no Raj Singh, no Yonkers or the floating cities. There is a snippet with a doctor examining a young man like in the book but I can’t really recall many other references to the book. I’m sure if I listened to the book again and watched the film a couple of more times then I’d notice a few more references but I’ll have to wait for DVD.

Enough moaning about the lack of reference to the book. It is a film I enjoyed, it kept my attention on the screen. The story is okay, although I won’t sure about the way it was wrapped up. The visuals are good and the characters are okay, if cliched. Brad Pitt is Brad Pitt, he does what he does best. I’m not his biggest fan but he is a decent actor and does a steady job here.
The movie starts off quickly before the pace eases off a little and then levels out okay. Brad Pitt’s character has to find the source of the outbreak but instead finds something else.

Do I recommend seeing World War Z? Yes. Despite the lack of reference to The book by Max Brooks and a weak ending its an entertaining movie, great for if you want to chill out and not think too much about it.

A Flash Post

Hey guys and gals I’ve not done too much writing bits in the last few days. I have made a couple of notes on The Residents and I’m looking at Project Apollo at the moment finding the spaces where I want to add the various bits that need to be added. This means another read through, but hey it’s all part of the process.
The last few weeks have been unsettled to say the least and fatigue has been hitting me harder then normal. I don’t think I’m personally going to be making a huge amount of progress for another couple of weeks. I have some time off next month and I’m going to chill out as well as spending a day or two working on writing.

I watched the movie adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 which had John Hurt and Richard Burton in it. I really liked it. It felt like it stuck to the book quite well and seemed loyal to the message it was trying to put across.

I’m going to wrap it up hear and get some sleep. My dream is to have people enjoy what I write, I may not be where I want to be with it but I will be in time 🙂