Alien Covenent - There Be Spoilers Here

Original Poster
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11560
Scott had a major misstep going forward (Prometheus), so now he has boldly taken a step back (Alien/Aliens). Old Ridley Scott, however, is no match for young Ridley Scott or James Cameron.

You can sense the Scott wants to spread his wings and develop new themes, but that he doesn't quite have the confidence to do it. The (promoted) captain, for example, is religious and he speaks of how people don't trust him because of his faith, but the captain's faith only becomes a light (forgettable) side note in the film. And all that shit about Engineers? Don't worry about it. Sure, Prometheus spent all this time building up this story about people who have been around for 4 BILLION years and who started life on Earth. Sure, Guy Pierce pops his head back in to discuss the importance of big questions of origins, but when the time comes (in a flashback) when those answers could've been answered, David drops a bio-weapon on the whole race, ending that conversation. Fuck you, BIG questions!

Visuals

The film looks great. Scott is a great visualist and the SFX look great. If someone else has good ideas, Scott can make those ideas look good. Watch it on a big screen and you might forgive some of its sins.

Music

Trapped between Prometheus (Oh My God sense of wonder, emotional sentimentality) and Alien (calling in the cues from the original film heavily). Either there is too much music in this film or perhaps the film isn't good enough to make the music work. When a film plays music to let me know how I should feel about what's happening, especially when it tells me I should feel sad, something has gone wrong. It feels slathered in music, like popcorn with too much butter.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Section

1. AR-15's in the year 2104? They've got FTL space travel, artificial gravity, and hybernation beds and Bushmasters. Hmm. And green lasers. Lots of green lasers. To be fair, by 2104 we will not have anything on that list save for old Bushmasters and green lasers, so perversely that's the most accurate depiction in the film. It is not set far enough ahead in the future for the other technologies to seem plausible. Indeed, the only thing that seems plausible is probably an AI like David.

2. They only deploy the solar panels on the Covenant every once in a while. Why? There is no drag in space. No atmosphere to slow you down. Folding and unfolding that thing like some big umbrella makes no sense.

3. Why do they have solar panels in the first place? In deep space you're not going to be getting a lot of direct solar radiation from anywhere (this is an interplanetary trip between solar systems) from anywhere close. Assuming they were getting as much solar radiation as you would in our solar system, that's not a tremendous amount of energy anyhow.

4. Tennessee receives an alien transmission in his space helmet which is not received by the rest of the ship. You see, he was far far out at the edge of the solar sail/solar panels and only he received the message because he was out past the "communication buffers" of the Covenant. What in the actual? Why would a spaceship have "communication buffers" to prevent it from receiving messages from the outside?

5. This race of Engineers has been around for 4 billion years and their technology hasn't really advanced? They're still running around in anthropoid form? They (the creators of Earth's biological species) cannot protect themselves from a biological attack?

6. It's an alien world. They know nothing about it. They just hop out of a spaceship without wearing spacesuits or masks or anything. Where is Guy from Galaxy Quest when I need him? At least, Prometheus had enough sense to put people in space suits before they started playing with space cobras.

Other

1. The twist we all saw coming 5 miles away. Of course it was David. It was always David. We knew it was David.

2. Good move by Rapace pulling the ejection handle and punching out of this franchise when she did.

3. David keeps mentioning how he differs from humans in terms of his immortality. This does not seem to be set in the same universe as Blade Runner, despite Scott's speculations that they might be.

4. The film, however, does lift a line directly from Blade Runner, with Fassbender doing his best Rutger Hauer "That's the spirit!"

5. For everyone who has ever insisted that the black and white photos in Deckard's apartment prove he is a Replicant, Daniels (Waterston) spends a scene weeping over her dead husband with lots of old black and white pictures. Scott just likes the aesthetic. And as for the James Franco's death, we never meet the guy, so he means nothing to us, but I guess we're supposed to be all busted up about it because of the sappy music. Maybe if we had spent ten minutes at the beginning of the film with this couple (Daniels and Branson) than with David and Peter Weyland, we might actually care.

