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QUICK REVIEW: Alien Covenant

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’m talking about Alien: Covenant. Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of Prometheus (review available here), I’ve only seen that film twice I think and while really beautiful, the story and characters didn’t grab me at all. So when Covenant began its marketing I wasn’t overly keen, but the trailers did pique my interest. Now that I’ve seen the film I’m ready to pass judgment.

The story can be described as the following:

“The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.”

The story did well to get back to the basics of what made Alien and Aliens so much fun by having a plot that was more familiar and straightforward, but in addition to that this film took certain plot elements from Prometheus (the previous film), and attempted to answer some of the lingering questions that film left up in the air. What I liked about this film was not only how it strengthened some of the plot elements from the last film but also made both feel naturally connected rather than forgetting what had come before. It was suitably dark and mysterious and brought up some interesting themes about the morals and ethics of creation, life and death and the need for humans to prolong their existence. It is unfortunate that not all of the answers from Prometheus were answered and there were certain plot details that Covenant brought up that weren’t properly clarified or felt left out in the main story. Plus this story doesn’t do much in the way of creating new material for this universe, sure there are some minor interesting additions to the mythology, however this is a story and set of scenarios you’ve seen before so if you were hoping something fresh you may be a little disappointed.

As for the cast there were fine, for the most part I liked this cast more than the Prometheus crew minus David, however, these characters were fine to forgettable as you can tell a good few of them are going to die at some point and sure enough they do. There are only a handful of people that stood out. Michael Fassbender once again was the best of the cast playing both as David and Walter, the android from the first film and the current android with the Covenant crew. Fassbender did well to portray these different characters both with different personalities and agendas, and I just loved watching him. Katherine Waterston was better than I expected as Daniels “Dany” Branson, since watching the trailers I thought the film was setting her up to be a Ripley-like character and while she does embody some of the those traits, Dany was a little more unique and she went from being someone a little dull to being quite captivating towards the end of the film. And Danny McBride was a surprise standout as Tennessee, I’ve never really like McBride, I’ve always found him annoying and repetitive in most of his comedic roles. But this role was very serious, aggressive and grounded and he was engaging in a way I never expected.

When it comes to the presentation it was pretty damn good. Just like Prometheus this film looks incredible, the art direction, cinematography, digital and practical effects was incredible. I also really liked the gruesome nature of the violence and action and the sound design really helped with that. As for the film score by Jed Kurzel it was pretty effective, channelling feelings of wonder, tension and discovery, while not always as effective as I would have liked, overall it was good.

In conclusion Alien: Covenant was not all bad and was actually better than I expected. While it didn’t do much to reinvent the wheel, it was a solid film much more in line with the first two Alien films with good violence, grim atmosphere and a great performance from Michael Fassbender. If you’re curious give it a watch. 🙂

So have you seen Alien: Covenant and if so what did you think of it? Did you like this film more or less than Prometheus? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: Selma

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another new film review and today I’ll be talking about Selma. Now considering how stingy my local cinema is when it comes to films of this nature, I thought I wouldn’t get the chance to see this, but me and friend checked it out today and now I’m ready to pass on my thoughts.

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The premise for the film is as follows:

“A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.”

Emotions, that’s what this film made me feel, pure emotions. Films that deal with the struggle of black people will always hit home (being a black guy myself) and each time I watch a film like this I feel incredible levels of pain, but also gratitude for what the black people of the past had done for us people today. The film deals with a very specific period of the civil rights movement and not only displays from the perspective of King, but his family, followers and the politicians as well. It is great to see King rise to the occasion and fight for his people, but also face impossible odds that seemed stacked up against. This film does not shy away from the brutality of history, there is violence of the verbal and physical kind, but it is the physical which is hard to watch as black people are shot, beaten and whipped in a disgusting manner and one can only imagine what it would have been like to witness this first-hand. However this needed to be shown as it does show the cruel world we used to live in. In some ways I see some parrells to the film Fruitvale Station, while both films have very different source material, there is one major similarity I found: black people getting unlawfully beaten and killed at the hands of white law enforcers with the people responsible weren’t held accountable for their crimes because of crooked legal system and racism. Anyway back to this film, I thought the story was raw, painful, beautiful and uplifting, it moved at a decent pace and hit all the right emotional beats.

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When it comes to the cast this film has a pretty substantial amount of famous faces and if you know your film and TV stars then you’ll spot a lot of famous faces. Since there are literally too many people to mention I’ll try to be brief and highlight my favourite people.

David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr., wow, what a performance. Oyelowo is an actor I’ve liked for a while now, but this is clearly his best performance to date as he transforms himself completely and delivers his lines with such passion, intensity and his physicality also makes you feel like you are watching King right there in the cinema. Tom Wilkinson was also very good as Lyndon B. Johnson, Wilkinson is one of those actors who shows up in a lot of films but here he has a more substantial role and does a very good job. Tim Roth also does a great job as George Wallace, while Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King delivered a solid performance too and then there’s Wendell Pierce from The Wire) as Hosea Williams who was lovely. I also loved seeing Ruben Santiago-Hudson (from Castle) here as Bayard Rustin, Common was also good as James Bevel, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Fred Gray was a lovely surprise, while the appearances by Oprah Winfrey and Martin Sheen as Annie Lee Cooper and Frank Minis Johnson were small yet effective. Then there’s Giovanni Ribisi as Lee C. White, Andre Holland as Andrew Young, Lorraine Toussaint as Amelia Boynton Robinson, Niecy Nash as Richie Jean Jackson and Tessa Thompson as Diane Nash who did great too.

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In conclusion Selma is a well-directed film with an incredible cast, a well-executed story and beautiful soundtrack. Though hard to watch at times, I did feel quite empowered after I left the film, I would have enjoyed the film a lot more had the projection people has fixed the sound problems that happened throughout the film! But anyway, go out and watch this film, it deserves your time and you too will see it got robbed at the Oscar nominations ages ago.

So have you seen Selma and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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