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Author Topic: This is why Prometheus is a great Sci-Fi film  (Read 7271 times)


SM
Mar 03, 2017, 09:19:54 PM
Reply #31 on: Mar 03, 2017, 09:19:54 PM
Q
The one where Janek talks to Vickers (after she torches Holloway) about how a weapons factory was compromised and obliterated while he was in the military.


bb-15
Mar 06, 2017, 02:33:34 AM
Reply #32 on: Mar 06, 2017, 02:33:34 AM
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I don't expect others to share my personal taste since I believe we all have the privilege to like what we wish and not be criticized for it.
For my personal taste, "Prometheus" is a top 20 all time science fiction film. Not in my top 10 but still very good.

In looking at the criticisms of the movie in this thread, it is true as one person mentioned, that these topics have been argued to death (on IMDb for instance). So, I won't go into the details.
- I'll only say this; if I put my nitpick microscope on "Prometheus", then I'll find about 6 flaws imo.
- But I'll also add that if I put my same nitpick scrutiny on even the great "2001", I can find a couple of flaws. (On the IMDb "2001" board they were never refuted.)
No movie is perfect imo.

I'm a huge fan of the Alien franchise (having seen "Alien" in a theater when it was first released). And one thing that "Prometheus" explored for me was Ridley's Scott's long held view of the Space Jockeys.
For instance;

Quote
Ridley Scott in his director's commentary for the first Alien DVD, is that the Engineer ship in Alien was a "bomber" and that they used them as biogenic weapons to fight an ancient war against an unknown foe.
http://avp.wikia.com/wiki/Engineer

Imo there is a multitude of clues in "Prometheus" about what the Space Jockeys/Engineers are involved in.
As a movie/TV science fiction fan ("Blade Runner", "2001", Star Trek, Babylon 5), I was intrigued by all the added information about the Alien franchise.
- I realize that for many, the fatal flaw with "Prometheus" is that it did not have a monster hunt as seen in the rest of the Alien franchise. I understand the disappointment and I don't criticize anyone for that.
- But I came in with an open mind about what Ridley Scott would do with "Prometheus"; and what I saw was a blend of "2001" images, an adventure like "Jurassic Park" and a mystery idea often found in Sherlock Holmes stories.
Since I like all of those things, "Prometheus" was my kind of science fiction movie.

Imo at least,  ;)


SM
Mar 06, 2017, 03:04:19 AM
Reply #33 on: Mar 06, 2017, 03:04:19 AM
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Anyone who'd been paying attention to the pre-release publicity and then went into Prometheus expecting an Alien film has oly themselves to blame.

I also saw Prometheus as going for a more cerebral big question sort of feel.  But where 2001 never verbally voiced any questions - it visually gave us clues, then visually pointed us towards answers, and left us to arrive at conclusion that may or may not have been Clarke and Kubrick's intention, but still could work for the individual viewer.

As has been said, Prometheus flat out asks a question, answers it, asks another question, then really doesn't go anywhere with it (both figuratively and literally in terms of the constant toing and froing between ship and temple).


bb-15
Mar 06, 2017, 05:16:51 AM
Reply #34 on: Mar 06, 2017, 05:16:51 AM
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I also saw Prometheus as going for a more cerebral big question sort of feel.  But where 2001 never verbally voiced any questions - it visually gave us clues, then visually pointed us towards answers, and left us to arrive at conclusion that may or may not have been Clarke and Kubrick's intention, but still could work for the individual viewer.

As has been said, Prometheus flat out asks a question, answers it, asks another question, then really doesn't go anywhere with it (both figuratively and literally in terms of the constant toing and froing between ship and temple).

Here is my view of this. Of course I do not expect anyone to agree with me. I'm just sharing.
* Big question science fiction movies/TV can be seen as being symbolic of primal forces in the universe.

- With "2001" the space aliens who are represented by the monoliths can be viewed as a creative power.
The apes in The Dawn of Man sequence are shown to be helped along in their evolution by the space aliens/monolith.
At the end of "2001" Dave Bowman is transformed, in a sense reborn.
- All this points to an ultimate power of creation.
- Culturally in our world this is seen, as a positive creative force.
- This is a message which can be understood by a Western audience.

- But there is an opposite to creation which is destruction which is seen as an evil.
In "The Thing" (1982) the alien is an unrelenting infection which seems to be unstoppable.
It takes over, it mimics and by its nature is destructive.   
This leads to a message of evil.

