Alien Covenant Review - White Knuckle, Pulsating Fear, A Pure Adrenalin Rush

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Alien Covenant, from TSG Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Films, presents an over the top epic space age horror story, a planet haunted from an evil past setting up the ultimate fight for survival.

Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien Covenant stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, Uli Latukefu, Tess Haubrich, and James Franco in an uncredited role.

Alien Covenant also uses the voice talent of  Lorelei King  as Mother and Goran D. Kleut and Andrew Crawford as Neomorphs. Guy Pearce and Noomi Rapace also star. The film was written by John Logan and Dante Harper with story by credits going to Jack Pagien and Michael Green based on characters by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett.

Alien Covenant opens with in contrast, a stark empty white room overlooking a lush countryside, two men, Michael Fassbender, David, a created android, speaking in methodical robotic tones and when told to move to the piano and play by his creator, Peter Weyland, played by Guy Pearce, he moves in clipped, but not disjointed movements, across the room.

Switching to our Space Station, the alarms are sounding and as we met Walter, also played by Michael Fassbender, a kinder, gentler, and physically more fluid, version of the humanoid robot, who has lifted the solar cell sails, stopping a space storm from passing over them. The ship becomes damaged in the tornado force space storm. Crew members, who are locked in pods for the trip to Origami, the planned mission site, are suddenly awakened.

The malfunction has caused pod damage and electrical shorts which we see Daniels, played by Katherine Waterston, screaming, and pounding on the pod of Branson, played by James Franco, who is unable to open the pod and the override system fails. The pod self-destructs burning him alive.

The remaining crew meet on the bridge with Oram, played by Bill Crudup, now assuming the role of Captain. Daniels, is the second in command. The other core crew members are Tennessee, played by Danny McBride, and his wife, Faris, played by Amy Seimetz; Ricks, played by Jussie Smollett, and his wife, Upworth, played by Callie Hernandez; Karine, played by Carmen Ejogo, the wife of Oram.

Due to the damage Tennessee had to perform repairs on the exterior of the ship, floating back his communication is crossed with what sounds like a melody. By the time he returns to the ship the interference passed. As the leadership has changed due to Branson's death, the crew is hyper-sensitive to any unusual sound, movement, disturbances.

The crew performs a diagnostics check, an advanced go pro style play back and hears again what sounds like a melody, a discernible and actual song. Tracing the source, the Oram, now the captain, decides on a course change to investigate the possibility of life on another planet which is essentially the mission of the team.

Over the noted protestations of Daniels, who explains Origami was the planned mission of the team, vetted no doubt by a team of specialists, scientists, and every other highly skilled professional available.

The lure of a melody, curiosity, shaken by the events and the need to prove himself seem to be all that Oram needs to make the decision and soon the landing team has touched down on what was once a vibrant, lush, living planet.

The team split with Daniel, Oram and others tracing the signal, Faris stays on the ship, Karine and Ledward, played by Benjamin Rigby, begin collection of soil, water, and plant samples.

Suddenly, Ledward steps on a pod and a puff, a spoor, a micro particle, released from a glop of gooey plant matter, travels into the air honing in on specific body temperature, and entrance, where it can rapidly gestates. Director Ridley Scott slows the film to show the micro-particle entering the ear canal.

The virus takes control quickly and within minutes Ledward is sick and on his way back to the ship with Karine.  The chaos of the breech when two crew members are rapidly quarantined with the third watching in horror as the male, reminiscent of Scott's earlier 1979 ALIENS, begins to convulse, with his back to the camera his skin is gradating through various shades of red, splitting and stretching with his spinal column protruding and shaking violently as the "thing" that has infected him is about to birth. Fluid, blood, and matter burst through his back with this small, white, hairless, vicious, alien monster emerging from the blood splattered congealment. 

Of course, this is where Alien Covenant begins in earnest.

I enjoyed this film. Granted it’s not a walk in the park or neatly complete in three acts and yet Alien Covenant is solid entertainment.

So, to say it is shocking is an understatement. Alien Covenant is an over the top and unlike any Alien film made. As I watched I admired Ridley Scott’s ability to create this masterpiece. To create worlds, which is always interesting; to build this escalating and heightened suspense, he sets the most common denominators known to man, good versus evil, in place and extracts the depth of each.

Evil, of course, with David, a Hannibal Lecter type humanoid character, is always more interesting and to see, as the audience is given access to his private chamber one can see the mind of Ridley Scott as he takes us to the deep.

The special effects are stunning, authentically sharp and morph taking on different shapes. And of course, as it is an Alien movie one can expect haunted house pop ups around every corner, and as the film moves into the second act they come in rapid succession with nail biting suspense.

Alien Covenant is also more than special effects as the crew projects genuineness. Alien Covenant is the kind of film where the talent needs to kick it up a notch, and bring the emotion in at elevated levels, which this ensemble does very well.

Alien Covenant is in your face fast action, blood and gore splatter, white knuckle suspense, shocking scenes and death all delivered with astonishing realism.

Alien Covenant opens May 18, 2017. A summer ’17 must see!

 

Haute Tease

  • 7 Health-Boosting Food & Beverage Tips to Help Shed Poor Winter Eating Habits

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With March designated National Nutrition Month now is the time to grab hold to those New Year’s resolutions with renewed resolve and begin again to follow good nutrition practices. Below are seven easy options to help sustain those healthy eating habits all year through.

