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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Prometheus (2012) - Quick Hit

 Prometheus (2112) - This is Quick Hit not a full review but some thoughts on this film. A wonderful fathers day gift was to spend the day doing what I wanted with my 20 yr old daughter Joy.  She and I were very excited to see Prometheus having heard only good things about the film. Going to an early afternoon showing we we two of maybe 10 people in the Real 3D showing of the film. Being at the 3D version of the film was strictly because that was the time of day we planned to be at the theater. Normally I don't pay for 3D shows as the gimmick is a bit of a pain while wearing eye glasses. After the seemingly endless string of commercials and previews the film started. The initial creation scene was bleak but effective in showing the start of a complex story.  The title Prometheus after the mythological figure who in Greek mythology was a titan who created man from clay and also stole fire for man is known as a symbol of man's striving for scientific knowledge fits wonderfully into this first scene. Prometheus acted against the wishes of Zeus and was punished this figure the act of creation was a punishment.  Joy had forgotten this scene when we started talking about the film over desserts afterwards. She had not yet made the connection and the big reveal in the plot and so thought the reveal was confusing. The basic plot is that a couple paleontologists have discovered similar wall paintings around the world. Each painting had a over sized humanoid pointing at a group of stars in the earth sky. Since the civilizations where these images were found were separated in time and through distances and had no contact with each other it must be something other worldly put them there. So have aliens been visiting earth for millennium leaving us messages to seek this star cluster? That is what Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) think. Doing some exploratory science shows them that there is one moon circling one planet in this region of space could support life. So they get funding from the Weyland Company and head into space to meet their alien friends.  The story is about the mission, the motivations of the Weyland Company's owner Peter Weyland in funding it, and the chance to meet your creator.
Note: This is a tricky write up as the film is still trying to make money. I do not want to spoil the plot by going into too much detail but I do want to say I enjoyed it. Like many good movies there is enough depth to keep you thinking yet just enough character development to make the actions of the characters organic. Being a science fiction film there is technology, pseudo science and action.
 I enjoyed the movie in 3D which is rear for me since I get a bit of motion sickness. In this film, shot by director Ridley Scott with all 3D cameras, the 3D is beautifully done. No tricks to make the effects stand out,  just a field of depth that is great to look at and enhancing the story instead of taking away from it. The sets and special effect are exceptional and many times during the film I marveled at how stunning it was.
  The acting was good if you ask me, knowing more about the writing side of films I am no expert but the cast seemed to be very good in this film. Charlize Theron was matter of fact as a Weyland executive but still had the chops to show her vulnerably side when the time came. Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland looked a bit silly in the old person makeup but played the driven head of the company well. The most significant character is the android David played with exception skill by Michael Fassbender. There were a few red shirts in the cast that you knew where fodder for the story, but the story as a whole was carried by Rapace and Fassbender. They were both very much up to the task and even with scant character development were able to be dynamic and interesting.
Are there flaws with this film? Sure as with most films but the good very much out weighs the bad. The film asks some big questions about life's origins and the desire to seek ones creator and still hold onto faith. These are not easy things to approach but the film does so and comes out okay. The main thing I think I could complain about was that considering that the group on the trip were primarily scientist, they did not act like it. The methods of inspecting and collecting samples was so bad and the lack of thought and questioning of the discovered ruins was just comical. There was also that stupid, "I'm going to take off my helmet" moment where no sane person in an alien environment would risk dying from an alien germ just because the air sort of matches that on earth. Still like I have already stated this was a good film and one I look forward to seeing again.
Rating (7.9) 5.0 and up are recommended, some just more recommended than others.


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