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(SPOILERS) Alien: Covenant Discussion

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FireHunter
2017-05-24 11:45:35
Xenomorph
Alright, so it's been a good two weeks or so since the film came out, so I figured I'd get this thread (which will be full of spoilers, if you didn't read the title) going.

I'll post my thoughts after I wake up, as I'm pretty tired, but feel free to discuss!
tawganator
2017-05-25 04:26:18
Xenomorph
Okay here we go.
Mini-Xenomorph instead of normal chestburster was surprising to say the least.
So these aren't the Xenomorphs that we all know and love but like 99.9% there, come on Alien: Awakening.
So an androids hair grows, why?
This was like opening HR Giger's Necronomicon and it was fucking fantastic! It's like they tore out the pages and just added them to the script. Seeing Shaw's body, holy shit.
Holy shit we've got alien vision and it's better than the one from Alien3.
David and Walter were the highlight of the movie. Love you Michael Fassbender! Though the ending was a bit to obvious it did make me think "Why would David help them kill the Alien? Maybe it really is Walter and they were just trying to make us think that it is David".
James Franco, what the hell happened?
Neomorphs in the field were scary as fuck.
Hello Engineers. Goodbye Engineers.

Okay I think that's it for now.


King of the Drones
Life is long but the Day is short
Deathdrop
2017-05-25 10:10:22
Yautja
OK, look: David is, like, objectively a horrible person, but...

I kiiiiiiiiiinda like him? I wouldn't go so far as to say I was rooting for him, but, well... I call it the Walter White Effect. You don't condone what the character's doing, obviously, but the story stops if he or she is defeated.

Also, my God, long-haired hoodie-wearing David? Sitting alone in his room, moaning about how nobody understands him while spending most of his time obsessing over the biology of a space monster and drawing morbid stuff? FUCK, man; how many of our high school years does that describe???

Some people have criticized the film for making the xenos too "recent" a development and thereby making them less ALIEN, which I understand, but my nerdy retcon skills are far too developed for a thing like that to bother me. Remember that mural from Prometheus?

What did they say in the BSG reboot?

"All of this has happened before; all of this will happen again."

Repeated misuse of the black goo WILL lead to xenos (or something like them) given enough time. Suppose the black goo isn't an invention of the Engineers? Suppose they just found it? Suppose it isn't a piece of technology at all, but perhaps some sort of life form?

... Now suppose it has a sort of intelligence, and - holy shit - Dan O'Bannon was right and the Xenos were Shoggoths all along.
-Bloo-
2017-06-02 04:33:43
Xenomorph
Oh, man. I'm so on the fence about this movie. I enjoyed the shit out of it and, like DD said at some point in one of these threads (I think it was DD?) (why are there two threads?), I didn't have to force myself to like it; I just did, and I did a lot. Lots of it, however--too much of it, maybe--is really stupid. It's probably low-hanging fruit to mention the chick who set the fucking ship on fire (but god knows lots of people would react exactly like she did, which makes her incompetence super realistic), so I'll bring up the fact that they land on an alien planet with no suits on. The one thing they did right in Prometheus (which I actually enjoyed for the most part; I'm, like, one of five people who did) is completely absent in this movie. We know facehuggers and black goo can bypass their helmets, so I don't know why the writers didn't include them. I would have loved to see them take every precaution/carefully plan every little detail out and still get fucked. Instead, they fucked every precaution and were surprised when they all died. I don't expect anyone to come back from giving Death such a furious handjob, but I'm surprised they were shocked when he came.

Things I liked: the additions to the Xeno/Engineer lore are amazing. I love it. Lots of people hate the whole "DAVID MADE THE XENOS AAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" thing but it's such a natural and great progression of his character arc that I couldn't help but be super impressed by it.

Other things I liked: Daniels. Overall, I loved her and she has lots of potential if they don't Shaw her. She channels Ripley without being a try-hard caricature of her (REMEMBER RESURRECTION...) yet she's still 100% her own character. Also, she has an entertaining personality when she's not crying over the version of James Franco that didn't survive 127 Hours.

