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Thread: Alien: Covenant

  1. #201
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I kind of hated everything about it except Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender and I suspect I only liked them because they're charismatic actors.

    Spoilers below, if anyone cares about that kind of thing.

    The whole premise feels more like a magical MacGuffin than a plausible extension of the Alien universe. It was fine to think that aliens are just another evolved life-form from somewhere which travel the universe by parasitising other species. The whole, BUT NO WAIT, THEY WERE CREATED BY THE SAME MAGIC GOO THAT HUMANS CAME FROM thing feels cheap - like watching a nature documentary and having some idiot start talking to you about Gaia and energy or some shit. Felt like a massive undercut to the series' intelligence. Even the whole "we're here to find god" thing felt more like a filed trip than a landmark event in human history.

    If that wasn't bad enough, putting together an entire cast of disposable characters, with personalities ranging from insipid to annoying ("I'm a surly punkist who only cares about geology, first contact doesn't interest me") and scripting which works against the gravitas of a lot of the very dire situations ("Shall we crash our ship into that ship and kill ourselves in the process of attempting to save humanity? Better slip in some buddy comedy shit about losing that bet after all").

    About the only pleasure I got from the film came from some brilliant acting in the form of what can only be Theron and Fassbender's C-list Stockholm syndrome, added to the slight glimmer of interest from seeing the latter events match up to events from the earlier films.

    For just about everything else, I give a solid 4/10 - I might watch it again, but only if some situation required it (like a watching all the films weekend or something).

  2. #202
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I think you do the premise a disservice.

    The idea that we are engineered is not a new one but I thought it was handled quite well. The Aliens in Alien are clearly NOT travellers and are just being transported for who knows what. I had no problem with the basic premise that the Engineers are responsible for Humans and Xenomorphs, nor that they have the same DNA as us. There is clearly a Much Bigger Plan behind all their machinations and we're just children who stumbled upon Reality.

    The actors were all fine, except the punkist with his terrible logic and terrible lines. Noomi was really good, imho, but her bf was a knob. Fassbender was the standout though, and Idris was pretty awful all in all. He should stick to his normal accent.

    I think you should give it another go, just for the atmosphere.

  3. #203
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I've seen it twice. A third go isn't warranted. Alien had this kind of unspoken warning about humans not being the biggest or the baddest and that if we explore far enough, we'll stumble on something a lot more deadly.
    To its additional credit, that something wasn't something which outdoes humans by being better, but by being different and (name drop) Alien.

    It was an over-arching feeling of multiply your endeavours by x and you'll unearth something terrible.

    Prometheus wipes that away and replaces it with, it was no coincidence, these big white dudes made humans AND aliens. Completely removes the feeling of a large an inhospitable universe and replaces it with Marines vs Zerg vs Protoss. It felt cheesy, clumsy and contrived.
    Last edited by faetal; 2nd Apr 2017 at 18:16.

  4. #204
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    The Aliens in Alien are clearly NOT travellers and are just being transported for who knows what.
    That's true, but the implication in Alien was always that the Jockey race had tried to harness the aliens as a weapon and then was killed by it. The beacon wasn't an SOS, it was a warning. There's that obvious parallel that if we would try the same we would meet the same end. And that the aliens are perhaps an evolutionary antidote that keeps interstellar idiocy in check.
    But if the Jockeys created the Aliens then it's not really a parallel anymore. Chancing upon the aliens, not knowing what they are, and then trying to use them is very different from creating them and not being able to control them. In that case the Jockeys should have known everything about the aliens and still failed to contain them. It robs the aliens of their original mystery, if they were just miscalculations of the Jockeys. Instead of being this insidious parasite that is contracted through and the ultimate punishment for greed, they're just a costly mistake. That feels like a downgrade.
    Last edited by Kolya; 3rd Apr 2017 at 03:08.

  5. #205
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Nowhere does it state that the Engineers created the Aliens.

