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

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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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Why is Katniss Everdeen so reluctant to be a hero? (And why ‘Gotham’ features the rarest of heroes) (Movie and TV commentary)

“The Hunger Games” publicity photo

When faced with a totalitarian government, institutionalized corruption or a plain ol’ supervillain, pop culture’s superheroes and revolutionaries are almost always reluctant, and it’s getting to be a rather predictable trope, even within the context of otherwise enjoyable franchises. I got to thinking about this odd trend when watching “The Hunger Games” movies on Showtime.

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