‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ – That Is All

Are you fucking kidding me – I’m sorry for cursing.

starwars-thelastjedi-bts-sizzlereel-finn-rey-dancing-snowjpg.jpeg
(Disney)

Just when you thought the hype for this movie couldn’t be any bigger, they go ahead and drop this trailer on us. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This trailer is about to break some records and the internet I would imagine, because it’s damn near perfect. Yeah, I’m sure there will be Star Wars hardos out there that think they spoiled a few things, but remember to never really take anything you see in a trailer in full context. They are really good at editing these things to make you believe something that probably won’t happen.

But that trailer was the real deal, Rian Johnson, I believe you are on your way to making the best Star Wars movie ever. This looks absolutely stunning, some of the visuals are just gorgeous. After seeing Blade Runner 2049 this past week, I’m not going to lie, that I kind of felt the same way for some of the visuals in this trailer than I did for Blade Runner. There is a ton to process in this thing, they are hinting at a TON of things to come, without really revealing how those things are actually going to happen. Luke appears to be afraid of Rey almost because she is so powerful, so powerful that I have a feeling she might be hiding something or will potentially be the person who kills Luke. Again not to overlook the trailer, but it seemed like Rey and Kylo might team up or at least have a common goal/enemy at the end of this trailer. Is Rey turning bad? Towards the end of the trailer we see her under duress, with Snoke taking control of her. Maybe he gets her to join the dark side, or taps into her powers and is able to control or something. Andy Serkis is menacing as hell voicing that guy, I was really digging his voiceover at the beginning of the trailer. Is Kylo turning good, because they allude to him blowing up a ship with his mother Leia inside of it. Does killing his Mom finally push him over the edge and he can no longer be part of the dark side? Something isn’t quite as it seems with those two and obviously some of our questions will be answered in no time. I just thought it was really cool how Luke wanted no part of Rey after he learns just how powerful she can be.

Finn is back, get it, back? Never mind, all I know is, I want to see throw down with Captain Phasma real bad. Seeing how she was a mere joke in The Force Awakens, I’m glad she will finally be doing some heavy lifting this time around, and going toe-to-toe with Finn. She seems like a pretty awesome character so I hope we really get to see more of her this time around, and just isn’t background noise. The battle that looks to be taking place in a really open giant landscape, will probably be the best part of the movie, every time I see that red mist stuff, I’m just blown away but how beautiful it looks.

Overall I thought this was the best or one of the best movie trailer of 2017, DO NOT put out any more trailers, we do not need them. This was far more than we actually needed, but I’m glad I watched it. There are crazy people out there that won’t watch this, and I could not do that, nor do I think it’s a good idea. They didn’t spoil anything really, because like I said, we don’t know the context of anything in the movie yet, because we haven’t seen the movie yet. So chill out, watch it 100 times like I will, and December 15th can’t get here fast enough

Check ya later

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Review 

Simply marvelous, one of the best science fiction movies of the decade. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen

(WARNER BROTHERS)
A sequel 35 years in the making, some people have been waiting their wholes lives for a follow up to the masterpiece that was 1982s Blade Runner directed by the legendary Ridley Scott. It’s crazy to think about a sequel being made 35 years later, and it turns out to be one of the greatest sequels in the history of cinema. This is why we go to the movies; it’s movies like Blade Runner 2049 that make people like myself realize why I love film so much. It had everything I want in a movie it is simply marvelous. This dark and twisted, futureristic, neo-noir film, that is exstential in every sense of the word, is just all around stunning. Denis Villeneuve directs the follow up, and he is fast approaching becoming one of the best, if not the best director in Hollywood right now. Villeneuve’s track record right now is uncanny and something I can’t really fathom at this point. Every time he steps up to the plate, he hits a walk off home run. I think it was a mistake not getting this man to direct Episode IX because he is the perfect man for the job, especially after watching this science fiction masterpiece. Blade Runner 2049 is the kind of movie that inspires young filmmakers, or creates new ones. This will be a vague review because I don’t want to spoil a single thing about this movie, you need to go experience this for yourself, because it’s unlike anything I have ever seen. I knew it would be one of the most beautiful movies, but it even exceeded my expectations in that regard.