     
  • HL Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Celia Kritharioti Spring/Summer 2017 Couture Collection – The Flowers of Good

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Celia Kritharioti, one of the most celebrated fashion designers in Greece, showcased her Spring/Summer 2017 Collection "The Flowers of Good," during Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week held at the legendary Ritz Hotel.

     
  • 44th Annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest Expands German Entertainment

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Big Bear Lake, California, August 25, 2014 - The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest celebrates 44 years of German style family fun and good times, weekends, September 13th - October 25th. Rated Southern California’s #1 Oktoberfest, this fall’s festival once again will expand the entertainment line-up to feature two bands from Germany and more free contests.

     
  • Romney Wins Debate; Obama Triumphs with Jobs Numbers - The Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week 40

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama and Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney sparred heavily during the first of three Presidential debates as each candidate presented his economic recovery plan and countered the oppositions misleading claims. 

     
  • Academy Rescinds Sound Mixing Nomination for Greg P. Russell On "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi"

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Upon recommendation by the Sound Branch Executive Committee, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted Thursday (2/23) to rescind the Sound Mixing nomination for Greg P. Russell from "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" for violation of Academy campaign regulations.  

Crime

  • People Video Exclusive: WATCH: Video of Marine Veteran Allegedly Held Captive at Motel for 4 Years that Led Cops to Rescue Him

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    New details are emerging in the case of an 81-year-old Korean War veteran with dementia allegedly held hostage in a Highland Falls, New York, motel room for four years by a man stealing his pension and Social Security checks.

     
  • Miami Woman Savagely Beaten Remains Comatose

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Danielle Jones, 23, a Miami, Florida caterer, is clinging to life after she was savagely beaten, bludgeoned, strangled, slashed and left for dead on Valentine's Day, which is also her birthday, by her roommate of one week that she found on Craigslist.

     
  • Two NYPD Police Officers Executed in Gangland Style Ambush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two NYPD Police Officers, in a gangland style hit, were shot at point blank range while sitting in a marked police cruiser outside the Tompkins Housing Project in Brooklyn at around 3:00pm Saturday.

     
  • New Jersey Man Free After 30 Year Sentence Murders Again

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Steven Pratt, after completing a 30 year sentence for murder, returned to his Atlantic City home to a party in his honor only to turn the festivities into tragedy with the horrific murder of his mother who planned the celebration.

     
  • Remains of Two Missing Pulled From Manhattan Gas Explosion Site

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The final two missing from last week’s gas explosion on Manhattan’s Lower East Side have been pulled from the rubble days after an alleged illegal gas tap set off a massive seven alarm inferno that killed two and injured 25.

Auto, Yachts, Jets, Real Estate

  • Beach Boy Brian Wilson Selling Vacation Home

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    After Elvis and before the Beatles, the Beach Boys were America's favorite rock 'n roll group ruling the U.S. air waves with “Surfin' Safari,” “Surfin' USA” and “Surfer Girl” and virtually creating the California beach music sound.

     
  • Ziff Publishing Family Lists Florida Mansion; Asking Tops All Markets

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    America’s elite homes get more elaborate and expensive every year. The mansion that was at the top of the price list in 2015 near Fort Lauderdale, Florida at $159 million came with its own IMAX theater, a $2 million staircase and an entry gate decorated with 22-karat gold leaf. 

     
  • Celebrity Real Estate News: Songstress Carole King’s 128 Acre Idaho Compound Hits Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Perhaps longer than any other American singer and song writer, Carole King has been a favorite of the Baby-Boom generation. Her writing and recording career began in 1958 at age 16 writing hits for a wide range of performers from Bobby Vee and Tony Orlando to Aretha Franklin and the Drifters.

     
  • Celebrity Real Estate: Fashion Designer Pierre Cardin Lists South of France Retreat; Asking Tops All European Markets

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pierre Cardin, the French fashion designer, known for his unusual designs, geometric shapes and a departure from feminine couture, was considered avant-garde inventing a bubble dress which he introduced in 1954, a decade before the modern cultural revolution.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • HL Artist Interview: Joshua Haupt, the Steve Jobs of Marijuana, Talks Epilepsy, The Cost of Weed Knowledge and The Burning Debate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    While the debate rages over medicinal marijuana in conservative states, one young man in Colorado is moving forward, with a mission. Undeterred by the challenges Joshua Haupt has partnered with several major consumer goods giants to introduce cannabis as an alternative treatment.   

     
  • San Diego Jazz Fest Features Traditional Jazz, Swing, Boogie Woogie, Rockabilly, Gospel, and Ragtime

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    San Diego, California, For Immedite Release - The San Diego Jazz Fest takes place November 26-November 30 and will feature over thirty bands and guest artists from across the U.S. playing for dancing and listening in seven venues.

     
  • Broadway's Best: Celebrating the Music of Ron Abel

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Birdland, the legendary Manhattan Jazz Club, played host for two nights only to celebrate, one of Broadway's best and Hollywood's hottest talents, composer and musical genius Ron Abel.

     
  • The Art Of Discovery - Photographs By WireImage Co-Founder Jeff Vespa

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, Ca. USA -  Jeff Vespa, co-founder of the largest entertainment photo agency in the world, WireImage and founder of Verge, will release his first monograph, The Art of Discovery, this October on Rizzoli International Publications.

     
  • BACKSTAGE PAST: The High Times of Legendary Rock Promoter Barry Fey

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BACKSTAGE PAST, the auto bio road trip from legendary promoter Barry Fey, reveals the dressing room romps of Rock n' Roll royalty from a career that spans forty years of music madness.