I don't know why everyone's complaining about the CG Xenos. It's one of the few legitimate times that it actually works for the monsters in question, because it makes them seem so wrong--like they shouldn't be alive. And I love whenever they stood completely upright, because it made them look like they jumped right out of Giger's paintings.

Oh yes, David is by far the most entertaining and most interestingly written character in the Alien films by far. I hope his thing with Not David continues.

MODERATOR / LEADER OF THE SHADOW SERPENTS

Deathdrop
2017-06-02 10:46:52
Yautja
I just need to echo your sentiments about David: I fuckin' love David, man. I love that passive aggressive metrosexual monster-creating robotic fuck. Fassbender knocked it out of the fucking park.
-Bloo-
2017-06-02 18:01:21
Xenomorph
I just love that a synthetic is the new focus of the modern Alien films--and that he's the overarching villain, too. He's such a sophisticated character and he's unique among modern antagonists, Alien-related or otherwise. He doesn't want to obtain immortality because he already has it; he (probably) doesn't want to take over Earth because he (probably) doesn't care about it; he doesn't care for money; he doesn't want to weaponize the Xenomorphs, yet he's the only villain in the Alien films that knows how to make them. David may be the antagonist and he may be be an asshole, but I'm hesitant to blame him for anything he does if only because we are the reason he does anything that he does. He just wants to know why he perceives things the way he does and why we forced him to perceive them in such a way.

David is such a fascinating character and I love him. Yet for every fascinating aspect that Ridley Scott brings to the modern Alien mythos, he introduces some really stupid character writing and narrative progression. Example: Danny McBride is willing to sacrifice a colony of 2000 people to maybe save his wife, who might already be dead, and the power of friendship and emotional team bonding is why he's allowed to do it. And... I guess the audience is supposed to agree with Friendship. I mean I completely understand why he did it and I'm not saying there's not a chance that I, under similar circumstances, wouldn't do (or at least consider doing) what he did, but Please God Give Me Better Character Motivations Please. It's like what happened with the lady who set the entire fucking ship on fire: I know her reaction is realistic, but that doesn't mean it's good writing. You could make a film about grass growing for 48 hours and you could make it 100% realistic, but that doesn't mean it'd be a good movie.

But back to David: I'm not defending David's actions--again, he's an asshole--but his situation is not a black-and-white "I AM THE VILLAIN AND I AM AGAINST YOU BECAUSE I AM EVIL" thing; it's more like a very dark grey "YOU LITERALLY RAISED ME TO BE LIKE THIS AND NOW YOU'RE COMPLAINING THAT I AM LIKE THIS; BY THE WAY, I AM JUST DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING. WHY AM I EVIL FOR DOING THAT" thing. That's exactly why I think, beyond the stupid-ass narrative progression, that Covenant and Prometheus are good movies: the parallelism between (1) humans & synthetics and (2) engineers & humans is EXTREMELY well presented and it's one of my favorite things about the Alien franchise. The discussion of what constitutes being human and what constitutes being evil is one that's been present in every Alien film, but David's character arc between Prometheus and Covenant is what best presents it, and even if I hated those two films, I think I'd still appreciate David's narrative.

The synthetics have always been one of my favorite things about the Alien franchise. I'm glad we have both David and Walter.

MODERATOR / LEADER OF THE SHADOW SERPENTS

tawganator
2017-06-02 21:22:46
Xenomorph
I love that Ridley Scott wants to make every Alien film different and not a carbon copy of the good ones. He does incorporate the other films into what he makes but still makes it uniquely different.

From what I can gather is that some people seem to think that David is going to be the one that makes the Aliens we see in the original movies. Even though it is clear that the derelict ship in Alien has been there for centuries if not millennia. Unless Mr Scott goes full retard and introduces time travel I don't think that's ever going to change. Or not. If done right I could go for that. David goes back in time to the very beginning and seeds the universe with black goo giving life to all existence.

You know, to be honest I can see Scott doing something like that cause in some weird way I think it fits in what direction he has been going.