So the movie follows Blade Runner, Agent K (Ryan Gosling) as he is investigating a case from the past. As he learns more about the case and himself, he starts to question everything he knows and his beliefs. The case ultimately leads him to Deckard (Harrison Ford) and the two of them must work together for the common good. I’m really going to leave it at that, and not getting into any specific plot points, because going in and just experiencing this movie is what it’s all about. Everyone knows that Ryan Gosling is an A-list actor, a movie star, but he reaches new heights in this. It’s weird, I don’t think anyone else could have been in this role, Gosling does so much acting in his face, and he really is a master brooder. He really showed that he could lead a franchise, that he is more than just a love interest in a rom com. Like I said, everyone already knows this, but I don’t know I was just really blown away by his performance, and he worked really well alongside Harrison Ford. Imagine playing a character 35 years later. I thought he might mail it in here, but Harrison Ford was simply delightful as Deckard again. He did not take any scenes off and he seemed to relish being back playing this character. This is his best performance in a long time, I know he came back as Hon Solo, but this role and performance is vastly superior to his in The Force Awakens. I think Ford fed off Ryan’s intensity and they just complemented each other so well here, and I would really love to see them work together again. The rest of the cast is fantastic, Dave Bautista is great, and he just keeps on impressing me after his shift towards becoming an actor. Some of the cast has very minor roles, where they are only in a few scenes, but the scenes that they are in, they are all in for their roles, and that’s what you need in a movie like this. Everyone committed and wants to be the best they can be. Robin Wright as Joshi, who is K’s boss is also great, she’s good in every thing, so that should not shock anyone. Jared Leto who plays Niander Wallace is good. It’s Leto and I think there’s a fine line between people really loving Leto and people who are just sort of “mehh.” I like Leto so I thought he was great as the bad guy Wallace, I guess he really isn’t a bad guy; it’s hard to describe his character. The two people I was pleasantly surprised about were Ana de Armas who plays Joi; I’m not going to go into detail about her character, because it’s actually really interesting and unique, so I will just say that I thought she did a fantastic job. She’s in a ton of scenes with Gosling and they were so good together. But for me besides the two leads in Gosling and Ford, the best performance has to go to Sylvia Hoeks, who plays Luv. She is Wallace’s assistance/body guard, and she is menacing and just really stood out in the movie. Again I don’t want to say to much, but after the movie, I thought this women, just got a lot of people’s attention and we will be seeing her in more things to come.

But the real star of the movie is the cinematographer Roger Deakins. I can’t overstate how beautiful this movie is. At times and certain moments the visuals are actually distracting because of how beautiful they are, you’re almost not paying attention to the actual movie, but rather taking in all the scenery. Without doubt the best cinematography that I can ever remember seeing in the movie theatre. Some of the visuals and imagery are breathtaking and I couldn’t really believe what I was looking at. The movie takes place in the year 2049, and I swear, there wasn’t one moment where I thought, yeah that looks fake, or that’s too much CGI. It’s flawless, and perfect and so crisp looking. The detail and the colors are so incredible, and again it’s just something you need to go see, because it’s so hard to describe and put into words. Just give Roger Deakins his Oscar now, like don’t even bother having the cinematography category this year, because there really is no dog in this fight other than Roger. This movie will win a bunch of Oscars, the score and the sound is also perfect. You need to go find the biggest screen you can, that has the loudest speakers, get a large soda and popcorn and just get transported to this world. The reason I go to the movies is to escape from life, you want to be transported to another world, and this is exactly what happens. Blade Runner 2049 is a film from start to finish. One of the best parts about this movie is that it just wanted to be its own movie. They didn’t try to build this massive universe that will have a ton of other sequels or spin off movies. They had an idea in mind for the movie and they executed that plan to mere perfection. You just get immersed into this world and you don’t want to leave, I know I didn’t. At a run time of almost 3 hours, it flew by, because you just want to keep seeing these incredible landscapes and I felt that the movie was paced beautifully. The movie is also very thought provoking they ask you questions and challenge your way of thinking. Just like the original, they want to open your mind and that’s exactly what happens.

I really can’t express enough how much I loved this movie; it’s one of the best sequels ever made and also one of the best science fiction movies ever made. It’s a shame that I don’t think a lot of people are going out to see this movie, so I think with word of mouth that could change. I can also see this movie not being for everyone. This is a piece of movie art that will live on forever. I really can’t wait to see it again. This is one of the best movies of the year! GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Blade Runner 2049 = 96/100

‘Alien Covenant’ Review 

Ridley Scott, you’re trying to damn hard man!

 

(FOX)
Spoilers ahead, because that’s the only way I can fully review this movie.

 

Alien Covenant is Ridley Scott’s follow up to the ever so confusing 2012 Prometheus, you know the movie you left scratching your head, probably severely confused. Well guess what, I’m pretty sure this movie gave me an ulcer from how stressed out it made me. Apart from Logan, I honestly thought Alien Covenant had the best marketing campaign going. All the trailers have been incredible and I thought I knew what I was going to get with this, it looked terrifying as hell and it seemed like we were going to get a lot of our questions we had from Prometheus answered. Well CONGRATS, FOX, Ridley, you guys really pulled one over on me!! Seriously touché, I actually almost felt like getting up and walking out of this movie, not because it’s that’s bad, because of how much it was pissing me off! Ridley, my man, you’re an incredible filmmaker, one of the best to ever do it, why are you making it so difficult for people to enjoy and understand these movies. It’s like when an already really pretty girl, decides to cake on a ton of makeup, you don’t need it. You’re nice to look at to begin with. We don’t need all this extra stuff. The more I think about Alien Covenant, the angrier I am getting. I’m just frustrated because I had such high hopes for it, I thought it was going to be scary (it was not), I thought some questions would be answered (I left with more), and I can never quite figure out why these scientists are so stupid. It felt like Scream  mixed with an alien movie. I’m not even kidding, it was Friday the 13th level cheese sometimes, and instead of Jason, we had Xenomorphs. Man there are so many problems with this movie, I will try my best not to lose my cool here.

