alien: covenant review and critique

By Henry Kulick

 

Ridley Scott’s Alien helped define the sci-fi genre in film almost 40 years ago. It’s hard to believe that Xenomorphs have been tearing through ill-equipped crews for that long, but May’s release of Alien: Covenant marks the eighth film to take place in this universe, and the third to be directed by Scott.

 

If anything, this goes to show those story elements that worked back in 1979 can still leave an audience white-knuckled and craving more. But through all that time, the same predictable mistakes are still being made and I’ve got to wonder how much longer it can last.

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Sex Lies and Videotape low budget independent film

by Johnny Papan

 

When it comes to modern day cinema, there are a few key elements that will make or break the chances of your film getting made. One of the most important: money. With the millions upon millions of dollars it costs to produce a movie, it’s no surprise that dollar signs light up in the eyes of investors for some kind of financial return when considering a screenplay. There seems to be a formula in this day and age that will justify a movie turning profit, a few of them being:

 

  1. It’s based off a work that already exists and therefore has an established fanbase.
  2. There are elements of unworldliness or fantasy.
  3. A well known actor or director is attached to the project.

 

For all the Hollywood big-wigs this is fine and dandy. They’re established professionals who’ve earned the right to unnecessarily blow stuff up on camera for cash. But what about the unknown up-and-comers? With each passing day, it’s getting harder and harder for the average writer to get a producer to even look at their script, much less actually consider putting money into it. There are plenty of tips and tricks any filmmaker can implement to try and get themselves and their work noticed, but the most important element of all is still the story.

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The Notebook kiss with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams by Henry Kulick

 

There’s no genre of film that’s undergone more transformation than the romance genre. From the early days of Hollywood, romance has intertwined its way into almost every story in some way, but the films that were dedicated to the harrowing journey of romance helped make the industry what it is today. Even with such an illustrious past, if you were to scour the charts for the one-hundred highest-grossing box office films of all time, it’s a list that’s almost devoid of romance films.

 

Except for Titanic. We’ll always have Titanic.

 

It may not be completely fair to gauge romance films against summer blockbusters. With the introduction of the money-printing superhero genre and the modernization of the big-budget adventure tale, most romance films shouldn’t be expected to outsell these box-office dominators. Even with that in mind, box office numbers for those specific genres–romantic comedy and romantic drama are still dominated by films that released in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Why is that?

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Student Academy Awards

By Christopher McKittrick

 

Academy Awards aren’t just for established, working filmmakers — why not win one while still in film school?

The Student Academy Awards (originally named the Student Film Awards) is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award ceremony recognizing excellence in student films.

Though there’s an extensive list of rules to apply for the competition, students should consider submitting their work to the Student Academy Awards because the field is only open to film school students – unlike festivals, which are open to the general public. Also unlike festivals, there is no entry fee to submit. Most importantly, many winners have had subsequent professional success in film and television. As a result, the Student Academy Awards are closely watched by the industry for upcoming talent.

The number of awards and their specific names have changed significantly over the years. Today there are four main categories: Narrative (named “Dramatic” until 1999), Animation, Documentary, and Alternative. There are also International Awards for the Narrative, Animation, and Documentary categories.

Here’s how three of the most notable winners in each of the Narrative/Dramatic, Animation, and Documentary categories went from their earlier success to acclaimed careers in entertainment:

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