Sigourney Weaver has the best resume of any actress in the science fiction genre (including impressive turns in the Aliens franchise, Galaxy Quest, The Cabin in the Woods, Avatar) in addition to being one of the best dramatic and comedic actresses in Hollywood for three decades. She is THE template for a female action star for her work in Alien and Aliens, and she’s done some very covert work as a voice actor in two of Pixar’s gems (WALL-E and Finding Dory…ok, not so covert in Finding Dory). Her body of work is even more impressive than I realized when I began putting her list together and was forced to leave off things like Gorillas in the Mist or The Year of Living Dangerously that would easily make most actresses’ lists.
Continue reading Sigourney Weaver’s 10 Best Movies
Here’s my advice to you: if you’re going to go see Alien: Covenant in the theater and you have not watched Prometheus since it came out, you will be vastly better informed if you give yourself a refresher course. Now, if you hated Prometheus, that’s going to be a problem, because Alien: Covenant picks up 14 years after those events and the end of Prometheus spawns by far the most interesting parts of Covenant. The quick and dirty of my opinion on Covenant, because I am going to have to get into spoiler territory a bit, is that I think two episodes into Ridley Scott’s demystification of the origins of the xenomorphs have convinced me the entire endeavor is a mistake. Sometimes things become a lot less interesting the more you know about them (Wolverine’s origin should still be a mystery, for example). Prometheus was gorgeous, dreamed big, was massively flawed, but was admirable in its ambition. Covenant provides answers….eventually, but is criminally boring in getting to them with 75% of Prometheus‘ budget (no one will be calling this film “gorgeous”). It’s not Aliens 3 or Resurrection….but, honestly, it’s not even Prometheus. Continue reading Movie Review: Alien Covenant (2017) “Some Things Should Remain a Mystery”
Yes, as you may have surmised from the above still, if you don’t know anything about Alien…..there’s a dinner surprise that gets a bit gory. We’re under two weeks from Alien 6 (counting Prometheus), and Alien: Covenant is getting fairly positive reviews so far, but nothing like the groundbreaking science fiction that were the first two films in the series. Alien came along two years after Star Wars, and it couldn’t be more different and be in the same genre. This crew of essentially space truckers stumbles across one of the greatest, most ingeniously horrific, monsters in cinema history. The horror of the Alien isn’t just that’s it’s a pretty perfectly designed killing machine. It’s the life cycle of the creature itself. From the freaky eggs, to the “face huggers” that implant the victims in a manner that would seem to be the most disturbing part of the process until you get to the ….hatching. When the alien grows to a certain size and no longer needs its host, it simply leaves in the most direct way possible. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to sit in a theater in 1979, having no idea what this thing was, and watch this dinner scene from hell unfold. People must have been clinging to the ceiling. It’s one of the most horrifying, most shocking scenes ever filmed. And it’s not like things get better, because the next time you tend to see the buggers, they look like this:
and that tends to be the last thing you ever see.
I was not hugely impressed by the first Alien: Covenant trailer, and I thought Prometheus was a beautiful mess, so it’s a relief that the second trailer for the sixth film in the ALIEN saga (not counting AvPs) looks like a massive improvement. We all know going to the xenomorphs homeworld is going to end even more badly than going to the builders’ homeworld did in Prometheus. The only question is are qetting the Ridley Scott who knocked The Martian out of the park or are we getting his doppleganger who made movies under his name for ten years before that? Refreshingly a movie not in March, Alien: Covenant is sandwiched in-between Guardians 2 and Pirates 5 in mid-May 2017.
Continue reading Trailer Time: Alien Covenant Trailer #2 (2017) “Paying the Xenomorphs a Visit”
John Hurt may not be an instantly recognizable name to casual film fans, but everyone who has seen a fair number of movies has seen his work. He was Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter series. He was The Storyteller in Jim Henson’s wonderful and too-short-lived eponymous series. He was nominated twice for Academy Awards in 1977 for Midnight Express, and for what is probably his most indelible performance, that of the title character in 1980’s The Elephant Man. He was also the unfortunate victim in one of the most famous scenes in film history: the “chest burster” dinner scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien. He brought gravitas and dignity to every project he participated in, and I always was instantly more interested in a film when his name appeared in the credits. Hurt has an astounding 204 credits as an actor over the course of his career, rarely as the leading man. As a result, some of the best films he was in; he was barely onscreen for more than a handful of a moments. I would be lying if I said I’ve seen even a quarter of his filmography, but any movie he appeared in was better for his presence, and these are my ten best of those.
Continue reading John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies