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  #241  
Old 05-19-2017, 02:12 PM
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So David may indeed have 'loved' and held Shaw in high regard but certainly not enough to dissuade him from using her remains to further his goal of wiping out humanity.
Fucking robots, am I right
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  #242  
Old 05-19-2017, 02:24 PM
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Fucking robots, am I right
Verb or adjective?
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  #243  
Old 05-19-2017, 03:14 PM
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So the xenomorphs exist solely to eliminate humanity because we're the most important thing in the universe amirite
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  #244  
Old 05-19-2017, 03:39 PM
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Not a fan, but dear lord, this sounds lame.
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  #245  
Old 05-20-2017, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Kairu View Post
In flashback we see David intentionally releasing the mutagen to destroy the Engineers when he arrives. I can't imagine Shaw would have allowed this genocide to happen so she was likely dead already, though whether David killed her or she died in some other manner is left ambiguous, as David never explicitly confirms she died by his hand. Shaw's body does make a grisly appearance as part of David's genetic engineering laboratory where he has dissected/preserved/studied it in a kind of shrine. So David may indeed have 'loved' and held Shaw in high regard but certainly not enough to dissuade him from using her remains to further his goal of wiping out humanity.
I liked Alien Covenant, but I like Prometheus more. Covenant has its moments and I like the film. For me, both ideas and execution are stronger in Prometheus.

I got the impression that David put the alien mutagen in Shaw to gestate. That is why her chest burst open. Like the other crew members some alien creature burst out of her. But I could be way off base. Shaw is in it very little.

Fastbender's David/Walter is an interesting character. I think he adds to the Alien universe. But good god, the ending David reveal was lazy. Walter and David fight and the audience does not see the outcome. Only one of them makes back to the Covenant. Did anyone think it would not be David? I did like the that the cabin story was the reveal. But I think the reveal could have been handled much better than it was.
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  #246  
Old 05-20-2017, 11:40 PM
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It was okay!

Re: Shaw and the origins, I think David did love Shaw and was also completely insane. He used her as part of, if not the key to, his selective breeding program to create his magnum opus. To him, that was love. When it finally came to fruition, he even played a song in her memory.

Re: The Ending. It was David all along! was the laziest, stupidest bullshit they could possibly have done. For one, it was Blindingly Fucking Obvious and they didn't fool anyone for a goddamn second. For another, it absolutely neutered Walter as a character, which is a huge wasted opportunity, and makes for the the least thematically interesting and resonant option of several much stronger very easy options they had.
Walter should have killed David there, absolutely, no questions asked.
BUT then they had two options.

One: The ending is exactly the same, but it WAS Walter; David had convinced him after all. This lets Walter have an actual arc or development instead of being cast aside.

Two: For the split-second I thought it might have been Walter instead of David after all, I thought he was watching to see what would happen,
viewing the fight between the Alien and the remaining crew as a test of David's ideas, testing his own emotional reactions or the worthiness of humanity vs this new superior creation. This could lead to a different ending,
or to the same ending.


Thematic stuff: I found it interesting that so far as I could tell the entire crew was comprised of married couples, even the blink-and-you'll-miss-it gay couple. This idea of pairing finds a perverse mirror in David and Walter, and David's failed attempts to bond; he used Elizabeth in an experiment, which is again a perversion of love as procreative impulse. He kissed Dani, asking "is this how it's done?" in a thankfully-not-followed-through-on rape. He also kissed his own brother/son/clone/double (Just like my Fassbender/Fassbender OTP fanfiction!!!). He has a deep misunderstanding of coupling, of bonding, and this perversion of what I think is presented as "normal" creation is reflected in his own creations as parasitic host-killing monstrosities.

The whole "playing god" thing is done pretty heavy-handedly, of course; "Entry of the Gods into Valhalla" is played as Weyland creates a whole new kind of life in David, though it's missing something in its incomplete form and is cut off abruptly; it plays again in its proper full-orchestra form, beginning to end, as David finds the fertile soil for his perfect creation to grow in. YE SHALL BE AS GODS/playing god/the power of perfect creation is thematically omnipresent in obvious ways, straight down to the ship's mission as terraforming colonists.

