Tag Archives: Alien: Covenant

Ejogo’s Largo!

 

 

Photo via Newscom
Carmen Ejogo

The “It Comes at Night” Interview

with Kam Williams

Ejogo’s Largo!

Carmen Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott King’ opposite David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay’s universally acclaimed SELMA as well as being singled out for her ‘mind-blowing’ lead role as Sister in SPARKLE alongside Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks. Carmen was most recently seen playing the key role of Seraphina Picquery, President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America in J.K.Rowling’s FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM alongside an all-star cast including Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Jon Voigt and Samantha Morton.

Released on the 19th of May, Carmen plays a key role in Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated prequel ALIEN: COVENANT with Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston. The story follows on from 2012’s Oscar-nominated PROMETHEUS as the crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

Carmen is currently filming the second series of Starz’ acclaimed drama “The Girlfriend Experience” from executive producers Steven Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman. In one of two parallel storylines, she will play the role of Bria Jones who, after discovering disturbing information about a regular client, is forced to relocate to a remote location in New Mexico. Unable to shake her desire for risky relationships and the finer things in life, Bria navigates her new penniless and surreal existence by forming eerily intimate transactional relationships. While Bria’s ghosts from the past continue to haunt, her new connections with men redefine the meaning of the Girlfriend Experience.

Earlier last year Carmen won plaudits for her lead role opposite Ethan Hawke in the lauded independent feature BORN TO BE BLUE, depicting jazz legend Chet Baker’s musical comeback in the late ’60s. She made her U.S. film debut opposite Eddie Murphy playing Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Tate in the 1997 comedy METRO. She then went on to star in films such as Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, What’s the Worst that Could Happen? opposite Martin Lawrence, Neil Jordan’s The Brave One opposite Terrence Howard and Jodie Foster, Gavin O’Connor’s PRIDE AND Glory opposite Ed Norton, and in Sam Mendes’ 2009 indie hit Away We Go opposite Maya Rudolph.

Carmen Ejogo, It Comes at Night, Interview, Coretta Scott King, SELMA, SPARKLE, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, ALIEN: COVENANT
Carmen Ejogo in Born to Be Blue (2015)

On television, Carmen garnered the attention of television critics and audiences alike for her portrayal of Sally Hemmings, the title character in the 2000 CBS miniseries Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal. She played the role of Coretta Scott King in HBO’s critically acclaimed film for television BOYCOTT, opposite Jeffrey Wright and Terrence Howard. Her role earned her a 2001 Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a TV film or miniseries. She also starred in HBO’s Emmy nominated Lackwanna Blues where her role as Alean earned her a second Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a TV film or miniseries. Ejogo also starred as FBI agent ‘Becca Sunjata’ in the ABC television series “Zero Hour” opposite Anthony Edwards.

Kam Williams: Hi Carmen, thanks for the interview. I really appreciate this opportunity to speak with you.

Carmen Ejogo: No problem, Kam.

KW: You’re really enjoying a renaissance in recent years, after taking a break to raise the kids. You were in Selma, Fantastic Beasts, Alien: Covenant and now this film.

CE: Yeah, I feel very fortunate to be able to have the kind of career that I want. It’s not always so easy with children.

KW: What interested you in It Comes at Night?

CE: Coming into it, we knew we were going to be working with a visionary director in Trey Edward Shults, having seen his first film, Krisha. It was so striking and original that you just knew that any movie he made was going to have a unique stamp on it. So, it wasn’t that difficult a decision to be a part of this film, although it was still a very ambitious, high-risk experiment in many ways. But that pushing of boundaries was part of the project’s appeal, quite frankly.

KW: How did you manage to produce a masterpiece on a modest budget?   

CE: It wasn’t about money, really. It’s more about a strong script, excellent ideas, and a great application of those ideas. Trey exhibited resourcefulness at its best as a director, and we all became one unit with the same intention. Sometimes, with the right attitude, you can actually be inspired by the absence of a budget.

KW: Your co-star, Joel Edgerton, was brilliant as your husband in this film, as he was in Loving.   

CE: Yes, he’s phenomenal in this. Like so many people, I’m just discovering him in real time. He’s quite a gift and an immense talent: writer, director, actor. He’s quite a special human being in many ways.

KW: Riley Keough is also in this film. Had you worked with her before?

CE: No, although she was at the helm of the first season of The Girlfriend Experience, and I’m going to be taking on the role for the second season. We talked about the show on set, but I hadn’t yet signed on. I had much trepidation until Riley and I had some conversations about it. So, she’s part of the reason why I ended up going for it.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from It Comes at Night?

