Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events of 2012's Prometheus. And while this film carries on with the bigger themes about creation and identity, at its heart it actually has much more in common with the film in which he kicked off the franchise, 1979's Alien. Yes, this is a horror movie. It's slickly made and packed with engaging characters, and it gets gruesomely scary too.
The setting is somewhere in space in 2104, as the colonising ship Covenant carries a few thousand sleeping earthlings to a new world, tended to by the android Walter (Michael Fassbender). Then a space flare awakens the 15-person crew, and they hear a rogue radio transmission from a nearby planet that's eerily perfect for colonisation. Captain Oran (Billy Crudup) thinks it's worth checking out, potentially shaving seven years off their journey. First officer Daniels (Katherine Waterston) isn't so sure. But off they go, exploring the spectacular mountainous terrain, where they find a crashed ship and a city populated only by the Prometheus' android David (also Fassbender) and some creepy, acid-salivating creatures that he has something to do with.
The plot plays out like a slasher movie, as the crew members are picked off one by one, starting with the ones we don't know and building up to the starrier cast members. Each main actor gets to invest some back-story into his or her role, establishing relationships and personality quirks that hold the interest. Waterston is clearly the protagonist from the start, grieving over the death of her husband (James Franco in video clips) and showing natural leadership skills. Crudup is the impulsive captain who mellows into someone much more intriguing as the story progresses. And McBride has the other standout role as a tenacious pilot. But of course it's Fassbender who walks off with the film, excelling in scenes in which Walter and David engage in a kind of twisted bromance with nasty sibling-rivalry undertones.
Continue reading: Alien: Covenant Review
Ten years after the disastrous expedition that was Prometheus, another group of space explorers band together on the ship Covenant, hoping to uncover a previously untrodden paradise. Among them are Daniels, an expert in terraforming, and Walter, a synthetic android who looks like a replica of David though much more advanced. Unfortunately, the paradise they hoped for doesn't exist and instead they bump into David himself who is 'living' in a world full of terrifying creatures. The face huggers are back, the xenomorph is definitely back, and there is a sickness that threatens to engulf them all.
Perhaps a dark prophecy of what's to come lies in the 'Last Supper' clip, where one of the crew members, Faris, starts apparently choking on her food as the pilot jokes, 'The food's not that bad'. The scene and the words themselves hearken back to the famous chestburster scene from the original 1979 film, where Kane suffers a grisly alien attack during the final meal before cryostasis. Thankfully, this time was just a minor choking incident, and Walter was on hand to save his team member.
'Alien: Covenant' is the second part in the new prequel series for the franchise, and the sequel to 2012's 'Prometheus'. Directed by the Oscar nominated Ridley Scott ('Blade Runner', 'The Martian') with a screenplay by John Logan ('Penny Dreadful', 'Spectre'), it has already made 7th place in the Most Anticipated Films of 2017 in the Indiewire Critics' Poll. The trailer features a sensationally eerie cover of Nat King Cole's 'Nature Boy' by Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora, and the film is set to be released on May 19th 2017.
There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game into a movie using a rather corny plot. But the film is so random that it can't help but get the audience laughing. Youngsters will be delighted by the brightly coloured wackiness, while adults will chuckle at the steady stream of grown-up visual and verbal gags, many of which are frankly surprising to find in a children's movie.
It's set on the isolated Bird Island, where the residents have never learned how to fly and believe they are the only life in the sea. In their tight-knit community, Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is an outcast because of his too-independent thinking. He's ordered to take anger management classes with groovy guru Matilda (Maya Rudolph), where his fellow students are the hyperactive Chuck (Josh Gad), the hulking Terence (Sean Penn) and the explosive Bomb (Danny McBride). Then a pig named Leonard (Bill Hader) arrives on the island, introducing new technology like sling shots and trampolines and planning a big party. But of course he has a much more nefarious intention that only Red can see. In need of help, Red takes Chuck and Bomb in search of the mythical Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), the only bird on the island who can fly.
There's a slightly nagging sense that Donald Trump wrote this script (it's about a guy who's ignored as he obnoxiously shouts about the dangers of letting strangers into the community, then is proved right). But the film is so utterly ridiculous that it's impossible to take this rather dodgy theme seriously. What's even more odd is how much of the humour is aimed at grown-ups, including innuendo, puns, gross-out gags and unexpected violence, most of which will go over young viewers' heads. But it's so unfocussed that the only response is to laugh in disbelief that someone thought a joke so near-the-knuckle was appropriate for a kids' movie.
Continue reading: The Angry Birds Movie Review
Angry Birds Movie is a screen adaptation from the popular game in which we follow the journey of its main protagonist Red's (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) life from him being bullied at school to his feelings of exclusion in later life. The film is set on an island that is populated with flightless birds whom are mostly happy with their life on the island except Red who suffers with keeping his temper under control.
