Alien: Covenant (2017) Movie Review

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[Credit: 20th Century Fox]
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Alien: Covenant follows the crew of a ship bound for a colony planet who land on an uncharted planet and make a terrifying discovery. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and Demián Bichir and is directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner, Alien).

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

Ridley Scott is at it again proving that age truly is nothing more than a way to receive discounts at your local restaurant and/or theatre. Alien: Covenant serves as a sequel to 2012’s Prometheus and prequel to the beloved 1970s classic, Alien. The film features a ridiculously fantastic performance by one of my favourite actors working in Hollywood today, Michael Fassbender, who manages to flawlessly execute dual roles while staying true to each respective character. His characters beliefs contrast each other and watching him work off himself is just wonderful to witness.

There is a sense of camaraderie between the characters on the ship, however I really only enjoyed watching only a handful of them on the screen. Danny McBride and Katherine Waterston were both pretty brilliant, the others served their roles respectably but there were times when even I wanted to see one or two (or four) of them be mauled by a xenomorph.

The sense of dread felt throughout Covenant is why I enjoyed it as much as I did. I felt a deep connection with Waterston’s character and particularly with Fassbender’s character from Prometheus, David. Since they both hold conflicting ideologies, I loved the back and forth I faced with myself because there is truly nothing better than when a film challenges me… For the curious, by the end of the film I was rooting for David. Yes, I am officially Robert DeNiro‘s character from Goodfellas.

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[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

There were a couple horror tropes sprinkled throughout that made me roll my eyes and included SPOILER a couple fucking in the shower while the predatory figure looms over. END SPOILER. I also do wish they focused more on the beliefs that David was attempting to argue, however I understand their decision to place emphasis on the typical horror aspect of it since there were other enjoyable components (like the gloriously blood-filled sequences) that appealed to the mass audience.

There were some great scares featured in the film with a few of the scares pertaining to the dumb choices made by some of these crew members. The idea of intelligent individuals traveling down to a foreign planet is essentially the entire idea behind the various Star Trek incarnations and they are executed virtually flawlessly. The Covenant crew members are clearly intelligent because they are responsible for these thousands of colonists, however certain decisions made by them made me think “really, guys?”

| Life (2017) Movie Review |

MAJOR SPOILER Can someone please explain to me how the ever-living fuck David managed to (I assume) kill Walter? The brief shot of the knife simply doesn’t make logical sense because Walter overcame that one moment where we think David killed him. Did he stab him in the eye? Does he have an on/off switch that David utilized? It doesn’t make any goddamn sense! END SPOILER

How Were The Other Aspects Of ‘Alien: Covenant’?

Captain Obvious checking in here: I thoroughly enjoyed Scott’s direction of the film. His creeping through the corridors and occasional perspective switches were brilliant. Having the crew members attach GoPros to their backpacks was such a small yet clever inclusion. Nothing is more terrifying to me than deep space and the occasional shots in space got to me. As this is the first Alien movie I have ever watched – such a blasphemous comment, I know – it kept me entertained and encouraged me to watch at least the first two original Aliens and quite possibly Prometheus despite the less-than-stellar reaction for it… Not to mention the fucking terrible Charlize Theron moments when she DOESN’T ZIG ZAG! ALWAYS ZIG ZAG!!

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[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

If you’re intrigued by the Alien franchise and want to watch a sci-fi thriller on a random rainy day, check out Alien: Covenant.

Alien: Covenant receives 3/5 Matt Damon heads.

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Assassin’s Creed (2016) Review

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‘Assassin’s Creed’ | 20th Century Fox
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Based on the popular video game franchise, Assassin’s Creed tells the muddled story of career criminal, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) who must help the Templar Order find the Apple of Eden, an object that controls free will and can stop violence somehow, by delving into the memories of his ancestor who was an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition. The film also stars Marion Cotillard, Michael K. Williams and Jeremy Irons and is directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Macbeth).

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

Let me preface this by saying I was a massive Assassin’s Creed fan way back when. I bought and played the shit out of the first game, Assassin’s Creed IIBrotherhood and the fourth installment, Revelations. My love for the franchise kind of fizzled by the time Assassin’s Creed III-present titles rolled out so I can’t speak to the enjoyment factor of those latter installments.

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Thanks, Wikipedia

The mythology and atmosphere of the Assassin’s universe, particularly in those first few games, is so rich and vast that you would really have to go out of your way to mess it up.. This film adaptation of Assassin’s Creed manages to go out of its way to mess it up. I genuinely do not know why they wouldn’t just make an adaptation based on that very first game with Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad and Desmond Miles. Certain fans of the game may be butthurt for a quick second if the filmmakers choose to follow the game along exactly, then immediately forget, and regular moviegoers who have never played the game will become immersed in this incredible world; bottom line is you will make money regardless, movie studio. The game certainly isn’t perfect, however it has a set universe with an intriguing premise and is gorgeous looking… Also the occasional fantastical glitch:

Studios want to make an “original” take on it with new characters? Eh okay that’s fine, but by starting fresh you need to ensure you have characters that viewers can connect to and possess certain traits that make them a distinct personality. Virtually every single character in this is the same. effing. person… A one-dimensional paper cut out entity that manages to have some of the best actors in the business portraying them! The baddies during the past were all disposable and had bad haircuts. The Assassins are these looming figures that are apparently willing to die for the Creed and they constantly tell you that they will die for it yet during a scene when such a prospect arises, the actions of the characters do not line up with the bullshit they’ve spewing the whole movie and it truly deterred from these characters you didn’t care about anyway. I probably would have at least respected them more if they practiced what they preached.