King of the Drones
Life is long but the Day is short
-Bloo-
2017-06-02 23:26:44
Xenomorph
Comics have ruined me. I initially didn't think a time travel retcon would be stupid, but yes... yes, it would be.

I don't think any of the Alien films have touched time travel under any capacity*, and introducing it for just a single film, only to have it disappear later (because it has to), would take incredible writing ability to make it not stupid.

*I mean like Dr. Who time travel, not the "I've been asleep for 50 years" time travel.

MODERATOR / LEADER OF THE SHADOW SERPENTS

daveberg
2017-06-03 18:56:14
Xenomorph
The age of the derelict has never been confirmed, canon wise. It's always been total fan speculation (As was the origin of the Alien, which is why so many fans were butthurt when it turned out David was the creator - it shattered their own personal ideas)

Folk claim it (The derelict) has been there for thousands of years - even if that WAS the case, Shaw carbon dated an Engineer at 2000 years old, showed no signs of degradation, and that includes the various other dead ones in the corridors, outside of the ampule chamber, during the events of Prometheus.

The sweeping statement Dallas makes in Alien, about fossilization is also off, seeing as the process itself requires the subject to be covered in a long time vacuum of sedimentary rock - the engineer was completely uncovered.

Point is, if Ridley is connecting the dots, the book is open. There are ways and means for him to do this.

It may be on obvious conclusion to draw, either that or a far reach - but I wouldn't be surprised if David ends up being the engineer/Jockey that is discovered by the Nostromo crew in Alien - If you've read Prometheus: Fire & Stone, you'll know the android, Elden, was injected with the pathogen and gradually mutated into a biomechanical creature - I'm thinking David is heading down the same path on his journey for perfection.

Formerly interested
-Bloo-
2017-06-05 14:52:44
Xenomorph
I agree; I like the way in which they're explaining the origins of the Xenomorphs. It's not like some random group of scientists went back in time and produced the Aliens; there's a huge significance in David, a synthetic--the first synthetic, even--being the one to create the monsters that so perfectly personify humanity's darkest traits. He himself personifies them well, and so you can think of both David and the Xenomorphs as being humanity's psychological shadows. Humans themselves are the shadows of the Engineers, and so I wonder if the rogue Engineer that made us was like David. Maybe he wasn't a synthetic Engineer (like we are), but maybe he felt like a mistake--that his creators abandoned him. There's still lots of mystery to the franchise, and it's both refreshing and interesting.

People want these films to keep being the same kind of mysterious it was back before AVP came out, but the charm of the first film died with the first film, which is why I appreciate Aliens being a different genre. People complain that Covenant isn't like Alien, yet they also complain about Alien 3 being too much like Alien. I don't think they know what they want. I personally loved that Covenant shoved the Xenos in our faces. We already know what they look like and what they are; why hide it? I wanted Covenant to show me another side of them, and it absolutely delivered.

The only thing I didn't like about Covenant's Xenos was the its POV. That was kind of lame. There wasn't any imagination behind it. Those Neomorphs, though; those are great.

MODERATOR / LEADER OF THE SHADOW SERPENTS

Deathdrop
2017-06-05 21:58:28
Yautja
I still kinda prefer the Xenos as an ancient species that's potentially billions of years old, but I agree with everything you said about David's relationship to them and humanity.

I'm sure Dark Horse or Fox will find some convoluted-ass way to make both versions "true" soon enough, though, LOL.

One thing I like about the Alien series is how modular it is continuity-wise. Each movie has two different versions, you can count AVP (or not), Prometheus and Covenant, the novels (or not), the Dark Horse continuity (or not)... The fact that the continuity is so inconsistent between media makes it more like mythology in a way.
DeathWraith
2017-06-06 02:28:08
Xenomorph
Alright I watched it yesterday and I thought it was not worth the $5 I paid for the ticket. There were a couple of things I was satisfied with lore-wise, but the movie itself is not an Alien movie. You can tell right from the title screen that its not going to be an Alien movie because it writes COVENANT in the same way as ALIEN as if anyone gives a shit about that other word.


First, the good parts. I remember two.

