REVIEW: ARN: KNIGHT TEMPLAR

CAST

Joakim Nätterqvist (The Bomber))
Sofia Helin (Nina Frisk)
Stellan Skarsgård (The Avengers)
Vincent Perez (Puppylove)
Simon Callow (The Phantom of The Opera)
Steven Waddington (Tarzan and The Lost City)
Michael Nyqvist (The Girl With The DRagion Tattoo)

Arn Magnusson is a son of the powerful Folkung dynasty in the mid-12th century. He grows up in a monastery belonging to the Cistercians. He is trained in archery, swordsmanship and horsemanship by a former Knight Templar, the brother Guilbert, who resides in the monastery. Arn is also discovered to be ambidextrous. One day while wandering the woods he encounters three men trying to force a young girl into marriage. When the girl begs Arn for help two of the men attack Arn, who kills them in self-defense. Although the monks tell Arn he did nothing wrong, they question Guilbert training him into being a warrior. Guilbert replies that Arn is not meant to be a monk but is destined to be a soldier of God. When Arn leaves the monastery and returns to his family, he is soon pulled into the struggle between the powerful families, all fighting for the crown of Västra Götaland. He helps his friend Knut Eriksson to kill the old king Karl Sverkersson. This leads to war between the two factions; Arn and his fiancée Cecilia Algotsdotter are excommunicated for premarital relations (in reality a plot to hurt Knut) and are forced to undertake twenty years of penance, Cecilia in a convent and Arn as a Knight Templar in the Holy Land to fight against the Saracens.While pursuing a band of thieves, Arn comes across the very enemy of all Christendom, Saladin, and saves his life. Saladin thanks Arn by warning him away from Jerusalem, because he is leading a vast army towards the city. As Saladin marches upon Jerusalem, Arn is given the order to intercept the Saracens before they reach the city, and they successfully ambush Saladin’s army in a mountain pass (the ambush taking the place of the historical Battle of Montgisard figuring in the novel). The movie ends with Arn gaining a letter discharging him from his service in the Holy Land from the Templar Grandmaster Arnold of Torroja, and Cecilia giving praise to God on hearing news of Arn’s survival.Overall, one of the better films about the crusades and the choices made for people living in a time when individual freedom was lost and subjugated to church and kings.

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REVIEW: THE VICTIM

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CAST

Michael Biehn (The Terminator)
Jennifer Blanc (Dark Angel)
Ryan Honey (Men of Honour)
Danielle Harris (Halloween)
Donny Kirkwood (Never Been Kissed)
Tanya Newbould (Skyline)
Nicole Bilderback (Bring it On)
J.C. Brandy (Halloween 6)

Annie’s (Jennifer Blanc) life is in jeopardy after she’s witnessed the horrific rape and murder of her closest friend. Fleeing from two attackers (Ryan Honey, Denny Kirkwood) she stumbles across kyle (Michael Biehn), a recluse living in the middle of the woods. Kyle finds the stillness of the woods comforting. The ruggedly handsome loner stays far from civilization – that is – until a single knock on his door throws his solitary life into chaos. Two worlds collide in this psychological thriller that will make you question your trust in mankind. I must admit I wasn’t instantly hooked in the first 15 minutes. Once everything started to unwrap it was one of his best. I loved the Directing in a sense that it was authentic and real. As were all the performances. A Great Horror/Thriller.

 

REVIEW: ALIEN: COVENANT

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CAST

Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight)
Carmen Ejogo (The Purge: Anarchy)
Amy Seimetz (Lovesong)
Callie Hernandez (La La Land)
Jussie Smollett (North)
Nathaniel Dean (Walking on Water)
Benjamin Rigby (Neighbours)
Uli Latukefu (Marco Polo)
James Franco (This is The End)
Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon tattoo)
Guy Pearce (Memento)

