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Amy Seimetz

Blu-ray: ‘Alien: Covenant’

You may recall Prometheus with both awe and astonishment, a film with astounding moments of beauty and horror and brilliance bumping up against stupidity and sloppiness and half-baked ideas. Alien: Covenant (2017), the second film in the Alien prequel series, takes place a decade after the events of Prometheus (2012) and continues writing the xenomorph origin story with a new cast of potential hosts (a colony ship with a population on ice waiting to wake on a new world) put through a plot that borrows elements from both Prometheus and the original films. It’s a smarter film, and if it never quite matches the conceptual and visual genius of Prometheus at its best, neither does it slip into the foolishness of its worst moments.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

This is the sixth official film (we’re ignoring the Alien vs. Predator films) in what is becoming a galaxy-spanning franchise, the second film in the prequel story, and the third directed by Ridley Scott, director of the original film. It opens with the skeleton crew awakening early, just as it did in Scott’s original Alien, and sending a search party down to a nearby planet sending out a distress signal, which this time is a verdant world teaming with plant life but, eerily, no animals or insects or birds. What it does have are the insidious spores of Prometheus (also directed by Scott) which colonize the unlikely humans as hosts for this alien life form, and a lone humanoid living in the ruins of a dead civilization: David (Michael Fassbender), the android of Prometheus who walks the wasteland like a rogue prophet and makes contact with the human team.

Continue reading at Stream On Demand

Review: Entertainment

Tye Sheridan

Isn’t it time for Andy Kaufman to stop pretending he died in 1984, and return to his place in the comedy world? One of Kaufman’s prime pieces of conceptual theater—embodying a belligerent anti-comedian named Tony Clifton—has been honed by somebody else in his absence. Gregg Turkington has carved out his own queasy niche in comedy with his horrible alter ego, Neil Hamburger. Armed with stale material, an octopus-like combover, and a habit of clearing the phlegm from his throat in the middle of his punch lines, Hamburger is an offensive creep whose style of joke-telling was outdated in 1968. Turkington has rolled out this character on records and online—sometimes in front of live audiences who are clearly not getting the anti-joke.

Continue reading at Seattle Weekly

Film Review: ‘Sacrament’

Gene Jones in ‘The Sacrament’

The odd thing about The Sacrament is how straightforward it is. The ingredients for this film include a hot young horror director, a batch of indie-scene heroes and a subject that revolves around an isolated cult group.

Given all that, I kept thinking the movie would develop twists on our expectations. But no, West and co. stick to a fictionalized portrait of one notorious cult event: the 1978 mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana.

Continue reading at The Herald