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Prometheus Responses

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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 17:32 UK time, Friday, 26 October 2012

I asked you recently whether anyone had changed their mind about Ridley Scott's Prometheus now that the initial hype is over. Here are some of your reactions.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    So riddley scott is going to try and milk the fans like he did with blade runner countless "versions" relased over the next 20 and maybe one day actually find a decent film somewhere? I doubt it, and I am not contributing to ridley scott's retirement fun to find out

  • Comment number 2.

    20(/30) years

  • Comment number 3.

    After watching you're initial video, asking for peoples responses on the film after a second viewing of the Blu-ray release. I'm amazed with the feedback both negative and positive. First off The alternate beginning and ending add absolute nothing to an already Good film.
    Seriously the inclusion of a few extra engineers at the opening scene supposedly adds more weight to the story? please enlighten me someone if you know why. As for the alternate ending it was pretty much similar minus some dialogue. Don't even get me started on the other extra scene's cut, if anything it helps the films run time.

    I personally loved the film. If anything was awful about the film it was the musical score, which no ones seemed to of picked up on. I think people believed they wanted another Alien film, but what Ridley gave us was something far more interesting, questioning the creation of life in the universe and our search for the meaning of life. Had Ridley just gone back and made another tight corridor horror film surely everyone would be up in arms asking the difference between Prometheus and the original Alien? Finally as for judging a film based around it's included extra's is ridiculous concept, the film should be able to stand on it's own two feet. A film should be engaging enough for audience without the back up "making of" documentaries to help people understand or appreciate it more.

  • Comment number 4.

    Directors cut, next November, just in time for the xmas market.

    Extended cut on or around the release date for Prometheus 2.

    Final cut, once the Prometheus trilogy is complete and the cash cow has been milked dry and sent to the abattoir.

  • Comment number 5.

    I recorded Planet of the Vampires on an old VHS tape and it had an alternative ending. My mum taped Brush Strokes over the last 20 minutes. Scary.

  • Comment number 6.

    Ridley Scott does seem to have some rotten luck with the initial releases, in terms of his artistic vision. How many films of his have had Director's cuts and been improved? Someone isn't learning their lesson.

  • Comment number 7.

    Sorry to drop a bomb on the director worship, but Ridley Scott was offered the chance to make an extended cut for the DVD by Fox. An unlikely event unless they too were worried it didn't cover everything. He turned them down saying the film in the cinemas was the directors cut. It is as it is, because he wants it to be.

  • Comment number 8.

    Ok, so i just saw Prometheus a couple of weeks back. So i'm not an Alien fanboy, but i thought Prometheus passed muster to be honest. It was surely never going to be the art-house / mainstream crossover that Alien achieved, and with that understood, Prometheus was as kind of as good as it was going to be. Without being too simplistic, the good stuff (Charlize Theron, Noomie Rapace, Michael Fassbinder, the photography) outweighed the far fetched nature of the storyline. Did it leave me wanting to see the presumed next episode...yes. Think the criticism has kind of lost perspective.

  • Comment number 9.

    Damn, guess you could predict the same responses because most replies are from the usual cretins who struggle to understand plots more complicated than an episode of Teletubbies...the plot has some cringe-inducing moments, more in dialogue than anything else, it could have been much better if Ridley had hired an old writer with experience and credibility instead of a couple of nobodies...but there are no plot holes, and the film really isn't hard to understand if you have a brain

  • Comment number 10.

    i must be the ultimate minority in a bermuda triangle because i loved this film - IN 3D - IN THE IMAX DAY 1 - and every day since - BUT - and this where i must be in a minority - I HATE the deleted scenes - i am glad they aren't there -

    Who in their right mind wants to see shaw down a bottle of vodka - after pills plus operation e.t.c to THEN fight the engineer - or to hear the engineer talk - far superior and scary to have him silent than talk with that weird voice - not everything needs explaining if you look for the subtitles you will find them - the most obvious one people moan about is fifield - to me it is very clear he is a massive stoner and thus everything he does is explained - that and vickers doesn't care about anyone on the mission so "personally hired" fools

    i have to say that most of these comments are VERY applicable to LOOPER

    that film needs a full directors cut and a new soundtrack for me to love it

  • Comment number 11.

