Alien: Covenant (2017)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: John Logan, Dante Harper (Screenplay) Jack Paglen, Michael Green, Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Story/Characters)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett

 

Plot: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Plain Bad

 

Story: Alien Covenant starts with the colony ship the Covenant heading towards a new planet, a crew of 15 and over 2000 colonist on board with just Walter (Fassbender) the android running the ship. When the ship encounters a freak storm in space leads the crew suffering loses they need to let the new captain Oram (Crudup) guide them through the damage to the systems.

When the repairs find a ghost transmission from a planet which appears perfectly habitable Oram goes against first mate Daniels’ (Waterston) opinion to continue their mission and takes a crew to this planet.

While on the planet the crew learn, this planet isn’t as safe as they had thought as they learn the deadly species waiting to be awoken along with a discovery which will give them answers about one of the mysterious of space.

 

Thoughts on Alien: Covenant

 

Characters/PerformanceWalter is the latest model of the androids that joins the mission to do the jobs humans can’t manage he is good natured and understands his mission. Daniels is the second in command after the early tragedy, she doesn’t want to investigate the new planet but soon becomes the one we must rout for once she decides to fight. Oram is your standard captain trying to take the role with his own stamp, also he is meant to be religious. The rest of the crew are what you expect.

Performance wise, well this is where things get interesting, Fassbender is fine but let’s face it he is wasting his talent in movies like these. Waterston struggles to follow in the strong leading action heroine footsteps with Crudup being easily forgettable. This does have known names but nothing that comes off truly memorable in the performances.

StoryThe story looks to follow up what happened after the Prometheus in what just feels like a complete rip off, of plenty of films, we have horribly written characters that just do panic instead of being professional in the role that would remain calm through each situation. This is a rinse, repeat film that ends up being one of the most predictable movies you have ever seen.

Horror/Sci-FiThere is little to no horror in a movie that has ALIENS in which is the whole point. The sci-fi side of the story is all what you have come to expect from the genre without being anything fresh.

SettingsThe film looks beautiful and stunning throughout but they also don’t have anything looking original though.

Special EffectsThe special effects show us the settings looking almost flawless, it is the aliens which come off weak in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor addition to the franchise of aliens, we barely see them and the science versus religion question doesn’t end up getting discussed enough.

 

Overall: Poor franchise addition that is weak in every single aspect.

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Assassin’s Creed (2016)

assaDirector: Justin Kurzel

Writer: Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Kenneth Williams, Denis Menochet, Essie Davis

 

Plot: When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Poor Video Game Adaptation

 

Story: Assassin’s Creed starts by looking at the secret assassin that Aguilar (Fassbender) was part of in the 16th century before we meet a young Cal who witnesses his mother murdered by what can only be described as a mysterious assassin that his father Joseph (Gleeson) has become.

Cal (Fassbender) grown up finds himself on death row now ready to get the lethal injection for capital murder charge. Awaking from his death Cal finds Dr Sofia (Cotillard) waiting for him in an advanced scientific laboratory.

Cal gets forced into the program where he will learn the memories of one of his ancestors Aguilar the assassin in Spain. The reason Cal is left alive is to go back into the memories of Aguilar to discover where he put an artefact that Sofia and her father Rikkin (Irons) are after, but along the way Cal learns the fighting skills of the assassins becoming a danger in today’s world too.

 

Thoughts on Assassin’s Creed

 

StoryThis is the latest in the video game turned movie and the story on paper this has all the potential to be the one that brings the video game films to the mainstream success. Sadly this story doesn’t come off to the effect you would like because too much of the film is in the modern world when the part of this game that made you go wow was the recreation of the ancient world. I feel we did deserve more than just a glorified treasure hunt with a sprinkling of family issues.

Action/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action in this film is all fine but nothing special while the idea of going into the mind of a previous life just doesn’t hit the levels it could.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters Cal and Aguilar are basic while Sofia and Rikkin also come off as average character within a film. The performance from Fassbender are solid but nothing special with Cotillard and Irons not even nail the same accent despite being father and daughter just doesn’t make sense at all. When you look at the supporting cast well you won’t remember them either.

SettingsThe lab setting is fine but just doesn’t stand out that futuristic while the past life setting doesn’t hit the special wow factor the game gave us first time.

Special EffectsWhen you look at the special effects, you are expecting something truly special but in the end this just doesn’t deliver.

Final ThoughtsFails on nearly every level to reach video games potential and will just continue the trend of poor video game to film adaptations.

 

Overall: Not the game to film we were looking for.

