Alien: Covenant - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

Alien: Covenant - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews Hot

http://ftp.fortressat.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/1f/15/a1/alien-covenant-barney-s-five-second-reviews-36-1496262894.jpg
Black BarneyBlack Barney   May 31, 2017  
1449  
Comments (0)

Well that wasn't very good. Not necessarily bad, just not very good at all.

It's a weird mix of great action sequences (second half) with some really lazy screenwriting. That's my biggest beef with the movie, it offers absolutely nothing new and is highly predictable. The first half of the movie is a nice build-up and somewhat intellectually-stimulating, and the second half is some really tight and exciting action sequences. There are just too many shortcuts that were taken in order to link elements together later on.

Best performance I've ever seen from james Franco. I think they literally lifted a scene from 127 Hours and put it in this movie.

I need to take accountability for crapping on Danny McBride when I initially saw the trailer, he's actually totally fine in this. Katherine Waterson is very strong as Franco's wife (lol). Fassbender is excellent but his character just becomes ridiculous at one point. It's hard to fault the actor.

There is much I want to complain about the story-writing, but that would involve spoilers so I'll leave that out of the review. I can safely critique the idea of a 16-person crew being composed of 8 couples as just about the dumbest idea I've ever seen. The second someone's wife or husband goes missing, all protocol goes out the window since these well-trained flight officers are now putting thousands of lives in danger because their partner isn't answering their comms. Ridiculous.

The non-stop obvious foreshadowing during the movie really started to grind my gears as well. Why bother going to visit some bizarre large bay in the ship for no reason at all early on in the movie? Oh, I guess this will be important later maybe so I know how chains work. Stuff like that. There is a way to introduce concepts while not making it obvious you are simply setting up scenes later. It's harder to do, but that's what good movies do.

This isn't necessarily a bad movie, it's just not very good. Ridley Scott is really at fault for not respecting the canon much either. Why has the alien life cycle changed so much? Where are the chestbursters and why did they get cut? Why do I have a flute duet instead that makes the entire audience laugh when Fassbender talks about "fingering?"  Is there really going to be another one of these movies?  

I hate to say it but Prometheus was better. I got scared and creeped out, was fairly entertained, but just kept losing patience at how this movie failed again and again to surprise me. Ash being an android and being evil surprised me, Bishop being good surprised me. Nothing in this surprised me. It's paint-by-numbers and this is my favourite movie franchise so that's a real shame. At least it's not AvP.

The movie started SO strong too, with the lettering AND musical score of Alien all starting the movie. I got goosebumps. It didn't last.

 

Heart rating: 3.5 stars - those action sequences were great

Brain rating: 3 stars - first half of the movie was mostly very good

 

 

 

Posted: 31 May 2017 18:34 by xthexlo #249296
xthexlo's Avatar
Thanks for your take on the film. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch any of them after Aliens (which pissed me off by replacing the metal/mechanical elements of the xenomorph with organic/chitinous substitutes, and by forcing it into a tired hive trope). I have a curious interest in maybe watching Prometheus... we'll see how that turns out.
Posted: 31 May 2017 18:41 by Black Barney #249297
Black Barney's Avatar
Yeah us Aliens fans keep chasing that white rabbit. It's hell.
Posted: 31 May 2017 20:18 by Disgustipater #249298
Disgustipater's Avatar
Has there ever been a prequel movie that has added any value to its existing universe? I can't think of any.

Edit - And I'm not talking about movies that are just earlier in the timeline. I mean movies which try to explain the origins of things that came later.
Posted: 31 May 2017 20:23 by Vlad #249299
Vlad's Avatar
I agree with Barney's review almost word by word here... except that Prometheus is better, because it can be scientifically proven that it isn't. Anyways, I liked Covenant more. But the "couples" idea is as bad as Barney says. And the lack of quarantine procedures is... disturbing.

Xthexlo's comment is very interesting. After watching Prometheus and Covenant, I am convinced that Ridley Scott not only dislikes Aliens (and the rest of the sequels, of course) but doesn't even consider Aliens to be part of his cannon. I think hence the prequels.
Posted: 31 May 2017 20:25 by Black Barney #249300
Black Barney's Avatar
Disgust, Rogue one was pretty damn and cool and I would say it added to A New Hope
Posted: 31 May 2017 21:14 by xthexlo #249304
xthexlo's Avatar
Vlad wrote:
After watching Prometheus and Covenant, I am convinced that Ridley Scott not only dislikes Aliens (and the rest of the sequels, of course) but doesn't even consider Aliens to be part of his cannon.
This sparks a thought, Vlad: who "owns" the canon of a film series? Is it the original writer of the story? The director of the first film? As a series grows in installments, does each director that molds a chapter in the unfolding story own the canon for their installment, and are they therefore entitled to make changes to the canon? For example, I'm a huge fan of Hellboy and feel that Guillermo del Toro added to the canon as defined by Mignola... but I worry about what the next film will bring with the change in director. Don't get me wrong: I believe that every director should be free -- no, encouraged -- to exercise creativity... but what canonical backbone needs to be maintained and who should police that?
Posted: 31 May 2017 21:40 by Black Barney #249306
Black Barney's Avatar
The movie studio typically owns the canon cuz they buy the source material or license to be able to make movie(s) with it.

