Alien: Covenant (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Alien: Covenant (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)Six years ago I fell in love with the Alien franchise when I was forced to tackle the Alien Anthology Blu-ray box set in my complete review of it all here.  I had never seen the third or fourth flicks before then.  Two years later I became of a bonafide disciple of Ridley Scott’s franchise with the release of Prometheus (as reviewed here).  No dispute here that the original four Alien films are legendary.  You’d be hard pressed to find anybody trash talking those, but Prometheus well that’s a whole different ball of wax.  If you want to talk about a completely divided movie, look no further than 2012’s Prometheus.  Holy hell either people loved it or long time Alien fans completely loathed it.  There was no middle ground whatsoever.  Like it or not it made enough money for Fox to green light a sequel.  That’s the reason we are all here today too, but is Alien: Covenant really a sequel to Prometheus or is something all completely different?  That’s what I was most interested in learning going into last week’s press screening.

Alien Covenant 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


It should come as no surprise that Scott is back in the director’s chair once again here helming this science fiction horror film.  After all, what shouldn’t he?  His vision brought us the first film in this historic franchise.  Now if you’re counting at all, then you will now this is the third installment that Scott has directed, the second in the Alien “prequel” series and the eighth overall in the Alien film series.  The movie stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, James Franco and many more.  Now before we move on and talk plot let’s briefly chat about this whole prequel versus sequel stuff.

In September 2015, Ridley Scott revealed he was planning two sequels to Prometheus, which would lead into the first Alien film.  Therefore that makes Alien: Covenant both a sequel and a prequel.  Then in November 2015 Scott confirmed that Alien: Covenant would be the first of now two additional films in the Alien prequel series, before linking us up with the original Alien.  Say what?  I know.  If you ask me, it’s actually quite confusing to keep up with the man.  Best of all for me Ridley states that these sequels will reveal who created the xenomorph aliens.  And supposedly the screenplay for the third prequel film was already written during production of Alien: Covenant and finished this year.  Production of said film is scheduled to begin in 2018.  So now that I got that out of the way let’s talk some Covenant.  What say you?

So you remember David (Fassbender) from Prometheus?  Well he’s back in this one, sort of.  Meet Walter (also played by Fassbender), he’s an android very similar to David, the survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.  He’s part of the crew on the colony ship Covenant bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy with intent to you guessed it, colonize.  On the way to their destination trouble awakens them and they find what they believe to be an uncharted paradise that could be…you guessed it…suitable for colonizing.  However, said planet full of Earthly wheat and not soon reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous world inhabited by a dangerous nemesis and monsters that make my nightmares seem funny now.  Game on!

Alien Covenant 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Now what I love most about Alien: Covenant other than the bad-a$$ kill scenes is its direct lineage to Prometheus.  After the backlash of Prometheus from long time Alien fans I feared the worst.  I loved the film, but I thought for sure they would forget it ever happened and that Covenant would simply be a new beginning to launch a new trilogy from.  I was so wrong and in cases like this I’m happy to be proven such.  Nothing is forgotten about Prometheus and without venturing into spoiler territory here all I can say is Covenant is a direct descendant of Prometheus and for that reason and more I have nothing but mostly warm things to say about the film were gathered here today to discuss.  I don’t love it as much as I do Prometheus, but it’s strangely kind of a hybrid that fuses Prometheus and the original Alien films together.  I hate to say it but it kind of reminded me a bit of the quirkiness of the 3rd film.

So first and foremost what I love about Covenant are the creatures.  Holy hell!  This is how you do it!  They seemed almost genetically engineered to thrill here.  The kill scenes and chest bursting moments are bonafide crowd pleasers.  I know we have years and years between this one and the original four films, but I can’t help praising modern day technology.  The aliens are polished and dope.  Even the newborns looked adorable and detailed.  Make no mistake though these aliens are on speed or something.  They kill with the utmost of swiftness and precision.  You don’t even stand a chance of seeing them coming.  Oddly though they also seem to die rather easily, but I digress.  One other thing you’ll really be like a kid in the candy store over with here is the film’s audio mix.  At times I swear it sounds like the aliens were racing on top the ceiling at you in this.  You just have to love modern day tech.  Scott does and it shows in the way he embraces it all here.  Covenant is both a homage to the old and the new and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next in the franchise.

I have to commend all the new faces Covenant introduces us to here.  Yes some are a lot more memorable than others, but the ones that surprised me the most were McBride and Waterston. Notice I’m not saying anything about Franco?  For some reason and I know this sounds mean I just didn’t think I’d get along with Waterston’s dopey looks, but she gelled nicely.  Furthermore, I didn’t think I could take McBride seriously after hysterically enjoying him so much in HBO’s Vice Principals.  However, he turned out to be a bonafide action hero in this one.  And then there’s Michael Fassbender.  What more can you possibly say about the man that hasn’t been said already?  He even managed to make Assassin’s Creed at least somewhat watchable.  However, I know that’s not really saying too much when you’re talking about that film.  Ha ha.

