The Trouble with Quibbles: Prometheus

Prometheus is a science fiction horror show directed by Ridley Scott from a script by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. When a team of archeologists uncover what they believe to be an ancient invitation from outer space, pointing to a far off galaxy, they join the crew of the Prometheus to investigate the possible extraterrestrial origins of humanity. Prometheus is also a prequel to Alien… not really… kinda… it wants to be… almost as much as it doesn’t… but it is… ish…

NATHAN: We are Shooting the Script’s Portland correspondents!

ROSKO: I’m Adam Rosko, Artistic Director of Atomic Arts. See Trek in the Park: Journey to Babel this August in Portland!

NATHAN: And I’m disgraced wrestling champion Nathan Ayling. Now, we obviously both have strong feelings. Spoiler: We ain’t happy. So, lets start with the good?

ROSKO: Yes. The disappointment and aggravation are exhausting. As for the good… it’s… “pretty.”

NATHAN: Damn pretty!

ROSKO: But “pretty” or “good 3D” is like saying in 2005, “Well, the special effects were good.” Just being “pretty” doesn’t count anymore.

NATHAN: Compared to Avengers, I will say the 3D was superior. Other good things… ummmm… Fassbender!

ROSKO: Yeah, the cast was strong but the characters were not. That’s the thing about the whole movie. It has this grand toy box and does nothing with it but either dramatically over-do or under-do their concepts.

NATHAN: Yeah, there’s gonna be no sunshine on this parade. I guess we should do some opening arguments and then break this bitch down for size.

ROSKO: It’s a film that capitalizes on this heritage (Alien) but not enough to satisfy the audience that respects all things Alien. Yet, at the same time does not stand on its own in any way. It’s a schizophrenic movie that is afraid to let go and be the movie it needs to be.

NATHAN: It reminded me so much of two films. X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Trek (2009). Compared to this, Star Trek was subtle with a capital “S” in his homage. And Wolverine because I believe people wanted fight-y claw-y Wolvie and instead got an origin story. People are gonna want alien terror and instead get black goop that looks like a bad commercial for Jagermeister.

ROSKO: Yeah. I keep thinking about the Star Trek reboot as well, not just because of Damon Lindelof’s involvement and its homages, but with production. Star Trek had a lot of time to kill because of the release delay due to the WGA strike. They had time to tinker, time to tighten and look at it over and over objectively. Prometheus has the problem most prequels do: deified directors, ego-crazy writers, and–due to the success and classic status of Alien–they got to have as much money and time as they wanted.

NATHAN: My question is this. SPOILER: people die, stuff kills them. END SPOILER Is this a monster movie? Was Alien? Aliens?

ROSKO: Well, here’s the thing. Alien was a thriller because the shots lingered, the tension built slowly and deliberately over long scenes. Prometheus falls into a pitfall of today’s film, where we’re being cut back and forth all over to new scenes and locations, never letting the tension build or get a true sense of the movie’s world.

NATHAN: I counted 5 different kinds of evil bad killy stuff.

ROSKO: And none of it meshes.

NATHAN: NONE!

ROSKO: Or at least makes sense in how all the creatures are linked together.

NATHAN: And the Alien alien as a villain is a complex little character. There are four steps before blood can truly be spilled.

ROSKO: There was a line of creature development in Alien. In Prometheus, there seems to be no rhyme or reason.

NATHAN: There are fucking zombies!

ROSKO: Yeah! WHY?!?!

NATHAN: I don’t know. There is no consistency to the villain, which is why I don’t believe it’s a monster movie.

ROSKO: Correct. It’s filmmaking by committee at its worst. Everyone got their creature in the movie and it’s a mess.

NATHAN: Cool. So who is to blame?

ROSKO: Tough. I would say both Scott and Lindelof, equally. There’s a lot of nasty ego all over this movie that is completely uncalled for and undeserved.

NATHAN: I can’t be mad at Lindelof for being Lindelof. However, I can say that this is the laziest movie Ridley Scott has ever made. Visionary creator returns to the genre he defined and then spends 2-hours in 2 sets he’s already used.

ROSKO: I’m mad because of poor screenwriting. And the screenwriter is Lindelof. Spaihts did one draft, then Lindelof took over. As for Scott… oh, Ridley, why?

