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  1. #41
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Prom asks lots of broad philosophical questions without even providing a modicum of satisfying responses that rise above the kind of poetry a high-schooler would write.
    And the issue here is that it's easy to toss in a "where did we come from?" or "what is life?" kind of 'BIG QUESTION' thing into your story or script, but if you don't have very satisfying philosophical answers, it just seems like a varnish tossed on an otherwise standard action thriller to give it a veneer of lofty intellectual import.

    The underlying movie in this case, does work fairly frequently, and even if the thematic stuff doesn't pan out there are a lot of fun original ideas in the script. If it weren't for the lack of pay-off on these questions (perhaps an over-ambitious attempt to be more than it is) and a few dumb moments scattered around, I'd think this was quite an awesome film top to bottom.
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  2. #42
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I ran across this and thought it worth posting although being slightly off the topic -- it's a kudos of Scott's ability to frame a scene, at least thematically, way back in "Alien." I agree with it. The movie was very "clean" in many ways, and that can sometimes come off as simple, but it's not, really... this scene was one of the good ones in how it was visually set up.



    Look at the frame-grab above from Ridley Scott's "Alien" (1979). I'm not making any high claims for it as a masterpiece of composition, or saying that it has great meaning in the context of the movie, or that it expresses anything typical/archetypal about Scott's style or values (aesthetic, moral). But it sure is a pleasure to take in. You've got the interplay between the right, left and center, the foreground and the background, each in its own space, but visually interrelated. The camera is in the operating room with Dallas and Ash, who are looking at their comatose patient, Kane, whose feet are at left, in a quarantine chamber (because he has a xenomorph hugging his face). In the background, through the window, is the rest of the Nostromo crew, anxiously waiting for news. That's right -- the entire (human) cast of the movie in one shot.

    We can hear what the crew is saying as well as what Dallas and Ash are saying (exactly what they're saying is not terribly important, just their worry and uncertainty), though it's not clear if they can all hear one another. The drama is expressed visually: Kane is immobilized, isolated, beyond reach; Dallas and Ash are the intermediaries between his living death (in quarantine) and life, as represented by the rest of the crew, but they don't know what to do; the crew is on the outside looking in, twice removed from Kane who was, until just a short time ago, one of them...
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2...one_frame.html
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #43
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Continuing your debasement seems pointless. Even on the public scale such as RottenTomatoes, Sunshine got a 75% and Prometheus a 73%, so it seems as far as critical acclaim goes, obviously a number of people favored each movie and a quarter of the raters either had issues or didn't get it. Even people who liked Prometheus generally agree the script was a mess, and some of their liking was just watching the alien(s) at play in the movie.
    I agreed that the script was a mess, remember? Then I stated that, despite the messy story, Prometheus has led to more discussion than Sunshine. But every time I say this you want to stop talking to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm also not sure I ever claimed "Sunshine" was better than "Alien" (I have issues with Alien too, although I think much of it is very good) -- I just found it much more solid and provocative than "Prometheus" for me personally, for reasons I have already stated more than enough times. Obviously it was the opposite for you, since as I've said before, you're obviously keying off different criteria than I am. ZPowers sums up my issue with the movie -- Prom asks lots of broad philosophical questions without even providing a modicum of satisfying responses
    Yes. And why should it? What's wrong with being forced to think instead of being spoon-fed answers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    that rise above the kind of poetry a high-schooler would write. The seeds were there, but were not actualized; They have a chance to salvage that in the sequel, if there is one, and I think it'll be by the sequel how Prometheus is ultimately judged -- either it'll be seen as the "opener" in a two-part story, and the second half will bring satisfaction and complete a ladder to the stars, or it will leave everything hanging, showing there were never any grand plan to begin with.
    With two androids traveling to the alien home planet, perhaps they will have a chance to find the answers.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  4. #44
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I liked Prometheus quite a bit. Really enjoyed it. [Only saw the first two Alien movies, as an fyi]

    Part of what made it so enjoyable WAS the fact that I had a lot of questions at the end (I'm of the opinion that movies leaving things more open-ended or with uncertain elements can be a very positive thing), and I liked talking through the questions and potential inconsistencies or silly elements with my boyfriend, also trying to tie things to the Alien movies.

    The only real issue I had with the movie was some of the stupid characters. But that's not really an issue, per se... as that seems to be almost a prerequisite for every sci-fi movie out there - that one or many characters just do things that seem really stupid. i.e. running along the trajectory of the spinning fallen ship, rather than perpendicular and away, which probably everyone in the theater noticed and which prompted the penny arcade comic mocking it; removing helmets when you're on a foreign planet and there are possibly lethal microbes in the air, or the sheer ridiculousness of the so-called 'Biologist', who seemed to lack any biological training and comprehension of animal behavior/how to treat unknown organisms..... those were my main beefs. Other elements seemed at least in the realm of plausibility, even if questions weren't answered, or further questions were raised. Again, I don't think this is bad, though.

