Alien: Covenant Trailer 2 & Prologue

Okay, now we’re talking. The movie could still be a hot mess but goddamn does the new alien look amazing in action. It’s amazing what one awesome trailer will do to get me completely sucked into the hype tornado again.

All these dudes are gonna be eaten. I can’t wait.

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Alien: Covenant Teaser Trailer

Yeah, yeah, I know this is over a month old at this point but I finally decided to write a little bit about the best look we’ve gotten so far at Ridley Scott’s newest attempt to drain any remaining life out of the Alien franchise.

WARNING: Only watch the trailer if you don’t really give a shit about spoilers. Really. This trailer gives away a lot.

The only thing really hidden in the trailer are the monsters themselves (apart from the facehugger). The ad runs as a giant “THIS IS WHAT YOU GUYS WANTED, RIGHT?!” from Ridley to all the fans of the franchise that were disappointed/gutted by 2012’s Prometheus.

I could go on forever about the story and how I thought Prometheus was terrible and that prequels are just a terrible idea but we shall instead focus on what Ridley has always been phenomenal at: his visuals.

The film looks gorgeous. From the set design, to the choice of lighting and shots. It looks properly scary and vast at the same time. I haven’t cared about spoilers for the film as the real enjoyment for me will come from actually seeing what’s on the screen. I’ve been hearing cool things about how the effects team actualized the monsters in the film so I was pleased that most  of all that was hidden in this teaser. The back-buster scene has caused a lot of buzz among the members of the press who saw a preview of the sequence so I’m certainly looking forward to that. Since the story will almost certainly be rubbish, the fun that remains will be in seeing how these monsters (chief among them being the Big Chap) will be realized with modern special effects.

I can’t resist commenting a bit more on the story for the film. It does seem that David is being set-up as the creator of the Alien. This would be tremendously dumb for a dozen different reasons. I feel strongly that if we have to see how the Aliens were created, the creator of this supreme life form should be female, not Michael Fassbender’s android character. This makes narrative sense to me. The aliens themselves are designed with intense gendered imagery in mind and the one who ultimately stops them in the series is a woman. We’ll find out in May if David is truly revealed to have such an important role in the saga.

Another interesting thought that I came across while reading hundreds of comments and articles on Covenant is that now that it appears that Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 is pretty much dead in the water, one wonders if these movies are intended to set up an eventual showdown between David and Ripley. That may be a bit too far-fetched. A bit more likely is that, if Covenant is a big hit, this will lead to Fox trying out Alien Vs. Predator again as they try to create a bigger cinematic universe akin to Marvel and DC’s films. Again, I can’t help but think that there is a creative black hole when it comes to ideas for what to do with the Alien franchise. Retcons. Prequels. AVP. Doesn’t anyone have any decent ideas for what to do with Giger’s amazing monster? No? At this point the only person who I think could write a new Alien story with anything truly twisted and new in it is Clive Barker.

I’ll rant some more when the next trailer for the film appears.

Alien: Covenant Poster

alien-covenant-poster

It’s like Ridley Scott and Fox really want me to forget that this is the sequel to Prometheus for some reason.

I do like how the alien here reminds me of the ‘ol chap from Alien 3, which is an excellent take on the monster before it became a sludgy mass of poop-drool in Alien: Resurrection.

Could be good but they’ve gotta work hard to impress me after Prometheus.

Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’ (Updated)

Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver on the set of 'Alien'

 

Twentieth Century Fox officially announced today that Ridley Scott’s upcoming science fiction film will not be a prequel to the Alien film series but rather a brand new story that has grown out of the initial ideas for an Alien reboot.

The new project will be entitled Prometheus and will star Noomi Rapace who played Lisbeth Salander in the swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.  Rapace will play the lead character who is named ‘Elizabeth Shaw’.

This is quite a drastic change in the production as Twentieth Century Fox has been unofficially calling Scott’s new science fiction film the ‘Alien prequel’ all the way through pre-production so far until today.

Prometheus will indeed be a science fiction film but rather than being another installment of the Alien franchise it will be something the ‘last thing that anyone expects’.  Here’s a quote from Damon Lindelof who is co-writing the script for the film with Scott:

“In a world flooded with prequels, sequels and reboots, I was incredibly struck by just how original Ridley’s vision was for this movie. It’s daring, visceral and hopefully, the last thing anyone expects.”

Here is a quote from Ridley Scott himself on the project:

 “While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien‘s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I couldn’t be more pleased to have found the singular tale I’d been searching for, and finally return to this genre that’s so close to my heart.”

Overall this sounds very interesting and I am very much looking forward to new announcements surrounding the project. Although I am dissapointed that it will not be a continuation of the Alien series I am still glad to see Ridley Scott working on his first science fiction film since Blade Runner.

