Alien: Covenant (2017) - Review
Some questions are best left unanswered. — In 2012 acclaimed director Ridley Scott returned to the universe he'd helped create in Alien, his seminal 1979 melding of science fiction and horror. That return came in the form of his pseudo-prequel Prometheus. I've already written lengthy retrospectives of Alien and it's three direct sequels but I stopped short of Prometheus. Thinking back as to why I chose not to revisit Prometheus, I can only deduce that my feelings towards it at the time were still in something of a trough. Prometheus was a film that I liked less and less upon subsequent viewings. Each viewing would uncover yet another ill-considered plot element or inconsistency that I felt damaged the mythos that had been so carefully crafted in the earlier films in spite of the often stunning visuals. The problems with Prometheus can be traced to its pre-production when writer Jon Spaihts was replaced by Damon Lindelof. If the available information is to be believed, Spaihts' script was far more of a direct prequel to Alien. The planet featured was LV-426, the same planet where Ripley first came into contact with the Xenomorph in Alien and to which she would later return in Aliens. When Lindelof suggested that significant changes be made to the screenplay so as to make it far less of a direct prequel, Scott agreed and allowed Lindelof to begin making the changes through numerous rewrites. One of the changes was to make the planet a different one to the one seen in Alien and so the planet in Prometheus was changed to LV-223. Another was to push aside the focus on the Xenomorphs and make Prometheus its own film with its own unique themes set within the Alien universe but not directly related to it.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) - Review
Right Now In A Galaxy Not So Far Away... — In 2014 director James Gunn unleashed Marvel Studios' Guardians Of The Galaxy upon us and completely defied expectations, if anyone even had any to begin with. Being at best a C class Marvel Comics property, Gunn turned in a film that snuck under the radar and blew audiences away with a stunningly well crafted mix of space opera, subversive comedy, gorgeous eye candy and balls to the wall action. Gunn deftly balanced snarky humour with cool pop culture references and moments of genuine pathos and for this particular critic was a film that got exponentially better on repeat viewings. I unreservedly love the first film and confirmed this love of it with a rewatch the day before seeing the sequel. It's so much better than it has any right to be and was quite rightly declared by more cheekily discerning reviewers, the best Star Wars film since Return Of The Jedi upon its 2014 release.
Kyle Reardon's "Nowhere To Run" - A Communal Film.
Help Kickstart A Filmmaker's Dream. — Back in 2016 I wrote an article about the growth in popularity of crowdfunding and its benefits to film fans. It focussed on the forthcoming RoboDoc documentary, a project that means a lot to me personally as a massive fan of the original 1987 film that forms the basis of said documentary. That project was a huge success, so much so that the makers have now obtained so much footage that it's being released in two parts. Hold that thought whilst I now digress...