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ALIEN: COVENANT Post-Release Discussion - Page 7

post #301 of 571

Also, it's as if Scott wanted to make a Hammer Horror movie but lacked the ability.  I imagine him telling his team, "Right, so David's a weirdo cloaky death-mountain dweller in a storm who invites people into their dooms, but he also plays mad scientist in the catacombs.  So he's both Dracula and Dr. Frankenstein, yeah?  One of his creations then bites someone in the neck, right, and at the end David puts two people in coffins, sort of mummifying them.  It's all classic, right?  Yeah?"  

 

I'm shocked he didn't go whole hog and give us a hair-covered Xeno-Werewolf. 

 

post #302 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoken View Post
 

I think that if we are lucky, a third film will finally nail the Question/Answer ratio in the trilogy.

Prometheus suffers from Lindelof's "Questions over Answers" style.

Covenant is so scared of the Prometheus backlash its almost a hand in hand experience so no one is confused.

 

I don't think Prometheus's problem was 'too many questions, too few answers' : it's the type of questions, and the type of answers. The original Alien creates a sense of mystery perfectly, and there are a lot of questions we could ask about its universe based on that film: Why does the Company want the Alien? Who are the Space Jockeys? Why were they carrying a ship of Alien eggs? What exactly is the Alien doing with the people it snatches?

 

These are all intriguing questions which add to the movie's atmosphere, and there are lots of possible answers which are interesting. Their being raised adds to the drama of the film. 

 

In Prometheus we're asking questions like: Why did the Engineers leave one person behind to guard their research plant? Why does this one Engineer have the authority to wipe out humanity? Why is Weyland so trusting of someone so wiling to take bizarre leaps of logic as Dr. Shaw? (simply because giant aliens visited, it does not follow that they are our creators) What does the black goo actually do? - it has a different effect every time we see it deployed. What is the alien-type creature meant to signify at the end of the film? - Did the aliens come from some random genetic accident?

 

These are all puzzling questions which you need answers to in order to understand what's immediately going on, and the more you think about them the more any hypotheses you come up with make little sense. Their being raised takes away from the film, because you can't follow what is at stake. 


Edited by RexBanner - 5/29/17 at 1:05pm
post #303 of 571
you could be describing the difference between the questions and answers of

star war

vs

forwakens!
post #304 of 571
What's the deal with slavery on Tattooine? Isn't that what the droids are for?
post #305 of 571

some people just want that organic touch?

post #306 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

What's the deal with slavery on Tattooine? Isn't that what the droids are for?

If i remember things right, The Hutt Crime clans control the space sector Tattoine is on, and they deal in slaves, drugs and more.

Basically, that's why in worlds like Tattoine droids are seen in technical jobs, because slave labour is cheaper and more abundant.

post #307 of 571

Let it be known, I will probably never see this movie again.  Ever. 

post #308 of 571

I will!

post #309 of 571

Yeah, I will.

 

Finished up my Alien round the world marathon by watching Alien Resurrection on the plane home.  I love the design of the thing, and it is the most "arthouse" of the whole lot.  There is so much utter craziness in that movie (Ripley's emerging from the paper bag cocoon at the start, the 1-7 room, the writing Alien pit).  And nearly everyone is great in it (especially Brad Douriff and Weaver's alienesque Ripley is great).  But I fucking HATE Winona Ryder in it.  I had to FWD her major story beats because urgh.

 

So, because I still love the idea of this, I'd watch Covenant again.  I can forgive an awful lot just because I like the alien universe.

post #310 of 571

Man...  Resurrection just has such a weird feel to it that puts me off in a big way.  Lets call it the art house frenchiness lurking under every corner.  

post #311 of 571

It's a bloody cartoon. Don't get distracted by these Alien Resurrection revisionists. It's not art, it's a Saturday Morning wash on Fox Kids TV in the 90's. 

post #312 of 571

Which was a very very odd direction to take a series that until then took itself seriously with a terrifying monster.  

post #313 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

Yeah, I will.

Finished up my Alien round the world marathon by watching Alien Resurrection on the plane home.  I love the design of the thing, and it is the most "arthouse" of the whole lot.  There is so much utter craziness in that movie (Ripley's emerging from the paper bag cocoon at the start, the 1-7 room, the writing Alien pit).  And nearly everyone is great in it (especially Brad Douriff and Weaver's alienesque Ripley is great).  But I fucking HATE Winona Ryder in it.  I had to FWD her major story beats because urgh.

So, because I still love the idea of this, I'd watch Covenant again.  I can forgive an awful lot just because I like the alien universe.