Update 1/27/11: Actor Michael Fassbender has joined the project as one of the primary characters. Fassbender will be playing an andriod alongside Noomi Rapace’s character Elizabeth Shaw. Ridley Scott also hinted that he has some sort of connection to the Bishop android in Aliens.

Just a day after this announcement several sources in the production are claiming that Prometheus is indeed part of the Alien series despite the official announcements made by Twentieth Century Fox and Ridley Scott that it was a new project entirely. Here are the reports posted on Sky.com from their ‘inside sources’:

“They’ve built the ‘space jockey’ cockpit at Pinewood as seen in the original Alien film, so it definitely takes place in the same world as Alien.” 
“Despite that press release that seemed to indicate there were no aliens in the movie, the familiar HR Giger-style aliens do appear. Big ones apparently.”

“Part of the film will be shot in Morocco. I’ve heard that some sort of archaeological dig where they discover alien DNA takes place there and that DNA gives them the coordinates for an alien world. I’ve also heard Morocco is being used for alien planet landscapes so I’m not sure if it’s an archaeological dig on another planet.”

“The main spaceship in the film will be piloted by an enormous head which I assume will be CGI. Yep, sounds weird but I assume some of the technology will be sort of biomechanical.”

Whether or not H.R. Giger’s aliens are in the film or not it is clear that Ridley Scott is having a lot of fun. It also makes sense to me that Scott wishes to promote the film as a new project rather than just ‘Alien 5‘ as there are already many sequels, prequels, and remakes filling up the film schedule of 2012.

Sadly, the one official word we have gotten from Twentieth Century Fox about Prometheus aside from the casting of Michael Fassbender is that the release date has been pushed back to June 8, 2012.

Satoshi Kon’s List of Influential Films

This article was just to interesting not to post again here. Satoshi Kon and his staff working on The Dreaming Machine made a list of 100 of the movies that came up the most in conversations at the studio.

This list has a few typo’s but in general it includes a really interesting selection of films, many of which if you should check out if you haven’t already seen them. This is a bittersweet post after Satoshi Kon’s recent passing, but I wanted to post this on Teatime as it shows what kinds of movies Satoshi kon enjoyed talking about. 

Also, as pointed out on the makiko itoh blog, it is interesting to see that there isn’t a single animated film mentioned on either the primary list or the ‘films that didn’t make the list’ section. It should be noted that the order is not important, but just there for convenience.  

The first 50

  • The Long Gray Line, 1954, John Ford
  • It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946, Frank Capra
  • Some Like It Hot, 1958, Billy Wilder
  • Sabrina, 1954, Billy Wilder
  • Sunset Boulevard, 1950, Billy Wilder
  • Stalag 17, 1953, Billy Wilder
  • Roman Holiday, 1953, William Wyler
  • Lawrence of Arabia, 1962, David Lean
  • The Birds, 1963, Alfred Hitchcock
  • Rear Window, 1954, Alfred Hitchcock
  • Psycho, 1960, Alfred Hitchcock
  • 12 Angry Men, 1957, Sidney Lumet
  • A Clockwork Orange, 1971, Stanley Kubrick
  • The Shining, 1980, Stanley Kubrick
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968, Stanley Kubrick
  • Сталкер (Stalker), 1979, Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Солярис (Solaris), 1972, Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, 1977, Steven Spielberg
  • Jaws, 1975, Steven Spielberg
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, 1977, George Lucas
  • Apocalypse Now, 1979, Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Godfather, 1972, Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Godfather Part II, 1974, Francis Ford Coppola
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975, Milos Forman
  • Amadeus, 1984, Milos Forman
  • Gone With The Wind, 1939, Victor Fleming
  • The Great Escape, 1963, John Sturges
  • The Enemy Below, 1957, Dick Powell
  • Le Salaire de la peur (The Wages Of Fear), 1953, Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Plein Soleil (Purple Noon (alt. title Lust For Evil)), 1960, René Clément
  • Midnight Cowboy, 1969, John Schlesinger
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969, George Roy Hill
  • Bonnie and Clyde, 1967, Arthur Penn
  • Little Big Man, 1971, Arthur Penn
  • Straw Dogs, 1971, Sam Peckinpah
  • Dirty Harry, 1971, Don Siegel
  • The Day of the Jackal, 1973, Fred Zinnemann
  • The French Connection, 1971, William Friedkin
  • The Exorcist, 1973, William Friedkin
  • Taxi Driver, 1976, Martin Scorcese
  • Slaughterhouse Five, 1972, George Roy Hill
  • The World According To Garp, 1982, George Roy Hill
  • Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum), 1979, Volker Schlöndorff
  • Mitt liv som hund (My Life As a Dog), 1985, Lasse Hallström
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, 1993, Lasse Hallström
  • American Beauty, 1999, Sam Mendes
  • Paper Moon, 1973, Peter Bogdanovich
  • The Deer Hunter, 1978, Michael Cimino
  • The Player, 1992, Robert Altman
  • Short Cuts, 1993, Robert Altman