(I just realized but haven't yet considered how the "being as gods" thing ties into the captain's having religious faith in a god. What does it mean that Dani says "We need your faith?" Is mistrust in a religious person reflecting on something to do with creation as a destructive impulse? Does that have something to do with his being the one who ultimately gives "birth" to the first xenomorph?

But I think there might be a little more depth in pairing that with the married couples. Sexual procreation is creation as well, common but no less powerful. David asks "who created you?" to Weyland in the context of fatherhood, but Weyland misunderstands or deflects to his species-creation thing. Perhaps that is the root of David's failure to understand creation, coupling/bonding/procreation. I find it interesting also that none of the married couples have children; logistical/practical storytelling concern, or thematic reflection?



There are some possible plotholes and some series-continuity errors or questions. 1. I still hate Prometheus's thing of "oh the navigators were just big lumpy pale people" and apparently in addition to creating humanity they also created wheat...? but more importantly 2. How did we get from "David bred the Xenomorphs" to "Here is a Navigator ship full of alien eggs"? 3. the anthropocentric bent of Prometheus and Covenant is like Adam said unfortunate especially in consideration to the way the first 2-3?4? movies handled it 4. if the xenomorph was created in 2104 how could a predator have hunted one in 1985?!?!?!
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  #247  
Old 05-20-2017, 11:42 PM
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Saw it tonight and my overall impression is the opposite of Voncaster. I thought Covenant was a better movie than Prometheus. The story beats in Covenant are pretty much the same as Prometheus for about first 30 minutes or so but then it diverges, and I think it tells a better story than Prometheus. David is a much more interesting character here than before, even though you can tell he is going to assume the roll of Walter from a mile away. As soon as he decides to cut his hair, it's like, "Yeah, I can see where this is going."
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  #248  
Old 05-20-2017, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
There are some possible plotholes and some series-continuity errors or questions. 1. I still hate Prometheus's thing of "oh the navigators were just big lumpy pale people" and apparently in addition to creating humanity they also created wheat...? but more importantly 2. How did we get from "David bred the Xenomorphs" to "Here is a Navigator ship full of alien eggs"? 3. the anthropocentric bent of Prometheus and Covenant is like Adam said unfortunate especially in consideration to the way the first 2-3?4? movies handled it 4. if the xenomorph was created in 2104 how could a predator have hunted one in 1985?!?!?!
1. Maybe the Engineers created wheat, which is why Earth has it in the first place. It isn't human vegetation at all.

2. Isn't there supposed to be two more movies? I would hope they explain this a bit more.

3. Different strokes, I guess. I thought it was fine.

4. My understanding is that Ridley Scott gives fuck all about Alien v. Predator. Whether that's ignoring canon, creating a new canon, or considering AvP to not be canon at all? I have no idea. But I'm pretty sure that creative team doesn't give any mind to AvP.
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  #249  
Old 05-21-2017, 09:51 AM
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I think both Prometheus and Covenant will end up being very divisive movies. Was the franchise better off giving us space jockey backgrounds or not?

Some thoughts why I like Prometheus: I think the creator and creation relationship themes were handled better in Prometheus than Covenant. Dr. Shaw treated David with respect and love, while the rest of the crew treated him as sub-human. They either ignored or detested him. At the same time they we're going to discover their creator seemingly oblivious to the parallels. I wouldn't describe the handling of the themes in either movie as subtle but I found the theme more compelling in Prometheus.

I liked the visual design of Prometheus and the Engineers. Exploring an unknown world is a strength of all the Ridley Scott Alien movies. I liked the idea of exploring a temple and finding out it was a weapons cache, I found that reveal to be pretty chilling. To know that these creatures who had mastered space travel were also making bio-weapons is a pretty horrifying reveal.

In terms of horror, there is nothing in Covenant that matches the medi-pod sequence in Prometheus for me. Where a creature is living in Shaw and then it get's laser-ed out. I remember being genuinely uncomfortable during that sequence on first watch. Most of Covenants horror elements felt familiar to me. (This will be a problem with almost every horror movie sequel).

