The “Alien” franchise didn’t have a new movie in the chamber to mark its 40th anniversary in 2019, but it did gift fans with several short films; all are on YouTube. They are part of a trend – which perhaps has its roots in George Lucas’ support of “Star Wars” fan films about 20 years ago – wherein major franchises allow up-and-coming artists to play in their sandbox.
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.
Iwas 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.
In the Fall 2018 Movie Preview episode, John and Michael each pick their “three to see” this fall.
John’s Three to See:
- “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
- “The Predator”
Michael’s Three to See:
- “First Man”
- “Bad Times at the El Royale”
In the September 2018 Movie Preview episode, Michael previews:
- “The Nun”
- “The Predator”
- “A Simple Favor”
- “The House with a Clock in Its Walls”
- “Night School”
The fall movie season arguably looks better than the summer season this year, with a nice mix of traditional fall films and a few scattered blockbusters – although a look at each film’s pedigree reveals this to still be the season of the auteur. Here are my picks for the top 10 movies to see:
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.
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.”
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.
These are 10 movies I wouldn’t mind seeing this summer: