Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Roshi, May 30, 2012.
The long awaited game, it's been what 6 years since it was first announced?
^^^ What game?
Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Ah! Oops - missed that in the prior post.
Apologies for not having had chance to read the whole thread but my first reaction thoughts:
Ahhhh. Prometheus, I'd read the reviews. I knew that as a Scott film it would almost certainly be very pretty but as shallow as a puddle (the original Alien is ironically one of the few exceptions, probably because the script was mostly worked out before his involvement) but it still wound up a disappointment.
So the big message of the film is: "God" is probably a dick. Yeah, anyone who's noticed any of human history will likely have worked that out. Hell, anyone who's seen Star Trek V will know that.
But OK, despite the pretentions the film had no real depth to it. But I was expecting that. And it was pretty (even if the new monsters were generally a bit dull). And I liked the twist that the Space Jockey had been wearing a space suit all along. Though as giant blue men they seemed to be the guys from Avatar if they became really pissed off skin heads.
Where it fell down, and fell down badly was the characters. Every, single one of them was a complete moron. The first thing we see in the film is skinhead Na'Vi comiting suicide because he can't think of another way to mix up his species DNA with weird ¤¤¤¤ and put it in the water. And he winds up being one of the smarter characters. In the rest of the film we get:
"Hey, I'm taking my helmet off!"
"Whoops, we've gotten lost despite have mapped the place and no one has noticed we're didn't make it back until the people who set out after us made it back to the ship!"
"I'M GOING BACK FOR THE HEAD!!!"
"I'll just put this weird ¤¤¤¤ in your drink and then leave you too it. Even though I've already worked out these are WMD's and it could turn you into something that's a threat to me as much as anyone else".
"Hey, we know something killed all these big strong scary blue men but we'll act like Nedry in Jurassic Park when we see something that the directer clearly told us is supposed to be amazing and cute looking but the effects company made look like an evil penis".
"I'll abandon my watch to go shag Charlize Theron so no one will know those two idiots are in trouble till it's too late" [I'm tempted to let Elba off for this though].
"Even though I want your EVIL MUTANT BABY for my own EVIL ends I'll tell you the news in such a way as to scare the living crap out of you just for ¤¤¤¤s and giggles. And once you've cut it out of yourself no one will bother to go check on it". [And was the Scottish doctor in on it?]
"Well, I've just woken up after 2000 years and am surrounded by my creations, who could be in unknown numbers with unknown weapons. So rather than trying to lull them into a false sense of security and finding out the exact situation before making my move I'll kill kill those here and just hope I don't turn out to be out classed before carrying on my mission rather than maybe going home and checking in first even though it's been 2000 years"
And that's just some of them.
What was the point of Theron's character? Her getting off the ship made it look as if there was going to be a final cat fight- which might at least have been fun- but she's instantly crushed to death and basically winds up contributing nothing (there's some vague hints of a "real child" Vs "Built child" thing but it's basically restricted to two short scenes). After all, Elba could have just ejected the life pod thing for Shaw. And why cast Guy Pierce as an old man with a bad make up job rather than just casting an old man?
After the hour mark it got to the point where the only thing I was left looking forward too was how it was all going to end with everything set up for the first one. OK, where are the eggs going to come from, how is the Space Jockey going to get back to his ship and in the chair, what's the origin of the signal... And I didn't even get that much. The ending wound up leaving me really confused until a friend explained to me it's not the same planet as in the first one. I didn't actually believe him at first. Do those ships just crash a lot then? What the hell was the point of doing it as an Alien prequel at all if it doesn't even have that much going for it? I'd have been fine with a completely standalone film with no real links beyond a vague shared Universe but including stuff that seemed to be leading to the first one felt self defeating and confusing on that score.
And it was mildly annoying the very well thought out Alien life cycle (OK, ripped straight from nature but still more thought through than most space monsters get) was thrown out here for something sillier. "It's magic goo that will do any old ¤¤¤¤ as long as people are stupid enough to finger it". The final shot actually felt like something Fox insisted on because they thought you couldn't do an Alien film without an Alien in it.
Frankly, Alien Vs. Predator was better than this, at least it was silly fun. Hell, I've not seen Requiem yet but considering it's presumably shorter and has Michelle off 24 in it it's likely to annoy me a lot less.
"Doctor Elisabeth Shaw" would probably have seemed a nice (presumably intentional but who knows?) Doctor Who homage if I hadn't seen this the same week Caroline John died making it feel like two hours of pissing on her grave.
Despite the mixed reaction and my own disappointment I can see this doing a Blade Runner though and going on to be seen as a classic down the line. Mainly because those of us who didn't like it are going to forget it very quickly but those who loved it will be championing it hard for years to come.
For me....My gripe was not the themes it attempted to take on. For me, Prometheus failed because it asked the audience/fan base to explain plot holes rather than simply tighten up the story before shooting began.