So the Covenant is a spaceship heading to planet Origae-6, for the first ever colonization mission. Thousands of embryos and colonists are on board along with its crew, made up of couples. First things first, what the hell James Franco? I was excited to see this guy in an alien movie, and he might have set the land speed record for shortest cameo in a movie. I mean he didn’t even have a word of dialogue, if you count out the IPad message we see. I laughed, because honestly what the hell was the point? I could have played that role; so right from the beginning I was a little worried. So poor James Franco was the captain of the Covenant, so now that falls on the lap of Oram (Billy Crudup), I’ve always been a big fan of this guy. Along side Oram, we have Walter (Michael Fassbender) the droid, Daniels (Katherine Waterson), Tennessee (Danny McBride) and a few others, I’ll give Upworth (Callie Hernandez) a shout out, because I thought she was great and is a rocket. The crew is 15 large, but I don’t want mention everyone, because I don’t remember their names, they are all do disposable and half of them were just so stupid that they deserved their own fates. Here’s the one major problem I have with Covenant, these people are mainly all scientists and are part of the first colonization mission in human history, but man are they all SO STUPID! I’ll really get into that later, but my God, this movie at times is painful. Being the massive Alien fan I am, my hopes were so high for this movie and it just ultimately failed to meet my expectations, even just a little bit.

So when the Covenant loses some colonists because of some sort of space storm, the crew is rattled, and when Tennessee is outside the ship making repairs, he hears a mysterious radio transmission. After years and years investigating, researching and making sure the planet they have pick is the absolute perfect candidate. But good old caption Oram, decides too hell with that, and they proceed to this mysterious planet, as it also fits all the requirements to be a suitable planet for colonization. So after the crew decides to land on this new planet, well let’s just say, it doesn’t take very long for everything go to complete and utter shit. Just like that, but honestly what were these people thinking. A few of the crew members get infected by that black goo stuff from Prometheus and after several crew members die in some horrible ways, they soon lose the ability to communicate with the Covenant. Remember when I said some of these people are stupid. There’s one part, where no word of a lie, someone actually two people in a row slip on blood, and let the alien get loose. And not only does this one girl slip on blood, she follows that up by firing live ammunition in what appears to be the holding cell of multiple gas tanks. You already know how that ends up. Like just lock yourself in a room, you have a massive gun, why does Ridley Scott, make this feel like a 90s slasher film sometimes, it just a frustrating watching the same thing happen over and over again. You know exactly who is going to die, even before it happens. Things have just gone horribly wrong, people are dead, and you have the old “I’m going to the bathroom” all alone routine. Like give me a break. Going into Alien Covenant I thought it would be the scariest alien movie since well Alien. And when you have things like people going off on their own, and getting separated, it takes all the suspense and horror elements out of it and that was such a major let down. So finally David, the droid from Prometheus comes and saves the day, and from the very get go, you know this guy is bad, and they do such a poor job of even trying to make you think otherwise.

David tries to tell the crew what’s going on, how did he survive this whole time and meanwhile back on the Covenant, Tennessee and the other two crew members are trying to land on this planet, but there’s such a bad storm that they can’t even get into contact with them. So finally Oram, Walter and Daniels believe that David is really up to something, so before Oram decides to blow David to hell, David wants to show him something. For me this was the best and most enjoyable moment of the entire movie, it happens to happen right before the worst part of the movie. David shows Oram some face-hugger eggs, and he does that age-old trick of looking inside, curiosity killed the cat my friend. Obviously he gets one attached to him, and BOOM I believe we have the first ever Xenomorph born! Finally it only takes the entire movie, but something needs to be said. Aliens, they do such incredible practical effects, the whole movie is so beautiful, that’s Ridley Scott’s best trait as a filmmaker. But my god, The Xenomorph’s in this movie look so fake and so bad. All CGI from what I could tell, and it just takes you out of the movie. After the Xenomorph bursts through Oran’s chest, it likes raises its hands in the air, because David does it, and it was just so ridiculous. Remember in Space Balls, when they mock the chest bursting scene, and the Xenomorph dances after it’s born. I swear to god, that’s what this felt like to me, all it was missing, was a cane and a top hat. Oh and after that, David and Walter share a kiss, and again that was just nonsense. I’m rambling because all I wanted was this to be a great alien movie, and we didn’t get that, not even close. So finally we have a Xenomorph kind of doing Xenomorph things, and the crew is about the get rescued and Daniels fights one while like hanging from the ship, which was a pretty cool character moment from her. They tried really hard to make her like a Ripley type, but there can only ever be one Ripley, so I don’t understand why they do that. Create something new; create a new badass female character please.

So they finally get on board and they think everything is peachy, well it’s not, because some how a face-hugger gets on one of the remaining crewmembers. Now there are only 5 people left, two of them get freaky in the showers, and well remember what Randy, tells you in Scream. If you have sex, you die. So now it’s Tennessee and Daniels vs. the last Xenomorph. At this point in like yah, Danny McBride is about to fuck this thing up, and get his moment to shine, nope that doesn’t happen. They literally do what they always do, suck it out into space…..

I wanted Danny McBride to have his moment in this movie, because I thought he was the best part of the movie but that just never happened. He showed he’s a really great actor and should be taken seriously but I was just upset he didn’t even get to kill a Xenomorph in this. Finally everything is fine!!! Wait no, because remember, David and Walter are both the same and they wanted you think Walter came out victorious when the two droids threw down earlier in the movie. But I know better, so when David is putting Daniels and Tennessee back into their stasis pods, she figures this out, but it’s two late. David swallowed two face-hugger eggs and now plans to experiment with the embryos on board. That was the ending to the movie, I left more confused than I was after Prometheus.

