Saturday, 20 May 2017

carose59: movies (the real tinsel)
First off, I enjoyed it. It was formulaic, and the Alien formula is: one spunky heroine plus one questionable artificial person plus one HHGeiger alien. Shake well and pour over outer space.

The first two movies had personable actors and memorable characters. The next two at least had Sigourney Weaver. (I found the third movie abysmal to the point that it nearly tainted my fondness for the first two; the fourth was something of a curiosity, and Weaver's character was interesting. I value interesting highly.)

I fell asleep during Prometheus. That's not as meaningful when I say it; I used to fall asleep during movies a lot. I fell asleep during Gone Girl and I loved it. The difference is, I simply didn't care that I fell asleep during Prometheus; it seemed like a better use of my time. It was as though they thought, "What made 2001 a classic? Oh, I know, it was the boring stuff! Let's put in a lot of boring stuff, that'll give this movie what it needs to catch fire!"

(Catching fire wouldn't have been a bad idea, especially if it was sitting on the shelf next to Alien3.)

Covenant seems to be more along the lines of a reboot. Did you like the first two movies? Do you get annoyed when movies you liked are remade? If the answers to these questions are yes and no (in that order), you should like Covenant.

A ship full of colonists follow an SOS signal to the planet we saw in Prometheus. The movie has two! artificial persons of questionable trustworthiness, a spunky heroine, and a crew they want us to like so much, they had three! married couples in the mix. (One way to get the audience to like a character is having other characters like them. We have no vested interest in these people—which is one thing, but they're also replacing character we cared about, which is much harder. Having married couples—loving, happily married couples—makes us like them more, and ups the ante when one of them dies.)

If you saw Prometheus, David the artificial person is back and batshit crazy. The other artificial person is named Walter and I'm not going to tell you whether you can trust him or not. Both are played by Michael Fassbinder, and played well. And I very much enjoyed the meditations on creations and creating. I suspect we'll be hearing more of this.

The other characters are likable, though I could have lived without the captain feeling persecuted for being "a man of faith," especially since we saw no evidence this was true. It made him look paranoid—which might have been interesting if it had gone someplace.

Covenant started off slow, but I don't mind a slow burn. Action-wise, there was nothing we haven't seen before, but I didn't mind that, either; I think the movies are better when they aren't trying to be arty or smarter or whatever they were trying for with movies three and four. They can keep doing this every couple of years and I'll keep going.

(If you want real spoilers, contact me privately and I'll happily give them.)

July 2017

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