The second 50

  • Days of Heaven, 1978, Terence Malick
  • Melody, 1971, Waris Hussein
  • El espíritu de la colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive), 1973, Víctor Erice
  • All That Jazz, 1979, Bob Fosse
  • Gloria, 1980, John Cassavettes
  • Birdy, 1984, Alan Parker
  • Witness, 1985, Peter Weir
  • Blue Velvet, 1986, David Lynch
  • Midnight Run, 1988, Martin Brest
  • Die Hard, 1988, John McTiernan
  • Reservoir Dogs, 1992, Quentin Tarantino
  • Pulp Fiction, 1994, Quentin Tarantino
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, 1999, Guy Ritchie
  • The Shawshank Redemption, 1994, Frank Darabont
  • Se7en, 1995, David Fincher
  • Alien, 1979, Ridley Scott
  • Aliens, 1986, James Cameron
  • Blade Runner, 1985, Ridley Scott
  • Brazil, 1985, Terry Gilliam
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, 1981, George Miller
  • The Terminator, 1984, James Cameron
  • La cité des enfants perdus (The City of Lost Children), 1995, Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Batman Returns, 1992, Tim Burton
  • The Dark Knight, 2008, Christopher Nolan
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984, Wes Craven
  • Billy Elliot, 2000, Stephen Daldry
  • Brassed Off, 1997, Mark Herman
  • The Full Monty, 1996, Peter Cattaneo
  • Sliding Doors, 19998, Peter Howitt
  • Little Miss Sunshine, 2006, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
  • Heaven Can Wait, 1978, Warren Beatty and Buck Henry
  • The Boy Who Could Fly, 1985, Nick Castle
  • Heart and Souls, 1993, Ron Underwood
  • 七人の侍 (The Seven Samurai), 1954, Akira Kurosawa
  • 赤ひげ (Red Beard), 1965, Akira Kurosawa
  • 羅生門 (Rashomon), 1950, Akira Kurosawa
  • 天国と地獄 (High and Low (alt. title Heaven and Hell)), 1963, Akira Kurosawa
  • 用心棒 (Yojimbo), 1961, Akira Kurosawa
  • 東京物語 (Tokyo Story) 1953, Yasujiro Ozu
  • 切腹 (Harakiri), 1962, Masaki Kobayashi
  • 上意討ち 拝領妻始末 (Samurai Rebellion), 1967, Masaki Kobayashi
  • ゴジラ (Godzilla), 1954, Ishiro Honda
  • 独立愚連隊西へ (No English release – reads Dokuritsu gurentai nishi e), 1960, Kihachi Okamoto
  • 血と砂 (No English release – reads “Chi to suna” (Blood and Sand)), 1965, Kihachi Okamoto
  • 豚と軍艦 (The Flesh Is Hot (alt. title Hogs and Warships)), 1961, Shohei Imamura
  • 股旅 (The Wanderers), 1973, Kon Ichikawa
  • 砂の器 (The Castle of Sand), 1974, Yoshitaro Nomura
  • 太陽を盗んだ男 (The Man Who Stole the Sun), 1979, Kazuhiko Hasegawa
  • 転校生 (I Are You, You Am Me (alt. title Exchange Students), 1982, Nobuhiko Obayashi
  • 家族ゲーム (The Family Game), 1983, Yoshimitsu Morita

