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Alien: Covenant (2017)
Doesn't hold a candle, but has it's own moments.
It is true Alien: Covenant is a disappointment to anyone, who truly enjoyed the original movie. Any actual suspense is alienated, when you care as little about the cast, as in this flick. Even Prometheus let us get to know it's characters, no matter how insufferable they were. This time around, save for maybe our lead actress and Danny MvBride's character, anyone feels expendable, and you can't help but root for the "bad guy" who is just about the only interesting part of the movie. The truly enjoyable factors are the cinematography, soundtrack and sound design. It is remarkable, that even after 38 years Ridley Scott can make you jump from a facehugger attack. But sadly, that may be the only creature you'll find scary in this movie. There's little subtlety about our new "protomorph" who they tend to show in fully lit environments and just out in the open, for everyone to see. There's even a scene where we see nothing else, but the creature walking and climbing to a place. It doesn't build suspense, we don't see it closing in on a character or anything, it is just there so we know how he got this certain place. It really feels everyone has stopped caring, when it comes to these creatures. And then there's the xenomorph. It shows up late to the party, and never has the presence the original had in 1979. I wonder these days if the huge suspense and spared use of the creature was only thanks to budget constrains, and "Alien" was a directorial fluke. It certainly seems so, if you look at the current works of Ridley Scott. When you see your new main heroine suspended from a rope on the side of a spaceship firing at the xenomorph with a machine gun, you just see the franchise turn into a parody of itself. No restraint, no mystery, just some lead pumped into the CGI body of a once great, cinematic monster. Aliens did it, but Aliens was never confused. An action adventure movie, with a sci-fi setting and a remarkable sense of suspense. Any scene with a motion tracker in it was pure gold. So why do I give this movie a 7\10? Because it shouldn't have been an Alien movie. Because the creationist, phylosophical side of Prometheus is back with a vengeance, and this time, we actually have some answers, and two sides to an argument. It's truly great, interesting and something we've not seen before. It's just a shame this only comes to us with the price of defiling a once great franchise. The mystery of the space jockeys was morphed and ruined last time, this time we get to see where the aliens came from, and it's underwhelming to say the least. It works great in this new canon of Ridley's, "big things have small beginnings" and all that, but if you just stop and say what happened on screen out loud, you just might see how stupid and self-serving the whole thing is. My advice? If you don't expect an Alien movie, despite all the marketing campaigns trying to convince you otherwise, you might find some genuine enjoyment in Alien: Covenant. But it is true, that this paired with Prometheus could never hold a candle to the original.
Gojira ni-sen mireniamu (1999)
Plenty of cool Godzilla movies out there. This isn't one of them.
In all honesty, I usually enjoy the campy, b-movie charm of the Godzilla movies. The great miniature work and the monster fights usually make up for nonsensical plots or cliché human characters. But nothing makes up for a boring Godzilla movie in my book. If you're making a movie about giant, fighting monsters the biggest sin you could commit is be boring. The perfectly simplistic plot still gets dragged out for most of the run time, where we're only introduced to a new kaiju in the last 30 minutes. The rest of the time we can watch Godzilla battle it out with a flying saucer. Riviting. You know your fight scenes lack any sense of emergency when all your villains basically die standing around being useless. The human characters are annoying. No one likable. The potentially charming father-daughter scientific duo never does anything besides being pretentious, self-important assholes. Honestly the movie could have been way better, have they focused on Godzilla and the monster fights. The effects (explosions, destruction of buildings, atomic breath) were great (save that flying saucer) along with the new suit. If they gave two shits about choreography or pacing the whole thing would have turned out fine. I understand that this movie was Godzilla's great return after 1995 and a lot of people may have major nostalgia for it, but in my personal experience with the franchise, there are way better flicks out there.