Now that’s not to say there aren’t a few problems here.  For starters, anyone that hates the Prometheus storyline or quirkiness of the third film will probably not dig this one.  I know my fiancee wasn’t a fan either.  She claims this bored her twice now after this viewing on 4K too.  And second the resolution is a little too familiar and weak, but let’s face it even Ridley Scott has to run out of ideas sometimes.  When  I say weak I mean if you didn’t see what was coming a half hour before it was over, then this must have been the first movie you ever watched or something.  Last but not least, I do fear that people who scorned the way Rob Zombie humanized Michael in his take on Halloween instead of leaving him purely an enigma will also dislike Covenant.  Sure the film furthers the mythology of the franchise, but does it show too much?  That’s up to you to decide.  I for one loved the shower scene and that’s all I’ll say.  My lips are sealed.  They did a great job of not showing too much in the trailers and thus provided us lots of surprises despite how lackluster some of them may be.  So needless to say try to enjoy this one folks!

Alien Covenant 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Alien: Covenant.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: It’s not the sharpest 4k UHD image I have ever seen, but for what it’s worth and the many dark shadows this film takes place within the detail is quite eye pleasing.  What matters the most to me are the fine lines such as wrinkles and textures and even granule level in soils and spores.  However, what I love seeing in sci-fi films like these are the intricacies in the instrument control panels.  All that I am proud to say is clearly on display in the 4K presentation here including the juicy, mouth watering, salacious glands of all the nasty aliens too.
  • Depth: Everywhere you look in this 4K UHD presentation you’ll find majestic levels of vastness in the backfield.  Scenes that feature the hallways of the ship or even the simple opening of the white room overlooking the body of water in the beginning are as impressive as the next.  From floating in space to traversing through wheat fields on an alien planet I don’t think you’ll be disappointed here with my critique of the 4K’s depth of field.  Best of all the onscreen characters all have a three-dimensional pop to them further separating them from their surroundings.  What more can you ask for?
  • Black Levels: The black levels are natural throughout and very deep at times.  I prefer to stick with saying natural though as the HDR does a phenomenal job of tracking everything and ensuring absolutely nothing gets swallowed or overtaken by shadows.  The scenes that transpire at night in that wheat field look like a million bucks.  I’m just saying.
  • Color Reproduction: This one is a hard category to tackle.  The colors jump back and forth from earthy and murky to bright and bold at times as well as color graded.  Since it’s a dark space opera so to speak I would go as far as to say the color palette is pretty spot on for how you would want it to look.  There’s nothing exaggerated or overblown and when those explosions go off it blinds you like any good explosion in the dark of night should.  LOL.  I know I mentioned this up above already, but what I am always a sucker for in films like these are the contrast of the neon lights (such as the reds and blues here) found within the control panels of the technology here.  I just adore the way they pop against the shadows.
  • Flesh Tones: Skin tones are all pasty white and natural throughout.  I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary and every one had a healthy glow to them unless they were ill, you know sick from the alien bug in them.
  • Noise/Artifacts: I didn’t notice anything that would distract or deter you away from this 4K presentation.  There was some minor noise in a few shots, but nothing to write home and nitpick over.

Alien Covenant 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Fox’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Alien: Covenant.  Just an FYI while the 4K Ultra HD presentation offers up a healthy Dolby Atmos surround track the 1080p Blu-ray Disc delivers a 7.1 DTS-HD MA one.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Things are very wide open in this Dolby Atmos presentation with a lot of head room and breathing room on all sides of you.  I mean this in a good way because there’s a lot going on in the soundscape here and everything sounds fine and pristine down to a pin drop.  I mean you have harsh weather environments, crashes, explosions, rain, bumps in the night and so much more, but absolutely nothing gets lost here.  Even the quietest whimper is heard above it all.  I really have to commend the way they brought this track to life with the utmost of authenticity.
  • Height: There are many fine examples throughout of how the height channels were utilized here, but I’ll just list a few off the top of my head: chains rattling, rain falling down, landing the docking ship, gun fire upwards, explosions, flames shooting, thunder, spores setting off, classic alien chest bursts, etc.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is used with brute force aggression and the tiniest of subtleness too from the pulsating score to the fiery explosions.  The subwoofer brings effects and other powerful moments to life throughout.  Even the space vessel hurling through the stars has a sense of heftiness to it.  We get instantly cozy with the sub too as one of our first tribulations is navigating through that neurino shockwave storm the ship gets rocked with and several of the crew perish because of.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear speakers were constantly engaged, but never at a level that sounded forced or unnatural.  I don’t know how to accurately describe it, but it was just the right mix.  They complete the atmosphere of the ship from the doors sliding open and closed and smoke  steaming up all around you to growl of the alien hatchlings and the screams as a result.  I do love how they employed the rears too for the alien creatures sneaking up.  Let’s call it a very effective use.  From the fire on the ship to glass spattering things get awful real in peril here.  The rain is another cool effect, which lends in credibility to putting you in the middle of it all here.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialog levels were always clean, prioritized and intelligent throughout.  I never strained once to hear any spoken words.  That’s always a plus!