The ‘didn’t make the top 100’ list

  • 酔いどれ天使 (Drunken Angel),1948、Akira Kurosawa
  • 野良犬 (Stray Dog), 1949, Akira Kurosawa
  • 生きる (Ikiru) 1952, Akira Kurosawa
  • 蜘蛛巣城 (Throne of Blood), 1957, Akira Kurosawa
  • 隠し砦の三悪人 (The Hidden Fortress), 1958, Akira Kurosawa
  • 椿三十朗 (Sanjuro), 1962, Akira Kurosawa
  • 晩春 (Late Spring), 1949, Yasujiro Ozu
  • 麦秋 (Early Summer), 1951, Yasujiro Ozu
  • お早う (Yasujiro Ozu’s Good Morning (alt. title: Good Morning)), 1959, Yasujiro Ozu
  • カルメン故郷に帰る (no English release: reads “karumen kokyou ni kaeru” which means “Carmen Goes Home”), 1951, Keisuke Kinoshita
  • にっぽん昆虫記 (The Insect Woman), 1962, Shohei Imamura
  • 赤い殺意 (Murderous Instincts), 1964, Shohei Imamura
  • 幕末太陽傳 (The Sun Legend of the End Of The Tokugawa Era), 1957, Yuzo Kawashima
  • 人情紙風船 (Ballad of the Paper Balloon), 1937, Sadao Yamanaka
  • My Darling Clementine, 1946, John Ford
  • Fort Apache, 1948, John Ford
  • She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, 1950, John Ford
  • Rio Grande, 1950, John Ford
  • The Quiet Man, 1952, John Ford
  • Witness for the Prosecution, 1957, Billy Wilder
  • The Apartment, 1960, Billy Wilder
  • Irma La Douce, 1963, Billy Wilder
  • North by Northwest, 1959, Alfred Hitchcock
  • Vertigo, 1958, Alfred Hitchcock
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956, Alfred Hitchcock
  • Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 1962, Stanley Kubrick
  • Barry Lyndon, 1975, Stanley Kubrick
  • Miracolo a Milano (Miracle in Milan), 1952, Vittorio De Sica
  • Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, 1969, George Roy Hill
  • The Sting, 1973, George Roy Hill
  • Duel, 1971, Steven Spielberg
  • Empire of the Sun, 1987, Steven Spielberg
  • The Third Man, 1949, Carol Reed
  • Mars Attacks! 1996, Tim Burton
  • Edward Scissorhands, 1990, Tim Burton
  • The Dead Zone, 1983, David Cronenberg
  • The Duellists, 1977, Ridley Scott
  • The Cider House Rules, 1999, Lasse Hallström
  • The Shipping News, 2001, Lasse Hallström
  • The Hotel New Hampshire, 1984, Tony Richardson
  • Delicatessen, 1991, Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • The Hidden, 1988, Jack Sholder
  • Tremors, 1990, Ron Underwood
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 1989, Terry Gilliam
  • Shakespeare in Love, 1998, John Madden
  • Black Sunday, 1977, John Frankenheimer
  • Fitzcarraldo, 1982, Werner Herzog
  • Murphy’s War, 1971, Peter Yates
  • Bullitt, 1968, Peter Yates
  • Easy Rider, 1969, Dennis Hopper
  • Buffalo ’66, 1998, Vincent Gallo
  • Il mio nome è Nessuno (My Name is Nobody), 1975, Tonino Valerii
  • La Strada, 1954, Frederico Fellini
  • Scarecrow, 1973, Jerry Schatzberg
  • Harry and Tonto, 1974, Paul Mazursky
  • The Poseidon Adventure, 1972, Ronald Neame
  • Last Action Hero, 1993, John McTiernan
  • Attack!, 1956, Robert Aldrich
  • Forrest Gump, 1994, Robert Zemekis
  • The Commitments, 1991, Alan Parker
  • Robocop, 1987, Paul Verhoeven
  • Le Roi de Coeur (King of Hearts), 1966, Philippe de Broca
  • L’Homme de Rio (That Man from Rio), 1966, Philippe de Broca
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, 1990, Tom Stoppard
  • La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful), 1998, Roberto Benigni
  • The Thing, 1982, John Carpenter
  • The Butterfly Effect, 2004, Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber
  • Judge Roy Bean, 1972, John Huston
  • Mulholland Drive, 2001, David Lynch
  • The Straight Story, 1999, David Lynch
  • Doctor Zhivago, 1965, David Lean
  • Ryan’s Daughter, 1970, David Lean
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 1991, James Cameron
  • Million Dollar BAby, 2004, Clint Eastwood
  • Gran Torino, 2008, Clint Eastwood
  • Kekexili (Mountain Patrol), Chuan Lu
  • Groundhog Day, 1993, Harold Ramis
  • Papillon, 1973, Franklin J Shafner
  • Dog Day Afternoon, 1975, Sidney Lumet

Own Some Alien Stompers

Do you remember Ripley’s awesome Reebok sneakers from Aliens? You don’t? Either way, you can own a pair of them for yourself this fall.

Reebok is re-releasing the ‘Alien Stomper’ tennis shoe in two different styles this September after a extremely brief release back in 1983 when the James Cameron’s sequel was first shown in theaters.

The bad news? It looks as though they will be on sale primarily in Japan and will go for $125. Of course, there are no laces on these babies, only velcro. They’re from the future remember?

Order them here?

The other style is posted below.

Turn A Gundam Licensed by Bandai Entertainment

Bandai Entertainment announced today at it’s Comic Con International panel today that it has acquired the rights for all 50 episodes of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Turn A Gundam series.

Although more than a little eccentric and not without it’s flaws, it is no secret that Turn A Gundam is my favorite installment in the franchise.

Released in 1999 as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the first Gundam television series it features designes by Syd Mead (of Blade Runner and Alien fame) and music composed by the master herself, Yoko Kanno (of Cowboy Bebop fame). Turn A Gundam is also so far director Yoshiyuki Tomino’s last contribution to the franchise apart from a short film made for last year’s 30th anniversary entitled Ring of Gundam.

No release date is set yet but I am happy just to know that this series has been picked up for release in America.