In the case of Alien, it's probably Twentieth Century Fox (aka Fox). I don't think it's Brandywine and it's not Scott Free. It could be Brandywine actually cuz they bought the script to Alien, but I remember Fox being approached about AvP.


Who polices it? Ticket buyers. If you think that Michael Bay is taking a hot oil piss on the Transformers license with turning Bumblebee into a beatbox, then don't go see his movies.
Posted: 31 May 2017 22:00 by SebastianBludd #249307
SebastianBludd's Avatar
Disgustipater wrote:
Has there ever been a prequel movie that has added any value to its existing universe? I can't think of any.

The Godfather Part II. Yes, I know it's half prequel, half sequel, but I think it qualifies.

That being said, I think the biggest problem with prequels is that they almost never account for the fact that the original films are inseparable from the time in which they were made. Prequels tend to explain things just for the sake of explaining without any thought or intention to tackle any deeper themes. Studio meddling can be blamed for some of it, but you won't be able to convince me that anyone was pushing Ridley Scott or George Lucas around. In the best cases prequels are pedestrian and unremarkable, in the worst cases you wonder why they even bothered since it seems like no one involved understood the original film (like that shitty The Thing prequel that came out in 2011). I never thought I'd say this, but Covenant makes me look forward to watching the Aliens 3 Assembly Cut.

I can respect Prometheus and Covenant for trying, but neither one needed to be an Alien film and both halves of each film (high-minded scifi vs. gory creature feature) suffer when they get mashed together in the second act. They come off as bad Alien fanfic and that's before you get to the poor writing. Like how apparently the xenomorph gestation period is now a matter of minutes, or how we're not even bothering with helmets this time, or the convoluted mutation/life cycle stuff, or how the scientists turns into spastic piles of gibbering shit at the first sign of trouble, or that truly wretched CGI chestburster that stands up after hatching (seriously, that thing is going to look like garbage in five years), etc., etc.
Posted: 31 May 2017 22:29 by Ancient_of_MuMu #249309
Ancient_of_MuMu's Avatar
Disgustipater wrote:
Has there ever been a prequel movie that has added any value to its existing universe? I can't think of any.

Watchable prequels:
Godfather 2, X-Men First Class, Monsters University, Batman Begins, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Rogue One
Posted: 31 May 2017 23:59 by cdennett #249314
cdennett's Avatar
Disgustipater wrote:
Has there ever been a prequel movie that has added any value to its existing universe? I can't think of any.

Edit - And I'm not talking about movies that are just earlier in the timeline. I mean movies which try to explain the origins of things that came later.
Not exactly a movie, but I think the second season of Spartacus (which was essentially a prequel to the first season) did quite a good job to introduce where the characters came from and also introduced Gannicus, who then showed up in the future seasons as a regular.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 07:29 by Black Barney #249317
Black Barney's Avatar
Sebastian, yeah that chestburster (which isn't really a chestburster) that stands up was so stupid. I was half expecting it to put its hands on its hips and take a bow.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 08:36 by charlest #249319
charlest's Avatar
Vlad wrote:
Xthexlo's comment is very interesting. After watching Prometheus and Covenant, I am convinced that Ridley Scott not only dislikes Aliens (and the rest of the sequels, of course) but doesn't even consider Aliens to be part of his cannon. I think hence the prequels.

IMDB has a couple of good interviews with him. He makes a big comment about how those sequels were fine and the directors were good, but none of them answered the questions Alien brought up. He wanted to answer the questions.

I also read that he intended Covenant to be a sequel to Prometheus and get much more into the Engineers, but many fans complained about Prometheus so he abandoned that and tried to bridge the gap more clearly to Alien.

