Alien: Covenant (2017) Review

This was a film I could not wait to watch and when I watched it in the cinema I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with the film. Alien: Covenant was a film I long awaited for and I am a huge fan of the Alien franchise and universe but I can’t help but feel rather annoyed.

Alien: Covenant is set ten years after Prometheus (2012) and it features a colonising ship called the Covenant. They are on their way to an earth-like planet called origae-6 but along the way they come across an undiscovers planet which proves to be an suitable habitat for the colony ship passengers in hypersleep and embryos. This paradise is habited by a synthetic, David who was a survivor of the Prometheus. The world turns dark and dangerous as xenomorphs and neomorphs threaten the lives of the Covenant crew.

I was excited for the film having seen the teaser trailer and I thought it would really help answer many questions but once again, Ridley Scott being who he is answers a small amount of questions but opens the door to many questions. That is not what I’m disappointed about … what I’m really disappointed about was the plot. It felt very dry and just lacking excitement. The film does provide exposition on what happened to Dr. Elizabeth Shaw from Prometheus but the story line was just recycled and I could not enjoy the film as much. In addition the characters weren’t strong and it didn’t help with the narrative.

The xenomorph and neomorph were awesome and the best part of the film because the way they were designed was beautiful. The neomorph especially took the spotlight in the film and I felt there needed to be more of the neomorphs because they had a short lived presence in the film. Another thing I also liked about the film was the biblical references and it really solidified the meaning and theme the film was trying to get across:

Alien: Covenant (2017) Poster

The Fall of the Rebellious Angels (1554) by Frans Floris

The film poster embodies the painting in which the Xenomorphs are painted as the angels who are the victors while the engineers are seen as the rebellious angels when in actual fact the engineers are the heroes and the xenomorphs are the fallen ones.

Alien: Covenant

Image result for kiss of judas painting

The Kiss of Judas

The second point is when David (Michael Fassbender) kisses Walter (Michael Fassbender). David then attacks Walter and this is reminiscent to the kiss of Judas. This was when of the disciples kisses Jesus before he betrays him to the Romans.

I’m a big fan of biblical references and I liked the mentions to the Bible in Alien: Covenant but ultimately Alien: Covenant lacked a lot of story but the visuals and Biblical references were rather beautiful.

Wonder Woman (2017) Review

Super hero movies never get better than this and I have a lot to say after watching Wonder Woman in the cinema. This really opened a gate way for female superheroes to have their own stand alone movie and I don’t think that the amount of praise I have for this film will help to justify the great effect that the film has had on the wider audience.

The film follows the origin of Wonder Woman who was Diana, princess of the Amazons. She is raised and trained by the Amazons and becomes a great warrior. She meets an American pilot, Steve Trevor who tells her that The Great War is having a devastating effect and Diana comes to realise that war is being controlled by Ares, God of War. Diana travels with Steve and goes to find Ares, to kill him and stop the war in which Diana discovers her true identity and destiny.

There is so much I can say that won’t help to justify how AMAZING Wonder Woman was and this ranges from the story; the characters; visual effects and the overall message. This was a truly beautiful film that Patty Jenkins (Director) had created. She truly captured the essence of Wonder Woman and how she is a big symbol to many women. Diana is not the damsel-in-distress, she is the one who fights through and wins against the bad guys, she saves the guy and I saw this many times when Diana deflected a bullet that was going to hit Steve.

Gal Gadot who portrays Wonder Woman did such a fantastic job and she was truly born to play the part. She is compassionate, funny, sexy, adorable, innocent, brave and just downright badass. I’m glad that Zack Snyder helped to write the story for Wonder Woman because Joss Whedon’s scripted version was just disappointing and sexist. Gal had created an iconic symbol for girls and honestly I salute her for making me feel empowered and significant. Gal Gadot deserves her role and I believe Wonder Woman deserves an Oscar because it is utterly beautiful.

