Written by Scott Edwards
There is something to be said about living in a small community, since most people that do never want to leave. With most of the world being blocked out, people are able to go along with their own business and do not have to worry about many things. But when the outsiders start to come in and see how peaceful things can really be outside of the big city, they decide that it may be the place for them as well and that can cause problems. Not needing the big box stores, much less more than one building to house different businesses, the outsiders always want to bring in their outside luxuries, but have no idea what it will do to the formerly quiet town.
Graves Island is an out of the way island that just sticks to its roots and that is why the locals like it there, that and nobody meddles in their business. But a rash of strange deaths in the woods over the years has sparked the interest of Stacy and Ned Ryerson who want to do a documentary on the island’s jaded past. Arriving on the island to see it is more of a one horse town, Ned, Stacy and their helper April check into a ratty old hotel run by Jacob Wiggenstein and his family and are far from impressed with their surroundings. Checking in with Sheriff Ree on where and when they can shoot, he gives them free reign, but a warning as well, since the island has been known to gobble people up, never to be seen again.
Young Sam Wiggenstein and Brooke Ree have a little secret that they hope nobody finds out about. Young love has not passed as the two look forward to doing everything together for the rest of their days. But they both know that there is something strange happening on the island and would like nothing better to escape. When coming across the body of an outsider in the woods, Sam picks up the professor's backpack and sees that it contains some very strange accusations about the island and the families that have been living there for generations. With deaths being chalked up to his family name, along with Brooke’s, he knows that it is time to leave and has a plan on how the two can escape without anybody being the wiser.
Graves Island is not without its demons as King James Strang was the reverend who was killed by his parishioners. With his new way of preaching, he also punished those who did not follow his teachings to show how much strength was needed to live on the island. Before dying, the preacher cursed all of the men involved and vowed that none of their families would be safe until they were all dead. Thinking little about this, the men buried the King and his family, but had no idea what they had released on the island.
With the King’s story only being a legend, Stacy, Ned and April find out that it sparks some hatred when talking to the sheriff about what might have happened on the island back in the day. But after seeing their professor friend has been hacked limb from limb and seeing that his heart was ripped out of his chest, they are starting to believe. But there is someone else on the island that is taking care of the business that the long dead preacher is not as Lucas Heidegger is also about punishing the guilty. After hearing that April has been killed by someone or something in the woods, Stacy and Ned know that it is time to leave before they suffer the same fate. But some things are easier said than done as they quickly find out when a dead reverend, live crazy man, sheriff and island owner are all after them, but there might be help on the horizon when Sam and Brooke are looking for help in their own way.
I must admit that this movie kind of surprised me when all was said and done. The main characters were great, especially Lucas who knows what needs to be done on the island to keep it running the way it has for generations. Then with the King coming from the grave and seemingly picking off people in the woods at random, along with taking their hearts, well, my gore need was fulfilled. I liked the little love story that played out between Sam and Brooke as they are looking for a better life and I am sure that when Stacy and Ned met the young couple, they saw a bit of themselves there. I like the idea of a ghost hunting for vengeance and I wonder who will be the King’s next victim on the island, since it appears he is about to lose the only youth element that was left. Stay Scared.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK..
For thirty-eight years now, the creature known as the Xenomorph has managed to captivate and terrify our imagination. This horrific being, first introduced in 1979's Alien, was a creature unlike anything we had ever seen before in science fiction and horror. It was not benevolent, nor did it come in peace. It's sole purpose was survival, and it would kill anything that got in the way of that goal and in reality, what has allowed this creature to stay in our hearts and minds over the course of five sequels and two crossover films, is the sheer mystery of the creation of this abomination.
It's something that's been explored in various Alien themed comic books and novels, but on the big screen, we still know nothing more of this creature outside of what it can do and the terror it can cause and it would seem that after all these years, the time has come at last to reveal the origin of these awful monsters and it's only fitting that the man who brought these living nightmares to the silver screen, Ridley Scott, be the man to reveal their genesis in Alien: Covenant.
