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movies / June 10, 2012

By now I’m assuming you’ve seen Prometheus, and we can talk freely. If not, beat it, because I’m telling all, plot-wise.

Prometheus starts out gangbusters, so beautiful and ambitious that you have to wonder how Ridley Scott is going to manage to screw it up. He does screw it up, of course, but the thing is, I don’t know why he does. He had it; it was all right there in the first scenes, all he had to do was play out the implications.

So, the first scenes. Glorious but chilling blue-grey landscapes devoid of life, in a succession of shots, the last one of a roaring waterfall over rocks, above which hovers a spacecraft. Into this shot comes a robed figure pacing up to the edge of the falls. He’s revealed to be a tall wondrous biped, looking like an ancient Greek statue come to life, with marble grey-white skin turned soft and porous, and each muscle group delineated. He drinks a cup of liquid that immediately causes a leprous blackness to fill his veins and blotch his skin and spew out of his mouth and rend him apart all the way down to the molecular level—we get to see his DNA coming unhooked—as his body falls down into the rushing water. And out of this self-annihilation, new cell combinations begin…

So this is our Prometheus, who destroys himself to create human life on Earth. And the movie’s going to be filled with would-be Prometheuses —Promethei?—committing mad acts of creative self-destruction, supposedly to benefit humanity, as they pursue their mission to find our tall creators.

(You remember Prometheus, right? Titan who created humanity from clay, stole fire from the gods for our puny benefit? Punished by Zeus in a really colorful way for messing in the Greek gods’ domain? Big symbolic figure for Enlightenment types seeking knowledge through scientific rationality? Mary Shelley titled her novel Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus? Any of this ringing a bell?)

Next sequence, it’s literally ages later and you get the scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) discovering a cave painting featuring a Titan-figure gesturing up at the planets, and surrounded by small worshipful supplicants. This proves their theory of human origins! Quick, into the sleep chambers, we’re off on the spaceship Prometheus!

Then you meet the android David, played by Michael Fassbender. A word about this Fassbender. He’s in everything lately, reportedly sporting an immense dick in many nude scenes, though I haven’t actually watched any of the films in which he’s swinging it around. I only saw him as Mr. Rochester in the recent Jane Eyre, a role calling for no nudity but lots of brio, which he hasn’t got, so I wasn’t too impressed. He’s an odd-looking actor with an almost clichéd-handsome, high-cheekboned, square-jawed face and prominent rows of even white teeth, like a piano. He also has a strangely repressed, slightly effete manner.  Which, happily, is perfect for the android David. He’ll never get a better role!

David starts off seeming to be a very traditional android in the sci-fi mold, too politely submissive and soft-spoken, like so many dangerously repressed sci-fi robots and androids before him. But then we see how cleverly Scott and company intend to complicate him and use our genre-sense of having known many an android before.

David’s duties on board include monitoring the sleeping scientists, which isn’t too taxing, so we see him occupying himself with various interestingly self-improving activities such as learning multiple ancient languages, and riding a bicycle in soothing circles while scoring a series of incredible basketball hook shots. He also watches David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia on a vast screen, while dying his hair yellow-blonde—just touching up the roots a bit—in imitation of Peter O’Toole in his famous star-making role as T.E. Lawrence. (Later O’Toole commented on his own appearance: “I looked like a dissipated schoolgirl.”)

With David we watch the great scene from Lawrence of Arabia in which Lawrence, not yet a transcendent figure, impresses his fellow army officers by putting out a lit match with his fingertips. They discover that this “trick” hurts considerably. “The trick is not MINDING that it hurts,” says Lawrence, and David walks away from the screen practicing the intonation of the line, “The trick is not MINDING that it hurts.”

So this android is modeling himself on a would-be Prometheus figure, the movie-human-Lawrence, and this should turn out to be amazing and complex and sinister in a hundred ways.  For starters, David’s model, movie-Lawrence, later finds out it will hurt, hurt so tremendously in unforeseen ways that even a man with a high physical pain-threshold will mind, say, being brutally raped, will mind humiliating failure, will mind recognizing his own moral rot. Plus, presumably androids already don’t mind that it hurts, because it doesn’t hurt—they can have their heads ripped from their bodies and carry on serenely. Or wait a minute, DOES it already hurt David, is David becoming a unique android, increasing all his humanlike sensitivities, growing himself a soul? And what will the repercussions be of growing a movie-Lawrence of Arabia-type soul?

