Prometheus

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KB
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:32 am Post

I saw the most hilarious movie this evening. I'm assuming it was produced by The Assylum, although it purported to be by Ridley Scott, who I'm sure used to make decent movies at one time. Anyway, the comedy I just saw was called "Prometheus". It was a satire on Erich von Daniken's Chariot of the Gods which ended - this was side-splitting - with a (select to see very mild spoiler) **fist-fight between Jason Statham and a squid**. Genius. And by "genius", I mean, of course, that I may have just seen one of the worst movies ever. And I took my kids to see Transformers 2, so I know what I'm talking about. And I thought the ending to Battlestar Galactica was bad... Has anyone else seen this bilge yet? I think I need to go and watch Alien and Blade Runner now, to wash away the dirt...Seriously, I was really looking forward to this movie, but even with low expectations it was dire.
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Sin
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:02 am Post

No! Is it really that bad? Ridley Scott coming back to his Alien story...I was looking forward to seeing it. Well, thanks for the heads up. I suppose the next thing you're going to tell me is there's no Santa Claus.

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Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:04 am Post

Damn it! I don't know whether to be more frustrated by this news, or by the fact that Sin's avatar is dreadfully familiar.
.:.
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:39 am Post

One of the moderators must have broken wind in the nest. I suppose the sudden appearance of two of them, helps allay suspicions that they don't actually exist.
And for those humans amongst the crew, who foolishly seek another, ALIEN, forget it. There is only one...there was only ever one...and there will only ever be one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjLamj-b ... re=related
Fluff
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:41 am Post

Fluff wrote:One of the moderators must have broken wind in the nest. I suppose the sudden appearance of two of them, helps allay suspicions that they don't actually exist.
And for those humans amongst the crew, who foolishly seek another, ALIEN, forget it. There is only one...there was only ever one...and there will only ever be one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjLamj-b ... re=related
Fluff


I seem to remember a role for a cat, too... :)

But I'm sorry to read KB's review. I am due to see it on Thursday. The reviews seem to be damning the thing with faint praise - weak characterisation and dialogue, great CGI, interesting ideas, and lots of untied ends rendering it sequel-ready.

MIB III it will have to be then.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:57 am Post

The sad thing is that I went into this film with reduced expectations after reading several so-so, three-star reviews, but still came out feeling they had been too generous. I wasn't expecting another Alien, but I was hoping for something that gripped me, but it didn't even do that. This was the one film this year that I had been looking forward to. In the event, the trailer was so much better than the film.

Much of it was a scene-by-scene rehash of Alien, too, complete with risible alien-from-stomach action. But while it's understandable that the puppet alien in a film made in 1979 now makes me laugh, I shouldn't really be suppressing laughter during a similar scene in a new movie. (For the most part, Alien was so tense because the creature was always in shadow, and you only snatched glimpses of it.)

The one redeeming feature of this film was Michael Fassbender. His android, David, is a superb creation, on a par with Ash and Bishop. Fassbender did wonders with the role, considering that his motivation throughout is entirely muddled and his actions often apparently random.

I recently read an interview with the writer, Damon Lindelof, in which he claimed that after seeing this movie, you would see Alien in a new light. He's right: I now have added respect for Dan O'Bannon, H.R. Giger and Sigourney Weaver, and think I may have overestimated Ridley Scott's contribution. :) Damon Lindelof was the main writer and show-runner on Lost, and it shows: the script feels as though he has made things up as he went along, in a bit of a rush, leaving gaping plot holes and making characters doing nonsensical, stupid things. There's less excuse for that in a film than in a TV series, though - in a TV series you don't get to go back and change mistakes you made in earlier episodes, but with a film, what excuse does a writer have for not checking that the whole makes sense? This isn't Lindelof's technique. In that same Guardian interview, he said:

Even though people think I ask too many questions and don't give enough answers! I have a lot more faith in the imagination and intelligence of the audience over my own – they come up with things that are infinitely more interesting.


This attitude infuriates me - it ruined Lost, it ruined Battlestar Galactica, and it ruined Prometheus. It's true that many great sf films and stories leave questions unanswered and expect the audience to ponder on them and try to work them out. But in Blade Runner and Alien, you at least had the feeling that the writers had the answers in mind; that they had created an entire coherent universe and just showed you a snatch of it.

The Good (No Soilers)

  • Michael Fassbender as David (especially wandering around the ship while everyone is asleep, watching Laurence of Arabia).
  • The trailer was good.
  • Um.

