Let me star off by saying I never watched the theatricals of these movies. I read the reviews and passed. So maybe I'm not in the best position to judge an edit meshing both of them, to say the least. Still, I'll give it a try.
I thought the first part of the movie was brilliant, with two stories developing simultaneously in the past and the present. The music works well here. This part had me on tenterhooks. Kudos to that, well done. Then aliens come in and it all goes to pieces. Let's get this out of the way: David, what a massive piece of trash that guy turned out to be. I hated the character with a passion. Not only is he the ugliest, he's completely unbelievable. How does he learn an alien language? Let alone learn to fly their ships enough to do a planet drive-by shooting. Which, remind me again, why? Just a massive sonnofabitch, I guess.
Also, the Engineers. Towers of muscle with an aggressive streak? How does that fit in with a biological and planetary Engineer? Those guys couldn't raise a cat, let alone an entire species. And having them appear only for them not to answer any questions except "you bad! me kill you!"? Disappointing.
I also would've enjoyed a more positive ending. Would've loved to see that bastard David come to a bad end. The movie as a whole is way too dark to have an even darker ending. By the way, I have no idea if this is a prequel or a sequel, as it doesn't seem to fit in with the others either way.
Speaking of the dark tone of the move, I saw in youtube the scene where the spaceship falls over the two women over the course of then minutes, speeded up and with yakety sax playing. It was hilarious and I was looking forward to watching the original for a much-needed break from all the terrible things happening. Alas, it was not to be, but I understand the need to cut it. However, what happened to the blond? She takes off in an escape pod, but that can't have made it all the way to Earth, so...
Finally, the Beatles? Seemed like an odd choice to me.
I know some or most of the criticism here is directed at the original, since I don't know which is which. I apologize if I was unfair to the edit. I appreciate the opportunity to watch it and it certainly gave me a lot to think about. Specially about that scumbag, David!
"Prometheus" and "Alien Covenant" fused into a single film. Decent enough plan, although it seems Mr Willins has done this twice already with his "Derelict" and "Ripley" edits.
Video - 1280 X 720p AVC. The visuals for "Prometheus" are simply better than those for "Covenant." The opening moments with the TED talks could have used less fade-outs. Afterward, the editing is assured and masterful ... for awhile. With "Prometheus" the editor has a strong concept and it shows. The editor has his craft down so I have no comments on technical aspects.
Audio - 128 kbps AAC. 2 Channels. No subs. The editing is smooth, though the audio is spotty at times - in both films. Dialogue is muffled or indecipherable. From hollering to whispering. I listen over speakers, I listen through headphones. No difference. I viewed the 5 GB file, I don't know if the larger, 10 GB file offered 5.1, or if it would have made a difference.
Narrative - As with the previous "Derelict" and "Ripley" edits, Mr Willins runs concurrent stories. With those edits, the story bounces back and forth like a ping pong match. Like an ADD incessantly switching channels. With "Paradise" Job Willins finally hones his storytelling. This becomes David's story, more pronounced and effectively done with the "Prometheus" half. "Covenant" is much too talky.
Enjoyment - Hit n miss for me. The last thirty minutes were repetitive to the point of tedium. Too many climaxes, I just wanted them all to die at that point. In a word, too much "Covenant."
With "Prometheus" he cut most of the garbage I hated. "Covenant," I predicted would be more challenging, and to me he did not successfully carry this off. Comment - songs by the fab four were distracting and incongruous.
Job Willins displays superior abilities and I would like to see him shift away from these back n forth twofers.
When I first heard about this fan edit combining the two Alien prequels into a single film centred around David, I was immediately intrigued.
The editing is great and for the most the narrative works but having the film narrative in chronological order would have been better than constantly switching from the past and present.
There were some deleted scenes which were not colour corrected or graded to match the film. This is nitpicking but felt worth mentioning.
Lastly, the song “The Entry of the Gods into Valhalla” had a significant meaning, especially how it is played throughout the film with its crescendo to the end when it blasts loudly as David has triumphed from his small beginnings to triumphing over his creator and becoming a god. I felt the song used instead by The Beatles did not suit the film at all and was a disappointing finish to a great idea.
A great re-imagining of the 2 Alien prequels which also succeeds in doing away with some of more confusing scenes, plot holes and character inconsistencies. I have no idea how well this would work for someone who has never before seen either Prometheus or Alien: Covenant, but from my perspective it was a very well conceived alternative and well worth the watch. The Covenant finale in particular was much improved and, being a Beatles fan, I appreciated some of the sneaky song placements! ;)
A minor qualm is that you could feel the 2.5 hour run time, but considering this is squishing 2 movies into one, the pacing is actually pretty good. Great job, JobWillins!
Edit: I initially gave this an 8 for video/audio quality, but have only just realised I was watching the 720p version (unaware there was anything better available). I've now downloaded the 1080p version and it looks much better!
For me Paradise did not quite work - Don't get me wrong it had some wonderful moments but as a whole the narrative was a bit hard to follow. It only worked to a point because i had seen the theatrical versions and could fill in the gaps, so in turn was able to follow the story.
To start with the Weyland / David chat was fantastic. A mixture of the ted talk and the white room conversation was great. The scene of the Prometheus crew and Covenant crew trying to get back to the ships after being infected was wonderful visual and audio editing but again unless you knew the theatrical versions would be hard pressed to follow what was going on...as a visual and audio experiment worked really well....good skills. Adding the deleted scene of Shaw putting David back together was great....but for me it would have worked better as an ending to Prometheus.
One of the highlights for me was the cutting of the Xenomorph and Daniels surfing and Tarzan swinging as the Covenant crew try to escape the planet also the Shower scene is so much better. The use of The Beatles "Want You So Bad" was a stoke of greatness. The audio editing was top notch....I will be seeking permission from Jobwillins to use this scene in any future edit i may get around to :). Though the use of the Beatles track was great in that scene i didnt quite enjoy the other two Beatles tracks when they were used. The ending was brilliant - the use of some of the audio from the Blurays extra scene was truly great..
So overall - i think Prometheus and Covenant work better as separate films but JobWillins has truly done some remarkable work and has got my mind into gear thinking about my own edits of the two films. Prometheus should maybe start with the white room scene and end with Shaw putting David back together from the Covenant Bluray extras. Covenant should open with David arriving at Paradise and infecting the citizens..and the ending should be the same as JobWilins has done in this edit... but for me with a different song. Golden Slumbers / Carry the Weight are such immense and emotional tunes i just kept thinking of Paul and John and got taken out of the film...i think a nice classical piece or even keeping the Wagner tune intact would work better
Jobwillins well done....your skills are top notch.