Carmen Ejogo, It Comes at Night, Interview, Coretta Scott King, SELMA, SPARKLE, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, ALIEN: COVENANT
Carmen Ejogo in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

CE: I think Trey’s intention was to leave it enough open to interpretation so that multiple messages might be taken from it. But there was no agenda or particular intention other than the film’s being an examination of human nature at its best and worst, and of what the family unit can descend into when survival and tribal mentality kick in. Personally, I feel the film is deeply relevant to what’s happening culturally at this point in time in terms of people fearing anyone from the outside, and choosing to isolate.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: You often manage to end up in very interesting movies. How do you recognize a great script?

CE: That’s such a good question, Patricia. I’ve often wondered about that myself. At the end of the day, I really go with my personal taste and with what’s on the page in terms of character. But beyond that, there’s a complexity about the scripts I tend to respond to. I’ve not lost my curiosity about how the world functions. And a script that can embody that and thematically explore bigger questions in a way which seems fresh is likely to get my attention. Frankly, I also have an eye for what will appeal to an audience, as opposed to a self-indulgent exercise that isn’t taking the audience into account.

KW: How did you prepare for the role of Sarah?

CE: I definitely tried to fill her back story, which I don’t do for every role. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel necessary. But with this one, I felt it was important to have a sense of Sarah’s relationship with her husband because where you meet her is a place of such deterioration and lack of communication. I needed to understand how they’d arrived at that point. I also felt it was worth exploring Sarah’s relationships with her father and son. And because Trey wanted the picture to have a sense of timelessness, I felt quite excited by the idea of Sarah’s aesthetic being the subject of a Dorothea Lange, Depression Era portrait. Traditionally, you didn’t see people of color in this kind of movie I was watching while growing up. So, there was something very interesting to me about the idea of a mashup, a reinterpretation of the genre.   

KW: Given that you sing, would you be interested in doing a musical on Broadway or on screen? If so, would you like to do a revival or an original like La La Land.

CE: [Giggles] All of the above. Yeah. Music is so much a part of my being. I haven’t gotten to explore it much in recent years.

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to?

CE: “When I Grow Up” by Fever Ray.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00IMZ87BE/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

 

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?

CE: Far more makeup on the red carpet, and I’m a little shabbier at home.

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

CE: I’m genuinely into so many aesthetics… Comme Des Garcons… Issey Miyake… And I’m also quite fond of designers like Mayle. But I get most excited by emerging, barely-established, avant garde designers.

KW: The Anthony Mackie question: Is there anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet?

CE: [Laughs] No, the fame thing has never influenced what I do or don’t think

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Do you have a favorite movie monster?   

CE: [LOL] The Cyclops in Sinbad.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Carmen, and best of luck with the film.

CE: Thank you, Kam.

Source:  Baret News

The Good, the Bad & the Really Ugly: Summer Movies Are Upon Us

 

The Good, the Bad & the Really Ugly: Summer Movies Are Upon Us

by Amy Lignor

 

Heading into your local theatre is wonderful in the summertime. Not only do you get to sit back and cool yourself off in the dark, air-conditioned place, but you also get to smell that amazing scent of freshly popped corn. Of course, it helps if the movie is actually good. So to help you out, here are the movies that will make you happy and those that are sure to disappoint. But remember, even if the movie deserves two thumbs down at least you’ll be cool and relaxed in those amazing reclining seats.

 

What’s first, you ask? Well, the biggest movies that people were waiting all winter to see have just begun with the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” This is the second installment of this space saga that Marvel minds created, and the first was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Spiderman: Homecoming, The Mummy, Stephen King, Johnny Depp, The Emoji Movieso good that Chris Pratt returns and even Bradley Cooper stars in this new volume. It’s an incredibly fun movie and Baby Groot is sure to be the “big toy” when Christmas comes along.

Soon (May 19th to be exact) one of the really ugly blockbusters will be hitting screens in the form of “Alien: Covenant.” Let’s face it, this is one series that should have stopped when Sigourney Weaver said “so long.” Actually, it should have stopped after film one, which was extremely well-acted and produced that godawful but highly memorable scene of the thing sprouting out of the guy’s stomach, which is still among the scariest moments on film. Not scary in the least, this new chapter has already received more thumbs down and rotten “vegetables” than you can imagine from film critics. The original Alien will be holding his head in shame.

 

What is bound to be a great one arrives on May 26th with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” Even if you dislike Johnny Depp, he has proven to be the perfect pirate. This time around Captain Jack Sparrow will go up against a ghost captain, played by the very cool and usually scary Javier Bardem, who loves to kill the swarthy buccaneers of the sea. This will be swashbuckling in the best of ways. Depp has surely been missed!

 

Summer cannot possibly go without a superhero, and although Spiderman will get yet another shot come July 7th in “Spiderman: Homecoming,” most critics and fans are buzzing about Wonder Woman being the big hit. After being applauded in the hideous movie “Batman v. Superman,” this incredible character finally has a movie all her own. The Amazon princess is leaving her island behind to help an American pilot. Only Wonder Woman could bring about an end to World War I and it’s already being said that millions will be sitting in those reclining seats to watch this icon kick butt.