In this film David is one of a chain of creations aspiring upward, or perhaps backwards, toward their creators, like a bunch of Frankenstein’s monsters demanding to know, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” Though he already seems to know certain bitter truths about such a quest. Told by the obnoxious, eminently killable Charlie Holloway that humans created androids for no good reason, just “because we could,” David sticks the shiv in: “Maybe that’s why THEY made YOU.”

Take that, humanity! You ain’t such a big deal as you think!

And then I got where the whole movie was going. The human explorers will find these Titan parent-figures, our supposed creators, and they’ll discover that, of course, there was only one Titan who created us and, maybe, liked the idea of us, only one “benefactor” of humankind, the Prometheus who died giving us life. That’s the danger of generalizing from one extraordinary example. All the other Titans will be mega-sized bastards with nothing but contempt for humanity, eager to wipe us out as a nasty verminous experiment gone awry. (And, well, the Titans in general aren’t wrong in this, but still. We like superior beings who can somehow retain their affection for humanity whether we deserve it or not. Like Abraham Lincoln and Michael Collins and arguably Jesus H. Christ, Prometheus-like beings who hung out patiently with us, trying to do us some good, till we killed them like the mean baboons we are.)

So obviously there’d be a lot of heavy parent-killing in the end of the movie. We’d discover that, once again, Freud and Darwin at their bleakest got it just about right. That’s a conclusion I can’t help but find refreshing in a Hollywood blockbuster, which so often tries to put a happy face on things.

At that early point of watching and predicting, I was sold. Hot damn, I thought, Ridley Scott is BACK, back as if from the dead, a mere thirty years after his two great filmic achievements, Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982).

Not that two great filmic achievements is anything to sneeze at—that’s two more than most living directors will ever have. Though a number of critics do try to sneeze at it, like Andrew O’Hehir of Salon:

 

So the first thing to say about Scott is that he has a mysteriously outsize reputation among his fans, who remain devoted to two Zeitgeist-shaping classics he directed many years ago (“Alien” and “Blade Runner,” of course), and completely unaffected by all the ensuing mediocrity.

 

Not unaffected, idiot! It’s simply that, once a director has shaped the zeitgeist twice, it’s reasonable to hope he might be able to do it again someday, especially if he ever figures out he ought to return to the science-fiction genre that made him. Prometheus signaled to every sane film-lover that this could be the return of Ridley Scott, genius, even if he’s an old man now and the number of great films created by old men is very, very small. Directing’s a taxing profession, and past sixty or so, even the most gifted filmmakers can’t summon up the old verve anymore. Yet we wait in joyful hope, and all that.

But Prometheus doesn’t come off, after all. After the fantastic opening, it starts falling apart as rapidly as the poor misguided human-creating Titan on the edge of the falls. The basic sense-making through-line can still be traced out; it’s sometimes buried, but often re-emerging, as if Ridley Scott kept losing the thread of the story he was telling and then trying to find it again. Senility setting in? Or maybe he was never really sure, maybe there were too many screenwriters revising each other right up to the day of shooting, as is too often the case, and that mimics the symptoms of Alzheimer’s? The movie plays like that, as if suffering from light dementia, forgetting its own point from scene to scene.

Here’s an example of a scene that exists in a vacuum, never followed up on, that should’ve either been developed or cut: Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers, represents the corporation bankrolling the mission, and she’s so icily slim and yellow-blonde she’s clearly supposed to resemble the android David more than any human member of the crew. She’s asked, provocatively, if she’s actually a robot by the ship’s Captain Janek, played by Idris Elba as the ultimate practical humanist. She immediately invites him to bed to find out for himself. And that’s the end of that. Never referred to again. It’s left as a trite misogynist come-on, and maybe that’s all it really was, but both characters remain so stunted it seems there has to have been a brighter idea than that, originally.

