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Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
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futuristxen wrote:

And I'd argue that it's nowhere near as aesthetically progressive or interesting as the first Alien film or Blade Runner.





i somewhat agree with that only because everything is those 2 films was real, and built and put together,handcrafted no CGI, and for the time they were released those visuals were way ahead of their time

so with that said who knows this is still a baby, it could very well be looked back on to that level of respect still, with how it was put together ,even the CGI effects and all, because its all blended together seemlessly , they did a great job of that, great balance, and that really worked well for it compared to a lot of movies that try and fail

i think its still very very atmospheric like the first alien too, maybe even more since theres more wide open spaces/ landscapes, as well as inside the ship being very close together, and i say the ships insides and designs, besides the computer tech, it all matches/very close to the OG designs
Post Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:54 pm
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Neuro
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Future, do you have any idea what this is trying to tell us


Post Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:24 pm
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Neuro
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hi

i'd also like to say everyones favorite Alien Resurrection makes a lot more sense within the series now
Post Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:48 pm
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Neuro
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http://www.prometheusforum.net/discussion/2118
Post Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:16 pm
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breakreep
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Tycho from Penny Arcade said this about Prometheus:

"If I tell you that it is bad, which is something I genuinely believe, it will inoculate you against it; no matter how bad it might be, it wonít be as bad as I said it was, and your moviegoing experience will be improved."

Keep that in mind.




Neuro wrote:
prometheus is the best sci-fi movie in a looooooooooong time


This is completely true. But most sci-fi movies are awful. As I put on my FB page:

"I'm never going to reach a point where I enjoy being urinated on just because it's the closest thing to rain in the desert. I'm never going to reach a point where I enjoy Prometheus just because it's the absolute best turd in a port-a-potty."




Woland wrote:
Prometheus sucked.

Yes, it was beautifully shot and had some amazing scenery, but the plot and the characters were just WEAK.


I agree with this.




futuristxen wrote:
The people who dislike it seem to primarily dislike it because it wasn't a tight enough story and they didn't like how characters could suddenly change their arcs and act totally against what they had previously been doing. Which is understandable and justifiable.


These are two of the biggest reasons why this movie is terrible, but they're not the only ones. It also suffers from horror movie character syndrome, wherein characters act not just against their own arc, but against any possible realistic form of reaction whatsoever.

Take the initial worm scene. There are three reactions that I would have believed from the humans in that scene:

1) Run away.
2) Become petrified with fear.
3) Point a gun at it.

The "Oh it's so pretty, what a pretty girl with giant teeth, let me just poke my finger in your mouth" doesn't fly. What was the scriptwriter thinking writing that? What was Scott thinking shooting it? What were the editors and producers thinking letting it reach the final movie?

And of course the sheer impossibility of some of the situations. I don't care how much painkiller you just shot into yourself, you can't sprint down a hallway and then jump across miniature canyons within minutes of having your fucking abdomen torn apart with a laser. There are these things called muscles that were just severed. Fucking stupid, stupid, awful, stupid scripting! Fucking terrible!

There are other reasons why I hate this movie, but I'm not interested enough to delineate them all now. I could rant about this movie for way too long so I'll start wrapping this up.

I realize that most of the movies that have been released this year were much worse than this one, so it may not seem fair to pick on Prometheus.

The problem is multifaceted, and is particularly bad because sci-fi happens to be my favorite genre. I'll try to summarize my key feelings.

There are so many action/comedy/romance/thriller movies that it doesn't matter if most of them are terrible, because the few good ones still form a decently sized group. But sci-fi movies are rare. So even if the failure rate is the same as it is in the other genres, that still leaves an average of ten years of drought between decent films in the genre.

However, the failure rate ISN'T the same for sci-fi as for most other Hollywood genres. It's much, much worse. Look at the average sci-fi movie that comes out, versus the average action movie or romantic comedy. Not even a third- or fourth-tier actor (the sort who pack the average action movie) would be caught dead in, say, Skyline. Not even the people who star in Machete would star in a movie like that. The average Hollywood sci-fi is on the same abyssal rung as the average Hollywood horror flick. The average sci-fi horror is, of course, even worse. That's not a good place to be if you want to receive funding, or popular or critical praise, or support of any kind.

My point is that the genre is not taken seriously, ever, on its own terms. For instance, the last good sci-fi movie I saw was Another Earth. It was sci-fi only in the most tangential sense. Seriously, remove the biggest dot in the sky during the nighttime scenes, and you have a really good drama. The "sci-fi" isn't in any way central to what happens in that movie. Most good "sci-fi" movies are like this.

