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TOPIC: Prometheus

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TheShadowlord
Prometheus

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Monday June 4, 2012 1:12 PM
Saw it yesterday. On the whole, an exciting and well done movie. Ridley Scott shows his abilities again. PLenty of subtle (and not so subtle) on screen references to "Alien" as well as other films like 2001. STill, not a perfect movie. As a movie that requires a bit of brain power, it throws a number of things at you that you wouldn't mind at all in a brainless movie. Without getting unduly sopilerish, archeologists that 2 minutes after discovery start wandering about physically in a 35000 year old undisturbed site, total lack of any sensible safety precautiouns on the team to the other planet, etc.
While an enjoyable movie in its own right, I'm left with a feeling that it should have been more,



Major spoilers.










This is supposed to be a prequel to the Alien series, and the rumor had it that the movie was supposed to explain the origins of the monsters and whatnot. Well, to a certain extent it does, but it leaves so much unanswered, opens up far too many new questions, and is basically incoherent, and its conclusions are seemingly at odds with what we see in the later movies. Not to mention a bunch of glaring stupid mistakes. And being me, I will focus on them first.

1. the procedural mistakes
Anyone who knows anything about archeology has or will be sitting in agony at the methods of these so-called archeologists. They don't even have Indiana Jones' excuse of being super awesome. Truly painful. Wandering right into what is obviously the most important site in human history like a bunch of drunken sods. If you thought Schliemann was a vandal, you ain't seen nothing yet.

SEcondly, these folks just land on an entirely alien planet without hanging around in orbit for ages doing scans, sending down unmanned probes, etc. And they happen to land on the one, well-hidden secret base on the entire planet.
Sure, from a dramatic POV I can understand these choices - most people don't want to spend precious movie time watching archeology work as it should or see people hang around for a month in orbit trying to determine if the planet was safe and where to land. STill, would it really have been so bad to spend a minute or two (and it really would have taken only a minute or two of screen time) to show this?




2. the science mistakes
The aliens have the same DNA as us. Meaning we are identical, which is why they are twice our size, have obvious structural differences and so forth. Which means that these engineers (at least they ignored the term Space Jockey) were around for nearly one million years tinkering with us. SCrew it, it means they evolved on Earth and left because there is no way our biological structures would have worked on the same principle if not. Unless Scott intended that Engineer biology was by some insane chance was nearly identical and they happened upon a species that was nearly identical and just gave them a few tweaks, which would have had to happen much earlier than the 35000 years ago date mentioned.

"Their DNA predates ours". Huh? How can you tell? I'll tell you: you can't.



3. the linguisitc misakes
So the robot guy reverse engineers the Engineers' language based on a dozen or so mostly unrelated languages. Right. It was a stupid and impossible idea in AvP, and it doesn't get any better here. At least we are never told whether or not it actually worked.



4. The plot mistakes
First off, the Engineers. In "Alien" the first pilot we see is a huge, elephantine creature. It's pretty damn obvious that it isn't human. Except that now Scott retcons that look to be a horribly impractical space-suit design, while making the Engineers basically 3-meter tall, albino humans with dark eyes. REally, this was just stupid. Sure, as the captain guesses, this place was probably just a remote military installation, which is why you don't find lots of remnants of civilization all over the place, an installation dedicated to weapons development. So they need guinea pigs, so they find a planet with life, reengineer one species into becoming just like you, then use it as a test species. Granted, we know little of the rest of the Engineers' race, life-spans, technology, etc. but a lower limit of 35000 years just to test something like this seems weird.
And if you are going to use humans as test subjects, why bother pointing out you home planet to them all over the place? Were there political considerations? Scientific test site for one group, then appropriated by the military?

Then we come to the weird monster goo. IT really did some strange things. It disintegrated the Engineer at the beginning of the movie. It gave one guy a bunch of worms in his eyes which slowly started spreading and discoloring him, while impregnating his wife with a squid (which later turns into a gigantic proto-facehugger, face-raping a surviving engineer, finally giving birth to a womb+placenta which reveals a proto-alien. (got all that?)
This goo also turns another guy into a violent super-zombie.
And what about the other type of proto-facehugger? The snake-like thing that forces its way down the throat of that one poor guy? Was it another intentionally engineered lifeform, or one they used as a base? Or one that was hit by the goo (those little worm things we saw) and transformed by accident?
I thought this movie was supposed to explain things.

The other questions:
- whence came the ship in "Alien"?
- Was the proto-xenomprh we saw the mother of the rest of the race?
- why did these monsters seem to evolve between generations in this movie, yet the standard xenomorph design was suddenly fixed when the later movies came along?

