Alien Covenant

A Flashback to Prometheus :: The predecessor was set in the year 2089, when the scientific vessel named Prometheus decided to make a long journey to a distant moon LV-223 to find the truth behind the creation of mankind. Their ultimate aim is to find the ones called “engineers”, the humanoid aliens who are supposed to have come before humans who were created on their image. Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), a billionaire, founder and CEO of Weyland Corp is funding this journey. Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) is in charge of the expedition, and the archaeologists who found the signs for these, Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) are also part of the journey. Always helping them is the android David (Michael Fassbender). But things get messed up as they realize that there is some biological weapon at work and the engineers are dead, with some other strange creatures ready to be unleashed.

More of the Flashback :: There are just signs of what might have been a huge and thriving civilization a long time ago. But it is what lies beneath the same that bothers them more, as more and more members of the crew seems to be infected by some strange disease. Those who are not killed by one creature or the other, had to be killed due to the infection either by their own people or by creatures that came out from inside. Elizabeth herself who is sterile, is found out to be pregnant and she has to use an automated surgery table to take out a creature which has been growing fast, right from inside her. Everyone except Elizabeth and David have met with a terrible end as the movie finishes, and that includes Peter Weyland who was also in that spacecraft searching for an answer to live forever. There is only the search for that unanswered question about the origin of man that remains.

What is the movie about? :: It is the year 2104 and a certain colony ship Covenant is on a journey towards a distant planet Origae-6 with two thousand colonists and one thousand embryos aboard, all set to begin a new settement. There is an incident on the way, and affected by the solar flares, the ship sustains major damage and some beyond repair – a number of colonists are killed, and Captain Branson’s (James Franco) stasis chamber catches fire causing his death. This breaks his wife, Daniels (Katherine Waterston) who vows to stay strong despite the setback. The most senior officer in the ship, Oram (Billy Crudup) assumes the role of captain despite his own doubts about himself. But as the ship intercepts a signal which has human voice coming from a planet which is supposed to have no life, it is him who sees the need to help whoever is left on the planet.

So, what happens next? :: The new destination also seems to have a fine chance of being home to the new colony with its similarities to Earth. In their search for the signal’s location, two of the crew members are affected by an alien spore to which they make contact without knowing. One of them who reaches the landing vehicle has an alien coming off him, and the eventual result is the destruction of the vehicle. The other one has an alien coming out of him in the open space, and leads the group being attacked by more aliens from all sides, until David makes his appearance again with a gun. With his help, they contact the spaceship which responds and offers assistance in getting them back again. But there is more than what it meets the eye with David, who knows more about engineers and the creatures on the planet than anybody else, and has plans for everyone. Are they going to do humanity good or bad in the long run with necessary sacrifices planned?

The defence of Alien Covenant :: There is some nice use of darkness in this movie, and we also get to see the tale go nicely forward with hope for another sequel. We can also be sure about the presence of some nice scary moments, even though they are not that much lasting – the shower scene in which you had seen a screaming Callie Hernandez is certainly the scariest, followed by many scenes, but that creature in the end is certainly the reminder of how majestic a franchise this one is. With the performances, it is Michael Fassbender who excels as David and does a great job as Walter, with two androids being safe in his hands. Then there is Katherine Waterston, the real protagonist of this one replacing Noomi Rapace, and we hope that her character’s tale is not over with this title in the franchise, as we need Daniels to be there unlike Shaw who was gotten rid of. There are also some nice special effects to go with the same, and the creatures look great as usual – the visuals of the world also has your attention.

The claws of flaw :: We do miss the protagonist of Prometheus, and we also needed better explanations and more answers to how the creation was made. The possibilities were so much with how the earlier film had ended. There were mysteries going to come to light, and more worlds to be explored, but that doesn’t happen here. Except for the main characters, the rest are also rather less recognised, and even if some characters are intended to die early with smaller alien infections, or get into the shower and be killed by an alien later, memorable moments for all would have been better in a movie franchise which is supposed to go on and on – we need them to be distinct to know and understand when one dies, whether it is with an alien off the spine, stomach, chest or mouth. We could connect to Noomi Rapace’s character as well as Charlize Theron’s, and so being a sequel to Prometheus brings some certain damage to Covenant‘s journey, as it doesn’t build on what was left, and never tries to bring anything revolutionary to the franchise, and not even more of horror that could have been there.

How it finishes :: With a better explanation for its universe and its creatures, as well as more twists and terror from the creatures, Alien Covenant could have done even better, but it is a fine product as it is now, for it has something or the other from the previous movies of the franchise which have all entertained us in one way or the other. It has begun connecting things together, and is certain to finish the franchise some day as a complete product. As a whole, this one here is also a product that will make certain that there will another movie in the franchise, one that is even more interesting – you will know once you see how this one ends. The truth is that possibilities are endless with a franchise like this one, with the first Alien being the reason why I really developed love for alien movies when I was a child – I wasn’t born at that time, and it wasn’t the most popular movies among youth here, and so I had to wait more until I got to watch that – I hope that the next Alien movie doesn’t bring any more waiting.