The plot for this particular entry in the Alien saga picks up ten years after the events of Prometheus aboard the Colony ship Covenant. The crew of this particular vessel, and the colonists they are to care for are all resting comfortably in Hypersleep until a neutrino burst damages their vessel, killing the ship's captain and waking the crew long enough for them to intercept a strange signal from a world that appears to be even better for colonization than the world they originally selected, prompting the Covenant to make a pit stop on this mysterious planet. While at first it appears to be the paradise they seek, the discovery of trinkets belonging to Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, combined with strange beings that infect and kill their host from within, forces the remainder of this fragile away team to trust the only being on this planet that seems to have a clue as to what happened and what is going on here, the android known as David...the last survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition...
If that sounds like an intriguing plot filled to the brim with juicy plot points that suck you in, you'd be correct. There's actually quite a bit to like when it comes to Alien: Covenant, because the scares in this film are solid and there's definitely joy to be found in seeing the Xenomorph return to the big screen after a twenty year absence. But sadly, once the sheen has worn off of this particular adventure, one finds themselves feeling as though something is missing from this particular entry in the saga and there's a reason for that. While Covenant is indeed fun and thrilling, it offers little in the way of new ideas and concepts when it comes to the franchise and that's disappointing to say the least. Because every film before it gave us some kind of fresh new take on the Alien mythos and this film simply tries too hard to be a 'best of' reel for the franchise.
You'll hear it in the soundtrack, since selections from Jerry Goldsmith's score from Alien pop up here. The action reminds you of Aliens, and the dark, brooding nature of the film is reminiscent of Alien 3, and heck they even found a way to tie in Alien: Resurrection by way of David's gruesome experiments and there's really no need to discuss the Prometheus tie in since that story looms large over this one. But the lack of an original plot thread to explore gives the film an unfortunate sense of comfortability, which in turn makes the film a lost opportunity, especially when one considers that there was an aspect of the plot that the story could have explored in depth to truly give this motion picture a unique and powerful feel; David's rejection of mankind, and his desire to create a perfect being. That twisted vision is cemented in the opening scenes and revisited later in the film, but it's clear that deeper exploration of this idea was shoved aside for guts and gore.
Which is shame because the idea of man playing God and having its creation cause more havoc than expected is a staple of the science fiction and horror genres, and glossing over this idea robs all the power from the fact that David is in fact the creator of the Xenomorph and it would have been wonderful if the film scaled back the action and adventure to explore this more, but alas it did not. If anything, Alien: Covenant is nothing more than an average entry in this storied franchise. You'll have fun watching it, you'll hoot and holler when the carnage begins, and if you're a fan of the saga you'll find sheer bliss in seeing the Facehugger and Xenomorph return in all their glory. Just don't expect to walk away from this one feeling that sense of awe and wonder that other films in the series have offered your way, and that's unfortunate because this film truly had the chance to be something revolutionary for the franchise, but it chose to take the safe route instead.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
Stephen King has long been a backer of one particular idea when it comes to writing...that the story should end exactly as it is supposed to. Which means that from time to time, the grand finale we were hoping for, or a particular direction for a particular character that we expected to see, simply does not come to fruition, and that matters when it comes to the final chapter of The Stand, because that notion is one that King did not detour from in the slightest.
Which is interesting to say the least because it's obvious over the entire course of this miniseries that some ideas were cut out or condensed in order to give us a powerful viewing experience, and one had to wonder if by chance King would change up the finale to give the viewers a far different ending from the book. But instead, King let the teleplay end exactly as it should have, meaning there was no lining up of giant armies for both good and evil. No man made storm full of bullets and rockets. Instead he chose to go to a particularly unique place for 'Part IV: The Stand', by letting evil do what it does best, and eat itself from within, which made the job easy for the good guys in this episode. But they still had their hardships to overcome as well, and those challenges oddly enough made for some satisfying closure to a harrowing journey.
