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Prometheus (2012)


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#101 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:57 AM

FWIW, David Poland's review is somewhat mixed, but he concludes: "Not only is Prometheus the best film of the summer so far, but I don’t anticipate anything but The Dark Knight Rises being able to challenge it for quality before the end of this summer. I’m really looking forward to the sheer joys of Brave and The Amazing Spider-Man and Ted, and others. But amongst movies that work for thrill-seekers and people who want to think and audiences that just want to be entertained, Prometheus hits to all fields. If you love movies, Prometheus has to be a part of your vocabulary this summer and for years to come."

#102 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:03 PM

Jeffrey Wells:

What kind of philosophical or theological dwarf would imagine that "God" or a remnant of a community of celestial "engineers" would reside on a horrid lifeless planet that has nothing on it but dust and howling sand storms and craggy rock formations and gloppy oil puddles?



#103 Ryan H.

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 06:02 PM

Jeffrey Wells:

What kind of philosophical or theological dwarf would imagine that "God" or a remnant of a community of celestial "engineers" would reside on a horrid lifeless planet that has nothing on it but dust and howling sand storms and craggy rock formations and gloppy oil puddles?

Other reviews have suggested that the film explains this, so I'm wondering if Jeffrey Wells is just being obstinate. According to some reviews, the facility on the planet is suggested to be a bio-weapons facility that went horribly wrong, purposefully placed far away from the Engineer homeworld for reasons of safety. Furthermore, the production designers stated that this planet is a "dying" world, and when the Engineers were at their peak millions/billions of year ago, the planet was presumably a bit more lifely.

Edited by Ryan H., 01 June 2012 - 06:02 PM.


#104 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:58 PM

Ah, that sounds plausible. I wonder if the film itself will spell that out in some way.

(But, question: why would the aliens leave hieroglyphics all over Earth pointing the way to *this* planet and not one of their other ones?)

#105 kenmorefield

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:33 PM

Ah, that sounds plausible. I wonder if the film itself will spell that out in some way.


Yes, it does [spell that out in some way].

(But, question: why would the aliens leave hieroglyphics all over Earth pointing the way to *this* planet and not one of their other ones?)


I think the answer to that question is implied somewhat opaquely but I'll be happy to hear ideas once discussion would not have spoilers.

I am still not clear, having read Wells's quoted excerpt, if he is referring to the filmmakers or characters as theological dwarves for imagining what they imagine.

#106 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:58 PM

Here's one other question I'm curious about:

The original Alien had a deleted scene in which Ripley discovers Harry Dean Stanton being absorbed into a new egg and Tom Skerritt being held in place in anticipation of the facehugger that will emerge from this new egg. I think this scene might have been incorporated into the comic-book adaptation back then, but it was deleted from the actual movie (at least until the so-called "director's cut" came out 24 years later, which may or may not boost the scene's canonicity in some viewers' minds), and then it was utterly ignored by the sequels and quasi-prequels, which imagined a very different biological origin for the alien eggs.

So what I'm wondering now is whether Ridley Scott, in returning to this world, is going to try to return to the concept that was embedded in that deleted scene, where a single alien drone could apparently turn one of its victims into an egg without the need for a queen or anything like that. Or will Scott honour the queen-alien origins spelled out by James Cameron and his successors? Or will Scott go some other, third route?

Incidentally, I hate the fact that I'm still asking these questions. I was all set to see the film last night until, yesterday afternoon, only six hours before the screening began, I was officially uninvited, apparently because, as far as the studio is concerned, the outlet I was going to be writing for isn't local enough or timely enough or something. Grrrrr.

#107 Ryan H.

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:56 AM

Ridley Scott was talking to Mark Kermode about how there was plenty of stuff lying around for a PROMETHEUS Director's Cut (there's stuff we've glimpsed in the trailers that isn't in the film itself, some folks have noted), and that makes me wonder whether this is another KINGDOM OF HEAVEN-style situation. If so, that's a big shame.

#108 Nick Olson

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:19 PM

Esquire interviewing Ridley Scott:

ERIC SPITZNAGEL: I got kind of an Old Testament vibe from Prometheus.
RIDLEY SCOTT: Great. Then I've done my job.
ES: So that was intentional?
RS: Oh, yes. I'm really intrigued by those eternal questions of creation and belief and faith. I don't care who you are, it's what we all think about. It's in the back of all our minds.
ES: In the Old Testament, God is kind of an asshole.
RS: Yeah, he was pretty hard on us, wasn't he?


...

ES: The "Engineers," as they're called, are really prickish and hostile. Are they a metaphor for your feelings about God?
RS: Me, personally?
ES: Yeah. Do you believe in a supreme deity who's sadistic and cruel and maybe hates us?
RS: Well, that's not me. That's Paradise Lost.


Well then. What Paradise Lost was Ridley reading? :)

#109 Tyler

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:23 PM

Well then. What Paradise Lost was Ridley reading? Posted Image


The Philip Pullman version.

#110 kenmorefield

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:36 PM


Well then. What Paradise Lost was Ridley reading? Posted Image


The Philip Pullman version.


Probably the one in which Satan and Prometheus were conflated. The latter is described in the film as a titan who tried to make men equal to the gods and was punished for it.

