Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by RoJoHen, Mar 25, 2014.
I rather liked Prometheus and I'm looking forward to the sequel.
You are absolutely right that Damon Lindelof shouldn't be primarily to blame. As a film director myself, I unequivocally agree with the fact that films are a director's medium. I've directed four short films and I completely take responsibility for them. I once made a film that many criticized for being confusing and while I defended it, I also recognized how people could have been confused and I took accountability for it.
I didn't mean to trivialize the level of involvement a director has when it comes to feature films nor was it my intention to undercut the authority and vision of Ridley Scott, who is very much responsible for the decisions he made in Prometheus. To be honest, I've noticed a decline in quality from Scott over the past few years - I've had mixed feelings on The Counselor, Robin Hood, Body of Lies, Kingdom of Heaven and the list continues. Before Prometheus came out, I was hopeful that we would see a return to form for Scott by coming back to the Alien franchise - I love Scott's earlier work such as Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma & Louise and Gladiator. Heck, I even adore Hannibal for its stylishness even though I think the script is mediocre.
That brings me to the script. I'm not sure if Scott has become less sharp in his old age, but there are times when as directors we don't often notice things that we should. Scott as a visualist is still sharp as ever: Prometheus was an amazing looking film and all of his films to date have looked splendid. However, there are times when I'm not sure if Scott is on the top of his game anymore when it comes to understanding a decent & coherent story. I've felt this way for the longest time. Honestly, I started to exhibit doubts about Scott as a storyteller (but not as a visualist) after Hannibal ironically enough. Black Hawk Down and Matchstick Men were fun movies, but like I said earlier I haven't genuinely liked a Ridley Scott movie in a long time.
I also realize that directing is as much bringing the story to fruition as it is choosing the right actors or determining the color platette. There's a lot that goes along with directing. I also understand that Scott, as the director, is chiefly in charge of all of these components when it comes to directing a film. Like I mentioned before, I think Scott is as sharp as ever when it comes to getting good performances out of his actors or making a film look good, but I'm just not sure if he's equally sharp when it comes to storytelling or script decisions.
Enter Damon Lindelof, who I don't really even blame for Lost as I never really watched that show. However, I've never really been a fan of Lindelof as a writer. I thought Cowboys & Aliens was rubbish (which is a shame since Jon Favreau is usually a really strong director), World War Z was disappointing and the less said about Star Trek Into Darkness the better. It's strange because I loved the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek film (which didn't have Lindelof as a writer) but once Lindelof was brought into the fold I noticed a weird discrepancy in quality. I find Prometheus and Star Trek Into Darkness similar in a strange way because I think both Ridley Scott and J.J. Abrams are strong directors but both those films share a common link: Damon Lindelof. I'm not saying Lindelof should be primarily blamed for both Prometheus and Star Trek Into Darkness, but once I start to notice a reoccurring trend I start to make grand assumptions, which I probably shouldn't do. Although I do think Into Darkness suffered partially because of Lindelof. Abrams is to blame too, just as Scott is to blame for Prometheus. He probably thought he was making good storytelling decisions, although I also think Lindelof is to blame for planting a lot of those ideas in the first place.
Prometheus 2 is being re-written by one of the co-writers of Green Lantern, so I'm not sure if I should feel more optimistic about the sequel or less. It might not validate what I'm saying about Lindelof, but hopefully I've made my point well enough. I didn't mean to put all the blame on Lindelof, but I have started to notice a trend where he's attached to movies that I don't think are all that great. That's just my opinion, though, so take it for what you will.
All of these are fair criticisms of the film - but it was still good IMO.
I'm curious, do you have the same criticisms of JJ Abrams as a director and story teller? Arguably, ST: Into the Darkness was no better or worse in terms of a story. In fact, ITD ripped off many elements from Wrath of Khan - yet he's viewed in Hollywood as, 'genius enough,' to revive the great franchise in movie history - Wars - for the masses.
Again, I think people have to high of expectations of Scott based on his past films e.g. Blade Runner.
Prometheus - had it been made by any other director - would have been labeled as a good film.
This person says it better than I could. Also remembering the whole Pocahontas story rip off that the whole film was based on.
So the plotholes are basically "I don't like the way this was done, so therefore PLOT HOLE!!!!"
Yeah, that's not what "plot hole" means.
I like J.J. Abrams as a director, just like how I enjoy Ridley Scott as a director. Even though I haven't really enjoyed a Ridley Scott movie in some time, I still love his earlier work and even some of his later work (such as Hannibal, Matchstick Men and American Gangster).