The Bad (No Spoilers)

  • Excruciating dialogue. ("Get out of there!" "See you on the other side!" "It's what I choose to believe.")
  • In fact, the last line of the film reminded me of Optimus Prime's overblown message to the stars at the end of Transformers 1.
  • The vehicles and exterior scenes, along with the spaceship you see crashing in the trailers, look as though they have been lifted from the computer game Halo. ( I know Halo was heavily influenced by Aliens, but there was still something disconcerting about this.)
  • Supposedly intelligent scientists lean in to pet obviously dangerous snake-like aliens with nasty teeth that they have only just encountered.
  • Zero characterisation.Everyone acts randomly, as far as I can tell.
  • There are too many characters; half of them get about one line, if they're lucky. There's a scene where several crew members are killed in quick succession, and by the end of it I had no idea who had actually died. Benedict Wong and Rafe Spall were criminally underused, but then, so were Charlize Theron and Idris Elba.
  • There is no tension at all. I don't know whether it's because you don't care about the characters, or because they aliens are so silly, or because everything just seems to happen at random, but there wasn't a point at which I was on the edge of my seat. In fact, for large chunks of it, I was just bored.
  • The Space Jockey from the first film turns out to be utterly rubbish (more in the spoilers section below...).
  • It perpetuates the franchise's clichés - i.e. anyone representing Weyland (Weyland-Yutani in the later films) must be a nasty piece of work. (Although I rather liked Charlize Theron's character - she was the only one who seemed to have any sense.)
  • Although it's too much to hope for another Sigourney, Noomi Rapace had about as much charisma as a Sam Worthington. (Also, why, when she's a little girl, does she have a cut-glass English accent, only to grow up sounding strangely Swedish?)
  • The aliens throughout were uniformly terrible. The audience in the cinema I went to were laughing.
  • The plot really was taken from Erich von Daniken's Chariot of the Gods. That's fairly obvious from the trailers, so, given this hokey choice of plot, I was hoping for something original or thought-provoking based on this nonsense. But, um, no.
  • It seems that 80 years from now, prosthetics will still be rubbish at making young men look old. Seriously, why did they have Guy Pearce as an old man?
  • Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof seem to think that just by getting characters to say, "Where do we come from?" and, "Why are we here?" this constitutes discussing the Big Questions. "Aren't you interested in the Big Questions? Where do we come from? Why are we here?" (Although, in all fairness, it did provoke some thought in me along these lines: I was asking myself, "Why am I here?" quite frequently throughout the 124-minute running time.)

**** SPOILERS - DON'T READ UNTIL YOU'VE SEEN THE FILM ****

  • Ever since 1979 - for 33 years! - fans of Alien have enjoyed speculating about the Space Jockey and its species. And what does Ridley Scott do with this seminal Giger design? It turns out to be nothing more than a space suit, containing a bald albino meathead with a steroid problem who looks a bit like Sloth from the Goonies.
  • So, across the Earth there are cave paintings pointing to the Engineers' home planet, huh? Only then it turns out not to be their home planet at all, but a military installation. Huh?
  • What is the pint of David infecting Shaw's idiot boyfriend exactly?
  • Was Shaw's reaction to finding out that David was responsible for killing her boyfriend a deliberate homage to the emotional range of Luke Skywalker when he discovered the charred corpses of his uncle and auntie? Seriously, she just carries on with David with no comment on his having murdered her beloved?
  • Shaw made a remarkable recovery - one moment she is squirming in pain with every step she takes because of the staples in her stomach, the next she is leaping across chasms.
  • Was I the only one laughing at the way, when a giant donut is rolling towards Vickers and Shaw, they keep running in a straight line, directly in its path? Did neither of them think to run sideways and actually, y'know, get out of its way? If you see a car coming at you, do you run down the road in front of it in an attempt to get out of its way?
  • After all of that, we don't even get one word out of the Engineers?
  • The climactic battle is hilarious, at least. It reminded me of Mega-Shark Versus Mega-Octopus, or whatever. Giant octopus versus albino Jason Statham.
  • I could go on, but what's the point?

**** END SPOILERS ***

*Sigh*

All the best,
Keith
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:53 pm Post

KB wrote:were criminally underused, but then, so was Charlize Theron and Idris Elba.


Is this possible? Is it even legal?

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Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:01 pm Post

Thanks Keith, best review of this film I've read. Although the best review I've heard (on radio last night) was a little less damning, albeit not much less. To paraphrase, by halfway through the film, the reviewer thought it was a great film, possibly even 5 star material, one of the best he'd seen this year. Then there were the last 30 minutes. I forget all the terms he used for those 30 minutes, but none of them were flattering. He rated it "almost 3 stars" but only because of the first 60 minutes. Overall, he described it as a terrible film worth seeing. I wasn't convinced and, after your review, I now consider it a terrible film worth avoiding.
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:38 pm Post

Instead of "Video killed the radio star"


Sing



"CGI killed investing into writers"



Hollywood is nothing more than CGI, gore and sex appeal. Actors need not even talk soon. Just grunt and point in between the explosions and 4th grade poot humor.

