For those of you who follow me on social media or read this movie blog you will know by now that I adore Ridley Scott, his movies and all things Alien but in recent years I have been quite vocal on this legendary directors fall from the dizzy heights of yesteryear to churning out such ordinary movies, average affairs such as Robin Hood, The Counselor, Exodus: Gods and Kings and the pretty dismal Prometheus – I am so conflicted, the one side of me is so grateful to this legendary filmmaker for giving us so many iconic movies but the other side keeps asking the question “why does Ridley Scott continue to direct such sub par movies? take a leaf out of Tarantino and Cameron’s book, maybe direct a film every few years instead of every year?” it’s my opinion that these films will only tarnish his brilliant reputation – I really had hoped that Ridley had turned the corner back in 2015, I absolutley loved The Martian with Matt Damon this was a real return to form from a director in need of some resurection so when it was announced that a new Alien movie was in production a sequel to the dreadful Prometheus nevertheless I was pumped, excited and looking forward to maybe a new chapter in this great series of scifi indulgence…..
Sadly for me though Alien Covenant was not what I hope it would be, yes it was better than Prometheus (well that wasn’t hard now was it) and yes maybe over the last 10yrs The Martian aside it’s one of his better efforts but overall it was a big screen blockbuster that left me feeling flat, it was way too predictable, contained some shitty CGI that made the overall production feel shoddy and unpolished and although Covenant had it’s moments it’s narrative tried to over complicate things so the reasons why we loved the original movies were lost in this world, a franchise that was slowly becoming more about the androids than anything else – Ridley also thought it was a good idea to go all mystical on our asses so inserted some really strange Obi Wan moments featuring David from Prometheus, living like an old wise hermit in a cave, listening to wind chimes and blowing his flute delivering lines such as “you blow and I will do the fingering” I just found all this mumble jumble embarrassing, out of place and lacking any sort of vision, suspense and was almost laughable at times….
I am not saying that Alien Covenant as a movie is a complete disaster, for me it’s not got that Ridley Scott stamp on it – McBride and Fassbender are both terrific in their respective roles and some of the nice homages to previous movies were great to see but overall Covenant felt like a bad dream a two a penny slasher that felt like a rehash of the original movie that is desperately trying to emulate all the things that worked such as (face huggers, chest bursters, acid for blood and so on) yet delivering it all with no panach and most importantly zero tension, yeah it’s a shit load more violent than it’s predecessors but that’s nothing to be proud about, what made 1979’s Alien so damn good was it’s slow burning tension that’s gnaws away at you but with Covenant you feel nothing – most of the films undoing in my opinion is it’s lack of humanity I felt so disconnected to the crew of the ship, the characters in the movie were not developed enough so when they slowly start getting picked off I actually felt very little for them, I was numb and that overall summed up my experience with this movie at it’s finale – I just hope Ridley doesn’t out stay his welcome and he lets go of the Alien reigns and allows a new filmmaker to bring some fresh ideas to this much loved franchise ……★★★½
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created with Alien Covenant a new chapter in the Alien franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant sits down on what they think is an uncharted paradise, but slowly it becomes apparant that this world is actually a dangerous, unforgiving place of terror where it’s only inhabitant are creatures that bleed acid and want to tear you limb from limb….
The films impressive cast includes : Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, James Franco, Demián Bichir, Billy Crudup, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett and Callie Hernandez – Alien Covenant opens on May 19th
A Christmas Treat comes in all guises but this year waking up to this totally dark completely bonkers trailer was unexpected and most welcome – Ridley Scott’s Prometheus sequel ALIEN: COVENANT looks very distant compared to it’s predecessor and more like the 1979 original that started the ball rolling on one Sci-Fi’s greatest franchises and made Ridley Scott the famed director he is today – Alien: Covenant lands next year and stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollet, Amy Seimetz, James Franco and Danny McBride – here’s the official synopsis:
Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition – Here’s the official movie trailer enjoy and once again a Merry Christmas from Ridley and ourselves here at Absolutebadasses
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
Director: Bryan Singer – Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart – Synopsis: Kitty Pryde, Magneto and Professor X hatch a plan to send Wolverine back to 1973 where time can be re-written and the destruction of the Mutants by the evil Sentinels in their future world can be prevented – this plan all hinges on Wolverine persuading a young Professor X to work alongside his nemesis Magneto and stop Mystique assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask the scientist responsible for the production of the Sentinels – Verdict: finally a superhero movie with the balls for excitement, exhilarating action scenes and an ensemble cast that don’t just talk the talk it walks the walk with strides of greatness and superhero acting masterclass – Days of Future Past is one of them rare cinematic experiences that you just want to re-watch instantly – of course I’d be lying if I said that Bryan Singer’s superhero flick was without it’s flaws (and I counted several) but in the grand scheme of things does that really matter? (sorry fan boys) – Days of Future Past is easily the best in the franchise, from them opening shots of the Sentinels in a future earth ravaged by war (reminiscent of Cameron’s T2) to that mesmerizing scene with Quicksilver as he deploys his mutant energies re-arranging the angle of gun fire, you know instantly that filmmaker Bryan Singer has returned to form and created the best X-Men movie yet! – yes the time travel is slightly confusing, and yep some of the characters are slightly underused but Singer’s method of direction is pretty powerful stuff, there’s a great deal of intensity and you seem to be involved with each character a rarity for this style of movie – I also loved the introduction of new characters Quicksilver and Kitty Pryde who both get some decent screen time, QuickSilver stealing all of his scenes and also being a fan of Game of Thrones it was pretty awesome seeing Peter Dinklage strutt his stuff playing Bolivar Trask – in my opinion along with Nolan’s Batman franchise the X-Men series always tops the comic book film adaptions – why you may ask? well unlike Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers or the Spiderman franchise they don’t rely on comedy to sell it’s product to it’s audience, it’s used sparingly and when done it’s used well and not gimmicky – the X-Men series has consistently delivered a high standard script and without question they have the best set of actors of any superhero franchise – here’s four that stood out from Days of Future Past – Hugh Jackman delivering a muscular, cigar chomping swagger as the Wolverine, Jennifer Lawrence as the confident, beautiful yet deadly Mystique, Michael Fassbender’s terrifying menace as the young Magneto and Patrick Stewart’s wise and intellectual X – when aced the superhero movie on the big screen can be an absolute delight and with Days of Future Past the balance between comedy, drama, action and suspense is delivered perfectly – Overall: after the horrible Jack the Giant Slayer a big welcome back to the talented Bryan Singer who has now directed 3 of my favorite superhero movies and has whet my appetite for Apocalypse….
