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So I saw Prometheus
msauvage purple
@cleolinda: TODAY \;;;/

@cleolinda: #leavingthehouseomg on the Good Ship Nobody Dies in ten minutes; have not figured out a Cthulhu Doing the Cabbage Patch emoticon

@cleolinda: IT HAS BEEN SEEN. FIVE TENTACLES UP. \;;;\ /;;;/ ~;;;~ \;;;\ /;;;/ #prometheus

@cleolinda: I have a few distinct thoughts about wtf the movie was trying to do, and as soon as I get home, I will explain. WOOOOOOOO

@cleolinda: We will go into the spoiler linkspam I have been saving sight unseen and my feels, as the kids say, about the overall series later.

I want to be as vague as possible with the spoilers, but--responses to this movie seem so violently mixed that, when I had a sudden epiphany as the movie ended, I felt like people might go into it with different expectations if they approached it a particular way. For one thing, none of the Alien movies are anything like the others, if you think about it. I always thought Alien itself was kind of slow until I read that Ridley Scott thought of it as "a haunted house movie," and then I got it. Whereas Aliens is kind of a war movie, by contrast. (I think I've only seen #3 and #4 once each, when they originally came out; I can't really say what "secret" genre they might be.) I like that they're all different. I didn't want this to be a remake of Alien; I wanted to see the filmmakers think of yet another take on the story. In fact, there is a movie I really love, in a wildly different genre, that Prometheus reminded me of:

MILD SPOILERS Read more...Collapse )


Actually, you know why I was really open to whatever was going to happen in this movie, most likely? Because I had read THIS, this COMPLETELY WACKADOO alleged plot rundown, several months ago. These are, like, Alternate Universe Reverse Spoilers, in the sense that none of this happens at all: Read more...Collapse )


BE WARNED THAT THE COMMENTS WILL BE A WILD FRONTIER OF SPOILERS, although I kind of hope people try to stay vague enough that others will still want to go see the movie so we have even more people to talk about it with. I'll post the spoiler linkspam on, I don't know, Monday? We can get into it then.

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My issues are not the ones you seem to be alluding to others having. I am perfectly fine with Shaw and David running off together in their nifty spaceship and trying to find the space jockeys. I just spent about two hours with my father and my brother trying to make the many gaping plot holes make sense. I LOVED the first half of the movie. I loved the thoughtful tone and the slow, careful setup. I did not love that this member of a supposedly intelligent race woke up towards the end and immediately acted like an idiotic brute whose actions seemed just as primal as the mindless monsters and, eventually, the xenomorphs down the line.

What IS the goo, anyways? Idris Elba determines it's a weapon apparently based on the fact that one crew member got sick and killed before anyone could conclude what would eventually happen to him, and another one mutated and went crazy. He doesn't just determine, "Oh, there is something dangerous here." He determines, "This was probably a military installation and they were developing weapons to set upon other races, and it got loose and killed them." What the goo REALLY seems to do is make things evolve. The crazy killer worms seem to have evolved from the regular-looking worms once they stewed around in the goo. And the goo seems an AWFUL LOT like the goo in the very beginning that started the evolutionary chain to turn a space jockey into the human race. Evolution is what we see the goo ACTUALLY DO. The killer worm seems to be the thing that actually mutated the biologist and drove him crazy. So if it's not actually weapons development, maybe they're just going back to earth to kickstart their evolution some more?

I don't think the beginning scene was an accident. I thought it was a deliberate method of evolving DNA into something else.

What is the point of Charlize Theron's character? Her big "thing" is that she turns out to be Weyland's daughter, but what does she do with it? She wants him to die so she can take over, so why doesn't she do anything to help that along? Why not have her doing something to sabotage the mission? On the screen, her story has no narrative impact whatsoever.

Basically, we had a whole lot of questions. I think that our biggest disappointment is probably why the space jockey at the end acts like such a mindless violent THING. Like. Come on. And I felt strongly that the film should have either been further or closer to being an actual Alien prequel. As it stands, there's almost no reason the exact same movie couldn't have played out on the right planet with the alien eggs engineered by the space jockeys. It's like Ridley Scott said, "I'm making another Alien movie, but I'm pretending like I'm not, so I'm going to change a few minor things so it doesn't feed into a direct prequel."

We had a lot more issues we talked about, but I am having trouble thinking of them all.

See, a lot of people seemed to think the opening scene was a suicide? Well, I mean, yes, it was literally, but as an act primarily intended to end the engineer's life, not to accomplish something else. But that's what I thought it was, he was sacrificing himself and donating his DNA to evolution. I don't know how you get selected for that job, exactly, but I kind of felt like that scene was supposed to be showing us how they create life on a planet.

