Alien Covenant: A nice addition to the Franchise

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What works in Alien: Covenant: Production design, slash sequences, establishment of characters and cinematography

What was ok: Dialogue and story,

What sucked: The majority of the third act making no sense (in my mind) and some leaps in internal logic.

Alien: Covenant is a film that I think gets the thousand little things right and the 2 or 3 big things wrong. However, there is strength in numbers and because it got a lot right Alian: Covenant turns out to be quite enjoyable.

I think that Alien: Covenant will satisfy a lot of fans as it sticks to the anesthetics that made it memorable and it does not move anywhere near outside its comfort zone. If you are not a fan of space, science fiction or aliens spawning out of the flesh of a human than you have come to the wrong place.

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Chuck Norris incubates and breeds neomorphs for breakfast. I don’t want to take up the hobby. 

Alien: Covenant exposes the sadistic part of me that show the art in gruesome scary sequences. It’s one of the few films that shows the viscera of life and death without descending into shock value. The filmmakers establish the world beautifully and give believable motives as to why the crew investigates a specific planet before the gore begins which is the major selling point of Alien: Covenant.

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Very menacing but it had a MAJOR momentary editing issue. He is in one location then goes to another without any explanation as to how it got from point A to B.

The other thing I was mostly pleased at was the establishment of characters. This was an ensemble and they were uniquely presented making me interested in each of the characters. They all have their quirks, Walter/David (Michael Fassbender) for example has the intelligence and has a “creative” hobby. How they develop some of the key characters is a little rocky but at least it’s not terrible.

The two or three major problems I have with Alien:Covenant descends into massive spoiler territory but to sum it up: It didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Things happen in which people (or things) appear when it’s impossible to be where they are and have been given no explanation as to why. That includes the ending, which was also completely predictable if have ever seen a horror movie in your life. Had those moments make a lick of sense, Alien Covenant would have made for a much better film.

Still, I liked this movie because of the majority of Alien: Covenant works as passable entertainment. I see it not as a standout of the franchise but it does hold a place in it. ⭐⭐⭐1/4

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Written by Nelson Cumming

J.K. Rowling has decided to make the transition from an author to a screenwriter, at least for her own book. Is she as good a screenwriter as she is an author?

Well, I think she is a good comedic writer no doubt. I mean that with sincerity. Everything that is meant to be funny is, in fact, funny. The slapstick with the animals (specifically the gem seeking Niffler) provided some comic relief which is backed up by Dan Fogler who plays the only no-maj (a muggle) in the wizarding world who blunders his way through the wizarding world. Fogler was the best performance in the film bar none.

Rowling is also a good writer in expressing the themes and ideas she wishes to explore. A lot of the themes in this movie revolve around political powerplay, divided societies, isolation and repression. She presents that aspect of the story during the first third of the film. I was highly anticipating how it would progress and conclude.

…and then the cliff came.

The one major letdown this film has is that it never comes full circle. All the themes I have mentioned Rowling illustrates. But she doesn’t really progress those ideas further and with all the separate elements of the plot, they never come together.

The subplots: An outline

Without spoiling it. The first thirty minutes is basically plot progression which illustrates the society of witches and no-majs and how divided they are. There no-majs want to eradicate wizards and break their wands. Wizards are forced underground to practice their magic and live with each other.

After that there are comedy skits with the beasts and that element of the story is barely mentioned again. That was disappointing. A subplot involving a boy called Credence and the main antagonist Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) That plot element focused on powerplay, manipulation, isolation, and fear. Yet that subplot doesn’t get a proper emotional payoff by the conclusion.

Rowling also wants the kids to have a good time as well because she wants to show all the beasts that get released and the comedic elements in catching them. The goes for the cuteness factor as well with all the animals. Expect girls and kids to say “awwww”

An Archery Analogy

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Arrows represent the themes and elements to every film. Left is a 5 star movie that hits you to the core. Right was Fantastic Beasts. Yes, they hit, but the elements are never together.

So you can imagine how frustrating it is when all these elements appear in their own scenes but never really come together. This also affected plot progression, traveling from one idea, leaving it behind, and moving on to the next.

All the elements that Rowling decides to dabble into works. That is enough for me to be entertained. But what Fantastic Beasts really suffers from a lack of putting all the plot threads and thematic elements together. That was disappointing for me. It wasn’t about what the story did, it’s what it didn’t do. ***1/4

P.S. The final reveal sucked. It didn’t make sense in both the story and the internal logic in the story.