Alien Movie Universe

The changing experience of modern films (A:C)

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ModeratorPraetorianJun-01-2017 4:49 PM

A lot of the criticism that Alien: Covenant has been receiving is due the lack of depth in certain parts of the film, particularly David's experiments, the motives for the Engineer bombing, the xeno, what happened to shaw etc.

I think the problem is we have become too spoon-fed by the "Golden Age of TV series" we have today. TV series have the luxury of +100 hour footage to mete out every nuance of the story. Your typical 2-3 hour film does not.

So to compensate film-makers are adapting by moving away from a singular experience of entertainment. A lot of films utilise viral media clips, companion books, companion spin-off tv series and interactive website. These are all used to flesh out and expand their film.

A:C has done this too. Besides from your usual trailers they released several prologue viral clips, the interactive MUTHUR query website, the John Denver clip, Art book, Novelisation etc. All used to flesh out and companion the film.

For those who wish to look deeper beyond the 2 hour film, this is fantastic. For those who only want 2 hours of action and entertainment, it can stop there.

But I think we all need to appreciate that Filmmakers just can't plug everything into a film today, especially when they are competing against +100 hour  TV series.

A:C is a very deep story beyond the face of the film. RS could bore you with several hours of genetic engineering jargon and microbiology details, of which people would complain the film is boring....

or, let the film show the action and put the technical parts in a book for those who wish to know more.

20 Replies


MemberPraetorianJun-01-2017 5:08 PM

Brilliant thoughts, IRaptus!


MemberFacehuggerJun-01-2017 5:10 PM

I, for one do not want to be spoon-fed on every movie nor do I need to be. Most sensible adults (And even teenagers) can correlate actions and other events in a well conceived movie

What I believe, many of us are looking for is: movies with well thought out plot lines containing a deep sense of purpose, fleshed out characters, continuity, and reasonability to ones senses.  

Movies that do not do this carry a wide range  of views, but in geneal are not consider the "best" movies. This is why Star Wars & Alien are probably the best Sci-Fi movies of the seventies and "The Black Hole" is well a literal black hole...

In particular to AC, when a sequel contradicts its predecessor, or fails to properly correlate to it, then there is a flaw or multiples flaws in the plotline. This creates a sense of confusion and unease about the movie which can cause the moviegoers to not appreciate all of the positive things within. No amount of star-power, CGI, or money spent can properly alleviate that.

That is not the movie-goers fault but the fault of the producers.

BLUF: Well-made movies with good plotlines produce an enjoyable experience for the moviegoer. 


ModeratorPraetorianJun-01-2017 5:20 PM

suwhited my point is that TV series are the one's doing the spoon-feeding, pandering to the masses.

Movies give you a 2-3 snapshot of that world, if that's all you wish to indulge in, that's fine. If you wish to invest more, many film franchise now offer more than the singular experience.

I'm not arguing A:C is a perfect film, there are some glaringly large plot holes, continuity issues, over-cut editing that makes the film seemed rushed at the end.

The point is movies have to compete with big budget, prime time tv series that can have indefinite timelines and viewing hours. The multi-media experience films is relatively new and filmmakers like RS are trying to find that balance between boring the audience and spoon-feeding them, or giving them 2-3 hours of the snapshot meat and bones of the story.      


MemberFacehuggerJun-01-2017 5:26 PM

@iRaptus. Fair Enough.

To be honest, even with their infintum episodes, there are not a lot of good TV series out there IMHO.

However, I do think that a with the right foresight, production application, and a good script, Studios can make a good movie within the 2 hour span that audiences can appreciate and enjoy.


ModeratorPraetorianJun-01-2017 5:35 PM

suwhited you're 100% right they can. Film-makers from the last few decades have had to do it without the need for multi-media RS included. I think in A:C's case they tried to bite off more than could chew, when another 30 minutes of footage could've made all the difference.

Yeah I agree on the TV series too. A lot of tv series start off strong but then become complacent, or the writers become bored and start going off on far-out tangents and lose the original appeal of the show (*cough* LOST),or they attempt to wing it and make everything up as they go.


MemberTrilobiteJun-01-2017 5:37 PM

IRaptus Well said. I expressed much the same sentiments on a different thread. Basically that a movie should hold its own as is without people scratching their heads because they didn't read a novel before watching.