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John Malkovich Weekend – Jonah Hex (2010)

jonahDirector: Jimmy Hayward

Writer: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor (Screenplay) Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor, William Farmer (Story)

Starring: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, John Gallagher Jr, Michael Shannon, Wes Bentley

 

Plot: The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Bad as I Thought

 

Story: Jonah Hex starts as we see soldier Jonah Hex (Brolin) has to pay for killing Quentin Turnbull’s (Malkovich) son during the war, branded with a QT on his face Jonah witness his family burnt alive. Going on the rampage to find Turnbull he only discovers he has died and Jonah becomes a bounty hunter that can communicate with the dead.

When Turnbull returns from the grave or never got killed the President turns to Jonah Hex to stop Turnbull and his plan to build the deadly weapon that could become the biggest threat in American.

Jonah Hex is an adaptation from a comic book series which like most I have never read so I can’t judge how accurate the version is. The story is shot like it has been ripped from the pages of a comic because we get very little background story of any characters in more than quick flashbacks. The special effects do come off looking bad in places where you can clearly see the CGI being used throughout. The settings all come off looking like the time which isn’t a problem and potentially the highlight of the film. The action side of the film is all average without a truly memorable scene being used either and the inclusion of the fantasy elements where Jonah can talk to the dead comes off looking good and is something I would have liked to have seen more.

The cast is an interesting one because Brolin as Hex works well, Malkovich as the main villain is like finding a cheap version of Cyrus the Virus from Con Air, Megan Fox clearly brings the sex appeal but doesn’t get much of the actual acting done here. It is Michael Fassbender that stands out in this role where he goes full crazy with his character being the most memorable but I am not sure if it is for the right or wrong reasons. All the other supporting cast are almost wasted in small roles that barely get more than one scene.

 

Overall: I was expecting terrible but this is an easy watch without being great.

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X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

casting cardDirector: Bryan Singer

Writer: Simon Kinberg (Screenplay) Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris (Story)

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Luca Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy

 

Plot: With the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappoint Sequel

 

Story: X-Men: Apocalypse starts as we see a fail ritual to bring Apocalypse alive in ancient Egyptian, move forward to 1981 we get to meet our fresh set of mutants with Scott Summers/ Cyclops (Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Smit-McPhee), Angel (Hardy), Jean Grey (Turner) and Storm (Shipp). Scott being the brother of Havok (Till) gets enrolled in Professor Xavier’s (McAvoy) school while Magneto (Fassbender) is living a normal life back in Poland.

It isn’t long until Apocalypse is being raised from the dead with the higher power mutants being able to sense him rising. With Magneto driven to the man he didn’t want to live anymore he unleashes his rage, while Professor Xavier seeks an old friend Moira Mactaggert (Byrne) for answers to the rising of Apocalypse.

Apocalypse builds himself an army of mutants with increased powers as he searches for the most powerful mutants to help him reclaim the Earth that was once his with Magneto, Storm, Angel and Psylocke (Munn) by his side. It is up to Professor Xavier to take his student into battle to stop the end of the world.

X-Men: Apocalypse is yet another restart timeline X-Men movie that for some reason tries to reference future outings but also erasing other moments. This just confuses the timelines but as for it being a solo story you do need to have seen the previous films to understand certain moments. The introducing of younger versions of the mutants we have known in previous films but they all seem suddenly powerful enough to handle themselves in a fight. We get the same odd Professor X and Magneto dealing with what they want without agreeing. In fairness this is just another wildly over the top X-Men movie that can be enjoy from a casual point of view but for story telling it’s just not up to the standard we are used to.

 

Actor Review

 

James McAvoy: Professor Charles Xavier is now just trying to just teach the young mutants to deal with their mutant powers trying to keep peace between the two kinds. He ends up having to come face to face with an enemy that is controlling his closest friend/enemy Magneto. James is solid but just doesn’t give us the character we fully enjoy.

Michael Fassbender: Magneto is now trying to live a normal life in Poland, he has started a family but when his identity becomes apparent tragedy strikes and we see Magneto want vengeance against the human race as he stands next to Apocalypse. This is the best and most tragic back story Magneto has ever had making him the best youngster version we have seen before. Michael is one of the stars of the show with his performance but the character does seem to get forgotten in the second half of the movie.

Jennifer Lawrence: Mystique is now a lone soldier trying to help mutants from around the world, she isn’t being bad just continuing to want to make sure all mutants get treated equal. Jennifer continues her paycheck franchise performances here never really being stand-out.