Case in point, the whole mess with Stu. Sure there's a bit of hokeyness to it and the goodbyes said when everyone realizes that Stu will not be making it to Vegas after all, fulfilling Mother Abigail's prophecy that 'one will fall on the way'. But once you get past the sugar coating there's something special to be found here. Take a moment and consider the hell Stu and his friends have been through, and the challenges they've faced just to survive this far. They could say no, they could turn their backs on losing their lives in order to see another day, but instead they find peace with facing impending doom all in the name of the greater good. That's a powerful character arc to deliver unto the audience, especially when one considers that the human instinct is to do anything to survive, which means there's real beauty to be found in these four men being at peace with their sacrifice so that all of mankind can continue to endure.
It makes for a stark contrast of Flagg's world, which also brings us back to how in essence he defeated himself because in this chapter of the story, things are downright awful in Las Vegas. The Trashcan Man finally snaps and resorts to his firebug ways, and everyone in Flagg's inner circle begin to doubt him and his abilities and well...this is pure genius because there is some real life echo to Flagg and his shattered kingdom. Time and time again we've seen bad people and bad organizations rot from within and fight internally and the end result is complete and utter collapse, leading credence to a quote that the series used in 'The Plague' that reflects this situation perfectly, 'things fall apart, the center cannot hold.'
The sense of chaos that grows and grows throughout the episode's Las Vegas segments builds to a beautiful and satisfying crescendo when Larry and Ralph take the center stage for execution, since Glen is murdered in cold blood before this 'ceremony' takes place, wherein Flagg is exposed for the coward that he is. He does nothing but talk his big game as both good and evil challenges The Walkin' Dude and he finally pays the price for his ego and lack of attention to detail when the Trashcan Man returns to Vegas with a nuclear bomb, one that the Hand of God helps detonate, saving the world and eradicating evil it would seem and that low key finale is simply a perfect way to send off Randall Flagg. Because there's no greater way to insult and crush the spirits of a man, or in this case being, that is hell bent on becoming a big deal, than by exposing him for being an outright nobody.
Yet equally as surprising as that relaxed final showdown between good and evil, is the happy ending that the audience is rewarded with as well. Because eventually, Stu makes it home with the help of Tom Cullen and it would seem that mankind will survive after all since Fran's baby beats the Superflu and at first, this does feel out of place. After all, this is a horror story, and a big one at that. But sometimes the audience does deserve to be rewarded with something positive and in classic King fashion, the story does end exactly as it is supposed to. In this case, good was destined to overcome evil and mankind earned itself a second chance and that's a fine way to wrap up one of King's grandest stories and while this one doesn't quite hold up to the test of time visually (because at times this sucker oozes the cheesiest parts of the 1990's) it's the story that matters and this one certainly delivers on that front and well, I'm a touch sad that our Retro Recap of this particular tale has come to an end, because sitting down and watching this one again took me right back to my youth, when television networks made miniseries such as these a big time event where the family could gather around the tube to enjoy it with snacks and it was nice to reminisce and reflect upon a story that likely helped bring forth the surge of horror we enjoy on television today with all of you fine folks and here's to hoping we get to celebrate something as unique and as special as this in the near future. Until next time.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
When we last left Stu Redman and all of his new friends on The Stand, it seemed as though the great battle between good and evil was on its way. Randall Flagg was building his own army of unsavory people out in the desert, while the closing seconds of 'The Dreams' showed us an incredible convoy on its way to Boulder which meant that, 'Part III: The Betrayal' should have provided us with one tense story.
However, that was simply not the case. This particular entry in the saga decided to go with a true slow burn, one that quite frankly at first seems like a failure when it comes to what this show has stood for thus far, since it features so many scenes of the mundane. There's barbecues to be had, town meetings to revel in and even committee meetings making this almost feel like an end of the world version of The Phantom Menace. But alas, there is a rhyme and a reason as to why this tale slows it down quite a bit; simply because this story is truly setting the stage for our grand finale and this is where we finally get to learn who are characters are when it comes to the good guys and what they are truly made of and more importantly...the events in this episode allow for them to finally believe in a higher power and serve the Lord accordingly.