A recent exception is Moon, which is good sci-fi through and through. But how much did that make? How many people saw that? And as good as it was, it certainly wasn't grand in the same sense that The Dark Knight is a grand action film, or No Country For Old Men is a grand thriller. Sci-fi movie fans always get grand or good. They don't get both, like the action and thriller fans do.

My anger is largely an anger of neglect and bitterness. I expect most movies to be terrible, so I don't feel betrayed when they are. With Prometheus, I thought I was finally going to see a good sci-fi movie in theaters.

I thought that, for once in the last few decades, a famous director with proven talent and deep cache had decided to devote an enormous amount of money and top-tier actors to making a sci-fi film that was both good and grand (contrast this with Avatar, where I was under no illusion that James Cameron would be making a good film, just a grand one).

It doesn't help that the first ~30 minutes of Prometheus actually do range from somewhat to very good, just enough to validate and sustain my hopes before drowning them and keeping them underwater, cold and bloated and pathetic, for the next ~2 hours.

Someday, someone will make a sci-fi horror movie that is as glorious in its medium as the Dead Space franchise is in the same genre for the video game medium. Prometheus is no where near that level of quality. And I hate it for making me think that it was, before yanking off the costume and saying "Just kidding, I'm really just gross-out horror schlock! Oh I guess there's a spaceship underground too, but whatever."

I'll end with two more apt quotes by Tycho, both about this same movie:

"The more time passes, the more I hate Prometheus. My theory is that Iíve wrung all the juice out of the Goddamn thing now, every touchpoint about The Pilot or Engineers or Xenomorphs or whatever, so all I have left is this hateful, spongy rind."

And, summarizing the same sense of let-down I've tried to describe above regarding the naive belief that I was in for something both good and grand:

"Sometimes you get to The Emerald City, like, all the way there, but it is only a Sizzler someone has painted green."
Post Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:07 pm
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Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
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you are entitled to your opinion but it saddens me that with your love for sci-fi you dislike this, and it surprises me also that you as much as you like deadspace and those themes that you dislike this, im not saying they are the same but they are pretty close for how much they bend the themes and leave open parts of the story


my response to the parts you picked-on


Quote:

Take the initial worm scene. There are three reactions that I would have believed from the humans in that scene:

1) Run away.
2) Become petrified with fear.
3) Point a gun at it.


remember they are scientists and whatnot, this stuff , discovering the location, and this creature was interesting to them, and the snake/worm facehugger was doing nothing to cause absolute fear, it was even puring like a kitten if i remember correctly, THEN all of sudden... boom!






Quote:

I don't care how much painkiller you just shot into yourself, you can't sprint down a hallway and then jump across miniature canyons within minutes of having your fucking abdomen torn apart with a laser. There are these things called muscles that were just severed.


its the future yo, how do you know that stuff does actually work really well, and if you were watching that machine did the complete operation, put her back together and all
Post Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:54 pm
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Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


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it kinda sounds like you like the movie but you are trying not to like it for some reason
Post Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:58 pm
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breakreep
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You've got it backwards, Neuro. I hate the movie, despite having tried really hard to like it.

The machine did not put her back together. It stapled her gash together. Try cutting your triceps in half, then stapling them back together really quick, then throwing a ball and doing pushups. Let me know how that works out.

As for the guy sticking his finger out because he's a scientist:

I'm a physicist. Upon discovering a strange alien spaceship, I would not stick my head inside of what looks like the engine. That's about the same as a biologist sticking his finger in what looks like the mouth of some alien freak.

I mean shit. I like cats, and I try to avoid sticking my finger into the mouth of some cat I've just met. I promise you, no biologist would do what that guy did. I know a few, and sometimes they seem more terrified of animals than I am. Which makes sense, because a common result of a scientific education is that you become terrified of everything you know anything about.

And as long as we're talking about how a scientist would behave, that's one of the problems I had with the movie that I decided not to list in that last post. They found a severed head and did things that no scientist would do to a severed head! Not without taking an enormous number of measurements and cataloging every possible detail about everything! You certainly wouldn't pick it up, stuff it in a bag and run through a sandstorm!

Don't even get me started on the "archaeologists". And the robot "linguist" who can speak an alien language because he studied 7 other languages on the way there.