In a prologue, business magnate Peter Weyland speaks with his newly-activated synthetic, who chooses the name “David” after looking at a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David. Weyland tells David that one day they will search for mankind’s creator together.In 2104 the colonization ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet, Origae-6, with two thousand colonists and a thousand embryos onboard. The ship is monitored by Walter, a newer synthetic physically resembling the earlier David model. The ship suddenly detects a nearby neutrino burst and is very shortly afterward damaged by the closely following explosive shockwave from the same source: a new star igniting. The shockwave impact kills some of the colonists. Walter orders the ship’s computer to wake the crew from stasis, but the ship’s captain, Branson, dies when his stasis pod malfunctions. While repairing the ship, the crew pick up a radio transmission from a nearby unknown planet. Against the objections of Daniels, Branson’s wife, succeeding captain Oram decides to investigate. As the Covenant remains in orbit, an expedition team descends to the planet’s surface and tracks the transmission’s signal to a crashed alien ship. While on the surface, security team members Ledward and Hallett are inadvertently infected with alien spores. Karine, Oram’s wife, helps the rapidly sickening Ledward back to the lander, where Maggie, wife of pilot Tennessee, quarantines them both inside the med-bay. An alien creature (Neomorph) bursts from Ledward’s back, killing him, then mauls Karine to death. Maggie tries to shoot the quickly growing creature but accidentally hits a gas tank, causing an explosion which destroys the lander and kills her. The Neomorph escapes to the planet’s surface while another such creature bursts from Hallett’s throat, killing him.The two Neomorphs attack the remaining crew members and kill Ankor. The crew manages to kill one of the aliens before David, who survived the Prometheus mission, rescues the crew and leads them to a city full of humanoid (Engineer) corpses. David tells them that upon his and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw’s arrival at the planet, their Engineer ship accidentally released a black liquid bioweapon which killed the native population, and that Shaw died when the ship crashed in the ensuing chaos. After the crew members tell David of their mission, they attempt to radio the Covenant for help, but the surviving Neomorph infiltrates the city and finds Rosenthal alone before decapitating her. David tries to communicate with the creature and is horrified when Oram kills it. Under Oram’s gunpoint, David reveals that the aliens are a result of his experimenting with the black liquid as a catalyst to create a new species. He leads Oram to an incubation chamber and tricks him into being embraced by an alien parasite (facehugger), which implants Oram with an embryo. Another alien creature (Xenomorph) soon erupts from Oram’s chest, killing him.As the others search for Oram and Rosenthal, Walter confronts David after realizing that David had deliberately unleashed the black liquid upon the Engineers. David explains that he believes humans are an inferior species and should not be allowed to colonize the galaxy. When Walter disagrees, David disables him and captures Daniels, revealing to her that he also murdered Shaw and used her corpse for his experiments. Walter reactivates himself and engages David, allowing Daniels to escape while Lope is attacked by the facehugger. Cole saves Lope before they are ambushed by the now mature Xenomorph, which kills Cole. Tennessee arrives in another lander to extract Daniels, Lope, and the seemingly victorious Walter. They kill the Xenomorph before docking with the Covenant; however, Lope had been implanted with another Xenomorph, which bursts from his chest on the ship before quickly maturing and killing crew members Ricks and Upworth. With Walter’s help, Tennessee and Daniels corner the creature in the Covenant’s airlock and flush it into space.The Covenant resumes its trip to Origae-6, and the surviving crew re-enters stasis. As Walter puts Daniels under, she realizes that he is actually David, but is unable to escape her stasis pod before falling asleep. Now in control of both the ship and its population, David regurgitates two alien embryos and places them in cold storage alongside the human embryos. He then uses Walter’s name to record a log stating that all crew members except Daniels and Tennessee were killed by the neutrino blast at the beginning of the film.Alien:Covenant finishes with a fantastic twist, sets itself up for an obvious sequel and elicits groans of frustration with its inconclusive ending. It’s an appetizer for a better film just large enough to whet your appetite.

 

REVIEW: ALIEN COVENANT – PROLOGUE: THE LAST SUPPER

CAST

Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight)
Carmen Ejogo (The Purge: Anarchy)
Amy Seimetz (Lovesong)
Callie Hernandez (La La Land)
Jussie Smollett (North)
Nathaniel Dean (Walking on Water)
Benjamin Rigby (Neighbours)
James Franco (This is The End)

The ‘Last Supper’ is a direct prequel to Alien: Covenant. Set aboard the Covenant, a colonization ship on its way to a remote planet to form a new human settlement, the main crew (all couples) and their android, Walter, enjoy their final meal together before cryosleep.This is actually a really good prequel, reveals almost nothing about the plot, builds suspense and horror, and gives you a connection to the characters. A must see before watching alien covenant.

REVIEW: ALIEN COVENANT – ADVENT

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CAST

Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppThe film takes the form of a series of distorted transmissions from David to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation following his hijacking of the USCSS Covenant, and details – among other things – the fate of Elizabeth Shaw, the nature of his experiments on Planet 4, and his future plans for the “wolf” he has created. The first transmission, coded D964ZB, consists of recorded footage showing David’s laboratory on Planet 4, his experiments with Shaw’s corpse, the Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 pathogen, and Engineer and Neomorph specimens. Via voiceover, David introduces himself to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and describes his research and experimentation using the Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 to create a variety of Neomorph strains using Planet 4’s native fauna and tissue harvested from Engineer specimens, Neomorph specimens, and Elizabeth Shaw’s corpse. David proclaims that after years of experimentation with hybridizing Neomorphs and unlocking the secrets of Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15, he finally has his “wolf” and will continue to perfect it using the colonists onbord the Covenant as test subjects, intending to create a Queen that will change everything. UntitledThe second transmission, coded E240F, contains David’s research notes and illustrations of Planet 4’s natural life and the Neomorph variants thereof – some of which bear strong resemblance to the Facehugger. The third and fifth transmissions, coded 21WT and B88Q, detail David’s experiments on Shaw’s corpse and the Engineer and Neomorph specimens in order to create the Xenomorph, and end with a warning that if Weyland-Yutani sets out to obtain his creation, it will be unleashed to rule the galaxy.[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[Another great short that shows what happened to Elizabeth Shaw after Prometheus, a must see for fans of the franchise.

