Summary: 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.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th May 2017
Australian DVD Release Date: 16th August 2017
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: Dante Harper, John Logan, Michael Green (story), Jack Paglen (story), Dan O’Bannon (characters), Ronald Shushett (characters)
Cast: Demian Bichir (Lope), Javier Botet (Xenomorph), Andrew Crawford (Neomorph), Billy Crudup (Oram), Nathaniel Dean (Hallett), Carmen Ejogo (Karine), Alexander England (Ankor), Michael Fassbender (David/Walter), James Franco (Branson), Tess Haubrich (Rosenthal), Callie Hernandez (Upworth), Lorelei King (Mother (voice)), Goran D. Kleut (Xenomorph/Neomorph), Uli Latukefu (Cole), Danny McBride (Tennesse), Guy Pearce (Peter Weyland), Noomi Rapace (Dr. Elizabeth Shaw), Benjamin Rigby (Ledward), Amy Seimetz (Faris), Jussie Smollett (Ricks), Katherine Waterson (Daniels)
Runtime: 122 mins
OUR ALIEN: COVENANT REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Kyle McGrath’s Alien: Covenant Review:
2012 saw the release of Prometheus, the first prequel in the Alien franchise and Ridley Scott’s return to the series following the original Alien (1979). It followed the ill fated crew of the unfortunately named ship Prometheus on its expedition into deep space to search for the possible origin of mankind based on cave drawings of “Engineers” discovered worldwide by archaeologists including Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace). Several mishaps, sabotages and terrifying discoveries later, such as the team in reality discovering they were on some sort of weapons testing planet or the revelation the entire mission was in fact a means for the team’s extremely elderly benefactor, himself on board, to ask the Engineers to prolong his life. At the end of the film the entire team was wiped out and the mission a failure. The only survivors being Shaw and the severely damaged cyborg David (Michael Fassbender) on Shaw’s insistence set off to continue the search for answers and to discover the Engineer’s true home world.
Alien Covenant set 10 years after the disappearance of the Prometheus follows the crew of the Covenant, ship carrying 2000 colonists plus embryos on its way to populate a new world. A signal is picked up during repairs after a catastrophic event which awakens the dozen or so crew members from hypersleep (and kills the captain), not wishing to go back to sleep they decide to investigate the source of the signal. The planet does not turn out to be as welcoming as they had hoped and the crew come across David who had been busy.
Reaction to Prometheus was mixed to say the least, this seems to have influenced the filmmakers and the direction of the series hugely. Rather than follow on as a more direct follow up to Prometheus Alien a Covenant for the most part throws everything out the window and presents us with something more akin to a remake of Alien & Prometheus than simply a follow up to the latter.
The one almost universally liked thing about Prometheus was the creepy performance of Fassbender in the role of the android David. Now I’ll agree that he was one of the. Eat parts of the film but that doesn’t mean they should have made the entire next film about him at the expense of literally everyone else. Also what’s better than one creepy Fassbender androids? Two of them of course.
This is made worse by the way the filmmakers apparently haven’t really learned from the failings of the previous film. We don’t care about any of the characters in this film as they’re slowly picked off one by one. They’re nothing but fodder and their bizarre frankly suicidal behaviour, itself drawing the ire of fans last time, is still present here. These people invite death upon themselves because that’s what we the audience are apparently there for.
Another smart move from Prometheus this film corrupts is that the filmmakers realised that as iconic as H. R Giger’s Alien designs are they’ve largely been run into the ground or parodied to death for the last 30+ years. Fans may still eat it up but to much of the audience Giger’s Alien is now about as scary as Boris Karloff’s Mummy after Laurel & Hardy were done with him. The alien egg no longer has the mystery or horror about it that it once did, now it’s just as predictable as a jack in the box.