And yeah, I am confused/intrigued by what the hell the engineer waking up and freaking out was about. I mean, I guess there's no way to know, if we're not told exactly what David said to him. The only thing I can come up with offhand would have to do with how the engineers view humans at that point anyway--were they going to destroy humanity, because... reasons? Angry reasons? In which case, having a group of them wake the guy up and beg for immortal life must have seemed... annoying, for lack of a better word.

Ahhhh the Alternate Universe Reverse Spoilers! I WANT THIS. I have avoided everything ever to do with Prometheus until I saw the trailer in front of The Avengers. And then suddenly I have to reverse my stance that it's going to be horrible, I don't need no steenkin' prequel for Alien because I am fine with the mystery of their origins and whatnot. And then I spent Tuesday night rewatching the Alien Quadrilogy and spamming twitter with it. Somewhere in there I made a comment about how the Aliens are basically Space Velociraptors. I stand by that assessment forever.

And y'know, I like that there aren't any hard and fast answers given in this movie. I really loved the parallel discussions between the science mission and David. And watching the proto-aliens evolve from the goo was just horrifying. I love the idea that the Engineers created this thing as a do-over, it'll evolve into whatever the fuck it turns into and will wipe out their previous efforts - that part about "sometimes in order to create, you need to destroy" was pretty much the entire movie in a nutshell for me.

I love the idea of Shaw flying off to find the Engineers to yell at them WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? with David's head in a bag.

AND OH GOD DAVID. HE IS EVERYTHING THAT FREAKS ME OUT ABOUT ROBOTS/AI. Like, I don't know if it's because he had two years of kicking around by himself and creepily watching everyone's dreams that he got to have a bit of an existential crisis (the D: look on his face when Ancient Guy Pearce was like YOU WILL NEVER HAVE A SOUL, ROBOTSON!) or his idea of killing his parents was unleashing a plague so let's stick our finger into the goo and start experimenting on what it might DO (science! amirite?) so this is why he wants to bring back Noomi Rapace and her Cthulhubaby for further study. I desperately wanted to like him but the moral ambiguity meant my skin was crawling the entire time.

I need there to be a five hour director's cut of this movie that I can watch a thousand times. If nothing else, it was simply gorgeous landscape porn.

Well, I just read that they cut a ton of stuff that will probably be reintegrated as a director's cut, because: Ridley Scott. I'm actually curious to see if the movie makes a lot more sense in a longer cut, as opposed to how much of it was intentionally mysterious.

(ahahahaha Space Velociraptors, +1000)

the D: look on his face when Ancient Guy Pearce was like YOU WILL NEVER HAVE A SOUL, ROBOTSON!


See, I read an interview where Fassbender was specifically like, messing with Holloway was a direct result of being told to "try harder." Because a computer can't do the same thing "harder"--it really means, "If this doesn't work, try harder to think of something else." On a certain level, I think he was just trying to experiment on the crew to see what might happen, with the possible subtext of making his "father" proud and/or immortal. I honestly don't know if he expected Shaw to conceive an alien fetus; he might have hypothesized some kind of "evolution" infection that might or might not spread to anyone else from Holloway. Because, after all, the vase he smuggled in was all he had to work with, so he might as well try the goo on someone. Like, I legitimately do not think he planned for the alien baby to happen; it was just a happy bonus. For him, anyway.

And you know, I want to just be like, okay, he was a creepy motherfucker but he was obeying his primary directives--I even kind of understand him watching her dreams, to see what human thoughts are like. But then he was like, "It must have been so horrible to watch your partner die just the way your father did. How about that, right? I enjoy talking about things that hurt you." Like, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

This is why I thought it was such a great performance, because when the trailers first came out, everyone was like, "Awwww yeaaaahhhh, get me a robot like that," and then we see the movie and it's like, UH NO. NO LONGER WANT. And yet I totally want a movie about the space adventures of Shaw and David's Head. Good job!

The whole questioning is indeed important to character development, but strangely i had the feeling like the answer to "why god why" is pretty obvious. It was said in the movie that those demi gods made a decision about humans 2000 years ago. And their first act of creation is pretty much altruistic, so it gives us an idea of their values.

