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[movies] Prometheus - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-06-21 05:44
Subject: [movies] Prometheus
Security: Public
Tags:culture, movies, reviews
Last night, I went with Team E— to see Prometheusimdb ].

Wow.

That was bad.

I don't mean interesting or funny bad like "Eye of Argon" or Attack of the Killer Tomatoesimdb ]. I mean intellectually offensive and fatuously stupid bad. Like Star Wars Episode I [ imdb ] bad, except without the benefit of Lucas' nuanced character development and sly, trenchant wit.

Prometheus made me want to ask if anyone involved in this movie had ever actually seen, you know, a movie. Or read a book. Or possibly even once spoken to someone who remembered having done so at some point in their lives. Or, you know, science. Plot logic. Character development.

Trust me on this one: slam your hand in the kitchen drawer. It will feel better in the end, and your trip to the E.R. will be more interesting and entertaining than this movie was.

The best comment I've seen on why the movie was so bad comes from the Web comic Hijinks Ensue. Other people also have a lot to say.

I'm pretty sure the slogan around the Prometheus production crew was "Millions for special effects, not one cent for story." Which, admittedly, has been a big trend in movies these past few decades. But how could the people involved not know what an utter, steaming pile of dog crap they were making? Did anyone have control of this project? Prometheus was allegedly directed by some guy with the same name as the director of Bladerunnerimdb ]. Ridley Scott should sue that dude for defamation of character.

Either that, or the entire film was some gigantic post-modern joke that I missed completely. Basically, a $120 million episode of Candid Camera with America's cinema audiences as the victims. (I'm actually kind of hoping for this interpretation to turn out to be true.)

I suppose my real reaction to this movie was to want to write an entirely new script to dub over the gorgeous filmmaking with a story that actually makes some sense. If you must watch it, do so with the sound turned off and invent your own dialog. Everyone in the theater will thank you.

What did you think of Prometheus?

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joycemocha: guntotinliberal
User: joycemocha
Date: 2012-06-21 13:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:guntotinliberal
Not. Going. Period.

Alien was bad enough when it came to scary stuff, and I was younger and more inclined to watch it. I didn't watch the sequels and I have no intention of spending cash on Prometheus. I'd sooner go watch Avengers again (and now I want to see the cool Firefly version that goes with that lovely trailer, that is, if it really existed). My reaction to the Prometheus trailers was "meh," and subsequent reviews have confirmed it for me.
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Tim Lieder
User: marlowe1
Date: 2012-06-22 07:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
But there's a really funny abortion scene...
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joycemocha
User: joycemocha
Date: 2012-06-22 13:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No.
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Tim W. Burke
User: timwb
Date: 2012-06-21 14:49 (UTC)
Subject: I walked out before the stupid infected me.
Posted about it, but those links are better than my rant.
I hope things are going well.
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ulfhirtha
User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2012-06-21 15:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
In a nutshell, I saw "Prometheus" after having re-watched ALIEN. (which, to be fair, has it's own WTF??? moments, just as was said at the time...let's go chase the ship's cat??) My reaction is much the same as Lrry Cireia & Hijinks' . Fassbender (or maybe Peter O'Toole) deserves an Oscar. That was pretty. Otherwise "ow".
I kept waiting for just one of the "science team" to act like a scientist. Just once. Or like a smart or prudent person. Not for the *mapping* geologist to get lost. Not for the biologist to try & pet the alien cobra. Or for the "is she a Replicant" lady not to figure out to run perpendicular & on and on. Insane Clown Posse indeed.
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Little and foxy and sexy... what more do you want?
User: little_foxy
Date: 2012-06-21 23:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
your summary of the 'science team' tells me everything I need to know about why to avoid this movie, even more so than other bits I have read, thank you for helping me save my money!
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Tim Lieder
User: marlowe1
Date: 2012-06-22 07:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Apparently in teh future EVERYONE is a scientist - especially the meth heads.
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Bruce E. Durocher II
User: bedii
Date: 2012-06-21 15:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
May I suggest http://glvalentine.livejournal.com/338248.html to you?

This was sadly predictable based on what Scott had done to the Nottingham script. A friend has recommended bringing earplugs to the theater, which suggests this film would be improved with an astronaut and two robots in the lower right corner of the screen.
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mcjulie
User: mcjulie
Date: 2012-06-21 16:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
want to write an entirely new script to dub over the gorgeous filmmaking

Yes. For me, the most frustrating thing was the glimmers throughout of a much better movie that could easily have been made from the same raw material. It's one of those movies where a lot of the peripheral thematic stuff is interesting, but it misses out on the fundamental core of storytelling so badly that nothing else ends up mattering.
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russ: lyles constant
User: goulo
Date: 2012-06-21 16:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:lyles constant
I've read enough about it to know I'm not going to see this movie.

I'm often amazed that people go see these movies even after reading tons of negative reviews. Why?

I guess just because "It's science fiction and I like science fiction!" or something?

Bleah. They keep making movies with big budget special effects and stupid scripts because people keep paying money and going to see them.