Continue: Angry Birds Trailer
Frank is a hot dog Wiener who's packed into a vacuum seal bag with all his closest buds, Brenda is a hot dog bun who is also bagged up with the other ladies in the Glamour Buns pack. Since being stored on the supermarket shelf, Frank and Brenda have known that they're meant to be, now all that has to happen is their new owner picks both packets to take them home for their happily ever after.
As luck would have it, a lady picks them both up and it seems like their dream is coming true, little do the food items actually know what happens to them when they get to their new home; they're pealed, boiled, grated and roasted to death before being eaten. Now Frank is on a mission to bring the truth to the other consumables in a bit to make the horror stop.
Sausage Party is an R rated CG animation.
Red lives on a sun-kissed tropical island full of plenty of other vibrant flightless birds. And while all of his friends and neighbours seem to be enjoying life, he is having a far less enjoyable time. He's just extremely quick to anger, very slow to forgive and struggles to be friendly to just about anyone. Thus, he is forced to undergo anger management therapy to control his emotions before his hostility really gets out of hand. On attending his first group session, he meets the fast-talking faster-moving Chuck and the shy but quick to explode Bomb and together they attempt to conquer their stress. But upon the arrival of some suspicious looking pigs led by Leonard, Red and his new friends are the only ones who seem to be suspicious of their unlikely visitors.
Continue: Angry Birds Trailer
Sometimes, life can really take a turn when you least expect it. For one man, things about to go completely off the rails. Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) has been a tour manager for some of the greatest rock bands of all time, and his latest project is about to stir up something special. After becoming the tour manager for a young woman (Zooey Deschanel), he informs her that they are putting on a show in Afghanistan. Terrified, she runs away after they arrive, taking Lanz' wallet and passport with her. Now, stuck in Afghanistan, Lanz is forced to do what he can to find a way home, while doing what he can to enjoy the rocking lifestyle he has come to know and love along the way.
Continue: Rock The Kasbah Trailer
Things have been tough for Brian (Bradley Cooper). Having been fired from the US Air Force for his cockiness, he lost his girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams) by a chain of events he doesn't fully understand himself. But when he is recalled back into service by a boss that has a soft spot for him, Brian discovers that his life has to get an awful lot more complicated before it can get simpler. Tasked with overseeing the launch of a weapons satellite from Hawaii, Brian is put in charge of training Allison (Emma Stone) to be both a good pilot, and a valuable member of the air force. But as he begins to reconnect with Tracy, Allison begins to fall for him, leading to Brian having to truly figure out once and for all, just what it is that he wants.
Continue: Aloha - Teaser Trailer
With the potential to earn a quick bit of cash here and there, Don Verdean (Sam Rockwell) turned to the life of a "Biblical archaeologist", uncovering and selling works of art and pieces of Biblical history. As he starts to fabricate and lie his way through his 'adventures', Verdean acquires the help of a church that announce their intentions to bankroll his expeditions and help him do whatever he wants to in his quest to find and return The Holy Grail. With the potential of being found out and exposed, Verdean is forced to think inwardly about what is truly most important to him.
Continue: Don Verdean - Clip
James Franco makes his directing debut with this ambitious adaptation of William Faulkner's notoriously downbeat novel. No surprise: it's extremely grim! It's also a bit too cleverly shot and edited to tell the tale from each character's perspective, which means there's no central point to draw us in emotionally.
The story takes place in rural Mississippi in the early 20th century, where the Bundren family have surrounded Addie (Grant) on her deathbed. Her children are all nearby: daughter Dewey Dell (O'Reilly) stays by her side, Cash (Parrack) saws timber for her coffin, Jewel (Marshall-Green) rides his precious horse to clear his mind, and Darl (Franco) tries to keep everyone happy, including youngest brother Vard (Permenter). But their dad Anse (Nelson) has promised to bury Addie in Jefferson, a three-day journey away. And as they painstakingly make their way across the countryside, each of them has a personal issue to deal with along the way.
All of the characters get a chance to narrate part of the film, which lets us see their inner thoughts and dreams and understand the secrets they are hiding from each other. Along with Franco's use of split screens to show scenes from multiple angles, this essentially makes us all-seeing witnesses to the story, unable to dive in and engage with the raw emotions that are churning around everyone. The film is beautifully shot and acted with real soulfulness, but it also feels eerily dispassionate about these fragile people.
Continue reading: As I Lay Dying Review
Date of birth
29th December, 1976
Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...
Ten years after the disastrous expedition that was Prometheus, another group of space explorers band...
There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...
Angry Birds Movie is a screen adaptation from the popular game in which we follow...
Frank is a hot dog Wiener who's packed into a vacuum seal bag with all...
Red lives on a sun-kissed tropical island full of plenty of other vibrant flightless birds....
Sometimes, life can really take a turn when you least expect it. For one man,...
Things have been tough for Brian (Bradley Cooper). Having been fired from the US Air...
James Franco makes his directing debut with this ambitious adaptation of William Faulkner's notoriously downbeat...
Comedies don't get much more self-referential than this film, in which a bunch of old...
Addie Bundren is on her deathbed in the Mississippi town in which she lives with...