If anything this tale truly serves as a wake up call for the good folks of the Boulder Free Zone. Because as the story chugs along, Stu Redman and all of his friends quickly come to realize that despite the creature comforts the city of Boulder offers them, and the fact that they cheated death and made it this far, the danger is still quite real. Randall Flagg is preparing for war out in Las Vegas and these poor folks have to do something if they want to survive. That means making sacrifices they never knew they were capable of, and asking their friends to perform tough acts that could potentially get them killed, all in the hopes of saving what's left of a fledgling mankind. It makes for some powerful moments, and allows for one character in particular, Stu, to grow to new heights as he quickly becomes the leader of the Free Zone and the man who is forced to make all the tough decisions.
As for the horror aspect of this story, well that is achieved by the downward spiral of Harold Lauder, who is slowly seduced by Nadine and in turn Flagg as he gives in to the pain of his former life, and goes after those in charge of the Free Zone with explosives, killing several of the town's leaders in a vendetta and dynamite fueled firestorm and really, King relies on the oldest monster in the genre, man, to scare us and while Harold's quest for blood may not be as terrifying as the events of the first two episodes; his desire to cause great harm and how much he seems to relish in his fury is disturbing to say the least. Plus the fallout of his actions are felt greatly since it leaves the Free Zone in utter chaos, which it sinks into further thanks to the passing of Mother Abigail and well, despite seeing Stu and a handful of his closest friends make their way toward Vegas to confront Flagg as God wishes, the devastating events that play out here leave you wondering if they will remotely be successful in this final fight...or if mankind is doomed after all.
In the end, this is an episode that at first, I really didn't enjoy. It honestly felt like filler at the time. But I'm quite glad I decided to revisit it since it was a gentle and powerful character study and the events of this story simply feel natural. By not giving us some grand build up to the final fight, King has allowed for events to unfold as they might in real life, in logical and progressive fashion, and much like the real world when bad arrives in this story, it arrives in spades and it's how Stu and the gang deal with it that matters. Either way, now the stage is truly set. Stu, Glen, Larry and Ralph are headed for Vegas, and what they say and do will determine the fate of mankind and it's starting to become obvious now, thanks to this episode...that the final battle will not go the traditional route in the slightest, and we can expect the unexpected. Until next time.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
Ah, the serial killer. An enigma when it comes to popular culture and film, we seem to be utterly fascinated with these uniquely disturbing and disgusting human beings. We desire to know exactly what makes them tick, what drives them to carve up their fellow humans without an ounce of remorse. The reason for our curiosity is really quite clear, there is nothing normal about what they do. While sadly murder is a part of our society and culture, it is not commonplace to hear about a crime of passion that involved using someone's skull as a soup bowl.
Their heinous acts however know no bounds to the imagination, and horror has celebrated its fair share of the serial killer. Yet their portrayal on screen has its limits. The true evil that they perform perhaps cannot be captured on film, and that might be a good thing. Yet what hurts this little niche of the genre is that we rarely get a rounded out monster like Hannibal Lecter. We often get either an over the top performance, or a subdued loser that seems to pander for our pity. Yet one film managed to combine those two elements to create an incredibly disturbing monster and it is the subject of today's review; American Psycho.
Meet Patrick Bateman, a man who seems to have it all. He is blessed with a fine job as an investment banker. He is engaged to a lovely and caring woman and his Central Park apartment is simply to die for. But despite the fact that Patrick is able to do what he wants whatever he wants, since his job affords him such opportunities, he often finds himself struggling with his life. It's flat out missing something, there's just no thrill to it. But Patrick has finally figured out a way to add a little excitement and purpose to his life...by indulging his darker side and committing horrific acts of murder on a nightly basis.
