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June 12, 2012

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R

That was beautifully put. I'll be thinking for a while about your comment on how franchises and fans interact, and especially your thoughts on David, whose queer coding I hadn't picked up on consciously.

Hunter Kelly

There were two things that bothered me about Prometheus. The first and most annoying was that noomi and what's-his-face are the WORST archaeologists in history. First, they landed right on top of the site they wanted to study, most likely ruining countless artifacts in the process. Then, as soon as they land, they immediately charge head first into the alien Epcot center and start fucking with everything along the way. Don't even get me started on the helmet removal scene. It made sense for the crew of the nostromo to bumble around in Alien because they are blue collar miners who don't care and just wanna get paid. I expect more from 'scientists' then acting like children set loose in chucky cheese.

The other thing that bothered me was the process to create an alien. It takes an infected human to impregnate another human with a giant squid that then face hugs an engineer that then chest bursts a full grown alien/pterodactyl hybrid? The odds of that happening again seem pretty slim. I'm hoping that the process is explained a bit better in the sequels. There was a carving of an OG legit alien in the giant head room, so I'm guessing the engineers know what's up.

Also, while I'm complaining about logic, what's the deal with the magic hologram trails that everyone in alien Epcot seems to accept without question? I understand that it is just a tool to further the plot, but there's got to be a better way to do that then having a hologram tupac show up. I hope the engineers gave Dr. Dre some royalties. Dre invented that shit like 100 years before.

Another question, why do the engineers hate humans so much? The opening scene shows an engineer killing himself to create life on earth (I think), and it's clear from the cave paintings that the engineers have visited earth many times in the past, so why does the engineer at the end wanna kick so much human ass? He seems really upset. I guess I'd be mad too if someone broke into my Epcot house and woke me up from a deep sleep. I'd probably just yell and maybe not rip heads off. I bet that guy was on the Engineer version of PCP and bath salts.

Can we talk about the 'abortion' scene now? How did lady scientist NOT feel a baby squid inside her immediately? And why was the doctor robot tube that was installed for the lady captain of the ship not programmed to operate on women? And how in the fuck is a person who got a sketchy back alley c-section supposed to get up and run and jump and climb all over alien Epcot? She wouldn't even be able to sit up on her own. I would have gone with the coat hanger option, personally. Plus, it would have made for a MUCH better scene.

All in all, the plot left me with more questions than answers, but not in the way the film makers intended. I didn't have any deep spiritual thoughts about the origins and meaning of life, instead I got the impression that at best humans are an experiment in creating and destroying life and at worst humans were created as a multi-millennia long practical joke. (Engineer while high on bath salts: "dude. Dude!! I got the best idea. Lets make some shit and then make it kill itself. That would be so sweet!!!")

Ok, so that was five things. Maybe six. I lost count. Prometheus did have a couple things going for it. One, it was a really pretty movie. Two, it had some pretty good CG in it, and that's saying a lot because I generally hate CG. Three, a giant squid fights a giant dude. Four, I'm still talking about it several days later. Five, it made me write the longest and only movie review I've written in my life, and it was writen on my iPhone.

Hunter Kelly

And then there is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x1YuvUQFJ0

Ben Owen

Hunter: You nailed it. Thanks. I mean, I guess figuring out why the engineers hate humans so much is meant to keep us curious for the next film. But if so much of the film is so sloppy about basic plausibility, there's little sense that its answers concerning bigger stuff are going to be much more satisfying.

S Z

"And why was the doctor robot tube that was installed for the lady captain of the ship not programmed to operate on women?"

No answers for any of your other questions, but I presumed that the doctor robot tube was paid for and intended for the use of Mr. Ancient Weyland Patriarch, who was after all in charge of the whole damn operation.

99

Okay, I've been holding off on this until I saw it. And then I did. And everything Ben and Hunter are saying is right on. I lay most of it at the feet of Damon Lindelof, though.

A couple of things: it would have been a much better movie if they had wholly abandoned any relationship to the Alien franchise. Instead they put is all of this stuff that are signatures of the series("strong" female characters, androids with sketchy agendas, the Weyland Corporation, a ragtag band of working class guys), but tweak it a bit and play coy and then don't add it up. I don't mean they should have hit the points to satisfy the fanboys. It just connect, in any obvious way.

David is the most fully realized character, but he's also the most problematic, largely because of the weight of the franchise. What are the rules of androids here? Is he like Bishop (also a GBA) programmed not to hurt people? Or is he like Ash, following some secret mission? He has so much agency, and does seem to have this plan to have us destroyed, but it's fairly unclear what this plan is or when he hatched it.

I blame Lindelof because this is the same flaw that hurt Lost: they lay out all of these things that are clearly connected and have some secret behind them, but ultimately, the secret is never revealed. Or rather, a character's behavior appears to be based in some motivation and building to some climax, but when we get there, it doesn't actually explain anything. It feels like a puzzle you can figure out, but the picture on the outside of the box doesn't match what you get in the end.

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