    Ridley's still working on a few more versions of Blade Runner at the moment, but he'll get around to it.

  • Comment number 12.

    Props to all the quality, individual opinions and reflective reviews by people!

    Boiling down why I don't believe Prometheus is worth the price of a ticket and more importantly more of my time:

    1. The story is a repeat of Alien(s).
    2. The Crew are "real" in Alien(s). Eg 1st one esp. all of them. In Alien(s) Ripley's towering performance aided by the others.
    3. The world-building derived from the the incidental alien contact with the "unknown". This is a place of paucity to start building from and can only lead to more exposition of human foibles and pretensions and explain nothing on about the alien unknown without looping back to random literature of ideas; by all accounts that's exactly what it does.
    4.IMO Avatar's main character is the world-building (as is LOTRs the book but not the film imho), hence why I'd categorize it as a film that knows what it is. I wonder if the same could be said of Prometheus, given the above, that the crew start talking about the world-building instead of being real people?

    @ #9. Sean Kelly: Is E' avin' a laugh?

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm sorry but it can only be the case that those criticising Prometheus with comments of how "truly awful" the movie supposedly is, can only be overreacting to their sense of disappointment that it is not like Alien or Aliens. Sure, Prometheus has flaws. I thought myself why did the characters running from the crashing spaceship not run to the left or right (though people do do stupid things when they are scared)? You could point the same finger of derision at Alien - why did John Hurts character do the stupid thing of looking right into the alien egg face first when he could plainly see there was something alive in there? Dumbass!!! See? Some commenters need to get a grip of themselves and review Prometheus as a movie in its own right and stop being such fanboys. It really is quite a good movie. Perhaps not as good as Alien or Aliens but it is mopre of a "sciencey issues, who are we?" movie rather than the horror movie or action movie that Alien and Aliens were respectively.

  • Comment number 14.

    It's one thing for a novitiate Scott to have Blade Runner decisions imposed upon him by a studio who've sunk a ton of that era's money into an unproven story, but the current model of release and recut smacks of nothing short of planned obsolescence. Do a so-so cut for the first release and promise better things next time, bums on seats or discs on shelves times two. (sadly, this makes me wish Ridley Scott was running the Obama campaign).

    Fan edits may grow in the future, I could guess that someday they may even be actively encouraged. Editing is one of the highest skills in film making, and its a great place to cut your teeth, and today's technology has made it so accessible. Hey, Lonergan and co., why not release all your Margaret footage, and give an award (or maybe a screening or release) to the best fan edit.

    Of course, my fan edit of Prometheus would mash it up with Cabin in the Woods so we could see the ostensibly intelligent people manipulated into utter stupidity.

    I do think you've missed out on the main reason that no one should have believed the hype in the first place. Undoubtedly Ridley Scott is a genius in many ways, but he clearly doesn't have sound judgements where scripts are concerned. Give him a good or great script and you'll get great movies. Give anyone the Robin Hood script and the answer should have been, "NO!", but instead Ridley gave us Robin Hood, an utter mess, and to some degree a Prequel. With blots like that on his copy book, any hype about his films should be taken with a salt mine.

  • Comment number 15.

    If Prometheus stood on it's own it would merely be a bad film from a director who hasn't been on form in over 10 years - but the fact that it is part of the Alien franchise makes it for me a truly terrible film. A films so bad that it manages to reach back in time and retro-actively demean it's predecessors.

    Maybe some of the extras will fill in character and plot holes but how much is that going to add to the running time? As Mark says of 2001: A Space Odyssey ( a film that should always be kept in mind when discussing Prometheus), "from apes to God in under 90 minutes". Prometheus can't even finish the story arc of one character in 90 minutes.

    Really, what did you expect from the writer of Cowboys and Aliens?

