baekgom84

Alien: Covenant (and all other Alien-related stuff)

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Predictably, I like Hicks! There's not much to him, but Biehn (who replaced James Remar in the role two weeks into the shoot) gives him a sweetness as well as capability (similar to Reese from Terminator but not so tortured).

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LoL! Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, that's where I know him from.

 

he probably talks funny as he's doing a Christopher Lambert impression

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I think you managed to soft reboot this thread, Mington.

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As I've just linked to this thread from elsewhere, here are some other Alien franchise discussions:

 

Feminism and Alien

Prometheus discussion

A little bit of Alien3 discussion while I fail to organise a cinema trip

Some crazy people don't like Aliens (carries on to Apr 6 2010 with a little Alien 3 discussion)

Some more anti-Aliens madness in the Colonial Marines video game thread

 

@Woodfella and @TheLastBaron - wanna tell us why Covenant was so bad?

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Saw Covenant on Friday. Didn't like it at all!

 

I knew going in that Scott cared more about Fassbender's character(s) than his tired old aliens, but he didn't do anything interesting with David's questions about Prometheans creating Man/Man creating Androids.

 

Scott's disinterest borders on carelessness.  Here's a positive set of tweets that's accurate as far as it goes. To like Covenant, you have to hate humanity!

 

 

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For me my problem with Covenant was just that it was really dumb and boring. It's definitely an action thriller and not a sci-fi film, but it doesn't doesn't get into slasher territory so instead of having a lot of tension and suspense its just dull. The characters are all incredibly stupid and the movie does nothing to make the audience care about them. The entire movie is just a series of people saying "this is a bad idea" and then people still doing the bad idea and bad things happening. The level of incompetence was just frustrating to watch. Also for what it's worth I didn't watch the prologue, which I guess does flesh out the characters more, but I don't want James Franco fleshed out in a movie that allows me to blink and forget he exists.

 

The film is also incredibly predictable to the point that I wouldn't even say the plot-twists are obvious, I'd say there aren't any. 

 

The thing at the end where Walter is actually David was poorly executed. When their fighting the camera focuses on David grabbing a knife so watching it I just assumed the audience was supposed to be in on the fact that they had switched and it was just the characters that were in the dark, but then it gets played as a reveal which was weird.

 

 

One last thing, the movie felt like it had been edited to death, which I'm sure it was. 

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1 hour ago, TheLastBaron said:

For me my problem with Covenant was just that it was really dumb and boring. It's definitely an action thriller and not a sci-fi film, but it doesn't doesn't get into slasher territory so instead of having a lot of tension and suspense its just dull. The characters are all incredibly stupid and the movie does nothing to make the audience care about them. The entire movie is just a series of people saying "this is a bad idea" and then people still doing the bad idea and bad things happening. The level of incompetence was just frustrating to watch.

 

 

You're describing many of the same core issues I had with Prometheus.  I saw someone on FB raving about Covenant and saying that it completely redeemed Prometheus...which greatly pushes my credibility. 

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55 minutes ago, Bjorn said:

 

You're describing many of the same core issues I had with Prometheus.  I saw someone on FB raving about Covenant and saying that it completely redeemed Prometheus...which greatly pushes my credibility. 

Oh absolutely, it was very much another Prometheus for me.  

 

For whatever it's worth, one of the people I saw Alien: Covenant with is actually a fan of Prometheus and he did not care for Covenant at all.

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...and is Danny McBride. I'm not hating on him at all, but knowing it's Danny McBride and he wears a cowboy hat is literally all you need to know to know everything about the character.

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I liked the double Fassbending bits; it's the creepiest/hottest twinning since Dead Ringers. I also admired the relentless snowballing of misfortune that occurs when things start to go wrong. I found it to be a gut-churning meat grinder. Meat and guts just churning and grinding everywhere.

 

One problem is that it sets up some interesting threads and drops them before they go anywhere... llike it wants to get thinky and deep and then in the editing room they remembered that they had to make with the mayhem. 

 

On balance, I think I'm going to go against the minor consensus forming here and say that I liked it, but I was also a Prometheus-liker, so take that as you will. It's visually interesting, and the sound design and use of music is great. The Covenant sets are fucking bananas. I think there's a lot to recommend it, but it has to overcome a considerable amount of baggage, After a major perceived misstep, I think there's a desire to see a "redemption" in a case like this, which is a tall order.

 

Of course, there's plenty to criticize when taking it on its own merits, but I thought it was good.

