Posts made in May 2017

Alien Covenant: Movie Review

Westley Smith

When I saw Prometheus back in 2012, I can honestly say that I was not a fan of the movie. I found it boring, with unlikeable characters (other than Shaw) and a plot that was hard to follow and made little sense. When it was announced that Alien: Covenant was being developed, again by Ridley Scott, and that it would tie in to events from Prometheus, I thought it was time I go back and revisit Prometheus to refresh my memory – I remembered nothing.

I was astonished to find myself really enjoying Prometheus the second time around; it wasn’t boring, as I had remembered, and the plot made perfect sense and was easy to follow and understand. Though I cannot excuse some of the dumb characters and their actions; they are still there and feel just like your typical horror movie cliché characters. But at the core of Prometheus lies this really thought-provoking film that asks the question: who made the human race?

Was it a God? Or was it aliens – which in Prometheus’ case are called The Engineers.

To many Alien fans, Prometheus was not the prequel to Alien that they were looking for. First and foremost, there wasn’t a Xenomorph anywhere in site, and tonally, Prometheus is a vastly different film from the original Alien. Alien was dark, grimy, and dingy with this foreboding feeling of danger and doom at every turn, especially once the alien is lose on the ship. Prometheus is glossy and cleanly shot with beautiful looking scenes and set pieces; the foreboding atmosphere of Alien is replaced by a sophisticated story, with moments of terror and panic as the characters uncover who or what the Engineers are. Second, the whole premise of Prometheus was based around the space jockey prop from the original movie, when the crew from the Nostromo discovers the crashed ship on LV 426 – hence how we came to get Prometheus.

Though the core of Prometheus is great – were humans created by a God, or Aliens – there wasn’t enough of tie-in to the original Alien from 1979 to get people excited for future movies and it was somewhat of a convoluted mess.

Simply put, fans wanted to see the Xenomporph.

So that brings us to Alien: Covent, a direct result of listening to fans and trying to please everyone.

The film begins ten years after the events of Prometheus. A shipped named Covenant is on a seven-year trip with 250 people, all set to colonize a new world. To insure the trip goes off without a hitch, an android named Walter (Michael Fassbender) is on board making sure the ship continues to run smoothly and the crew, in hyper sleep, are okay.

When Walter raises the recharging sails on the Covenant, an unsuspecting cosmic blast hits the Covenant, causing malfunctions and damage to the ship and leading to the deaths of several of the crew members, including the captain (James Franco, who is truly wasted in this movie and why he was even cast remains a head scratcher). The crew of the Covenant is woken from hyper sleep to help repair the ship.

While repairing the Covenant, they receive a transmission coming from a planet not too far from their current position – a planet much like earth, but somehow has gone undetected.

Captain duties have fallen on to Oram (Billy Crudup) a religious man who feels he should have been the captain of the Covenant all along, but because of his beliefs he was not given the chance. Oram sees this as an opportunity to find out who sent the transmission and maybe colonize the undiscovered planet in hopes of not having to go back into hyper sleep for another seven years just to reach their original destination. Daniels (Katherine Waterston) isn’t so sure and voices her opinion of the matter. She is overruled – of course she is.

Once they touchdown and begin to track where the transmission was sent from their journey soon turns into a nightmare and they discover that this planet isn’t what it appears to be.

It really seems like Ridley Scott is trying to please everyone for Alien: Covenant. He wants to give the hardcore Alien fans what they want with the Xenomorph but also tie up events laid out in Prometheus. It’s very hard to bridge these two films and make them one cohesive piece. Prometheus and Alien may be in the same universe, but they are vastly different films.

So does Scott succeed? Yes and no.

Alien: Covenant works best in its first and second acts. When the crew first gets to the undiscovered world and begin to uncover its mysteries. Covenant feels very much like a follow-up to Prometheus at this point, with enough mystery and suspense to keep you intrigued.

We are introduced to new alien lifeforms on the planet that affect the host through spoors, and see the birthing of the Neomorph – that whole sequence is rather nail biting and very intense and leaves your palms sweating, much like the cesarean scene in Prometheus.


We find out what happened to Shaw and David – don’t worry, I will not spoil anything. And if Shaw and David did indeed find the Engineers.