Look there is some good in this movie; performances across the board were great. I loved McBride and Waterson and obviously Fassbender does a bang up job playing two characters. I even like the new comer Callie Hernandez, who was great in her little screen time in La La Land. The movie itself is breathtaking, but we all knew it would be going in. That’s what Ridley Scott does best. But it’s not scary at all, there’s no suspense, yes it’s gory as hell but that doesn’t make it scary. All these characters were just disposable, and quite frankly really dumb. I just wanted this to actually be an alien movie, but he’s trying to hard. He’s making the franchise way to complicated, go back to the roots man and just make us feel scared again. Enough with this big picture nonsense. Why is a droid the true villain of a movie called Alien. I hate David and I can’t wait for that milkman of a droid to die. This was a really hard review to write, I even saw this Thursday night and I wanted to wait, and see if my feelings changed a bit. In all honestly I feel like I dislike the movie more now, than when I walked out of the theatre. Just overall, this was a really big let down, one of the biggest let downs in a long time for me.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Alien Covenant = 61/100

‘Alien 3’ Review 

Imagine getting 40K for shaving your head, well Sigourney Weaver did.

(FOX)
Quick note, I watched the assembly cut for this movie, its much better than the theatrical release.

Talk about studio interference. There is a lot of backstory when it comes to Alien 3. The legendary David Fincher directorial debut back in 1992. To this very day Fincher has a hard time talking about this project and rarely does so. In fact there was so much studio interference in the making of Alien 3, which they spent roughly 13 million dollars on 10 separate writers before finally locking down a final draft for the movie. After the massive success of James Cameron’s Aliens, FOX wanted to cash in on this mega franchise and thought they needed another Alien movie a.s.a.p. So after all sorts of re-writes, some involving Ripley – some not. A draft even involved Hicks and Bishop to be the main characters while Ripley would be in a coma for the majority of the movie. To many cooks in the kitchen can best describe Alien 3. The studio could never figure out what exactly they wanted and little did they know they had a master craft of a director at the helm, who had a vision and could never fully let it be played out.

So Alien 3 takes place right after the events of Aliens, we have our three survivors in their stasis pods in hyper sleep. When an egg is onboard their ship, it crash lands on “Fury 161” a wasteland of a planet, home to an all male prison facility. Right off the bat, fans were not happy, because they killed off both Newt and Hicks. We had come to love these characters in Aliens, and Ripley finally had a sense of happiness and somewhat of a family. That was taken away so quickly in this movie, so Ripley goes to sleep at the end of Aliens the happiest she’s ever been, to waking up and realizing her whole world has been turned upside down. Personally I wanted to see the characters of Hicks and Newt explored more and was bummed out the first time watching this, and finding out they won’t be a part of this continuing journey that we see Ripley go on. The biggest change we see Ripley go through is the fact that Sigourney Weaver shaved her head for this role. I like it, it works for the movie, and everyone at the prison is bald, because they have a lice problem. I’ll give it to Sigourney she pulls off the look. One other thing about Sigourney Weaver, she was nominated for an Oscar for her work in Aliens, so let’s just say she went into Alien 3 with some clout. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but when you have clout, it can go a long way. With that, she didn’t want any guns in this movie, she is very anti-gun, so that was one of her stipulations, and FOX agreed to meet that demand. Because a big plot hole of Alien 3, is that they are located at a maximum-security prison but have no weapons and I always found that to be odd.

So Ripley finds herself surrounded by killers and rapists, but is never intimidated or scared. Again it’s Ripley she’s a total badass and doesn’t back down. Dillon (Charles S Dutton) is the leader of these guys; he’s a believer and very religious man. One of the biggest themes of the movie is religion and about finding God. They were all once terrible men, but now they believe they can make peace with God and still be accepted into heaven when they are dead. Charles S. Dutton is just spectacular; actually all around the acting is top notch. Sometimes it’s hard to work with such a poor script, so everyone is really doing the best work they can with the material provided. Dillon gives some incredible speeches throughout the movie, and for me, he’s one of them most memorable characters in the alien universe. The guy fights one with his bare hands, he’s just got a real hard attitude and Charles S. Dutton, did a bang up job portraying this guy. Ripley finds herself nestling up to the medical doctor Clemons (Charles Dance) as she needed some sort of comfort after everything she had been through. I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow, but again whenever something good comes along in her life, it fades even quicker. Clemons doesn’t stick around too long, again I would have liked to see him survive a bit longer or even till the very end. Charles Dance is a phenomenal actor, and they didn’t use this man properly in Alien 3. The other inmate worth mentioning is actually the lone survivor of the movie, Morse (Danny Webb) and I friggin love this guy. He serves as the comic relief for this movie. The inmates, especially Morse, don’t care for Ripley all that much and treat her poorly. Some even try to rape her during the movie, but when things start to go to shit, Ripley steps up and the inmates realize how strong and courageous this woman really is. Especially Morse, when she saves him during the final act of the movie.

