REVIEW: Alien: Covenant

Image: Twentieth Century Fox

Chris Luckett

Not counting the non-canonical Alien vs. Predator spinoffs, there have now been six movies in the Alien series — four in the story of Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley and the first two of a prequel trilogy directed by Ridley Scott.

There have been highs and middles, but even the misunderstood-at-best Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection had the benefits brought by two young, hungry directors eager to make their mark, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

As a result, even the less impressive Alien movies have had something fresh to offer. Alien: Covenant, as great as it is at what it does, is the first in the series that doesn’t really have a new thing to say or a new way to say it.

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CORE STORY: Noomi Rapace returning for Prometheus sequel after all

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Chris Luckett

Noomi Rapace’s character Dr. Elizabeth Shaw was one of the few to survive Prometheus, but the official word has long been that she would not be returning for the sequel, Alien: Covenant. That no longer looks to be true. Continue reading

REVIEW: X-Men: Apocalypse

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Chris Luckett

“At least we can all agree the third one is always the worst.”

So says a character in X-Men: Apocalypse, the latest actioner using mutants to hold a mirror up to contemporary society’s prejudices. It’s a dig at X-Men: The Last Stand, the third in Fox’s original trilogy and long considered to be the worst of the series. (Well, assuming you don’t count the abysmal X-Men: Origins — Wolverine.)

It’s not just X-Men: The Last Stand, though. While in most movie trilogies, the second entry in the worst, superhero trilogies are an anomaly. Since the first movie is usually bogged down by an origin story, the second movie is almost always the best — recall Superman II, X2: X-Men United, Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier — while the third is almost always the worst.

When 2011’s X-Men: First Class rebooted things, showing how the characters once played by Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Rebecca Romijn began, it caught people off-guard with how good it was. Days of Future Past, being the second movie, proved to be the best X-Men yet, topping the first in always every way. X-Men: Apocalypse is the third in this new trilogy. And you know what they say about the third one. Continue reading

REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Chris Luckett

In the wake of The Avengers, movie franchises have aimed for larger scales and the combining of movie casts. The Fast & Furious franchise folded in Jason Statham’s Transporter character with the closing scene of Fast & Furious 6. Man of Steel is begetting Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is ultimately begetting a Justice League movie.

Not to miss the boat, the X-Men franchise delivers their attempt at a combined hero action movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, which unites the cast of the 2000-2005 X-Men trilogy and the cast of the 2011 prequel-boot X-Men: First Class. Gloriously, X-Men: Days of Future Past is many things at once — a combined hero action movie being just one of them — and succeeds on all fronts.

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