As for Abrams, I've loved every film he's done prior to Star Trek Into Darkness. I still think the Mission: Impossible movie he directed remains the best movie in that series (as much as I love Brad Bird's Ghost Protocol). I absolutely loved Super 8 and as I stated before I'm a big fan of Abrams' first Star Trek movie. That's why I was surprised that I didn't enjoy Into Darkness - and while I do partially blame Abrams for that one, I also attribute Damon Lindelof to some of that (after all, he was the one that came up with the idea to feature Khan as the villain).
That's why I mentioned before the link between the two films being Damon Lindelof. I don't think he should be primarily to blame for both movies, but I think he's a decent-sized reason for why they are both lackluster. Then again, in all fairness, I think Into Darkness also suffered largely because of Abrams - his whole "mystery box" approach to filmmaking can have its merits, but I do believe the whole Khan debacle turned a lot of people off. Especially since nearly everyone knew Benedict Cumberbatch was playing Khan in the film - fans were speculating before he was even cast. So Abrams could have handled that a lot better. I am curious to see if he changes things up a bit for Star Wars but we'll see. Not everything needs to be kept secret. But that's another topic for another conversation.
I find it shocking that Avatar even had a plot! I have seen it three times and still don't know how they can make three more movies to it.
Bob texted me from the first day of Prometheus showing in the UK with the single word "stupidtastic". Having seen it for the first time last week, I can only concur. My thoughts about a sequel are that if they follow the quest for the Engineers' homeworld then they can only come up with the resolution that they took the toxic bioform home there and the searchers find similar devastation with something nasty in the background followed by running away - dying - one person left and a bit of an android. If they follow the trajectory of where the Engineers went after this devastated world then they will come across a world of devastation with something nasty lurking in it, followed by running away - dying - one person left with a bit of an android for company.
Since we're at least going sub-orbital on peripheral topics, it's worth mentioning that Aliens played up this trope in spades, but it didn't really suffer from it one bit.
^ Also a Cameron film, unsurprisingly.
These two posts sum up my exact feelings on the subject. Was it flawed at times? Sure. But the entire story was very intriguing, and I got the feeling that from the get-go, Scott/Lindelof has a bigger story in mind that couldn't be told in one movie, so they left things out just in case. Maybe the a great idea, but it definatly made me want more.
I enjoyed the movie. I was a bit annoyed by the ending, but it sorts of feels like the ending to Alien with the climax of the alien in the escape pod, then Ripley plays with the cat and goes to sleep. It goes obviously is setting up a sequel, so it feels incomplete.
Yes but to borrow a line from the aforementioned Aliens film, "I saw we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure." Which was the plan they intended to use until things went a little awray.
That would only support my point that the use itself of anachronistic weapons in Aliens wasn't a liability to the film (and that therefore it would be a double-standard to fault Avatar for that without also faulting Aliens), except that that's not the way Aliens unfolded anyway. In their initial engagement, the space marines in Aliens were officially limited to flamethrowers, and their best weapons were pulse rifles and grenades.
That's why my remarks were directed only at the aspect of DarthTom's that I actually quoted, his so-called "Plot contrivance", which did not include his so-called "Major Plot hole" that they didn't consider bombing from higher altitude. That "Major Plot hole" is a valid criticism of Avatar, which is why I didn't quote it and direct criticism at it.
Totally agree with this! I wanted that mystery aspect..like Forbidden planet. lets hope when she gets to the engineer world, theres a huge mystery there, and makes her have to leave to find where they went..or something that makes the story more indepth and provides those ah ha! moments related back to Alien.
We're getting pretty far off topic, but I don't get how the weaponry in Avatar was all that anachronistic. It's only 150 odd years from now. Are people expecting phasers just because they've cracked cloning, genetic engineering, cryonics and interstellar flight? Because that'd be very silly.
Also, it's not as if what we saw were some elite, top of the line military outfit. They're all ex-military working corporate security to babysit a bunch of miners and scientists, guarding against the local wildlife and natives armed with stone age technology.
If Prometheus 2 is happening, then it had better be a thought-out movie unlike the first.
The opening of Prometheus proven to be true:
An ancient virus may be the reason human stem cells can transform
The first one was too rushed. The film starts off too slowly and just explodes into madness all of a sudden leaving the watcher a bit clueless..
It went from being quite an interesting concept to Gore and guts and it just bothered me.
So yes, With better planning a second one could be good.
If anything else it should be entertaining.
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