So when a face-bigger attaches itself onto an Ox, a new breed of Xenomorph is born. Something that Ripley has never seen before and it’s stalking the prisoners one by one. With no weapons to kill, what the prisoners call “the beast” they all have to come together and think of a way to get rid of it. When Ripley finds out that she has one inside of her and not only that but a queen. She realizes that things just got serious, when her ex employer wants to take the creature out of her and study it. The tone of Alien 3 is a bit iffy, it wants to be suspenseful  like Alien, but also give us some action like we saw in Aliens. The effects in this movie are not the best in the franchise. Considering this came out after Alien and Aliens, you would imagine this would have the best effects of the three. That’s not the case, I’m not saying they are bad, but they simply just don’t hold up the way the other two films do. The Xenomorph itself at times looks great, when you can tell it’s being done practically, but when it’s not, it can be a bit messy at times. Fincher used the POV shot of the alien running a lot in the third act of the movie, it’s a cool effect but its a tad overused.

Here are my final thoughts on the movie. This movie is really only hated or loved. There really isn’t a middle ground for Alien 3. I feel that it’s so hard to try and compare it with what came before it, because both of those movies are masterpieces. So you have to look at this movie with those in the back of your mind, and just take it for what it is. Remember, there was so much interference with this movie, that it’s hard to tell what David Fincher ultimately wanted to accomplish, and I can’t even begin to imagine what working on a big budget movie like this would be like, let alone having hundreds of people breathing down your neck, or questioning every little decision you make. I love the last 45 minutes, it’s some of m favorite alien stuff, and I’m on the side of people who love this movie. I feel like maybe over time, more people will come to the idea of liking it the way I do. Appreciating it for the way I do, and understanding that this isn’t a perfect movie, and understanding that so much stuff was happening behind the scenes, and Fincher has gone on to make some incredible films. If you look up interviews of him talking about this movie, good luck because they are super rare. When he does talk about it, you can see how much it pains him, because he had a vision for what he wanted this movie to be and it never got to happen, and being a film maker that is probably their biggest fear. This was the last great alien movie, okay until Prometheus, but that took almost 20 years to happen, so enjoy this movie for what it is, because I know I do.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Alien 3 = 77/100

 

Throwback Review – ‘Aliens’ 

I could never decide what was scarier, the aliens or Newt carrying around that doll head.

(FOX)

See I told you, I’m a man of my word, and this week I just watched Aliens, highly regarded as one of the greatest action movies of all time! Again this movie was released even before I was on planet Earth, in 1986, directed by the legendary James Cameron, he took what Ridley Scott did in Alien, but he made it his own. Right off the bat I’ll say this, it would have been pretty damn easy for James Cameron to take this franchise and these characters and just ruin them, or try to change them, but he doesn’t. He didn’t try to redefine the Alien franchise, he simply expanded on it, and made Aliens his own thing, and well it’s just short of perfection. I remember growing up; I would always call this movie the sleepover movie, or the birthday party movie. I can recall countless times this is the movie that would be put on at night, because at the time there just weren’t too many movies like it, and it just kicks so much ass. I fell in love with this franchise at a very early age, and I’m glad I did because there are some wackos out there who’ve probably never even seen this movie. That’s simply just a crime against humanity, or maybe that’s just me being a complete and utter nerd, someone step up and tell me please!

So Aliens takes place 57 years after the events of Alien, our hero Ripley has been floating in her stasis pod the entire time, and by dumb luck a cargo ship comes across her vessel and BAM, our story continues. As she tells the tale of her encounter with the Xenomorph, the company she works for just isn’t buying it, seeing how since she’s been in deep sleep, there is now a colony of people living on the planet where her and her crew stumbled across the parasite (face hugger) in Alien. So relieved of her duties, it isn’t till a few days later, where suddenly they have lost all contact with anyone on LV-426, mysteriously after no events of anything happening, now dead silent. So they are sending in the Marines, and they want Ripley to tag along to be a special advisor to the operation, seeing how she’s the only one who knows first hand with what they are dealing with. Sigourney Weaver was nominated for an Oscar with the performance she gave in Aliens. Just stop and think about that for a second, that is unheard of. Someone from a massive summer action blockbuster being nominated for an Oscar, not in this day in age, so kudos to Sigourney, because she is actually simply spectacular in this movie. Ripley decides to tag along with these Marines, and that’s where we meet the rest of our lovable cast! Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn), the leader of the crew, who is our main male character in the movie, Bishop (Lance Henriksen) a droid who Ripley isn’t to fond of due to the fact that the last droid on her mission tried to kill her, but Bishop really becomes a hero at the end. We have Vasquez (Janette Goldstein) and can I just say, I’ve always loved this woman in Aliens, she’s such a badass character and honestly they don’t really have female characters like this in movies anymore. Well they try to but they usually fail miserably, Vasquez always sticks out in my mind for being one of the first real tough, badass chicks in movies. We got the Sergeant of the group, Apone, who just has some of the best lines in the movie, “you know the drill, assholes and elbows everyone!” Kind of wish he stuck around longer in the movie, and we got to see him kind of do some ass kicking of his own. The slim ball company man of the group Burke (Paul Reiser), what can I say about his character, another than the fact that he’s simply just an asshole. He is truly the films main villain and the movie does a great job not really showing us that card until the last third of the movie, and I always thought that was pretty cool. It’s not a twist or anything, there are clues along the way, but going into Aliens, you would think the bad guys would just be the creatures themselves, when in fact their biggest threat was actually one of their own. Rounding out the crew, good old Hudson played by the phenomenal man Bill Paxton himself. We lost this great man earlier this year, the only person who could say that they’ve been killed by a terminator, an alien and a predator. Now that’s some legendary stuff. He’s the comedic relief of the movie, and his most infamous line “game over man, game over!” was actually improvised during that scene, which makes it all that much better. He’s almost the best part of the movie, but that title always stay with Ripley, he’s a goofy douche, but can throw down with the best of them, and is a Xenomorph killing machine. We simply lost this man way too soon. So these Marines land of LV-426, only to find it deserted and what once was a rescue mission, quickly turns into a survival mission. The only survivor is a little girl, known as Newt. She has somehow survived weeks, living in the air vents and when you think about it, she’s honestly just such a little trooper, I would have lasted all of 10 minutes before one of those things would get me. One of the big reasons Newt is such a vital part to this story is that when Ripley was in her deep sleep, she lost her daughter, she simply died of old age and when Ripley hears about this, it crushes her. It makes her realize just how long she’s been gone for and how different the world must be. So when they find Newt, Ripley takes it upon herself to not only be a mother figure to this poor helpless girl, but to protect her at all costs. It just added a nice extra layer to Ripley’s character and made her just seem a little more human and have compassion for someone in such a dire and intense, life-threatening situation.

