Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: John Logan, Dante Harper
Sequel to: Prometheus
Prequel to: the Alien movies
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz
Seen on: 23.5.2017
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Plot:
The Covenant is a spaceship that carries colonizers who hope to find a new habitable planet. But before they reach their chosen destination, there is a malfunction that requires Walter (Michael Fassbender), a robot in charge of the ship, to wake the crew from cryostasis. As they are dealing with the aftermath of the damage, a transmission reaches them, a call for help that brings them off their intended path and down to a planet that seems to offer perfect conditions for colonization. But as soon as they land, things start to become weird.

Alien Covenant failed to leave much of an impression with me. The first half was pretty good, but the second half turned pretty boring and was simply too clichéd to work.

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Prometheus (2012)

Prometheus
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Prequel to: the Alien movies (kinda)
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Kate Dickie

Plot:
After scientists find several unrelated cave paintings and murals that all depict the same star constellation, a mission is sent out to go to the planet and find out what’s there. And at first, the Promethes mission seems a full success – much to the joy to the scientist team of Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green). But the android David (Michael Fassbender) seems to have his own mission.

This is a pretty, pretty movie with some pretty, pretty people in it. And the cast really does try their best. But all their talent and all the pretty in the world can’t make up for the sheer stupidity of this film.

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Alien: Resurrection
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writer: Joss Whedon
Sequel to: Alien, Aliens, Alien³
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers, Raymond Cruz, Dan Hedaya

Plot:
200  years after Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) died, a clone of her wakes up on a spaceship. But she’s not entirely human anymore. Instead the scientist have mixed her DNA with Alien DNA in an attempt to revive the Queen. And finally they have managed. As the experiments go on, a band of smugglers led by Frank Elgyn (Michael Wincott), come aboard to deliver something (or better someone). Among the smugglers is Annalee Call (Winona Ryder) who, it soon turns out, has her own agenda. And then everything quickly goes to hell.

Alien: Resurrection is not a very good film. There are moments where you get glimpses of Whedon’s sense of humor (which I probably only noticed because I knew Whedon was the writer) and moments where the themes that are explored get actually interesting, but they pass by way too quickly, leaving you with a so-standard-it’s-boring action film.

[SPOILER]

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Alien³ (1992)

Alien³
Director: David Fincher
Writer: David Giler, Walter Hill, Larry Ferguson
Sequel to: Alien, Aliens
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Lance Henriksen, Pete Postlethwaite

Plot:
After just about escaping with her life, Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) escape pod crashes on a prison planet, leaving her the only survivor. The inmates/planet’s inhabitants are all male and strictly religious and Ripley’s arrival causes much tension. It doesn’t help either when she discovers that she crashed because there had been an Alien in her pod. The residing doctor Clemens (Charles Dance) is the only one who believes Ripley when she says that there is a threat – at least at first. While they wait for the Company to come pick up Ripley, things become ever worse.

Alien³ does have some interesting moments. Unfortunately, it decides to focus on the other things instead and ends up being way, way too long.

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Aliens (1986)

Aliens
Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Sequel to: Alien
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein

Plot:
Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is back on earth, only to find out that she’s been in hypersleep for quite a while and in the meantime, the planet where they found the aliens in the first place, has been colonized by people from the Wayland Corporation. Ripley tries to warn the company and its representative Burke (Paul Reiser), but they don’t really believe her. That is, until contact with the colony is lost. That is when the Company enlists Ripley (and a group of marines) to head back there to figure out what’s happening.

Aliens is a good sequel but it doesn’t quite achieve the greatness of Alien. Nevertheless, Ripley is still kick-ass and the film generally really enjoyable.

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Alien (1979)

Alien
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Dan O’Bannon
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
[I am sure that I already saw this film, probably about 10, 15 years ago or so, but I really couldn’t remember a damn thing about it, so I’m not labeling this as a re-watch.]

Plot:
The crew of the Nostromo – a commercial mining ship – are woken from hypersleep in the middle of their journey after the ship received a distress call from a planet they were passing. They land to investigate. While Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) and Kane (John Hurt) head out on the surface, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) discovers that the distress call was actually a warning. But by then Kane already stumbled on a nest of alien eggs…

I loved Alien. It’s a tense, scary, exciting film that has an absolutely outstanding main character in Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. It’s simply a must-see.

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HR Giger – Dreams and Visions

HR Giger – Dreams and Visions was a H. R. Giger exhibition at the Vienna Kunst Haus.

The exhibition gave an overview over Giger’s art, be it his paintings, drawings or sculptures and of course his film work. It was rather short, which worked in my favor because I managed to wait until two hours before closing time on the last day to enter the exhibition and I wouldn’t have had more time anyway.

Giger’s work is fascinating – it’s intricate, it’s scary, at times it’s surprisingly tender and his relationship with women and the female body begs for a Freudian analysis (which probably wouldn’t work too much in his favor). His style is very distinct – one recognises Giger when one sees his work. I don’t like all of his pieces, some I think are pretty sexist, but he also has paintings and sculptures that have such a haunting beauty that it makes me a little sad.

In short, it was a fascinating exhibition, though I think the part I liked most were the people who were there. Already in the tram on the way you could pinpoint the people who would be standing next to you in the exhibition: dressed in black, long hair, piercings, tattoos – not the usual art crowd.

After the jump my favorite pieces, as usual.

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