    We don't know where they got their tech from. It seems like a weapon. How do we know it's theirs? They seem to mess up with it an awful lot - maybe they got it someplace else and cannot control it. Maybe it's not tech at all, maybe it's some sort of elemental proto-life they just happen to have found.

  6. #206
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I've been hearing since day 1 that it was the Jockey's that made the xeno's as a bio weapon.

    You would think if they created them, that they'd have setup an off switch (on a biological level) of some sort.

  7. #207
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    Nowhere does it state that the Engineers created the Aliens.
    Maybe I got that wrong or maybe it was just part of some early promo, but I thought this was a premise of Prometheus. I don't really want to watch it again just to confirm though.

  8. #208
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    So the conclusion is you don't know and you're not willing to find out for yourself, but are willing to discount what I'm telling you when i just saw it again.

    Par for the course i suppose.

    Why do you even interact?

  9. #209
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Geez, or maybe he just doesn't give a shit, because Prometheus was awful. That's pretty much the consensus around here anyway.

  10. #210
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    The film being good or bad is kind of separate to the origin of the aliens though disco boy.

  11. #211
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    So the conclusion is you don't know and you're not willing to find out for yourself, but are willing to discount what I'm telling you when i just saw it again.

    Par for the course i suppose.

    Why do you even interact?
    I... did it because I love you!

    I was going to write that I accept your theory since I don't know where I got the idea from. Which is obviously a weak point to begin with.
    But then I thought someone else would confirm or deny soon enough.
    Sorry if it sounded like I started an argument and then didn't care for your reply. That's not what I meant.
    And I didn't realise that you had just watched it. Sorry.

  12. #212
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Ever since Aliens I've heard often it was the Jockey's that made them, but prior to this post I did a quick google search which brought up more questions than answers so meh.

  13. #213
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    Prometheus' opening shows the Engineers using the same pluripotential goo to unmake themselves and seed humanity, which also eventually spawns the alien. Whether the Engineers made the goo is up for debate, but the point is it cheapens the mystery of the original Alien by making everything go 'We're all connected, kumbaya!' in the subtext.

    One of the most symbolic and telling scenes in the entire movie is where they open up the Space Jockey's head and find Jason Statham's face in there. Speaks for the movie at large -- we're a bunch of narcissists. I was surprised it didn't just Michael Bay some explosions immediately after that, but to its credit, it took a bit before we got any.

  14. #214
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    So the conclusion is you don't know and you're not willing to find out for yourself...
    My conclusion is that the writers and Ridley didn't have a fucking clue themselves, which is why every speculation is as invalid as every other.

  15. #215
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Prometheus' opening shows the Engineers using the same pluripotential goo to unmake themselves and seed humanity, which also eventually spawns the alien. Whether the Engineers made the goo is up for debate, but the point is it cheapens the mystery of the original Alien by making everything go 'We're all connected, kumbaya!' in the subtext.
    I'll have to rewatch the movie again at some point, as I remember the jockey swallowing the goo (at the start of the movie), but not about the aliens and humans coming about due to him doing that.

    If so, that does indeed answer the question. Sort of. Though why him ingesting the goo would make both I'm lost on. From what I remember of Prometheus, the android gets a sample of the goo, puts that in one the guys drinks, who in turn sleeps with the female character, who in turn somehow grows the starting form of the xeno's from that, which then (once she gets it cut out of her) turns into a MASSIVE face hugger which gets the jockey, which results in the first xeno. Damn that's a long sequence to get 1 xeno.
    Last edited by icemann; 5th Apr 2017 at 06:30.

  16. #216
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    Eh? I'm not saying that the opening scene brings about both humanity and the alien, I'm saying the the movie's pretty clear about humanity coming from the Engineers, and the goo is whatever precursor MacGuffin they needed to do that.

    It's the same thing that's used to bring about the alien regardless of tortured gestation cycle, albeit with a human host -- by implication, that means all three share a base genetic compatibility, and the goo can do whatever Lindelof or whomever wanted when they needed it to, including convoluted references to Alien.

