Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Alien (1979), More of the Gothic Same with a Crucial Twist

I love Alien; it's one of my favorite films, and has been for as long as I can remember. But why? I've often remarked how many cite the film as original, or one-of-a-kind. In reality, it's really not working with anything new and the things it changes are much smaller than one might think, with spectacular and long-standing results which speak for themselves.
Alien seems original, but wasn’t, drawing largely from classical Gothic literature. I arrived at this conclusion after watching the 1975, French, erotic version of Beauty and the Beast, when, in that film, the heroine is chased by the sexually-perverse monster through a dense, wild thicket. Vulnerable women chased by large powerful manifestations of prurient, abject sexual desire is par for the course, in Gothic literature, the monsters often, if not always, being larger and more powerful than the women being chased, and also male: phallic aggressors, much like the penis-headed creature in Alien that symbolizes rape an…

Choosing the Slain, or Victimizing the Invincible Heroine, in Alien: Covenant

Let it never be said that Alien: Covenant takes its time. It does not.
Right out of the gate Scott's latest hits the ground running and never lets up. Such is its pace that many scenes seem confusing or truncated. For instance, the early scenes with Daniels and Walter are so brief and singular as to potentially fail to resonate with audiences. These moments are unable to establish an emotional connection with those watching due to the brevity and largely-interchangeable or -anonymous quality of the cast.
Yet, this scene is a coda, which we return to at the very end. Here, the point is not to establish an emotional bond with Daniels, but rather to show us the chink in her armor, the unlikely bond she shares with Walter that David exploits, later on.
Of course, as an audience, we might go into that scene expecting the bond, but not the chink in Daniels' armor. It's important to recognize such expectations. Yet, at the same time, what the scene contains versus what we, as…

A Second Look: My Alien: Covenant Re-Review

After several months, following the theatrical release of Alien: Covenant, the film is now available on disc. I wanted to provide an updated review of the film, now that I've had some time to watch it and process what I've seen multiple times. Below is the written review, in it's entirety:



***


I was watching Alien: Covenant recently and noticed something curious—that is, the rigging arrangement for the ship, the Covenant, didn't feel particularly practical to me, given how the sail, arranged in the manner that it was, absorbed the full brunt of the oncoming solar emission.
Initially I wanted to place all the blame on the sail design, itself, given that its arrangement made the collision much more damaging that it would have been otherwise. However, the blame lies as much in the direction the solar storm was emanating from. Had it come from directly above or below the ship, I feel as though the sail, in and of itself, would have had little or no impact on the results o…

Alien Covenant, a Review

Now here is a film that I can get behind! Point in fact, I enjoyed it great deal, yet find myself standing within a curious minority as Covenant is encircled and set upon by just about everyone. This includes so-called fans of the series, who should know better but clearly don't. According to them, it's neither scary nor original enough to merit any sort of praise. I wholeheartedly disagree.
Permit me the opportunity to say that, while it isn't quite as scary as Alien, Covenant doesn't need to be; nor are its ideas, in and of themselves, anymore original than Alien's were. However, in a cinematic world overpopulated with comic book adaptations, Covenant feels uniformly refreshing to me. Let me be clear: This is a great movie in its own right, albeit for different reasons than the ones which elevated Alien and Aliens from the mire.

Covenant is a film with its own kind of structure that deviates away from Alien and Aliens, but still borrows from them. It's a da…