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Prometheus, projected

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Mark Suszko
Prometheus, projected
on Jun 10, 2012 at 1:48:17 am

Okay, saw this today at a sparsely-attended early afternoon screening. Surprised me; I expected Avengers-level lines out the door.

It is most definitely a prequel to the other two Alien movies. That's right: I said there were ONLY TWO Alien movies made, just like there was only one Matrix movie made. I will brook no opiniond to the contrary.

Anyhow, this is a seamless integration into the cannon of those two films, from the plots to the art direction. While Scott gave away entirely too much in the trailers, there is enough unspoiled material left to satisfy you, with a few surprises. I strongly suggest you view the supplementary pieces on Weyland and David before going to the film, links are in the earlier Prometheus thread here. They will enhance your perceptions on characterizations in the film.

There are a few plot holes here and there, some of the secondary characters are thinly-drawn, but nothing that would absolutely ruin it for you. The 3-d is done with restraint and some delicacy: it works best for the long establishing shots in space and the planetary montages. You don't really *need* it to enjoy the film, though.

I found the ending entirely satisfying, in a classic SF novel kind of way, and reminiscent of Fred Saberhagen's style. Questions remain after the film that various audiences will inter[ret in different ways, either hopeful or cynical. I don't want to spoil the film too much yet so we can come back to that discussion in due time.

I liked it, it's worth going to.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Prometheus, projected
on Jun 11, 2012 at 3:27:41 pm

Prometheus was the second-biggest box-office draw this weekend, behind... Madagascar 3.

Oy.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Prometheus, projected
on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:12:33 pm

I thought Prometheus was just OK as I write this now. I actually had a much higher rating of it while I was watching it and immediately after I saw it. But every day that passes where I can think about it more and more makes me realize how nonsensical a lot of it was.

But to start with praise for the film, I thought it was visually PHENOMENAL. I loved the way that it was shot. I loved all the art direction and costume design. I thought the special effects were awesome. I was really fascinated by all the cool scientific gizmos used in the film. The floating balls that scanned the structural layout of the temple were particularly cool.

I agree that several characters were left rather thin. Especially Charlize Theron's character. Without going into spoiler territory, were you affected *at all* by her big reveal? I sure wasn't. It was not only one of the least impactful "twists" I've ever seen, but also the way they revealed it was on the level of daytime soap opera dialogue.

IMPORTANT QUESTION (before I forget): Was it just me, or did anyone else think that Weyland (played by Guy pierce), had *THE WORST* old man aging make-up you'd ever expect to see in a film like this? It looked awful. It was distracting. At some point, when you realize the makeup looks that comically bad, why don't you just cast an older actor to play the part? I've read that they originally had a scene with young Weyland that got cut from the final film, and that's why they used Guy Pierce. But I think this make-up was bad enough to warrant millions of dollars of re-shoots with an actor who was actually old. That was a little embarrassing to have such a bad piece of visual technology farting around among the otherwise beautiful elements of the film.

Absolutely agree that watching the David promotional material before seeing the film did wonders for characterization before going into it. I don't know how that could have fit into the beginning of the film's pacing (since it was sort of a long video), but it did nothing but enrich the David character, which I thought was the most interesting character in the entire film. And played masterfully by The Fassbender.

I think we need to start up a spoiler thread once more people have seen it around here, because my biggest criticisms are impossible to say without ruining plot points for those who haven't seen it. And I have a short list of things that were nonsensical, random, unbelievable, or just kind of dumb.

But overall I like it as a film. I just didn't love it. I feel like it asks a million questions and doesn't even attempt to answer one of them. But from a suspense standpoint, I thought many sequences were brilliant. The surgery scene was incredible. The events leading up to that scene were kind of lame, but the scene itself was great sci-fi/horror bliss.

If I think about it without all the hype build into it, Prometheus is pretty good. With the hype machine billing it as a sci-fi masterpiece... it's a disappointment. On a potentially random, but kind of similar comparison level, I liked Danny Boyle's 2007 "scientific crew on a spaceship" film Sunshine way more than Prometheus.

I just looked at Ridley Scott's filmography, and I'm realizing that I don't even like the guy all that much. I've never been a Blade Runner fan (it's OK, but vastly overrated), so his sci-fi cred isn't godlike to me. Alien is a masterpiece, and Gladiator is fun as hell, but I'm noticing that I don't really care for *most* of Ridley Scott's career. So if I look at it that way, Prometheus is actually a bright spot on his resume (for me). Because I actually liked the experience of Prometheus, despite it being a little lackluster in the story/logic department. It has more stimulation than actual substance.

7.5 out of 10

And without the comparison of seeing it on a standard screen, I saw it on IMAX 3D, and it looked awesome and the 3D was actually cool for a change, so I wouldn't recommend anything less than IMAX 3D. And I'm saying that despite the fact that tickets for my girlfriend and I cost $29 for a 2:30 pm showing!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Prometheus, projected
on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:56:56 pm

I agree the makeup on Weyland was unconvincing. It should have been a "less is more" of paper-thin-looking skin and mummy-like dryness, with lots of visible veins, not sharpei dog wrinkles.

What I think I would have done if I was Scott was run the David 8 spot as a fake commercial trailer, before the movie starts. Then run the Weyland TED piece as the first frame of the film, leading up to the opening titles. I would have run the David 8 spot instead of ANY Prometheus trailers.

There's a precedent for this in the fake trailers that kick off "Tropic Thunder" and perfectly set up the characters before the movie has even shown frame 1.


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