So once they find Newt, they start to dig deeper into the complex, to see if anyone else is still alive, and they just so happen to stumble across the alien hive. Not knowing this of course sets our Marines up for total annihilation and the majority of them are wiped out before our very eyes. The hive scene for me will always be one of my favorites from all of cinema. I think its perfect, to how its shot, you have the Marines point of view, and then you have the view of Ripley and the others watching horrified through monitors, as they see them being picked off one by one. It manages to blend horror, suspense and action all into one and James Cameron does it tremendously. It’s really hard to blend so many different feels, and movie genres all into one scene without over doing it. The hive is just so cool looking, as the aliens use the walls of the cocooned hive to camouflage themselves so well, that when they re moving towards our Marines, even though they have a motion sensor tracking system, they simply just cannot see them coming. This always stands out to me, as just masterful filmmaking. Just one of the many iconic scenes throughout the movie, when it’s all said and done, only a few Marines are left standing and now it’s time for them to find a way off this rock. Trapped on the planet with the aliens, this is where James Cameron really gets to show off the awesome weaponry. For being made in 1986, the weaponry in Aliens is some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen in film. From the sentry guns, to the pulse rifles, to the guns I don’t even know the name of, you know the BFG’s that Vasquez and Drake use in the hive scene, those things will cut you in half.

So when it’s just down to Ripley, it’s her duty to save Newt from her potential fate, so she has to go back into the hive but this time around she stumbles across the queen! Surrounded by eggs, Ripley grabs Newt and they think they are in the clear. It’s then they notice the queen has attached herself to their ship and it’s time for one last showdown between the queen and Ripley, in a some kind of cargo moving mech suit! You know “get away from her you bitch!” line. Again this is just such an iconic scene and one that I’ll certainly never forget. How else were we expecting Ripley to go toe-to-toe with the mother of all aliens, the queen! For what this fight is, obviously it’s slow but powerful, and you couldn’t really expect much else from two huge things battling it out! They just simply don’t really make movies like the used too, 1986 and it still holds up to this day. My opinion, the greatest science-fiction action movie ever created and one of my all time go to movies. It’s just damn near perfect, I can’t think of a single flaw in Aliens, I can try and maybe if I think long and hard about it, I could nitpick something, but what’s the fun in that. James Cameron made a masterpiece and one thing I’ll say about James Cameron. His ability to find young actors and get the most out of them, whether it’s Newt from Aliens or Edward Furlongs character in Terminator 2. These were both their first roles and you wouldn’t have guessed that for a second, it really is something special, an underrated talent of directors. Up next is a film that I think is way undervalued and that would be Alien 3!

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Aliens = 97/100

Throwback Review – ‘Alien’

I’ve always wondered if they had a little cat space suit for Jones…..

March-Madness-Jonesy-alien.jpg
(FOX)

Some spoilers, but this movie is almost 40 years old you’ve had time to watch it!

One of my most anticipated movies of the year; Alien: Covenant is coming out soon, so I have decided I’m going to review all four of the original Alien films, because well why not! I grew up watching all of these movies and each one of them are so special and unique in their own sort of way, except Alien: Resurrection because as I’m writing this, I’m getting angry just thinking about that movie, but I’m willing to watch it for you guys. So what better way to start this party off then with the original Alien film, which spawned a massive movie franchise that is still going today!

Certain movies throughout time redefine the movie going experience. In 1979, Ridley Scott’s Alien did just that. The space horror/thriller changed movies forever in more ways than one, and to this day filmmakers are still using elements from Alien in their own movies. Alien did for space, what Jaws did for water. It made people terrified of it, even though people go into water rather than space but you get the idea. Being alone, in a secluded area being stalked by a creature. Alien steals elements from that fantastic film, and uses the same suspense and horror that came with Jaws.