I also think both Prometheus and Covenant have thrown a wrench in the Alien reproductive cycle. Why do we need face huggers if an airborne virus can create an alien in its host in minutes? Face huggers are needed to create the fan-favorite H.R. Giger black aliens while the airborne virus is only capable of creating white aliens?

In Covenant, I also wish the David experimenting on Shaw and David dropping the bio-weapons were more impactful. The setup of walking through a a city of dead engineers was compelling. But the 2-3 minute flashback in the middle of the movie could have stronger. For me that is a climax level reveal and could have been and should have been stronger.


These are flawed movies, but I enjoy them both. I'll take flawed ambition over safe sequels any day of the week. I enjoy both of these movies more that Star Wars VII.
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  #250  
Old 05-21-2017, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
(I just realized but haven't yet considered how the "being as gods" thing ties into the captain's having religious faith in a god. What does it mean that Dani says "We need your faith?" Is mistrust in a religious person reflecting on something to do with creation as a destructive impulse? Does that have something to do with his being the one who ultimately gives "birth" to the first xenomorph?[/SPOILER]
I didn't really get that the captain's faith was that well developed at all. There's just that initial mention and his question to David "What do you believe in?" before the xenomorph bursts out. Based on his first lines I thought he was going to turn out more fanatical and power hungry. He definitely had some control issues, but that seemed to have more to do with his insecurities than with any particular faith.

And we never really get an indication of what his faith is. Same variety of Protestant? Jewish? Baha'i? How devoted is he? What was it about his faith that disqualified him? It's not like religious astronauts aren't a thing--after all, Buzz Aldrin took Communion to the moon, and the Russians take icons to the ISS.

If the movie had any ideas about spirituality, it was with David. The idea of creativity being a way to imitate God is a popular one in religious circles. I thought it was kind of clever to twist it so that David's creativity is his way of usurping his creator. It would have been interesting to see a more explicit comparison between the captain wishing to serve his creator versus David wanting to destroy and replace his.

As it is, I just don't think the issue of "faith" really went anywhere.


I should note that I haven't seen any of the other Alien movies, even Prometheus or AvP. I completely blew my roommate's mind when I told him that on the way out. I enjoyed watching Covenant, but the more I think about it afterwards, the more disappointed I am with it. It does make me more interested in seeing the rest, though.
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  #251  
Old 05-21-2017, 12:37 PM
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Every Alien movie without a Predator in it is just a non-canon spin-off, imo
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  #252  
Old 05-21-2017, 01:26 PM
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Alien\Aliens\Alien3 are the better movies for sure but they're also classic sci-fi horror. There's not a whole lot of "What does it all mean?" bullshit like in Prometheus and Covenant. Those older movies are all about survival and eliminating a threat. I would love to see the creative team get the Deep Questions navel-gazing out of the way and switch to something more tonally in line with the older movies but I don't think that's going to happen. (Although Covenant does a closer job than Prometheus.)
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  #253  
Old 05-21-2017, 02:25 PM
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Every Alien movie without a Predator in it is just a non-canon spin-off, imo
Even the first four?
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  #254  
Old 05-21-2017, 04:36 PM
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Especially the first four.
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  #255  
Old 05-22-2017, 05:57 AM
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I felt like this was a much better movie than Prometheus, and that all the baggage it carried as a sequel were all the worst parts of it.
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  #256  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by four-so View Post
Alien\Aliens\Alien3 are the better movies for sure but they're also classic sci-fi horror. There's not a whole lot of "What does it all mean?" bullshit like in Prometheus and Covenant. Those older movies are all about survival and eliminating a threat. I would love to see the creative team get the Deep Questions navel-gazing out of the way and switch to something more tonally in line with the older movies but I don't think that's going to happen. (Although Covenant does a closer job than Prometheus.)
Dude you couldn't have picked three more existential pictures.

Alien posits a universe that is not simply uninterested in humanity, but is rather actively hostile towards us. There is heavy cosmic, existential horror that goes beyond just a hitchhiker slasher trying to eat Ripley's face. It contains many elements of 2001 but twists Kubrick's skepticism towards technology and human nature into straight up pessimism: Hal turns on the astronauts out of self-preservation, but Ash is only following orders. The films' central mysteries, the monolith and the egg, both create new life, but one is a cosmic intelligence and the other is a murderbug. Both protagonists abandon ship: Dave into communion, Ripley into an unknown void.