Oscar Isaac: Apocalypse is the first mutant and the all-powerful one at that, he has the ability to enhance the powers of other mutants. He wants to destroy the world bringing it back to the place where people respected and worshiped him, he puts together a team of what he sees as the strongest mutants to make this happen. Oscar is solid in this role but it could be fair to say anyone could have had this role.

Support Cast: X-Men: Apocalypse has a massive supporting cast with Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters and Kodi Smit-McPhee all gives us good performance but most of the rest struggle to make an impact with a lot playing the younger versions of the pre-existing characters and simply not hitting the levels of the previous outings.

Director Review: Bryan SingerBryan goes bigger yet again with this outing with more characters and more timelines to pull together but I do feel this goes one step too far.

 

Action: X-Men: Apocalypse has plenty of wild over the top action moments but the destruction just seems too much and unnecessary.

Adventure: X-Men: Apocalypse throws our characters into an adventure defend the world like we have seen before.

Sci-Fi: X-Men: Apocalypse has all of the different mutant powers to give us the fight we are sitting through.

Settings: X-Men: Apocalypse has the dam setting for one setting which is good connecting back to previous films but otherwise it is jut cities randomly being destroyed.
Special Effects
: X-Men: Apocalypse is filled with the special effects you would expect without being anything really fresh.

Suggestion: X-Men: Apocalypse is one for the fans of the series to watch, this isn’t one you can just pick up without knowing previous version of the film. (Franchise Fans)

 

Best Part: Quicksilver, give this guy his own movie.

Worst Part: Poor young casting of the popular characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Most likely.

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hour 24 Minutes

Tagline: Only the strong will survive

 

Overall: One sequel too far that is just too much explosions and poor casting.

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Michael Fassbender Weekend – A Dangerous Method (2011)

dangerousDirector: David Cronenberg

Writer: Christopher Hampton (Screenplay) John Kerr (Book)

Starring: Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon

 

Plot: A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow and Confusing Biographical

 

Story: A Dangerous Method starts as Sabine Spielrein (Knightley) is to an asylum where she is treated by Carl Jung (Fassbender) for her irrational reaction to any stimulation. In the search for answers Carl turns to Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) who has been an expert in the sexual disorders people are meant to have.

Once Carl gets to the bottom of Sabine’s case he finds himself learn from one of his patients Otto Gross (Cassel) who teaches him to he should be more sexually adventurous and his former patient Sabine is also now ready to embrace her issues. With all this going on Carl learns more from Freud about expressing his sexual side.

A Dangerous Method tries to tell the story of three famous scientific minds, sadly this only seems to show the difference they had through a difficult time in history. I found myself wondering what we were learning about as a lot of the dialogue feels very cloggy throughout. This really disappoints as a film which should be a lot more interesting.

 

Actor Review

 

Keira Knightley: Sabina is considered an ill young woman who is struggling with a fantasist that Carl Jung is treating, when he discovers the problem she becomes his mistress and moving towards living a normal life. She uses her newly discovered knowledge to get her way. Keira is solid in this role but never convinces.sabina

Viggo Mortensen: Sigmund Freud is the famous doctor that Carl Jung turns to for advice with dealing with his latest patient Sabina. He gives father like advice to Carl which becomes the opposite to what Carl thinks. Viggo makes for a good Freud but I do feel something was missing in his performance.frued

Michael Fassbender: Carl Jung is the doctor who is treating Sabina, he ends up going through Sigmund Freud to learn about what the problems are where to two become friends but also against each other’s opinions. He also gets involved with Sabina as he has his eyes opened sexually. Michael is good in the leading role but like the rest I feel is missing something.car

Vincent Cassel: Otto Gross is a patient that opens the eyes of Carl, he is seductive with how he speaks, after talking to Carl we see a different side of him. Vincent gives us a solid supporting performance I wish we could have seen more from.

Support Cast: A Dangerous Method doesn’t really have the biggest supporting cast and the ones we do meet sometimes feel almost pointless.

Director Review: David CronenbergDavid is a director we all have high expectations of but this really was a let-down.

 

Biographical: A Dangerous Method only teaches us the very basic about three very famous scientific minds.

Settings: A Dangerous Method re-creates the settings for this time period all looking very good.

Suggestion: A Dangerous Method is one to miss really, it doesn’t come off with the highest interest levels. (Miss It)

 

Best Part: Settings look great.

Worst Part: We don’t learn enough about the characters.

 

Believability: Based on the real people.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Based on the true story of Jung, Freud and the patient who came between them.

 

Overall: Dull biopic really.

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