The setting was beautiful and the visual effects brought more realism to the film than anticipated and the chemistry between Diana and Steve is well executed. The film made me cry and that is a fortunate thing because there are not many films that move my heart. My favourite part in the film is the fight between Diana and Ares, when Diana truly discovers herself and she overpowers and wins against Ares. This film is not conventional and I appreciate that because it makes Wonder Woman an even bigger icon. She is her own man and does not need anyone else.

Another great thing about the film was the song: ‘To Be Human’ by Sia and Labrinth. It is such a beautiful song and the contrasting vocals from Sia and Labrinth is almost an embodiment of Steve Trevor and Diana Prince. The song brought Wonder Woman to a great conclusion and honestly it makes me cry tears of joy every time I listen to it.

Patty Jenkins made a great female superhero film and I think Wonder Woman is a bigger hero than Batman and Superman and I honestly cannot wait to see Wonder Woman in either Justice League (Nov. 2017) or another stand alone Wonder Woman film. She is the epitome of feminism.

Passengers (2016) Review

Today I was reminiscing the last time I went to the cinema to watch a film and I remembered the last film I had seen was Passengers which released 21st December and I had many thoughts going through my head when I was watching this film in the cinema.

The plot is simple: two people, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) are aboard a passenger ship which is headed to a new planet for habitation. These two people wake up ninety years early and as time goes on these two people start to fall in love with one another but a threat is looming which could cause the lives of 5000 people aboard the ship. Jim and Aurora are the only ones that can save them.

It was an okay film. The plot was interesting and the chemistry between Jim and Aurora was fantastic but I felt it was lacking in something. The film was a typical Sci-Fi film: “Oh no there’s something wrong with the ship!” “This is not my real job but I have to save everyone” “Don’t sacrifice yourself – I have to, I love you” “Oh no they are about to die – oh wait they are alive I’m so happy!” I man don’t get me wrong it was a good Sci-Fi film but I felt they needed to change it for it to be unique and original. This film just used the same formula that many other Sci-Fi films.

What was surprising was the easy flowing love story because most love stories in Sci-Fi are rushed and lack legitimacy but Passengers allows the love story to flow very naturally which is something very appreciative.  The reason helps to ake the story more heartfelt and natural as well as relatable because the audience witness Jim being alone for an entire year and this justifies his actions when he wakes up Aurora. I sympathised with Jim as he needed human companionship and it made me realised that this is what humanity is like now. Every human is so attached to technology that we have forgotten human companionship and so the film reminded that we all need each other to stay connected.

The special effects were amazing and I really appreciated how they managed to create an interesting storyline but I felt it did lack in more of the Sci-Fi and action side of things but then again the film was trying to sell itself as a romance film rather than a action Sci-Fi film. However the one thing I want to draw upon is that if you are going to emphasise the romance of the film then have a montage video of them growing old, having children or dying.

The threat however was a disappointment. A lot of suspense was built up and it was hyped until we realised the threat was just an meteorite. Sorry for the spolier but honestly it’s not much of a spolier. A meteorite threat for this kind of movie kills the vibe of the film a little because I think a film with high chemistry needs a high level threat to really test the romance. That would really help with the plot of the story.

The best thing of the film is the song: ‘Levitate’ by Imagine Dragons. It is one of the best songs I have heard and can just listen to it forever. The lyrics match the plot of the movie so well and it is a song I wish could have been played during the film but no it was playing in the credits.

This would really make the film really tug at the strings of your heart but hey with what they made I felt it was a well made film with great SFX and a intriguing story line. It’s a film that you could watch once and appreciate it once but not repeat watch.

The Grinch (2000) Review

Christmas is descending upon us soon so now the time is to have the turkey in the oven; tree decorated and the mince pies ready for Santa Claus as I tell you my opinion on a Christmas movie, The Grinch … or the original title How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

The Grinch is a live-adaptation of a well known childrens book written by Dr. Seuss. The Grinch is the story about a green recluse by the name of Grinch, he hates Christmas. He decides to ruin the Christmas festivities of the town Whoville but he comes to a few obstacles after meeting a sweet little girl by the name of Cindy Lou Who. She begins to teach him how to have feelings and fall in love with Christmas.