Seriously! Why reward crappy film-making by giving them money? If we quit giving them money, they'll quit doing it.
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Tim Lieder
User: marlowe1
Date: 2012-06-22 07:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That Hijinks Ensue comic sums it up nicely. It's basically the fact that people WANT to like the movie. Many are convincing themselves that they liked it even after they saw it.
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They Didn't Ask Me: zoe-barnes-spacesuit
User: dr_phil_physics
Date: 2012-06-21 18:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:zoe-barnes-spacesuit
We've gone to see so many SF B-movies, it's just so tough when someone has done A-movie visuals and then just let the actors say whatever they wanted without a script. Oh, they had a script? Damn. That's even worse.

Dr. Phil
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2012-06-21 18:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This was the first time the 3D glasses were actually used to good effect. I avoid 3D movies in general because I find 3D effects to be useless at best, but there was some pretty stuff. And that is the very best thing I have to say about this movie. Offensively stupid. I would LOVE to see someone actually dub an intelligent movie over this POS.
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cate_morgan
User: cate_morgan
Date: 2012-06-21 19:13 (UTC)
Subject: o_O
When an entire movie audience goes "WTF?!" at the end, Alien fan or no, it's a bad, bad sign.

It's like they fell in love with some high-falutin' ideas, and realized halfway through they needed characters. Or something.

Maybe a plot? Should we have a plot? I mean, I suppose we should spackle the cracks with SOMETHING. And we're all out of yogurt.

All in all, it was "meh."
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Rovanda
User: rovanda
Date: 2012-06-22 02:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm going to dissent here and say that I really enjoyed it. I'm even planning to buy the DVD.

I'll admit, I was largely going for the cool special effects and the "feel" of it, but I also enjoyed the story, even with all its flaws. I'm not sure which movies I love could be said to not have similar flaws, to similar extent. Fifth Element, as one example. :)

The conversations didn't strike me as wrong or unnatural, so I'm not quite sure what aspect of that bothered so many people. Ok, so the "geologist" and "biologist" were obviously not, but they were also the first sacrifices in a horror-type movie, so it gets a pass from me.

Of course, it was also great fun to pick apart the story after with friends and talk out ways it could have made sense.

David's motivations in particular were fascinatingly opaque, and believably so since he's not human. I thought the role was beautifully acted, and we had a great time pondering what it was he actually said to the "Engineer." "Please kill my dad," maybe.

I went in expecting cool visuals, lots of action, and a world with a similar feel to Alien, and I wasn't disappointed.

As a side note, I was actually really pleased with the way women were treated in the story - as characters, rather than token cute chicks.
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Tim Lieder
User: marlowe1
Date: 2012-06-22 07:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It DOES pass the Bechdel test, even as the super awesome surgery machine doesn't do females and doesn't know the difference between a stomach and a vagina.
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Rovanda
User: rovanda
Date: 2012-06-22 21:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That WAS rather odd, being as it was in the female expedition-head's personal quarters/lifeboat.

Perhaps it helps that I went in with rather specific and limited expectations? You can't really be disappointed if you don't expect the "science" or storyline to do anything but serve the special effects and jump moments...

But I still love David, and all the possibilities of him NOT telling the truth, about anything. I mean, we only have his word that the ship was going to Earth, which he selected from the interactive navigation-thingy.
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Rowan aka: The Seticat: ** 2lumps - better-than-tv - allicha
User: seticat
Date: 2012-06-22 03:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:** 2lumps - better-than-tv - allicha
If you must watch it, do so with the sound turned off and invent your own dialog. Everyone in the theater will thank you.

So essentially do a group wide 'MST3K' with surround sound and popcorn.
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User: flaming_ewok
Date: 2012-06-22 05:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is the first time I can remember leaving a movie outright angry. I can normally forgive a movie for having one or two "dumb" moments, but this seemed to have something stupid every ten minutes. I was never able to suspend my disbelief, and by the end I was laughing out loud at the actions of the characters. There may be a good idea buried somewhere in this mess (as its defenders are claiming), but it's completely undone by the embarrassingly inept storytelling. Execution is just as important as conception.

My blood pressure is rising again, so I'm going to stop now. :)
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Tim Lieder
User: marlowe1
Date: 2012-06-22 07:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)


The funny part is the fact that the previous video is a half hour review that is one of those "we really liked it, but it had some problems" review. And then this one just comes along and demolishes it.
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Tim Lieder
User: marlowe1
Date: 2012-06-22 07:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The only joy I get out of that movie is snarking on it and finding other people who are snarking on it. I find it interesting that this movie is one of those movies that everyone went in WANTING to like and wrote reviews about how much they liked it and then slowly but surely the "backlash" came when people realized that it was utter shit.

My contribution - http://marlowe1.livejournal.com/2045055.html
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amandapillar
User: amandapillar
Date: 2012-06-23 03:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I ended up writing a review, which I never do cos of lack of time. But it was so bad. So very very bad.

I think this was made especially painful for me (since I just finished me MA on archaeoastronomy).
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