1. I was satisfied with the explanation of where the Xenomorph came from. There were three main theories about the Xenomorph's origins: a) It was made as a weapon by the Space Jockeys; b) It evolved on its own; c) It was bioengineered into its current form.
Well, as it turns out, it was all three. Makes it all the more terrifying, I think.

2. The fact that David became a rapist was a very elegant detail. It ties in perfectly with the Xenomorph being a rapist and gives it even more absoluteness. Very well done there.


Alright enough of that let's get to the not fun part.
As I've said, this was not an Alien movie. Like Prometheus, this movie was also comprised of completely moronic human characters with a synthetic being the only one left to root for. Everything the humans did was complete nonsense. I can't remember a single decision made by a human character that wasn't completely clumsy and idiotic at the same time.
Another dumb thing about the movie is that shitty, useless, stupid bit of direction that works only to break immersion and significantly cheapen the experience: showing the Xenomorph's actions from an all-knowing narrator's perspective. What the fuck was the purpose of that scene where the alien is climbing some walls. "Oh no, but how will I know when it got in?!?!?" Well maybe whenever the fuck it wanted since it's not at all a closed-off area you cunt.


Anyway, whatever, it wasn't an Alien movie. The actual Xenomoph wasn't even in it. I'm ok with that, it doesn't ruin it by making it one with this overly aggressive, simple-minded version that chestburts as a little boi. But maybe don't call it Alien if you're not gonna have the Alien in it. Just call it Covenant and let's get it over with.


A thing that just occurred to me while reading Bloo's post about how people complained that Alien 3 is too much like Alien (and thinking that I've never complained about any of the original 4 movies other than the aspect of the Newborn) was that the Neomorphs explain so beautifully why the Newborn looked the way it did. We know now that the Xenomorph is not the perfect organism by chance, it was made that way through decades of meticulous work by a senile synthetic who also seems to have spent entirely too much time rewatching the Lord of the Rings movies in solitude. We know that the goo doesn't create an elegant, intelligent, stand-alone creature, but a botched version of the host, improving only certain key features that are probably written into it as a script in order to make it a faster killer and harder to destroy, while giving up a lot of the original elements. This is the same kind of "one step forward, two steps back" evolution that happened with the Newborn, something that was the result of the goo still working through the Xenomorph when it got the chance to mingle with new DNA one again. It removed the pigment because there's probably coded that way, to sacrifice pigment in order to make other improvements to the skin. It rearranged the organs and exaggerated some while diminishing others. I would like to speculate that, like the Neomorphs, the Newborn would have probably died of old age in less than 10 years.


Another thing I just remembered is that, if we consider that the facehugger injects not an embryo into the host, but David's modified version of the goo, which came about through interbreeding experiments and whatnot, then I was wrong all along. The Predalien, Runner and Drone are not the same species, because the traits that are taken from the host are not of a more coincidental, superficial, or just aesthetic nature as I'd previously assumed, but each Xenomorph is in fact a modified copy of its host. This completely removes the problem of the Predalien in AVPR having the ability to impregnate through the mouth because we can't possibly predict which traits will be transmitted to another species when the Xenomorph was optimized for human hosts. So this detail turns the Xenomorph from a sure thing into a possible thing. For every new species it infects tt will, in fact, be Alien every single time.

READ THE RULES


A song about me and skull_ripper that I wrote:
"Yeah, uh, yea yeah, uh, yeah, crackers gonna crack yeah, uh, yeah..."
(thats what I have so far hope u like it)
-Bloo-
2017-06-06 15:55:47
Xenomorph
You bring up a good point, actually. Why ARE they so fucking aggressive?

I loved the shots of the creatures whenever they stood upright and were completely still, but they went apeshit over the smallest things in every other shot. What I love most about the original Xenos is their calm demeanor no matter what was happening. There are a few exceptions, but I never got the sense that they were animals. They seemed incomprehensibly sapient. The new creatures are sentient for sure, but they're just like rabid wolves, as if there's no possibility that they have any deeper thoughts beyond "MUST... KILL... THE CHILDREN"

MODERATOR / LEADER OF THE SHADOW SERPENTS

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