I’ve heard this is a “return to form” for Ridley Scott but that’s only in the most literal way as he has created something which feels like a cheap (though much more expensive) imitation of a movie he made almost 40 years ago. Alien Covenant comes off as a soulless attempt to cash in on a long dry idea. The new ideas Prometheus did well to establish this fails to take advantage of instead attempting to rehash what Alien (1979) did well which doesn’t work anymore.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Alien: Covenant Reviews: N/A
Summary: Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 25th February 2016
Australian DVD/Blu-Ray/On Demand Release Date: 15th August, 2016
Country: USA, Australia
Director: Alex Proyas
Screenwriter: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Cast: Rachael Blake (Isis), Emma Booth (Nephthys), Chadwick Boseman (Thoth), Bryan Brown (Osiris), Gerard Butler (Set), Nicolaj Coster-Waldau (Horus), Yaya Deng (Astarte), Courtney Eaton (Zaya), Alexander England (Mnevis), Lindsay Farris (Older Bek (voice)), Goran D. Kleut (Anubis), Abbey Lee (Anat), Robyn Nevin (Sharifa), Kenneth Ransom (Sphinx), Geoffrey Rush (Ra), Rufus Sewell (Urshu), Brenton Thwaites (Bek), Elodie Yung (Hathor)
Runtime: 126 mins
OUR GODS OF EGYPT REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Sometimes when a film comes out and meets negative press you have to wonder whether some of the critics were watching the same film you just did. While ‘Gods Of Egypt’ isn’t exactly an Oscar winning film it is a fun sci-fi film that really does show the creative mind of Alex Proyas (The Crow). If you’re a fan of films like The Scorpion King then you’re really going to want to give this one a look.
Set in ancient Egyptian mythology ‘Gods Of Egypt’ shows what happens after the throne is stolen from Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – ‘Game Of Thrones’) by Set (Gerald Butler – ‘300’) whose plains will bring about the destruction of humanity. With Horus’ power gone he goes into hiding, but some like the innocent Zaya (Courtney Eaton – Mad Max: Fury Road) believe he can still save humanity. After her death the love of her life, Bek (Brenton Thwaites – Maleficent), goes in search of Horus in a bid to try and save the world.
Storywise ‘Gods Of Egypt’ works just like the sci-fi films that many of us grew up watching, films like ‘Never Ending Story.’ While it might just be a little too violent for kids, this is the kind of film that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike as it is nowhere near as violent as a film like ‘300.’ The creativity is there throughout the film and Proyas is a gifted enough director to work with his screenwriters, Matt Sazama (‘Dracula Untold’) and Burk Sharpless (‘The Last Witch Hunter’), to create a film that not only creates suspense and action but also has a storyline that will allow the audience to actually care what happens to the characters at hand.
One of the biggest criticisms levelled at this film is that the CGI and special effects don’t look as good as they should but it is very obvious that what Proyas wanted with this film was for it to look and feel like a graphic novel or comic. It is impossible to fathom that a man who brought us a films like ‘The Crow’ and ‘Dark City’ would ever deliver a film that didn’t look the way he wanted it to – especially when he had the effects team who put together ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ working with him as well.
Perhaps one of the most fun parts of watching ‘Gods Of Egypt’ for an Australian audience is playing a simple game called ‘spot the Aussie.’ Aside from Brenton Thwaites in the lead role other Australian actors including Geoffrey Rush (‘Shine’) and Bryan Brown (‘Two Hands’) pop in roles and it is great to see them getting international expose like this. As far as the acting of the leads go Brenton Thwaites again shows that he has more than enough skill to be a leading man in an action film like this while audience members also get to see everybody’s favourite Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, flex his acting muscle and get to play the hero for once. Also announcing herself as a future star is Courtney Eaton, the young, inexperienced, Western Australian showing experience above her years and not being overwhelmed by appearing in a blockbuster like this.
The best way to approach ‘Gods Of Egypt’ is to just look at like you’re going to watch a fun movie. This is the kind of film that is going to be loved by anybody that has any interest in mythology while some of the epic battle scenes will do more than enough to keep the action junkies very happy. Don’t get put off by the negative press and make sure you check out ‘Gods Of Egypt’.
