Powered by Blogger.

Screaming, and Loving It

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ridley Scott, for some strange reason, has gotten into the habit of switching gears completely during the production of his films. Recall that Robin Hood was initially supposed to be told from the perspective of the Sheriff of Nottingham, rather the the green bedazzled outlaw. That final product didn't turn out to be all that, so you'd be forgiven for being worried about Prometheus. Prometheus started life as a basic prequel to Scott's legendary sci-fi/horror masterpiece Alien. Somewhere along the way though, Scott's ambition got bigger. Rather than simply tell where the xenomorphs come from and how that ship ended up on LV-426, Scott is going for something much bigger, and more cerebral. In a film that is equal parts philosophical character study, horror movie, and effects vehicle, Prometheus asks tough questions. Questions about life, human nature, God, etc. And while it runs into some bumps, the ambition and scope of the project cannot be overlooked, and Prometheus delivers the goods and turns in a thought provoking, engrossing, and chilling sci-fi epic.

After discovering that civilizations separated by thousands of years shared the same pictogram, Doctor's Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway surmise that it is some sort of invitation by beings from another world. What sort of beings? Why, the ones who created us, after all. Shaw and Holloway take their discovery the powerful Weyland Corporation, which funds an expedition aboard the vessel "Prometheus" to the world that the pictogram leads to. Aboard the ship, amongst the rabble of crew members and scientists, is an android, David, who is wrestling with his own budding humanity. Also along for the ride is Meredith Vickers, a Weyland employee who seems to know more than she is telling. Once they reach their destination, Shaw discovers that she was right, that the pictogram pointed to a world inhabited by alien beings responsible for humanity's creation. She also realizes that she should have never attempted the expedition, and soon, the entire crew is battling a destructive threat that, if uncaged, could mean the end of the human race.

Ok, yes. It is a prequel to Alien... sort of. There are elements of that film here. It clearly takes place in the same universe, as if the inclusion of the Weyland Corporation, androids, and a fifteen second final scene weren't enough to tip you off to that. But Prometheus is not interested in simply setting the trial of Ellen Ripley. No, it has something far more intense on the mind. Prometheus is all about questions. Right from the beginning it's clear that the movie is trying to answer the most loaded question of all; Where do we come from? Did God create us, or some other beings, and if so, who created them? So many ideas are thrown at the screen, that it's inevitable that some of them wouldn't be answered, and indeed, you leave the theater with many more questions than answers.

But that's ok. First off, there's plenty of room for a sequel here. And secondly, the film isn't about giving you the easy way out. It wants to provoke conversation, about the meaning of the events and the implications of them. The last big science fiction movie to attempt this was Inception, and Prometheus succeeds far more admirably than that did.

Unfortunately, all this philosophical debating does get in the way of the actual movie. While the narrative is tight and holds onto a steady forward momentum, a lot, and I mean most, of the characters are left in the dust. Oh sure, Shaw and David, the real stars of this thing, are developed beautifully, but everyone else is barely touched on at all. They just fulfill you basic character conventions of the genre, conventions that Scott help call into existence with Alien. You have your trigger happy head of security. You have you skeptical, sardonic scientist. You have the nice guy who wants to be friends. You have your steely corporate executive who is none to keen on taking anyone's bullshit. None of these archetypes ever really transcend their predisposition traits, so you know how each one will play out.

Luckily, the two main players are anything but archetypical. As Elizabeth Shaw, Noomi Rapace displays grace, intensity, curiosity, and sheer balls of steel. Shaw is something of a paradox, a scientist who believes in God. She's on the search for beings who created life, which is something she herself cannot. Her arc is beautiful, as she goes from an eager adventurer, excited to discover our origins, to a frantic survivor when she discovers it was nothing like she thought. Rapace is excellent, proving to everyone that she is more than just a little girl with a dragon tattoo.

Her equal in terms of narrative focus is the android David. Through him, the film presents interesting parables. Shaw is looking for her creators while David is attempting to be more like his. Michael Fassbender continues his streak of incredible performances, presenting a chillingly robotic specimen that is also imbued with traces of humanity. At times funny, at others scary, his David is one who calls into question many of the characters motivations. At one point, he asks Holloway why humans created him. "Because we could" remarks Holloway. "Imagine your disappointment if you got the same answer" quips David. It's a remarkable performance, and Fassbender disappears into it completely.

Everyone else performs well, though, as previously stated, they aren't given as much to play with. As Vickers, Charlize Theron is all gruffness and chilling intensity. It's another quasi-villanous role, which Theron can do like no one can, even though it's not as meaty or interesting as Ravenna from this summer's Snow White and the Huntsman. Idris Elba turns in another scene stealing supporting performance as the captain of the "Prometheus" and Guy Pearce shows up briefly in a memorable cameo as the aged Peter Weyland.