But it is in the third act where Alien: Covenant falls apart; it feels like you’re in a completely different movie, with a director that forgot how to cut, edit, and pace his film – yeah the third act is that bad. Scenes seem to be missing from the third act, and characters are forgotten about and just disappear without finding out what happened to them. The Xenomorph is also introduced in the third act. I will not go into details on how the Xenomporph comes about in the film, but if you’re a huge Alien fan, and love the lore and the Xenomporh creature, you are going to be angry that it doesn’t have much screen time and the creation of the Xenomorph is also confusing and causes a big continuity error for the rest of the franchise. Another problem with the third act is it actually has a fourth act hidden inside the third act – if that makes any sense at all. It’s really odd how it’s structured and seemed tacked on just to add to the movie’s run time, or dare I say, the Xenomorph’s screen time. And the twist ending, really isn’t that much of a twist, and you can see it coming a mile away.


There is another problem with Alien: Covenant and one that plagued Prometheus also: stupid characters doing stupid illogical things that only serve to push the movie forward. But where in Prometheus we were limited to a few of those characters, in Alien: Covenant we get dozens of these characters, only added to the movie to give it a greater body count.

Not only do the characters in Alien: Covenant do dumb things, like sniffing strange pods that release microbial spoors into the air, just to get them infected, or characters constantly splitting up – one guy even goes to take a leek (actually he just wants to have a smoke by himself for some reason) and bumps into one of these pods and becomes infected by the spoors, which spawns the Neomorph. Almost all the characters are clichéd and reduced to nothing more than victims like in a cheap slasher film, being picked off one-by-one.

Not that it matters, there really isn’t much character development for anyone in the film, including the leads, for you to care anyway. Like I said earlier, James Franco is wasted, and we’re never given any time to get to know him or his character, so his death isn’t really a big deal to us. We see the aftermath his death and the affects it has on the crew, especially Daniels, but it’s handled so lazily that you end up forgetting about it soon after it happens, as do the characters.

Daniels is the lead character in the film, but you never learn anything about her other than she was romantically involved with Franco’s character. She’s kind of like a discount Ripley, in that they needed another female lead to do battle the alien. I’m okay with having all the Alien films having a strong female lead, I like strong female characters who don’t take crap from anyone, including one really pissed off Xenomorph, but give me some character development first so I can care about her when the shit hits the fan. I could have cared less if Daniels lived or died in the film, she was just there and serviceable at forwarding the plot.


Walter and David (both played by Michael Fassbender) was given more time and care than any of the other characters in the film; you got to know both of them. And Fassbender’s acting in both roles was great – his acting alone really holds this film together and it’s hard for you to take your eyes off him because he is so good.

All in all, if you’re going to see Alien: Covenant this weekend just know what you’re getting into. If you’re hoping for a return to form in the likes of Alien or Aliens, you’re going to be disappointed. If you go into it hoping for closure to Prometheus, you’ll be happy, and the added extra bonus of the Xenomorph might just make your night.

7 out of 10 stars.

Three Beloved John Carpenter Films Getting the Steel Book Treatment.

Westley Smith

It was announced a few days ago by Shout! Factory that they are releasing three of director John Carpenter’s most beloved films in Limited Edition Steel Book Covers.

What are those films you may be wondering? Fear not, for I’m about to tell you and disclose the full spec details.

First up: John Carpenter’s They Live

They Live is probably Carpenter’s most discussed film – highly original, very insightful, with thought provoking social commentary about capitalism. They Live may mean more now, nearly thirty years later, than it did when it was originally released back in 1988. It’s a true classic in both Carpenter’s filmography and for action/sci-fi films.


They Live stars Roddy Piper as Nada, a drifter looking for work. After finding work with a local contracting company and befriending Frank (Keith David), Nada stumbles onto a plot involving aliens that are using subliminal messages to control mankind, which he sees for himself once he puts on a pair of sunglasses.