After watching the movie again I realised three things: The Grinch is terrifying, yet he relates to me so much and the film is a life lesson. I understand that the Grinch is meant to be scary and horrible, but here I was scared for my life and I’m an adult. Children would feel even worse than I. Hats off! To Jim Carrey for playing a mean character that has an intense hatred for a Christmas movie but aren’t children’s movies meant to make kids happy instead of give them the nightmare of their life. But then again who am I to judge? I think what really sells the terror is whenever the Grinch looks directly at the camera and that is because it is rather difficult to tell whether he is talking to a character or to the audience.

The Grinch is essentially a reflective image of me and I can not help just admire the Grinch for be so … emo. I mean I do disagree with the hatred of Christmas but I totally agree with the other aspects like having to socialise as well as overwhelming emotions. I never would realise that I would end up being the Grinch as an adult as he says many relatable quotes like:

“I guess I could use a little … social interaction.”

“Help me! I’m … feeling.”

“Am I just eating because I’m bored?”

This is my favourite part of the movie only because the Grinch and I act so similarly.

Finally and most importantly, is the lesson the Grinch teaches: the fact that Christmas is not about consumerism but more about people being close together and having one another and I think that is an important lesson. As a child you ignore the lesson as soon as the presents arrive but as an adult you realise that family is important at Christmas time. It’s nice to have cool presents and awesome decorations but what really is important is family and friends and so the Grinch is definitely a film to watch either for the moral lesson or to relate to the Grinch. It’s a good film to watch … just don’t be frightened of the Grinch.

The Woman in Black Review (2012)

There is no such thing as a horror movie without the use of darkness, jumpscares and haunted houses. So in order to find a horror movie that uses all those elements I decided to watch The Woman in Black, which is said to be the most typical horror movie to watch. I’ll be the judge of that.

The Woman in Black is based on a book by Susan Hill – whilst slightly changing elements of the book for the film, the movie follows a young man by the name of Arthur Kipps. He’s a widow who aims to keep his job by travelling to a small village and sort out the paperwork of a deceased woman. He stays in the house of the deceased woman in which strange supernatural incidents happen and many, many children die.

This wasn’t a very scary film for I didn’t jump, scream nor feel my skin crawl with chills and goosebumps. It was a good storyline I admit, but I felt it lacked a spook element. The sounds and everything were perfect but I felt it missed out a lot. The Woman in Black definitely follows the conventions of a typical horror movie:

• Haunted house
• A local myth
• Creepy children
• A lack of light
• Dark colours

There are a few positives like the fact that you don’t see the ghost a lot which helps to alleviate the spook factor a bit and to present a face of terror. There are very very few positives for there are mostly negatives like there was not a clear understanding to the ghost’s purpose and the most obvious question: “Why does he not leave the house and town if he knows that there is crazy supernatural ghost acts happening?”

Daniel Radcliffe -who plays Arthur Kipps, does an okay job, I mean he does show himself to be a very adamant on keeping his job. He was a terrible father and human being and what happened to him was very deserving. I was also very anti-climactic and it drained the story out of the horror movie. Overall it was a well-made film that perfectly used all the horror conventions but it lacked clarity in conveying a story.

Friday the 13th (2009) Review

Today is Halloween which is the time to lock your doors, turn off the lights and prepare yourself for a marathon of scary movies. So a film I decided to watch was the remake of the 1980 cult slasher horror classic, Friday the 13th.

This movie follows a man called Clay Miller, who is searching for his missing sister in the mystifying woods of Crystal Lake. At the same time a group college students are lodging in a cabin for mischief and mayhem. Neither one are aware that the woods are being ruled by a hockey-mask wearing killer called Jason Voorhees. Clay and the college students are trespassing on Jason’s woods.