- Imo "Prometheus" is ultimately outside of that.
I'll begin with a question.

Quote
Shaw: They created us. Then they tried to kill us. They changed their minds. I deserve to know why.

Naturally since Shaw's character is a Christian, she would want to know why the Engineers did this.
And much of the audience want to put the Engineers in the buckets of either creator (good) or destroyer (bad).
- However, the audience is given an answer which many of them may not have seen or may not want to accept.
From David;

Quote
David: The answer is irrelevant. Does it matter why they changed their minds?

And the statement which Ridley believes is key to "Prometheus";

Quote
David: Sometimes to create, one must first destroy.

* What is this? It is a concept of ultimate power in the universe which is foreign/strange to many westerners.
In Hinduism there is a creator (Brahma), a preserver (Vishnu) and a destroyer (Shiva).
It simply is the way of things from that tradition.

* In an interview, Ridley Scott covers a lot of ground including about the Engineer who sacrificed himself in the beginning of "Prometheus".

Quote
If you parallel that idea with other sacrificial elements in history – which are clearly illustrated with the Mayans and the Incas – he would live for one year as a prince, and at the end of that year, he would be taken and donated to the gods in hopes of improving what might happen next year, be it with crops or weather, etcetera.
http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/interview-sir-ridley-scott-explains-prometheus-explores-our-past-and-teases-future-alien-stories-716238

* While some viewers are focused on getting an answer that is consistent with Christian or Jewish religion, Ridley wanted to go beyond that.
From Damon Lindelof;

Quote
Yeah it’s interesting, because one of the things we kept coming back to, and what Ridley really wanted to do, was how do we take creation myth? This is something that is in Christian-Judeo culture is Garden of Eden, God creates Adam and Eve, etc, etc. He was like, prior to that, I’m interested in Greco-Roman creation or Aztec creation where there are many gods and these gods basically make man out of themselves. This idea that they sacrifice themselves or take a piece of themselves and create man in their own image. I think that’s very interesting. Can we do that on a sci-fi level? And so the opening of the movie is basically this idea of dissolving one’s self, sacrificing one’s own protoplasm or genetic material in order to become the birth of a new life form.

http://diymag.com/archive/a-long-prometheus-discussion-with-writer-damon-lindelof/

* Imo certain viewers are looking for an answer in "Prometheus" which is not intended by Ridley to be there.
- The Engineers create and destroy. That is who they are.
That is what David is pointing to where Shaw with her background cannot understand it.   
- And the cultures that Ridley was referencing in the film; Greco-Roman, Aztec, Mayan, Inca; death is part of life, and destruction is part of creation.

This is why the Engineer does not respond positively to Weyland's speech in the extended / deleted version of the encounter or with David's explanation.
For the Engineers on LV-223, it was time for the humans on earth to die/be transformed.

* Many people I've discussed this with on IMDb have disagreed with me.
But that's how I see these issues in "Prometheus".

Imo at least. ;)


SM
Mar 06, 2017, 05:35:17 AM
Reply #35 on: Mar 06, 2017, 05:35:17 AM
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The point is though, Shaw wants to know why.  The answer isn't irrelevant to her.  Nor, by that point is it irrelevant o the audience.  We want an answer, but don't even really get a hint.

"In order to create, one must first destroy" is a lazy cop-out of an answer.  If they'd showed some other lifeform on the planet being killed after drinking from the river, that answer might've worked because it would show the Engineers wiping something out in favour of the new lifeform they've seeded.

I'm perfectly aware of the various faiths that have creation/ destruction cycles as I'm sure are many others, but I still find David's responses to be unsatisfying.  With any luck there will be some more insight in Covenant.  Even David and Shaw finding all the Engineers dead, leaving us with no answer, and thus leaving the meaning of our existence to be unknowable, would be a more satisfying denouement than the end of Prometheus.  (A film I enjoy despite its shortcomings)

« Last Edit: Mar 06, 2017, 05:37:29 AM by SM »

windebieste
Mar 06, 2017, 07:57:04 AM
Reply #36 on: Mar 06, 2017, 07:57:04 AM
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'PROMETHEUS' certainly has its merits. Enough to make it rewatchable - but it does demand preparation from the viewer to accept that it isn't a straight up and center 'ALIEN' movie.  The tangents it takes us on are valuable expansions to the Universe and the symbolic and pseudo intellectual content breaths a much needed dimension into what would otherwise be another ho-hum space adventure. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how it dovetails into the new 'ALIEN' movies.  One of 'PROMETHEUS' apparent weaknesses is its sense of incompleteness.  I am hoping when 'ALIEN: Covenant' is released, 'PROMETHEUS' can be appreciated in context a lot better, making it obvious it's a Prologue of sorts, difficult to fully appreciate on its own simply because we have yet to witness its further reaching implications.