The Bonus Features for They Live are:
o Audio Commentary With Writer/Director John Carpenter And Actor Roddy Piper
o “Independent Thoughts” – An Interview With Writer/Director John Carpenter
o “Man Vs. Aliens” – An Interview With Actor Keith David
o “Woman Of Mystery” – An Interview With Actress Meg Foster
o “Watch, Look, Listen: The Sights & Sounds Of They Live” – A look At The Visual Style, Stunts And Music With Director Of Photography Gary B. Kibbe, Stunt Coordinator Jeff Imada, And Co-Composer Alan Howarth
o Original EPK: The Making Of They Live
o Never-Before-Seen Footage From Commercials Created For The Film
o Original Theatrical Trailer
o TV Spots
o Still Gallery

The second steel book releasing is: John Carpenter’s The Fog

Following the success of Halloween, John Carpenter set out to tell and old fashioned ghost story with The Fog. Though it was not the massive success that Halloween was, most will conclude today that The Fog is one of Carpenter’s best films – eerily spooky, atmosphic, and a creepy ghost pirates in a glowing green fog, what’s not to love?


On the hundredth anniversary of Antonio Bay, pirates return from their graves to seek revenge on the relatives of the conspirators who murdered them.

Bonus Features for The Fog are:
o 1080p High-Definition Transfer Supervised By Cinematographer Dean Cundey
o Audio Commentary With Writer/Director John Carpenter And Writer/Producer Debra Hill
o Audio Commentary With Actors Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins And Production Designer Tommy Lee Wallace
o Interview With Jamie Lee Curtis
o “Tales From The Mist: Inside The Fog” Featurette
o “Fear On Film: Inside The Fog” Featurette
o “The Fog: Storyboard To Film” Featurette
o Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – A Look At The Film’s Locations
o Outtakes
o Theatrical Trailers
o TV Spots
o Photo Gallery

The third release to steel book is: John Carpenter’s Escape From New York

After The Fog, Carpenter would score a huge hit with the action/suspense film Escape From New York. Not only was the film a hit, but it would usher in a wave of dystopian-type movies, much like Halloween did with slasher films.


When President’s (Donald Pleasence) plane is sabotaged and crashes on the island of Manhattan, now a walled-off prison, Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is forced into rescuing him. But Snake only has 24 hours to save the President – and his own life – or the bomb in his neck will detonate.

Bonus Features for Escape From New York are:
o — DISC ONE —
o NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive, Struck From The Original Negative
o NEW Audio Commentary With Actress Adrienne Barbeau And Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
o Audio Commentary With Director John Carpenter And Actor Kurt Russell
o Audio Commentary With Producer Debra Hill And Production Designer Joe Alves
o — DISC TWO —
o NEW Big Challenges In Little Manhattan: The Visual Effects Of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
o NEW Scoring The Escape: A Discussion With Composer Alan Howarth
o NEW On Set With John Carpenter: The Images Of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK With Photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker
o NEW I Am Taylor: An Interview With Actor Joe Unger
o NEW My Night On The Set: An Interview With Filmmaker David DeCoteau
o Deleted Scene: The Original Opening Bank Robbery Sequence
o Return To Escape From New York Featurette
o Theatrical Trailers
o Photo Galleries – Behind-The-Scenes, Posters And Lobby Cards

If you are a steel book collector, we highly suggest picking these up. It’s already been confirmed that there are only going to be 10,000 copies made – that’s a small amount when you think about how many people love one, or all, of these John Carpenter films.

Right now, The Crimson Screen Collectibles is running a great deal on the three films. $23.99 each! If you’d like to order one, or all three, drop over to our store and place your order. But like we said, do it fast as quantities are limited.

All three films release August 1, 2017.

Order your copies here:


Action Figure Review: Neca’s Ultimate Jungle Hunter Predator

Steven Smith

Neca has been producing a lot of Predator figures over the past several years. Some of the characters have been pulled directly from the movies, such as Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and the City Hunter Predator (from Predator 2) and the tribal Predators (from Predators). There have also been tie-in figures from AvP line (Aliens vs Predator). And, if that wasn’t enough, NECA has also given us the game and comic adaptations, along with Predator spaceships and other vehicles that fit in the universe – one can only assume that when Shane Black’s The Predator hits the big screen in 2018 that Neca will be producing a line for that film as well.

So to say they have a full plate of Predator figures in their lineup may be an understatement.

And today we’ll be discussing their latest release: the Ultimate Jungle Hunter Predator.

