Alien: Covenant (Blu-Ray)
Another group of space travelers experience unknown terrors as Ridley Scott's latest Alien movie has arrived on blu-ray. Is the outing worth picking up for your home collection, or better left on the shelf? Come inside for my full review to find out!
There was a good period of time where many of us doubted if a sequel to Prometheus would ever happen. Despite many delays and a weaker box office, Ridley Scott managed to make it happen. Not only is it a clear sequel to Prometheus, it does a much better job of expanding on the overall Alien movie mythos.
The plot is fairly straightforward; while en route to a distant planet on a colonization mission, the Covenant (name of the spaceship) encounters an unexpected event that wakes the crew members up from hibernation early. While making repairs they come across a rogue transmission from a nearby planet and decide to investigate. Upon their arrival, what appears to be a paradise turns into a nightmare.
Honestly, it's a pretty typical Alien movie set-up, but you're given more information as to how the Xenomorphs came about, and how David (the android from the first film) has become something more than intended. Michael Fassbender does double duty in the film as both David and Walter, and he's easily one of the best parts of the movie. Not to mention we get a fairly cool action sequence between the androids that I wasn't expecting.
In some ways, Covenant feels like the Alien prequel we wanted Prometheus to be, and it's a significantly better movie. The characters make some questionable decisions, but not nearly to the degree as those in Prometheus. More importantly, I felt a much stronger connection to the characters in Alien: Covenant. It's more a slow-burn movie, with more build-up before things get too crazy. While some people took issue with this, it gave me a chance to know the characters and care about the events surrounding them, which fills the final act with way more tension.
That said, I can see why it's a polarizing movie, with some loving it and some decrying it. For me, I enjoyed the story it told and the characters presented. Moreso, I'm way more interested to see what happens next than I thought I would be.
Sight and Sound
From a technical aspect, the Alien: Covenant blu-ray is solid. The image is crisp and clear, highlighting the beautiful science fiction style of Ridley Scott. The black tones are deep, which brings everything into focus, which is great as so many of the ‘horror’ scenes are pretty dark in tone.
The sound design on the blu-ray is also impressive, featuring a wide array of sound effects to bring the world to life, and make the xenomorph even more terrifying. The dialog is well prioritized and I can’t think of a single time I had to adjust the volume to account for a difference between dialog sequences and action ones.
The Alien: Covenant blu-ray comes loaded with these bonus features on the disc:
Deleted and Extended Scenes
The Last Supper
SECTOR 87 - PLANET 4
David’s Illustrations – Image Gallery
Master Class: Ridley Scott - Documentary on the making of Alien: Covenant
Director Commentary by Ridley Scott
The disc is LOADED. I mean, there are 12 deleted scenes you can watch (which are neat, but you can tell why they were cut) on top of all the other features. The USCSS Covenant and SECTOR 87 featurettes are presented as “in universe” bonuses, that give you a glimpse of the crew before the events of the film. These give some insight to the state of things before the film, including some story points...Which makes me wonder why they weren’t used in the film instead. Regardless, they’re pretty interesting to watch along with the documentary that dives into the film’s production.
For fans of the film, or just Alien aficionados, there’s plenty to dive into where the bonus features are concerned. It definitely delivers a lot of bang for your buck.
An Impressive Blu-Ray for a Divisive Film
This is a tough one when it comes down to the “buy or rent” recommendation. The blu-ray is solid, the special features are plentiful...but the problem comes down to the film itself. Personally, I loved Alien: Covenant and feel it’s a worthy entry in the franchise, but I can see why other critics were disappointed. If you’re a big fan, I say buy it. If you’re not entirely sure, give it a rental first.