While I doubt 'PROMETHEUS' can be considered a great Sci-Fi film on its own, once Scott and company have finished with this new trilogy, we may yet to see the 'ALIEN' saga become the greatest Sci-Fi movie series of all time.   

It's just not enough to appreciate 'PROMETHEUS' strength when clearly its relevance to the series is not yet able to be fully appreciated by any audience.   There's something much deeper and richer ultimately being offered here. 

'ALIEN': Covenant' may end up being a blood bath of a movie but I suspect every drop of blood spilt in this upcoming movie will have meaning.  Scott is a wily fox.  He's reaching the end of his career.  He's not going to settle for just another space slasher movie.  He'll want to invest all of his philosophies, ideologies and symbolism into this epic so the world will appreciate him and these movies on his terms.

That started with 'PROMETHEUS' and it sure as Hell hasn't abated with this new movie, either.

-Windebieste.



bb-15
Mar 06, 2017, 06:59:37 PM
Reply #37 on: Mar 06, 2017, 06:59:37 PM
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The point is though, Shaw wants to know why.  The answer isn't irrelevant to her.  Nor, by that point is it irrelevant o the audience.  We want an answer, but don't even really get a hint.

"In order to create, one must first destroy" is a lazy cop-out of an answer.  If they'd showed some other lifeform on the planet being killed after drinking from the river, that answer might've worked because it would show the Engineers wiping something out in favour of the new lifeform they've seeded.

I'm perfectly aware of the various faiths that have creation/ destruction cycles as I'm sure are many others, but I still find David's responses to be unsatisfying.  With any luck there will be some more insight in Covenant.  Even David and Shaw finding all the Engineers dead, leaving us with no answer, and thus leaving the meaning of our existence to be unknowable, would be a more satisfying denouement than the end of Prometheus.  (A film I enjoy despite its shortcomings)

As you wrote "With any luck there will be some more insight in Covenant."
The release date is May 17 this year. There won't be long to wait.
We will see what that movie says about the Space Jockey mystery.

In the meantime, we don't need to agree about the ending of "Prometheus".

Imo at least.  ;)
 
PS. I have a reply to Windebieste which will have to wait until someone posts another comment to this thread.

« Last Edit: Mar 06, 2017, 07:27:05 PM by bb-15 »

Russ840
Mar 06, 2017, 09:35:23 PM
Reply #38 on: Mar 06, 2017, 09:35:23 PM
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Go for it bb-15


bb-15
Mar 07, 2017, 04:06:24 AM
Reply #39 on: Mar 07, 2017, 04:06:24 AM
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First, thanks to Russ840 for giving me the opportunity for my reply to Windebieste.  :)

'PROMETHEUS' certainly has its merits. Enough to make it rewatchable - but it does demand preparation from the viewer to accept that it isn't a straight up and center 'ALIEN' movie.  The tangents it takes us on are valuable expansions to the Universe and the symbolic and pseudo intellectual content breaths a much needed dimension into what would otherwise be another ho-hum space adventure. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how it dovetails into the new 'ALIEN' movies.  One of 'PROMETHEUS' apparent weaknesses is its sense of incompleteness.  I am hoping when 'ALIEN: Covenant' is released, 'PROMETHEUS' can be appreciated in context a lot better, making it obvious it's a Prologue of sorts, difficult to fully appreciate on its own simply because we have yet to witness its further reaching implications.

While I doubt 'PROMETHEUS' can be considered a great Sci-Fi film on its own, once Scott and company have finished with this new trilogy, we may yet to see the 'ALIEN' saga become the greatest Sci-Fi movie series of all time.   

It's just not enough to appreciate 'PROMETHEUS' strength when clearly its relevance to the series is not yet able to be fully appreciated by any audience.   There's something much deeper and richer ultimately being offered here. 