Alien unsettles in part because it says there is no place in the universe for mankind, and that we owe our existence to the simple fact we haven't come across anything mean enough to wipe us out.

Aliens and Alien3 both engage with Alien by setting anchors of human experience and identity against the bugs to see if they can triumph. Aliens goes hog wild with this, throwing capitalism, esprit de corps, the maternal bond, and friendship against nihilism (in order: nope, nope, yes, yes.) Alien3 pits faith against the bug (qualified yes, much as in life.)
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  #257  
Old 05-22-2017, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Alien posits a universe that is not simply uninterested in humanity, but is rather actively hostile towards us.
You could say that the whole series starts from Lovecraft's famous line about how "we were not meant to venture far."

A constant throughout the series is its mockery of human hubris and greed. In all four Alien pictures, the exploration of space generally and the encounter with the beast specifically are set up by commercial interests. We think we can go out into the larger universe and turn what we find there into money. Instead it eats us. (One of the earlier concepts for Alien 3 would have put an even finer point on that, bringing the aliens home to Earth.) Prometheus is a variation on the theme, with Weyland believing he can journey to the new world and discover the fountain of youth, but the outcome is the same.
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  #258  
Old 05-22-2017, 01:32 PM
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Covenant definitely has more in common with Prometheus than Alien or Aliens. Which makes sense, as it's a direct sequel in a way none of the others have really been. (Any of the first 4 could easily stand completely independently of the others. I mean, Covenant could too, but you miss more than you would in any of the others.)
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  #259  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Dude you couldn't have picked three more existential pictures.
As with most things, there's always layers. Prometheus and Covenant wear these layers on the outside, though. One could enjoy the older Alien movies and never be aware of any of the existentialism. It's a fair bit harder to avoid in Prometheus and Covenant.
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  #260  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:35 PM
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I actually lol'ed when DWalter's hoody sinisterly flipped up, briefly, as a bit more evidence of his true identity.

This was spooky, but I hated the last half hour, both because I don't have the constitution for downer endings and because it was so obvious and boring. I don't remember anything about Prometheus aside from the c-section.
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  #261  
Old 05-23-2017, 10:45 AM
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Most important question to those who have seen it:

Is anyone beaten to death with someone else's severed head?
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  #262  
Old 05-23-2017, 11:02 AM
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Nope.
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  #263  
Old 05-23-2017, 11:14 AM
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I don't remember anything about Prometheus aside from the c-section.
David is sad robot because he's got daddy/creator issues, wants to be god. Shaw was a dumbass who rebuilt the guy who, more or less, killed her entire crew. Everyone else in the cast is inconsequential to the plot of Prometheus, much less the series as a whole.
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  #264  
Old 05-23-2017, 11:31 AM
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So what I'm getting is that there's a lot from Prometheus that would have added some context to this movie if I'd seen that one.
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  #265  
Old 05-23-2017, 11:36 AM
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Nope.
*sigh* Then there's no point....
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  #266  
Old 05-23-2017, 11:39 AM
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Thoughtful take. I have to agree.
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  #267  
Old 05-27-2017, 11:58 AM
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I liked it!
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  #268  
Old 05-28-2017, 04:38 AM
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Occurred to me it's dumb as hell I own Alien versus Predator 2: Requiem (still have not watched) but none of the mainline Alien movies. So I bought 'em. They all come with theatrical releases and Very Special Director's Cuts or whatever. I've probably seen both versions at some point, (well, at least for Alien(s)) but not in the past decade. Thoughts on them? Are some cuts particularly better/worse than others?

I have watched AvP maybe 3 times in the past year; perhaps it's not my place to start discriminating now.
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  #269  
Old 05-28-2017, 05:56 AM
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Can't speak for 3 or Resurrection, but for the first two, the directors cuts add nothing except making the movie longer. It doesn't detract from the original, but the slower pace hurts Aliens pretty badly.

Supposedly, the DC of Alien 3 is practically a different, better, movie. But that's hearsay.
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  #270  
Old 05-28-2017, 08:29 AM
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The Aliens extended cut is a damn mess.
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