Alien: Covenant

One of the strongest franchises out there has been the ALIEN franchise, a lot of ups, a few downs, but for the most part a franchise that we have all loved. The future of the franchise had been up in the air for a while with a few different products in the works. After Prometheus which was met with mixed reviews, Neil Blomkamp was working on an “Alien 5” that would actually take place right after ALIENS, but then it happened. Ridley Scott made The Martian, and he was back in our good graces. Which lead to, Alien: Covenant.

Alien: Covenant stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant, headed for a remote planet in deep space to start up a new colony. After a random unexplained explosion wakes up the crew early they find a new planet closer with the same specs they are looking for. Deciding not to go back into hyper sleep they land on this new planet to check it out. While there, they meet David (Fassbender), the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. Soon the would be paradise turns dark and dangerous when a hostile life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.

The film definitely blends together Prometheus and Alien. However not always in the best of ways. But before I go Negative let’s look at a few positives. Most notably, as with most Ridley Scott films, this one is absolutely beautiful. The set pieces and cinematography are incredibly stunning. From the opening 20th Century Fox logo to the closing credits it is just breathtaking visuals. Something that Scott has always been amazing at. As well the Alien is creepy as all hell. Some of the beast work they have ever done on the Xenomorph.

The cast is pretty serviceable. For the most part they are the generic disposable characters you would expect to see in an Alien film. However, there are a few breakouts. Michael Fassbender, obviously. Fassbender reprises his role as David from Prometheus, as well as plays the updated model of David named Walter. He does an incredible job distinguishing the two androids, yet still giving them personality. There is a scene between the two that is probably the best scene in the film. Danny McBride is the other stand out. And I was worried going into this that he would actually take me out of the film. However, he does an incredible job here, and is actually one the best most fleshed out characters in the film.

Like I said the cast other than those two is pretty basic and just serviceable. I would have liked a lot more to the cast rather than looking at them and just knowing they would all be expendable. James Franco stood out more than rest of the cast, and he is barely in the film. No one is really given any kind of an arc; they attempt to make it feel like the characters are growing, but the attempt falls flat.

The story itself is very slow. While film is in fact a true sequel to Prometheus, and a true prequel to Alien, it is also neither of them. While there is no real answers to a the questions left from Prometheus, there is also no clear set up to Alien, yet you still feel the like you are watch the sequel and prequel to both films. I assume because of the lackluster reception to Prometheus is why they went the route they did to move forward and make a true Alien film. However that leaves a lot of plot holes and questions. Also while it feels very much like an Alien film, there is a surprising lack of Alien in the film.

All in all Alien Covenant is an acceptable film. A little long and a little slow, with lack luster characters, but at the same time, some incredible visions, a few great performances, and a few amazingly intense scenes. Alien: Covenant prolyl ranks 3rd in my list of Alien Films, and I am giving it a Jeebus Score of 3.3. But what say you Jackass Nation? Have you seen Alien Covenant? What did you think? What is your favorite of the Alien franchise? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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It Is What It Is, with The Jackass! Episode 88: Alien Injustice

This week on It Is What It Is, the Jackass reviews the brand new Injustice 2 video game! He also previews The Rock and Zac Efron comedy film Baywatch, and a look back at the Alien Franchise, including the Predator Films. He also takes a few listener questions, plus the box office predictions and more!

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All You Need is Kill, on the Edge of Tomorrow

All you need is kill! Er, Edge of Tomorrow. The new film from the director of greats such as Swingers, The BOurne Identity, Mr. & Mr Smith, and Jumper, Doug Liman. Now I know what you are thinking, Tom Cruise, he doesn’t have it anymore, this looks like the same as that last crappy film he did Oblivion. But trust me, this film was marketed horribly. It’s a pretty good film. It stars Cruise Emily Blunt, and Bill Paxton. Edge of Tomorrow is based on the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill, which originally was the title, and actually a much better title if you ask me.

Cruise stars as Major William Cage, a loser spokesperson for the army, who is a the voice of the resistance against the aliens that have attacked earth. When he is forced into combat against his will, he is exposed to the aliens and develops a case of groundhogs day. Every time he dies he wakes up the day before the big battle. He meets Rita(Blunt) who once was stuck in the same situation. Together they train to fight the alien race and become the only hope for humanity.

The marketing for this film was awful. The trailers all looked terrible, there was little to no buzz around from critics or anyone who had screened the film. I went in thinking it would probably be a disappointment, but came out very entertained. Cruise has seemed to be phoning it in the last couple of films. I felt he was pretty much done as the action star. But this film shows that Cruise still has a few good action flicks in him. I am not particularly a big fan of Emily Blunt. I find her to be kind of dull. But she worked for me in this film. The chemistry between her and Cruise was phenomenal.

The story is a mix of Groundhogs Day, Aliens, and Starship Troopers. You could think it would have the possibility of getting stale and repeating itself could get boring. However, Edge of Tomorrow does a good job at changing things up and making each “reset” unique and continue the over all story. You see Cruise grow as a character and a soldier. The fact that his character knows his memories from every repeat, but Blunt’s must trust him right off the bat and she never knows how many days they have gone through certain situations.

The only issue I found with the film was the final act. After all the resets, all the work they do to set up, the battle can be kind of weak. Not enough to really hurt the film, but enough to make you think about it a little bit. Another big thing that will hurt the film is the lack of marketing like I said earlier. First off the film’s title is weak, All You Need Is Kill was interesting and exciting. Plus the negative perception of Cruise’s last outings in film will hold audiences back. Which is a shame, because this film is truly a fun time.

When it comes down to it, I gave the film a Jeebus score of 4.1, A Good Time at the theater. SO please, disregard your first perception of the film. Don’t let Oblivion, or Jack Ryan keep you away. Give Cruise another shot, and check out Edge of Tomorrow.