The Present-Day Characters Weren’t Any Better…

The modern incarnation of the Templar Order is the boogeyman that mooches off living in your closet that is evil for the hell of it. Jeremy Irons was reduced to being a stagnant figure throughout the film that only stares lovingly at computer monitors. Cotillard single-handedly made this year’s Allied watchable and having her talents combined with Fassbender’s could not save their terribly one-note characters. These two are some of the best actors working in Hollywood today, yet they had absolutely nothing to work with here. Even with all going against them, I enjoyed watching their scenes together since they do possess a lovely chemistry together. There were others present in the same Abstergo facility as Lynch but they are just so underdeveloped that you genuinely do not care about any of them or what happens to them. I wish the only issue with this film were the characters but unfortunately, it’s not…

How Were The Other Aspects To Assassin’s Creed?

There were times when this movie felt like it was directed by two different people; there were the grand, sweeping epic shots that incorporated the eagle, an animal held to the highest regard in the game franchise, and I genuinely loved these shots. I loved the incorporation of the eagle and just how beautiful certain sequences looked aesthetically. That is where I could spot the Justin Kurzel who directed Fassbender and Cotillard masterfully in the 2015 adaptation of Macbeth… Unfortunately these shots do not make up the majority of the film. Assassin’s Creed is another example of the seventy quick cuts for the same shot because execs probably believe this heightens tension because of how fast paced it is. There are hints of some incredible fight choreography work and chase sequences that endure the shaky cam plague that engulf many action films.

THIS ^ DOESN’T CREATE SUSPENSE.

The dialogue is just.. So bad in Assassin’s Creed I have no other words for it. There is an instance where Fassbender has one hand on Cotillard’s neck and slams the other hand on the adjoining wall then declares, “ Don’t… Mess With Me…” What? Why is this here? There is also a major issue with the whole point of the film that no character can accurately justify. They seem to say the first thing that pops into their head in order to justify having a movie and it just doesn’t work: they glide past how they brought Lynch to the facility in the first place because if they had technology that BRINGS PEOPLE BACK FROM DYING, I’m sure the government would like to know how they developed such a thing. Character motivations are all out of whack and they just go with the flow with whatever shit sticks to the wall. They also skid by the idea that this thing has the power to somehow control free will… Free Will. You can’t bring up the Apple from Bible and say, “welp. That’s all, folks!” and if you do, the film needs to have way more going for it in order to suspend my disbelief that much.

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‘Dumb And Dumber’ | Warner Bros.

There are also a few scenes that lingered much too long and easily could have been cut down a peg or two. One scene could have been cut entirely and that is the 10 or so minutes at the beginning of the film that introduces Callum as a child. A major aspect of the whole film is just reiterating what we saw in that scene! If they were to have cut it out completely, it would have made no difference at all except maybe make me and a couple other viewers happier they can leave sooner.

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In my humble opinion, Assassin’s Creed is not the great video-game-to-film adaptation we’re looking for. It is a beautiful mess of a picture that wastes the talents of a ridiculously amazing cast and cannot justify the silly ideas being brought to the forefront.

Take A Leap Of Faith With These Other Reviews…


Assassin’s Creed receives 1.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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Inglourious Basterds (2009)

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Bridget von Hammersmark: I know this is a silly question before I ask it, but can you Americans speak any other language besides English?

Starring: Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa, Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark, Eli Roth as Donny Donowitz and Michael Fassbender as Lt. Archie Hicox, dirs. Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth.

gif source: all-that-is-interesting
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Cinematographer: Robert Richardson (JFK, The Aviator, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight)

The Light Between Oceans (2016) Movie Review / 100th post!

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If I could sum up this movie in one word, it’d be “mesmerizing”

The Light Between Oceans is the film adaptation of the 2012 M. L. Stedman novel and tells the story of Tom & Isobel, portrayed by Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander respectively, a lovely couple who live in virtual isolation on a small island complete with a lighthouse, occasional visits for sustenance, and a whole lot of rain & wind. When a baby washes ashore, they are faced with the prospect of raising this child and the consequences that may incur.