May 20, 2017 2:02 AM
0 0
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 60172
Just got out of it. It's not a very good movie at all. There's fifteen crew members and their character development boils down to lady who lost her James Franco, Captain is religious, and Danny McBride wears a cowboy hat. The scenes with the aliens aren't engaging enough to warrant having to sit through all the dull Prometheus-y stuff. The movie doesn't try to be scary or tense when the alien is on screen. The baby aliens are too CGI-looking.

It felt to me like Scott had no interest in making another Alien movie, instead wanting to continue the Prometheus narrative. But because nobody liked that movie he added juuuuust enough alien scenes to cut a trailer together to make it look like an Alien movie and trick everyone to seeing Prometheus 2.

Hell I didn't like Prometheus but at least it had some good individual sequences like David alone on the ship at the beginning and the abortion scene. What the fuck was memorable about this movie?
May 20, 2017 2:51 AM
0 0
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11560
DeschainJust got out of it. It's not a very good movie at all. There's fifteen crew members and their character development boils down to lady who lost her James Franco, Captain is religious, and Danny McBride wears a cowboy hat.

In ALIEN was the ensemble was just the right size. There was just enough to distinguish the characters and to give them a function. And each character was fairly distinct and each character did have a function.

I am not sure why he keeps adding more characters, save to have more Redshirts to kill off and/or to make the film feel bigger. No one cares when a Redshirt dies, however, and a large cast of nobody characters makes a rather hollow "big" film

I'd also like to note that our scifi tropes have expanded to have the "happy picture with the whole crew before everyone dies" (Sunshine) as an emerging staple (I think this feature is also in Life).?
?
May 20, 2017 3:26 AM
0 0
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 60172
The YARNING
DeschainJust got out of it. It's not a very good movie at all. There's fifteen crew members and their character development boils down to lady who lost her James Franco, Captain is religious, and Danny McBride wears a cowboy hat.

In ALIEN was the ensemble was just the right size. There was just enough to distinguish the characters and to give them a function. And each character was fairly distinct and each character did have a function.

I am not sure why he keeps adding more characters, save to have more Redshirts to kill off and/or to make the film feel bigger. No one cares when a Redshirt dies, however, and a large cast of nobody characters makes a rather hollow "big" film

I'd also like to note that our scifi tropes have expanded to have the "happy picture with the whole crew before everyone dies" (Sunshine) as an emerging staple (I think this feature is also in Life).?
?

Even the moment where they show that picture shot felt random and out of place. I liked the idea of this colony ship where even the crew is coupled up (except those two random old guys). But you don't get a good sense of who's married to who and their relationship to each other, at least until someone dies and their spouse mourns.
May 20, 2017 3:45 AM
0 0
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 1
Saw it, I had high hopes for it, but left the cinema disappointed.

Here is my review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeZw_ZJhD_w&t=9s
May 20, 2017 11:34 AM
0 0
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1777
DeschainJust got out of it. It's not a very good movie at all. There's fifteen crew members and their character development boils down to lady who lost her James Franco, Captain is religious, and Danny McBride wears a cowboy hat. The scenes with the aliens aren't engaging enough to warrant having to sit through all the dull Prometheus-y stuff. The movie doesn't try to be scary or tense when the alien is on screen. The baby aliens are too CGI-looking.

It felt to me like Scott had no interest in making another Alien movie, instead wanting to continue the Prometheus narrative. But because nobody liked that movie he added juuuuust enough alien scenes to cut a trailer together to make it look like an Alien movie and trick everyone to seeing Prometheus 2.

Hell I didn't like Prometheus but at least it had some good individual sequences like David alone on the ship at the beginning and the abortion scene. What the fuck was memorable about this movie?