#111 NBooth

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:23 PM

Esquire interviewing Ridley Scott:

ES: The "Engineers," as they're called, are really prickish and hostile. Are they a metaphor for your feelings about God?
RS: Me, personally?
ES: Yeah. Do you believe in a supreme deity who's sadistic and cruel and maybe hates us?
RS: Well, that's not me. That's Paradise Lost.


Sounds like The God Thing:

"I handed them a script and they turned it down," Roddenberry stated. "It was too controversial. It talked about concepts like, 'Who is God?' [In it] the Enterprise meets God in space; God is a life form, and I wanted to suggest that there may have been, at one time in the human beginning, an alien entity that early man believed was God, and kept those legends. But I also wanted to suggest that it might have been as much the Devil as it was God. After all, what kind of god would throw humans out of Paradise for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. One of the Vulcans on board, in a very logical way, says, 'If this is your God, he's not very impressive. He's got so many psychological problems; he's so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He's a pretty poor excuse for a supreme being.' Not surprisingly, that didn't sent [sic] the Paramount executives off crying with glee. But I think good science fiction, historically, has been used that way--to question everything."


Edited by NBooth, 04 June 2012 - 04:24 PM.


#112 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:20 PM

Gene Roddenberry said:
: But I also wanted to suggest that it might have been as much the Devil as it was God.

Continuity error alert!

#113 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:18 AM

'Prometheus' Writer Damon Lindelof on Rumored Sequel 'Paradise', and If He's the Man to Write It
Lindelof says that his experience on the acclaimed but decidedly polarizing Lost attuned him to the opportunities – and responsibilities -- of creating a mythology for Prometheus that audiences will care about.
“The audience is given a little more information than the characters in the movie have,” he explains. “And it’s our hope that fires the imagination up enough for them to say, ‘I might want to see Prometheus again’, or ‘I definitely want to see where this movie takes me’. Because this movie has two children – one of these children grows up to be Alien, but the other child is going to grow up, and God knows what happens to them. And that’s what the sequel to Prometheus would be.”
When Scott originally launched the project with screenwriter Jon Spaihts, the director suggested that the title be Paradise, heralding the word’s “spooky connotations.”
After Lindelof took over the reins on the script, the title changed to Prometheus, although rumors linger that Scott might revive Paradise for a sequel. . . .
Hollywood Reporter, June 5

#114 Christian

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:57 AM

Lindelhof's script is the worst thing about Prometheus.

EDIT: It may be that I just find sci-fi stories ponderous. I've never bought into much sci-fi, try as I might. The movie comes across as grade-school philosophizing, but then, so does most of the old Star Trek TV show, etc. I realize others find this stuff deeply philosophical. I guess I'm just ornery. Questions posed about creation and divinity are important, but the answers I see represented in stories like this are facile.

People get paid to write that stuff?

Edited by Christian, 06 June 2012 - 06:04 AM.


#115 Thom Wade

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:41 AM

I find most "answers" about how the world got here (provided by sci-fi, fantasy, myth or religion) to be rather shallow flights of fancy... so I guess I just kind of give stuff like "chariots of the gods" style info a free pass...well, except Mission to Mars...when Gary Sinise meets the alien who cries over how mean we are to each other...Oi.

#116 Christian

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

Ha! I kind of loved Mission to Mars until that ending, which was one of the worst I've ever seen.

EDIT: Just realized my last two posts include the word "worst" in describing certain sci-fi works. I'm not really qualified to make such judgments about the field. These are just my opinions about certain parts of certain films in relation to the rest of those films.

Edited by Christian, 06 June 2012 - 10:47 AM.


#117 Thom Wade

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 11:25 AM

Yeah...it was that ending that just ruined the movie for me...I was enjoying it up until that moment.

#118 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:20 PM

I remember liking *parts* of Mission to Mars quite a bit, but it got off to a kind of goofy note right from the get-go. There's a scene where two guys are talking, and one of them is doing a lot of exposition while the other guy keeps saying "No... no... You don't have to say that... Don't even mention it..." or words to that effect. I couldn't take the scene very seriously, as it just seemed like a rather awkward way to shoehorn a lot of back-story into the movie.

#119 Christian

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:57 PM

That's true, Peter, if memory serves. Dialogue is not De Palma's strong suit. (I don't remember if he wrote the screenplay.) He makes even David Mamet dialogue sound clunky! But the movie's visuals were more graceful than I'd anticipated. I had a chance to see the film on a huge screen when it played locally, but I'd heard such bad buzz that I didn't bother. I regretted that decision within the first couple of minutes of watching the letterboxed DVD.

#120 Christian

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:30 PM

From Indiewire's rave review:

Thanks in large part to Lindelof and Jon Spaihts' highly calculated screenplay, "Prometheus" is a brilliantly paced chamber piece. ... Despite occasionally disconcerting pulp dialogue and disposable plot twists to pad a story in no need of them, "Prometheus" rejuvenates the formula that made "Alien" click.

Got that? The script is brilliant, except for the pulp dialogue and disposable plot twists.

EDIT: OK, it's does say brilliantly paced, which, I suppose, doesn't rule out pulp dialogue and disposable plot twists. I have to say that I appreciated the pacing, which I suspect some will describe as "slow" for too long.

Edited by Christian, 06 June 2012 - 02:33 PM.