MM Top 5: Alien films

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nBy Rob Stoakes. So over at the Battleship Potemkast, the finest podcast on the seas, we’ve been doing a few retro reviews of the mainline Alien franchise in celebration of Alien: Covenant, which to be honest is a bit of a rubbish name. It’s the Matrix syndrome of taking a cool sounding word that means nothing and pairing it with alien. Alien Synthesis. Alien Carbohydrate. Alien Titillation.

Anyway, Alien is very similar to Star Wars, in that it is the absolute king of its own genre, space opera for Star Wars and sci-fi horror for Alien, and one of the most popular multimedia franchises this side of Pokemon, and the highs of the franchise are so good that it somehow makes people forget that about 90% of it is absolutely terrible.

So, of course, I am a huge Alien fan, so I get to drop the pretense of professionalism and indulge in my inner child, which normally I lock in the shed, to find out which of the mainline Alien films is actually the best. Strap in, folks; this road is bumpy. Continue reading

“Bigger isn’t always better… or is it?” Alien: Covenant review

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyBy Adam Brannon. Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus wasn’t as warmly received as the veteran director had hoped for upon its release in 2012. In pitching the film for the coveted 12A market, Scott lost the majority of what made his 1979 masterpiece, rated 18, such an epic adventure.

So, five years on, Scott returns with a follow-up that aims to answer those irritating questions that Prometheus left us with. But is Alien: Covenant a return to form for the series? Or yet another damp squib? Continue reading

“Titanic in the sky” Passengers review

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyPassengers review: by Adam Brannon

UK certification: 12A

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are two of the world’s most bankable stars. What with Pratt helping to resurrect prehistoric franchises like Jurassic Park and Lawrence turning The Hunger Games series into one of the biggest ever, it seems they are the people Hollywood wants to work with, right here, right now.

It was inevitable they’d team up together at some point, though director Mortem Tyldum’s (The Imitation Game) sci-fi flick Passengers perhaps isn’t what their fan-bases had in mind. But do the pair sizzle together as much as they do apart? Continue reading

“The 2nd best Star Wars film” Rogue One review

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyRogue One: A Star Wars Story review: by Adam Brannon

UK certification: 12A

The Star Wars universe just got a whole lot bigger. When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was announced by Disney a couple of years ago, diehard fans of the sci-fi saga met the news with a huge dose of scepticism.

After all, the prequel trilogy was an unmitigated disaster, doing all it could to destroy not only the greatest villain in the history of film, but the series itself. Then Gareth Edwards was announced as director, whose film credits include the brilliant Monsters and Godzilla, which was critically praised but received a lukewarm reception publically.

THEN Disney announced the film was undergoing “heavy” reshoots to its first cut, reportedly due to executives being unhappy with the finished product’s tone.

So it’s clear that it’s not been plain sailing for Rogue One, but that headline isn’t a misprint – the finished article is just that damn good. But why? Continue reading

“Thrilling from start to finish” Arrival review

14859347_1040969846011519_1192281544_o-copyArrival film review: by Adam Brannon

UK certification: 12A

Sci-fi seems to be having somewhat of a renaissance recently, that is, if you don’t count Independence Day: Resurgence which could’ve easily derailed the whole genre, never mind just the franchise.

What with last year’s The Martian, the rebirth of Star Wars and the upcoming Passengers, sci-fi is really getting its mojo back. The subject of this review, Arrival, has been hailed as a masterpiece across the Atlantic. But is it worthy of such a strong adjective? Continue reading