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Alien: Covenant – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  May 19, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  2 hours 2 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.5 out of 10

A Non Spoiler Review

A sequel to Alien: Prometheus, this is Ridley Scott’s continuation of the Alien story.  The spaceship Covenant is on a colonizing mission toward a target planet carrying 2000+ passengers.  Taking care of the ship, while the crew and passengers are in hibernation, is highly advanced android, Walter.  During their journey the ship endures an unexpected incident and awakens the crew early.  Do they continue their journey as planned or take a detour to a closer planet that may also support life?

What you need to know:  If you haven’t seen Prometheus, you should.  As the story develops you will want to understand what happened to the Prometheus and the fate of its’ crew as they is often referenced in the movie.  And if you are expecting Danny McBride to be the comedic element to the film, guess again, he’s gone all drama on us.

What works:  It is suspenseful and has the look and feel of an Alien movie.  For those who like xenomorphs (the Aliens), then you’ll like this movie.  It provides more explanation to Prometheus and the aliens we saw in that film.  The performances of Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterson are excellent.  There is good chemistry between the two, or should I say three?  Fassbender plays the role of two characters in the film and his performance steals the show.  What stood out most to me was the pace of this film.  There is no scene that does not either develop a character or move the story along.  The movie continues to build until the final act which I found refreshing as you don’t dive into subplots that either stall or draw out the story.

What doesn’t work:  I felt some of the supporting cast performances were weak.  Jussie Smollett is an actor in the film and I swear he was trying to channel the actor/singer Common.  His tone and delivery was just like that of Common to the point it distracted me.  Others that saw the movie with me didn’t notice it until I brought it up, but you be the judge.  Lastly, this movie is predictable.  You could see where this was going one scene ahead of itself and if you pay close attention, you may guess the end of the film before you get there.

Overall I really enjoyed the film, so much so that I saw it twice.  There are some nice nods to past Alien films if you catch them.  There are no after credit scenes so don’t bother to wait for them.  Covenant is probably the third best Alien film to date, with Alien and Aliens being the two I enjoyed more.

Alien: Covenant was worth the price of admission and a soda.  On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a 7.5.

Did you see the movie?  What did you think?  Post below and share your opinion.

A Dope Sheet Movie Review of Alien Covenant
A Dope Sheet Movie Review of Alien Covenant
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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  May 26, 2017
Rating:  PG
Run Time:  2 hours 9 minutes
After Credit Scene:  YES
IMAX Viewing:  YES
3D Viewing:  YES
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Few movies are ever so epic as this franchise has become.  Disney wastes no money when it comes to these films and it shows in the locations they film, the special effects they use and their casting.  Having seen this movie in 3D (which I normally do not care for) and in IMAX was amazing.  A movie of this caliber is so much fun to watch in IMAX with a surround sound that makes you feel like you are in the film.  The soundtrack itself is worth hearing in an IMAX theater.  If you go see this film, I highly suggest the IMAX viewing.

Oh Captain Jack Sparrow, where will your antics ever end?  This movie uses Jack in more of a supporting cast role rather than the main character.  All the familiar faces are here and offer some good comedy.  The main characters are Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) and Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) as they team up to seek out Sparrow (Johnny Depp) who they feel will help them find the Trident of the Poseidon.  The villain, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), is seeking revenge on Sparrow and will stop at nothing and allow no one to get in his way until Jack is dead.

What works:  The movie has all the hallmarks of this Disney franchise.  We have ships, womanizing Jack Sparrow and his funny drunken antics, pirates, explosions, tropical locations, and everything we’ve come to expect in these films.  As I mentioned I saw this film in 3D and the use of it was pretty good.  At times, it really added to the beauty of the film.  The film is exciting and we even have a fab celebrity cameo if you watch closely.  The special effects were impressive at times.  We get to see a young Jack Sparrow and although we’ve seen this anti-aging effect in three other movies this year, this one is pulled off quite well.  Both Javier Bardem and Geoffrey Rush have excellent performances in the film.

What doesn’t work:  If you have seen the trailer, then you see some of the pirates have eroded away.  Visually I want to see the pirate and not empty spaces where parts of him used to be.  That didn’t work well for me.  The movie felt a bit long and that is due to the number of subplots we have going on.  Without giving anything away you have a plot story for nearly every main character in the film and as you come to the final act there is a lot to wrap up and some of it feels rushed.  I don’t feel the chemistry between characters Henry Turner and Carina Smyth.  Fine actors, but I’m not sure the story pulls them together enough to believe that maybe a romance is building.  Orlando Bloom is back and his performance too was a bit flat, but I’ll attribute that to writing and time on screen.  You can only do so much with what you are given.  And finally, Johnny Depp at times – just a few – just doesn’t feel like Capt. Jack Sparrow.  Again, I feel it is in the writing as his performance for the majority of the film was fun to watch.  If you are hoping to see much of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in the film, don’t be disappointed that they have very limited screen time.

Overall, it was an enjoyable movie and viewing the film in IMAX was an excellent experience.  The music, as it always does, captures the excitement of being a pirate and the swashbuckling on the seas.  Not as good a film as the first or second in the series, but an enjoyable and fun film to watch.  Could this be the end of the franchise?  Stay until the end of the credits for a bonus scene.

Dead Men Tell No Tales is worth the price of admission and a popcorn combo.  On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this a 7.5.

Have you seen the film?  What did you think?  Post your comments below and lets discuss.

Dead Men Tell No Tales