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Thread: Prometheus

  1. #191

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    This part sums up my impression pretty well: "hinting at some provocative topics but never really actualizing the exploration of them, dropping straight into horror convention in spots", expect the spots fill the whole screen towards the end.
    This sums up my thoughts well, too. Of course, I'm still going to share them!

    I think it was a fun film to watch, but ultimately a giant tease and a bit of bait and switch. It's a shame that such talent came together to dicker about and not get much accomplished. The acting, especially by Fassbender and Elba, was fantastic; the art direction and photography were great; the VFX were spectacular (the 3D star map sequence with David in the alien ship nearly saved the entire movie.)

    Ultimately, however, the movie threw out questions and then didn't bother to explore them or answer them. It reminded me of a brainstorming session that never coalesced into an idea. We now know that the engineers seeded Earth and other planets with human life and then developed the classic xenomorph as a biological weapon which was intended to destroy human life but ultimately destroyed its creators instead. That's cool. But we knew all that halfway through the movie. The BIG questions - Why did the engineers create us? Why did they decide to destroy us? Are they what we believe to be God? - remain frustratingly unanswered. Instead, Shaw and David's head decide to pursue those answers further, presumably in a sequel. I feel sort of swindled, as if I watched Citizen Kane and the last scene was a reporter telling another reporter, "You know, I wish I knew what Rosebud was. It's probably kind of important. Let's make an effort to find out, shall we?" and then fade to black. Perhaps those questions will be answered in a sequel, but if that's the case then this film cannot stand alone as anything but a two hour trailer. It's no surprise to find that Damon Lindelof wrote the script...he's used to teasing the answers to big questions and never delivering.

    I don't have a problem with ambiguity per se, but this story builds toward a revelation that never comes. At one point I looked at my watch and realized the movie was almost over and wondered how they'd fit all that stuff into ten minutes. Of course, they didn't. I think it might have been a ballsier, more complete film if it more directly embraced the "Chariots Of The Gods" philosophy that it flirted with. The aborted plotline of Jesus as an alien, while silly on its face, would have completed the circle and made the rest fit together better.

    My final complaint is that the big revelations of the movie were disclosed in hearsay dialogue but not SHOWN. The pilot tells everyone that the xenomorphs are biological weapons, but doesn't explain how he knows and nobody questions him. David tells everyone that the cave is really a ship and the room with the "vases" a cargo hold, but doesn't explain how he knows and nobody questions him.

    I suppose the film's ideas have some value, because we're debating it so hotly. But maybe we're debating it mostly because it didn't make the effort to debate or examine the ideas itself.
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  2. #192
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I saw Prometheus last night. I attempted to read this whole thread.. but I'm running low on time. I'll get back to it later.

    I don't get all hyped up about movies, I tend to take them as they are, even if they are prequels to beloved franchises. Although Alien is a franchise, I don't really like at it that way. I haven't bothered to watch 3 or 4. I just acknowledge Scott's alien movie and Cameron's alien movie, almost as separate entities.

    I came out of this thing very confused. I saw things that made me shake my head, made me face palm. And I saw some very awesome scenes, very beautiful visuals and some really neat ideas. The movie decided to go to an odd place that was outside of formula, which I found very exciting.

    First of all, what bothered me most is that the people behaved wrong. It was if they followed the script. Some shit just came out of nowhere and were forced and overly dramatic. Like the, "I can't have children" line, and the "I'm your daughter." It was like Mr Scott was hitting you over the head with a giant sledgehammer. The second thing that bothered me is that they needed to clean up a bit of the science in this thing which actually nearly resembles science fiction. Some of the way things behaved needed a bit more explanation, or didn't quite fit enough for the normal level of disbelief in science fiction.

    I loved the tone of watching a Ridley Scott film and the visual craftsmanship, it felt slipping into an old sweater. The cesarean section scene is one of the best things I've ever seen on the screen. I loved all the individual elements, although they didn't mesh too well. The Engineers, the preimprinted xenomorphs, the beginnings of Weyland. I think in the end, I really liked this film and want to know where it goes. Although, to tell the truth, I wouldn't be disappointed if they just left it alone with some mystery. Revealed mystery tends to be more disappointing than leaving it open.

    Oh, and I only know one ISTP, and she likes science fiction. Although only specific types. She's a big ST:TNG fan. I think a lot of people pick what kinds of things they like just from what happens to culturally be around them at the time, and what their loved ones like. The 60's was the heyday for the political relevance of science fiction, it was legitimate in a way that it isn't quite now. Now it's considered more of a thing for people to get some mindless entertainment off of rather than a format to be revolutionary. That also would've been Ridley Scott's heyday.

  3. #193
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    I'm still trying to figure out the opening scene. I'm assuming that he's using the mutagen to seed a barren earth. I'm also assuming it's part of a terraforming process in which they come later and clear out the high life forms and move in. Although it wouldn't be clear as to how to control that weapon after they use it. It doesn't make sense that those messages were left giving the location of the planet that the Weyland corp sends an expedition to.

    This is the point where I'm never sure if I have enough faith in the writers to actually have a coherant/interesting explanation for what happened. At least not one better than the one I've adopted.

  4. #194
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out the opening scene. I'm assuming that he's using the mutagen to seed a barren earth. I'm also assuming it's part of a terraforming process in which they come later and clear out the high life forms and move in. Although it wouldn't be clear as to how to control that weapon after they use it. It doesn't make sense that those messages were left giving the location of the planet that the Weyland corp sends an expedition to.

