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      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2012
     (10691.1)
    "We want you for a secret deep sapce mission where your skills may be needed. You will be briefed on arrival. If that is acceptable to you, take this large briefcase filled with more money than you will make in ten years and we'll see you at the launchpad."


    Except, you know, why was it a secret at all?

    It wasn't like Raiders of the Lost Ark, where they had to hide the fact that you're supposed to "Take back one kadam to honor the Hebrew God, whose Ark this is", because they didn't want Belloq to know he was digging in the wrong place.

    For all we have been told they are the only ones going out there. The mission is on Weyland's private ship, funded with his money, all the people are his employees. The film has not given us the slightest reason why any of that needed to be a secret from the crew, or from anyone. Why? Is it even plausable that Weyland couldn't have hired experts for the same money if they knew where they were going? Why not? Why wouldn't, in the whole world, there be a handful of scientists more than willing to take on such a mission?

    Don't bother answering that. I'm sure anyone could make up a reason, and some would even be interesting. The point is that the film itself didn't even bother. There is simply no justification for any of it. The secret doesn't even add anything to the suspense of the film. There was not a single event that would have needed to be even slightly changed if the "crew" had known why they signed up before they left. None. It didn't matter at all.

    It really seems like they wanted to fill the film with a sense of hidden agendas and secrets, and they built the mechanics of that into it, but then decided not to bother at all with any actual agendas.

    Every excuse I've read by anyone attempting to defend this pathetic script is something they've basically made up outside of the context of the film. None of it is in the actual film. It isn't even implied.

    Here's two plots that are way better than the bullshit we got that I just made up out of my head right now:

    1) David is fully dedicated to the mission. As he understands it, the mission is to figure out what the intentions of the Engineers were ("asking god why"). As they explore the ruin, it becomes clear the Engineers intended to infect humanity with the black goo. David has access to both the black goo and a small sample of humanity. David runs the experiment. Shit starts xenomorphin' and nobody knows why, they don't know who is infected, but they have to figure it all out before everyone is dead.

    2) Weyland doesn't hide in secret on his own spaceship on his own expedition that he funded with his own money and hired everyone for. Why would he do that? That's idiotic, and no one cares. No, Weyland is in charge, he just comes on the mission. It is his mission, but everyone else wants it to be theirs.
    A) The archaeologists think this was their idea so they should set the agenda. Weyland to them is just a micromanaging patron.
    B) Charlize Theron is his long sidelined daughter. He put her in charge, and she thought she was going to have a real achievement there, but then he decided to come along too and bring is robot henchman, who he confides in more than her. She keeps trying to keep the mission on track and keep everyone safe, carefully following protocols and returning to earth with the archaeological data of the millenium, and all her crew alive. Too bad Weyland is an arrogant crank who steamrolls her caution and puts everyone's lives at risk.

    In fact, you could use both of those plots, exactly the same characters, locations and general scenarios we got, shake well and end up with a way better movie.

    Instead the script made the laziest, most brain dead choices at every turn, and was layered with unmotivated nonsense and bullshit. It makes me angry because so much money was spent on it. I don't buy the "It was pretty though" excuse either. It is easy to be pretty with that much money. SFX and art design in films are commodities.

    I'm separating this because it's calling the emperor naked in a way I haven't seen anyone do yet, but tell me it isn't true:

    There was nothing groundbreaking visually in this. The ships looked like generic science fiction ships. The alien stuff looked like extrapolations from the original art design of Alien. There was nothing even slightly visually unique about the movie. The visuals were executed professionally and without flaw, but were not at all inspired. The script was abysmal. It read like a 14 hear old with ADD who reads nothing but Heavy Metal magazine wrote it.

    I've liked worse films better because they started with less advantages and achieved more relative to their starting point. This film had pedigree, it had all the money it could want. It's like watching a trust fund kid flunk out of Harvard.
    •  
      CommentAuthorvoyou
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2012
     (10691.2)
    David is fully dedicated to the mission. As he understands it, the mission is to figure out what the intentions of the Engineers were ("asking god why"). As they explore the ruin, it becomes clear the Engineers intended to infect humanity with the black goo. David has access to both the black goo and a small sample of humanity. David runs the experiment. Shit starts xenomorphin' and nobody knows why, they don't know who is infected, but they have to figure it all out before everyone is dead.

    This is more-or-less the plot of Pandorum, which is in many ways a pretty schlocky Alien knockoff, but it fulfills that brief pretty successfully.

    There was nothing groundbreaking visually in this. The ships looked like generic science fiction ships. The alien stuff looked like extrapolations from the original art design of Alien.

    I think I'd go a little further than just describing the visuals as "professional"; they were often aesthetically impressive (the dust storm, the cargo hold), but I agree there was nothing original about them. Actually, they reminded me a lot of the Mass Effect games, which is probably because they draw from the same fund of sci-fi film standards (the plot is a bit Mass Effect, too, although the Reapers are a significantly more interesting version of the Chariots of the Gods idea than the Engineers).
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      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2012
     (10691.3)
    You know, that's a good call. The Reapers in Mass Effect are a much much better conceived existential threat to humanity than the Prometheus engineers.

    Do you remember how there was like a whole series of Engineer domes, one after the other in a line in that valley? I like to think that domes 2 through X were populated by Engineers going about their normal lives, growing food and reading and stuff. Then, when dome #1 launches, they're all "What the hell is going on with the quarantined bio-hazard dome? I thought everyone was dead in there! We sealed that off. Everyone knows that accident site isn't clean yet. Wait, is that some kind of tiny alien ship out there? Where the fuck did that come from? It's been, like, one day since we last looked! One sand storm, and suddenly WTF? Why didn't they bother checking out even one of the dozens of other domes here before they rushed headlong into the sealed contamination zone the very moment they landed? Or why didn't they even try raising us on the radio or something? We were just sitting right here all along! Idiots."
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      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2012
     (10691.4)
    (sorry to interrupt your discussion but this looks interesting, although the trailer's another one of those which kind of reveals most of the movie.)