Resurrection has some good moments (the Aliens escape plan, the failed clones, Azaria's death), but the only thing that really justifies its existence is Weaver NAILING that backwards hoop shot.
Ron Perlman's grin after it happens is magical.
post #314 of 571
You know how I know this movie is fucked up? It's 12 hours later and I find myself thinking of awesome scenes AND shitty scenes. I'm remembering different parts of this movie for diametrically opposite reasons. I can't think of another film my brain has treated this way.
post #315 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
 


Pretty much.

post #316 of 571
The creator of this blog devoted to the Alien series has a really interesting theory about the real origins of the Space Jockey:





Namely, that it was an homage to this image, from Jack Kirby's "The Eternals."
post #317 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

The creator of this blog devoted to the Alien series has a really interesting theory about the real origins of the Space Jockey:





Namely, that it was an homage to this image, from Jack Kirby's "The Eternals."

 

And that Kirby artwork is clearly influenced by that Mayan "astronaut" artifact:

 

post #318 of 571
And the Mayans were clearly influenced by real aliens who seeded our planet with technology and culture.

Ridley Scott is one of their descendants. The Aliens, not the Mayans.
post #319 of 571
Double post!
Edited by Lightning Slim - 6/5/17 at 4:31pm
post #320 of 571
Just got back from watching this on the cheap show. Yeah pretty glad I only paid $13 for it.
Really hated the stupidity of some of the characters (captain trusting David, Pilot with her quarantine shottie, actually anyone trusting David)
I also really don't like the speed that these things grow at now, I hated AvP for that (and others) and now I bring that complaint over here.
I think I'll wait for blu if there's a capper to the trilogy.
post #321 of 571
My audience laughed openly at "It's not dangerous. Take a closer look."
post #322 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by mondguy View Post

My audience laughed openly at "It's not dangerous. Take a closer look."

 

Same.   That may have been the biggest laugh of the movie.

post #323 of 571
My audience more preferred David's "I'll do the fingering" line.
post #324 of 571

 

post #325 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Episode29 View Post

My audience more preferred David's "I'll do the fingering" line.

 

That drew more quiet 'I see what you did there' laughter.  The 'it's perfectly safe' line drew the biggest laugh.

post #326 of 571

I don't think the humour in the facehugger scene was accidental.

post #327 of 571

Definitely not accidental!

post #328 of 571
Nope, especially since Scott seems to hold Crudup's character in contempt.

Though it seems a missed opportunity that Crudup didn't find out about the engineers as he was gestating the chestburster.
post #329 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post

Nope, especially since Scott seems to hold Crudup's character in contempt.

Though it seems a missed opportunity that Crudup didn't find out about the engineers as he was gestating the chestburster.

I actually expected the gag from Spaceballs there.

post #330 of 571

Crudup's character was so poorly written that he should've just been named "I.M. Religion."  By the third or fourth time a platitude of some sort ended up in his dialogue I was flagellating myself at the ham-handed quality of it.  I kept waiting for it in every single line.  "Oh, is that wheat in the grass?  I'll try to find some cane... If I'm able. (Winks directly into camera.)"

 

Screenwriters used to use the "Rule of Three" to get points across.  I guess at some point recently they switched to the Rule of Nine or Ten.

 

I have no problem with a character representing religious faith.  I just don't care for obvious, repetitive writing.  Let the audience pick up on things naturally.  We like intelligent character creation in our genre films...  We just don't get to see it much, these days. 

post #331 of 571

I think 'this character is very religious' is one of those traits that's much better if the actor knows, and it informs their performance, but it's never mentioned.

 

We know absolutely fuck all about Dallas, Lambert, Parker, Kane, and Brett, but every one of those guys feels totally three dimensional. The actors and director clearly know who these people are, and trust that knowledge to come across to the audience.

 

If Scott made Alien now, Lambert and Kane would be calling Dallas 'Mozart' and 'Beethoven' as they explored the wreck; someone would tell Lambert, 'Whoah, ease up on the caffeine there Lamb, you know how jittery you get!'; Parker would tell Ripley, 'Christ Ripley, why you always got to follow protocol all the time? You sure have a bug up your ass!' etc. 

post #332 of 571

"Hey, take it easy Dallas!  What are you, some kinda cowboy?"

"Ash is so under pressure, he'll probably burst into flames by the time this mission's done."

 

I both am frustrated and totally love that maybe half of Harry Dean Stanton's lines are basically "Right."

 

I did still at least get a feeling of camaraderie and preliminary competence from the crew in the first half of COVENANT (before it all went to CGI hell) even if they are largely in a beat for beat retread of the ALIEN  opening scenes.  (Unexpected wake up, weird signal, let's check it out, pitch and roll sequence...)   It was the first crew I felt anything for since the Sulaco.  Liked Waterston, Fassbender, Bichir, Ejogo, Siemetz, Hernandez and (somewhat) McBride.  His character was fakey but not as annoying as I thought he would be, though he's last on the list.