It really is a pleasure to see Ridley Scott return to sci-fi. After years of historical epics, crime dramas and war films, I was worried that he would have lost his touch. He hasn't, not by a long shot. Though Prometheus boasts a significantly higher budget and top of the line special effects, it is the still the same, visually precise, claustrophobic style that Scott perfected with Alien. He displays a keen mastery of shot composition, artfully creating an humbling sense of scale. Prometheus is a big ship, but is dwarfed by the majestic storm clouds of the planet and the never-ending nethers of space. Often times, Scott will the pull waaaaaaay back, so the the ship is nothing more than a dot against a back drop of chaotic weather and landscapes.

His use of symmetry is also amazing. Many times, the object of focus is placed directly in the center of the shot, heightening the sense of space and the claustrophobia, which really helps with the tension.

Oh yeah, make no mistake. Scott still knows how to scare your pants off. The "No one can hear you scream" tagline certainly applies here. Though it's not as relentless as Alien, and boasts more scenes of "big action", Prometheus is still an unbearably frightening and grotesque thriller. Ok, sure. A good amount of that terror is instigated by characters behaving stupid, but, for the most part, this is intelligent horror, more keen on making you uncomfortable rather than grossing you out. A bevy of well conceived jump scares, plenty of scenes of die hard suspense, and a sequence of body horror so intense, it gives the chestburster a run for its money; it all adds up to a quality horror movie.

It's not perfect, but Prometheus presents a return to an older style of sci-fi, one that didn't eschew intelligence in favor of spectacle. Though it has it's foot firmly in the realm of blockbuster, it is still of the smarter ones to come along in a long while. Boasting incredible visuals, a duo of superb performances, and a complex, but ultimately rewarding screenplay, Prometheus is just what I was hoping it would be. If the story continues on from here, I can't wait to see where it goes. The fact that xenomorphs might be included no longer matters. 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Knowledge Link Suggest