  1.  (10691.5)
    about prometheus,
    i have this theory that i gleaned from the film. it came from the part with the "worm" in holloway's eye. now lets assume that the black goop was a dna accelerant. if holloway was dosed it makes sense that it spread to the demodox and microbiome that naturally live in the human body. The "worm" could easily have been either a demodox (eyelash mites) or theres a fungal flora that lives in the human eye. so along with accelerating holloway's dna it also accelerates everything living in his body. this could also explain his zombieism. you could also assume that shaw was not pregnant but infected with a growing mutated bacterium.
    this would make more sense by adding that the xenomorph egg has to be incubated in the human body.
    this may be a little far reaching but thought it might be kind of interesting anyway.
    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2012
     (10691.6)
    The only thing I can hope for is that this was a crap studio rush and there is an hour of cut footage that will fix the movie ala Kingdom of Heaven.

    It wont happen, but I can dream.
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      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2012
     (10691.7)
    @imaginarypeople - what you've written is an interesting idea, but I promise you it is more subtle and thought through in your head than anything the writers themselves can be credited with. You are telling yourself a better story than they sold you.

    In fact you should write your own story around that concept. Dig into some popsci genetics enough to make it convincing. You'll be doing more work than Ridley's writers bothered to do.
  2.  (10691.8)
    For all we have been told they are the only ones going out there. The mission is on Weyland's private ship, funded with his money, all the people are his employees. The film has not given us the slightest reason why any of that needed to be a secret from the crew, or from anyone.
    It's implied pretty heavily by Vickers in two different scenes that the Board isn't terribly happy with Weyland blowing a trillion dollars of the company's money to investigate the crackpot theory of two young archaeologists in the hope that he'll be able to extend his life for an indefinite period of time. If that information were public it would be disastrous for the company's stock.
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      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2012
     (10691.9)
    That is actually not a bad justification. I think the movie would have been vastly helped if more of that was a bit more explicit. It may well be that, like Kingdom of Heaven, a much longer (say, 45 mins to an hour longer) cut with more actual story and character development might play a whole lot better. Maybe this movie is actually missing 7 or 8 important scenes.

    At bottom I don't think the inevitable director's cut will turn it around for me, but I was impressed by how much Kingdom of Heaven improved in the extended edit. Maybe this will.

    But by improving it will make it to watchable from abysmal.
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      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2012
     (10691.10)
    I posted this in Around the Net too, but re: Prometheus:

  3.  (10691.11)
    @dorkmuffin - yup, that pretty much sums up the movie for me...dumbest scientists ever.
  4.  (10691.12)
    I watched Looking For a Friend For the End of the World with my girlfriend tonight. The first half, which was a road trip about the time before the world ends, was really fun. The second half, which was a romance between Steve Carell and Kiera Knightley, was very much less so. If they'd managed to integrate the two and emphasize the world's end stuff, it would have been a great movie.
    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012
     (10691.13)
    @KeeperOfManyNames,

    Oh my god, that looks absolutely brilliant. Man, I hope I can get a hold of one of those limited edition BluRays after he's finished.
  5.  (10691.14)
    Oh oh oh! And at the end of Friend for the End of the World! At the end!

    The asteroid arrives a week early because they underestimated something-or-other. It arrives a week early! When the planet is in a completely different section of its orbit around the sun and therefore would be 100% safe from the asteroid's trajectory.


    And there's no reason I can think of, narrative or otherwise, for this to happen.
    •  
      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2012 edited
     (10691.15)


    This looks ridiculous in the best possible way. NSFW
  6.  (10691.16)
    I saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter last night. It's pretty much everything you'd expect out of a Lincoln hunting vampires flick. I enjoyed it at least.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2012 edited
     (10691.17)
    Saw and quite enjoyed Men in Black 3. A good mix of humor, character, and action. The chief baddy is a wonderful bad-ass alien.

    Josh Brolin does a wonderful job playing the younger version of Agent K.

    Tommy Lee Jones looks painfully old. He still has the chops, but you could tell he's heavily made up.

    They've established that Zed (Rip Torn) is dead. Last I heard Torn was being taken care of by his kids. Damn sad.
  7.  (10691.18)
    It's just past the halfway point of 2012 and I've dug a lot of films. Many are close, but I've got a group of 4 I'd consider GREAT films. All relatively small ones too. (yeah, I liked PROMETHEUS, but it's a notch below great)

    My four are:

    Guy Maddin's enchantingly bizarre, surrealist film KEYHOLE



    Josh Shenk's important environmental / portrait of a leader Doc, THE ISLAND PRESIDENT



    Bobcat Goldthwait's direct, angry rant about what's wrong with American society, but also a violent plea for kindness, GOD BLESS AMERICA



    Lastly, Tony Kaye's uncomfortably truthful look at why the poor, inner city American schools are failing in, DETACHMENT.



    I don't know how many of these were on everyone's radars, but obviously I'd say to seek them out.
  8.  (10691.19)
    I just watched "Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone". Heartbreaking documentary. It's streaming on Netflix now.

    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2012
     (10691.20)
    Shit! I'd totally forgotten Fishbone. I saw them play back in the late eighties, and they were good.