Summary: A black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, it is the story of two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight destined to collide.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th August 2016
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Abe Forsythe
Screenwriter: Abe Forsythe
Cast: Fayssal Bazzi (D-Mac), Josef Ber (Sgt.Bryce Halliday), Chris Bunton (Evan), Ruby Burke (Destiny), Suppakorn Chuwongwut (Nutt), Arka Das (Steve), Michael Denkha (Ibrahim), Harriet Dyer (Stacey), Alexander England (Shit-Stick), David Field (Vic), Damon Herriman (Jason), Josh McConville (Gav), Marshall Napier (Graham), Henry Nixon (Sgt. James McFadden), Julia Ohannessian (Rashida), Lap Phan (Terry), Robert Rabiah (Amir), Rahel Romahn (Nick), Justin Rosniak (Ditch), Anthony Taufa (Taufa), Christiaan Van Vurren (Doof), Lincoln Younes (Hassim), Dylan Young (Az)
Runtime: 90 mins
OUR DOWN UNDER REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Sometimes the best comedy is the darkest. In Duck Soup, The Marx Brothers’ led Freedonia into a good old fashioned knees up to celebrate the oncoming war that will swamp the country. The terrorists in Chris Morris’ Four Lions are shown to be petty, back stabbers that argue about Mini-Babybels and struggle to align their separate ideologies. And now we have Abe Forsyth’s Down Under, a violent, gut-bursting farce set against the backdrop of the Cronulla Riots.
We follow two separate groups of men chomping at the bit to get into a boot party. In the Cronulla corner, we have family man Jason (Damon Herriman) and Ned Kelly’s biggest fan Ditch (Justin Rosniak) on the prowl for anyone looking vaguely middle eastern. And vague is the operative word, as at one point it becomes apparent that they’re not even sure who they’re really after. To bulk up their numbers, they drag along dope head Shit-Stick (Alexander England) who would rather watch Lord of the Rings with his cousin from Nimbi, Evan (Chris Bunton)
Playing for the Sydney West team is the fiery Nick (Rahel Romahn), insufferable beat-boxer D-Mac (Fayssal Bazzi) and deeply religious Ibrahim (Michael Denkha). Tagging along with them is Hassim (Lincoln Younes), whose brother went missing the day the riots started.
Neither group is treated as the heroes of Down Under. Instead Forsythe highlights how their need to bash people because of a perceived difference really comes from the same misguided rage. And in the film, as in real life, this rage only begets more rage until no one is listening to anyone. It’s interesting to note that the director never allows the violence committed by the men to be diluted by the comedy. Each punch and bat swung connects viciously, there’s consequences to what they deal out. Instead, he bursts their bubbles by highlighting their naivety and hypocrisy, such as when Jason takes a break from bashing to get his pregnant girlfriend a kebab, or when Nick’s bravado reveals a violent resentment of immigrants. Other times, Forsythe soundtracks his characters’ actions to inappropriate pop songs from the era, including a rather wonderful rendition of Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn.
Where Down Under falls flat, at least for me, is Nick and Hassim’s interactions with drug dealer, Vic (David Field). Vic’s lascivious advances towards Hassim whilst surrounded by well-oiled, well-muscled young men feels trite and, in a film that lampoons stereotypes, feels, well, stereotypical. Because despite how the film’s trailer portrays them, these aren’t stupid men. Sure they say stupid things, but they’re clearly caught up in the chest beating and hubris that’s permeating in the streets. One of Jason’s team is revealed to have a white collar job, whilst Hassim is shown from the off-set to be studying for uni. These are not all thick men, and that’s what makes them scary. They’ve found an opportunity to release they deep-rooted beliefs.
With an ending that will pull the rug from under you, Down Under exposes the underbelly and idiocy of racism through laughter, violence, copious amounts of swearing and B*Witched songs. Sure to be controversial, you need to see it.
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
Other Subculture Entertainment Down Under reviews: Nil.
StudioCanal has announced that Abe Forsythe’s second feature film, DOWN UNDER will hit Australian cinemas AUGUST 4, 2016.
A black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, DOWN UNDER is the story of two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight destined to collide. Sincere, though misguided, intent gives way to farcical ineptitude as this hilarious yet poignant story of ignorance, fear and kebab-cravings unfolds, and what was meant to be a retaliation mission turns into something neither side could have imagined.
DOWN UNDER stars Lincoln Younes(Hiding, Love Child Season 2), Rahel Romahn(Underbelly: The Golden Mile, The Combination),Damon Herriman(The Water Diviner, The Little Death, Justified),Michael Denkha (The Combination, Stealth), Fayssal Bazzi(Crownies, Cedar Boys),Alexander England(Gods Of Egypt, Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story),Justin Rosniak(Animal Kingdom),Harriet Dyer(Love Child, Janet King) and introduces Christopher Bunton. It also features Josh McConville, Dylan Young, Christiaan Van Vuuren, Anthony Taufa along with Marshall Napier(The Water Horse, Babe) and David Field(Last Cab To Darwin, The Rover, Chopper).