Since there were more than one ship, I can only assume that the ship we see in "Alien" was either sent off before the accident which fucked up the installation in this movie, or was from another site which was working on the same thing. Which again leaves us wondering how this Engineer got infected, crashed his ship and had the xenomorphs we all know and love run around and lay eggs.
The movie just doesn't answer any of these questions, but leaves a bunch of rather contradictory hints. I like my explanations to actually explain things, not just be "ooo, mysterious".






The good stuff.
As I said before, it was still a good movie, desite all these problems. The cast is good (and seeing Charlize Theron in tight suits always works for me), the acting is fine, the design and effects are excellent. The pacing is good, the building of suspence is great, the squick-scenes are very squicky (the squid Caesarian especially), and it's a thoroughly enjoyable ride while in the theater. It just fails to go from good to great.
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I feel happy...I feel happy!

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen Roberts
 Message #340999
Lich_Nexus
RE: Prometheus


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Thursday June 21, 2012 11:31 PM
Chill out Sheldon... it's called science fiction for a reason.
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Avenging_Angel
RE: Prometheus


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Thursday June 21, 2012 11:55 PM
I liked it, but I agree it had a lot of flaws. But, as I look at the team behind it... not surprising. People try to credit Ridley Scott with all of Alien, but it was Dan O'Bannon's baby. Screenplay, casting, relying on traditional effects, bringing H.R Giger onboard... pretty much everything that made it so good was him. Scott filmed it beautifully, but you can feel the lack of O'Bannon's presence pretty hard in Prometheus.

Still good, still intend to see the sequel.

SPOILERS LIE BEYOND HERE!

QUOTED  - whence came the ship in "Alien"?
- Was the proto-xenomprh we saw the mother of the rest of the race?
- why did these monsters seem to evolve between generations in this movie, yet the standard xenomorph design was suddenly fixed when the later movies came along?


- Pretty sure the ship they were in was the ship in Alien, the one that crashed and was left abandoned.

- No way to be sure, but I'd assume yes. Presumably laid it's eggs and died.

- It wasn't. The Xenomorphs change their form depending on the host they come from, as the dog-Alien in Alien 3 shows. I would assume the whole "same DNA" is the justification for the Xenomorphs in Alien looking identical to the one that came from the Engineer.


QUOTED  First off, the Engineers. In "Alien" the first pilot we see is a huge, elephantine creature. It's pretty damn obvious that it isn't human. Except that now Scott retcons that look to be a horribly impractical space-suit design, while making the Engineers basically 3-meter tall, albino humans with dark eyes. REally, this was just stupid.


Ugh, yes. So bloody CGI-heavy, too. Mock the "man in the rubber suit" all you want, but it damn well worked in Alien. The idea of it as a weird space suit sort of made sense, but ruined how eerie and cool the Space Jockey design was.

QUOTED  Then we come to the weird monster goo. IT really did some strange things. It disintegrated the Engineer at the beginning of the movie.


My personal theory is that what he drank in the beginning was a different form of the monster-goo, made specifically to break them down into "useable parts" as it were.

QUOTED  It gave one guy a bunch of worms in his eyes which slowly started spreading and discoloring him, while impregnating his wife with a squid (which later turns into a gigantic proto-facehugger, face-raping a surviving engineer, finally giving birth to a womb+placenta which reveals a proto-alien. (got all that?)
This goo also turns another guy into a violent super-zombie.
And what about the other type of proto-facehugger? The snake-like thing that forces its way down the throat of that one poor guy? Was it another intentionally engineered lifeform, or one they used as a base? Or one that was hit by the goo (those little worm things we saw) and transformed by accident?
I thought this movie was supposed to explain things.


I assumed the snake-thing was what happened to the worms after the goo mutated them. As for the rest of it, fucked if I know. I'd assume it's super unstable, thus the wildly different results, but really - there's no way to make the Alien life-cycle viable. O'Bannon's initial thought that the Xenomorphs were engineered themselves as bio-weapons made more sense than the whole friggin' movie. Space Jockey take the eggs and dumps them on a planet they want cleared of life, the Xenomorphs rapidly spread and adapt to whatever is alive there, and burn themselves out. Boom.

Again, for all it's flaws... still an enjoyable movie. Michael Fassbender as David and Noomi Rapace being amazing and beautiful were the highlights.

Enjoy this gif of David touching everything:

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TheShadowlord
RE: Prometheus

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Sunday June 24, 2012 2:44 AM
Too tired to go through and argue (probably get around to it tomorrow). For now I'll leave you with this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFYmv6t_Xyg
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I feel happy...I feel happy!

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen Roberts
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