Certainly there had to have been more meant by the familial resemblance between Meredith and David, and the way she is edging from human toward alien while he edges from alien to human. She’s one of the anti-Promethean cast members, not remotely drawn toward self-sacrifice or creative self-destruction, so self-guarding she’s ready to kill people in anticipation of their becoming a threat to her.  Her father, the corporation head Peter Weyman, is initially presented in holographic form, supposedly speaking after death to encourage the scientists in their exploration. But he’s revealed to be still alive, the king of the anti-Prometheans, ancient but obscenely hanging onto the last gasps of life, refusing to pass on so the next generation can thrive. (He’s played by Guy Pearce under mounds of old-age make-up, a dubious casting choice when a real old man would’ve been a thousand times more effective.)

Meredith coaxes him, “It’s the natural order of things. The King is dead, long live the…?” But he definitely doesn’t say “Queen.” He’s funding the mission so that he can meet his maker and get “more life” (like the replicants of Blade Runner).

These scenes play like the tattered remnants of subplots and longer sequences that were sacrificed to the main storyline. For example, of the two sexual encounters occurring simultaneously, Vickers-Janek and Shaw-Holloway, it’s clear the Shaw-Holloway scene has to remain there because it’s more central to the narrative, so presumably the Vickers-Janek interaction was cut.

In this scene Shaw conceives a half-alien child. Holloway has been unknowingly infected with alien matter by David, who’s experimenting with species-creation as coldly as any human, or perhaps as any Titan. So Shaw, who believed herself to be sterile, finds herself monstrously impregnated and rushes to abort the creature in a memorably sickening sequence that’s the film’s main high point after the splendid opening. The available medical technology on board has been engineered for male use; therefore, the pod that can be programmed to do on-the-spot emergency surgery can’t do an abortion. Which means the only option is hacking out the fetus Caesarian-style.

Male or female, your whole body is guaranteed to start straining back against your seat to get away from the scene unfolding as the conscious Shaw jabs anesthetics into her midsection and programs the pod to hack her stomach open, extract the writhing alien, and staple her back up again. Then, bloody and howling, she’s still got to get out of the pod before her own alien-baby attacks and kills Mommy.

As David says coolly, later in the film, “Doesn’t everyone want to see their parents dead?”

Nice! And that’s only the beginning of a very strenuous day for Shaw!

There are certain requirements of the Alien series, and one of them is the demonstrations of raging strength on the part of the female lead in the context of gender-inflected biological horrors. (Sex, procreation, gestation, birth, primal motherhood, all that stuff.) Noomi Rapace, gunning for American film stardom after her Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo success, seems at first an unlikely candidate for the part. She’s short, with chipmunk cheeks and an underwhelming film presence—the opposite in every way from Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley—but she really comes into her own when doing screaming auto-surgery and running around half-bent over, clutching her stapled stomach for the last quarter of the film. Then it turns out her body is better at film-acting than her face; all her short muscles register clenched pain and shock and desperation, and you actually start to semi-believe a person with a stomach recently sawn-open could be sprinting and leaping and hauling heavy weight and so on.

Some critics really deplore the way the movie satisfies sequel/prequel and genre requirements and blame that on the film’s overall failure. Here’s Richard Corliss of Time registering jaded contempt:

 

…[T]he most memorable shock tactics in the original film are recycled with minor variations in Prometheus. The gut-buster scene in Alien becomes a Caesarean section here; the face-hugger attack in the egg chamber gets a nice elaboration involving a black python-like organism with similar powers of bodily penetration. You liked the talking severed android heads in Alien and Aliens? Then third time’s the charm.

 

Even while I acknowledge there could’ve been, for example, more interesting minor-characters-destined-to-be-killed, I just don’t see why Prometheus couldn’t have both satisfied the sequel/prequel requirements and fulfilled all it’s early promise as well. I’m telling you, all the necessary elements were right there.

But then I don’t have a problem with either sequels or prequels or genre films or, in the case of Prometheus, all of the above. I hate to keep harping on this, but the whole raison d’etre of sequels and genre films is that they don’t exist in isolation as pure, original works. (Well, what really does, if you get right down to it, but never mind—there’s no reasoning with some people.) They’re intended to draw on and refer back to and reflect on, explicitly, a series of texts that preceded them; that’s why sequels/genre films/both are always potentially richer and more challenging than non-genre films.

