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Alien : Covenant

Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper, with a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. A sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the film is the second installment in the Alien prequel series and the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series, as well as the third directed by Scott. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of a ship that lands on an uncharted planet before making a terrifying discovery.

The year is 2104, 10 years after the events of Prometheus – but before we meet the crew of Covenant, we are shown a scene from the past in which a younger looking Peter Weyland addresses a synthetic android who would become part of the mission. Weyland asks the android his name; the android selects “David” after looking upon Michelangelo’s statue of the same name. During a moment of the exchange we also see that David, despite his devotion to Weyland, remarks that in a way he is better than his creator/father because Weyland will grow old and die while he, being an android, will not. Now, back to our crew who are in stasis on the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet, Origae-6, with some 2000 colonists and over 1400 embryos on-board, monitored by an upgraded android resembling the earlier David, named Walter.

Enroute,  the a neutrino shockwave severely damages the ship, killing its captain and waking the crew from stasis. As the crew repairs the damage, a radio transmission is intercepted from a nearby planet. It’s a recording of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, singing “Country Roads” in a forlorn voice. As the planet, which is deemed inhabitable for humans is just a few days away, acting captain Oram decides to investigate, as the transmission is human in origin, despite the protests of acting second officer, and wife of the deceased captain, Daniels.  The rest of the crew agree with Oram as Origae-6 is 7 years away and no one wants to get back into stasis. As they arrive, a smaller group stays in orbit while the rest, led by Oram and Daniels descend to the surface. Karine sets up an ecological survey station, while the others track the signal’s source. They discover it originates from an Engineer ship, piloted by Elizabeth Shaw following the disastrous Prometheus mission. Two security team members, Ledward and Hallett, are inadvertently infected with an alien spore. Karine attempts to assist them, but Faris locks them inside the landing vehicle’s med-bay as a quarantine precaution.

A Neomorph bursts from Ledward’s back, killing him, then mauls Karine to death. Faris tries to kill Ledward’s Neomorph and fails, but accidentally destroys the lander in the process in a large explosion. The ground team witnesses the explosion and, seconds later, another Neomorph bursts from Hallett’s throat. Forced to retreat, the remnants of the landing party are attacked by the neomorphs. Mayhem ensues and one of the Neomorphs is killed. Walter loses a hand saving Daniels before the crew are rescued by David, the sole survivor of the Prometheus mission, as they attempt to radio Covenant for help. David claims that, upon his arrival with Shaw, the Engineer ship accidentally released its cargo of “black goo”, a bioweapon recovered during the Prometheus mission, killing the native population of Engineers. In the ensuing chaos, the ship crashed, killing Shaw. On the surface, the surviving Neomorph attacks and decapitates Rosenthal, who was separated from the main group. David attempts to tame the alien, but is horrified when Oram kills it.

At Oram’s demand, David reveals his activities on the planet. Using the “black goo” as a catalyst, he created the earliest Neomorphs after experimenting with a parasitic wasp that laid eggs inside its prey; upon being born, the larvae ate the prey from the inside out. David shows Oram a chamber he has used to incubate his latest creation, Facehuggers, which implant Oram with an embryo. The embryo later erupts into a Xenomorph—an evolution of the Neomorph—killing Oram. As the crew search for Oram, Walter confronts David after learning the truth of his experiments; David had deliberately unleashed the black goo upon the planet’s population. Elizabeth Shaw became the first victim of a Facehugger, murdered by David in what he considers a necessary sacrifice. David disables Walter and confronts Daniels, telling her that he would do to her what he did to Shaw. Saved by a reactivated Walter, the crew attempt to evacuate. Against objections due to a severe weather storm, Tennessee, the pilot of the Covenant, arrives to extract the survivors of the team. They are attacked by an adult Xenomorph as Covenant arrives.

he remaining survivors kill the Xenomorph and they escape the planet. Crew member Lope, however, had been implanted by a Xenomorph embryo, which has gestated, and is now loose aboard Covenant. The Xenomorph kills all the human crew members besides Daniels and Tennessee. With Walter’s guidance, they funnel the Xenomorph to the terraforming bay, flushing it into space.

