10 items from 2017
The Alien franchise has a long and winding history. From lengthy gestation periods between sequels, to lots of conflict between filmmakers and studios, to varying audience interest over the years - I’m amazed that they just haven’t given up yet. Despite all these challenges, the series has persevered for nearly 40 years and gained legions of fans. As of late, the Alien franchise is back in theaters with a prequel storyline being helmed by series originator, Ridley Scott. Predator will also soon be back in theaters with a new film in 2018.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
Alien: ConvenantThe eight films that encompass the Alien series—including its succession of sequels, prequels, and spin-offs—make up a widely varying compendium of consistencies and contrasts. The latest entry, Alien: Covenant (2017), is no exception. As the critical reviews of this new installment are now sufficiently mingled with the predictably deviating audience reactions, one thing about the popular franchise remains clear: each title will forever be burdened and bolstered by the films that came before it. Of course, this isn’t all that surprising; sequels are usually judged by their precursors. But with the Alien anthology, it’s not just about the quality of one film as opposed to another, it’s about a deference to the fictional narrative construct (few movie cycles are as preoccupied with a generally coherent narrative thread) and the anticipation derived from an incorporation of familiar themes and visual motifs (there have likewise been »
Alien Day is upon us, and “Alien: Covenant” will soon be too. As you prepare yourself for Ridley Scott’s latest prequel-sequel, revisit the films that preceded it in sci-fi’s best franchise. 8.) “Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem” (2007) Presumably acting under the assumption that the first “AvP”‘s biggest problem was its PG-13 rating, this misbegotten sequel’s creators decided to go for the hard R. Featuring zero compelling characters but plenty of gruesomely hard-to-forget deaths — young children and very pregnant women are among the victims here — “Requiem” might be best understood as a grindhouse-ready B-movie with a $40 million budget. More. »
- Michael Nordine
What makes a movie franchise a franchise and not just a collection of similar films? Commonalities.
Sometimes it’s just a character by himself that makes it a franchise (Tarzan). At other times a common theme (Final Destination). Sometimes films of a franchise will share a common style if they are all made by the same filmmakers (Jason Bourne), or expand on a singular story (Star Wars). For others, it's a gimmick or hook (Home Alone), or a premise (Planet of the Apes).
The Alien franchise doesn’t necessarily fit into any of these categories; although it has featured all of these traits at one time or another. It started in 1979 with the release of Alien, a sequel came seven years later in Aliens, »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
The genius of the “Alien” franchise — and the temptation to continue it ad infinitum — is that each of its installments has been so markedly different. From the ominously sparse thriller that first introduced the world to the Xenomorphs, to the steroidal orgy of muscles and machine guns and alien mucus that James Cameron fashioned out of its sequel, to the fascinatingly garbled industrial sludge of “Alien 3,” and so on… this series has proven to be as endlessly adaptable as the extraterrestrial monster that inspired its title.
So, when people complain that “Alien: Covenant” isn’t an “Alien” movie, it’s hard to know what they mean. Apart from strong women, two-mouthed nightmares, and the dark promise of outer space, there isn’t much that runs through this series and ties it together as a stylistically coherent whole. On the contrary, the saga is defined by its flair for change, »
- David Ehrlich
Author: Dave Roper
So, we come to the end of this particular series. We’ve covered a number of aspects of the creative input into film-making, including actors, actresses, writers composers, and directors (in two parts). We’ve stopped short of costume, make-up, special effects, art design and others, however our final stop is Cinematography. The Dop exerts plenty of influence over the look of the film. Yes, lighting, production design and the director’s vision are key too, but the consistency and persistence with which certain directors stick with and return to a trusted Dop shows just how much they contribute.
Seven has a unique visual aesthetic. Plenty of films have gone for the “always raining, always dark” approach, but contrast Seven with something like AvP: Requiem for a shining example of how hard it is to pull off effectively. And contrast is the word. Seven »
- Dave Roper
Now that the long-awaited Gears of War movie found a studio home at Universal last October, the project is finally starting to come together. Universal has brought on screenwriter Shane Salerno, who co-wrote all four upcoming Avatar sequels with James Cameron, to work on on the screenplay. Dylan Clark will produce through his Universal-based production company, although no director is set in stone quite yet.
When Universal announced their partnership with The Coalition, the Microsoft-based company that develops the video game franchise, it was revealed that the movie wouldn't be based on a specific game in the Gears of War franchise, but an original story set in this established universe. Deadline broke the news of Shane Salerno coming aboard to write the script, but no story details have been given as of yet. This popular video game franchise has had a long road to the big screen, but now »
Back in 2012, heralded filmmaker Ridley Scott finally made his long-awaited return to the Alien franchise with Prometheus, which received mixed reviews but still paved the way for this summer's Alien: Covenant. It has already been confirmed that Alien: Covenant will start a new trilogy of sci-fi films, that will eventually connect to Ridley Scott's original classic Alien. But now it seems the director is thinking even bigger. Ridley Scott revealed during a new interview that he is actually planning six more movies after Alien: Covenant. Here's what he had to say below.
"If you really want a franchise, I can keep cranking it for another six. I'm not going to close it down again. No way."
The filmmaker revealed this during an on-set interview with the Syndey Morning Herald while production was still under way. After directing the 1979 classic Alien, he handed the reins over to James Cameron for the iconic 1986 sequel Aliens, »
Here’s some new sales art for Beyond Skyline, the sequel to Colin and Greg Strause’s Skyline that’s directed this time by Liam O’Donnell, who worked on some effects in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem and Iron Man 2. He co-wrote the screenplay with Joshua Cordes. The duo wrote the first film, too. The Purge: Anarchy‘s Frank Grillo stars in the film as […] »
- Brad Miska
As the director of the last unequivocally good Alien movie—come at us, Avp: Requiem fans—James Cameron’s word carries a certain weight with the monster-blasting franchise. So when he says it might be time to hang up the exoskeletons, grab your cocoon goo, and call it a day, he might possibly have a point.
“I don’t think it’s worked out terribly well,” Cameron told Vulture recently, while promoting his upcoming National Geographic special Atlantis Rising. “I think we’ve moved on beyond it. It’s like, okay, we’ve got it, we’ve got the whole Freudian biomechanoid meme. I’ve seen it in 100 horror films since. I think both of those films stand at a certain point in time, as a reference point. But is there any validity to doing another one now?”
But, Cameron was quick to add, that doesn’t mean he ...
- William Hughes
10 items from 2017
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