Starring the excellent Christian Bale, American Psycho is a film that stays relevant today. The familiar themes of excess, ego and a love of the finer things in life over our humanity continue to permeate our observations of American society despite the film's 1980's setting. But those themes are merely the foundation for a concept so much more disturbing; what do we become when we are completely detached from family and true friendship? Everyone is Patrick's life is vapid, devoid of any trace of individual personality or emotion and the film hammers its point home, that in Bateman's mind the only way to find his humanity once again, is to rob it from others.
What I love most about this film however, is one simple fact, we never quite know if Patrick Bateman has committed murder or not. We see hints that maybe there is something more going on with him, in fact the prescription pills we only see once underline the possibility that Bateman either suffers from a mental illness or they help him cope with his consistent escape to a world where murder is more interesting than his daily life. It's why this film stands out from other serial killer films. There is no psychological dissection of Patrick Bateman, or even proof that he is a homicidal maniac. We are merely presented with a man who is nothing more than a ghost in the regular world, but a legend in his mind, or perhaps the greatest killer to ever walk among us.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
If there's one common thread that many end of the world stories share, it's that often times, these tales struggle with what happens to the story and our characters after the apocalypse has passed. You usually see these stories focus too heavily on the survival aspect, losing sight of what it wanted to accomplish in the first place. Or it moves so quickly toward the resolution of the bigger plot elements that the potential to tell an even grander tale slips away. But Stephen King is not a writer to back down from a creative challenge such as this and his teleplay for the second chapter of The Stand proves this through and through, since he was able to ensure that this grand opus did not fall into those familiar storytelling traps.
Because 'Part II: The Dreams' not only takes us into the heart of the aftermath of the Superflu epidemic, it tackles the bold question of 'what comes next?' head on, and the end result was a compelling and slow burning chapter in the tale, one that ever so gently established who is good and who is evil by allowing the characters to make a powerful choice. They can either serve the Lord Himself and travel to Hemingford Home, Nebraska and help the mysterious Mother Abigail in her fight against evil. Or they can start making their way toward Las Vegas, Nevada and answer the call of 'The Walkin' Dude'; Randall Flagg, and live a life filled to the brim with freedom untold, provided they hand over their soul to him.
But what I truly appreciated about how this particular episode played out, is the sheer fact that for the most part, you don't quite know who is good and who is evil at first. Sure, Stu, Nick and a handful of others quickly establish themselves as goodhearted people who want to maintain that status quo, and the opposite applies to people like Flagg or Julie Lawry, who clearly relish in evil and you know that from the moment they arrive on screen. But folks like Nadine and the Trashcan Man and even Lloyd Henreid to a certain extent, at first just seem like lost souls who really don't know what the heck they want out of life and it takes a little work from Flagg to win them over and in the case of the few that I just mentioned, clearly good does not always conquer evil, and at times even those who are dedicated to Mother Abigail's cause seem skeptical of serving a greater good, but something compels them to go on.
However, while it's neat to see characters choose their side and uncover the better or worst parts of themselves, this is still a horror story and it needs to startle and disturb us and Part II does a fine job of that as well in both subtle and direct fashion. The subtle aspect is handled in masterful fashion, simply by presenting us with a world ravaged by Superflu, since there are corpses strewn about everywhere in this tale, and it's downright creepy to see the roads, the skies and our great cities devoid of humanity and as for the direct scares, well...the only one that comes to mind that managed to leave me genuinely disturbed is the scene where Larry and Nadine try to escape New York City by heading through the Lincoln Tunnel and when you combine Larry's hallucinations, with the dark and the claustrophobic feel of being in a tunnel filled with the dead...well the end result is downright terrifying.