REVIEW: ALIEN: COVENANT – PROLOGUE: THE CROSSING

CAST

Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon tattoo)

The Crossing, an official prologue short to Alien: Covenant, reveals what happened to crew members Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and the synthetic David after the events of Prometheus. Set aboard an abandoned Engineer vessel, Dr. Shaw repairs David as they continue their search for humanity’s creatorsPrologue: The Crossing shows us what happened right after Prometheus and expands a little on the Engineers and David. Having watched it after Covenant the other day, I strongly believe it should have been made a part of it, not a separate online release. You’ll understand why after you see Covenant for yourself. If you’re an Alien fan then this little short will add more cohesion and structure to the narrative so definitely watch it before seeing Covenant, as well as Prologue: Last Supper. Also, check out this Alien/Predator time-line to better understand the order of events in what seems to start looking like a little big mess:

REVIEW: PROMETHEUS

CAST
Noomi Rapace (Sherlocks Holmes 2)
Michael Fassbender (300)
Charlize Theron (A Million Ways To Die In The West)
Idris Elba (Star Trek Beyond)
Guy Pearce (Memento)
Logan Marshall-Green (Across The Universe)
Sean Harris (Mission Impossible 5)
Rafe Spell (What If)
Kate Dickie (Game of Thrones)
As a spacecraft departs a planet, a humanoid alien drinks an iridescent liquid; then dissolves. The remains of the alien cascade into a waterfall.
In 2089, archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a star map in Scotland that matches others from several unconnected ancient cultures. They interpret this as an invitation from humanity’s forerunners, the “Engineers”. Peter Weyland, the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, funds an expedition to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223 aboard the scientific vessel Prometheus. The ship’s crew travels in stasis while the android David monitors their voyage. Arriving in 2093, Mission director Meredith Vickers informs them of their mission to find the Engineers, and not to make contact without her permission.
The Prometheus lands on the barren, mountainous surface near a large artificial structure, which a team explores. Inside they find stone cylinders, a monolithic statue of a humanoid head, and the decapitated corpse of a large alien, thought to be an Engineer; Shaw recovers its head. The crew finds other bodies, leading them to surmise the species is extinct. Crew members Millburn and Fifield grow uncomfortable with the discoveries and attempt to return to Prometheus, but become stranded in the structure when they get lost. The expedition is cut short when a storm forces the crew to return to the ship. David secretly takes a cylinder from the structure, while the remaining cylinders begin leaking a dark liquid. In the ship’s lab, the Engineer’s DNA is found to match that of humans. David investigates the cylinder and the liquid inside. He intentionally taints a drink with the liquid and gives it to an unsuspecting Holloway, who had stated he would do anything for answers. Shortly after, Shaw and Holloway have sex.
Inside the structure, a snake-like creature kills Millburn, and sprays a corrosive fluid that melts Fifield’s helmet. Fifield falls face-first into a puddle of dark liquid. When the crew return, they find Millburn’s corpse. David separately discovers a control room containing a surviving Engineer in stasis, and a star map highlighting Earth. Meanwhile, Holloway sickens rapidly. He is rushed back to Prometheus, but Vickers refuses to let him aboard, and at his urging, burns him to death with a flamethrower. Later, a medical scan reveals that Shaw, despite being sterile, is pregnant. Fearing the worst, she uses an automated surgery table to extract a squid-like creature from her abdomen. Shaw then discovers that Weyland has been in stasis aboard Prometheus. He explains that he wants to ask the Engineers to prevent his death from old age. As Weyland prepares to leave for the structure, Vickers addresses him as “Father.”
A monstrous, mutated Fifield attacks the Prometheus ’s hangar bay and kills several crew members before he is killed. The Prometheus ’s captain, Janek, speculates that the structure was an Engineer military installation that lost control of a virulent biological weapon, the dark liquid. He also determines that the structure houses a spacecraft. Weyland and a team return to the structure, accompanied by Shaw. David wakes the Engineer from stasis and speaks to him in an attempt to explain what Weyland wants. The Engineer responds by decapitating David and killing Weyland and his team, before reactivating the spacecraft. Shaw flees and warns Janek that the Engineer is planning to release the liquid on Earth, convincing him to stop the spacecraft. Janek ejects the lifeboat and rams Prometheus into the alien craft, while Vickers flees in an escape pod. The Engineer’s disabled spacecraft crashes onto the ground; its wreckage crushes Vickers. Shaw goes to the lifeboat and finds her alien offspring is alive and has grown to gigantic size. David’s still-active head warns Shaw that the Engineer has survived. The Engineer forces open the lifeboat’s airlock and attacks Shaw, who releases her alien offspring onto the Engineer; it thrusts an ovipositor down the Engineer’s throat, subduing him. Shaw recovers David’s remains, and with his help, launches another Engineer spacecraft. She intends to reach the Engineers’ homeworld in an attempt to understand why they wanted to destroy humanity.
In the lifeboat, an alien creature bursts out of the Engineer’s chest.
Similar in many ways to the first Alien film which I have continued to enjoy irrespective of how old it now is. I thought all of the characters believable & the storey line developed interestingly. The effects were great too. Good film without too much blood & gore.