PROMETHEUS - Grade and Discuss

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Roshi, May 30, 2012.

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Prometheus - Poll

Poll closed May 30, 2013.
  1. A +

    6.9%
  2. A

    11.6%
  3. A -

    13.8%
  4. B +

    18.5%
  5. B

    14.2%
  6. B -

    9.1%
  7. C +

    8.2%
  8. C

    3.4%
  9. C -

    6.5%
  10. D

    5.2%
  11. F

    2.6%
  1. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. I just kept thinking... oh, this character is doing this because they need to ramp up the "conflict."

    It was as arbitrary as one of them throwing a fit because there wasn't fresh orange juice on the ship or something. The person who put together this crew should be fired.

    But the conversations I'm having is about the poor quality of the story telling not about the STORY or the IDEAS. I don't think that was his intention, to have poorly crafted characters doing dumb things in order to move the story along.
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps thats your conversation. Most of those I'm talking to online as well as everyday are about the story and ideas.
     
  3. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Great! Most of those I'm talking to not only think the characters were crap but the story and the ideas were treated superficially.
     
  4. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    Loved it. I thought it was Ridley's best since Blade Runner 30 years ago. Welcome back to sci fi, Mr Scott, we missed you! If you take it, not as an Alien film, but as a Ridley Scott film, and watch it for its own merits, you'll enjoy it a lot more.

    It was better than any of the movies in the franchise since Aliens. Better than 3 and Resurrection, waaaay better than the AVP movies.

    Why did it take him so long to return to sci fi, and the franchise he established? Thanks, Ridley!
     
  5. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    I thought it was great. It will likely be one of my movies of the year, too.

    It's on par with Alien, in my opinion. Better than Aliens, and 3 and 4.
     
  6. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Prometheus isn't anywhere near as bad as Nemesis at least:)

    As for a sequel, who knows. The film's clearly taking a lot of money even with lukewarm reviews, so maybe he will get to folow this up.

    Although I'm not sure I want to see a film where Noomi Rapace and Fassbender's head visit the engineers' homeworld and engage in a 2 hour flute conversation about the nature of existance...

    Yeah I agree, none of the characters seemed to behave in a remotely consistant way and everything they did seemed to just be whatever the story required them to do at that point- David infecting Hollaway in order to lead us to the pregnancy/C-Section scene, which in turn led to a monster in the escape pod which was handy for Shaw to use to kill the engineer at the end of the film being the prime example.

    As a narrative thread it falls at the first hurdle because it seems to have been written backwards so it doesn't feel organic (pardon the pun) it just feels really contrived because we have no idea why David infected Hollaway in the first place, so what we're left with is the only reasonable conclusion: David infected Hollaway because how else would Shaw kill the engineer at the end.
    How can we not take it as an Alien film? Everything about it referenced the Alien franchise and the other films; from David's Ressurection basketball homage to the flame throwers and Vickers (Ripley) not wanting to let an infected crewmember back on the ship, to the C-Section scene standing in for a chest burster, to a manipulative android who ends up only a head while he fills in the blanks of the story to a finale where the ship blows up and the heroine escapes in a lifeboat and is then menaced again by the Alien/Engineer before she jets off to an uncertain future leaving a message playing that she's the last survivor of the Nostromo/Prometheus...

    Oh yeah, and then something thatr looks very much like a bloody Alien turns up at the end!

    Another problem, for me, with Prometheus is that it isn't Alien related enough to work as an Alien film, but its too Alien related to work as a stand alone film.

    It is at least a lot better than Ressurection or AVP2, and probably better than AVP (though that's really down to the budget given AVP is perhaps the film it has most in common with.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I don't agree at all. I've never even seen Alien, Aliens, Alien vs. Predator, or Alien vs. Predator 2: Requiem, and I haven't seen Alien³ or Alien Resurrection since I was around 11 or 12, so I have almost no real conception of what an "Alien movie" is, yet I thought Prometheus worked just fine as a standalone film that happened to also be connected to these other films I haven't seen.

    God knows I've been tough on Prometheus in this thread, but Prometheus's flaws are all completely its own. Its relationship to Alien is not one of them.
     
  8. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Ok let me rephrase that, too Alien related to work as a standalone film for people who've actually watched the other entries in the franchise!

    I can't beleive you've never seen an Alien film!!!

    I recommend you start with AVP2...
     
  9. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have to disagree. The relationship to Alien is the cause of some of them. There's character beats and plot points that only exist because they're homaging similar moments from the prior Alien films but, having been stripped of their original context, make no sense when they show up in Prometheus. We know that the original screenplay was a direct Alien prequel before Lindhof rewrote it to distance it from the first film, and I suspect that some of the really "WTF?" scenes are remains of the original version. Example: the scene in the egg chamb...sorry, weapons silo where Millburn and Fifield die because they're idiots recreates the facehugger scene with John Hurt in the original film. The rows of canisters stand in for the alien eggs, the hammerpede replaces the facehugger and Millburn's moronic provocation of said alien is basically Hurt's dumb space trucker sticking his face in the egg and getting a tentacle down his throat because he doesn't know any better.

    In the original, this was the vector for getting the xenomorph onboard the Nostromo and therefore served a story purpose. I'm almost certain that it was a facehugger scene in the original Prometheus script; the beats are just too similar for it to be coincidence. Only Scott decided to make this not-an-Alien-prequel and so all the serial numbers were filed off and the xenomorph removed, leaving the scene as a vestigial plot appendix, the sole contribution of which is to now make the two supposed scientists look like morons. They die, the scene is never referenced again*, and it should have been removed from the script entirely but for some reason wasn't. It's dumb, and it wouldn't be there if it wasn't for the other movies doing it too.


    *Except in the Zombie Fifield scene, but that comes out of nowhere and is never mentioned afterwards either. Seriously, you could edit those two characters and their death scenes out of the movie entirely and it wouldn't affect a damn thing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  10. Roshi

    Roshi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wish we had seen Fifield walking/moving with his legs above his shoulders!
     
  11. trekkiebaggio

    trekkiebaggio Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just saw it last night, I was disappointed. It had some cool concepts and nice visuals, some scenes were intense but overall it never quite clicked.
     
  12. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This has to be one of the silliest nitpicks to claim the science of an entire movie is bad. Like I said earlier, this is a single throwaway line by a character that isn't exactly an astrophysicist to begin with.

    I liken this line to the one from the original Alien where Dallas says the space jockey corpse was "fossilized". There are many extremely rare conditions under which fossilization occurs, but being above ground exposed to the air is not one of them. He would have been more correct in saying the corpse was preserved by the cold, or something along those lines.

    I am not sure if this was posted, but it is an interesting read:

    10 Things You Didn't Know About the Design of Prometheus

    So apparently Serenity was not the inspiration for Prometheus. :)

    Eh. I'm probably the only person here who really wasn't bothered by the old Weyland makeup. I knew it was fake when I saw him, but thought, "Eh, it's a 200 year-old guy". The film makers obviously can't cast a 200 year-old actor, and someone old enough to look like he's 200 probably wouldn't be healthy enough to film.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  13. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :eek: NEVER see Alien or Aliens? Get YEE TO A DVD PLAYER.

    They are fucking CLASSICS. THOSE are great movies.
     
  14. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While I agree the reappearance of the squid at the end was a bit silly and contrived (not helped by Shaw screaming "DIE!!" right beforehand), the rest of it I thought flowed in a pretty natural way.

    David infected Hollaway because he was ordered to by Weyland, the virus was transmitted to Shaw through sex, and she then has the creature removed from her in a freaky operation.

    It's no more ridulous than the sequence of events in the original movie (where a guy gets a creature stuck to his face, a second creature pops out of his stomach, and hours later it's suddenly 8 feet tall and killing the entire crew off).

    And yeah, while it does seem odd that neither she nor Hollaway told anybody about their infections, that can just be chalked up to them not wanting to be locked away in quarantine for the rest of the trip (a trip they've been dreaming of their entire lives). And she had no reason to believe the squid would grow to the mammoth proportions that it did.
     
  15. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Commander Red Shirt

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    First, I want to say that I really liked the movie. I think I gave it an A-. It could be better, but I am very interested in seeing a sequel (or two), and am interested in seeing more elements from this one (maybe an unofficial director's cut, since Ridley seems ambiguous about a different cut given the multiple quotes he has had about deleted scenes).

    I have to disagree with several points here. While I agree there are a lot of bits that should have been different (the scientists should have done more surveying/quarantine setup/better choice of crew), they weren't, and I think that the movie works well in spite of these nitpicks. Additionally I would be really surprised if there wasn't a scene in the original screenplay, the storyboards, or even in the deleted scenes that show at least some surveying. Given Ridley's attention to detail, I find it hard to believe that he would let them get by with just stumbling across the alien site in the first 5 minutes. I think it just got cut out for pacing and to keep the wonderful visuals contiguous. (Anyone out there have the script? Did Greg Cox work on the novelization? Is there a novelization?)