The Jungle Hunter Predator is directly taken from John McTiernan’s 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

With almost all of Neca’s toys, the immense attention paid to the smallest details are impressive and not to be overlooked.
Let’s first talk about the box: it is a window box, meaning it opens like a book, allowing you to see the figure behind a plastic window – which is how Neca has been doing all of their Ultimate Edition figures lately. Having the figures in these types of boxes is a better idea the the old bubble on a card or even a complete plastic casing. These new boxes will hold up much longer and not break down and crack, like the plastic cases do, nor will the glue, like on the old bubble on a card, begin to breakdown and pull away after years of sitting on a shelf or hanging on the wall.

The design on the front flap perfectly captures the spirit of the 1987 film as well as the alien with only showing half of the Predator’s mask, and the three red targeting beams on its helmet highlighting everything in blood red, giving you just a glimpse of the figure waiting inside, while staying mysterious enough to entice you to open it and have a peek inside.

The back of the box has a short description of what the Predator is, and what happens in the movie. There are several different pictures of the figure in posed action, sometime taken right from a shot in the movie. They all look beautiful.

On the inside flap is a nice wide shot of the Predator from the scene in the movie where he and Dutch are about to square off man-to-alien, hunter against hunter, hunter becoming the hunted.

Now onto the figure itself. The Predator’s design is captured to the fullest right down to the small animal skulls it wears as decretive jewelry. The netting around its torso. The Armor, the double blades on its right wrist and the bomb counter (that opens to show the strange red symbols as it counts down) on its left wrist. The helmet is a near a perfect representation from the one in the film.

The figure comes with two heads – one with the mask, one without – and a second helmet. He also has interchangeable hands, and the plasma cannon that can be mounted on to his shoulder with a blue blast coming from it, simulating him shooting at Dutch – if you want.

Other neat items that comes with the figure are the two human skulls. One is Billy’s, complete with the spine still attached. The other skull…well, we’ll leave that up for you to decide who it is. Blane? Poncho? Hawkins?



If you love the movie and collecting Predator figures, this is a must for you to add to your collection. It goes without saying that this would be a perfect centerpiece beside your DVD, Blu-Ray, or even an old VHS or Laserdisc copy of the film. And it will fit in nicely with your other Predator figures as well.

One can only hope that Neca continues to produce Predator figures – let’s hope they can get the rights to creating the rest of Dutch’s team in full detail and we can have another battle in the jungle.

Everyone ‘get to tha chappah’ and grab yours today here at The Crimson Screen Collectibles in the link below.—7-scale-action-figure—ultimate-jungle-hunter

Review of NECA’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D T-800


Steven Smith

There have been a lot of Terminator figures released since Terminator 2: Judgement Day opened way back in 1991. The original toy line that came out upon the film’s release, were not the best likeness of the actors and were heavily aimed at children – though Terminator 2 was an R rated film, and marketing toys to kids was still a thing back in the 1990s, even if the movie was R rated.











But over the past several years we have been getting figures from some of our favorite movies in with details they we would have never dreamed of years ago.

Case in point: NECA’s T-800 from Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D

When NECA first announced they were producing a new T-800 to celebrate the release of Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 3D I was excited. The production pictures were fantastic and the likeness to Arnold Schwarzenegger was uncanny – but I remained skeptical as sometimes when the final products hits our shelves it only resembles the actor, but never truly captures their likeness.

How wrong I was.

This may be the best representation of Schwarzenegger I have ever seen in my life. It looks so much like him that it’s like having a mini Ar-nold sitting on your shelf – I’m just waiting for him to say, “I’ll be back,” any moment now.

But it’s not only Arnold’s likeness that they nailed this time, but also some of the small details, like the rose box he carries the shotgun in in the mall when he is tracking down John Connor in the film. The .45 pistol is the same as what he uses in the movie. And the shotgun is exactly the same. His jacket is also riddled with bullet holes after the T-1000 shoots him. It’s fantastic!

Then there is the articulation of the figure. You can practically pose it any way you want, and with over twenty-five points of articulation; your imagination is the limit here as to what you want to do with the figure.


The T-800 also comes with an interchangeable head – one with sun glasses, one without – and both are a stunning likeness to Schwarzenegger.

This is a great addition to any Terminator fan’s action figure collection.

If you’d like to order one, they can be picked up here:—25th-anniversary-t-800