ModeratorPraetorianJun-01-2017 7:06 PM

Thanks dk. You are right, the film should be able to stand alone for those who just wish to see the film. I think i failed to clarify that in my OP. Sorry suwhited, I think that is what you were alluding too also?

I'm all for the multi-media experience, if its well-executed and planned out well, and not at the expense of the film. Unfortunately A:C feel short here. 



MemberTrilobiteJun-01-2017 7:15 PM

I heard about studios experimenting with simultaneous theater releases and streaming. I never knew of any movies doing it. I thought it was a good idea and would have jumped on that for AC.


ModeratorPraetorianJun-01-2017 8:34 PM

dk question about that? How do cinemas project their films these days? Physical copy, digital download, streamed??


MemberOvomorphJun-01-2017 9:02 PM

@IRaptus Would you be interested in a TV/Netflix miniseries set in this Alien universe? I would actually be open to this idea given how much Ridley Scott has shifted into telling grand and deep stories about creation etc.


ModeratorPraetorianJun-01-2017 11:36 PM

PickleBack thats a great idea, I'd be open to that. They could follow some of the Dark Horse comic/novelisation stories like the Earth Wars storyline with Wilkes and Billies (basically re-badged Hicks and Newt). Set beyond Alien 3.

Would be a bit like Netflix's series The Expanse!  

Do a few series, gauge the reaction and could lead into an Alien 5 film


MemberOvomorphJun-02-2017 7:09 AM

I completely agree that this is something that is characteristic of the times we live in. 

People nowadays want to be spoonfed EVERYTHING, or they want easily digestible baby food like Guardians of the Galaxy. 

I get that you might've wanted to know more about the engineers and their motives, but when you genuinely have to ask "why are the engineers waving at the ship?" that just seems to me like somebody who has totally lost their ability to interpret and analyze movies.


MemberChestbursterJun-02-2017 7:20 AM

@IRaptus I think you're definitely onto something there. A movie with ideas and concepts as complicated and as grand as in the Prometheus/Alien line really is probably much more than what the medium of "2 Hour Mainstream Movie" was meant to handle. Even if done "properly" (and I don't know what that really means), a movie like A:C/Prometheus was/is bound to fail.

So, in that regard, I would definitely welcome an ONGOING series on Amazon/Netflix to take this Universe into the detail and story that it deserves. Different writers and directors using the same "rulebook" with Ridley Executive Producer/Director: I think that's the only way to properly convey this Universe visually. Good ideas all.


MemberTrilobiteJun-02-2017 8:02 PM

A Netflix type series could work out but it could also dilute any potency to the movies. Lots of possibilities both good and bad.


ModeratorPraetorianJun-03-2017 2:04 AM

dk you are right. TV series can have the crappy storyline to appease the mainstream populace maybe? perhaps Alien Genocide and its Xeno-zip rubbish? 

Bubba Zanetti

MemberOvomorphJun-03-2017 2:50 AM


Good point and observation of the industry of film making.

Much can be added to your initial thoughts on this matter. One thing I would add is unlimited budgets appear to be more of burden on a director because they often do not have to use there imagination to get a scene or act in a movie just right. Clint Eastwood has hinted at this in being a director, especially during the 70's and working with Warner Brothers.

When you can't do whatever you want, you rely on your crew and their expertise more to nail a scene or act.

Just check the history or back story on almost every classic film. The budget was limited and the crew had to figure out how to do things for less. This makes the human imagination work and then it produces art.



ModeratorPraetorianJun-03-2017 3:02 AM

Bubba Zanetti thank you for mentioning that, GREAT point! you are spot on, low budget requires imagination to succeed!!! 

Unlimited budget can easily equal overblown rubbish with a reliance on special FXs and overpaid actors to hide their lazy plot and lack of imagination

*cough AVATAR Cough * 



MemberOvomorphJun-03-2017 9:21 AM

Brillante nota. Gracias. Queremos que la saga continué. La saga lo merece, pues la historia es muy original y abre un nuevo Universo. Hoy en día las películas son muy superficiales, en cambio Aliens de Ridley Scott la compararía con Dracula de  Bram stoker o Frankenstein .


ModeratorPraetorianJun-03-2017 4:00 PM

Gracias Milpeva! You make a great point. The Alien is a very timeless and iconic creature, comparable to those classic's you mentioned.

A lot of great minds and talented artists have contributed to this franchise!!

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