Release date: 12th May 2017 (India); 19th May 2017 (USA)
Running time: 122 minutes
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Callie Hernandez, Demián Bichir, Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, James Franco (cameo)

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.


The Purge: Anarchy


Background to the franchise :: Most of you might have watched the first movie of this franchise, and other might have surely heard about it here or there. It is basically about the United States of America of another reality. Unemployment has been successfully brought to a new low. As the number of people below poverty line decreases every year, crime becomes something which is rather not known. All thanks to the Purge, which has made all crime legal with all police, fire and rescue, and hospital emergency services closed down for one night a year, for twelve hours, from seven pm to seven am – anything goes at that time period. This idea by a totalitarian party called The New Founding Fathers of America makes sure that there is catharsis, and also that there is a certain amount of population control of the poor, as the wealthy rarely become victims of the twelve hours of crime.

What is it about? :: We know from the last movie of the franchise that the most successful Purge happened in the year 2022. Here, we are in the very next year, as 2023 gets ready for the year’s big festival of brutality and chaos. It is March 21, 2023, and as the time comes closer, everyone wishes the other “Stay safe”. There are only two things to do for people, to go on a murder spree or hide themselves somewhere indoors with enough security added. At the same time, there is the anti-Purge revolutionaries hoping to strike back in defence of the poor. There is one armed police officer looking for revenge on the streets as he was denied justice by the law that he trusted, a husband and wife are left on the road with car trouble and a mother and a daughter are trying to escape from a group that captures them. The rest of the movie is what follows on the day of the Purge.

The defence of The Purge: Anarchy :: There is a lot more to this sequel than the predecessor. There is a certain expansion on what was there in the first movie, especially with the idea. The bloody images that the movie shows are extremely powerful, and this is also the first time that we get the clear view of what happens outside in the streets during the Purge instead of how it turns out to be inside one house and maximum, a neighbourhood. There is an even clearer picture what happens outside the rich neighbourhood and how the poor or even the middle class are treated during the Purge. and it moves out of the possibility of being caught in the stereotype. You can say that it better expresses what the first movie had in mind. The ending is really good too, and it is a real positive whichever way you look at it.

Positives and Negatives :: The true nature of people that The Purge: Anarchy brings is not going to be nice for all kinds of viewers. There is the loss of humanity, and the cruelty that is sponsored by the government as well as the corporates, as the wealthy also hopes to have their right to purge without risking that much. The right to life has been replaced by the right to kill – new fundamental right. So, one needs to prepare to be shocked. As things get further revealed, it is not just what is on the screen that brings the shock, but also what hides behind which is even more. It is how the whole thing is designed that has more power than what stays on the screen for the viewers to watch. It is about what might happen in many forms, and its brings that realization that all violence has a few bigger master plan that hides behind a mask. But the premise could have had even further development!

Performers of the soul :: The second part has more characterization involved, and the limitations of the first one are overcome as the Purge goes wider and with more opportunities for terror. Frank Grillo is the one who leads the way with the performance just like he did with the Purge in the movie. He played Brock Rumlow (comic book character Crossbones) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will make the grand return in Captain America: Civil War. He reminds one of Eric Bana. Zoë Soul and Carmen Ejogo nicely plays the next significant characters in the movie. The rest of the cast including Kiele Sanchez and Zach Gilford also does fine in their respective roles, but the hero still remains the theme – with the support there in the performances.

Soul exploration :: The Purge: Anarchy has a dark soul. Even without the blood and gore as some other movies, it isjust brutality in store. It has a government which allows the same, and a media which celebrates it. The wishes are for the success of the Purge as if it is a need. There are also government officials granted immunity from the horror of the pledge. It doesn’t give humanity a place. There is class divide, and it is on the blood of the lesser privileged human that the Purge thrives. It is also a reflection of the truth that basically nobody likes the other. So the basic idea is to save oneself from the other or kill the other. In case of a communal riot, it is not so different in the present world too, isn’t it? There are occasions when people descend into so much of chaos, and Purge is just an example of the same. Things only get worse when people in power need this to happen.

How it finishes :: The Purge: Anarchy is more thriller with a message rather than the horror-slasher. It nicely explores the human nature and its tendency for violence even against their own people. It shows how government joins in to take advantage of the same, and use it to their political advantage and the ease of administration. Then there are the corporate rich who hopes to take advantage of the poor, making sure that their deaths happen to the rich Purge satisfaction, as it is also an opportunity for them to become richer through selling arms and ammunitions as well as the security systems to those who can afford them. When seeing wars, terrorists attacks and communal riots, there is question of who is to blame, and there are many answers in this movie, and no, you can’t blame religion, things are much bigger than that.

Release date: 18th July 2014
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: James DeMonaco
Starring: Frank Grillo, Zoë Soul, Carmen Ejogo, Kiele Sanchez, Zach Gilford, Michael K. Williams, Justina Machado, John Beasley, Jack Conley, Noel Gugliemi, Castulo Guerra, Edwin Hodge, Keith Stanfield, Roberta Valderrama, Brandon Keener


@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.