Michael Fassbender

Alien: Covenant – Review #77

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kk9e6ddko5ny.jpgCue the jingle.

Alien: Covenant, directed by Ridley Scott, is the newest part of the Alien franchise and stars Michael Fassbender, Michael Fassbender, Katherine Watherson, and Danny McBride among others. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David, the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.

How must it feel to see a franchise you love go above and beyond the wild curve?

I didn’t grow up with the Alien movies. By the time I watched the first movie, I have seen the xenomorph in countless other pop culture, and it wasn’t scary anymore.

I bring that up because that may be a key component of why some people absolutely despise this movie, while I for the most part thought it was alright.

Alien: Covenant is not an Alien movie. It’s a weird diatribe on humanity and life. What Ridley Scott has done is take a beloved franchise he himself created, and turned it into his own loudspeaker to the world. I refrain from calling it a “bastardization” of the *Alien* series on the sole belief that he didn’t do it under any motion studio’s will; it’s his own choice.

With that said, I completely understand anyone that hates this movie. Whatever terror the classic creature could’ve instilled has been completely thrown aside for Scott’s ramblings on man. I never found the xenomorph scary in the movie, because the xenomorph was exposed to the point of redundancy.

Looking at it, it runs deeper than just the xenomorph. The central characters, the ones that we should care about, felt like last minute additions. The actors themselves weren’t the problem, it was the script. The colonists in this movie are stupid people who do stupid shit and get themselves into stupid situations where they eventually die because of their own stupidity. God bless Katherine Waterson and the others for trying her absolute best, their efforts deserve a better movie.

So, do I hate this movie? I probably should, but goddamn does Ridley know how to shoot a scene. At least he stills has that. Seeing this old man musing about philosophy is utterly fascinating to watch. I’ll admit I was bought in by it, I was along for the ride. But then I get reminded how utterly inane the characters are, and I get thrown off.

So yeah, I should hate this movie, but goddamnit it’s so fascinating.

In conclusion, Alien: Covenant is definitely an experience. It is an experience to go through it, and you get off on the other end a changed person. On most accounts it blows chunks, and they have a point, but to this humble reviewer it was just too mind-boggling to completely dismiss it. I’d say…wait for the Blu-ray. When it’s on sale.

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Frank – Review #11

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Was the mask supposed to be terrifying?

frank-2014-film-poster-one-sheetFrank, directed by Lenny Abrahamson tells the story of a man named Jon. He’s an aspiring songwriter, and one night he had the chance to play for a band called the Soronprfbs. There he meets the band leader Frank, who always wear a papier-mâché mask. After playing, Frank invites Jon with them to record their album. What follows is a strange tale of mental illness and indie music.

I went into this movie with no idea what the plot would be, but I heard that it was very good, so I had relatively high expectations. After watching it though, I can’t say I really liked it. Maybe that’s only because I’m not a fan of indie music in general, or maybe everyone besides Frank was so unlikable in this movie.

Michael Fassbender as Frank was very good, I’ll admit, but I could easily see someone else in the role. He doesn’t make it his own, and maybe that was the point, but I didn’t saw the amazing performance I was hearing.

The rest of the cast was extremely unlikable. Again, maybe that was supposed to be, but making a cast unlikable to spread a message doesn’t make the cast un-unlikable. Domhnall Gleeson as this popularity-hungry keyboardist left a bad taste in my mouth. My dislike for him is more on the personal side, so I won’t delve deep into that. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character also left a very negative impression on me, what with him hating Jon for no reason what-so-ever. He was just doing what he thought was right.

One last thing to note: the representation of Twitter. Not the Twitter community itself, although that comes into play, but the act of tweeting. When Jon tweets something, it’s shown on the screen with Jon speaking the text. I appreciate the director trying to do something new, but the quite constant appearance of narrated tweets taking up the screen quickly grew tedious.

All in all, I can’t say I enjoyed Frank. Yes, Fassbender was very good, the end song wasn’t that bad, and the message is very good, but the unlikable characters mixed with the weird music that they make drag the film down. I definitely see the appeal, and to those who liked it, all the power to you, but to me, weird doesn’t exactly equal to good.