THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

ALIEN: COVENANT (2017)


I remembering going to see the first Alien in 1979 and marveling at its fusion of horror and sci-fi.  At the surprise of seeing the ship’s captain (Tom Skerritt, the de facto lead) become one of the first victims of what we now call the xenomorph.  That was a long time ago.  And now we have the brand new second prequel, Alien: Covenant (#90 on the countdown).  Michael Fassbinder is back from the other prequel, Prometheus.  He was David, the AI who survived that whole thing.  Well he also plays Walter, the AI of the Covenant, a ship loaded with thousands of colonists and embryos to go colonize an ideal planet somewhere.  Walter watches over the ship while the crew sleeps.  Except that there’s a neutrino blast that forces the crew to wake up and deal with damages from that – and their captain (played extremely briefly by James Franco) dies in a defective pod.  While awake, they get a transmission of some sort that appears to be sent from a previously unknown planet.  The new captain (Billy Crudup) decides to investigate and strays off course, saying that this planet has all the signs of being able to support a human colony, and that this could be their new home.  WRONG decision.  On the planet’s surface, all seems good – but two are infected with alien spores and guess what?  Yep, xenomorphs make their way through these poor crew members.  One comes through someone’s back, reversing the famous John Hurt chest-burster scene from the first one.  Anyway, David saves them from the xenomorphs and brings them back to a colony with a WHOLE bunch of corpses.  Later, there’s a philosophical discussion between Walter and David (both played by Fassbinder, who’s solid as usual) about whether humans should be allowed to colonize any planet, since David’s pretty sure humankind is on the road to extinction.  How did all of these xenomorphs come to be?  Perhaps David knows more than he’s telling these puny, soon-to-be-dead humans.  This movie, despite its grasping for a higher meaning with all of its creator talk and chatting about whether humans be allowed to colonize, is perhaps the least engaging film in the series (maybe aside from Aliens 3).  The battles with the xenomorphs, their emerging from their victims’ bodies, crew members going down one by one – not a darn thing new here.  Katherine Waterston is set up to be the next Ripley, but it simply reminds you of how great Sigourney Weaver was.  Crudup is good as the Captain who really didn’t want to be captain, as is Danny McBride in a serious role as the ship’s pilot.  But Alien: Covenant is more rehash than anything else.  Director Ridley Scott makes it all look good, but it’s a makeover.  Rent it.


TLA one-word review: yawn



THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN