'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

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  • SteveLilley
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Originally posted by Signal30 View Post
    You shouldn't need Cliff's Notes for a movie.
    Tell that to BLADE RUNNER fans.

    Leave a comment:


  • RyPa
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    I didn't hate it but was also disappointed. It should have been better. I've found it hard to describe the movie without saying the word 'pointless'.

    Most of these have been mentioned but some of the things that stood out to me:

    Earth's best and brightest biologist travels across the universe to try to pet a scary looking alien he knows nothing about? Cue Ben Stiller - "Are you the little guy making all that big noise?"

    Shaw never telling the others, "Oh by the by, I just happened to give birth to a pissed off squid, so I'd hold off on using the medical bay for a little while." Not to mention, didn't the medical bay gas that squid, how did it not die? I think that 'state-of-the-art' device would be able to kill something as opposed to letting it grow.

    The ship crashing and earths best and brightest don't run sideways. It reminded of this.

    Guy Pierce, or the lack thereof. When I see this great clip, I expected at least a little of that in the actual movie. Instead I get horrible makeup in a part that might as well have been played by someone old... I mean, why?

    And how did Fifield the geologist - who was the one who brought in those cool flying things that mapped the place - then get lost when he tried to go back to the ship? You mean to tell me that earth best and brightest can travel the galaxies but can't find their way back out of a cave, even with the help of futuristic mapping devices?

    Just a lot of 'wtf' moments that didn't need to happen.

    Leave a comment:


  • jboffer
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Originally posted by Signal30 View Post
    You shouldn't need Cliff's Notes for a movie.
    Well, don't speak for everyone.

    I don't mind movies that keep you guessing in the moment and challenge you to piece everything together afterwards. Not every film needs to be straight forward and obvious.

    Leave a comment:


  • C.C.Baxter
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    http://redlettermedia.com/red-letter...heus-spoilers/

    Leave a comment:


  • Signal30
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    You shouldn't need Cliff's Notes for a movie.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr. Gonzo
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Originally posted by jboffer View Post
    Hm, weird. I have the text from the link, though. C&P below.
    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    Leave a comment:


  • jboffer
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Originally posted by Dr. Gonzo View Post
    This link isn't working for me... anyone else having this problem?
    Hm, weird. I have the text from the link, though. C&P below.

    Prometheus contains such a huge amount of mythic resonance that it effectively obscures a more conventional plot. I'd like to draw your attention to the use of motifs and callbacks in the film that not only enrich it, but offer possible hints as to what was going on in otherwise confusing scenes.

    Let's begin with the eponymous titan himself, Prometheus. He was a wise and benevolent entity who created mankind in the first place, forming the first humans from clay. The Gods were more or less okay with that, until Prometheus gave them fire. This was a big no-no, as fire was supposed to be the exclusive property of the Gods. As punishment, Prometheus was chained to a rock and condemned to have his liver ripped out and eaten every day by an eagle. (His liver magically grew back, in case you were wondering.)

    Fix that image in your mind, please: the giver of life, with his abdomen torn open. We'll be coming back to it many times in the course of this article.

    The ethos of the titan Prometheus is one of willing and necessary sacrifice for life's sake. That's a pattern we see replicated throughout the ancient world. J G Frazer wrote his lengthy anthropological study, The Golden Bough, around the idea of the Dying God - a lifegiver who voluntarily dies for the sake of the people. It was incumbent upon the King to die at the right and proper time, because that was what heaven demanded, and fertility would not ensue if he did not do his royal duty of dying.

    Now, consider the opening sequence of Prometheus. We fly over a spectacular vista, which may or may not be primordial Earth. According to Ridley Scott, it doesn't matter. A lone Engineer at the top of a waterfall goes through a strange ritual, drinking from a cup of black goo that causes his body to disintegrate into the building blocks of life. We see the fragments of his body falling into the river, twirling and spiralling into DNA helices.

    Ridley Scott has this to say about the scene: 'That could be a planet anywhere. All he's doing is acting as a gardener in space. And the plant life, in fact, is the disintegration of himself. If you parallel that idea with other sacrificial elements in history - which are clearly illustrated with the Mayans and the Incas - he would live for one year as a prince, and at the end of that year, he would be taken and donated to the gods in hopes of improving what might happen next year, be it with crops or weather, etcetera.'

    Can we find a God in human history who creates plant life through his own death, and who is associated with a river? It's not difficult to find several, but the most obvious candidate is Osiris, the epitome of all the Frazerian 'Dying Gods'.
    And we wouldn't be amiss in seeing the first of the movie's many Christian allegories in this scene, either. The Engineer removes his cloak before the ceremony, and hesitates before drinking the cupful of genetic solvent; he may well have been thinking 'If it be Thy will, let this cup pass from me.'

    So, we know something about the Engineers, a founding principle laid down in the very first scene: acceptance of death, up to and including self-sacrifice, is right and proper in the creation of life. Prometheus, Osiris, John Barleycorn, and of course the Jesus of Christianity are all supposed to embody this same principle. It is held up as one of the most enduring human concepts of what it means to be 'good'.

    Seen in this light, the perplexing obscurity of the rest of the film yields to an examination of the interwoven themes of sacrifice, creation, and preservation of life. We also discover, through hints, exactly what the nature of the clash between the Engineers and humanity entailed.

    The crew of the Prometheus discover an ancient chamber, presided over by a brooding solemn face, in which urns of the same black substance are kept. A mural on the wall presents an image which, if you did as I asked earlier on, you will recognise instantly: the lifegiver with his abdomen torn open. Go and look at it here to refresh your memory. Note the serenity on the Engineer's face here.

    And there's another mural there, one which shows a familiar xenomorph-like figure. This is the Destroyer who mirrors the Creator, I think - the avatar of supremely selfish life, devouring and destroying others purely to preserve itself. As Ash puts it: 'a survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse or delusions of morality.'

    Through Shaw and Holloway's investigations, we learn that the Engineers not only created human life, they supervised our development. (How else are we to explain the numerous images of Engineers in primitive art, complete with star diagram showing us the way to find them?) We have to assume, then, that for a good few hundred thousand years, they were pretty happy with us. They could have destroyed us at any time, but instead, they effectively invited us over; the big pointy finger seems to be saying 'Hey, guys, when you're grown up enough to develop space travel, come see us.' Until something changed, something which not only messed up our relationship with them but caused their installation on LV-223 to be almost entirely wiped out.

    From the Engineers' perspective, so long as humans retained that notion of self-sacrifice as central, we weren't entirely beyond redemption. But we went and screwed it all up, and the film hints at when, if not why: the Engineers at the base died two thousand years ago. That suggests that the event that turned them against us and led to the huge piles of dead Engineers lying about was one and the same event. We did something very, very bad, and somehow the consequences of that dreadful act accompanied the Engineers back to LV-223 and massacred them.

    If you have uneasy suspicions about what 'a bad thing approximately 2,000 years ago' might be, then let me reassure you that you are right. An astonishing excerpt from the Movies.com interview with Ridley Scott:

    Movies.com: We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?
    Ridley Scott: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an "our children are misbehaving down there- scenario, there are moments where it looks like we've gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, "Let's send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it." Guess what? They crucified him.

    Yeah. The reason the Engineers don't like us any more is that they made us a Space Jesus, and we broke him. Reader, that's not me pulling wild ideas out of my arse. That's RIDLEY SCOTT.

    So, imagine poor crucified Jesus, a fresh spear wound in his side. Oh, hey, there's the 'lifegiver with his abdomen torn open' motif again. That's three times now: Prometheus, Engineer mural, Jesus Christ. And I don't think I have to mention the 'sacrifice in the interest of giving life' bit again, do I? Everyone on the same page? Good.

    So how did our (in the context of the film) terrible murderous act of crucifixion end up wiping out all but one of the Engineers back on LV-223? Presumably through the black slime, which evidently models its behaviour on the user's mental state. Create unselfishly, accepting self-destruction as the cost, and the black stuff engenders fertile life. But expose the potent black slimy stuff to the thoughts and emotions of flawed humanity, and 'the sleep of reason produces monsters'. We never see the threat that the Engineers were fleeing from, we never see them killed other than accidentally (decapitation by door), and we see no remaining trace of whatever killed them. Either it left a long time ago, or it reverted to inert black slime, waiting for a human mind to reactivate it.

    The black slime reacts to the nature and intent of the being that wields it, and the humans in the film didn't even know that they WERE wielding it. That's why it remained completely inert in David's presence, and why he needed a human proxy in order to use the stuff to create anything. The black goo could read no emotion or intent from him, because he was an android.

    Shaw's comment when the urn chamber is entered - 'we've changed the atmosphere in the room' - is deceptively informative. The psychic atmosphere has changed, because humans - tainted, Space Jesus-killing humans - are present. The slime begins to engender new life, drawing not from a self-sacrificing Engineer but from human hunger for knowledge, for more life, for more everything. Little wonder, then, that it takes serpent-like form. The symbolism of a corrupting serpent, turning men into beasts, is pretty unmistakeable.

