This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The first third is great. The alien on the lander all happens so quickly, and is so intense and scary. Aliens sure gestate quickly these days.
The middle third is quite a different film. A ponderous exploration of the insanity of David. It takes its time—thinking of the fingering scene—but ultimately I'm not sure it really paid off. David didn't become a focus of the story, that perhaps he diserved.
The final third was exciting, and then ruined by a…
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair."
Well, the wait is finally over and I graced my eyes upon Alien: Covenant yesterday evening. I'm going to try to be as spoiler-free as much as possible but I'm also going to be brutally honest, and pondering it after a nights sleep I can only begin with saying that it's very much a big disappointment. As a devout fan of the entire franchise, it's tough for me to judge it harshly…
Way back in 2012, Prometheus was the first film I logged on Letterboxd, having just wandered out, flabbergasted, from an IMAX screening. There are elements I adore about that film, including the designs, the concept and the fact that it wasn't just a carbon copy of what we'd seen before. It is a gorgeous-looking, deeply flawed Science Fiction feature with unlikable characters doing stupid things on a strange, beautiful world.
While looking back at the films Ridley Scott has made…
Some upfront context - I gave Prometheus a 9/10 the first time I watched it because I saw it at a press screening in the IMAX and was seduced with a lot of wine. My opinion slowly went down on repeat viewings but even with the dumb characters and refusal to fully commit to making it an Alien prequel, I still really enjoyed it. It's a 7/10 for me now.
Alien: Covenant is pretty much the same deal, if perhaps…
Thrilling in patches and a lot leaner than its predecessor, Prometheus, the latest film in the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant, retreads old ground with mixed success. It's hard to shake the feeling you've seen it all before, perhaps one too many times now, with the structure of the narrative the only thing that makes it feel any different. Thankfully Ridley Scott has handed over the story almost entirely to Michael Fassbender. So much so in fact, that one of him is no longer enough.
I’ll happily spend two hours watching anything this series produces—and I didn’t hate Prometheus. Covenant is a competently assembled greatest hits of the franchise, The Force Awakens of Alien films, but its third act is the weakest yet.
The first hour is remixed artfully enough (Milford Sound standing in for “paradise”) that I kept hoping it might break new ground. Fassbender is a marvel, remaining understated and occasionally menacing, even as the film around him proceeds to show too much…
While the fictional show comes across like Bergerac by way of Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place, the life and times of the elder Richard Thorncroft are more akin to Alan Patridge, with the well-worn plot taking strides in the Alpha Papa’s shoes. Julian Barrat and Simon Farnaby’s creation makes for a compelling character. Thorncroft’s delusions of grandeur and complete lack of cool make him an endearing idiot. The kind of idiot you’re happy to get whisked away with for 90 minutes…
The biggest laugh this film got was when Ridley Scott's name appeared as Executive Producer at the start of the credits. wut.
Basically MacGruber: UK Edition, Mindhorn revels in the glorious naffness of serialised 1980s TV, and while often quite tawdry itself, is frequently hilarious thanks to a game cast led by Julian Barratt.
The moment I start questioning why the big plot twist was telegraphed so far in advance is probably when I should remember that I'm watching Mindhorn.
A silly blast with one 10/10 masturbation joke that's best enjoyed with your strong mood alterer of choice.
aka Age of Ultron 2: A Film People Should Give More Of A Shit About Than They Actually Do.
I think that the original Guardians isn't as good as people remember (it certainly isn't for me). It's weirdly dated and it's had way too many edgy imitators of late. It's still the best of the bunch, but doesn't have the same zap it once had nearly three years ago. Thankfully, Gunn has returned to his moderate blockbuster phenomenon, making the…
Though James Gunn's superhero sequel lacks the freshness of the original and certainly feels more pandering overall, it's still a rock solid sequel and in the upper-tier of the MCU's output to date.
Gorgeous visuals, a terrific cast (including some nutty cameos), outrageous jokes and fun action. It's even got some fairly good emotional stuff too, even if it doesn't totally cohere if you think about it for too long.
The problem with movies like this is that the tidal…
Greatest treat: Bigger laughs than the original. Drax and Mantis so need to get their own spin-off comedy together! And I so need to get Pom Klementieff's number!
Weakest element: Thin, meandering plot. Many scenes feel unnecessary and drag on forever. You can have all the funky music and cool spaceships in the world, but it won't amount to much if there’s nothing under the hood to propel it.
Films that came to mind: Spaceballs, The Matrix Revolutions, Goldfinger and…
Greatest treat: Attractive women and fast-moving vehicles. Let's not kid ourselves here.
Weakest element: Dumber than usual. A big step back from Furious 7 – a high point I doubt the series will hit again.
Films that came to mind: Live Free or Die Hard and the early Fast & Furious sequels.
Recommendation: If you have followed the family up until now, there's no reason why you shouldn't see this installment as well. It all feels very recycled though.
In one word: Subpar