 

edit: McBride was pretty restrained, I thought. I mean, it wasn't like having Kenny Powers on the ship. I saw Tennessee as a callback to the "regular workin' Joe" vibe of the original Alien. I bought his increasing desperation as the bad news continued to pile up.

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I watched it the other day and was quite disappointed, even by the low-ish standards I had going into the cinema. I didn't love Prometheus but  certainly I didn't hate it either, and I think of it as a film that was flawed rather than just bad. I also can't say that I hate Alien: Covenant, but I think it's significantly worse than Prometheus. It's not nearly as interesting or ambitious, or even as tense.

 

Without even getting into spoiler territory, among the many things that ticked me off, one thing that I don't really see being talked about much is how clean and 'futuristic' the ship and the various electronic devices look, in both this film as well as in Prometheus. The monitors for instance are full of the same overly-visual, cliched techno-babble bullshit that seems to be present in all casual sci-fi. Like, no-one is going to go out of their way to design an elaborate GUI for the kind of work these people do, especially an interface which contains so much information that it couldn't possibly be tracked all at once. This kind of futurism is acceptable in something like Star Trek, where the cleanness, presentation and efficiency of everything are a representation of an optimistic future for humanity, but the Alien films do not represent this vision. Even Alien Resurrection understood that. It also seems absurd to me that the Covenant could possibly co-exist in the same universe as the Nostromo (and in fact predate it by decades).

 

I'm starting to think that Ridley Scott has gone full Lucas, or at least 3/4 Lucas. He is running with scripts that seem like they barely made it out of a first draft, and then just flooding them with excessive amounts of CG. I actually think that he has forgotten some of the details of the original film, which is why there are so many contradictions and loose ends that seem impossible to tie. I also think that while the original Alien and the Star Wars films were truly collaborative efforts, the failure of these prequels are a product of both Scott and Lucas being given too much unchecked creative control.

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5 hours ago, baekgom84 said:

I'm starting to think that Ridley Scott has gone full Lucas, or at least 3/4 Lucas. He is running with scripts that seem like they barely made it out of a first draft, and then just flooding them with excessive amounts of CG. I actually think that he has forgotten some of the details of the original film, which is why there are so many contradictions and loose ends that seem impossible to tie. I also think that while the original Alien and the Star Wars films were truly collaborative efforts, the failure of these prequels are a product of both Scott and Lucas being given too much unchecked creative control.

 

At least with Lucas, I could understand the gradual decline in quality and vision as a would-be auteur running out of juice. Lucas wrote the drafts for all the prequel trilogies himself, at the very least. Scott just gets scripts written by four or six different people handed to him and, as I've heard it, lets his cinematographer and other creative leads do all the work for him. Lucas does the same, preferring to be "executive director" of a bunch of underlings from his chair in the back, but Scott seems to have it worse: total creative control and minimal interest in making a technically competent movie.

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Man, I felt very differently about this film than y'all. I went in with low expectations based on reviews, and quickly abandoned those. I think it's a more focused and cohesive film than Prometheus, with more fully fleshed-out characters. IMO it's easily better, despite being less ambitious or surprising.

 

I'm happy that the focus isn't on the xenomorph. That was NOT the problem with Prometheus. Not knowing what to expect in that movie was actually one of its strengths. We've seen this thing plenty of times now. I don't think there's anything they can do with the alien at this point that would be remotely scary or surprising.

 

I watched Prometheus again to prepare for this movie, and something I realized that is that David is the main character. He's an interesting character that has some big ideas baked into him. Maybe my biggest problem with Covenant is that those themes aren't really explored in this movie, and the whole David/Walter dynamic is essentially that of Data and Lore from TNG.

 

However, as a horror movie? It worked for me. DAVID is the alien now.

 

I'm excited to see where they go with this next. I don't think we've seen the last of the Prometheans/space jockeys (given that LV-426 is a different planet than the one explored in Prometheus, and the aliens hadn't existed in this form until this movie).

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This film left me empty.

 

I felt like that episode of Black Books, where Bernard goes to see a film and no one turns the projector on, so he sits in the dark for 3 hours. Once the lights come on he dusts the popcorn off himself and walks out in a daze.

 

I walked out into the Sunshine in Warsaw and just blinked for a bit, went home and just had nothing to say about Covenant. Nothing to say other than it reminded me of the Friday the 13th remake from 2009, utterly forgettable.

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