Silver Screen Smackdown- Movie Review of Alien: Covenant

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TL; DR-good, with an asterisk.  81%

Alien_Covenant_Logo

Basics-You know this drill-spaceship, people mean monsters, aliens come out of people, more people die, some mystery robot, people die.  This time is a group of colonists in the 2100’s who check out the mysterious signal, are attacked by different monsters, and then escape.

Story–This is the low point, but I can’t hate what’s here.  Overall the story is a C.  Its compelling, but has some choices happen that just shouldn’t and parts of the movies own logic just stopped happening.  Find an alien plant?  No helmets and touch everything!  Some dude just shows up out of nowhere and is creepy as hell?  He’s our new best bud-ALL THE TRUST!  Facehuggers need less than 20 seconds to do their job now!  Aliens mature in about the same amount of time!  But, I followed what the laid out, saw the turns coming, but enjoyed the ride.  It’s a rollercoaster, but maybe one I’ve either ridden too many times.  You’ll enjoy what you see, but don’t think too much or your enjoyment will not survive the experience.  3.25/5

Acting–  The people in this act well, but not perfectly.  Overall all the characters are believable.  There are a few moments where people do things like the new captain being mad people are mourning the death of some people early on due to some solar weather (not a spoiler, it’s two minutes into the movie), the seem to just be there to make him seem like a dick.  The humans act smart enough but they fail some of the basic logic checks like let’s touch all the strange stuff without gloves or abandon our friends in a room to die!  The heroes at least pass the smart test, so you feel they are moving in the right direction.  3.5/5

Cinematography–Film looks amazing.  I like all the stuff they have to show with stunning visuals.  The creatures look amazing, and even though you know jump scares are coming, you still jump.  The creatures are mostly CGI, but it’s hard to tell, so I’ll take it.  4.5/5

Sound-This movie sounds amazing.  The aliens sounds like they should.  All the standard sounds come back in the right ways.  The ships sounds like you’d think ships should.  The environments sound right.  Everything felt and sounded like it should. 5/5

Summary–I want to like this more, but I also kind of want to hate this more too.  These movies explain the origins of the xenomorph.  That’s not a surprise, but this is one of the reasons I really, really want to despise this movie.  The logic of where the alien came from kind of falls apart.  If they xenomorph is from around 2100, then how does predator, AvP, and anything else work?  If preditors hunted aliens for centuries before the Aztec empire, how do they come from the future?  What I’m seeing with this movie is what happened to the Star Wars fandom.  The fans kept the idea going with comics, books, and games, but when popular culture comes back to it, those comics, books, and games are all abandoned.  I don’t like the feeling I have of being abandoned by the people who make the stuff I like.  But, I also want to like this more as now I’m getting more Alien movies!  The movies is a strong OK.  I get some great visuals and sound, ok acting, and a story that kind of works.  But the ultimate question is this-When the next sequel comes out, will I go?  And the answer based on this movies is a yes.  Here are my predictions: this movie was fan service in strange way.  It answered plot holes from the original.  Now, the next movie will fix plot holes in this one, while making fun new ones!  It kind of feels like an expansion pack to a computer game that hot fixes issues the fans found.  But, I’ll still go see it.  It’s the next Alien movie!  81%

Silver Screen Smackdown- Movie Review of Big Hero 6

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Movie– Big Hero 6

TL;DR-A nice movie about family and belief 93 %

 

Basics- Hiro, our hero of the film, is the orphaned robot design prodigy.  His older brother sees him wasting his design potential away with underground robot fighting and convinces him to compete for a scholarship to a robot design university.  He wins, but fire at the competition clams Hiro’s brother’s life.  Hiro finds that his award winning robots were stolen in the fire, and now Hiro must team up with his lost brother’s last robot project to defeat the evil villain who stole his project and his brother’s life.

 

Story– This is a kid’s movie, and therefore a bit too short.  But that’s a good feeling!  I’d rather be left wanting more than being bored.  This movie doesn’t pull any punches though for a kids movie.  Lots of different themes are discussed, and the villain when he/she shows up is well conceived, not over the top, and somewhat sympathetic.  It’s a sleeper hit just like Meet the Robinsons.   4.5/5

 

(voice) Acting– The dialog is well done here.  There is even a Wayans brother in this one, and it’s well done!  All the characters feel real. 5/5

 

Cinematography– It’s a cartoon world, but it still does look well done. Everything is the right amount of cartoony while still looking semi-realistic.  I like what I see in this one. 4.5/5

 

Summary– This is a fun little movie.  It’s over way too quick, but the stories and characters in this one are a blast.  Honestly, this movie and Meet the Robinsons seem to be on par with one another.  Both are animated sleeper hits.  Great fun, but overshadowed by some other movies that recently came out.  93%

 

Silver Screen Smackdown- Movie Review of Dark Dungeons

Movie– Dark Dungeons

TL;DR– Is and isn’t a parody 90%

Basics-Its the classic Chick Track brought to life.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Read it here: http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.ASP

 

DISCLAIMER!!!-I am a Roman Catholic who avidly plays several RPGs as well as several board games.  I attend church nearly weekly and married a pagan woman.  I am a ball of religious contradictions.

 

Story– For as bad as the Chick Track is, this movie turns out well.  The movie is FULL of hidden little RPG gems and call backs to other RPG movies.  That makes it awesome.  The movie also plays the plot completely straight-NO CHEAP SHOTS ARE TAKEN AT THE RELIGION.  If you, like me, saw all kinds of boarder line creepy movies full of strange logic applied to why we shouldn’t read book x or do thing y, then this movie will completely remind you of your childhood religious education films a little too much.  The movie is equally as welcome at a RPG convention as it would be in an extremely religious church afterschool program.  It’s not perfect as a few things do detract from its completely walking the line between both its tasks and a few things are added that obviously pan to the modern gamer audience, but overall it’s a damn fine story. 4.5/5

 

Acting– This was done pretty well.  It’s full of all kinds of faces that are pretty famous in the RPG film community.  The same people who did an excellent job making The Gamers as well as a ton of different Youtube series all do a great job on this project.  Also, this movie adds a bunch of people I’ve never seen before who do excellent jobs in their parts.  But, it’s not perfect, but it’s acted well. 4.5/5

 

Cinematography– This movie was made for less than $30K, but it doesn’t show that often.  It uses the same sets several times, but it’s fresh enough to keep you engaged.  There is a strange scene in the steam tunnels that somewhat cheap, but overall the movie is well done and looks great. 4.5/5

 

Summary– This is Reefer Madness for the modern RPG audience.  I could honestly see this back to back at a convention with Mazes and Monsters as a double feature.  Dark Dungeons is only 40 minutes long, but that time fits the plot well.  The original comic is something you can read in less than five minutes, so this movie doesn’t over stay its welcome.  I does deviate from the plot a few times by adding Cthulhu in with just to panders to the crowd, but overall this is a short, well done movie that works on an amazing number of levels.  If taken straight, it’s a cautionary tale of how RPGs ruin lives and drive you away from God.  If taken as the comedy it is, it’s a look at how some crazy, fringe groups view a hobby they completely don’t understand. 90%