[watching] What have you seen recently?


Rune Priest
We watched Alien: Covenant last night. My thoughts and opinions are in the spoiler tag below.

As it was beautifully directed and had wonderful cinematography, the film has a few flaws. The first problem I have with the Covenant is, unlike the original Alien films, I couldn't quite work out who was meant to be the main protagonist. Ripley was clearly the central character in the originals and Elizabeth Shaw was clearly the protagonist in Prometheus. I read up after the film that Daniels is meant the "Ripley" character, but that wasn't made very clear to me whilst watching Covenant. (I will speak about this more below. I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters as well. I didn't care whether they survived or not. It kind of took the edge of the film. There was no cohesion between the crew or sense of unity either. People died such as spouses and they didn't seem to care.

There are also some major problems with Covenant. Because it spends so long in the build up, the main events of the film are squeezed into the last hour. There are glaring plot holes that also need to be addressed. First off the crew set foot on the Engineer's homeworld without taking any precautions. Since it's a unknown biosphere they would have worn space suits, like Ripley and her crew did in Alien, to make sure the crew were not contaminated. Of course I understand this would mean the crew would not become hosts to the new Neomoprhs. But there are other ways they could have got the crew effected, such as a member of the crew unwittingly taking their helmet off for example. The next plot hole is how they get up and down the mountain so quickly.

The biggest issue I have with the film is with Shaw being killed off just as a plot device, and Daniels being a bit ambiguous into which role she fitted into, I didn't really see a central protagonist for these prequels and I don't think David counts. The closest I thought we had to a main protagonist was Walter. Daniels didn't have much of a screen presence, whereas Walter seemed to stand out. David's return wasn't a surprise and I guessed he replaced Walter towards the end of the film. David does make a terrifying central villain, but in Covenant he's taking on a role similar to Davros in Dr Who, reducing the Xenomorphs to his henchmen, like the Daleks to their creator.

Moving on to David, his experiments, and the Protomorphs. The only way to make sense of this was to watch the deleted scenes and read up on the film afterwards. It seems David didn't actually create the Xenomorphs and this wasn't clearly explained in the film. Details from the novel suggest that David discovered a Xenomorph egg and experimented on it to create his Protomorphs. His plan is quite clear to use the colonists to create a new generation of Xenomporhs on the planet the Covenant was heading to. But if Covenant is meant to be a prequel to Alien, then this doesn't quite fit into the continuity. In Alien, Ripley and her crew find an Engineer ship with Xenomorph eggs, not a human colony overrun with Xenomorphs.

With the cancellation of the third film in the trilogy, and Disney acquiring the rights through its purchase of 21st Century Fox, I doubt we will ever get all the answers.
I doubt we will ever get all the answers.
Were we ever going to? Ridley Scott plainly making it up as he goes along and getting his script writers to pick the bones out of whatever half-baked idea he's interested in that week: Ancient Astronauts, AI, Frankenstein etc etc. His forte is the visuals. He needs a strong writing partner to do the storytelling. For my money last decent film he made was American Gangster.
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Been out ages but now enjoying Medici, finally got on to the Gotham series (season 5?) which starts like a couple of the Batman video games not sure its sustainable but only seen one episode. Locke and Key was quite decent. All Netflix.

Brass Jester

Staff member
Watched The Color out of Space last night. I really enjoyed it; i'ts always been one of my favourite Lovecraft stories and I think they did a good job on interpreting it. There were all the elements from the story, the strange meteorite, the weird colours, the strange plants, the increasingly erratic behaviour of the Gardner family, the electrical storm etc. It has been updated to present-day, so there are cellphones, TV's, cars etc; I don't think the film suffers from this. Even Nicholas Cage put in a passable performance as Nathan Gardner (and he's not my favourite actor.)
There is even a nod to The Dunwich Horror in there.