 

What looks to be another bad flick comes from Universal on June 9th. As it is with the new “Alien” movie, “The Mummy” will also return. The first two were smash hits: the dead guy who actually had scenes with only half a face was both handsome and frightening, and Brendan Fraser did a fantastic job of taking him down. Unfortunately, some brain in Hollywood thought it would be great to resurrect this franchise, but alter it completely. Tom Cruise is at the helm now – the actor who has shown in his later years that he should put in his job application to head that Scientology clan and leave acting behind. Worse yet, the actual dead guy is now going to be a dead girl covered in tattoos. She will be awoken from her banishment (not sure what she was banished for yet, but I assume it wasn’t for sleeping with the Pharaoh’s wife), and embark on a path of vengeance with only Cruise to stop her. Something tells me what should have been stopped was the making of this movie.

 

Those gigantic robots will also once again arise, and even if you find them mediocre, they are perfect for the big screen. After all, Director Michael Bay loves to blow up things and this time out he’s bound to give fans another fiery spectacle. Real actors, such as Anthony Hopkins will star in “Transformers: The Last Knight.” And Mark Wahlberg will return to provide fans with a war between humans and this colorful robot race. Get your tickets for this one ASAP!

 

If you’re looking to be scared to death this summer, there’s one horror/supernatural film destined for greatness and one that should have been shelved. The latter is based on the past as fans are taken back to a famous haunted house in “Amityville: The Awakening.” When it comes to the “must see” of this genre, the plot comes from the best writer in the business – the master of horror, Stephen King. “The Dark Tower” hits screens August 4th and should be a massive hit for star Matthew McConaughey. Fans have been waiting for this one for a long time and should be very pleased with the result.

 

If you’re looking for something for the kids, the “Cars” series is once again coming to the screen, as well as “Despicable Me 3” that is filled with comedy both kids and parents will enjoy. And in July, those ridiculous ‘faces’ we see every day are receiving their very first chance in “The Emoji Movie.” The story follows a ‘sad’ emoji who simply doesn’t understand why he can’t make other facial expressions like the rest of his friends. It may not be an Oscar winner for Best Animated Film, but something tells me the emoji’s will be more fun than walking down the blood-soaked halls of the Amityville dwelling.

 

Whatever happens, enjoy the popcorn!

 

Source:  Baret News

Ridley Scott Delivers a Worthy Addition to the Sci-Fi, Horror Franchise

 

Alien: Covenant,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Ridley Scott, James Franco, Michael Fassbender,  blood-curdlingAlien: Covenant

Film Review by Kam Williams

Ridley Scott Delivers a Worthy Addition to the Sci-Fi, Horror Franchise

Alien: Covenant is the 9th episode in the enduring, sci-fi franchise launched back in 1979, provided you count the trio of Alien vs. Predator spinoffs. This installment is a sequel to Prometheus (2012) which devoted fans know was a prequel to the original. Covenant was directed by the legendary Ridley Scott who also made the first and the previous picture in the series.

As the futuristic tale unfolds, we find the spaceship Covenant hurtling through the ether on a mission  to colonize a distant star with its cargo of 2,000 cryogenic humans and 1,140 frozen embryos. The crew, under the command of Captain Jacob Branson (James Franco), is composed of seven couples plus a state-of-the-art android named Walter (Michael Fassbender).

Before they reach their destination, the vessel is damaged by a “shock wave generated by a neutrino burst from a solar flare,” whatever that pretentious, scientific jargon means. The upshot is that the accident conveniently dovetails with the arrival of mysterious radio signals that appear to be human in nature.

Curiosity gets the better of them, and they divert the crippled craft to the source of the transmissions, an uncharted planet nearby. Against their better judgment, they dispatch an expedition team to the surface to determine whether the place is habitable and might thus serve as a substitute settlement spot for their hibernating pod people.

Unfortunately, the intrepid explorers are blissfully unaware that they’re being contaminated by a monstrous, microscopic virus that can enter a body through any open orifice. After a brief gestation period, the opportunistic infection drains the hosts of their vitality while simultaneously morphing into the drooling, gelatinous, man-eating creatures long associated with the Alien adventures.

Alien: Covenant,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Ridley Scott, James Franco, Michael Fassbender,  blood-curdling

This doesn’t bode well for the Covenant, and what ensues is a high burn-rate affair in which crew members are gradually picked off one-by-one, with each succumbing to a demise a little more grisly than the last. To paraphrase, the franchise’s immortal, inaugural tagline: In space, no one can still hear you scream, or save you from a body-snatching chestburster either.

A blood-curdling sequel and worthy addition to the series certain to scare the living daylights out of you!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for violence, profanity, sexuality, nudity and bloody images

Running time: 122 minutes

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Source:  Baret News