Drug Abuse Online Lottery Games Drug Abuse Health and Fitness Health and Fitness free music downloads Law Reports Wallpapers Artist online shop originals Product Auto Parts Web Developer online shop originals Product Insurance Company Health Life Technology System Home Security Beauty Cosmetic Online Travel Agency Linux Tips Guide Shooting Simulator Gadgets Technology Project Build Houses Payday Loans Health News Information Animals Shop Travel Agency North Owl Network Dentist Healthy Aging asian pretty The Tool Hospital Barbecook Best way to make Money with Forex Trading Green Home Design Online Lottery atozbythesea.eu.org augmentezvosventes.eu.org automobielbedrijf.eu.org aworldofwindows.eu.org aws-orgware.eu.org azregionalmls.eu.org bacimamma.eu.org Business Plan Competition travel channel and rental cars Pharmacy and drugs Criminal Justice Planning Agency Lawyers Association The Best of Insurance http://celebritytidings.eu.org http://livingandfashion.eu.org Academic Advising Audio logo Stock Audio auto repair advice guide Healthy Women Medical Centre busy with business Car Finance Tools Debt Settlement Lawyer crafty stash corner cuentas and colors Cheap Wedding Dresses drug abuse statistics Lifestyle Home Solutions education essay titles finance insurance premium Lawyer and Legal Information guide healthy recipes health problems of children health topics kids home decorating service home improvement project home improvement project management home improvement project planning home insurance morgages house insurance plan house insurance progressive The Savings Bank insurance agency business loans insurance business loans insurance premium loan legacy landscape blocks legacy landscape contractors legacy landscape materials personal insurance loan real estate for commercial Bedroom Furniture Lawyer Requirements Concept Design teach about alcohol abuse technology support autocar the family deal tile flooring ideas tips lifetime fitness tips reduce car insurance quotes Online Jewelry Stores traveller hotel Insurance and Finance Auto and Parts wood flooring ideas the networks board game Adult Learning Theories sexy lingerie tattoo designs wallpaper artist health category insurance financial category Category Online Money Category Home Improvement online business category Category software games and android category marketing advertising category marketing advertising Home Solution Real Estate Financing Lucepedia Sports and Fitness Train Now Business Economy Global auto car loans car loans insurance Health Information how to prevent diabetes Best Credit Cards Cheap Wedding Dresses Small Business Finance Systems Body Health Home Improvement Services Guide Android Apps and Games fashion design Alcoholism Android Phones Board Games Cheap Tickets and Vacation Packages Online Prevent Child Obesity Prevent Premature Ejaculation Labor Lawyers Home Interior Design Ideas plumbers and carpet cleaning service diet and slimming Beautiful Picture Doctors Dental Care music video art BurningPedia Guide Planning Home Improvement Beauty Cosmetic Web Development Company lawyer requirements Books On Children Education security innovation work iPhone and iPad Turkey The Medical School Barbecue Electric The Linux Documentation Project Mental Health Care New Car Buying Guide House Curtains Dentist All System Education iPhone Specifications Cloud Trading Strategy mortgages and loans Pharmaceutical Info Online Application Service Provider The Masterchef Business Service Delivery Arts and Entertainment Pokerstars Real Money The Masterchef Electric Motors Gadgets Technology Casino Zone Small Business Solutions Home Advice Fashion Design Clothing Adventure Games Health and Fitness Hospital Equipment Plan Life Insurance public transportation services Prevent Premature Ejaculation Best Professional Carpet Cleaning Web Hosting Vehicle Emissions Inspection Drug Abuse Collection Travel Agency Medical Herbs color vision casting Aromatherapy Tips community film Cardio Tips Top Best Home Improvements Article Marketing Colon Cleanse Tips Terms and Conditions of Sale Products for Treating Acne Scars Natural Beauty Products Seo Web Marketing Business Prospects Trade Online Tool House Cleaner Bathing Equipment Financial Solutions Credit Loans Business Insurance Best Supplements Online Affiliate Marketing Web Design Jobs Online Business Degrees Travel and Leisure Hotel Business Online Payment Processor Women Management Criminal Law Marketing Product Webdesign Transportation Services The Marketing Business Prospects Trade Online Shop bed furniture free movies online Direct Hardware Supply Free Download PDF Technology Ipad doctors Specials Medical Dictionary Legacy Landscape Bank South Pacific Carpet Cleaner Best Internet Business Seo Web Marketing Doctor Healthy Doctors Diet Program Health Benefits of Drinking Water ups pills drugs Best Supplements dynasty fine jewelry Ceramic Floor Tile Online Business Degrees Property Residential and Commercial Real Estate All About Medical Bankruptcy Prevent Child Obesity Handbag and Shoes Education of Children physiotherapy school Cheap Airline Tickets Healthy Life PET online Interzoo Rehabilitation Center electric hybrid vehicles Baidu Software Center Automotive Advertising Agencies Health and Care Virtual private network Student Education Technosound Wedding Dresses excel archives Classic Car Restoration Defense Audit Banking Travel and holiday Forex Trading Jobs Cheap Car Insurance Opening the Book Safe Chemical Act Presspeople System Software Plan Life Insurance Top Best Home Improvements Cheap Car Insurance Auto Parts and Service Swiss Business Acting in Real Time Fitness Equipment Tips Bodybuilding Tips Search Engine Optimization Cardio Tips Beauty Salon Express The Best Advice Lawyer Advice Associated With Online Payday Spa and Wellness Center Packages Holiday Travel European Countries Tours Small Business Finance Electronic Cigarette Commercial Law Advice on Travel Planning Home and Family All System Education Graphic Visual Photo business between countries Shop Online Financial Security Authority Latest Fashion Trends Photoshop Wallpaper Real Estate Agents Micro Cogeneration Beauty Products Business Travel Insurance International Trucks For Sale Hair Tonic Top Web Design Business Financial Touring Start Vehicle Emissions Inspection Business Service Delivery Insurance and Finance Web Design Business Shopping Online Insurance Processing Systems Electric System Vehicle Blood Medicine European Vehicle Market Pharmaceutical Section Home sale Beauty Therapy Acupuncture Recipes Kitchen