Yet despite the fact that this episode is nowhere near as intense as the first one, it still takes you on the quite the ride. If anything, this particular chapter allows for the audience to decompress from the horrors they have just seen, and lick their wounds as the main characters do, all before switching gears and providing us with a sense of urgency. You can feel the tension of the forthcoming battle building throughout this entire episode and everyone is truly in a hurry to get where they need to go and that type of tension pays off in spades in the final moments of the episode when we see a convoy of people heading into Boulder, Colorado. It means that the battle lines are quickly being drawn and while one might expect that to lead into a faster paced episode that barrels us toward confrontation...well don't get your hopes up just yet, because a different kind of tale is waiting for us in Part III. Until next time.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
The end of the world is a notion that has captivated writers and audiences for generations because the possibilities of how mankind meets its untimely end are utterly limitless when it comes to our imagination. However, of the many, many apocalypse stories out there, only a handful truly pop out above the rest because of their quality and scope and one such tale of the end times that always comes to mind for me, is Stephen King's The Stand.
Because not only did King find a way to make the end of the world believable and terrifying, he also found a way to integrate and modernize perhaps the greatest apocalypse story of all time, Revelations from the Bible. But for many years, his novelized vision of our end lamented in development hell in Hollywood, until 1994 that is, when ABC decided to give this terrifying novel life on primetime television and over the course of four nights this powerhouse story was given the proper treatment it deserved and well, considering that Stephen King is suddenly big again when it comes to seeing adaptations of his work, I thought it would be fun to look back at this epic miniseries in detail from the moment the terror begins in 'Part I: The Plague'.
Now before we get too deep into the breakdown, it's important we take a moment and discuss the plot because there's a fair chance some of you are uninitiated when it comes to the details of this tale, which revolves around the accidental release of a man made flu. This 'Superflu' as it quickly comes to be known, happens to be highly contagious and vicious to the point where it features a 99.4% mortality rate and thanks to a panicked security guard who flees halfway across the nation when the virus escapes the lab, it doesn't take long for the world to succumb to the power of this flu and those that do manage to survive it, will be faced with a greater task, a final battle between good and evil that will determine the future of mankind.
However, in order for that grandiose, good vs. evil plot line to work...the end of the world has to draw us in and that's where the opening part of this miniseries is extremely successful, because we are privy to the darkest parts the apocalypse has to offer and holy cow...for a television based series, it's obvious that this one pushed the envelope back in 1994 and by giving us a little bit more when it comes to gore and dangerous situations, in a roundabout sort of way the plot almost plays out like live television and that sucks you right in.
Because in essence, you watch the end of the world unfold before your very eyes, something that is extremely rare for this kind of story. Often times these tales work fast to take us right to the important plot points involving key characters and while this first entry in The Stand does a fine job introducing us to our cast of characters and our villain for that matter as well, all of it is overshadowed by terrifying imagery. There's military trucks rolling through American towns in the middle of Texas. There's people dying in the streets from the flu or from violence and well...it's simply chilling to watch and it robs the viewer of any sense of safety or comfort. It's truly the end, and there's nothing that can stop it, and you can only hope that something good is waiting for you as a reward for being put through such a powerful experience.
It's a wonderful way to set the tone for the series and more importantly, the subtle setup of future events are equally as fascinating and engrossing because they serve as a wonderful break from the horrors on the screen and credit also needs to go to the cast for helping sell this story as well, especially since heavy hitters like Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe and Ed Harris are featured in this miniseries as well and while we didn't talk much about the characters or their roles today, there's a reason for that. They're along for the ride in this episode just like we are, and now that the dust has settled and the world we know has said goodbye, these folks, and the audience for that matter, can catch their breath for a moment before getting back down to business...the battle to decide the fate of the future of mankind. Until next time.
Written by Scott Edwards
One of the subjects that I love to listen to people talk about is where did we come from. As there are only a couple different trains of thought when it comes to this, the religious path, the evolutionary path and of course the alien path, I love to hear why people think what they do. As I am still not sold on all of these, I've heard great points to support someone's beliefs and when debating this, I hope that people actually are able to speak with substance on them, if they don’t, they just sound silly. It can be a touchy subject for many people and can cause relationships to be torn apart and until there is a definitive answer to it, the debates will continue to go on.
