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Blu-ray Review- ALIEN: COVENANT
Blu-ray Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 2
Blu-ray review: KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD
DVD Review: DEATH RACE 2050
PHOTOGRAPHY

ALIEN: COVENANT

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 122 minutes, audio commentary, deleted and extended scenes, making-of documentary, production gallery, David’s illustrations, InWorld featurettes, theatrical trailers, DVD, digital HD copy, Creatures of Alien book (exclusive to the Target release)

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO:  English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Danish, Swedish

 

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox/ TSG Entertainment/ Scott Free Productions

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 5-19-2017 (USA/ Canada)

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 8-15-2017

It has been ten years since the Prometheus expedition met their fate.   The colony ship Covenant picks up a human transmission from an unknown Earth type planet.   They journey to the world mostly dead of animal life and encounter the android David (Michael Fassbender) after finding a crashed Engineer spaceship.  They will learn about the fate of Elizabeth Shaw’s quest to go to the Engineer homeworld while facing a new biological menace and making sure they don’t bring any unknown danger to the sleeping colonists they’re transporting in the Covenant.  Can they trust David and what has David been doing on the unknown planet all this time?

 

I have been a big fan of the first ALIEN movies and enjoyed the flawed PROMETHEUS.  ALIEN RESURRECTION has its flaws and ALIENS VS PREDATOR movies are much hit and miss.   Now Ridley Scott has come up with a follow up to PROMETHEUS called ALIEN: COVENANT which captures some of the atmosphere of the original ALIEN only to be a frustrating sequel to PROMETHEUS (more than PROMETHEUS could ever be disappointing).   PROMETHEUS found a way to expand the ALIEN universe mythology where ALIEN: COVENANT unfortunately goes in the direction of retconning the mythology in unsatisfying ways.   The first hour of the movie has a great set-up, but the second half just sees plot logic go out the window as android David is revealed as the true bad guy of the movie.  I would have loved to have seen more of Elizabeth Shaw in this movie besides the two minute prequel short and pictures of her.  Her fate is revealed after the fact because I would have loved to see her face the Engineers before she faced whatever fate she faces.   

 

One of the biggest problems with the newest prequel is the characters are underdeveloped.  I was watching parts of PROMETHEUS on FX recently after seeing ALIEN: COVENANT and I saw how the characters were much more developed than any of the characters of ALIEN: COVENANT (but it doesn’t hurt you have such great actors as Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Noomi Rapace, and Michael Fasbender all together in one movie).   I don’t really care for any of the characters as much as I did for many of the characters of PROMETHEUS.  Android David (Michael Fasbender) quotes Shelley and Byron while having a taste for the music of Wagner.  His interactions with android Walter (also played by Fassbender) are one of the highlights of the new prequel.  Lots of character development was left on the cutting room floor as Ridley Scott is trying to focus more on pacing than delivering the best movie (and this was the same issue I had with PROMETHEUS- look at the deleted scenes and imagine how some of the movie’s holes would be plugged if many of those scenes were left in).   One scene introducing the crew of the Covenant is on Youtube (and it will probably be on the blu-ray) was cut from the movie and it would have gone a long way in making you care for the crew more.  The other thing I’m wondering is how much material between Shaw and David was shot.  There are also scenes cut from the third act of the movie too.   My biggest piece of Ridley Scott is better balance plot and character development with pacing since I found PROMETHEUS to be a more satisfying prequel than ALIEN: COVENANT.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Feature Audio commentary with Director Ridley Scott

 

MASTER CLASS: RIDLEY SCOTT- it is a four part making-of documentary (STORY, CHARACTERS, SETTING, CREATURES) which is an interesting making-of, but it falls short of the type of documentaries that once frequent disc producer Charles de Lauzirika made for several of Ridley’s movies (I’m sad that Charles wasn’t able to produce a documentary for this movie or for the upcoming BLADE RUNNER 2049- and he isn’t involved with either movie’s discs for the home entertainment market).

 

There are 17 minutes of deleted and extended scenes in addition to some short story featurettes that expand the universe of the movie with MEET WALTER, PHOBOS (the crew of the Covenant going through a stress test), THE LAST SUPPER (the Covenant having one last meal before going into suspended animation), THE CROSSING (an all too brief segment that follows David and Liz Shaw’s trip to the Engineer’s homeworld), and ADVENT (a new epilogue for ALIEN: COVENANT that hints where the next movie may go)

 

There are also two theatrical trailers, a production gallery, and extensive galleries of android David’s various sketches of FLORA, FAUNA, SHAW, and ALIEN LIFE

 

The blu-ray release in Target stores comes with a CREATURES OF ALIEN book which has production art and photos from ALIEN COVENANT and the discs are stored on the inside covers of the book

 

The set also comes with a code to download and/ or stream a digital HD copy of ALIEN: COVENANT along with the movie in standard definition on DVD

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: ALIEN: COVENANT is a more frustrating failure than PROMETHEUS was as an ALIEN prequel, but it is a poor follow-up to the threads left dangling from the end of PROMETHEUS.  The disc has a wide range of extras, but the making-of documentary isn’t as good without the involvement of Charles de Lauzirika

 

This review is 8-26-2017 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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