November 5th, 2012 – Prometheus, Ridley Scott

So the much anticipated and much hyped Prometheus was on the bill for
this past weekend.  I took eldest son to go see it while youngest son was at a
birthday party watching The Avengers.

I was thinking about this, and although in my Top 10 films of all time
I don’t have a Ridley Scott film, he would have quite a few
thereafter.   Very close to that Top 10 list would include Blade
Runner (early Harrison Ford and a great sci fi film visually).  Also
would be Kingdom of Heaven that I have watched repeatedly since.  He
also has done (and received Oscars for Gladiator for which Jacquin
Phoenix and the poor CGI put me off) but also A Good Year with same
Russell Crowe.   Add to this Thelma and Louise and he has an
impressive body of work.

Ridley Scott did the first Alien.  A movie who’s trailer line was “In
Space, No One Can Hear You Scream”… and this holds true today.
Scott started the Alien franchise and then James Cameron took it over
in the excellent sequel Aliens.   Then it was ruined.  Now Scott
returns to forge a new element of this storyline.  The original Alien
created a tremendous atmosphere.  No longer were space ships the clean
and antiseptic labs with white bright walls of 2001 A Space Odyssey.
Here they were functional and dark and more pragmatic.  Steam and
leaks and water and pipes and tight spaces.  You could feel and sense
the humidity.   There was a robot on board (unknown at the time for
the participants and he turned out to be interestingly programmed).
That is background, but it is good background to remember.  There is
also a very strong female character in Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) who
provides a formidable protagonist.   She survives in the first and
kicks some alien ass in the second.

Prometheus is a story that I won’t go in to tremendous detail about
with you, since I hope that you will see it with fresh eyes.  It is
worthy of a big screen.   It is worthy of 3D too, which was not
distracting and gave it some added depth, although not really
necessary in my opinion.   The basic storyline is that through ancient carvings
and drawings on walls, there is an invitation from space to go visit a
world unknown.   A rich entrepreneur takes up the challenge and sends
his team into space to seek out what is there.  The idea is to meet
with the Maker!  What is found is intriguing.   There are intense
moments throughout this film and some that are not for the squeamish.
There is also a robot named David who provides a number of intriguing
aspects himself alone.  Suffice it to say that this is a visual
experience and the creation of a world that is quite remarkable.   How
the film got made and put on film still stays with me, and the
achievement that it is.   Sound, visuals and story that come together
well.

It raises many questions too in my mind that as I think further on it,
confuses me.   For example, if the Visitors (or the Engineers) came to
Earth before (and given the distances of where things were found they
likely were there more than once unless it was simply a grand tour of
a planet) – then why go through the extravagant process of inviting us
to go there?  Why not just drop off a package?  Why wait until we have
the technology to go there?  David himself creates a number of
questions on his own, and how he interacts with and deals with the
others on board.  But nevermind.  If you think too hard on that, it
hurts the brain too much.

I enjoyed this.  Older son enjoyed this.  It was well done.  I would see it
again to pick up more than just the plot.  Happy moving going, and do
try and see this on a big screen if at all possible.   My theatre was
Collosus and the seats were shaking from the deep bass…love it!!

I bought on BluRay and re-watched Prometheus along with some of the
extras.  Having seen it a second time I like it and understand it a
lot more.  Or so I think that I do.

Here’s my take on it.  The Engineers went to Earth and had their
Sacrifice.  Killed poor buddy with the black ooze that he drank.
LONG time ago.  He is the basis for the human race.   Then the
Engineers decide (for an unknown reason) to eliminate their mutants on
Earth.  They go to an empty planet and create these WMD (Weapons of
mass destruction) to eliminate us.  They have all these silos with the
black guck that is meant to kill us and start fresh.  Something goes
horribly wrong on that planet and the Engineers are taken over and
wiped out.  We on earth are not aware of their change of heart and in
the meantime human figures had created a road map to identify where
they were coming from (this is vague for me).   Why point to a planet
that was a test facility for WMD?   I dunno?   Would they even KNOW
about it?!   But nevermind.  Stay with me.  The Engineers choose not
to kill us, but more likely were wiped out and decided we weren’t
worth the hassle.   Many years pass.  Our expedition goes forth to
seek out the Engineers.  They want to know WHY they wanted to kill us
and why they changed their minds.

David (Michael Fassbender) in this movie is brilliant.  A great performance and the scenes with him imitating Peter O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia are great
indeed.   He plays that same 2001 Hal somewhat evil character and
keeps the tradition of the robot who has his own programming going on
(here focusing entirely on the old man and the mission to keep him
alive).   I LOVED the line as he sees her after her self-induced
abortion “I didn’t think that you had it in you….”   Priceless….!!

Still Charlize Theron dies in a silly fashion.  Still there are
elements of people acting stupidly and irrationally and
unscientifically (buddy with the snake in the water in the chamber –
are you DAFT?!!?)  Anyway, I really like it and how it makes you
think.  It is an admirable prequel to the Alien franchise.

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