I was able to catch an advanced screening of this film last Wednesday (the 24th) and have not been able to speak about it until now. I have not been able to get this movie out of my head… I think The Light Between Oceans may just be my favourite film of the year. There are many examples of film where the style overtakes the substance and you’re left with a great looking surface-level movie that is a hollow shell of a picture. TLBO is one of those rare masterpieces (I’m going there!) where the beauty of every shot is not the only thing the film has to offer. The story is so enthralling and downright heartbreaking at times; I honestly could not control all the emotions coming out of me. There are instances where you will find yourself giggling and audibly “aw!”ing one minute, then busting out your ugly Tobey Maguire crying face the next.

The combination of a fantastic script, phenomenal locations, brilliant directing by Derek Cianfrance, who helmed Place Beyond the Pines and everyone’s favourite Valentine’s Day movie Blue Valentine, and the addition of incredibly fleshed out, well-developed characters is one of the best surprises I have ever had in the theatre. The film is an epic moving journey with a complete beginning, middle & end and you may find yourself attached to the characters moreso than you imagined going in.

Now for the two standouts in this incredibly beautiful film, Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander. Holy dickens these two were outstanding and I am just happy I was able to watch a film with two of my current favourite working actors… Just look up the word “amazing” in the thesaurus and all those terms pertain to both of them. Fassbender portrays the quiet and brooding yet unbelievably strong figure torn between the hardest of rocks & places brilliantly and Alicia Vikander… I swear this woman can honestly do no wrong. Her portrayal of Isobel is so phenomenal that I’m not able to place it in words. Every feeling she emotes, every movement she does is quite honestly, flawless. She is able to encapsulate the immense fears and fantastical joys her character has and THAT is called motherfucking acting, man. I cannot compliment her enough on this role; she nailed everything about her character just as well as Ellen Burstyn did in Requiem for a Dream. That is how incredible this woman is… And the chemistry these two leads have? Fuggetaboutit, dude. There’s a reason they are together in real life. If they didn’t fall in love during filming this then their acting is greater than I can comprehend. The spellbinding Rachel Weisz owns her portrayal of Hannah immensely and manages to emote all the subtle nuances that consist of her character. This movie has an Oscar-calibre cast and they live up to it, let me tell you.

Can I also just say something about the aesthetic of The Light Between Oceans? Every single frame of this movie can serve as a disgustingly beautiful screen saver. Cianfrance knows how to frame shots and when to use those uncomfortably close close-ups that encourage his actor to utilize the subtleties of the human face to illustrate what they are feeling at that moment without saying one piece of dialogue. He manages to showcase this grandiose landscape to feel larger than life at one point, then turns around and makes it feel like the most miniscule point in the world. He does that to your emotions as well.

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If I sit here… If I just sit here

I can see why some would feel a little turned off by the romantic aspect to it; however it is so much more than a simple man-meets-woman-and-they-fall-in-love-because-like-cancer-or-something-will-kill-someone type thing. It honestly surprised me how a little bit of mystery and intrigue were thrown in there, a sprinkle of war-time themes for taste and a heavy dash of fantastic storytelling engulfed The Light Between Oceans and you were left with a delicious picture you want to consume all over again… Although I probably will need to wait awhile to watch it again. Maybe like for Saturday or something.


If you’re looking for a romantic epic with characters you will feel emotionally connected to and love giving your eyes the occasional feast to… feast on, check out The Light Between Oceans. It is one of my favourites of the year and Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are allowed to come over for dinner anytime.
(clothing is optional, of course)

The Light Between Oceans receives a coveted 5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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s/o to scene creek & gofobo for the advanced screening tickets!
image links: indiewire, youtube trailer [1][2] & [3]… Also googling “tobey maguire crying face gif”

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Macbeth (2015)

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Macbeth: If we should fail…
Lady Macbeth: We’ll not fail.

Starring: Michael Fassbender as Macbeth, Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, Paddy Considine as Banquo, David Thewlis as King Duncan and Sean Harris as Macduff, dir. Justin Kurzel.

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Cinematographer: Adam Arkapaw (Lore, Assassin’s Creed, The Light Between Oceans)

Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel have teamed up for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed adaptation.. So just incase you need another reason to become super hyped, you’re welcome.

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X-Men: First Class (2011)

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Erik Lehnsherr: Excuse me, I’m Erik Lehnsherr.
Charles Xavier: Charles Xavier.
Logan: Go fuck yourself.


Starring: Michael LadyBonerKing Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, dir. Matthew Vaughn.

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Cinematographer: John Mathieson (Kingdom of Heaven, Gladiator, The Man from UNCLE)

Shame (2011)

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Sissy Sullivan: What is this shit you put on your hair?
Honestly, it’s awful.
Brandon Sullivan: Shampoo.

Shame (2011) features one of my favourite sequences in film.
When Brandon jogs through the streets of New York in one continuous tracking shot.


Starring: Michael Fassbender as Brandon Sullivan, Carey Mulligan as Sissy Sullivan, Nicole Behaire as Marianne, dir. Steve McQueen

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Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt (Hunger, 12 Years a Slave)
cinemagraph: tech noir