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June 8, 2012
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My Thoughts on Prometheus...
SPOILER ALERT... I am just gonna talk openly about the movie here. These are my immediate impressions upon seeing the movie for the first time, mere hours ago. IF YOU DON'T WANT IT SPOILED - STOP READING NOW.

So last night I attended a midnight screening of "Prometheus" in IMAX 3D. And I loved it, loved it, loved it.

Simply put: Prometheus is the best Alien - related movie since Cameron's "Aliens", easily, no questions asked.

From a visual, artistic standpoint, "Prometheus" faithfully follows the design sensibility presented by the 3 main artists who created the look of the original 1979 "Alien" film.

The alien planet / alien culture stuff follows the art style of HR Giger.
The human-made spaceship interiors and exteriors, follow the art style of Ron Cobb.
The human space suits and intelligent humanoid alien beings look like things out of a 1970's Heavy Metal comic drawn by Moebius.

Ridley Scott is amazing when he delivers these kinds of films, that take place in a totally realized, well-thought-out, and completely believable, fantasy world.

Storywise, this movie shows its influences but worked well for me.

H.P. Lovecraft readers will recognize the plot from a mile away. "Prometheus" uses Lovecraft's epic horror novel, "At the Mountains of Madness" as a template for its basic plot structure, and follows that plot almost point-by-point... right up to, and including, the giant Shoggoth attack at the end. But this film also decorates that basic plot skeleton with many, many new ideas that keeps "Prometheus" unique, and ingenious, unto itself.

As far as scariness... oh yeah, it works! You get the monsters and the creepy, unfriendly, lethal environment, that you would expect... but this film also delivers psychological, and emotional horror. If medical stuff is your phobia... there is a surgery scene in "Prometheus" that is one of the most imaginative, and original scenes of cinematic horror, in years.

"Prometheus" reveals much about the "Space Jockey" who was the pilot of the "Derelict Ship" in the original "Alien" film. Now, I saw that original film in 1979 when I was in first grade. Ever since then, I always took the Space Jockey to be, exactly what it looked like: a member of an alien race of creatures with scary, elephant-skull shaped heads. So, as a monster-fan, it was a little disappointing for me on a personal level, to learn that the mysterious Space Jockey is actually just a very humanoid creature with a very human-like face, wearing a weird, elephant-skull-shaped helmet. As a monster fan who has been wondering about those Space Jockeys my whole life, that revelation was a tiny bit of a let-down. And I fully realize most other normal people who aren't as in love with monsters, won't be bothered by that detail.

Admittedly the Space Jockey's helmet/ head, is only a design choice, not a story-point, and therefore a minor quibble. And considering that this choice was made by the same director who gave us the original Space Jockey - it becomes a difficult point to argue with. That just means I knew less about the Space Jockey than its creators did. It is still a visual disappointment for me personally, but it only means I assumed too much. That's kinda my problem, not Ridley Scott's problem. I will have to adjust to this fact in the future.

It is worth noting that this film may not actually be an explanation of how the original Derelict Ship from the original Alien movie, ended up there. In fact, the alien planet presented in "Prometheus" may not even necessarily be Acheron / LV-426 / the same planet, as visited in the original film. There is nothing here to confirm that it is the same planet. It looks very similar and is clearly being used by the same race of Space Jockey aliens... But it may only be a similar planet used for the same purposes. The film offers suggestions that either scenario could be the case. A second viewing is required!

The story we get in "Prometheus" is more of an explanation of what the Space Jockey's alien race and culture was about, and how they worked, and what the hell they were actually up-to. And we see an example of that, which may not be connected to the same alien individuals seen in the original film. BUT - this disconnect is not a flaw. It is, in fact, the film's saving grace.

The fact that it may not be THE same Derelict Ship from the original movie is actually a rather ingenious, secret ingredient that forgives ANY violation "Prometheus" might have made, of the original "Alien" film. If this were not the case, I would have a lot more story problems with the movie.