NATHAN: It was Scott who decided to make Noomi Rapace look like Ripley. That was just fucking lazy.

ROSKO: Yeah, what’s so great about the Alien movies is that all 4 are so different and the series is pretty diverse. This had, dare I say it, a lot of nostalgia-porn. Way more than I thought there’d be.

NATHAN: I would say it was easily 65% nostalgia-porn. There is even an homage to 2001.

ROSKO: Right down to the basic, BASIC working class crew.

NATHAN: Okay, let’s try to lighten up and talk about the good stuff. I think we both have 2 scenes in mind.

ROSKO: Cool. I liked Fassbender’s intro. It was a great leap into this character’s synthetic mind and really got me pumped early in the movie.

NATHAN: I liked the idea that he watches people dreams for fun. However it rolled into this mess of character exposition that was pointless! Pointless!

ROSKO: And the surgery scene was really great; you can tell Ridley had a ball with it.

NATHAN: Yes, that surgery scene was awesome! That set/set piece was also the only new thing in the movie…

ROSKO: Yes! Totally! And Rapace’s character’s dad shit had no purpose other than to establish she’s a Christian.

NATHAN: Still, they show that fucking cross like fifteen times. Everybody is dead and she’s looking for the necklace

ROSKO: I think the first half is actually kinda ok and is paced well. After things get “scary” and ESPECIALLY after horribly made-up Guy Pearce shows up the movie just nosedives for me.

NATHAN: This is something I’ve been thinking about: the squirm moment. The moment you realize a movie will not be good. Ex: The second the viceroy talks in Episode I. Would you say its Guy Pearce?

ROSKO: I didn’t mind it in the beginning. But when he showed up again, I truly thought they were going to transform him into a young man… and I was dumbstruck…

NATHAN: I’m still dumbstruck.

ROSKO: My squirm moment was the vagina snake.

NATHAN: The daddy dream did it for me.

ROSKO: Yeah, that was bad, but I was too busy loving Fassbender’s prying into his human subjects. Now Nate, I do have one questions. The end. The very end. You know what I’m talking about. Necessary? Tacked-on? Beyond “Hey kids! This is an Alien movie,” what’s you’re theory on why they showed what they showed?

NATHAN: Why thank you for asking. That is what I have deemed “THE LINDELOF.”

-It’s AN alien, not THE alien.

-That’s A space jockey with his chest burst but not THE space jockey.

-It’s AN alien ship, but not THE alien ship.

ROSKO: A planet not THE planet.

NATHAN: Right!?!

ROSKO: Goddamn that was cheap. Most audiences are NOT going to catch that, and it’s unfair and cruel to the paying customers.

NATHAN: There is also his trademark of showing a scene where we know what’s happening but also HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHAT’S HAPPENING. Take the beginning, is that earth? Why’d he do that?

ROSKO: This movie is a whole lot of “why” and I fear Damon’s answer is “why not?” Too many questions, zero answers. And the questions aren’t even that interesting, just aggravating.

NATHAN: Alright, final words?

ROSKO: A mess. A complete mess.

NATHAN: Bryan’s gonna love it.

ROSKO: It falls into the prequel/4th movie syndrome where so much time has past, it’s best to just leave it alone.

NATHAN: Final grade?

ROSKO: Disappointing with a capital: D

NATHAN: BTW its at like 75% on rotten tomatoes? Think that’ll change?

ROSKO: Maybe. I don’t think time will be kind to this movie. The anticipation was so high, people are going to have their bad movie blinders on.

NATHAN: It will be infamous. C-

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3 responses to “The Trouble with Quibbles: Prometheus

  1. Bryan Parrill

    I did not love it.

    My squirm moment was the prologue. I hate everything about the Albino Roids. Their design is garbage and what the fuck is happening in the scene is never made clear. People have theories but they’re projecting.

    It’s not like 2001, where you see cause and effect. Monolith, ape touch, learn to use tools/kill.

    In general this movie has no consistent cause/effect.

    And the great operation scene is also one of the biggest BS scenes because it is terrible in context. The scene before leads us to believe someone would happen upon her operation. And the scene after you’d think someone would mention it, but no. It’s just a cool thing that happens but doesn’t flow at all.

    Also, “Father…” Jesus that was fucking lame Star Wars moment.

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