THE COUNSELOR (2014) – Movie Review ★★½
The Counselor stars Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz, Rosie Perez & Brad Pitt – the movie follows a lawyer knows to his friends & colleagues as The Counselor who is rich and successful yet finds himself deep in an extremely complex drug plot that involves the Mexican Cartel, some pretty unsavory characters and a middle-man known as Westray played by Brad Pitt – when the plan The Counselor’s involved with goes south he must try and protect himself & his soon to be wife after the Drugs Cartel start eliminating those who have doubled crossed them – VERDICT since 2001’s Black Hawk Down and the wonderful Matchstick Men in 2003 I have found Ridley Scott’s directorial efforts to fall between average & very poor and The Counselor sadly falls in the latter – despite containing a delicious cast and at times some incredible cinematography by Dariusz Wolski (Crimson Tide & Dark City) the film is a 2hr 18mins mixture of the bizarre, the disjointed and is amongst the dullest big screen events in the last few years – The Counselor’s memorable moments such as Diaz orgasmic moment on a car windscreen (yep that happened), the colorful outfits & delightful hairstyle of Javier Bardem & a couple of well executed be-heading’s are quickly forgotten, swept away in the nonsensical over complicated nature of the film’s script – overall The Counselor only adds to the list of recent movies that fall below the quality expected from one of cinema’s greatest filmmakers – it contains some horrible acting performances & a script by the ever reliable Cormac McCarthy who wrote No Country for Old Men and The Road that is a tiresome, sloppy, yawn-fest that contains numerous, meaningless exchanges between characters that you find awkward, cold and pretty much unlikeable – sadly The Counselor is yet another Ridley Scott disappointment so now my hopes on this great filmmaker returning to form rest firmly with his next big screen outing the biblical EXODUS that lands later this year and stars Christian Bale….
12 YEARS A SLAVE (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
12 Years a Slave stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson and Brad Pitt – Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup a free black man from upstate New York who is tricked by two con men, abducted and sold into slavery and sent to New Orleans – the film is based on a memoir written in 1853 by Northup himself and brought to the screen by the director of Shame Steve McQueen. VERDICT the last time I felt this appalled at the cruelty of my fellow human whilst watching a movie was Spielberg’s Schindler’s List – McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is one of those rare films that through all the heartbreak and unimaginable horror that’s taking place on screen, you find yourself submerged in the characters & unable to avert your eyes from it – unlike Tarantino’s dark humored Django Unchained, McQueen’s movie about American Slavery has nothing to smile about, it’s brutal, uncompromising and delivers an intense powerful history lesson to those who may have forgotten our past – along with a haunting soundtrack by Gladiator’s Hans Zimmer and a well worked script by U-Turn’s John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave is a picture driven by some courageous actors giving staggering performances, the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor playing the lead of Solomon Northup, a family man snatched and sold into slavery, Michael Fassbender who plays Edwin Epps, a cruel plantation owner who whips and sexually abuses his slaves, and Lupita Nyong’o making her feature movie debut playing Patsey – McQueen uses his directing trait of intimate camera shots, taking the viewer as close to the action as possible, you almost feel the blood spraying from the backs of the victims as they are whipped and in some of the movie’s scenes you feel like you’re watching it all in slow motion, the camera pauses almost admiring it’s shot, a fine example of this is when when Northup is hung from a tree, his feet barley touching the floor, everything is going on about him whilst he struggles with every breath to stay alive – it’s great film-making allowing the viewer to feel the intimacy & at times suffocation of that particular scene, a technique all too evident in McQueen’s previous 2 pictures behind the camera – if I was being slightly negative I would have increased the movies run time slightly but overall 12 Years a Slave is Steve McQueen’s masterpiece, a beautifully shot, uncomfortable to watch epic and one that should be watched by all….
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (2014) – Movie Stills
Directed by Bryan Singer & stars Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult & James McAvoy
“Characters from the original X-Men trilogy join up with their younger selves in a battle to change the past – to save their future”
After the brilliant Wolverine I am so amped for this latest movie featuring the X-Men – to whet your appettite until next years release here’s a bunch of new movie stills…