I think I broke another tooth yesterday.
We saw Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant yesterday. As I said on Facebook, I have very, very mixed feelings about it. It's an undeniably gorgeous film, but mostly I found myself mourning the ghost of the film that Ridley Scott originally meant to make (Paradise Lost), before he listened to wrongheaded critics and lost his nerve. I really had no interest in another formulaic story about people trapped on a spaceship with a ruthless monster, getting picked off one by one, dispatched in the goriest imaginable ways. I had no need for another "xenomorph" blown out another air lock (this makes four times now, for fuck's sake, in the space of only six movies) while someone parrots Ellen Ripley's best lines from earlier films. The first forty-five minutes or so hold together fairly well, and the best bits of Alien: Covenant are undoubtedly glimpses of what we'd have seen in a proper sequel to Prometheus, such as the flashback we get as David gives his Ozymandias speech. The rest is just tiresome. As to the ending, there's so much spite there, so much gleeful, sadistic nihilism, and it's such an atypical, hopeless ending for an Alien film, it feels almost as if this is Scott telling everyone to go fuck themselves. Gone is the usual pyrrhic victory, the at-least-for-now triumph, and in its place we have only the promise of an infinitely greater nightmare awaiting Daniels when – if ever – she wakes. That said, the effects are beautiful, the engineers' city and culture splendidly rendered, and the score, which combines elements of Jerry Goldmith's score from Alien and Marc Streitenfeld's for Prometheus, is damn near perfect. And I really like Katherine Waterston. But, all in all, I'd rate this, ultimately, as my least favorite in the series (I will not say "franchise," as movies are not fast-food restaurants). It left me with no desire to ever see it again. I am loathe to judge a film for what I'd like it to be, rather than what it is, but in this instance I find I am incapable of doing otherwise.
Truthfully, since the latter days of the presidential campaign and certainly since the election, I live now in such a constant state of anxiety and dread that I seem to have entirely lost my taste for "horror," especially in film. I no longer have the psychological constitution for scary movies. I just don't have the stomach for it. Which, obviously, given my vocation is a strange and difficult situation in which to find myself.