And yet it seems he wants to make more alien movies.
I'll just wait for this one to stream.
May 20, 2017 6:14 PM
0 0
MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46701
I recently read Jon Spaihts original script for Prometheus. It's more or less Prometheus except without all the idiotic Lindleof moments. Well, and it had Aliens in it and other kinds of xemos. For this film, they pretty much took all those removed aspects from that script and put them back into whatever the original draft of this script must have been. What that makes for both films is a disjointed final product that doesn't seem to satisfy fans of alien nor people that are wanting a new sci-fi about some sort of alien creationism.

I liked this more than Prometheus. It's rife with narrative stupidity but it doesn't seem to crumble and break under its own failed reaches for profundity and is less thematically confused than it's predecessor. It is, however, a very confused film, with shallow, sometimes contradictory characterization, dropped narrative threads and omitted moments that have been released as promotional material that would have been far better off in the film.

Also, the alien is once again reduced to an angry animal rather than something intelligent (aside from one intriguing moment) and is photographed in open lighting. This is especially damning due to the lack of practical effects.

Is it worse than Alien 3 or Resurrection? I don't know. Those are clouded by familiarity and nostalgia. I'll have to give this one another watch but for the moment, I'm disappointed.

It didn't piss me off like Prometheus though.
May 20, 2017 7:43 PM
0 0
MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46701
Black PhilipHAHA .This is so funny to me. Seeing you guys getting excited for and ripped off because of more and more Alien sequels. Must be so annoying. It's like "Hi, I'm gonna waste more money on more crap and actually not care".

It's called being employed and having disposable income. One day, by the time you're sixty, you may get there too.
May 20, 2017 9:53 PM
0 0
MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46701
Black Philip
MKS
Black PhilipHAHA .This is so funny to me. Seeing you guys getting excited for and ripped off because of more and more Alien sequels. Must be so annoying. It's like "Hi, I'm gonna waste more money on more crap and actually not care".

It's called being employed and having disposable income. One day, by the time you're sixty, you may get there too.

No it's called being stupid and wasting your money on bad movies.

Your desperation to feel superior would be amusing if it weren't so predictable at this point. How big are your hands?
May 20, 2017 11:06 PM
0 0
MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46701
Black Philip
MKS
Black Philip
MKS
Black PhilipHAHA .This is so funny to me. Seeing you guys getting excited for and ripped off because of more and more Alien sequels. Must be so annoying. It's like "Hi, I'm gonna waste more money on more crap and actually not care".

It's called being employed and having disposable income. One day, by the time you're sixty, you may get there too.

No it's called being stupid and wasting your money on bad movies.

Your desperation to feel superior would be amusing if it weren't so predictable at this point. How big are your hands?

My hands are big enough to hold on to my money and not waste it on garbage.

They don't have to be big to hold onto loose change.
May 20, 2017 11:43 PM
0 0
MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46701
Black Philip
MKS
Black Philip
MKS
Black Philip
MKS
Black PhilipHAHA .This is so funny to me. Seeing you guys getting excited for and ripped off because of more and more Alien sequels. Must be so annoying. It's like "Hi, I'm gonna waste more money on more crap and actually not care".

It's called being employed and having disposable income. One day, by the time you're sixty, you may get there too.

No it's called being stupid and wasting your money on bad movies.

Your desperation to feel superior would be amusing if it weren't so predictable at this point. How big are your hands?

My hands are big enough to hold on to my money and not waste it on garbage.

They don't have to be big to hold onto loose change.

The size of my hands has nothing to do with you wasting your money on garbage movies that Hollywood throws out and lets the sheep eat.

And what I spend my money on has nothing to do with that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that reminds you that you've accomplished nothing in your life and your crowning achievement is yelling "take that dick" at a porn set.
May 21, 2017 1:31 AM
0 0
MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46701
Black Philip
MKS
Black Philip
MKS
Black Philip
MKS
Black Philip
MKS
Black PhilipHAHA .This is so funny to me. Seeing you guys getting excited for and ripped off because of more and more Alien sequels. Must be so annoying. It's like "Hi, I'm gonna waste more money on more crap and actually not care".

It's called being employed and having disposable income. One day, by the time you're sixty, you may get there too.

No it's called being stupid and wasting your money on bad movies.