  17. #217
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Okie dokie.

  18. #218
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    There's no sense trying to make sense out of nonsense.
    It was just a bad movie.

  19. #219
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    I think it's useful in a case like Prometheus, which was very much a matter of good intentions saddled with poor execution as Thirith mentioned earlier.

    Not that it's going to help anyone do their day-in day-out better (unless there's secret critics or filmmakers lurking around), but it's helpful to cleanly articulate what works and what doesn't from our subjective frames of reference and find common ground if it's there.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 5th Apr 2017 at 07:06.

  20. #220
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    I'm not sure I agree about that. Poor execution would imply bad direction, bad acting, bad editing, or other flaws in production. Prometheus' flaws are deeper and more basic than that.

    The plot themes are tired and unoriginal:
    Humans are special because we were planted here and didn't just evolve on Earth (yawn)
    A megalomaniac is seeking immortality from his God, and (as always happens) he dies at the hands of his God instead (yawn)
    A sentient android is escaping human servitude (yawn)

    And then, we get the ALL TIME most generic one of all: some alien(s) want to destroy the human race. Why? No fucking clue. For our resources... nope. I guess they're mad at us for... I don't know. The Day the Earth Stood Still and other films used that as a basis for a morality play, but not here.

    And as we've discussed many times, the writing was terrible and the resulting characters and plot details are mostly an insult to common sense.

    I'm having a hard time seeing where good intentions went awry in execution. My impression is that the people at the front end of this production lacked talent and creativity, and the actors and people at the back end tried to make the best out of the pile of garbage they had to work with.

  21. #221
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Prometheus' opening shows the Engineers using the same pluripotential goo to unmake themselves and seed humanity, which also eventually spawns the alien.
    We don't know it's the same stuff, or if it's a tweaked version of the same stuff.

    I agree - even the writers don't know. Probably.

  22. #222
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    For me, the shitness just came from transposing a horror concept extracted from the loneliness and cold brutality of nature throuhgout the universe, to a bog standard sci-fi MacGuffin that feels like it was written on a fan fic forum.

    Then, on top of that, the execution was just terrible.

  23. #223
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2016
    Location: Trollinus Maximus
    my ancient alien sisters having beans so we can do dutch ovens on the significant others

  24. #224
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Alberta, Canada
    Oh boy, So I canít possibly claim to be the resident Alien fanboy here because there are so many of us. I have a bit of a problem though, in that I obsess over this IP no matter how terrible it gets.

    Iíve been going through some crazy personal .. stuff.. the last few months and I have not had much of an active role in any of my online communities. SO I missed this entire thread and I just read all 9 pages of it so I could catch up and see what everyone else said before I throw in my 5 cents. (I never do that, even on TTLG, too much reading. You guys talk so much, I love it despite the spats we get into sometimes).

    So here goes. I was keeping a mental list of things specific people said, but now that Iím writing Iíve mostly forgotten, so Iíll just address the talking points.

    Talking about themes of the engineers creating life, whether human or Xeno, making the creatures seem so uninteresting because of the koombaya factor actually is very interesting to me for a couple of reasons. In response to the question about whether or not the jockeys would have put a biological killswitch (lysine deficiency?) into the xenos I think becomes a moot point when you look at it through this weird DNA resequencing thing that Prometheus introduced. ďLife finds a wayĒ right? (TWO Jurassic Park references in one post. Iím surprised nobody had ventured there yet) And if the Xenos, why not humans as well? Itís interesting in the Creator/Created dynamic that the createe in both instances has managed to surpass the creators ability to control it. Prometheus gave them a big headache when they exploded their plans to finish the mission to destroy earth. And itís obvious that the Xenos have also out grown whatever controls were placed on them. Humans and Xenos have both overcome the Lysene problem. I find this thematically interesting.