    Refusal to accept death is anathema to the Engineers. Right from the first scene, we learned their code of willing self-sacrifice in accord with a greater purpose. When the severed Engineer head is temporarily brought back to life, its expression registers horror and disgust. Cinemagoers are confused when the head explodes, because it's not clear why it should have done so. Perhaps the Engineer wanted to die again, to undo the tainted human agenda of new life without sacrifice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr. Gonzo
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Originally posted by jboffer View Post
    I liked the movie as I watched it, though I was constantly second guessing things and questioning choices. But I enjoyed it still. Then I got home and started looking into theories behind the film. This was my favorite one. Warning: MASSIVE spoilers.

    http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/584135.html#cutid1
    This link isn't working for me... anyone else having this problem?

    Leave a comment:


  • schnipple
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Great time at the cinema. Been so long since I felt like I saw something original from a studio picture. Ridley Scott has some crazy images in his head. Glad he gets the money to put it up on the screen.

    Felt more like a futuristic mythology than sci-fi.

    Thought all the performances were fine. The story delivered just enough mystery as well as answers for those who care to piece together the clues.

    Things I didn't like were them taking off the helmet. Seemed odd for scientists to do that. The biologist (?) trying to pet the alien snake. Thought it was funny but a little too slapstick. Also, nobody seeming to care that Shaw just gave birth to a strange creature. Guess they had to forget it to thread it back in at the end.

    Still, the images were more than just spectacle, they seemed to hold some kind of primordial, mythical quality. Some of the visuals and sequences were powerful. Ridley Scott is just on another level as a visual storyteller. True master director.

    Leave a comment:


  • Signal30
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Originally posted by jboffer View Post
    "Also shamelessly stolen are characters, concepts, themes, and designs from Dark City, Contact, Stargate, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

    If you have to name that many movies Prometheus is "stealing" from, is it actually stealing anymore? I can point to 99% of movies and say "that character has been done in X." "That concept was done in X." "That design is similar to X." What a stretch.
    The space jockey in Alien was lifted from Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires, (IIRC, about forty minutes in) along with some pretty direct visual nods and some narrative elements. With Prometheus Scott returns to the well and riffs a few more times on the flick (I'm thinking the sudden change in spacesuit design towards the climax...all the sudden they go with pleather suits with red piping when fighting off the space zombie).

    Leave a comment:


  • jboffer
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Originally posted by minty_fresh_uk View Post
    I agree with pretty much every word of this review:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddis...-epic-failure/

    By the way, someone here must have read the script. What does David say to the Engineer, in the unsubtitled line of dialogue?
    "Lindelof has helped craft what is arguably the most profound underachievement in the history of sci-fi cinema."

    What a blow hard.

    "Also shamelessly stolen are characters, concepts, themes, and designs from Dark City, Contact, Stargate, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

    If you have to name that many movies Prometheus is "stealing" from, is it actually stealing anymore? I can point to 99% of movies and say "that character has been done in X." "That concept was done in X." "That design is similar to X." What a stretch.

    As for characters behaving stupid, yeah. They do. I'd say in almost every film you're yelling at the characters for making bad choices. There are a lot here, but get over it.

    He then complains that it's not like Alien when it's a completely separate movie in the same universe.

    Look, Prometheus wasn't amazing, but that review is a joke. It's like the credits rolled and he immediately typed up the review and hit "publish" without taking a second to even think about the film and its themes.

    Leave a comment:


  • minty_fresh_uk
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    I agree with pretty much every word of this review:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddis...-epic-failure/

    By the way, someone here must have read the script. What does David say to the Engineer, in the unsubtitled line of dialogue?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mortal_Remains
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Ebert has zero credibility when it comes to objectively scoring science-fiction. Dude gave four stars to AVATAR and STRANGE DAYS, for fvck's sake.
    Both movies are better than Prometheus in my opinion. And say what you will about Avatar's stereotypical character's and unoriginal plot. It doesn't have the plot holes Prometheus does.

    Leave a comment:


  • jboffer
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    I liked the movie as I watched it, though I was constantly second guessing things and questioning choices. But I enjoyed it still. Then I got home and started looking into theories behind the film. This was my favorite one. Warning: MASSIVE spoilers.

    http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/584135.html#cutid1

    Leave a comment:


  • Biohazard
    replied
    Re: 'Prometheus' offers oozing sci-fi spectacle, early reviews say...

    Originally posted by Steven R View Post
    That man wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. If that man doesn't know anything about movies, who does I ask you...who does?
    He canned Raising Arizona and praised Revenge of the Sith, so please forgive me while I never pay attention to another word that comes out of his scrambled, idiotic, pointless brain ever again.


    Originally posted by MacG View Post
    Ebert has zero credibility when it comes to objectively scoring science-fiction. Dude gave four stars to AVATAR and STRANGE DAYS, for fvck's sake.
    I liked both films.

    But it's incredibly disheartening to know the man can't even count to five.

    Leave a comment:

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