    I guess, though, even the 'stupidity' element could be viewed as realistic, depending on the psychology of those involved; i.e. heightened stress, panic mode, utterly foreign and potentially life-threatening environment, causing people to lose their more rational side and therefore be... stupid. lol.
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  5. #45
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    And the issue here is that it's easy to toss in a "where did we come from?" or "what is life?" kind of 'BIG QUESTION' thing into your story or script, but if you don't have very satisfying philosophical answers, it just seems like a varnish tossed on an otherwise standard action thriller to give it a veneer of lofty intellectual import.
    Perhaps, until you find out who made this. Prometheus is simply building up to a sequel, that's why there are pieces missing to the puzzle.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    The underlying movie in this case, does work fairly frequently, and even if the thematic stuff doesn't pan out there are a lot of fun original ideas in the script. If it weren't for the lack of pay-off on these questions (perhaps an over-ambitious attempt to be more than it is) and a few dumb moments scattered around, I'd think this was quite an awesome film top to bottom.
    I wasn't that impressed with it. But then it depends on how much importance you place on the dumb moments. Or let's say, how much credibility the movie loses over such issues as scientists removing their helmets in an alien environment that hasn't been tested for deadly microbes, or running away from the decapitated dead alien but then being fascinated by the living one that killed them. These things just service the plot and by themselves they make no sense.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  6. #46
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I liked Prometheus quite a bit. Really enjoyed it. [Only saw the first two Alien movies, as an fyi]

    Part of what made it so enjoyable WAS the fact that I had a lot of questions at the end (I'm of the opinion that movies leaving things more open-ended or with uncertain elements can be a very positive thing), and I liked talking through the questions and potential inconsistencies or silly elements with my boyfriend, also trying to tie things to the Alien movies.

    The only real issue I had with the movie was some of the stupid characters. But that's not really an issue, per se... as that seems to be almost a prerequisite for every sci-fi movie out there - that one or many characters just do things that seem really stupid. i.e. running along the trajectory of the spinning fallen ship, rather than perpendicular and away, which probably everyone in the theater noticed and which prompted the penny arcade comic mocking it; or the sheer ridiculousness of the so-called 'Biologist', who seemed to lack any biological training and comprehension of animal behavior/how to treat unknown organisms..... those were my main beefs. Other elements seemed at least in the realm of plausibility, even if questions weren't answered, or further questions were raised. Again, I don't think this is bad, though.
    If there were only those two issues you could be right. But I have to draw the line somewhere. I pretty much knew what kind of silliness I was in for at the very beginning when one of the scientists said that breathing the planet's atmosphere of 3% carbon dioxide was like sucking on a tailpipe.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  7. #47
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    I wasn't that impressed with it. But then it depends on how much importance you place on the dumb moments. Or let's say, how much credibility the movie loses over such issues as scientists removing their helmets in an alien environment that hasn't been tested for deadly microbes, or running away from the decapitated dead alien but then being fascinated by the living one that killed them. These things just service the plot and by themselves they make no sense.
    Yeah, stuff like that moves my grade to probably around a B. I was annoyed throughout the film at how the evolutionary and genetic aspects so totally didn't make sense in terms of how that stuff actually works, for example. What I was getting at is the handful of scenes that didn't get infected with a bit of stupidity were pretty enjoyable.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  8. #48
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    Yeah, stuff like that moves my grade to probably around a B. I was annoyed throughout the film at how the evolutionary and genetic aspects so totally didn't make sense in terms of how that stuff actually works, for example. What I was getting at is the handful of scenes that didn't get infected with a bit of stupidity were pretty enjoyable.
    As for genetics, you implicitly bring up another good point here. At what point should the viewer stop suspending disbelief? As in Sunshine, where no amount of gold shielding could possibly protect a spaceship flying that close to the sun. Or the ending, which I won't spoil, which seems to have more symbolic import than anything else. Because it certainly is a far cry from being scientifically accurate. I could also pick on Alien for portraying a mining ship light-years from its home planet, when there are plenty of asteroids near Earth that make for a far less hazardous and expensive trip.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #49
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    As for genetics, you implicitly bring up another good point here. At what point should the viewer stop suspending disbelief? As in Sunshine, where no amount of gold shielding could possibly protect a spaceship flying that close to the sun. Or the ending, which I won't spoil, which seems to have more symbolic import than anything else. Because it certainly is a far cry from being scientifically accurate. I could also pick on Alien for portraying a mining ship light-years from its home planet, when there are plenty of asteroids near Earth that make for a far less hazardous and expensive trip.
    That's true, though I would make the caveat that Alien isn't as directly about space travel as this film is about our evolution and genetic origins (in both films, there's no indication of near-light speed, so the distance would probably take quite a bit longer than a few years to traverse). I also wasn't particularly bothered in either film that the aliens seem to have the ability to gain mass without eating or taking in anything to build that mass from, because it was more incidental to the plot. RE: Sunshine, I vaguely remember thinking about how silly the sunshields were, but it has been probably four or five years since I saw it.
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  10. #50
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    That's true, though I would make the caveat that Alien isn't as directly about space travel as this film is about our evolution and genetic origins (in both films, there's no indication of near-light speed, so the distance would probably take quite a bit longer than a few years to traverse). I also wasn't particularly bothered in either film that the aliens seem to have the ability to gain mass without eating or taking in anything to build that mass from, because it was more incidental to the plot. RE: Sunshine, I vaguely remember thinking about how silly the sunshields were, but it has been probably four or five years since I saw it.
    Maybe Alien isn't "directly" about the questions of "what's out there? and should we be messing with it?" Just as Prometheus isn't directly about the question of genetic engineering and should we be messing with the very basis of life itself?

    Both movies imply some basic questions about scientific ethics.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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