'ALIEN': Covenant' may end up being a blood bath of a movie but I suspect every drop of blood spilt in this upcoming movie will have meaning.  Scott is a wily fox.  He's reaching the end of his career.  He's not going to settle for just another space slasher movie.  He'll want to invest all of his philosophies, ideologies and symbolism into this epic so the world will appreciate him and these movies on his terms.

That started with 'PROMETHEUS' and it sure as Hell hasn't abated with this new movie, either.

-Windebieste.

I appreciate the insights;

"The tangents it takes us on are valuable expansions to the Universe and the symbolic and pseudo intellectual content breaths a much needed dimension into what would otherwise be another ho-hum space adventure."

This is the way I looked at it. I know for some that it was painful to sit through more of a science fiction / Star Trek type of adventure than a more focused monster hunt film. However, "Prometheus" did what the previous franchise follow ups were not able to do; it greatly opened up the Alien universe in terms of time and distance.   

"There's something much deeper and richer ultimately being offered here."

Absolutely, as I posted before about Scott's long held insights into the backstory of the Space Jockey;

Quote
Ridley Scott in his director's commentary for the first Alien DVD, is that the Engineer ship in Alien was a "bomber" and that they used them as biogenic weapons to fight an ancient war against an unknown foe.
http://avp.wikia.com/wiki/Engineer

Ridley's vision about "Alien" is pretty vast. The only thing comparable which quickly comes to mind in popular dramatized science fiction is the Babylon 5 backstory with the Vorlons and the Shadows.

"Scott is a wily fox...  He'll want to invest all of his philosophies, ideologies and symbolism into this epic so the world will appreciate him and these movies on his terms."

"Prometheus" certainly sets the stage for that. The view of the Space Jockeys/Engineers is now not boxed in; such as with the War of the Worlds trope of greedy aliens which is carried on with Independence Day.
- The Engineers are certainly antagonists but not in an easily recognized form.
Ridley can bring back the murderous Xenomorphs (and possibly Deacons) in Covenant but at the same time touch on grander ideas concerning what the history of the galaxy is about in this franchise.

Imo at least. ;)   


The_Foxcatcher
Mar 25, 2017, 12:37:11 PM
Reply #40 on: Mar 25, 2017, 12:37:11 PM
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Quote
Connecting the dots in Prometheus would be for example deducing that the Hammerpedes are mutated worms. The transformation is not shown happening, the audience is required to put two and two together. There are worms in the goo+the goo mutates organisms = the worms mutated. There is quite a bit of connecting the dots required in Prometheus, and that is a good thing.

Same goes with 'Vickers knowingly recruits incompetent scientists'.

-Vickers being negative towards her Dad's intention of living longer
-Vickers saying 'For those of you I hired personally, it’s nice to see you again' during the mission briefing scene
-Vickers asking Shaw & Holloway to not report back to the ship once they find 'beings' down there (pyramids)
-Milburn & Fifield opting out after they found a dead alien 'being' and to go back to the ship.

Now, connect the dots.

And what the hell is 'Fanwanking' ?!  That's what I call insulting.

I'm not saying David went to Mars to get an upgrade before joining the mission, while Ford got a divorce because her husband wouldn't let her sign for the misson and stay away for 5 friggin' years and that Vickers was a Replicant specially designed by Tyrell as a gift to Weyland and stuffs like that! That's what you could call 'Fanwanking'

Quote
And don't get me wrong, fanwanking can involve smart thinking, if it makes the movie better for you that's great, it just doesn't make it a de facto great movie, and your explanations may work for you but they're not actual facts that should be deduced by smart audiences. In fact, the more you have to fanwank when watching a movie, the less "great" and "smart" the movie is. And there's a LOT of fanwanking required to enjoy Prometheus, as you are proving.

If forming logical deductions & conjecture based on the information coming from the movie, is what you call 'Fanwanking', I'm glad that you're happy in the world of your personalised dictionary.

Quote
For you a confrontation between Shaw and Ford was inessential, and yet the result of your inessential scene not being there is that when Ford died I really didn't care or give a f**k ( and neither did Shaw ). Ripley being concerned for Lambert was a nice touch in Alien... but then again Alien IS a great movie.

