Black’s take on the ‘Predator’ saga is a briskly paced blast, but the tone is a bit off (Movie review)

“Iron Man 3” is one of my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but I’ve heard it criticized for being a Shane Black movie in a genre where that doesn’t fit, and I have a feeling that critique might come up again with “The Predator.” Recently released on home video, this is another fun film from the director, but I admit the tone is off.

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‘The Predator’ infuses fun and a surprising amount of laughs into the franchise (Movie review)

I was never a big fan of “Predator” growing up — not because I disliked it, I just never really got into it. I’m not sure I have ever seen any of the movies other than the first. So, going into “The Predator,” I was hoping for a reboot of sorts, with enough to pull me into the franchise. Well, it did. “The Predator” is a really fun ride. It knows exactly what it wants to be and never takes itself too seriously. It’s basically a B-level monster movie with a really good cast and some really good comedy.

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10 movies and TV shows John is looking forward to in 2018 (Commentary)

Fox publicity photo

Here are 10 TV shows and movies I have high hopes for in the new year:

“The X-Files” (TV show, 8 p.m. Eastern Wednesdays, starting Wednesday, Fox) – OK, so I’m not as big on the mythology episodes lately (Haven’t we seen it all before?), but I do love me some Monster of the Weeks. And I won’t say no to an occasional Darin Morgan comedy hour either. With 10 episodes this time around (compared to six in 2016), there’s bound to be a good variety.

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Alan Dean Foster’s novelization helps fans connect with world of ‘Alien: Covenant’ (Book review)

Although I gave “Alien: Covenant” a good review earlier this summer, I did sympathize with one Amazon reviewer’s all-caps suggestion to the filmmakers: “Stop killing off main characters between movies.” This is a reference to the infamous decision to start “Alien 3” by killing off Hicks and Newt, and the franchise’s (arguably) repeated mistake this year, as “Prometheus’ “ Elizabeth Shaw is dispatched offscreen before the events of “Covenant.”

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‘Alien: Covenant’ balances xenomorph creation saga with crowd-pleasing horror (Movie review)

Director and saga overseer Ridley Scott continues his process of linking “Prometheus” with “Alien” in the second of what’s supposed to be a “Prometheus” quadrilogy, “Alien: Covenant” (now available for rental and streaming). While it’s at times derivative of other films in the series with its plot points and set pieces, it finds a balance between the Big Ideas of “Prometheus” (2012) and the straight-ahead horror of “Alien” (1979). This 11th film in the “Alien/Predator” franchise ranks somewhere in the middle of the pack, but that still makes it better than your average sci-fi film.

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