  • Comment number 16.

    it's hilarious how people are saying the only reason we don't like Prometheus is because we "don't get it", or that we're just "disappointed due to it being over hyped" NO, we didn't like it because its poorly written and acted (except for Fassbender who was fine) and its actually 'storytelling' is very weak. it's impossible to feel an emotional attachment to any of the characters when they're behaving in a way that doesn't make sense, and you're constantly confused as to what's going on. so in short, it's not our fault we don't like Prometheus, its the writers' fault

  • Comment number 17.

    When we look at the extended "Kingdom of Heaven" and extended (if the deleted scenes were put in) "Prometheus", are we saying that Ridley Scott can now produce fantastic films so long as he has three to thirty years to edit them and they have to be four hours long?

    It's not the lack of scenes in this film, it's the actual scenes present that are the issue. John Hurt may have looked into a living alien egg out of foolish curiosity, but in "Prometheus" they went into an alien base and took their helmets off.

  • Comment number 18.

    To those of you that have lost count at the number of Blade-Runner releases there have been; you can expect the same from Prometheus.

  • Comment number 19.

    Ignoring the fact that it's prequel to Alien doesn't change the fact that it's chock full of terrible dialogue, underwritten characters, hammy acting, people doing inexplicably stupid things just to further and plot and that it's just generally one of the most blatantly cynical attempts at milking a film into a franchise

  • Comment number 20.

    On an unrelated note: composer Hans Werner Henze died today. He wrote "Fantasia For Strings", used in The Exorcist.

  • Comment number 21.

    It was aggravating enough listening to Kermode recommending Prometheus to people in the first place. But hearing him enthuse about how the bloody extra features on the DVD somehow save the film in the eyes of many is depressing in the extreme.

    If it's true that this soon-to-be-legendary potential director's cut of Prometheus will add all the suspense, tension, intelligence, general interest and barest semblance of sense that was missing from the original, well, it just proves that Ridley Scott is an unprincipled fraud. He knowingly released an inferior product to the public. But so what, right? Two years later he can release a slightly better version and squeeze even more money out of his long-suffering fans. (A horribly clichéd moan, I know; but that doesn't make it any less blatantly obvious.)

    But we knew this would happen anyway. Why should Sir Ridley break precedent? He's assembled director's cuts of Alien, Blade Runner (x 2), Legend, Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven and American Gangster; perhaps a few others I'm forgetting. Why should this be seen as positive, or creative? It suggests to me that he's a man who has a hard time producing a decent film.

    Actually, yeah, look, let's face facts. Prometheus is the film that was released into cinemas in June 2012. It is not the deleted scenes on the DVD; they have literally nothing to do with the film in question, because the auteur decided to delete them. He thought they were worthy of being binned, and the theatrical version is his preferred version. If, like me, you thought the theatrical version was beyond dreadful, that is your opinion; some *deleted* scenes cannot, and should not, change that.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm late in posting but I did like the film a bit more the 2nd time. My personal reaction to the film is succinctly captured by DarthPunk, "terrible dialogue, underwritten characters, hammy acting, people (scientists!) doing inexplicably stupid things". Hats off to Michael F, Noomi R and Charlize T (who else of note was in the film, well maybe Guy P). I appreciate the visuals and most of the story, but I wanted more '2001' characters and less coyboys -who would let them commanded a billion dollar space ship? Perhaps a directors cut with less jar-jar moments might attract more appreciation but the die has been cast... Let's hope the Prometheus sequels (Alien pre-quels?) deliver much more. As far as music, I did not notice it much - so spoiled with Hans Z and Monster's Jon Hopkins http://soundcloud.com/jonhopkins/jon-hopkins-monsters-theme

  • Comment number 23.

    I thought Prometheus was good and for me it's good points outweighed the bad points. Its suffered so much plot analysis and criticism and I think it's been quite unfair, its NOT Alien. Its NOT a direct prequel, I know all that not prequel stuff is silly anyway but I thought Prometheus really had some amazing visuals, Michael Fassbender was absolutely outstanding, the best actor in it by miles. But I thought Theron, Pearce, Elba were pretty good really. I liked Elba's character, I thought he definitely had likeability and I didn't think the film was even that corny and cheesy or stupid actually. For sure people did kind of odd things and said some dumb things but there wasn't enough of these moments for me to really be bothered, forget realism in a sci-fi film anyway! In Alien she goes back to get a cat! Isn't that stupid?!

