Friday, May 19, 2017

TGIF 5.19.17 - FF Film Review: Alien Covenant

It was a great privilege to be able to attend the 20th Century Fox screening of Alien: Covenant on Wednesday at the TCL Chinese Theater. As I posted at FF@FB immediately after wards, I explained how the set up was for the approximately two hundred fans permitted access to the red carpet and hand imprint area. Since this is my first official exclusive screening event in Hollywood, I don't have anything to compare this arrangement with, so I'll keep my complaining to a minimum. But in a nutshell, if studios are going to invite fans to these cool events at this particular venue, please give bitches a view of what's going down. My pictures of MICHAEL FASSBENDER are shit. But thankfully the video (see below) I took with my iPad, and edited (quality degraded a bit when uploaded to YouTube - rolleyes), shows you how close I was, but because of the paparazzi, my view was grossly blocked.

But, beggars can't be choosers. Again, I'm grateful I was able to attend, and that gratefulness is twofold due to actually meeting the gracious and gorgeous Michael Fassbender briefly before the cast introduced the film to the audience, and with my enjoying Alien: Covenant! I like the movie so much, I bought a ticket for the Friday 6pm screening. I want to help support this film so that it can be #1 at the box office this coming weekend! What a way to kick of my new life in Los Angeles by actually attending a premiere of a favorite film franchise starring my favorite actor, and directed by one of my all-time favorite directors, Ridley Scott.  

Now, on to the review of Alien: Covenant -

Alien: Covenant is set about 10 years after the mysterious disappearance of the Prometheus. In Earth's pursuit of a new planet to colonize, the Covenant is on a nearly 8 year journey to a surveyed world that would be the new home for 2000+ humans, and over a thousand embryos. Like on the Prometheus, the Covenant is being watched over by one synthetic human, and his name is Walter. An intergalactic cosmic event wakes the crew up early and the death count starts immediately. After the ship suffers from damage caused by this event, just by chance, the crew pick up a weak signal from someone, a human being, coming from someplace deep in space that no human should be. Considering that no one wants to go back into hyper sleep for 6 more years, the crew decides to check out the planet where the signal is coming from. Perhaps that will be their new home instead. But one person in the crew, Daniels played by Katherine Waterston, doesn't think it's a good idea. She tries to reason with the new captain, Oram/Billy Crudup to stay the course for the designated planet, but he wants to detour to the new one since it's so close.

Once the shuttle lands on the planet with about a dozen crew members, they set out to investigate where the signal is coming from. Although the planet is Earth like, it's void of life and it's too quiet. Unbeknowst to them, lying dormant in the soil are pods of the pathogen that need biological hosts to create those Xenomorphs.  Alien Covenant doesn't waste time in having crew members die in unique and horrific deaths. Some crew members become infected almost immediately upon landing on the planet; they then show symptoms of being infected quickly too. Like in Prometheus, some crew think it's ok to bypass general quarantine rules and everything just goes to pot in a spectacular way. Just as the shuttle crew find themselves facing imminent death, they are saved by David. After he takes the survivors to safety, he explains to them how he and Elizabeth Shaw came to this strange planet. But the crew are so grateful that he saved them, that they easily believe his story. David has had a planet all to himself for 10 years and a hatred for humans has been festering inside him.  David has played creator to these creatures, and with new human hosts, his family is about to grow in terrifying ways.

Alien Covenant is one part Prometheus and one part Alien, and they blend perfectly together and help build up to the events in Alien from 1979. Mankind's curiosity to explore new worlds and to misuse synthetic humans as mere bidders to their selfish needs will lead to our doom. Although Weyland modified the next generation of synthetic humans to be less emotional, i.e., less human, he failed to consider the sense of self and the calculating will to live that the David 8's have developed over time. Covenant wasn't so much scary to me, but more suspenseful, tense, and very bloody. This film gives to those who missed the xenomorphs in Prometheus, and more than make up for it in this film. The end has a great twist to segue into the recently announced, Alien: Awakening.

Michael was excellent as android Walter who spoke with an American accent, and David with a British accent. The scenes with the two of them together were amazing to watch because it was seamless in the editing and each android have such different personalities. Michael's Walter and David are characters that you empathize with and you want both to meet their objectives. David will go down in cinema history as one of the most mesmerizing and charismatic bad guys you secretly root for.

Grade: A-

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