[Featured image courtesy Titanmagazines.com]Your desire to buy the Alien: Covenant Official Collector’s Edition – just released by Titan Magazines – depends on two things.
First – your reaction to the movie itself. The opinions here at SciFi4Me have been trending negative. Timothy Harvey’s review and the most recent Zombpocalypse Now podcast illustrated many of the not-so-positive reactions to Ridley Scott’s latest entry in his Alien prequel series.
For myself, Alien: Covenant delivered two things I wanted after the disappointment of 2012’s Prometheus. Covenant delivered a bit more of an actual plot, along with a LOT more Xeomorphs, Neomorphs, Facehuggers, and general horror movie gross-out action.
Seeing it through my horror movie lens, I take characters making insanely stupid decisions to keep the plot moving as part of the deal. Since I just watched Covenant as a Horror Movie (IN SPACE), my expectations may have been lower and my verdict a bit brighter.
Second – does the Alien: Covenant Official Collector’s Edition deliver value for the $19.99 list price? While you can find this for less (Titanmagazines.com has it listed for $13.00 including shipping and handling), would this be worth it at full price?
The illustrations, concept art, and photography are all top notch. Titan souvenir publications usually do an exceptional job in these areas; this Collector’s Edition is no exception. In particular, the pages illustrating the mix of digital and puppetry Visual Effects Supervisor Charley Henley used bring the Neomorph, Xenomorphs and Facehuggers to life are both gross and informative.
But if the visual side is everything an Alien fan could hope for while also wishing there were pages more of it, the interview features are too much of a good thing. From behind the camera, the Collector’s Edition features interviews with Director Ridley Scott, Production Designer Chris Seagers, Costume Designer Janty Yates, and Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski. All are interesting and informative for the genre or movie nerd.
It is in the cast interview sections where a little editing/condensing of content would’ve been helpful. Actor interviews start with Michael Fassbender (David/Walter), and don’t stop until Callie Hernandez (Upworth).
The actors in Covenant are all first rate, even if their roles are stock tropes like Disposable Crewmember 1. It’s not a knock on the talent of the actors involved that I remembered Nathaniel Dean (Hallett) not by his character’s name but as “Guy Who Dies Outside the Ship” and Benjamin Rigby (Ledward) as “Guy Who Dies Inside the Medbay.”
Reading through these interviews, it seemed that having some of the less prominent roles featured in a condensed “round robin” style article would’ve allowed space for more photographs, concept art of important elements of the story such as David’s Laboratory of Horrors, his destruction of the Engineer’s civilization, or what actually happened to Dr. Elizabeth Shaw.
So this review of the Alien: Covenant Official Collector’s Edition is much like the reviews of the movie it promotes; really good in some parts, but maybe a bit less than I was hoping for.
BUT WAIT! There’s more!
Thanks to the Official Collector’s Edition, I do very much want to get a copy of The Art and Making of Alien: Covenant – published by Titan Books! Titan, you’ve mastered the art of the upsell!