    Anyway, the themes and questions of the movie are actually quite interesting and I think theres now an interesting set up for a potential sequel that I think could actually be really good and interesting if done well. Perhaps tidy up that writing a bit, get better characters than her boyfriend scientist (can't even remember his characters name because hes that crap) and hurray you've got yourself a great film. There's definitely quite a nice level of intrigue in this film that'll hopefully carry on to the next film. I do wish the cut scenes had been left in though, I've only seen the ones on the normal dvd which to be fair aren't very good and wouldn't add much but the longer ones i've seen glimpses of probably would have been better put in the film and you can sense some cutting has happened when you're watching. Like the scene where Fifield goes all alien and mental and starts killing them all, seemed pretty cut to me. But yeah Prometheus good film, weaknesses sure, but still good.

  • Comment number 24.

    Sorry, Mark, but Prometheus is just a bad movie - simple.

    Badly writen, with a plot that just doesn't make sense, it stinks. The most annoying thing about it is that is stars some of my current favourite actors (Elba, Theron, Fassbender, Rapace). It's beautiful to look at but contains some horrible lines and has characters doing things that just dont add up.

    A director's cut will do nothing to fix a picture which is just intrinsically awful.

  • Comment number 25.

    I hear a lot of people complaining about these plot holes in Prometheus but nobody mentions any specific examples...

    Most of the ones I see mentioned aren't actual plot-holes. Enlighten me, please.

  • Comment number 26.

    Now I love heady science fiction, that invites us to dream big and take on lofty ideas, that's what I loved about Prometheus, that a simple, almost ignored partial plot device from Alien has been extrapolated pretty successfully into a new film, but watching it back ( 4 times now) I keep coming back to a few things that could be improved on, several have highlighted the script, some of the plot, the stupid things the characters do, the lack of character development etc.. I for one wanted more engineers, now, hopefully the sequel to Prometheus will ( hopefully)give us all what we want... answers!
    With so much information, story, characters etc being shoehorned into a 2 hr movie ( to satisfy studio execs? you have to wonder if some Faustian pact was made by Scott with Fox as the 3D Blu ray was released with ALL the extras, while the normal was a bare bones insult, and we all know why!) it would make so, so much more sense to make this EPIC adventure, truly epic, and do what many have done, very successfully in recent times, with a 3hr movie, I hope, I really do, that the sequel will be allowed to be fully realised, now that Prometheus has been proven a hit.

  • Comment number 27.

    No director's cut is going to save this particular turkey - inserting deleted scenes will simply foist upon us even more excrutiatingly bad dialogue and mostly poor acting (and no doubt more totally illogical character actions and iffy plot points).

    Mark, I'm VERY surprised that you like Prometheus - here you are, an advocate of well written, well plotted films and you admit that you LIKE something which fails to meet either of those criteria.

    May I ask why? What was it about Prometheus that made you like it?

  • Comment number 28.

    I have always found it to be an interesting business when a picture is released with the history of such a successful franchise before it. Although, I will say that in fairness; it was never heavily promised that this was set out to be anything like any of the other pictures. I was (as always) drawn to the movie first because it in essence promised to be pretty epic in its' unveiling, because it was a Scott film and of course because of it being apparently another mildly attached Alien movie.

    First off, I remember seeing the trailer months ago and having looked at the acting, my accidental prejudgement was that the picture would LOOK stunning, but would disappoint in the character department. Unfortunately I was right. Charlize Theron is unbelievably wrong for the role in my opinion and why spend that investment on such a character and whom gave so little (and I have enjoyed many of her roles). I felt that because of that choice; too much of the over brushed attention was diverted from the other characters whom were not equipped with actors that managed to take me on their personal journey. And so, I just did't care enough about them. For me the whole picture just felt like it knew what the audience was expecting. The subtexts spoiled the experience for me because of this. I wasn't personally expecting anything. It was mildly entertaining and I certainly don't feel as if I had wasted my time watching it; but it fell far short as so many of his films have over the last ten or so years than in previous years. I think we admire Scott because he has this way of expressing a classicalness to a pop movie. His gift (for me) has always been about creating a movie in a world that seems as if it has always been there. It demystifies and puts at ease any doubts about how realistic the world containing the story really is. In essence you always feel as though there is a history, a sense of longevity and therefor more of a sense of reality in the escape.

