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FLICKS: Alien: Covenant & PBS Memorial Day Concert

Posted on 25 May 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Prometheus opened five years ago to good box office, but mixed reviews. One of the complaints about the film was that it was teased as an Alien film, but Ridley Scott chose to make a more cerebral science fiction motion picture. Released last weekend, Alien: Covenant is a direct sequel and is at least one or two prequels away from the original 1979 Alien motion picture that starred Sigourney Weaver.

Ironically, Alien: Covenant opens before the events of Prometheus. We see the android David (Michael Fassbender) discussing the meaning of life with his creator, Peter Weyland, (Guy Pearce). The film fast forwards a decade past the events of Prometheus, in which the space ship “Covenant” is journeying to a distant planet for human colonization. Midway through the odyssey, the spaceship is diverted by a distress signal from an unknown planet.

Among the Covenant crewmates is Daniels (Katherine Waterston), a widow with leadership potential and Walter (Fassbender again), a new model android who is new and improved from the old David model. Upon landing on the uncharted tropical planet, two crew members inhale bad spores and begin breeding aliens.

Whereas Prometheus is science-fiction based, Alien: Covenant follows the narrative of doomed horror. When things go from bad to worse, one can count on familiar clichés to kick in. In a 1930s murder mystery, you could count on an electrical storm wiping out a bridge or preventing telephones from working. With modern CGI special effects, the storm prevents spaceships from landing on the planet for a rescue mission.

One special effect worth noting is a simple dialogue scene between David and Walter. Given that the two characters are being played by one actor, Michael Fassbender, this entertaining scene features an interesting discussion about creativity and following programmed orders. Making this scene appear simple, Fassbender deserves award consideration for his hard work. 

Despite usurping Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 from the weekend box office champion perch, don’t expect Alien Covenant to have much legs beyond the July 4th holiday weekend. For the most part, it is an interesting movie. It just feels like déjà vu.

With Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch opening this weekend, it will be an entertaining weekend at the box office. However, take the time to watch the PBS Memorial Day Concert Sunday evening. The local television news will refer to this weekend as “urban beach weekend,” but most of our neighbors still remember this weekend as Memorial Day weekend. Make sure you thank a veteran this weekend.

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