"Now do your job and go feed your mother"


Staff member
Halfway through Hunters and enjoying it. It doesn't pull punches and has shades of darkness and joy, maybe even humour all set in a technicolour pallette.
Just watched The Marker, British crime thriller about a gangland enforcer haunted by the ghost of the woman he accidentally killed while out on a job. Some years later her daughter looks like getting mixed up with various wrong 'uns he steps up to try and save her from his former associates. This really is quite a grim affair but if you enjoy low budget nastiness like Kill List or Dead Man's Shoes you'll probably get something out of it. There's a few nods to classic British crime films without being too derivative i.e The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa and with its down at heel Birmingham setting Gangsters.
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Just watched a series of classics:

Quarantine of solace
The spy who self isolated.
From Wuhan with COVID-19
The man with the vaccine-gun
On Her Majesty's social distancing service.


The Guvnor
Staff member
Just finished Castlevania Season and it was bloody excellent.
This season moved beyond the video games and has started to really open up 3 parallel storylines.
Great performances from the voice actors, and episode 9 is a 'put down everything and eat popcorn' bonanza.
A lot of this is going into my Dolmenwood game.


The Guvnor
Staff member
The first two seasons of Netflix’s dark crime drama Ozark flew a little under my radar.
It's truly great with Jason Bateman and Laura Linney leading a great cast in a show up there with Sopranos and Breaking Bad, IMHO.
The first two seasons of Netflix’s dark crime drama Ozark flew a little under my radar.
It's truly great with Jason Bateman and Laura Linney leading a great cast in a show up there with Sopranos and Breaking Bad, IMHO.
Bateman's really good, he just looks dead inside most of the time. He's a long way from Teen Wolf 2 or even Arrested Development. The Hillbilly heroin farmers are way over the top though.

Every sub-plot wrapped up. Sometimes predictably, always appropriately. Easy to watch. Job done. Perfect comfort TV.

Where did they get the purple, totally unnecessary, deus ex-machina device from? I don’t want to have to watch the entire series again to find out.

”Planetary Sterilisation Pattern...Number 5.” Just LOVE them Romulans!
It is taking me time to catch up with stuff at moment, way down on my ususal watching schedule. Just finished Altered Carbon S2 on Netflix. I enjoyed it with a decent story and acting.

Now starting some Korean Zombie goodness with Kingdom S2 on Netflix.


The Guvnor
Staff member
I am greatly enjoying Treadstone, it has all the right highlights for the Bourne franchise, and is pleasantly multivarious in protagonists, locations and time periods. I maintains the Bourne tradition of embracing difference and foreign language, and metro systems..

On a different and more delightfully relaxed and Italian note: you can't go wrong with a bottle of Nero d'Avola and the collected Inspector Montalbano on iPlayer:
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I Am Not Ok With This, on Netflix. Teenage girl dealing with love, friendship, loss, high school drama and uncontrolled telekinetic powers.
Apparently an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, by the same author that gave us The End Of The F***ing World. Although the series doesn't tie itself off neatly like the comic, instead leaving it open for more seasons.
I quite liked it, I think?
Reviews have said that it's obviously been written by a cis-het male, because the sexual complexities are all wrong, but being one of the aforementioned blokes I can't really tell. Also, the teen years were a long time ago, and I've thankfully blotted most of them out of my memories.
It's a teen coming-of-age angst-filled comedy drama, more or less. If you like that sort of thing, you might well like this.


The Guvnor
Staff member
On recommendation from @Ezio we started watching "Call My Agent" on Netflix. It's a French comedy about a talent agency in Paris, with real French actors reprising the clients. The humour is gentle and understandable, and the little stories are fun and interesting. The story arcs are pretty good drama.. put in some delightful Parisian and film music and it's a delightful concoction I recommend taking a tisane of every day..

I love Hervé..
I wonder what people will do at home when the new film and TV/radio series run out, the new pop songs run out, the new videos games put back release dates? And finally horror of horrors the cat videos wear thin? Maybe people will learn how to read...naaa its not that much of a crisis. :)

Bloodride has been good and I thought I had finished Medici but there is a second series, set at a slightly later time period! On Netflix.