    I loved the 3 original movies, and I get into debates all the time about which is better. I want to explain why I love Alien 3 so much, and I think it mirrors some things that Kolya (I think) said about it being Riplyís descent into Hell.

    Why do the aliens want to kill people? Why is that clichť so hammered on? I like to think they are just Animals. They have an instinct, and the instinct of most biological life forms is procreation, so why not? All the body horror stuff is important in crafting a narrative for us to feel scared or uncomfortable while watching, but in the end, to me, the Alien is just a piece of Tofu. Tofu is a chameleon that will taste like whatever you cook with it, right? The alien is just an animal that we project our own fears and insecurities onto. We can debate this next part, and Iím not claiming to be correct, but nobody else in this thread as really touched on this idea, so Iíll go ahead and try.

    Alien, it was a rapist. For obvious reasons with Kane and introducing us all to that idea of having our body violated. Due to its behavior in that situation it would seem like a mugger waiting in a shadow for you, or a rapist. Thereís been questions about whether or not it literally sexually assaulted Lambert before it killed her because of the sounds we hear in the movie.

    Aliens, it was a soldier. Obvious, I donít think I can really talk about that much. 2 Armies fighting a battle. There was a social order introduced with the queen giving orders to the warrior aliens, but I donít think thatís something to delve too deeply into in the context of that film or the franchise as a whole. Animals do the same thing.

    Alien 3, it was a demon, it represented temptation. This is far more obvious I think in the recut version, because you see a bit more of the religious stuff, but it I think we look at the religious part a bit too much, and we should focus on what it does to motivate the inmates. In the original Ward idea, they were monks right? Ripley was a temptation to them which disrupted their serenity. Itís the same with the inmates. They are horrible men who have found peace, not because of religion or Dillonís ďgod squadĒ, but because they have found a place where their baser instincts do not plague them, and they find companionship in each other, even as flawed as it is. The Alien represents this demon that is killing them because of the break in their serenity, because of the tempations they feel and in some cases, act upon. Itís divine retribution, and thatís how many of them feel about it. But in the end, itís just the Alien, doing what it does. Itís personality is just tofu.

    I am enjoying this new premise based on the slasher aspects of the film. The nice thing is that each director has been a bit ambiguous about the minutiae of the science and biology involved. We hear all those sex noises from Lambertís interaction with the alien, but donít see it and itís never explained. We see Dallas being converted into some sort of gooey egg and Brett already mostly gone, but itís never explained. We explicitly see the queen alien and the life cycle, but itís in contradiction to the deleted scene from Alien, as well as the unexplained events at the end of Alien: Isolation. You know what Iím talking about if youíve played it but I wonít spoil it here.

    Itís obvious that the proto-hugger and proto-alien in Prometheus are not exactly what we expect, however in the trailers for covenant you see both the proto-creatures, and the Alien we already know.

    More ambiguity I guess. But honestly, despite the McGuffins, I prefer the ambiguity and confusion over the Arc that Cameron started. I love Aliens, but I hate it at the same time. Because Newt really did have to die, and so did Hicks, if we werenít going to just get more Aliens clones going forward. One look at what Dark Horse offers for the comics will prove me right. Somebody mentioned GITS, the endings of the Anime and the live action movie illustrate this dilemma for me. I wonít spoil it but the ScarJo movieís ending is nowhere near as impactful as the Anime, and I feel like if all we got from Alien movies was whatís in those comic books, we might as well call the franchise the Pulse Rifle franchise instead of the Alien franchise.

    Iím not saying Prometheus didnít suck. But AVP1&2 certainly did because they didnít care about any thematic progression, it was just an excuse to get the aliens to fight each other. And in the end Iíve found that as Iím getting older, having had these movies in my VCR and DVD player my entire life, I prefer to forget about the one liners of Hudson and Vasquez, and focus on the musings of Ash when we was talking about delusions of morality.

  25. #225
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Just read a theory that the Engineers have two factions - creators and destroyers.

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