If you don’t believe me, you really must read On Film by philosopher Stephen Mulhall. It’s a monograph on the first four Alien films, and it tells you why they’re great and insightful and significant, and it clears up any stupid high-culture prejudices you still might have that prevent you from appreciating the power of sequels and genres.

For lots of critics, a genre film can’t win for losing. Either it’s bad because it’s derivative (which it MUST be) and therefore, somehow, unserious and unmeaningful, or it’s bad because it attempts to transcend expectations of genre by being overtly serious and meaningful. Prometheus gets slagged on all charges. Even the critics who sort of like the film tend to condemn its preoccupation with “grand themes” in sneering tones:

 

Prone to shallow ponderousness, Prometheus works best when it steps back from contemplating the cosmos to enter the domain of flesh-and-blood and hereditary terror. There are a few set pieces here that will find a place of honor among aficionados of body horror and all things clammy and viscous, that will stain the memory long after such significant-sounding bits of dialogue like “That being said, doesn’t everyone want their parents dead?” have gone. (Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice)

 

Isn’t it possible that such a line of dialogue is more than just significant-sounding, when you’re watching a movie that, though an unholy mess, is consistently concerned with “parenting” in practically all its forms, from the godly to the insectoid? What is “hereditary terror” about if not a long chain of gruesome parental acts?

Anyway, to make a long review short, Prometheus is one of those big ruined films that are worth talking about in terms of how it got ruined, and how it might’ve been saved.

Discuss!

 

 

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94 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. gc  |  June 14th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    @46

    For the record, Scott isn’t religious and he considers religion to be probably the most massive fuck-up on Earth.

    Only religious people think that.

  • 2. DarthFurious  |  June 14th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Jesus tap-dancing Christ did that pile of pigshit suck. Its the goddamned “The Thing” prequel all over again. Right down to the stupid fucking David/Ash Sam Carter/R.J. MacReady character copying. Can anyone in Hollywood right a fucking script anymore? Every fucking thing that’s been on the goddamned screen in the last two years looks like it was put together by a focus group of retarded fucking 20 year-olds who were raised on ritalin.

    Fuck me running I must be getting old.

  • 3. Shade  |  June 14th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    @52:

    Actual creative talent is something corporate fucks hate with allergic passion, and the 20-something fucktard focus group is probably made up of hipster douchebag types. You know, the kind of pretentious fucks for whom “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies” and “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” are great works of literature. Speaking of which, I understand the latter is actually a movie now; our wonderful Hipster-cunt focus groups in action.

    If, dear Eileen, you decide to take on that crap in a review, please remember to keep a good supply of barf-bags on hand, and we should all remember to express our utmost gratitude for your noble sacrifice giving us the opportunity to shit all over that Hipster-cunt inspired toxic “creation” in the comments section…

    Please excuse the slightly off-topic rant here, but back in the 80’s, in the days of pencil pussy-staches, poodle mullets and izod shirts with the upturned collars, I honestly thought those preppy cunts couldn’t possibly get anymore obnoxious. I guess outdoing their 80’s predecessors in that regard is the one tangible achievement of hipsterism… that is, other than morphing themselves into walking containers of epecac syrup…

  • 4. Barf  |  June 15th, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Oh wow that was worse than imagined.

    Looking for a one sentence summary?

    “Tries to meld 2001 and Alien armed with the aptitude of Alien: Resurrection.”

    Once you realized it was written by a Lost writer and some guy working on a Mummy reboot, it all makes perfect sense.

  • 5. Steve  |  June 15th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    It was far from perfect, but I loved it, especially in 3D. Can’t wait for the sequel.

  • 6. noen  |  June 16th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Re: “The autodoc was for the senior Weyland.”

    That would make sense if the movie hadn’t gone out of it’s way to point out that the autodoc “can perform ANY medical procedure.” The “this unit is for men only” scene elicited audible groans from the audience where I saw it because they knew the screenwriter was taking a big shit on them.

    Prometheus is little more than a pastiche of set scenes strung together with improbably inane dialog. Yes, it tries to tackle “Deep Thoughts” and yes, apes *can* read philosophy, they just can’t understand it. The attempts to promote big ideas fails in the face of the massively stupid dialog.