Restaurant Hardwood Flooring Resident Services The Masterchef Employment and the Economy Free Web Design Paint Creations Travel Insurance SEO Consulting Services Car Insurance Loans Doctors Dental Care Vehicle Wash Systems Search Engine Marketing Online Education Schools Natural Beauty Site Cheap Wedding Dresses annuaire automobile episiotomy and pregnant Westerly Lawyers Healthcare Travel Vacations Cheap iPhone Specifications The ReaL Estate Event Online Pharmacy and Drugstore Music Video Art CareCredit Cloud Trading Strategy House Cleaning Services Interoperability the talent agency Good Home Design shooting simulator Independent Port Services The Hotel Sax The Digital Money Booking Tickets and Hotels Online Business Loans Department of Pharmacy Law Free Credit Report football development Trending in Entertainment Prison Education Sexy Lingerie Wood Flooring Ideas Dealer Optics and Ophthalmology Car Insurance Online Urbanism and Architecture Electronic money International Conference on Education Dental Care Auto Repair Shop Auto Repair Advice Guide Dental Clinic Online Pharmacy Debt Consolidation Loans Free Software Smartphone Advice on benefits Insurance Providence Real Estate Product Research Analyst Product Research Facilitator Fashion Magazine Substance Abuse Education And Technology Marketing Strategy The Best Payday Advance Incident Report Criminal Accounting Books Caring for Pets Real Estate Financing Banking Software Solutions Financial Solutions Credit Loans Full Service Research Agency Discover our free games Business Prospects Trade Online Restaurant Hood Cleaning how to start a business Women's Health and Beauty Payday Loans Criminal Attorney Lawyers Travel and Tourism Fashion Designer The Food Products Fitness and Sports The Beginner's Guide to Businesses Tips To Make SEO Techniques Online Payday Loans Medical Advocate Englisch Training Online Drivers Education Auto Parts and Service Best hotels cheap sport shoes Dental Work Insurance Company Android Phones Financial Advice Service Mobile phone Free Credit Report  The Hair Tonic Advantage Car Rental Information Civil Law Information Payday Cash Loans Payday Cash Loans Advance Affordable Auto Insurance Effective Quality Services Car seats Product Interactions Specialist Medicina Natural Traveller and Hotel European Investment Bank Vehicle Electrical System Pet Food Shop Online Lawyer Employment Plaza Ballroom Weddings Art School The best form of insurance solutions Advice on benefits Insurance Medical coding Tutor Buying Safe Products Free Online Game Famous Fashion Designers Education in Music Virtual Currency Systems Learn Trading Folktronica music Digital currency Manufacturing Engineering Technology Fashionista The Money System Explained Good Marketing In Business Technology Ipad Real Estate Bubble CarePass for Android Business Direct Marketing Carpet Cleaner Natural Beauty Products Seo Web Marketing Business Prospects Trade Online Tool House Cleaner Bathing Equipment Financial Solutions Credit Loans Business Insurance Best Supplements Online Affiliate Marketing Web Design Jobs Online Business Degrees Travel and Leisure Hotel Property Residential and Commercial Real Estate All About Medical Bankruptcy Prevent Child Obesity Handbag and Shoes Education of Children Women Management Free Online Slots Games Healthy Life PET online Interzoo Sunrise Health and Rehabilitation Center Presspeople System Software Baidu Software Center Scientific Entrepreneurship Automotive Advertising Agencies Health and Care Virtual private network Student Education Technosound Information network energy sources Niche Dating Classic Car Restoration Defense Audit Banking Travel and holiday Safe Chemical Act Leader in internet information Music Electric The Marketing verb translation country island FILM LITERATURE GOLD STATUS A Short History of Movies Sexy Lingerie Classified ads Inspire Home Design Trauma Clinic Finance Investment Business Marketing Acting in Real Time Glasgow Tourism Herbal Medicine Cheap Car Insurance Quotes Health Pregnancy Professional Graphic and New Media Designers Legal Connect Network Generating Money Online Oregon health plan Slow Cooker Recipes Best Internet Business Terms and Conditions of Sale Products for Treating Acne Scars Hardwoods Furniture Green Tea Fitness Equipment Tips Bodybuilding Tips Forex Trading Article Marketing Colon Cleanse Tips Hair Loss Tips List Building Search Engine Optimization Cardio Tips Aromatherapy Tips Medical Weight Loss Clinic The Benefits Of Moving Insurance Travel Advice Online Dating Security Network Information Green Energy Scheme Group Auto International Business Telecommunication International All Medicine Reviews Marketplace Real Estate Review Clothing Style Management Consulting Real estate Natural Medicine Treatment Natural Beauty Skin Care Products Shop online Marketing Bank rent car guide Fishing Games cheap website traffic Health and Beauty Gambling football Clothes and Accessories Garden and Landscaping Portal Game Online E-commerce Business Car Accident Lawyer Criminal Law Best free Android apps Hotel and Travel Jobs Technology Film Industry Free Music Downloads Solar Installation Search Engine Optimization Life Technologies Football Betting Site Substance Abuse Apartments home improvement contractor job Luxury Car News Law Products and Services Business Web Hosting Company Complaints Diabetes Drug Abuse Marketing Product Make Money Online Living Without Money Apartments Luxury Car News Law Products and Services Growth Technologies Articles on business growth technologies information Health Insurance Management Advisors System Solar Panel Online Trading The Best of Insurance Payday Loans for Bad Credit Financial Solutions Credit Loans Ensure Insurance Plan Financial Management Team Payday Loans Reviews Distributed File System Student Loan Payments Cheap Insurance in Los Angeles Favorite Fashion Styles The Best Savings Rates Manage Student Loans Webshop europe business guide Shop Personal Loans debt consolidation loans Personal Loan Repayment Chiropractic Tables Webdesign Management Concepts Android Software Free Internet Solution the online casino Best Small Business Blogs Sound Beginnings Automotive Electrical Systems Skin Care in Centrum Master Ethique Cher Client Agency Law Sell Products Online Mens Shoes Strategy Business Development Women's shoes Headache Causes Shop Online Clothing Online Pharmacy Healthy Aging Battle Games best electric vehicle Commercial Real Estate Cosmetic Beauty Product Health Medicine Pharmacy Image of the Orient Fashion Jewellery

Blog Archive