On the Alien boards, you've got defenders as well as naysayers all trying to explore the problems of the movie. Take for instance the two science officers who get lost. Yet, the ship has the entire complex completely mapped out. Surely the captain should've spent some time guiding the biologist and geologist back to a safe spot. Lets not even get started on the fact that the story sees the expert on rocks...the geologist get lost. Very sloppy. These are just a few tidbits a script doctor would've identified and ironed out.
As for those saying Shaw was a bad scientist. Into this I think she has an agenda. I think she has also been compromised by this. And, it gets the better of her. As does witnessing her lover burnt to death, being drugged, attacked by the crew and of course becoming a mother to a very nasty offspring. She emerges, to me, as a very interesting character that becomes difficult to swallow. She doesn't alert Vickers about the alien on board which is odd considering strict quarantine rules. But then again, why would she - she's drugged, clinging onto memories of her parents and figures if Vickers is prepared to scorch her boyfriend then she might be signing her own death warrant by calling the alarm.
But you see, I am filling-in. Its a sign of a bad movie when the audience have to do this. Filling in the gaps.
Finally watched this over the weekend. I can't say that I enjoyed it; I think the word that comes to mind is "bland".
What I would have really liked to see was an exploration of why the Engineers would feel as they did about humanity. Personally, I think it was a play on the definition of "alien". In the mind of the Engineers, humanity were the xenomorphs; freak mutations who are smaller in stature than the Engineers but dangerous in their own right.
Prometheus was a monster movie just like the original Alien. However, the humans were the monsters while the Engineer was the lone surviving hero trying to destroy the human infestation before it moved on to his home planet.
Yes. Yes we did. It is a horror movie after all. And honestly, the movie doesn't have much going for it besides some inventive, horrific alien gore.
Agreed. That made no sense considering they have no way of determining whether or not there are any deadly alien viruses in the air. Granted, I could see how perhaps some crewmembers could be that foolhardy but I expected others to show some caution.
As for the two guys that got lost, I just assumed that they didn't think to check for directions until after the storm hit and it was too dangerous for them to leave.
But mostly, I think they were all just breathing in that funny stupid gas from The Cabin in the Woods.
I was wondering about that. I suspect there's a deleted scene somewhere that's either a flashback to when he was younger or a scene where the Engineers actually do rejuvenate him for some reason. But that's just a guess.
Agreed. Alien left me with some questions that I've been eagerly wondering about for years. Prometheus answers a couple questions I had about the space jockey but mostly just left me with more questions. I feel more confused now than I was before. Especially since the questions that Alien left me with were incidental. I didn't need to know the answers in order to just enjoy Alien for what it was. But since Prometheus deliberately sets itself up as a search for answers, it is very thin on providing them. Not only do I still not know where the Xenomorphs or the eggs came from, but I also have no idea what the rest of that alien goo was, what it was for, who that guy at the beginning was, or why he poisoned himself.
That's because Ridley set it up as an intended trilogy - and you don't give all the answers in part 1 of a trilogy. But if a trilogy (or even a sequel) didn't happen, Ridley also wanted to frame things in such a way that the answers were right in front of you - you just had to bring your brain into the theater with you and "read between the lines."
OK, Borgified, to sum up what we've all been speculating/analyzing:
The guy at the beginning, one of the Engineers, was on prehistoric Earth circa the beginning of the Cambrian Era (650 million years ago). His self-poisoning was a religious/terraforming ritual [The upcoming Director's Cut will make this more explicit] intended to jump-start the evolution of the primitive one-celled life already present on Earth, via a combination of the mutagenic black goo and the Engineer's DNA. Hence the planet is "seeded" with a variety of complex plant and animal life. One of those forms of life, after nearly all of that 650 million years (and at least two asteroid-caused "reset buttons"), assumes a sentient form almost (but not quite) identical to the Engineers. Noting this, the Engineers visit Earth repeatedly beginning in the Stone Age, setting themselves up as the "gods" Man will come to worship and spurring the development of human civilization (presumably along the lines of their own). The first of these civilizations, the Sumerian Empire, is the closest to the Engineers' own (including written/spoken language). Recurrent throughout their lessons to early man is what only their modern-day descendants would recognize as a starchart leading to the Engineers' home star system.
Somewhere around the 1st century AD, the Engineers (for reasons as yet known only to themselves) change their minds about Man and decide to hit the reset button on Earth a third time. A ship is readied to take off from the Engineers' scientific/military outpost on LV-223 with a bioweapon cargo intended to eradicate Man and (presumably) steer what life is left on Earth in a direction more to the Engineers' liking. ("Sometimes to create, one must first destroy.") Yet the weapon they create, using a variant of the same black goo mutagen used ages ago and the DNA of a different alien lifeform (the green "amber" in the temple's central chamber), proves too deadly for even the Engineers to handle. All but one in the outpost are killed, the sole survivor already in cryosleep when the outbreak happened and thus was spared. Following this disaster, the Engineers briefly resume their God identities on Earth, starting over with the primitive natives of Central and South America, before finally washing their hands of us somewhere around 700 AD.