Researchers Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway have stumbled across another great find and have been putting the pieces together for years. Seeing that different civilizations have been drawing the same symbol all over the world, there has to be a reason behind it; that the earth has been visited by beings from another planet, and they are inviting us to come meet them. Being able to find a wealthy backer to fund their expedition, the two have found transport on the Prometheus to take them to a world that has never been charted. With a final blessing from Peter Weyland who has long since passed away, the two may be able to discover the origins of life on Earth.
Arriving at the planet, all on board the ship have their own doubts about what they will be able to find, but when seeing massive pyramids that are not made by the elements, Shaw and Holloway know that they are on the right path. Getting a group together to go and explore the alien site, the crew is quick to discover that terraforming has taken place inside of the pyramid that allows them to breathe the air in the alien environment. Searching the ancient site, the crew’s android David is able to activate a holographic program that points them in the correct direction. Finding the body of an Engineer and being able to date it back two thousand years, the group still has no idea what they are really looking for, but when David is able to open the door to a sealed off room, they find something that will change their lives forever.
Entering the cavern and seeing a large face that almost looks human, the group notices that the change in the environment is eating away at everything that they have found and need to find a way to preserve even a little piece of what could change history. Being able to secure the head of the Engineer that they found in the hallway to bring back to the ship, David has his own mission and secures one of the leaking vases in the room. Getting back to the ship to run their tests, Shaw and her crew are able to unmask the dead Engineer and see that it is more human like than they could have ever imagined. But David’s find is much more sinister when he is able to examine the vase he picked up and finds that it has something alive inside. Wanting to run a test on the sample of the living organism he collected, David spikes a drink meant for Holloway and watches as the scientist goes through a disturbing transformation. As the crew tries to understand their discoveries, an infected crew member, along with missing researchers, leads to the Prometheus being locked down, but it may not be enough when all of the alternative motives are revealed.
I've made a point to stay away from what other people think about this movie and how it relates to the timeline of the Alien franchise, which means that all I see is the birth of a freaky alien that will kill everything put in its way. This movie has more of an action feel with a bit of science thrown in for good measure since there is always science in an alien movie, but the discovery aspect is what really made it play well for me. Trying to find the origins of life on Earth, the group finds something so much more when they find out what the planet they are on was actually used for and the true purpose of those vases. I have very little to complain about in this movie as I did not catch that many plot holes and when things started to get stagnant, you would get a laugh or some action to get it moving again. I cannot wait to see where the storyline goes for the second installment of this series as there should be more Engineers getting a talking to from Shaw and her favorite android David.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
Perhaps the true beauty of the storied Alien franchise is that it is one of the few sagas out there that has managed to employ a fresh and unique perspective with every successive sequel. Ridley Scott of course set the tone for the franchise in Alien, but James Cameron took the story to new heights in Aliens and David Fincher was able to take a studio mess and put together a serviceable, brooding film with gothic undertones in Alien 3.
As luck would have it, the fourth film in the saga, aptly titled Alien: Resurrection, would be no exception to the 'fresh set of eyes' rule established by its predecessors when it blended the wit and creativity of screenwriter Joss Whedon with the unique direction of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and the end result of this particular film proved to be quite the fascinating character study, with xenomorphs of course, and oddly enough this is a film that continues to divide the fan base to this day.
One big reason for the grand division amongst the fans is simple to say the least, this particular entry in the saga doesn't take itself too seriously. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments to be found here, and one liners galore as a resurrected Ripley does her best to survive and fight the monster that has haunted her through life and death once again, and when one considers the scares and tension the first three films brought to the table, it's understandable as to why the hardcore fan base took offense, since this film in essence seems like it's mocking the other films that came before it, but in reality...it's simply providing us with a brand new take on Ripley's journey through xenomorph hell.