Situation in Alien and Prometheus was different. Lambert/Ripley confrontation occurred in the first half and the pacing was slow. Shaw/Ford dispute arose in the second half just when the movie gained its full pace. Weyland's surprise occurred and the movie's focus went to meeting with the Engineer. It was important to take care of other quick layers like Janek indicating Shaw that he will not let the black stuff reach Earth at any cost (hence balancing his character motivation when he chose to do a suicide attack, otherwise the audience would've gone WTF!) and David revealing Shaw that the Engineers were heading for Earth etc. A confrontation between Shaw and Ford would have been out of the way and decreased the tempo. Its not as essential like Chewbecca not hugging princess Leia at the end of Star Wars: TFA, because Ford wasn't that of a focussed character to care for. 

Scott is great at making movie 'universes'. You can fanwank your confrontation scene in your mind, it won't be hard for you. 


Whereas, for those who liked Prometheus, we got what was needed to be shown in the film.

 

« Last Edit: Mar 25, 2017, 12:48:24 PM by The_Foxcatcher »

Russ840
Mar 25, 2017, 08:42:09 PM
Reply #41 on: Mar 25, 2017, 08:42:09 PM
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Great. Your back and being rude again. Also mistaking your opinion for fact again.   


Olde
Mar 25, 2017, 09:20:11 PM
Reply #42 on: Mar 25, 2017, 09:20:11 PM
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Quote
Shaw: They created us. Then they tried to kill us. They changed their minds. I deserve to know why.

Naturally since Shaw's character is a Christian, she would want to know why the Engineers did this.
This is ultimately the essence of the movie and the most superficial part of the film. Ridley Scott in his later years seems to be asking questions that have already been raised and answered in much more profound and elegant ways. Prometheus did comparatively little with this concept. The Book of Job gives a much better scenario and account than Prometheus, and answers this most basic of questions in a significantly more meaningful way than Ridley Scott could ever do.


bb-15
Mar 25, 2017, 09:43:47 PM
Reply #43 on: Mar 25, 2017, 09:43:47 PM
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Foxcatcher; I'm going to just focus on this fanwanking claim compared with explanations by filmmakers.

Quote
And don't get me wrong, fanwanking can involve smart thinking, if it makes the movie better for you that's great, it just doesn't make it a de facto great movie, and your explanations may work for you but they're not actual facts that should be deduced by smart audiences. In fact, the more you have to fanwank when watching a movie, the less "great" and "smart" the movie is. And there's a LOT of fanwanking required to enjoy Prometheus, as you are proving.

If forming logical deductions & conjecture based on the information coming from the movie, is what you call 'Fanwanking', I'm glad that you're happy in the world of your personalised dictionary.

There is a difference between speculations by fans / viewers and people bringing up explanations which are based on what happened in the film and backed up by the movie's filmmakers in interviews / film disk commentaries and movie disk documentaries.

Such film explanations are not fan fiction ("fanwanking").
- Example with "Blade Runner"; there is a book about it called "Future Noir" (I own a copy). In that book Ridley Scott gives his explanations about BR.
Repeating the BR explanations by Ridley is not fan fiction ("fanwanking").
- Another example; "2001"; Kubrick did interviews about it and the co-writer of the script, Arthur C. Clarke, wrote a "2001" novel while the movie was being made. Referencing explanations about "2001" which agrees with Kubrick / Clarke is not fan fiction ("fanwanking").
- An example from this "Prometheus" board in the thread titled; "LV-223 and LV-426 Orbit the same planet!!". The claim in the thread title is supported by Ridley Scott and the Fox studio in their websites and comics. That thread title is not fan fiction ("fanwanking").

** My point has nothing to do with whether someone dislikes "Prometheus" or not. Everyone has the privilege to their own personal taste and if that leads to a dislike of "Prometheus", so be it.
- My point has to do with how comments about films are labeled and knowing the difference between fan fiction and explanations which are backed up by the filmmakers.

Imo at least. ;-)

PS. I see that Olde has just quoted one of my comments in this thread. I'll reply after someone makes another post here. ;)

« Last Edit: Mar 25, 2017, 10:04:46 PM by bb-15 »

Hemi
Mar 27, 2017, 09:35:58 AM
Reply #44 on: Mar 27, 2017, 09:35:58 AM
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If you have to explain it afterwards to your viewers then your movie is flawed. A normal person has not seen the comics/websites and probably never will. That is why most view the movies as "canon". It has to make sense with the first view. Why would anyone see a movie a second time because he didn't get it the first?

I think you are "white knighting" Prometheus a bit too much. But if you personally enjoy it more after these "explanations" then power to you. I rather forget it...

Ergo, Vis a Vis, Concordently... Imo at least :P


 

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