    The biggest real problem is the inconsistent actions: mainly the biologist and geologist flaking out and the biologist not being interested and then being really interested in alien lifeforms. But minor side characters being unimportant and killed off, I don't so much mind their characterization. Sure a perfect movie would have not had this problem, but this isn't perfect (unfortunately).

    Some other points raised here and by others I think simply miss some of the key elements of the movie. David is experimenting - he doesn't inherently care about these people, he doesn't have empathy or other emotions or a "soul", so as instructed by Weyland he is trying harder to find the Engineers or their biological technology. He infects Holloway as an experiment to see what happens...not to have Shaw infected, to have a facehugger, to defeat the Engineer. Those just happened. You can call it coincidence, Checkov's Gun, a story coming full circle, or whatever you would like that the giant facehugger is there; but I don't think this element was poorly written, if you pay attention to character motivation it had a logical starting point.

    Some other specific points:

    1. Given the focus on thriller moments and body horror here, I don't think we will have a 2-hour sequel of people talking about philosophical ideas. Like this movie, we will probably get some initial mentions of these ideas, and some follow-up on them, but a majority of alien action.

    2. Shaw and David don't focus on the c-section and the 'baby' because as soon as Shaw runs into anyone else afterward, she finds that Weyland is alive, there is still an Engineer alive, and they are going to meet him. Though important, the whole "science experiment" that David was running on Shaw pales in comparison with the potential to get all the answers. I think from that point out she is going with them for the potential to answer the big questions but is the only one prepared for what happens; she is the only one who realizes what is really going on, and how bad the situation is - everyone else is lapdogging for Weyland.

    2b. I think the deleted scenes will probably have a lot of the little scenes that answer the little questions or show the small character reactions/interactions that are potentially missing in the final film (maybe including why the engineer head exploded...). Yeah, they tightened the narrative maybe a little too much by cutting down the run time, but it does focus the movie on the more important themes even if it does leave some lingering questions that put some people off. It isn't like we haven't seen over-editing with any other movies ever (Kingdom of Heaven, Metropolis).

    3. This is definitely an Alien movie. It is not the straight-up horror movie that Alien was; it is not the action-horror movie that Aliens was; it is a philosophical scifi-horror movie. I think in this way it fits in perfect with at least the first two Alien movies.

    One interesting item I have read: someone pointed out on the web that the scene where Fitfield (the geologist) returns infected is out-of-sequence from where it goes according to the script. You can apparently tell from some of the trailer footage that it originally occurs as the away team with Weyland is about to head to the alien ship, and that Shaw is the one who drives the vehicle over the body. I would really like to see this scene where it originally stood, because as other than an action beat, it doesn't serve much of a purpose where it is now.

    I liken this movie to The Matrix Reloaded: a good follow-up (though a prequel) to an amazing movie, that expands the mythology, has lots of good visuals and a good overall movie, and leaves tons of very interesting questions for pondering. Hopefully, unlike the Matrix Revolutions, the follow-up movie won't completely drop the ball.
     
  16. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Commander Red Shirt

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    Since this has happened at least twice now, I am beginning to think (mostly jokingly) that the Alien DNA acts a lot more like plants. They could absorb CO2 from the air to make up their increasing body mass. Since they seem to capture people to use their bodies as fodder for facehuggers, they don't seem to eat people for mass/protein. How they are held together, and where they get their energy are other questions. (They are black, so maybe they photosynthesize really well?)

    (Anyone know if they are silicone based? Because if so, this idea doesn't hold water.)
     
  17. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must almost add my voice to this. WATCH THESE MOVIES, save your soul.
     
  18. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Except that's not what plants do at all. CO2 is used in photosynthesis to make glucose. Plants absorb the material to grow from the ground. :)

    Cool! When do we get the tie-in video game, anime, and mmo?
     
  19. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting. It's a shame the scene was inserted so awkwardly into the movie, because the scene ITSELF I thought was a very cool and effective one.
     
  20. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Commander Red Shirt

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    Hmm, you sure? I am no plant biologist but a quick check in Wikipedia says:

    "Most of the solid material in a plant is taken from the atmosphere. Through a process known as photosynthesis, most plants use the energy in sunlight to convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, plus water, into simple sugars...Plants usually rely on soil primarily for support and water (in quantitative terms), but also obtain compounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other crucial elemental nutrients."

    That seems to be saying that other than water, the majority of the final biomass comes from the atmosphere with specific needs from the soil.