    This is the point where I'm never sure if I have enough faith in the writers to actually have a coherant/interesting explanation for what happened. At least not one better than the one I've adopted.
    I find it interesting that a lot of people seemed to have trouble with the opening scene...it seems rather straightforward: the Engineer ingested a substance and seeded a world with the genetic material that eventually evolves in to humans. I found that it conveyed the necessary idea, and left it open enough for the audience to wonder, was this deliberate? Was this design? Was this a Prometheus/Christ-like, personal sacrifice for a greater idea or goal? Or perhaps this was accidental; this Engineer was banished for a crime, and humans were actually seeded from sin itself, and accident? I thought it set the stage wonderfully, but then of course, the movie falls in to simple ENGINEER SMASH PENIS ALIEN PENETRATION ZOMBIE ATTACKZ mode.



  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    I find it interesting that a lot of people seemed to have trouble with the opening scene...it seems rather straightforward: the Engineer ingested a substance and seeded a world with the genetic material that eventually evolves in to humans. I found that it conveyed the necessary idea, and left it open enough for the audience to wonder, was this deliberate? Was this design? Was this a Prometheus/Christ-like, personal sacrifice for a greater idea or goal? Or perhaps this was accidental; this Engineer was banished for a crime, and humans were actually seeded from sin itself, and accident? I thought it set the stage wonderfully, but then of course, the movie falls in to simple ENGINEER SMASH PENIS ALIEN PENETRATION ZOMBIE ATTACKZ mode.
    Lol. I think every right thinking person agrees it didn't live up to its potential. The big failure here is that whole Zombie Penis Vagina thing. It's a neat theme, since this is all about being raped by creation. But how exactly is a planet of these things better than humans and frolicking deer? Unless you can get rid of them at will, and it definitely doesn't look like they could.

    Like you mentioned before, there's always a way to patch it up so it hangs together somehow. But I hate that sort of thing.

  6. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out the opening scene. I'm assuming that he's using the mutagen to seed a barren earth.
    Well, the mutagen seemed to act differently than it did elsewhere in the film -- one point of confusion.

    And there was no framing of the scene ahead of time, you have to figure it out later rather than as it unfolds, and it's easy to miss detail when you're a big picture person without a frame on which to hang new details.

    And it was shot poorly, it looked almost as if the DNA itself was disintegrating rather than populating the planet.

    But it seems later that to make the Prometheus theme work, you were supposed to read the alien as our self-appointed Prometheus, sacrificing himself for the sake of our world. I'm not sure what else there is to say. It also seems likely that his decision was not condoned by the others since (1) they seem bent on wiping us out and (2) it fits with the myth, the gods were not happy that Prometheus gave us fire, it was an act of rebellion against the gods as well as an act of sacrifice in the name of humanity. I assumed that was why they were trying to kill us; we were never supposed to exist in the first place.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  7. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, the mutagen seemed to act differently than it did elsewhere in the film -- one point of confusion.

    And there was no framing of the scene ahead of time, you have to figure it out later rather than as it unfolds, and it's easy to miss detail when you're a big picture person without a frame on which to hang new details.

    And it was shot poorly, it looked almost as if the DNA itself was disintegrating rather than populating the planet.

    But it seems later that to make the Prometheus theme work, you were supposed to read the alien as our self-appointed Prometheus, sacrificing himself for the sake of our world. I'm not sure what else there is to say. It also seems likely that his decision was not condoned by the others since (1) they seem bent on wiping us out and (2) it fits with the myth, the gods were not happy that Prometheus gave us fire, it was an act of rebellion against the gods as well as an act of sacrifice in the name of humanity. I assumed that was why they were trying to kill us; we were never supposed to exist in the first place.
    How lame, I totally did not take a Prometheus theme into account. Although, I did notice that the mutagen acted differently and assumed it was a different thing of the same order. Arrg, not to drudge up buried hatchets, but I'm starting to feel the same mental anguish I felt with Lost. My enjoyment of the movie is going to be linked to how competent I believe the writers were, and that remains to be seen. :/

  8. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And it was shot poorly, it looked almost as if the DNA itself was disintegrating rather than populating the planet.
    Yeah, it really looked like the engineer DNA was disintegrating, which made me slow to accept it was a seed.

    @Qlip: I have the same problem. Lindelof has displayed that he enjoys creating mysteries first, and then MAYBE he'll try and think of an answer later. It makes for great mysteries and terrible answers, if we even get one at all. Lost did it all the time. It's lazy writing though, and is a real disincentive for me to dig deep into any mystery he creates. Why should I try and figure it out when even he hasn't?

  9. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    I have the same problem. Lindelof has displayed that he enjoys creating mysteries first, and then MAYBE he'll try and think of an answer later. It makes for great mysteries and terrible answers, if we even get one at all. Lost did it all the time. It's lazy writing though, and is a real disincentive for me to dig deep into any mystery he creates. Why should I try and figure it out when even he hasn't?
    Excactly! I'm perfectly capable of making my werid ass inexplicable scenarios. I don't want to deal with somebody else's.

  10. #200
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    To me it looked like the DNA first dissolved (so that his body would break apart) and then recombined to seed the planet.

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