This week’s “Cogill Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” on ReVolver Podcasts Gary and I toasted three new releases, including “Alien: Covenant” that opened this week, pairing it with the wine made by famed director, Ridley Scott. We also enjoyed a lively discussion on two films that opened last week, “Snatched” and “King Arthur” with perfect pairings from a mother-daughter wine team for “Snatched” and a delicious Rose to elevate “King Arthur.”
We’ll have more on the last two films in our next post. A few additional thoughts on this week’s new “Alien” release below. To listen to the show, follow the link here and click “Episode 46.”
And, we are excited to invite you to join us at our upcoming “Best of Texas” Wine and Film event in Waxahachie, Texas. So many great films have been in made in Texas, and there are equally as many great wines with Texas connections. We’ll toast a bit of both on June 3 in one of the prettiest towns in our state. We hope you will join us. Details here.
The Film: “Alien: Covenant”
Ridley Scott created a thrilling sci-fi masterpiece in 1979 with the original, “Alien,” followed in 1986 with an equally compelling James Cameron directed sequel, “Aliens.” The following three films were never as good or as intense including a poorly conceived, “Prometheus,” in 2012.
“Aliens: Covenant” is a better film than “Prometheus” but it also takes a sharp turn towards the horror genre and seems to be betraying it’s initial brilliance as a leader in the sci-fi genre.
Michael Fassbender plays dual roles in “Aliens: Covenant,” as Walter, a newly activated synthetic on board the Covenant with a crew of well meaning scientists working to colonize a few thousand folks in a distant similar galaxy.
The crew is awakened to beeps and pings, they investigate, and wouldn’t you know it, Walter meets David, an earlier look-alike model of himself on board the stricken Prometheus, and that’s when baby aliens start taking out the crew one by one like a science project gone wrong. Humans are expendable in, “Aliens: Covenant,” so don’t get too attached.
Part “Jurassic Park” part “Don’t Go In The Basement,” the velociraptor aliens are ruthless in their “thinning” of the humans and that’s when the film starts to play more like a blood drenched horror flick rather than high end sci-fi.
Yes, it works, as an audience pleaser, but there’s a sadness knowing that what was once an intelligent, relentless, well crafted thriller has devolved into something not so smart and not so unique.
Fassbender makes it all worthwhile as synthetics examine the meaning and origins of life, but the more I think about, “Aliens: Covenant,” the more it starts to fall apart. It’s good but never great.
The Wine: Mas des Infirmières
Ridley Scott’s pedigree in filmmaking proves he is a wine lover (including one of my favorites, “A Good Year” with Russell Crowe, set in the Luberon region of France’s Rhone Valley on the edge of Provence.) But, for this “aliens” film his label seemed like a better fit.
From the same Luberon region he filmed “A Good Year” Scott’s Mas des Infirmières wine is inspired by the natural springs which have been fed for centuries by the nearby Luberon mountains. His first vintage was 2009, classic Rhone red varieties of Grenache and Syrah, developing an earthy, spicy wine with woody, wild herbs, and balanced tannin. Thanks to the cool Mistral winds the region feels throughout the year, there is also lively freshness and acidity with a layer of minerality shining throughout the wine.