    “Saw” had a deeper philosophical script than this abortion of a movie.

    If people are really puzzled about the backlash to Prometheus I think it’s because no one could buy into it’s main premise. That the wingnut conspiracy bullshit about “Ancient Astronauts” is really scientifically defensible and that real scientists can plausibly utter “Because I choose to believe” about their latest crank theory.

    No one buys that shit anymore except for fucking morons who still believe that because giving the rich all our money didn’t work that means we should give them even *more* of our money and that Obammie is a ni@@er from Kenya.

    And they don’t go to Sci-Fi movies.

  • 7. Allen  |  June 16th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I think I want to see it again. In these sad times for movies, an aesthetic that works and an ambitious idea are pretty much enough for me. Most films fail so resoundingly these days, having not even tried anything even remotely worthwhile.

    That said, the movie is lamentable on many levels, most of which have already been pointed out. Go nowhere character plots, a few bad choices of actors, a few very lazy elements to the story (crew of misfits on a trillion dollar voyage, archeologists, Wow!, story launcher … “Stargate” grade stuff.)

    Over ambitious story ultimately goes nowhere, really. See, Lost. Ect.

  • 8. Dimitri Ratz  |  June 16th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    The start part where Arnold looking ET offs itself as soccer thing flies off is exactly just that. Have no clue where this sacrifice, creation of humanity lingo coming from. The whole dots that identify the planet, and sun ten lacking hilogrifics suggest the least that creature offed itself for being stuck with humanity after interacting with them a bit, although food poisoning can’t be ruled out totally. Those shiny candy looking contents it munched on looked sort of good.

  • 9. Jim  |  June 17th, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Adrian@49 …put the Weyland character front and center. And David can become the real terror at the heart of the movie

    So what would we have had then: Hal/David? A good song-writing team, admittedley. Prometheus is a movie for classically educated grown-ups, who have also trained in science and read continental philosophy. Scott Free, yeah!

  • 10. A-Lex  |  June 17th, 2012 at 7:11 am

    The way a whole team of explorers in Prometheus breaks up in no time and start alienating each other and wandering off and getting lost and then getting killed out of sheer stupidity — suggests this movie is really a warning about what happens when you form an expedition after exposing your people to reality TV for 80-odd years.

  • 11. Dimitri Ratz  |  June 17th, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Forgot to add… Considering how bad a lot of remakes are, especially in the field of alien, I was very shacked to find this movie great. True if some of the scenes were expanded on it wouldn’t be limited like the movie Chronicles in a way, but the ideas that exist and whatever scenes are in this movie are definitely worth watching especially on a bright day like today with the world getting a little bit better and nicer with the passing of monstrosity Saudi Crown Prince, no reason to include the name, it’s best to forget bad things…

  • 12. DarthFurious  |  June 17th, 2012 at 7:55 am

    @56:

    Amen brother. And if anyone can rationally explain what the point of Charlize Theron’s character was? Other than for her to be crushed in the end by the ship rolling over onto her? (Best scene in the movie, by the way.)

    Fuck, it’s even worse the second time. Of course the good news is “Legend” is no longer Ridley’s worst movie.

  • 13. ribbon  |  June 17th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    @39.
    Just backing this up. The Duelists is a really great movie. I think an argument could be made it’s better than Alien or Bladerunner. The latter two have a lot of flaws one has to talk oneself into overlooking. Duelists does not.

  • 14. Flatulissimo  |  June 17th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Having had my expectations lowered quite a bit by this review, and the bad word of mouth, I saw it last night. Expected little except to sit in the a/c and look at some pretty pictures.

    Unfortunately, all the criticisms were more than accurate, and it was even worse than I thought it was going to be. The characters and their actions were right out of one of those cheapy sci-fi channel productions, really sub straight-to-dvd level writing.

    If you’ve seen it and need a good laugh about the money you wasted, this:

    http://youtu.be/-x1YuvUQFJ0

    and this:

    http://bbot.org/badtranscript-prometheus.html

    sum it up pretty well.