I thought the lead actress, Noomi Rapace, gave an excellent performance and created a great new leading female sci-fi hero. I did not find her the least bit sexy... But she IS weirdly pretty, and has even stranger skull & cheekbone structure than the Space Jockey's helmet... but that makes her look very unique and cool as a character in a Sci-Fi movie. So she won me over.

I have never been a Charlize Theron fan. But she is great in this film. Her death scene is awesome.

Guy Pierce is a great actor, and I usually like him in everything... but in "Prometheus" he wears probably the phoniest, fakiest looking old-age makeup job I've ever seen in a movie. That was literally the ONLY bad special effect in the entire movie.

The rest of the cast is also great. The guy who plays David, the Synthoid, is thoroughly sinister, yet polite and efficient. He reminded me of a young Hannibal Lecter.

I almost failed to mention - the musical score was very solid. It even echoes the original Alien score in many places. I think it will be one of those great movie soundtracks to listen to while drawing monsters for years to come!

Seeing this movie in IMAX 3D was great. I used to take the glib opinion that 3D is just a gimmick - and on bad movies, it definitely feels that way. But on a great movie like "Prometheus" (or "Avengers"), the IMAX 3D really does work as a genuine enhancement of the experience.

Bottom line - speaking as a hardcore, lifelong fan of the original 1979 "Alien", I loved "Prometheus".

I need to see it about 4 more times to fully absorb it. But it is great, great, great.
We need more movies on this level of quality.

And on a final note, this is only opening weekend, and I'm already getting the feeling from people at work and on the internet, that there is a hipster vibe brewing, to dislike or be unimpressed with, "Prometheus". Don't fall for that trendy attitudinal crap. This is a great, beautiful, powerful, scary, profound, imaginative, top-notch movie. Whatever minor flaws it may have, pale in comparison to its extraordinary accomplishments.

-Bryan
  • Watching: Alien
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Eating: Sushi
  • Drinking: Ice Tea
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:icondarkallegiance666:
darkallegiance666 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012
That Space Jockey had better not be humanoid or it's all over for me....
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:iconsuperbum:
Superbum Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012  Student General Artist
I don't think Charlize Theron's character died. They never showed the aftermath of her remains and she may have found a safe place between a rock and a hard place just like our main character. I predict if they were to have any future installments that she will return to her pod and get pregnated by the weird-alien that hatched out of the "Uber-Human".

As a fan I am contrary to your opinion that the "Space Jockey" was a let down. I think the "uber-humans" were really interesting to look at and I was kind of disappointed by the squid face-hugger because it didn't seem as interesting to me. I look at the Gigerian armor that they were wearing as bio-mechanical, like it might have the ability to regenerate it's surface if damaged or heal it's user. Almost like a medic armor. Possibly made of armor base but of some type of flesh.

My favorite design were the human's space suits, especially that tight fitting head gear, I wish they would have worn that more.

The sound scape was really epic and pulse pounding.

Michael Fassbender was great as the android and it also leads us into why Ripley is so un-trusting of Bishop's motives and assistance in the Alien films. It seems an android companion is a double edged sword.

I came to the conclusion that the movie was called "Prometheus" because the opening scene with the "uber-human" having possibly stolen some of that black substance that appears to be a type of mutation accelerator that may be like an amniotic fluid for the H.R. alien breed.

Prometheus is a friend of mankind; a god that defected from the company of other gods. In this case I equate the uber-humans as the gods. My theory is he has stolen that substance and sampled it on himself unsure of it's effects and when he falls over the waterfall and detoriates that's what man himself might be made up out of DNA wise. He basically diluted his DNA after he stole "fire" from the gods and allowed man to have a chance at life as if the human ancestors may have sprung up from him, leaving the engineers to have made that bio-weapon for someone else outside of just man?

As a whole I feel like the film alos drew many themes from the re-release of the Doom franchise for the X-Box and the movie.