Ever since the writers strike a few years back to me it seems the quality and originality of Hollywood has gone in the toilet.

I guess the big movie houses thought instead of paying good money for good writers they would just woo us with high dollar CGI and jerky filming techniques.

The most common thing I hear now about a new movie? "I'll wait for it to come out on DVD and rent it or wait for it to come to {insert movie channel here} and catch it on a night when I am bored.

PS: Also what did you expect when Ridley is trying gain back his rep by reopening the Alien franchise without really trying to use the franchise?

Oh well, I guess they should not have screw HR GIGER over on HIS alien idea/concept in the life of the original franchise.

Karma is a bitch.
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:03 pm Post

PJS wrote:
KB wrote:were criminally underused, but then, so was Charlize Theron and Idris Elba.


See, it upset me so much, it completely wiped out my grammar.

Wock wrote:screw HR GIGER over


And my spelling. Whoops (I used "Geiger"). Fixed both in my post above.

Hollywood is nothing more than CGI, gore and sex appeal.


I was a bit worried there was going to be a sex scene in 3D at one point, but fortunately we were saved from that. But that brings me to another thing - the use of 3D. It was utterly pointless. There were no scenes in which spaceships or monsters protruded from the screen; the 3D was subtle throughout. But what's the point of subtle 3D? So, there's a little extra depth in the picture, and that's it. And the 3D glasses just added a green tint to everything.

nom wrote:Overall, he described it as a terrible film worth seeing. I wasn't convinced and, after your review, I now consider it a terrible film worth avoiding.


I would say it's worth seeing. I very rarely get to a cinema these days - with three young kids and a dearth of babysitters, I have come to regard film reviews in newspapers as DVD previews. But I've been looking forward to this one so long that, with a fortuitous visit from my mother over the weekend, I took advantage of her babysitting services and just had to go see it before I heard too much about it (although the trailer pretty much tells the whole story, just missing out the stupid bits). I bet lots of people will disagree with me and think it's a fantastic film. (I've already seen quite a few fans praising it and calling upon the "Lost defence": anyone who thinks it's stupid doesn't like thinking for themselves and wants all the answers, etc etc.) I think the review you read was overly forgiving, though: the first 60 minutes weren't that great either. The opening scene really sets the expectations low - an albino buffed-up baldie apparently providing life on our planet (although I'm sure there are already trees...). But it is at about the 60-minute mark that you really start laughing...
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:26 pm Post

Thanks, Keith - but, that bad, oh dear. :(
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:39 pm Post

In all fairness, I think that if this hadn't had any ties to the Alien franchise and had been directed by somebody else, I would have enjoyed it more: I could have enjoyed it for the derivative tosh it was rather than being crushed with disappointment because of expectations raised by Alien and Blade Runner. So, my advice is to put the idea of Alien and Ridley Scott entirely out of your mind, and go to see this film pretending that it is a Michael Bay production. Looked on like that, it is a very good Michael Bay film, nearly as good as The Island.
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:53 pm Post

KB wrote:...nearly as good as The Island.


:D :cry:
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:18 pm Post

If Ridley wanted a cult classic there area few things he should have done differently.


(1) Cast Bruce Campbell as the lead Male role and have him write his own lines
(2) Cast Kate Beckinsale as the lead female role and have her crawl around in a leather thong bikini through the air ducts for at least half the movie.
(3) A sparkling EMO alien vampire with daddy issues as the provocateur in an unexplained man crush on (bruce campbell)
(4) At least 2 talking robots.
(5) Break out into a musical singing Madonna Vogue while dressed as Lady Gagame.
(6) Give the audience a chance to vote an actor of the "island" or set as it may be referred to.
(7) Have a lot of artsy emo philosophical narration that rambles on throughout the movie.
(8) Blow up everything.
(9) Write the script in 3D view the movie in 4D.
(10) Make it like a "documentary" using real cheap cameras and dumb people who never put down the camera even if they are about to fall off a ledge.
(11) Have everyone cross dress in at least 3 scenes in the movie.
(12) Cast a big name star and kill that character off in the opening credits of the movie.
(13) Say the F word so you can get an R rating.
(14) Make at least 2 scenes gory beyond the pale.
(15) Have the only thing survive is a cat armed with a flame thrower and C4
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Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:36 pm Post

A foul-mouthed, cross-dressing cat with a flame-thrower acted by Bruce Campbell (the cat, not the flame-thrower, although that might work too) would make a whole lot more narrative sense than much of what I saw last night... In fact, your film sounds quite good. Here, have £85m.
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