  • 15. Bryce Harper  |  June 18th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I will remain a pure and dutiful virgin until:

    a) I leadeth the Gnats to a World Series title; or

    b) I am betrothed to a Mormon woman who actually does enjoy mutual masturbation to Willard Romney photos; or

    c) Ancient has-been Ridley Scott retires.

    Personally, I’m non-betting on c, as this clunker is more theologically challenged than an episode of “Girls” directed by Ingmar Bergman.

  • 16. Jim  |  June 18th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Theologically Challenging that should be.

  • 17. Bryce Harper  |  June 18th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Who died and made you Joseph Smith, Jim?

    Balls!

  • 18. dominic  |  June 18th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Wow, no one knows how to watch sci-fi anymore? This is cheap entertainment people, have we not seen all the Alien Sequels? Have we not seen Scott’s last twenty years worth of movies? I loved the movie, and it was because I knew what to expect: great visuals, comic-book characters, gruesome alien vivisecion, and a convoluted plot. Sure Ridley is to be taken seriously, and Ash, but the rest of the characters in Alien are as unbelievable and stupid as the ones in Promethius. And the moralizing “philosophizing” in Blade Runner was exactly the same as this film, except this films’ script was obviously touched-up by some serious social engineers.

    Go check out Zizek and what he has to say about Hollywood today. Capitalism, and therefore Western Civilization, is at a late, decadent stage, and our art is devoid of true moral ambiguity and poignent soul-searching, or even cutting criticism, in exchnage for cheap superficial over-assertion of the ruling moral, ideological “values.” You know, the ones nobody ever followed, but at least we all agreed to pretend to follow at some point in the past.

    Check out the very end of the movie, David says “even after all this, you still choose to believe?” Its almost like the writers read Zizek: “they tell me its true, even if i dont believe it.” Our leaders DO have our best interest in mind, there IS a master plan, someone in the sky IS watching over us and loves us, and wants us to be happy.

  • 19. dominic  |  June 18th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Fuck, i meant to say RIPLEY is to be taken seriously!

  • 20. noen  |  June 19th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    “an episode of “Girls” directed by Ingmar Bergman.”

    I would watch that.

  • 21. Bryce Harper  |  June 19th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Human # 68.

    Zizek? The “Elvis of the Left?”

    I’d spike his sputtering, pretentious beaveresque face in a second.

    Vote Mormon 2012!

    —Bryce

  • 22. gc  |  June 19th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    @68

    Go check out Zizek and what he has to say about Hollywood today. Capitalism, and therefore Western Civilization, is at a late, decadent stage, and our art is devoid of true moral ambiguity and poignent soul-searching, or even cutting criticism, in exchnage for cheap superficial over-assertion of the ruling moral, ideological “values.”

    Whoah. That’s, like, deep, man.

  • 23. gc  |  June 19th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Okay, let’s see if this get’s rid of the italics.

  • 24. gc  |  June 19th, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Nope.

  • 25. dominic  |  June 19th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    his face IS beaveresque!

    and, apparently someone who isn’t on the left read eXiled. Cant imagine why

  • 26. LeBron Ames  |  June 19th, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Can you please tell Dolan to stop writing movie reviews and get some War Nerd on?

    Tuareg / Boko Haram would be nice.

    Or a Kashmir update.

  • 27. Whyawannaknow  |  June 19th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    @#75:
    and, apparently someone who isn’t on the left read eXiled. Cant imagine why

    I don’t really fit the left/right paradigm declaimed by the US corporate media and the blessed Internet gatekeepers of the left/right paradigm or at least I flatter myself by thinking so. Believing in some sort of social responsibility for each other, possibly even with some modest redistribution of wealth aimed towards that end and administered by the US federal Gov’t. AND that any responsible adult in our general population is entitled to own whatever light infantey weapons she chooses to? If the corporate media and internet astroturf blogistan is to be trusted, that’s a mind meltingly incompatible composite.

    Yet I’ve been checking out the exile/exiled for years. Since the bad ‘ol days of print journalism in Russia. I’ve had the honor of having my written opinions screwed with by the AEC- and not. I’m not sure which makes me feel dirtier.