Because when you strip down the comedy and moments that the fans lament, you're left with quite the fascinating film, especially when one considers that Ellen Ripley has in fact become to a certain degree the thing she hates since there are alien traits in her very DNA, and the subtle and tortured performance that Sigourney Weaver brings to the screen because of those concepts is downright brilliant. Plus, there's something to be said about taking a story that has always been about good versus evil and blurring the lines quite a bit since just about everyone in this film operates in grey territory and has to truly earn their stripes as a hero or a villain.
If anything, this film has grown on me over the years, not only because of the incredible acting, but also because this Alien film threw caution to the wind, trying all kinds of wild ideas, like the Newborn for example, to see if they stick and while not all of them do, the fact that 20th Century Fox allowed for such things to happen speaks volumes as to how they want this franchise to remain fresh and original, and I'm equally appreciative of the fact that this motion picture does its best to pay tribute to the films that came before it in both scope and aesthetics, and if this story has to serve as Ellen Ripley's final adventure through the stars, at least she went out with a hell of a bang.
Written by Scott Edwards
Losing something or someone that you have always had by your side for many years can be devastating to people and cause them not to care about anything afterwards. It is the people that can find a way to cope with the loss and come back stronger that are the ones we should all aspire to be. So many people have lost something or someone that has made their life go round and if they are able to come back, they have a different perspective on life that we will never truly understand, until it happens to us.
Ellen Ripley’s escape shuttle has caught fire and crashed into Fiorina 'Fury' 161, a foundry facility and penal colony that only houses male inhabitants. Since she was in a cryogenic slumber for her attempted journey home, Ripley is basically unharmed in the wreck, but all of her fellow survivors from the last expedition have passed on. Wanting to know, needing to know that the Xenomorph threat has not followed her once again, Ripley insists on having an autopsy performed on Newt to make sure she was never infected. Once satisfied, Ripley has her new friend Clemens threaten the warden with the possibility of an outbreak in the facility and insists that the bodies be burned.
Unbeknownst to Ripley, her escape shuttle had a stowaway aboard that has no intention of dying and managed to escape the crash without being noticed. The facehugger has found another host on the planet that will cause little concern to the population. As it matures inside of one of the planet's dogs, the beast comes out larger and stronger than before and cannot be stopped in a civilization without weapons. Staying to the shadows until it fully matures, no one in the facility knows what they are in for, except for Ripley who starts to notice the strange disappearances of some of the reformed convicts.
Alien 3 takes place in a penal colony that only houses the worst of the worst inmates. Finding their own form of Christianity and becoming reformed in their own eyes, they are not accustomed to visitors, especially women. Being afraid that the presence of a woman will throw the current happiness off and send the prisoners into a frenzy, a wire for assistance is sent to their jailers. With promise of help to arrive by the end of the week, the men can sit at ease and unless Ellen Ripley does something to provoke the men, they will all survive in harmony. When a couple of inmates go missing however, it is now known that there is something else that will invoke havoc and the peaceful population will have little defenses against its greatness. As more and more men die, Ripley devises a plan to incinerate the creature, but has to find a way to get help from the inmates that are only fearing for their own lives and awaiting help that may or may not come.
The third installment of the Alien franchise might not be the best of the series, but it did carry much more emotions than the first and second. Since the film went through several directors and screenwriters before making it to production, this film did focus more on its characters and their development than anyone could have ever expected. Making a great film where everything falls into place is one thing, but a movie that is doomed from the get go is something else and that is what happened here and they were still able to turn out a decent flick that did not leave us with any unanswered questions. This film also features great performances by Sigourney Weaver and Charles Dance, but a stellar showing by Charles S. Dutton, who played the spiritual leader to the inmates, stands out over everyone else. Dutton was more than believable in his role and every time he speaks in the movie, regardless if you are enjoying it or not, you listen. This is another great science fiction/horror hybrid film that will keep you waiting for something else to pop out of the corner. Stay Scared.