While it's not made explicit in Prometheus, we're clearly supposed to believe what we know as the Xenomorph "Alien" was the product of a different-but-similiar bioweapon experiment of the Engineers intended for another of their seeded worlds, one that apparently predated the LV-223 project by some considerable time and, again, proved too much for the Engineer in the ship that crashed on LV-426 to handle. What we see happen to Holloway/Shaw/the Engineer in the film is what presumably would have happened on 1st century Earth to the whole human race had that ship made it with its cargo. And, like it or not, that's as close to an Alien prequel/setup as we're probably going to get. The main questions the two sequels now aim to answer are: Why did the Engineers decide to destroy us way back when? Do they still intend to destroy us? Were we crafted for some specific purpose, or did they make us "just because we could"? Were we a mistake?
They should've nuked from above. It would be the only way to be sure.
^ To quote Ripley, "I saw we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."
I couldn't disagree more. The last thing you want to bring into a viewing of Prometheus is your brain. The movie can be enjoyed as a dumb horror movie with A+ effects, but beyond that it's got nothing for your brain.
Any attempt to *think* about this film simply reveals a mountain of plot holes, stupid characters, non-existent motivation, and general stupidty.
Right, if you don't like Prometheus and point out its many flaws it's just because you're too stupid and close-minded to comprehend its obvious brilliance. Or at the opposite extreme if you disliked the Transformers films it's because you're unreasonable and expecting Shakespearean-quality deep, intellectual films. Those two complaints never get old.
I can come up with a hundred theories to try and make some sense out of the script and directing too, but at some point I have to ask myself when I get a writing credit because I'm doing a lot of work trying to salvage this train wreck of a story. I'm happy for you that you enjoyed the film for what it is and prefer to fill in those blanks yourself, but that doesn't make people stupid for thinking otherwise or not tolerating what they feel are plot holes and nonsense characters.
Movies have to be internally consistent even if they're part one of a trilogy. You can leave some mysteries hanging, but not everything, and especially not if you're going to couple that with poor pacing, badly written characters, and pseudo-intellectual mythological references that go nowhere.
Totally agree. I am gonna say it. Here I go. I loved Prometheus.
And its a big but.
I am fully aware, so frigging fully aware that the audience have to explain the story. They gotta do the fillin in. You gotta do that with a lotta movies. Suspend and imagine. Suspend and Imagine (sounds like a broadway musical number with Fosse type choreo). In the recent Star Trek you had to do that when the three officers space dive. Technically they'd all burn up on entry. But Suspend and Imagine. Fill-in-the-gaps. Maybe by then its possible/space gear/angle-blah-blah-blah. But with Prometheus there's too much of this going on. Yes its seems to be the first half of a trilogy but too much of the story and its logistics was left up to the audience member.
This for me illustrates a very weak story that required a few more months in development where for instance, a script doc woulda said "Ridley, mate...you got the geologist lost. A geologist getting lost wont go down at all. Rethink that one" and "Ridley, mate I love how you make Vickers a stickler for protocol-you've even got her scorching a guy due to quarantine and yet Shaw doesnt alert her fellow officers
about an alien presence on board".
It was technologically feasible in a much more primitive form by the 1960s, so it's not much of a stretch for 2250s spacesuit materials.
Plus, if you're not moving at orbital speeds you won't experience the same friction heating upon reentry, so you could do it in a more conventional pressure suit without heat shielding. Captain Pike's shuttle probably dropped them in the upper atmosphere.
I love the controversy... I really enjoyed the movie, there are definitely some flaws, but so far its the best summer movie Ive seen, I look forward to more "gap-filling" in the sequel(likely since it is approaching $300 million). Genuinely like a movie that doesn't explain everything to the audience!
With just over 100,000 ratings, Prometheus seems to be doing quite well on IMDB, with a 7.6 rating. I don't think the perception that it wasn't well received by the audience is reality.
what's the controversy?
Check out Moonrise Kingdom. It's fantastic.
I like those movies too. But the things that needed explaining are stupid... like why are their idiots on this mission. Unless, of course, the movie is satire.
Meh. Who cares. I'm not seeing the next one.
My biggest gripe is the crew...in Alien, the crew was portrayed as malcontents on a long, boring, even tedious journey, but they were crewman, not professionals in their scientific fields, I didn't understand why they were shown as malcontents as well...even if they didn't believe in the ultimate goal of the mission, they were there to do a job.
I think the elements that are in Prometheus make it even more interesting than the classic Alien movie, even with a few jumps in logic..
The controversy is about the choices made by Ridley not to explain much of what was happening...or leaving out concepts they talked about in great detail but left out. The religious and mythological aspects of the movie...and the origin of intelligent life on Earth. Why the engineers wanted Earth destroyed, et al.
What surprises me a great deal is...that RAMA and I liked the same film.
Well there have been maybe 4-5,000 SF movies made, we're bound to like oh, 17% of them...
Separate names with a comma.