Best Prequels - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, the Godfather Part II, Rogue One, Fire Walk With Me, Red Dragon
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 08:59 by Shellhead #249320
Shellhead's Avatar
The mixed reviews (including Barney's) of Alien: Covenant have convinced me to skip this movie, just like I skipped the AvP movies. Instead, I may finally take a look into the Dark Horse comics exploring the Alien setting. I have already enjoyed two of their crossovers. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens was pretty good, and Batman/Aliens was excellent.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 09:09 by Columbob #249321
Columbob's Avatar
Shellhead wrote:
The mixed reviews (including Barney's) of Alien: Covenant have convinced me to skip this movie, just like I skipped the AvP movies. Instead, I may finally take a look into the Dark Horse comics exploring the Alien setting. I have already enjoyed two of their crossovers. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens was pretty good, and Batman/Aliens was excellent.

Hah, I read the one with Green Lantern, 'cause they had it at the library! It was...interesting. These things are just the authors having fun trying to meld two franchises together. Not bad, but obviously not essential.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 09:09 by Black Barney #249322
Black Barney's Avatar
The Dark Horse comics are excellent. Aliens v Superman was kind of dumb so just read the pure Aliens stuff. The original AvP comics are fantastic and make a ton of sense. There are rumours that crossover might get rebooted in film again.

What's super annoying to me after not one but TWO prequels to Alien is that we STILL don't have an answer to what happened on LV-426 that caused the original engineer spacecraft to be there with more eggs than a sushi buffet

Also if the comics do Aliens v John Wick, I'm out.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 09:24 by Columbob #249324
Columbob's Avatar
The AvP comics are great. Then you watch those movies and shudder in disgust (well, I haven't seen the second one). Someone here mentioned the short gestation period in Covenant - they had that same problem in AvP where infected humans would suffer very little gestation period, instead we'd get a near instantaneous chest-bursting after infection.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 10:08 by Black Barney #249327
Black Barney's Avatar
yeah, screenwriters don't want to simply put "time passes..." and they certainly don't want to find a way to advance the other story lines while the incubation period takes its sweet time, so everyone has become super lazy. James Cameron did an ACTION movie around Aliens and still found a way to respect the proper incubation period. He even alludes to how easy it would be for Carter to get compromised Ripley and Newt back on the Sulaco and put into hypersleep before hatching. See? It's not hard.

One good thing that I will say about Covenant is that as sudden and stupid the chestburster scene is, it's the best one since the first Alien. Absolutely brutal. I just wish it was an actual chestburster.


hey I'm not getting enough love for my choice of thumbnail for this movie. I think it perfectly shows just how stupid everything is. A jedi knight to the rescue?
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 10:31 by charlest #249329
charlest's Avatar
Chestburster scene wasn't nearly as effective for me as that backbursting one with the sac falling out. That was probably the best part of the movie.

The not wanting to acknowledge passage of time thing is aggravating. Anyone else notice that when they decide to hit up the new planet they say it will take just weeks. Scene cuts and they're approaching it. I'm fine with skipping monotony, but they should have had a fade or something to acknowledge it wasn't remotely close to the previous scene in terms of time.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 12:59 by Gregarius #249337
Gregarius's Avatar
After hating Prometheus so much, I knew I wasn't going to see this one. Every review I read confirms the wisdom of that decision.

It is such a relief to shed the burden of devotion to a series. I can now sit comfortably in my own private universe where only the first two films exist. I'm very close to feeling the same way about Star Wars.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 13:05 by Shellhead #249338
Shellhead's Avatar
Gregarius wrote:
After hating Prometheus so much, I knew I wasn't going to see this one. Every review I read confirms the wisdom of that decision.

It is such a relief to shed the burden of devotion to a series. I can now sit comfortably in my own private universe where only the first two films exist. I'm very close to feeling the same way about Star Wars.

I skipped the entire Star Wars prequel trilogy, because I was still unhappy about Return of the Jedi. The Force Awakens turned out to be a waste of time, but I liked Rogue One.
Posted: 01 Jun 2017 17:51 by Hex Sinister #249342
Hex Sinister's Avatar
charlest wrote:
I also read that he intended Covenant to be a sequel to Prometheus and get much more into the Engineers, but many fans complained about Prometheus so he abandoned that and tried to bridge the gap more clearly to Alien.

And this is where the big failure was. "Just another Alien movie" is exactly what I did NOT want to see. And like Barney was saying the screenplay was sorely lacking. A completely competent film in nearly every aspect outside of that. A decent popcorn flick and nothing more. Another nitpick being the unimaginitive designs of the new hybrids or whatever you want to call them. A severe lack of creativity going on in this film, sadly. Which is what I want from science fiction. Unfortunately, hollywood does not take ANY chances in this century. You can't play it safe and make good art.

The next installment: "Captain, we're getting a distress signal from the sexbot planet". =P
Posted: 02 Jun 2017 08:57 by Shellhead #249347
Shellhead's Avatar
"Hold on, hold on just a second. This franchise has a substantial dollar value attached to it."

Discussion