They say that a remake will ruin the movie … that statement is true – this is a undeniable fact. I have not yet watched the 1980 version but the 2009 version is just an excuse to squeeze more money through the use of naked women and sex. This movie had an interesting colour style which got me intrigued but as the story further progressed it just turned into a sad mistake. There are not many compliments I can give to this film but I can not help and praise it being corny and cheesey.

It follows typical conventions of what a slasher horror movie is:

  • Psychopath which rampages certain area, making it haunted and a legend
  • Group of young adults alone in a cabin together
  • A couple who are having sex while the serial killer watches
  • A person always tripping over from a monster
  • Yelling hello in an ominiously silent house

And various other horror movie cliches. Despite it receiving negative reviews, it still managed to garner $91.3m which does not surprise me because it uses female nudity and a beloved horror monster to help gain the money. The only reason I watched the movie was because of Jared Padalecki. He is well known in his CW TV series, Supernatural and I am majorly crushing on Jared Padalecki. He is such a hunk!

This movie does have a surprising ending as I thought Clay would escape with his sister and a girl he rescued called Jenna. I expected Clay and Jenna to find love after being through such a terrible nightmare. Yet the story kills off Jenna and Clay’s sister is taken back by Jason. The ending is similar to the other Friday the 13th films, but the ending surprised me because it was a cheap horror movie, it would have a rubbish ending.

Jason in this film is the best thing, as well as Jared, since he is badass for killing all the stupid college students. I cheered more for when Jason killed someone than when someone got killed because all the character’s were characterised to being stupid idiots. If they were all nice innocent people, I probably would still cheer for Jason because he kills people with machetes and nothing can kill him. ALTHOUGH HE IS HUMAN, he still beats everyone and I admire that about Jason.

Overall, the movie was a waste of time despite its colour style, location and epic depiction of Jason Voorhees, the film is a cheap excuse to squeeze more money out of people and to show nudity to guys to gain a larger audience. Watch all the Friday the 13th films, pre 2000 because they are the only good ones. However I did hear they are making another Jason Voorhees film but for now that is a rumor so we will have to wait and see.

X-Men Days of Future Past (2014) Review

Time travelling superhumans. Something which X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) accomplishes. X-Men: DoFP tells the story of the 1981 Marvel comic book, in which robots are bringing humanity and meta-humans to the brink of extinction. The movie captures the true spirit of the comic and it’s a movie you can just sink right into. There is something for everyone in this superhero dystopian film.

This movie brings back characters: young and old to show parallels from the future (2023) to the past (1973). There’s fan favourite, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) who becomes our Marty McFly in this movie. Wolverine travels back to 1973 to help guide a younger version of Professor X (James McAvoy) to stop a blue Jennifer Lawrence from killing a military contractor, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). Professor X is the mind-reader of the group and the leader of the X-Men. X-Men is essentially a copy of Terminator Two: Judgement Day … in a good way. Anyways, this X-Men film helps to erase the timeline of previous horribly made X-Men films like X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).

I was a big fan of this movie franchise because it had a compelling storyline, which was inspired by the civil rights movement. A time in which was led by Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. X-Men: Days of Future Past had a great storyline as well as an ensemble cast, playing beloved characters. X-Men spawns fantastic moments and one great moment is the time when Old Professor X (Sir. Patrick Stewart) comes face-to-face with young Professor X. That was one emotional, inspiring moment.

Another great moment and probably every single fans’ favourite moment is watching the mutant, Quicksilver (Evan Peters) slow time down. This moment was fantastic as Quicksilver runs around in the CIA kitchen, stopping the bullets hit Wolverine, Professor X and ex-villain Magneto (Michael Fassbender). The thing that makes it so memorable is the music, Time in a Bottle sung by Jim Croce. I like many fans keep this moment to our heart and it is a shame we see less of Evan Peters because he gave a spectacular performance as Quicksilver.

X-Men is a great film to watch as a comic book fan and a non-comic book fan. X-Men: Days of Future Past is the movie to watch, learn and enjoy with its moral about fighting discrimination. So play Time in a Bottle and reminisce the great Evan Peters moment.