  • 28. gc  |  June 20th, 2012 at 8:57 am

    @77

    Believing in some sort of social responsibility for each other, possibly even with some modest redistribution of wealth aimed towards that end and administered by the US federal Gov’t. AND that any responsible adult in our general population is entitled to own whatever light infantey weapons she chooses to? If the corporate media and internet astroturf blogistan is to be trusted, that’s a mind meltingly incompatible composite.

    “Some sort of social responsibility”? “Modest redistribution”? “Light infantry weapons”?

    Don’t flatter yourself. You are the corporate media consensus.

  • 29. Bryce Harper  |  June 20th, 2012 at 9:00 am

    “his face IS beaveresque!

    and, apparently someone who isn’t on the left read eXiled. Cant imagine why”

    Actually, my team, the Gnats, emulate FC St. Pauli.

    Zizek, however, emulates a pithy pseudo-Trotskyite who has allotted only 26 McGriddles to the proles while he lunches on 58 while reading decadent posts on Gawker.com.

    VOTE MORMON 2012!

  • 30. Whyawannaknow  |  June 20th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    (quote)
    “Some sort of social responsibility”? “Modest redistribution”? “Light infantry weapons”?

    Don’t flatter yourself. You are the corporate media consensus.

    (end quote)

    Not really-

    Current corporate media doesn’t have any percentage in meaningful redistribution of wealth. We’re rolled back to pre great depression levels, without even the robber barrons level of philanthropy. I’m thinking at least a 1950’s levels of taxation.

    Llight infantry weapons would include squad automatic weapons, man portable mortar, anti tank and anti aircraft weapons, true armor defeating ammunition, grenades and a slew of other currently banned items that would make a contest with regular armed forces somewhat equal short of calling in air strikes and artillery support. You call that the current media consensus? The BATFE would disagree.

  • 31. bulfinch  |  June 23rd, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I felt David should have been shod in something a little less third world than flip flops. Maybe some far-out from way-back shoes like Murray’s Space Shoes or, better yet, no feet at all, like the robots in the 60’s British television series Space Patrol.

  • 32. gc  |  June 23rd, 2012 at 8:19 am

    @80

    I’m thinking at least a 1950′s levels of taxation.

    Alright, fine. But then you might want to avoid New York Times-isms like “some sort of” and “modest”. They give the wrong idea.

  • 33. Barf  |  June 23rd, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Pretty much what I expected from a Lost writer and some guy doing a Mummy reboot. Tries to ineptly copy a classic sci-fi horror movie (in the vein of The Thing prequel) while throwing in its own attempt at profound unexplained mystery mixed with shitty action moments. Here’s what Alien never had to do to evoke tension: have the characters outrun a killer sandstorm (that’s what you get for disturbing Imotep’s tomb!). Here’s what they didn’t have to do to get the rape metaphor across: an actual pregnancy via sexual intercourse followed by an actual abortion.

    So a bunch of screenwriter creations masquerading as real people spout off a bunch of early exposition about what each part of the ship does, letting us know what they’ll do later in a crisis. Just like when Ripley explained to Jonesy how the self destruct worked and the procedure for blowing the shuttle airlock.

    The screenwriter vessels, fresh off of not acting like any person would, then go on and claim to be scientists while doing stupid things that no scientist would. Take a shot every time someone, including the biologist, only cares about basic biohazard precautions after they open themselves to contamination.

    The rest is pretty much trying to do the 2001 human original plot and Alien/Thing contamination monster plot at the same time. Neither really go anywhere. They exist solely as setups for the mysterious unexplained black (smoke monster) slime, the final alien money shot, and the most fumbled creation myth in movie history.

    If anyone’s hailing this as profound it’s probably another sign just how shitty and done for movies as a whole are right now. Time to watch more TV.

  • 34. Beavis  |  June 23rd, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Abortions are cool. Heh . . . heh heh . . . heh heh heh . . . .

  • 35. Barf  |  June 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Almost forgot the final footnote on how retarded this writing was (the same level of sci-fi channel originals).

    Lost writer + Mummy writer. Two bits famous for the mysterious black smoke monster, a giant white killer polar bear, and an ancient dead guy in a desert tomb.

    What should the monster be in Prometheus? How about mysterious black goo, a giant white killer alien, and an ancient dead guy in a desert tomb!

    Where’s my $100 million? Yesiree Hollywood is still alive and kicking!