Do an experiment for me. Study English, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Finnish, Portuguese, and Hebrew. Then go speak Tongan to a Tongan.

The "science" in this movie is shit from start to end. I didn't pick on it specifically because I knew that no one else would care. I also get that most people would be bored by a movie where the characters followed the behavioral patterns of actual scientists in a situation like this. I'd love that movie to death, but my god, you know how many people would be disappointed at the low action and death tolls in that movie?
Post Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:17 pm
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Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
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its a movie


a science fiction movie

not a science-real-life movie


i dunno man thats too bad you cant enjoy it for what it is
Post Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:08 pm
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breakreep
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Neuro wrote:
a science fiction movie

not a science-real-life movie


This kind of response is exactly why I didn't complain about the science in my first post. I hope you realize I was only continuing a thread of the discussion that you began. In fact, you began this thread of the conversation specifically to defend the movie from my criticisms! In any case, as I've explained, the crappy science is far from my biggest complaint about the movie.


Quote:

thats too bad you cant enjoy it for what it is


I'm honestly baffled by this sentiment. "What it is" is a terrible movie. That's like kicking me in the face and saying "Oh man that was a great kick in the face, too bad you can't enjoy it for what it is".

I mean, I get that some people LIKE being kicked in the face. That's why they become kickboxers. It's an acquired taste--like cigarettes, or having a blast watching an expensive b-movie like Prometheus. But if we're being honest with ourselves, my inability to enjoy my own suffering doesn't make me the odd one out.

I've never understood the phrase "it's so bad it's good"...and I don't think I'm missing out because of it.
Post Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:03 pm
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Captiv8



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I feel like I need to see Prometheus now just so I can take a stand in general conversation. My feeling is that I'll find it bearable but mostly mediocre.

And "it's so bad it's good" is something of a misnomer, because the truth is that some movies are so bad you abandon all hope and embrace them in all their terrible glory. This is true with most horror movies, in my experience, as it's clear that the writer and director are only capable of recycling tired tropes and following some archaic blueprint that hasn't worked in decades. And then I begin thinking that if these people can get a movie produced why can't I? Surely I can put something together that's better than 90% of all horror movies. Or maybe I can make something so bad it's good.
Post Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:47 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
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Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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I thought this was a good movie, and almost felt like it was a re-imagining of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness.

I loved the contrasts in the film between science and faith, between mankind as a creator-being and mankind as a created being, the extensive iterations on the parent-child relationship as nurturing and combative. I liked the open-ended questions about whether the world they visited was a former home-world or a "watering hole trap" similar to the one described in the sci-fi novel Count to a Trillion.

I saw the characters on that expedition less as real people and more as archetypal figures, each demonstrating a different take on questions of optimism vs. hubris.

Lovecraft's story talks about humans unearthing evidence of a prehistoric civilization in which "Elder Things" visited the Earth early in its existence and seeded life here; key among the Elder Things' achievements were the creations of a slave race, the shoggoths. Amorphous things which could achieve any shape, perform any task. Eventually the shoggoths rebelled and the Elder Things fled. It is implied in the story that shoggoths still live on Earth and are a threat to anyone that explores too deeply into those prehistoric ruins.

This rebellion by slave race against its creators is shown twice in Prometheus: once between alien "Engineers" and the "weapon" they left on that planet, which in some ways reflects the shoggoth characteristics; and again with humans and androids.

I think the film was flawed in some ways, and didn't like how gruesome some of the violence ended up being--but I don't so much see this as "the best science fiction in a while" as "an essential component of the genre." Not all science fiction can be inherently optimistic, and not all science fiction can be about human-made dystopias. To the extent that science fiction ought to examine all possibilities, one of those examinations needs to be of the possibility that there might things in the universe that defy reason, that cannot be mastered, that will utterly destroy us anywhere we encounter them, and turn our hubris and our rapacity into profoundly self-destructive forces in ways that we will often fail to recognize until it's too late. It's possible that the endless universe is not a frontier for humanity to cultivate or despoil, but is instead a nightmarish wilderness containing unstoppable monsters and uncaring, contemptuous gods.

The Wikipedia article on the Cthulhu Mythos has a section which goes:

Quote:

Writer Dirk W. Mosig notes that Lovecraft was a "mechanistic materialist" who embraced the philosophy of cosmic indifferentism. Lovecraft believed in a purposeless, mechanical, and uncaring universe that human beings, with their limited faculties, could never fully understand, and the cognitive dissonance caused by this leads to insanity. Lovecraft's viewpoint made no allowance for religious belief which could not be supported scientifically, with the incomprehensible, cosmic forces of his tales having as little regard for humanity as humans have for insects.