From the very get go, you have to remember that this movie came out in 1979, it’s so far ahead of its time, from the very first minutes of the movie, it’s like nothing people would have seen before. It’s almost like Ridley Scott was showing off from the very get go, as the audience gets a tour of the Nostromo, the space shuttle where our 7-person crew resides. It’s so beautiful and I was shocked at what I was seeing, because again this was 1979, and the best part of Alien are the effects, they are all practical and the little CGI that’s in the movie works, again considering when Alien was made. I wish this were one movie experience I could of had in the theatre. I do this all the time, I’ll go back and watch an old movie and be upset that I didn’t get the theatre experience with it, because this would have been an all-timer. I mentioned the 7-person crew, the plot is simple, the Nostrum is a commercial spacecraft that is heading back to Earth after a journey in space. The 7 crew members; Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Brett (Harry Dean Stanton), Lambert (Veronica Cartwright), Kane (John Hurt), Ash (Ian Holm) and Parker (Yaphet Kotto) lay dormant in their stasis pods, but are awoken to find out that they are off course because a close planet has been sending out a “distress signal.” Part of their job description is to investigate the matter much to he crews disdain for such a thing, they land on the planet and well things just go to shit from there. Once they land on the new planet, Kane, Parker and Dallas go out to search from any sign of life and well they eventually do find life, just not the kind they were looking for. Kane investigates a mysterious looking egg, and before he knows what happens a strange life form latches itself onto his face. Dallas and Lambert rush Kane back to the ship, but Ripley is hesitant about bringing the unknown life form onto the ship, eventually they get Kane onboard and start to experiment on the life form, but quickly realize its blood is super corrosive and it will not detach from Kane’s face. You know the rest, the creature detaches from Kane’s face, he has a little bit of memory loss and everything seems fine and dandy. Until the crew sits down to their final meal before reentering their stasis pods for a 10 month snooze. Kane starts convulsing and an alien pops out from his rib cage and before they have a chance to kill it, it scurries off into the spacecraft. I just have to give John Hurt a massive shout out, the world lost this incredible actor last year and he’s just fantastic in this, he’s so damn young it’s scary. His death scene is one of the more iconic death scenes in all of cinema. When people think about Alien, this scene usually comes to mind. I just feel like his death is so far ahead of its time, and it’s a scene that will always stay with me for years to come.

John Hurt isn’t the only one churning out legendary performances in Alien; Ripley is the first badass female character that really stuck with the pop culture crowd. When you think of strong female characters in film, Ripley definitely comes to mind and rightfully so! For years to come Sigourney Weaver would play the Xenomorph ass kicker. Growing up I loved this character, and I wish we would have gotten more Ripley in our lives and rumors about a potential 5th Alien movie is just great news and I hope it really works out. The rest of the story is simple; the alien grows to enormous size and starts stalking our crew one by one. This is when the movie shifts from a thriller to straight up horror. I forgot how scary this movie was, and now I remember why it scared me to death as a kid. There’s something about enclosed spaces and a creature lurking in the shadows. The Xenomorph is an all time classic movie monster and they are one of my favorites, it’s something about how they go about doing things. They don’t necessarily kill their victims and sometimes it’s hard to see what exactly they do to their prey, which makes them even creepier. That can be said for a couple of its victims in this movie, Brett and Dallas who are the first two victims. For myself they are part of the two scariest moments in the film and it happens to be their final moments.

The scene in the hanger leading up to Brett’s death, there’s a brief second where you see the alien just hanging above him, it’s not meant to be a jump scare and there isn’t even a change of music or tone. That being said, it’s so sudden that at first you could miss it, but its there just waiting for its moment. All of this makes it even more terrifying, the aliens do such an amazing job blending into their surroundings, and it’s this trait that gets most of their victims. I just thought this was a really cool part of the movie, but poor Brett certainly didn’t think so. Next in the airshafts when Dallas takes control of the situation and decides to try and trap the creature but he ultimately meets his fate in those air shafts and it’s a really scary moment. It’s this scene that kind of encapsulates what the movie is all about. It’s about being scared and alone, in an enclosed space, not really knowing what’s out there and what you’re dealing with. The scariest part about both of their deaths is the audience has no idea what happens to their bodies, it’s never talked about or discovered, unless you watch the directors cut, which I did. You find out that the Xenomorph cocoons its victims when towards the end of the movie, Ripley discovers the bodies of both Dallas and Brett, Dallas hanging on by a thread begs Ripley to kill him. When you think about it, it really makes the whole experience worse that this alien doesn’t full on kill you but rather leaves you in a cocoon and will ultimately finish you off later, they are insanely smart creatures.

As the crew fights for survival, it’s revealed that Ash is actually a droid, and since the discovery of the new species, the crew is now expendable and primary objective is now to bring the creature back alive to study. Once Ripley discovers this, Ash tries to kill her not before the remaining crew comes to her rescue, and I always loved how the androids had what appeared to be milk for blood, always loved it! When Ripley is the soul crewmember left, it’s a fight to the death with this “perfect organism” and the ending is just fantastic. The best part about watching Alien was that I honestly didn’t remember too much about it, and it was such a satisfying experience to enjoy this movie again. It changed the game for the horror and thriller genre, and it will always stand the test of time. Alien redefined practical effects and what you can accomplish on a limited budget, its movies like these that reinvigorate my passion and love for movies. I’m going to link some of the favorite scenes from the movie down below!