  • 36. snnenrad  |  June 24th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    The visual aesthetics of Prometheus were gorgeous, but the plot was ho-hum and the script was downright terrible. I won’t even blame the actors for being mediocre because the script was so bad. Remember the scene with the 2 guys who broke off from the main group in the first expedition, where they meet the aliens in the pod-muck, and Cpt. Hipster Glasses starts approaching the snake alien, repeatedly calling it “baby”? That had to be one of the most painfully stupid moments I have ever witnessed in any movie that I’ve paid to watch.

  • 37. Heywood Jablowme  |  June 24th, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Not sure if I share all the criticisms in the article.

    Let’s face it, this movie is nothing more than a set-up for the next installment. Sure, I wish RS had given us a little more meat with this potato, but I could deal with that if I had any confidence he’s capable of delivering the goods next time around.

    DeeBee Corley hit on what clearly transforms this movie from a decent piece of SF to a piece of guano: character development.

    Yeah, right, the crew of this trillion dollar mission is the most dysfunctional bunch of clowns this side of Lost In Space. Characteristically, a trained biologist, already on record as having observed the alien ship is scary and dangerous, treats a scary, dangerous life form like a little kitten – and gets his face sucked off for his troubles. Are you kidding me?

    Damon Knight’s definition of Idiot Plot absolutely fits this movie. I mean, if any of the characters had two brain cells to rub together – my gosh, the whole movie would have lasted maybe 15 minutes – nobody would have gotten killed – and we all could have had time to go home and finish mowing the lawn.

    If you think about it, the real power of Alien and Blade Runner was the characters: people we care about, acting rationally, or at least consistantly, with motives we can understand.

    The only motive I see in Prometheus is that everyone wants to get killed in the most gruesome ways possible. With this kind of lazy and careless defect, how can we expect the next installment will not be any different?

  • 38. Beavis  |  June 28th, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Charlize . . . pull my finger.

  • 39. darthfader  |  July 10th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I thought it was a movie that tried to say and be a lot and ended up saying and being very little. The exact opposite of Alien.

  • 40. darthfader  |  July 10th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Also, while explaining why his movie is so great, Scott told interviewers that it has to do with how the K-T extinction event left the Gulf of Mexico as a crater and shifted the axis of rotation for the Earth.

    That’s in case you thought he was too smart to actually buy Chariots of the Gods.

  • 41. darthfader  |  July 10th, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I can’t let this go, neurotic as hell, but that bit about the pod being for men only was so terrible.

    We all knew that old wrinklefuck at the beginning was going to be stowed away on the ship looking for the Fountain of Youth. It wasn’t enough that Fassbender used his motorcycle helmet to talk to A MYSTERIOUS SOMEONE FREEZERPOD, no, we had to be told out loud that the medical robot in Charlize Theron’s special woman room could only do surgery on people with dicks. WHAT A MYSTERY ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN

    Fuck me, Prometheus was a shit movie.

  • 42. Cerberus79  |  August 18th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    “It’s encouraging that Eileen’s reviews for the Exiled have become sufficiently bothersome to a sufficient number of snob philistines so as to start getting flamed by them in the comments section.”

    Bothersome? Don’t make me laugh. Leprosy is bothersome, not Jones. I read her dreck because I’m fascinated by those torrents of bile so deliciously Ann Coulter-like in their desperate attempt to be shockingly controversial in that “aren’t I terrible?” way that Coulter has perfected. A lot less snark and a lot more serious analysis instead of her carpet bombing approach would help…but then who’d read her column?

  • 43. Jones/Dolan Fan  |  September 19th, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Dear Eileen,
    I took the liberty of submitting your review to the IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1446714/externalreviews
    As far as I know, none your fine reviews have been listed there, so I thought it was about time.

    Will continue to do so with your latest reviews :)

  • 44. QuantumofMalice  |  March 19th, 2013 at 3:04 am

    This film was truly the most gutless piece of film making ever ahh..filmed. Remember when a film had a message, and that message was conveyed through the film. But now you cant offend anyone so they MIGHT be our creators but we will leave that open to audience interpretation cause we just cant say the Engineers are God. All i can say is the wrong Scott jumped off the bridge.


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