Yeah. I actually read a Ridley Scott interview late last night where he mentioned cutting out (from the script? from the finished footage? I don't know?) some very obvious Jesus stuff. Like, "the Engineers sent Jesus and we killed him and now they're mad." I'm kind of glad they didn't get that on-the-nose with it, although Shaw's cross is kind of fair warning that the movie might go there. "2000 years" is enough of a hint to go there in personal theory if you want.

And yeah, even before I read that, that's why I didn't really want The Answer. I mean... we can guess the trope(s) that probably would have come into play. And they probably would have pissed at least half the audience off. In the end, I thought focusing on the act of choosing between escape and knowledge was more interesting.

I enjoyed it a lot, and was able (with a good deal of effort) to handwave most of the scientific and plot holes. But what kept bugging me was WHY, if you have cast Noomi Rapace, do you call her Elizabeth Shaw? SHE IS NOT ENGLISH, MOVIE, STOP TRYING TO PRETEND SHE'S ENGLISH. They have scientists and missionaries in Sweden too, you know!

Fassbender did an incredible job, I thought, and I loved the scenes at the beginning with him alone on the ship, playing bicycle basketball and watching movies and hanging out.

HIGHLIGHTING HIS HAIR. I will never, ever get over that. I like to imagine he sat there writing T.E. Lawrence fanfic in the long watches of the night. (I also really want to know if he really did sink that shot from the bicycle. Amazingly enough, Sigourney Weaver really did in Alien: Resurrection, so I guess it's within human plausibility?) And I liked how he was incredibly robotic during that sequence, but by the time he was interacting with the crew, you could tell his personality was evolving.

(Well, but her rather was Patrick Wilson, so... anglophone surname, I guess? I mean, the name was already in the script, I saw it more as them casting outside the box, as the expression goes.)

Edited at 2012-06-09 03:05 pm (UTC)

I was uncomfortable with the idea that we as humans were planted via genetic design by some abstract alien species, so I was relieved when it turns out the Engineers were highly-evolved humanoids who would go to life-sustaining planets (Earth and LV-223) and plant their DNA to create new breeds. Even the tiniest little tether of familiarity made me more at ease with the idea. And I really, really liked the reveal that the "space jockeys" were suits. What a great way to build on the film's mythology without undermining it's history.

What's more, I liked the idea that these Higher-Order Creators were just as morally capricious as humans - they created life, and then they upgraded their creation from within. First they made life in their image, and then they sought to make a more powerful creation. It's a natural escalation. Like Pokemon.

I still have a lot of questions about how the Engineers worked, though. Why leave that star map to that particular moon with early human civilizations? Is that where they wanted the humans to believe they came from? "This is where we're get all our good ideas! You guys were prototyped right here!" They knew humans couldn't traverse space at that point so we weren't going to meet them there. Alternatively, if it was their base of a secret-new species, why tell us? Why leave a map at all?

I'm still trying to tie together the myth of Prometheus with the beginning of the film: The first Engineer we see takes some of the DNA into his body, it consumes him, and he falls into the river. Like Prometheus, he sacrificed himself to bring something important, though not necessarily helpful or harmful on it's own, into existence.

It seems when the Engineers take the DNA, what devolves from them evolves into humans. When the DNA gets loose from the jars and joined with floor larva, it become reptile monsters/parasite zombies. When the DNA is transferred and incubated by a mating pair of humans, we get the fetal cephalopod monster. And when we combine the human-baked cephalopod monster with an Engineer, we get a xenomorph! I always kind of hoped we were the ancestors of the Alien (We have seen the xenomorph, and they are us).

What still doesn't make sense is what happened to the Engineers on the ship, why their plan was stalled for so long and only one ended up in cryo-sleep. Maybe there was some kind of contagion that required quarantine, thus why the space jockey suits are decapitated or piled up at the doors. Maybe the DNA was responsible, and 2000 years of evolution produced the floor larva? I don't know.

I was a little confused as to why David infected Holloway: David's mission was to find the Engineers and bring Weyland to them so he could live forever. I can understand David stealing and testing the alien DNA to see if it was connected to the Engineers, but why put that DNA into a human body? Did he think it would 'make' an Engineer? Even if it did, Holloway wouldn't have the knowledge to answer Weyland's questions. Ultimately, I guess David did it to test if that DNA is what killed the Engineers by seeing what would happen when an organism became infected.

And it's a small but interesting twist that David may been designed to be the "perfect" version of Meredith Vickers: both are ice blondes and "children" of Weyland. It's hinted there's something off about Meredith by her clipped manner and lurking presence - I kept waiting to find out she was android, and laughed out loud when Janek outright asked.