Alien Covenant 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


Fox’s Alien: Covenant comes to the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format in a set loaded with bonus material including a making-of documentary, deleted and extended scenes, audio commentary by director Ridley Scott (found on both the 4K UHD and 1080p discs), an inside look at “David’s Lab,” crew fear tests and much more.  In addition to all of this too you get a redeemable Digital HD copy good in either iTunes or at your favorite UltraViolet retailer.  For now though let’s take a closer look down below under David’s microscope at all the supplemental features housed on the Blu-ray and 4K UHD discs.

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 17:37) – There’s a Play All option that allows you to move through all of the below extended and deleted scenes.
    • Prologue (Extended)
    • Walter in Greenhouse
    • Oram and Daniels (Extended)
    • Walter Visits Daniels
    • Daniels Bedroom Flashback
    • Jacob’s Funeral (Extended)
    • Ledwards Fall
    • Crossing the Plaza (Extended)
    • Daniels Thanks Walter
    • Rosenthal Prayer
    • Walter Reports Back
    • Stairs to Eggroom (Extended)
  • USCSS Covenant (HD) – Below are the three segments found under this Extra selection on the Blu-ray disc.
    • Meet Walter (2:20) – I found this one very entertainment and reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell‘s fantastical opening sequence.  Here we basically have a commercial showing the assembly of the new android model of Walter.
    • Phobos (9:09) – Here we have mock interrogation and Q&A tests for the Team Alpha Covenant.
    • The Last Supper (4:37) – This is the prologue we seen released online prior that shows complete with James Franco their last dinner and celebration before cryo-sleep.
  • SECTOR 87 – PLANET 4 (HD, ) – Below are the three segments found under this Extra selection on the Blu-ray disc.
    • The Crossing (HD, 2:34) – This has been released online before and is basically the footage that shows the gap between Prometheus and Alien Covenant and how Shaw put the malicious David back together.
    • Advent (HD, 6:41) – This one shows how David became a creator of life through all his experiments and his intentions with Daniels post Covenant here.
    • David’s Illustrations – Image Gallery – These are still images you can flip through broken out into 5 categories: Flora, Fauna, Shaw, Specimens and Alien.  Don’t let the mere five groupings fool you.  There’s actually quite a lot of photos behind them all.
  • Master Class: Ridley Scott  – Documentary on the making of Alien: Covenant (HD, 55:30) – This one is pretty massive and covers 4 segments (available via a Play All functionality too): Story, Characters, Setting and Creatures.  It’s always interesting to hear Scott talk about his return to Alien‘s lore and answer the question in Covenant of who made us and why.  He goes onto talk about how the characters are so important and the amazing way he storyboards every single sequence by hand.  The guy invests a lot of time in his trade and his passion for it shows here.  The actors and crew all discuss the different character roles and it was interesting to not only learn about all the creatures here, but also the settings in particular what was real and what was green screen.  You can’t beat the New Zealand location either.  This is a highly recommended watch here worth of its name “Master Class.”
  • Director Commentary by Ridley Scott – This is where it’s at!  You may not be an overly huge fan of this feature, but you cannot tell me an audio commentary with Sir Ridley Scott doesn’t seal the deal here.
  • Production Gallery
  • Trailers (HD) – There are a total of two trailers found here.

Alien Covenant 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


Featuring an all-star cast including Academy Award Nominee Michael Fassbender (X-Men franchise, Steve Jobs), Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Billy Crudup (Jackie), Danny McBride (This Is The End) and Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight) Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents Ridley Scott’s return to the universe he created, with Alien: Covenant.  It’s the newest chapter in the groundbreaking ALIEN franchise, and it arrived on Digital HD August 1st and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD August 15th.  The film and pacing could be better but it is what it is…Aliens!  Try to have a good time with it.  Just an FYI there are Limited Edition Exclusives of this title available at Walmart, Target, and Best Buy (see here for those).  Oh yeah and Prometheus dropped on the 4K Ultra HD format today too!  Bring it home here.  Enjoy!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Alien: Covenant 

Crash Landed on

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

August 15th




Alien: Covenant (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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