With the ship safe, the crew return to their original mission plan, and re-enter stasis. As Walter puts them under one by one, Daniels asks him if he will help her realize her dead husband’s dream of building a log cabin once they arrive on their new homeworld. Walter, with whom Daniels had previously confided this information, does not appear to understand this, and Daniels realizes she is talking to David, who had disguised himself as Walter. As Daniels enters stasis, David gains access to the colonists’ embryo cryogenic chambers and regurgitates two Facehugger embryos. He leaves them with the frozen human embryos, intending to use the humans aboard the covenant as hosts to continue his experiments.

I thought this film was awesome and good enough to rank as high as the first 2 films in the franchise which were classics of the horror/action/scifi genres. Fassbender in particular along with Waterston were excellent in their roles. Also I am not in the bracket of people who hated Prometheus – I loved it – and this movie is even better and a worthy sequel to it. I’ve give it an 8.5 outta 10!

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Stoke City 1 Arsenal 4

Champions League-chasing Arsenal moved within a point of fourth-placed Liverpool with a comfortable Premier League victory over Stoke. Despite collecting the three points, manager Arsene Wenger faced further protests from his own supporters during the game, as they flew a plane over the Bet365 Stadium and held banners inside the ground calling for him to leave the club. But the Frenchman ended the game by receiving warm applause from the club’s travelling fans as he made his way down the tunnel at the final whistle. The Gunners had not won on their previous six visits to the venue, but took the lead with a well-crafted move as Hector Bellerin picked out Olivier Giroud for a tap-in before Alexis Sanchez combined with Mesut Ozil, who coolly tucked home in the second period.

Until their opening goal it had been a poor spectacle, with Nacho Monreal heading against the post and Sanchez dragging an effort into the side-netting from a promising position. Stoke controversially restored hope as Peter Crouch converted Marko Arnautovic’s cross with his hand, but Sanchez drilled in a low finish and Giroud slid in a fourth for the away side. Both Arsenal and Liverpool have two games remaining and are level on goal difference with the Gunners ahead by one on goals scored. Jurgen Klopp’s men travel to West Ham on Sunday (kick-off 14:15 BST) and play Middlesbrough on the last day of the season, while the north London club host Sunderland on Tuesday and Everton in their final league match next weekend.

Wenger’s season has been blighted by protests demanding he end his long association with the club, repeated questions over whether he will sign an extension to his contract, which runs out at the end of the season, and uncertainty over the futures of key players Sanchez and Ozil. But he will be pleased with the way his players have responded with the campaign coming to a close, taking five wins from their past six league games – the only blemish a weak display in their defeat by Tottenham. He was even afforded a standing ovation at full-time and will be particularly satisfied at triumphing at a venue where his side have struggled in the past, claiming their first win there since 2010. Wenger jumped off his seat and jigged in delight at Sanchez’s goal, which gave his team a cushion.

The Chilean, who has been linked with a move away, hobbled off with a leg injury after scoring and fans will be hoping it is not the last time they see him in an Arsenal shirt. A season that promised so little at one stage could actually turn into a celebratory one. Their late charge sees them maintain optimism of extending their Champions League participation to 22 consecutive seasons, and they have an FA Cup final against newly crowned Premier League champions Chelsea to look forward to. Arsenal have scored 4+ goals in five away league games this season. It’s their most in a season since 1936-37 (also five). Sanchez became the eighth player to score 50 Premier League goals for Arsenal, with only Thierry Henry (83 games) and Ian Wright (87) reaching the milestone faster than the Chilean (101). Sanchez is also the first player to record double figures for both goals (21) and assists (10) in the Premier League this season. Since the start of last season, only Ozil (31) and Sanchez (25) have recorded more assists for Arsenal in all competitions than Hector Bellerin (13), with the Spaniard picking up two today.