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Alien = 90/100

‘Life’ Movie Review 

Nobody and I mean nobody drops better angry F-Bombs than Ryan Reynolds

(Sony Pictures)

In space no one can hear you scream, and in Life there was a boatload of screaming to be had. Space movies always remind me of one thing; space is scary as hell! Especially when you are trapped on the International Space Station with a newly discovered alien life form.

So aboard the International Space Station is a multinational six-member crew that is comprised of some of the brightest minds on Earth. They intercept an incoming space probe that is returning from a successful trip from Mars. They collect a soil sample, where the crew is tasked to study it, which could ultimately end up being the first evidence of life outside of Earth. The crew quickly discover that not only is this the first sign of life, but that it is “all muscle, all brain and all eye,” which sounds scary as shit if you ask me. After the organism evolves, it is given a name, Calvin, after a school in America. Calvin quickly becomes more evolved and smarter as the day’s pass, and the crew slowly begins to realize, that they might have bitten off more than they can chew. As they find themselves in a fight for their lives, they must work together to stop Calvin from reaching Earth. As they’re picked off one by one, Calvin not only evolves, it gets smarter and smarter, and the crew realizes that maybe they should have left this creature back on Mars, where it belongs.

The crew itself is comprised of an American senior medical officer, David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), who has been in space for the longest period of time in human history, with just over 430 days served in space. David mostly keeps to himself, remaining quite, but when push comes to shove we find him becoming a little more of a badass. Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), she serves as the British Quarantine Officer, and the captain of this mission. She is in charge of the “firewall protocols” which serve as the safety plans in case anything goes wrong onboard the space station. She knows more information than the crew does, and keeps a few secrets from them as well. Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds) the American pilot of the space station is the crews class clown, and leader of the group. Ryan Reynolds was probably the standout of the movie for me, providing us with the best scene of the movie that’s for sure. As usual, he’s a wise cracking, know-it-all something we have become accustom too in his movies. Not saying that’s a bad thing, I actually really liked his performance in Life, it was nice to see him branch out a little bit. The Japanese systems engineer Sho Murakami (Hiroyuki Sanada), the strong but silent type. Who just wants to get home so he can see his newly born daughter. The Russian commander of the mission, Katerina Golovkina (Olga Dihovichnaya) willing to step up and take charge when need be, a strong woman who’s not afraid of a little perseverance. Finally we have the crew’s biologist, a British man Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) who is the most excited about the specimen on board and wants nothing more than to study it and make the human population proud. Remember this is a movie that takes place in space with a alien, these people are going to be disposable, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t start to care for them, and root for them to win. People are going to die in a movie like this, it’s just the nature of films like this. Life borrows a lot of elements from the original Alien movie, the movie that redefined the genre of science-fiction. I’m a huge Gyllenhaal fan, and I thought that he didn’t really have a whole lot to do in this, I felt that he was very underused in the first 2/3 of Life which was kind of a let down. He’s a great actor and I wish the director would have given him more to do. It felt like they just didn’t know what to do with his character at times, and being the lead of the movie it felt out of place at times. Speaking of the director, it’s Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) and he was almost the star of the movie. This is on the edge of your seat kind of suspense, with great tense moments, along with some really scary situations. Daniel did a fantastic job bringing all this together and create one hell of a landscape for the movie.  This movie has some really intense moments where I was even almost looking away (I’m a baby) but when a movie can do that, it’s doing its job. Taking place only on the space station, Daniel does a great job shooting the movie  very confined and tight, which makes for an even more enjoyable movie watching experience.

Life is a slow-burn, which means it takes awhile to get going and it takes its time for things to come together, but in the end it usually pays off. My biggest gripe for the movie was I wasn’t a fan of the ending. As the movie was winding down, I knew it only had a few outcomes to showcase, and I just wasn’t a fan of how things wrapped up, and it was an ending that didn’t really answer all the questions. Leaving the audience with a lot of “what ifs” and seeing how I don’t think Life will be getting a sequel that can be very frustrating for the movie goer. I’m not saying I knew from the beginning how the movie was going to end, but you could see all the twists of the movie happening before they actually did. Nothing ever really shocked me in Life, so I just wish they maybe threw one more curve ball at us, or maybe just didn’t follow the exact cookie cutter formula that most of these space movies follow. That doesn’t mean this is a bad movie by any means, or that I liked it less, it just means that you know what’s going to happen next before it actually happens in the movie. You spend two hours investing your time into the movie and sometimes you just want to be rewarded at the end of it, and not left scratching your head about possible outcomes or what kind of message the filmmaker is trying to get across.

Life is not a game changer by any means for the genre, but it does some things really well. This a good science-fiction horror/thriller, that people should go out and see. If you’re a fan of these kinds of flicks, then you won’t be disappointed in the outcome. Like I said it has some good performances, enough scares, and tense moments to have you on the edge of your seat in certain moments, and I thought Calvin was a pretty cool alien. It was different to see something that wasn’t so terrifying looking, as say some other monster movies, but it didn’t need to look scary, to show the audience just how much damage it could possibly inflict on the human population. I just know if they keep making movies like this I will never find myself going on a space vacation in the year 2050.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Life = 70/100