 

Fine actors and minimalist details help the audience imagine and fill in the blanks themselves.  Maybe mention faith once, later maybe show someone praying once.  

That's it.  We got it.  Character created.

post #333 of 571
Crudup is also saddled with dialogue saying directly in mouth-words that as a religious person he's a persecuted minority. If it were any more on the nose it would be a perfect right jab.
post #334 of 571
"Why you always gotta be poking your face where it dont belong, Kane??
post #335 of 571

Re: Crudup is also saddled with dialogue... If it were any more on the nose it would be a perfect right jab.

 

Exactly, that's what I'm saying...

 

"Ye have little faith."

"God works in mysterious ways."

 

I think there were two or three more of these.

 

INTERSTELLAR and CONTACT did this better.


Edited by Engineer - 6/6/17 at 1:16pm
post #336 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer View Post

 

It was the first crew I felt anything for since the Sulaco.  

 

One day (some of) the characters in Alien 3 will get the appreciation they deserve!

 

I'd argue that Clemens (Charles Dance) is as interesting and compelling a character as any of the films have produced; Danny Webb manages to make Morse extremely sympathetic by how he plays a handful of tiny moments (telling off someone for running with scissors, laughing after bumping into his pal, helping Ripley unquestioningly when he realises what dicks the Company are); Eight-Five is a very realistic depiction of a working class, put upon, and fundamentally decent guy; Dillon is charismatic and very principled. 

 

This series already tackled religion perfectly in Alien 3. God damn does that film deserve more respect than it gets. 

post #337 of 571

I loved Dance, wish he'd been there longer.  Postlethwaite was fun, and Dutton.  Lots of good actors there but also lots of red shirts.

I had to look them up on imdb to remember that Paul McGann and Holt McCallany were in there.

post #338 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer View Post

Re: Crudup is also saddled with dialogue... If it were any more on the nose it would be a perfect right jab.

Exactly, that's what I'm saying...

"Ye have little faith."
"God works in mysterious ways."

I think there were two or three more of these.

INTERSTELLAR and CONTACT did this better.

We're in agreement. I was momentarily intrigued by the notion that Crudup felt isolated and demoralized by his faith (and that Daniels fed him a line of shinola about it being his superpower just to calm his shit down) but it never went any further.
post #339 of 571
His faith is his super power that led him to the dumbest demise in film history.
post #340 of 571

If it wasn't this scene in which David and Walter fight each other in the cave (where it became clear who won) the movie would have had a much intriguing ending...

post #341 of 571
I saw Crudup in Waiting for Godot with Sir Pat and Sir Ian and he was great in it. He deserved better than he got here.
post #342 of 571
I saw that production too!
post #343 of 571
The Sirs were mugging pretty hard. Crudup was a solid Pozzo but the guy playing Lucky was amazing.
post #344 of 571

Film Crit Hulk just wrote a decent piece that uses Covenant as a basis for a Ridley Scott career retrospective. Yes it's FCH and quite long, but it's actually pretty focused and low on waffle, and has some good observations about Scott's strengths and weaknesses and possible reasons for that.

 

If you need a TL;DR, his basic conclusion is that Ridley is David.

 

Edit: somehow managed to spell "TL;DR" wrong


Edited by Paul C - 6/14/17 at 2:48am
post #345 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Film Crit Hulk just wrote a decent piece that uses Covenant as a basis for a Ridley Scott career retrospective. Yes it's FCH and quite long, but it's actually pretty focused and low on waffle, and has some good observations about Scott's strengths and weaknesses and possible reasons for that.

If you need a LR;DR, his basic conclusion is that Ridley is David.

Hey, when did FCH drop the all-caps schtik? I can actually read this!
post #346 of 571

Let me guess where this goes, without reading a single world. 

 

The xenomorphs are akin to films.  Ridely has been trying to make the perfect film for his whole life.  Like David, sometimes he fails and the "organism" comes out wrong, but often times with interesting results, which allow him to look forward to what could be changed or improved.  He then tries again, but with a slightly different approach.  LIke David, he has no real sense of emotion, and all he can focus on are the "technical" aspects of his creations, which is something that keeps many of his films from being understood, or at least embraced the way movies of other directors who focus more on emotion are(Spielberg, Scorcese, etc).  Basically, he kind of sucks as "creator", but is excellent at "experimenting"  and producing films that are never quite satisfying, but always interesting.

 

Am I close?

post #347 of 571
I haven't read it, but that's pretty fun filmwank regardless.
post #348 of 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post

Hey, when did FCH drop the all-caps schtik? I can actually read this!

He has decided to be serious in the time of Trump. Seriously . . . I think that's it.
post #349 of 571

HULK CANNOT BE HULK IN TIME OF TRUMP. SAD.

post #350 of 571

Still long winded and boring though.

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