(2012/both Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray sets)
Picture: A- (both) 4K Sound: A- (both) 1080p Picture: B+
(both) Sound: B+ (both 1080p Blu-rays) Extras: B Films:
Ridley Scott (Blade
returns to the world of H.R. Giger's Alien universe his two prequel
(2012) and Alien:
(2017), both of which have elegantly landed on the 4K UHD format
courtesy of Fox.
the iconic look and production design of the original films with
modern special effects and a few A-list cast members, both films are
a bit on the experimental side for Scott, who tried a few new things
in an effort to finally unearth how the infamous Xenomorphs came to
be and hopefully thrill audiences the way he did decades ago.
Unfortunately, the reception for both installments have been mixed
from critics, however, both did well in the box office and on home
video, leaving hope for future installments.
stars Noomi Rapace (the original, foreign Girl
With The Dragon Tattoo
trilogy), Charlize Theron (Atomic
Michael Fassbender (Song
Idris Elba (The
Guy Pearce (Memento,
and Logan Marshall-Green (Spider-Man:
brings back cast member Michael Fassbender (as the sinister
human-esque android David) in a lead role and brief cameos by
stars Guy Pierce (as the founder of the Weyland Corporation - Peter
Weyland) and Noomi Rapace (reprising her role as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw).
features rising star Katherine Waterston (Fantastic
Beasts and Where To Find Them),
Billy Crudup (Watchmen),
James Franco (in a cameo role), Danny McBride (yes - THAT Danny
McBride), and Demián Bichir (Hateful
to name a few.
has been a hotly debated film for the sci-fi community over the past
few years, with some fans loving it and others hating it. There's no
doubt that Scott tried a few new things here, namely not giving the
main characters weapons during their adventure and predominantly
featuring The Engineers, who were vaguely touched upon in the
original film. For me, Prometheus
is actually one of my favorite installments in the franchise with
some scenes that I truly love, namely the scene where Elizabeth Shaw
(Rapace) has to give herself an alien abortion, and the white
knuckled climax of the film that puts you on the edge of your seat.
Sure, the film has some plot holes and some deleted scenes that
should have been left in, but I find it superior to Covenant
and a film that definitely benefits from this new HD update.
many sci-fi fans complained about the slow pace and missing
Xenomorphs in Prometheus,
we get our treasured bad guys back (and a new creature known as the
Neomorph) and more brutal violence than before. However, the film
was cut down considerably (a rumored twenty minutes missing) during
Post Production and ultimately got mixed reactions from audiences and
critics. Some fans were also upset by the new origin for the Alien
creatures that were created for this film and some of the twists in
later acts were met with lukewarm reception.
I enjoyed the film although I don't feel its one of the franchise's
stronger entries. When you say 'Ridley Scott' and 'Alien' in the
same sentence, there's a certain level of anticipation and
expectation that comes with that for which I don't feel this film
quite reached the potential it initially had out of the gate.
crew onboard the vessel Covenant are on a trip with thousands of
members in hibernation to seek out a new home for mankind. However,
they get an unexpected wakeup call when a ship malfunction kills off
their Captain, leaving the crew is disarray and low on hope. Still a
ways away from their final destination and forced to reassign
leadership, the crew discovers a new planet that seems to be a better
fit than the planet in which the mission was originally targeting.
Upon landing and checking out the planet up close, they realize that
they aren't the only inhabitants, as they find the wreckage of an
Alien craft once manned by the Engineers (the 'creators' of the
Xenomorphs). Infected with an airborne disease, a few crew members
grow ill and soon end up birthing alien creatures. From here, things
start to get nutty as surviving members must struggle for survival
and avoid a fate worse than death.
of the film's problems lie with the David character himself. Playing
dual roles in the film as a friendly A.I. named Walter and the
manipulative David, Fassbender brings his unique acting chops to the
role even if the script doesn't always serve the character best. An
interesting twist could have been executed better, with Scott giving
away the plot point before it happens if you pay close enough
attention. The biggest plot hole is the absence of the evolved alien
from the end of Prometheus with no explanation as to what
happened to it. The Neomorph, although a cool character design,
isn't explained as logically as a face hugger didn't give birth to it
as much as an airborne disease did. Some strange story choices here
that could have been easily avoided.
of us at the site who liked Covenant less than myself have an
alternate name for the film based on the fact the the title killer is
often no larger thabn a large cat: Apocalypse Meow!
4K Ultra HD format lends itself well to the production design these
movies making them must haves on the new format, with transfers that
are more defined than the included Blu-ray editions. The 2160p
(1080p for Blu-ray) high definition transfer features a widescreen
presentation of 2.40:1 and fantastic sounding, lossless Dolby Atmos
11.1 track (including Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core tracks in each case that
are not too shabby either) that push the limits of many home
entertainment systems. Both Blu-rays offer lossless DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 7.1 mixes that are also strong, but not as thorough as
the Atmos versions. The darkly lit films have some very detailed
production design that is more noticeable on the 4K disc, namely the
scenes that take place on the spacecrafts. Skin textures are
immaculate, specifically on Fassbender in the sterile white opening
sequence in Covenant,
with gritty detail on set design and other worldly elements on the
looks loads better here than the aging Blu-ray transfer, with sharper
looks at our leads and visual motifs not evident in prior, more
UV copies also included.
Features for Prometheus
are the same as the previous Blu-ray release....
Audio Commentaries by Scott and by Writers Damon Lindelof and Jon
Peter Weyland Files
and Alternate Scenes, which include an alternate opening and ending
Features For Alien:
and Extended Scenes
Illustrations - Image Gallery
Class: Ridley Scott - Documentary on the making of Alien: Covenant
Commentary by Ridley Scott
if you're a collector and have an interest you can track down these
other various editions of Covenant
that are available at various mega retailers such as...
- includes Alien Day fan art designed t-shirt (4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray
- Collectible packaging with a 36-page book packaging featuring an
inside look at David's Lab and the creatures of Alien:
plus behind-the-scenes photography and concept sketches (Blu-ray
Buy - Alien baby Xenomorph SteelBook (includes 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray
I rank Covenant
and slightly above 1997's Alien:
(which I think was the weakest and goofiest installment in either
cut). I, of course, don't count the so-so Alien
films, a spinoff franchise in desperate need of an intelligent
reboot... Fox should really get Neill Blomkamp (District
that since his Alien project was put on hiatus!
Ridley Scott hasn't completely lost it as there are some great
moments in Covenant
and visually the film is on point. Unfortunately, there are also
many missed opportunities and a screenplay that doesn't quite hit all
of its marks. A third installment is rumored to be happening with
Scott again at the helm, so we will see if Covenant
is strengthened or weakened by that addition. Also due to the heavy
edit of the film, I wouldn't be shocked to see a Director's Cut of
this in the future with many plot holes filled... if the deleted
scenes on the disc are any indication.
Fox has done a great job here and hopefully Scott's original 1979
masterpiece and James Cameron's masterful sequel will soon follow in
the months ahead on 4K disc. In the meantime, here's our coverage of
the previous six feature films in the series on Blu-ray....
(first 4 films) regular set
Alien Anthology with limited edition EGG
Vs. Predator: Requiem
our original look at Prometheus