Of course, she didn't ACTUALLY answer him. :D


That birthing scene was what I dreamed would be in Breaking Dawn, thus scaring all of the Twihards. But alas.

It cracked me up so bad that it was like, "Look! A half-human super-accelerated mutant baby that you thought you'd never be able to have!" "GET IT OUUUUUT!!!!!"

This alien penis cobra on a planet we don't know shit about, it's beautiful! LET ME PET IT

"Oosa cyoot widdle alien squid? Ooosa cyoot widdle alien squid? Ooosa- OH GOD IT'S EATING MY FACE! IT'S EATING MY FACE!"

Did anyone else notice that Shaw essentially performed an abortion but the word was never used? That struck me as . . . well "safe" I guess. Like they were trying not to offend anyone by bringing it up. (My eyes felt VERY offended by the sight of slicing one's own abdomen to remove a creepyass alien squid.)

It was on the med-pod's console, wasn't it?

What you choose to believe

I have a lot of THOUGHTS and FEELINGS about this film and, after writing about two thousand words about said thoughts and feelings, this is what I came up with:

The theme of Prometheus is "What you chose to believe." This is as much about the characters in the movie (a bunch of unreliable narrators, the lot of them!) and us the viewers.

Shaw believed that the Engineers were benevolent beings who gave us life. Janek believed that they landed on a Military base with a biological weapon. Weyland believed they could grant him immortality. David believed...I don't ever know what David believed. But anyways, whatever the characters chose to believe they told us and that changed our view of whatever the hell was happening. We were told that David had no soul or any personality that wasn't programmed in but dude, I swear to God David was operating on his own design, he had serious ulterior motives.

So all these characters' background and previous observations led them to what they believed and, much the same, the audience went into the movie with an idea based on previous observations of what the movie would be about. And I think the movie plays on that, uses that to its advantage.

I don't know. I guess I have to write a few thousand more words on this.

Re: What you choose to believe

You know, "These characters chose to believe various things" makes more sense to me than "Janek knows that it's a military installation, because somehow." (Which, honestly, is exactly what he needs to believe in order to make the final choice that he does.) Or "Weyland somehow thinks these beings can make him immortal, because we have the least idea what they're like." Which means that "unsupported conclusions" are the point, in that scenario.

On the other hand, I'm also convinced we're going to get a director's cut with like an hour more material--I'm curious to see which parts were meant to be confusing or vague and which parts were just kind of choppy because there were scenes left out.

With this and listening to the Now Playing podcast of the Alien series kinda makes me wanna see the first two movies at least. And this is despite my aversion to Body Horror.

You really should! They are SO GOOD.

I think this can go here without stretching it too far:

As long as the story told is good and keeps me both interested and entertained, I'm not too concerned about it answering all the questions it asks.

Come to think of it, I rather like the idea of not serving a plate full of answers. It leaves room for discussion. Though I'll admit that any conclusions or speculation would be as much (or more) about the PoV of the speaker than the character, it'd still be interesting.

The "Oo, pretty!" guy and the geologist with the mapping probes who gets lost with him as they're fleeing back to Prometheus made me LOL, but First Place for Idiocy goes to Dr. Boyfriend, who takes his helmet off, thereby exposing himself to God knows what AND contaminating the alien biosphere. At that point I hissed, "You deserve everything that's coming."

I loved the ending. I would enjoy further adventures of the Girl with the Bleach Blond Robot Head.

I don't get the way the crew treated David. He's supposed to be cutting edge new technology, so shouldn't they be like "Awesome! What can he (it, if they're so inclined) do?", even if their field isn't robotics? They're scientists after all.

Instead they have said cutting edge technology fixing drinks for them while they go "You're not really a person! Boo!" at him at random.

One of the first things I thought when I got home from seeing this today was, "Squeee, now I can read Cleo's review!" Mom just read it too. We both lol'd many times.

I loved David. Yes, I agree, WTF David, but (4th wall breakage) I quite enjoy Michael Fassbender and I just enjoyed watching him be David.

My husband said the entire movie was predictable; not that he hated it (there were spaceships!). Very pretty scene-scapes and actors I like (other than Fassbender, the hubs and I are quite fond of Sean Harris from his work in The Borgias so I spent a little time imagining Fifield was Michelotto's descendant), even if the roles said actors were in were a bit shallow. C'mon, you know which characters will die. You know it! It's not even a spoiler -- anyone who goes into this movie without knowing someone will die doesn't know how movies work.

All that said, I hated Shaw in the trailer and was happy to see she grew out of her naivety rather quickly.