Films you've seen recently and would unreservedly recommend:

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
i think prometheus was the best of the bunch
wait you mean better than Alien + Aliens? that is an objectively insane opinion.

also covenant is pretty bad. prometheus is bad in an ambitious way. covenant is just bad.

I mean I guess it's supposed to be ambitious too but it's really just a mediocre slasher flick with some half-assed pomposity tossed on top.

seriously you wanna talk turgid, all the cryptic ominous Fassbender (speaking of overrated but still pretty good actors who are also asshole domestic abusers)

Ridley Scott's scifi epics have gotten progressively more heavy-handed as he's aged, very much not to their benefit

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
also I had mixed feelings about BR 2049 and Jared Leto was...yeah, but it was still way less dumb than the Alien prequels

Villeneuve has a way of substituting grand sweeping shots and soundtrack for actual profundity but still he at least he knows to compose those shots pretty well

he's apparently remaking Dune about which I'm tentatively excited as an admitted Dune superfan. the pomposity there is already built in. can't be worse than Lynch's anyway.

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Villeneuve reminds me of the 1st season of True Detective where the mise en scene and pretensions tricked you into thinking it was way deeper than it was, but it was still pretty good


Well-known member
villeneuve is so overrated. good stylist but theres nothing there, not in his hollywood movies anyway. not seen his earlier stuff.

I mean I guess it's supposed to be ambitious too but it's really just a mediocre slasher flick with some half-assed pomposity tossed on top.
you say mediocre slasher, i say good, unpretentious, well scripted genre movie. nothing fancy, nothing inventive, but does everything its meant to do pretty well. a bit like kong skull island.

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
i say good, unpretentious, well scripted genre movie
that's Aliens tho

come on man Covenant literally has a scene where a couple gets murdered for fucking in a shower. straight up high school slasher flick, in space.

which would be fine - I'm not necessarily against slasher flicks, especially if they make some effort to subvert the traditional misogyny.

but then there's all the extremely labored Miltonian fallen angel business, pensive c-level philosophizing, the awkwardly shoehorned bits about faith v. rationality

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the counsellor is great though!
is that the one where Cameron Diaz does a Rihanna accent? I vaguely remember reading about it

gotta say, skimming Scott's filmography he's gotta have one of the most interesting bodies of work of any big Hollywood director of the last few decades

stone cold classics, total garbage, occasionally outre profundity, banality, great genre films, terrible genre films, all jumbled up together.

I had no idea his first film was The Duellists. that's a hell of a movie, v Barry Lyndon vibe.


Well-known member
Staff member
woebot is always talking about the time he spent working for ridley scott.
im think im right in saying it was his first ever job after leaving school.


The true narrative with Prometheus and Alien Covenant is that everyone was expecting Prometheus to be incredible with all the build up but then was let down when seeing the film. Upon rewatching it on dvd it became clear that the main let down was the middle section with the weird left wing liberal scientists that seemed really out of place. If you ignore that bit the start and the end are really good even though literally none of the questions posed in the build up of the film were answered.

With this huge blow taken into account (Aliens is in my top 3 films of all time) watching Alien Covenant at Christmas streamed via Amazon Video was approached with caution. Maybe this caution influenced the eventual feeling towards the film or maybe it was the answering of literally all the questions unanswered in Prometheus which led me to believe it a return to form for the series. I need to watch it more than once though to see if it gets better or worse.

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the answering of literally all the questions unanswered in Prometheus
but not asking, let alone answering, too many questions, is a huge strength of the first 2 films, Alien especially. not only is scifi as a general rule better not off not trying to explain too much - that way lies midichlorians - but in Alien the lack of answers is a key element of the unease, the tension. the alienness. the body horror of that alienness. does it matter where the aliens come from? no. Alien + Aliens were self-contained and all the better for it but now like everything there has to an extended universe full of backstory that dilutes what made the originals great in the first place. ofc there's a big trend now of beloved franchises cashing in with origin stories no one asked for - why mess with new ideas when you can just endlessly reuse proven successful IP - so Alien is hardly alone but still. really I get the feeling Ridley Scott wanted to tell a different story - one about AI with all the Milton, Frankenstein, etc + philosophical origin of man warbling - but found it easier to tack it onto the Alien franchise cos that's how things are nowadays.

liberal left-wing scientists is also an odd complaint given Alien films have always had lefty undertones. the true villain is always really the corporation - the aliens after all are only acting on biological imperatives - and the first 3 films all have working stiffs (spacers, grunts, prisoners) getting fucked over/struggling against corporate machinations. Aliens does have the gung-ho Reagan era vibe but it's pretty clearly at least partly tongue in cheek, i.e. what Verhoeven took and ran with on Starship Troopers a decade later.

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I'm always reminded of a William Gibson thing where he said sci-fi often best is in tangential references, his example being taking a throwaway line in Escape From New York and spinning it into a key element of Neuromancer

btw Woebot if you read this I'd love to hear some inside baseball Ridley Scott stories if there's any you can share


in je ogen waait de wind
i saw london by patrick keiller this weekend and loved it, i wonder why i never heard of it before actually? does anyone know of any similar movies? movies with long shots and fancy poetic narrations, preferably touching on the soul of the city?

Skies the gray of crystal.
A strange design of bridges,
some straight, some arched,
others descending at oblique angles to the first;
and these figures recurring
in other lighted circuits of the canal,
but all so long and light that the banks,
laden with domes, sink and shrink.

A few of these bridges
are still covered with hovels,
others support polls,
signals, frail parapets.

Minor chords cross
each other and disappear;
ropes rise from the shore.

One can make out a red coat,
possibly other costumes
and musical instruments.
Are these popular tunes,
snatches of seigniorial concerts,
remnants of public hymns?

The water is gray and blue,
wide as an arm of the sea.
A white ray falling from high
in the sky destroys this comedy.


Well-known member
Check out Jonas Mekas.

'Walden' and 'Lost, Lost, Lost' are good ones to start with.
great NY personality too - seemed to hang out with all the usual hip names we associate with new york in the 70s/80s.
saw him give a talk a while ago at the bfi - the work hes done on preserving all these experimental/underground art films is kind of amazing.