Your desperation to feel superior would be amusing if it weren't so predictable at this point. How big are your hands?

My hands are big enough to hold on to my money and not waste it on garbage.

They don't have to be big to hold onto loose change.

The size of my hands has nothing to do with you wasting your money on garbage movies that Hollywood throws out and lets the sheep eat.

And what I spend my money on has nothing to do with that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that reminds you that you've accomplished nothing in your life and your crowning achievement is yelling "take that dick" at a porn set.

Yeah. That hurt (note sarcasm). What have you have accomplished? Making some 'really cool' fan edits of some movies you didn't make? Having a job? Big stuff there. What's next? Starting a blog no one will read?

More than you at half your age.
May 21, 2017 1:38 AM
0 0
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 60172
Even if a movie is bad I don't consider it a waste of time/money,. Even the worst movies have something redeemable about them, even if it's just a single scene or a couple pretty shots. Plus since I'm a filmmaker myself bad movies teach me what not to do when making a movie. And finally bad movies are fun to pick apart and make fun of, that includes reading and watching reviews of other people making fun of and dissecting them.
May 21, 2017 2:05 AM
0 0
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 60172
If anyone wants to indulge my musings a moment:

After talking to Stu on Twitter about why I didn't like it he mentioned maybe we just aren't meant to have more than one Alien sequel. I thought to myself that can't be right there has to be a good Alien sequel somewhere but couldn't think of one at the time.

But then an idea came to mind. A direct sequel to Alien: Covenant would actually be pretty cool. It takes place on the planet they intended to colonize but David has created a human farm with the colonists: breeding people and keeping them in captivity to experiment on with the aliens. From here you could do a soft Aliens reboot and have a rescue mission sent from Earth because they lost contact. Or you could remain with the people on the plant and have an uprising against David, who then unleashes the aliens to protect himself from the rebels. This storyline serves a couple purposes. It doesn't erase any of the Prometheus mythology and force a full reboot of the franchise. And it also simplifies the plot. It's a rescue mission/rebellion movie.
May 21, 2017 5:32 PM
0 0
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 1
Well about this movie. Here is some interesting stuff you might've missed and/or didn't know. Tell me what you think about it. I think that it was very interesting. I haven't seen the movie yet. I can't wait to see it. Hopefully I'll get the chance to go to the movies on this looong week-end. WOOOHOOO!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=889d2xfSDMU

May 21, 2017 6:27 PM
0 0
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 20598
I enjoyed it. It has a ton of problems and the alien stuff isn't that well done, but I really liked the gothic horror elements, and Scott can make compelling cinema simply by lingering over the production design.
May 21, 2017 10:10 PM
0 0
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 2583
Had massive hopes and I am a huge Ridley Scott fan but was extremely disappointed. Longer post later -- just stepped out. Goddamnit. Fassbender is absolutely incredible and pretty much the only good thing this movie has going for it. Plot holes. Bad characters. Awful story. Boo.
May 22, 2017 6:21 AM
0 0
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 108
Seems like I'm kind of against the majority here but I thought it was a good time. Flawed certainly, but very entertaining.
May 22, 2017 7:24 AM
0 0
MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46701
I'm gradually feeling better about it. I think the themes about creation are far more solid and fleshed out here than in Prometheus. I've also created some head canon that due to the extreme nature of their evolution, none of the xenomorphs in the series are the exact same species and that's why their different in physical appearance and temperament. That this film more or less allowed this head canon to come into fruition solves quite a few issues I've had with the changes to the creature from film to film, especially when the ending can be viewed as a close but not quite there yet experiment to create the xenomorph in Alien.
May 22, 2017 12:00 PM
0 0
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 5970
At first, the whole going-down-to-alien-planet-without-protection issue got to me. Like, the whole movie practically falls apart because of it. But then it occurred to me...they did the same thing in Stargate. But because an airborne pathogen is never hinted at or expected, it never once occurred to me it was a bad idea.

Other than that, I thought the movie was fine.
May 22, 2017 1:45 PM
0 0