Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in a movie being grumpy at one another might just be my favorite pitch for a movie in a long time. After watching the trailer for Destination Wedding (not to be confused with the Hallmark movie of the same title), I hope they don’t ruin it by falling in to lazy rom-com traps. I mean who doesn’t want a Grumpy Old Men (except one is a one woman) Gen-X edition! But even if they do, I would watch these two watch paint dry together, so I am all in!
While Rage 2 lacks Borderlands signature cell-shaded look, the over the top zany post apocalyptic action seems a lot like Gearbox’s main money maker. Much like with Prey, it seems that Bethesda is doing something a bit different with id’s old IP. Which is fine, Rage was never considered a classis, I just hope it can find a way to differentiate itself from Borderlands. The real question is now that they have resurrected almost all of id’s FPS titles, when are we getting that Commander Keen game?
I don’t think Ridley Scott really wants to make Alien movies anymore, but he knows if he slaps the Alien name on something people will give him the money to make whatever he wants. With Alien: Covenant, Scott wanted to make a movie about a being’s hatred for its creator, and then he tacked some Alien stuff on to it. It is kind of interesting, but the two conflicting ideas don’t really coalesce in to a coherent film.
Covenant takes place a few years after Prometheus, and the colony vessel Covenant gets a strange message on its way to its new home destination. The crew decides to check it out, and guess what? That was a terrible idea. It turns out that this is where Elizabeth Shaw and David (Michael Fassbender) crash landed with a ship full of the Alien virus. David meets the newer, more obedient, version of himself Walter, and things get very strange. The crew makes more bad decisions, and a lot of them get killed by the xenomorph.
The xenomorph is kind of secondary to what is going on with Walter and David, and it should never be said in an Alien movie that “the” alien is taking a back seat to a robot that clearly has the hots for himself. Like I said Scott brings some interesting ideas to the table, but they are never fully fleshed out, and this never truly feels like an Alien movie. Just one where the Alien is around.
Covenant is beautifully shot, and the special effects are really well done, so Scott still has what it takes to make a major motion picture, but this movie is just kind of a mess. Which is a shame because I wanted to like it. I was one of the seemingly few people that enjoyed Prometheus. Sure it was dumb, but it was dumb fun. This movie forgets the fun, and instead wants to focus on its “themes”.
If you are looking for a good Alien movie, Alien: Covenant is not what you are looking for. If you are looking for some high concept Sci-Fi, you might like this, though it is not realized enough. I enjoyed parts of this film, so if you really like the genre, it is probably worth spending an afternoon checking out, but you won’t really miss much if you skip it. Maybe they will finally get it right with the next one.
When Disney said they were returning to the series’ roots for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, what they really meant is that they were going to forget that On Stranger Tides ever happened (heaven knows we all did) and just copy the highlights of the first films. Like all poor photocopies of an original, the cracks are showing and it has faded quite a bit. Dead Men Tell No Tales was a waste of everyone’s time.
You already know what happens in Dead Men Tell No Tales. Jack will bumble around while crazy set pieces explode and fall apart, all while searching for a magical MacGuffin that will save him from a pirate ship full of undead seamen. The only change this time around is the kid he has teamed up with is the son of Will Turner. Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) is hoping that Poseidon’s Trident can save his father from having to serve for all eternity on the Flying Dutchmen. As luck would have it a very smart, very pretty girl Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) is also looking for the Trident, so they will all have to reluctantly team up.
Another fun change for Dead Men Tell No Tales is that Jack has almost no agency of his own. He is not a mastermind playing dumb, he just is dumb. He is being dragged along by these youths, and is now just a bumbling violent drunken nitwit. It is like Johnny Depp and Jack Sparrow have completed their merge in to one another. The thing is, had they written an okay story this all still might have been fine, but that is not the case. Stuff just happens in this movie, and it is all a big coincidence that all these things all just happen at the same time. I understand that all adventure films require a little ‘destiny’ to make them work, but this ‘plot’ completely relies on it, without ever even acknowledging it. All the while stealing things from other movies without even as much as a wink or a nod. Gee I wonder what Carina will say when someone mentions that ‘no man’ can read the map to the Trident.
You should not waste your time watching this movie like I did. Yes, I know it is on Netflix now, and you are looking for a movie to watch with your family, but trust me, there are a lot of better things to watch. It makes me angry that no one even tried to do something fun or original with this film. It could and should be an exciting franchise, but instead everyone involved is willing to let this franchise slide in to mediocrity while they count their money. If Dead Men Tell No Tales then everyone who made this movie must be six feet under.
It has taken ten years to get here, but Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has finally all come together to take on its biggest bad guy yet, Thanos. The fact they were able to pull something like this off on this kind of scale is incredible, and the fact it still manages to be a fairly focused movie and not some muddled mess is a minor miracle. Of course you will have to wait for Infinity War 2 (or whatever the title of May 2019’s Avengers movie is going to be) to get the closure you were hoping for.
Avengers: Infinity War is the movie where Thanos actually does something, and he does it quite well. For the most part I have never enjoyed overpowered comic book villains. They are generally just massively powerful so that the comic book has a reason to cram in every hero known to man, and honestly Thanos isn’t any different, but Josh Brolin brings him to life perfectly. He actually has a character of his own, and while his reason for wanting to kill half of all life in the universe, to stave off overpopulation, is iffy, you at least believe he believes it. Even though if he hired a population expert, they would have pointed out that Earth, for instance, was at half its current population a little less that fifty years ago, meaning if he succeeds in his dark task it doesn’t buy the universe a lot of time.
The biggest problem for Avengers: Infinity War is that it feels a little like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It has epic battles and cool villains fighting heroes we love, but then it ends before it crosses the finish line, and there are two more Marvel movies we will probably need to watch before we can cross that line a year from now, but if this movie is yet just another setup movie, at least it was a good one. It shows that Marvel has so far been the only studio capable of doing anything like this, and I am guess next year’s movie is going to be something special.