I.E. DNA manipulation to create creatures, finding answers of man kinds ancestor from ancient stone tablets and archaic writing that point to a conclusion in space, impending threat to mankind and earth if someone lets them leave, and a group of scientists/administrators that had a shady master plan that your heroes weren't apart of, and finally like Doom mankind's ancestor may have initially came from another planet.

But criticisms aside, I really enjoyed the film regardless and it has been a long time since I've seen a movie try and be so mysterious and inventive but also maintain great production elements. And this feels like a rare thing for the film industry.
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:iconstvnhthr:
stvnhthr Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012
I was going to email and ask what you thought. I'll probably wait for it to hit the second run theater before going.

I still remember us seeing Alien3 and feeling like it was a kick in the gut.

Glad to hear this is better.
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:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes... In my opinion, it goes like this:

"Alien" and "Aliens" are untouchable classics...
"Alien 3" was a beautiful-looking, beautifully-directed movie, loaded with miserably bad story choices...
"Alien: Resurrection" and the "Alien Vs. Predator" movies are stupid to the point of being insulting-to-the-viewer's-intelligence...

"Prometheus" is ALMOST as much a classic as "Alien" and "Aliens". Not quite up to that level but darn close.
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:iconstvnhthr:
stvnhthr Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012
I'm with James Cameron, I enjoyed the first AVP flick, it wasn't high cinema; but once you got over the script problems it was fun enough. The second one AVP: Requiem sucked on every level.

Alien and Aliens are classics.

Alien 3 was a horrible story marred by bureaucratic studio interference but given to a great director and production designer. Looks great, I just have no interest in watching it.

Alien: Resurrection had an interesting water scene; the rest is ridiculous and pointless.

Prometheus has my interest, but I'm not excited about the "life started by aliens" storyline. If this was a stand alone I could approach it like 2001, a movie I like to watch but totally disagree with its theological underpinnings. By trying to explain the abiogenesis evolutionary process to include panspermia or exogenesis takes away from the Alien mythos for me. Still I'm sure I will enjoy parts of Prometheus.
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:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
You are making too many assumptions about Prometheus without having seen it.
Actually you will be surprised by the Christian faith of the lead female character.

SPOILERS...
The film makes a big deal of the fact that she wears a cross and believes in God. Other people get killed but this girl never finds herself in direct physical danger - until she takes off her cross, at which point she finds herself in a variety of horrifying, grisly situations. As soon as she puts her cross back on, she not only survives but starts winning again. The scientist characters in the film revere the Engineer (Space Jockey) aliens because they believe these Engineers might actually be the creators of human life (which is their theory, the film never actually confirms it) so the scientists say, "If this is true, then humans could finally admit that God doesn't exist." To which our Christian female lead replies, "Hmmm - Then who created the Engineers?" And this question is left unanswered. From about the mid-point of the film onward, it is made pretty clear that the "perfect, godlike" Engineers are just another flawed race - different from, but no better than, us humans.

That is how I interpreted this movie as a Christian myself.
But what is great about the movie is that it is so ambiguous.
All these different ideas are flying around, but intentionally left unanswered - no conclusion in favor of science or religion is definitely given... which leaves the whole movie very open to interpretation. So it can work for almost anybody.
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:iconstvnhthr:
stvnhthr Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012
Good points. I guess I read too much into Ridley Scott's views of faith and how he views Shaw's beliefs. Thanks for helping me approach it from a different point of view.
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:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
No problem... I'm just saying, that was how the film struck me, the first time I watched it.
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:iconcresent34:
cresent34 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
Just got back from a triple-feature, including Prometheus, which I intend to write about in a later journal entry.

As for my initial impressions re: Prometheus, the art direction's solid (as to be expected from a Ridley Scott directed-feature), but the acting's a bit all over the place, and the plot sometimes seems to wander about. But, mostly, I agree that the whole 'space jockey' reveal is a bit of a letdown.
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:iconsavagehenry89:
savagehenry89 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Em i should have proof read my last message sorry, you can read the better grammer version on my new Journal entry lol. Really like your review.
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