Alien: Covenant

Alien_Covenant_Teaser_PosterAlien:  Covenant (2017) – 5/10

Well, I’ll just start by saying that it’s a very high bar against which to measure any movie in the Alien franchise.  While this sequel to Prometheus is better, it pales in comparison to the original two.

Visually interesting – Aesthetically compelling scenes:  space, the alien planet, the ancient city and the interstellar ship.

Cra-cra android – Michael Fassbender does a competent job juxtaposing David’s ‘Hannibal’ like evil against Walter’s steadfast loyalty.  As David, his search for ‘the creator’ and disdain for humanity leads to the origin of the alien we know and love so well.  Just have to add that Walter’s American(?) accent sounds pretty phoney.

Stupid villagers/engineers – Let’s all gather in the town square where we’re really vulnerable and our entire civilisation can be destroyed.  These are superior beings?

Pacing – No suspense, no slow build.  The other alien movies seemed so much longer than this one because of the slow build and palpable tension.  Covenant is frenetic and uncontrolled, like a pin ball game, bouncing off walls and bumpers.  Directionless coupled with poor decision making.

Crew – Well, we just don’t care about them.  Our hero (Jack McCoy’s daughter) is ok and it’s probably not fair to compare her to Ripley but I wanted more stature, more poise. And, didn’t she notice at the end of the movie that the wounds on ‘Walter’s’ face weren’t healing?  Come on.  But I guess she had been through a lot.

And while this is not a military operation, per se, you would think that the crew of an interstellar ship transporting 2000 colonists and 1000 human embryos would have some training in how to respond in a crisis situation.  Seriously here’s how that initial scene on the lander unfolded . . . ‘oh I have to lock you in the med lab cause there’s something really dangerous going on; no you can’t come out and it doesn’t matter that I also have infected blood spatter on my face; oh my, things don’t look so good, I know, I’ll get a gun and open the door to the med lab to help; wow didn’t expect the situation to be so difficult to handle; whoops there goes the shuttle up in flames.’  Witness the little alien scampering away to wreak havoc on the rest of the crew.

The Alien –  Really wanted the alien, newly birthed from Captain Oram’s chest, to don a top hat and start singing ‘hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime, summertime gal’.  Now that’s a classic.

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A Dog’s Purpose

A_Dog's_Purpose_(film)A Dog’s Purpose (2017) – 6/10

This movie is full of cliches and scenes that unapologetically tug your heartstrings.  The movie version of the last book I remember my mother reading before her long descent to dementia.

I want a dog.

A Letter to Momo

A_Letter_To_Momo_movie_posterA Letter to Momo (2011) – 8/10

11 year old girl and mother move back to mother’s childhood home in the islands in the Seto Inland Sea in Japan after father is killed in accident at sea. Momo contends with angry words said to father before he left. Finds a letter father started ‘Dear Momo…’

Mythology; three drops fall from the sky; outcast supernatural beings ‘Yokai’ serving punishment; to watch over Momo and her mother until father makes it to the sky and can take over.

Kawa, Mame, and Iwa – comical illustrations and actions; always hungry; steal fruit; impulsive.  Redemption by helping Momo find help for her mother.

Momo receives word from her father.  Forgiveness, settles and can move on.  Lovely story, endearing characters.

A Most Wanted Man

A_Most_Wanted_Man_PosterA Most Wanted Man (2014) – 6/10

Philip Seymour Hoffman nuanced acting, banker, convincing internal struggle, frown line, interesting plot, twists and unexpected ending, no unnecessary exposition, single framed shots e.g. frumpy Hoffman standing in park.

Spy game plot and in that regard, kind of a predictable unpredictability.

Aloha

Aloha_posterAloha (2015) – 5/10

Loved the quirky performances by Emma Stone and Bill Murray.  Emma is hilarious although her character is inconsistent. Her dance at the club with Bill Murray is a highlight.

Not sure what John Krasinski was trying to do. Didn’t mind the strong, silent type thing but the additional text was a bit stupid.

Bradley Cooper’s big toe surgery was also stupid.

Convoluted plot. Watch it anyway.

Angel Heart

Angel_HeartAngel Heart (1987) – 6/10

A very young Mickey Rourke. Surprisingly good acting and good looking; before he disfigured himself with all the plastic surgery.  Robert De Niro is the devil with some lovely finger nails.  Why does the director have to keep calling attention to those pointy finger nails?  De Niro’s habit of continuously touching them is really distracting.

So Mickey is Harry Angel, a sleaze-bag private eye in the 50s hired by Louis Cyphre (De Niro) to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. Johnny made a deal with Lucifer and skipped town still owing his part of the deal.

The story holds interest; everyone Harry questions ends up dead, in quite a horrific way.  The plot is simplistic and it soon becomes apparent why Lucifer picked Harry to run this investigation.  Poor Harry, some New Orleans voodoo soul swapping puts him at the centre of things.