This is the kind of science fiction we got in Prometheus. I think the filmmakers got right a lot more in that light than they got wrong.

EDIT:

Consider, for example, that Idris Elba's character probably got it wrong: Whatever that dark slime was, it wasn't being used exclusively as a weapon. The very first scene of the movie shows one of the Engineers willingly drinking that slime and the resulting mutations to his DNA are implied to have seeded new forms of life on an alien world. It looks like a weapon to the crew of the Prometheus but the first thing we have to accept in our examination of this film is that we do not fully comprehend the motives of the Engineers. The "weapon" guess is one option; David makes another guess, which was that the Engineers saw the Earth as a laboratory (or, perhaps, garden) and wished to remove a past experiment (or, perhaps, crop) to make room for a new one. We are left with more questions than answers either way--and that's a good thing!


Last edited by Mark in Minnesota on Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:53 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:33 am
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1993
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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Captiv8 wrote:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was dull as fuck. So much so Icouldn't get past 20 minutes of it. At no point did I feel compelled to care about the mole, or any of the characters. I shouldn't have to wait that long to know or be concerned about the plotline. I appreciate all of the acting talent in this movie, but this has to be one of the worst directing and writing jobs on a major film I've seen in a while.


I had almost the exact opposite reaction. I thought this film was a brilliant study of the pressures and tolls that this kind of paranoia and secrecy had on the men and women who had to practice it and live near it. I walked in expecting a spy thriller and walked out feeling like I had been given a better understanding of actual human beings who went through this, including at least one distant relative in my own family. The movie was slow but I think it was fascinating.
Post Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:43 am
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breakreep
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Mark, while I agree that the things you enjoy about this movie are things worth enjoying, I feel like they are contained in such a poorly crafted vessel that they are not sufficient to salvage the whole package.

Can you imagine if those themes had played out in a movie where the internal logic of the characters made sense, their motivations weren't total bullshit, and their reactions were believable? A film in which, further, the director wasn't obsessed with horror movie money shots that come off as ridiculous and detracting in the final product? Basically, if those elements were in a good movie?
Post Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:13 am
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Mark in Minnesota



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Let me start my reply by saying that I don't think I'm likely to dissuade you from your opinion that this is a bad movie. You're entitled to that opinion, and I didn't really come into this thread seeking to change it. Rather, I came to the thread wanting to present a contrasting viewpoint, one that I didn't feel had really been represented here yet. You and I disagree on the relative merits of the finished product, even though we agree on some of the particulars about its constituent components.

I agree that some of the things you've pointed out were genuine illusion-breaking flaws for the audience; for example, Shaw's character in the film was badly compromised from the moment she went into that surgery pod because suddenly the audience was going to spend the rest of the film thinking about whether or not she should have been able to recuperate that quickly. Scott was looking to deliver a relatively shocking scene so that he could show Shaw's graphic horror at having to "give birth" to a monster that she never intended to be brought into the world; the symbolism here paid dividends to the film in several areas, but audiences may have been distracted from considering that symbolism by spending the next 20+ minutes wondering whether it should be possible, e.g., for a woman to do a pull-up with severed abdominal muscles. I can't help but wonder whether a longer, slower-paced version of the sequence could have fixed that problem while preserving the same sense of urgency and horror.

Likewise, there were far too many scenes where individual characters just kind of flatly took on whatever worldview Scott needed them to represent about humanity, even where it meant behaving in ways that directly contradicted both good sense and what real people probably would have been thinking by that point in the series of events.

In each of these cases, I feel like Scott was making narrative compromises to fit the symbolism he felt the film needed to contain into the time allotted. Given the 124 minutes they cut down to, my answer to your question is that I can't really imagine a film containing those big ideas I liked and all of the character depth and soft-touch approach to effects that you seem to have wanted. Given a longer run time, perhaps the film could have satisfied both of us. Given the cut we got, I think I liked the film more than you because we went into it wanting somewhat different things.

I guess my too-succinct summary of this disconnect is that you ultimately saw Prometheus as a very disappointing science fiction film that happened to contain horror elements, and I ultimately saw it as a very thoughtful horror film that happened to contain science fiction elements.
Post Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:20 am
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