    Scott may have an incredible talent for the realism in his movies with regards to their environments, however, this picture, as some have before it, has left the other important elements to the wind in my opinion. The Characters and the score.

    For me this picture scored a 4/10 because although the movie is lacking as stated in my points above, there is still some SciFi adventure in there and it does look great.

  • Comment number 29.

    I don't particulary have much interest/attachment to the Alien films or the franchise but having had no specific expectations for Prometheus when I went to see it for the first time at the cinema, then endng up disappointed, I decided it give it a another look.

    It made no difference except I noticed more of how ill-conceived and clunky it is. Unfortunately the film mistakes loose-ends for ambiguity; has bad pacing, flawed structure, writing, acting, character work plus the 3D is barely there (not that I care). Like retro-actively making Deckard a replicant, it looks like Ridley Scott has lost all his best instincts.

    It's a pity that an expensive film like this is reviewed so badly yet still manages to rake in the cash while a relatively decent and simply-structured low-budget sci-fi character film like DREDD struggles to even make its budget back.

  • Comment number 30.

    Prometheus is a good film in the sames way that the The Godfather Part 3 is a good film. But we all compare them negatively to their truly great ancestors. Why ? Because the fundamental quality of any film is the script. If parts of that are wooden,cliched and stupid we all sit there thinking, Nope I`m just not buying this, despite how great the visuals or how good the actors.Visually its stunning, Fassbender and Rapace are great, but the flaws are what you remember .

  • Comment number 31.

    As Mark was saying on Fridays show, you get out what you put in. Why should you have absurdly high expectations? Why should budget = quality? You make of it what you will. I enjoyed Prometheus a lot. Not perfect (7/10 I said at release, and I'll stick with that for now) and I look forward to seeing it again (though I'll have to buy a Blu-Ray player for that).

    And to be brutal: what do fan boys / girl know? They know what they like, but not precisely what is great - like the rest of us. Does that translate into big success, a great film. Not always. Dredd is referenced above, and is a great example - blinding reviews, utter, UTTER box office turkey - it's done worse than the Stallone version. The fans loved it - and the rest of the world ignored it. Does that mean it's great because only a select few who 'get it' saw it. Possibly. But I doubt it.

    As ever, no-one has to see or buy anything. Freedom of choice, people. If you saw Prometheus and hated it that much - then why bother watching it again?

  • Comment number 32.

    @ Fuzz McG I would list of all the films plot holes but my post would probably end up being longer than War and Peace so watch this instead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x1YuvUQFJ0

    Now some of the points in there may of been explained by the deleted but that just again raises the question of why those scenes were deleted in the first place and some of the points might be addressed in a future sequel but that's not much consolation to people who went into Promethesus with minimal expectations like it having a story or an ending instead of it just amounting to being a 2 hour trailer for Promethesus 2

  • Comment number 33.

    It's funny how a sci-fi movie like Prometheus can raise a lot of thinking and imagination, which is a great thing for a movie, because you get immersed in this atmosphere. Actually, the movie is more complexe than Inception, if you think about it. Prometheus has a lot of clues and hidden messages, the story is not just some bunch of scientists, trying to find answers to why these "engineers created us" . Without spoiling anything, it goes deeper, it has to do with Weyland Corporation (watch Aliens and you'll see) and these "engineers" trying to create a perfect organism (like Ash would have said) . I can't wait for the sequel "Paradise" and how all this turns out, but i'm still sceptic about it. However, I have faith in Sir Ridley Scott, he's such a great filmmaker and one of the best in terms of cinematography, an inspiration. Mark, if you're reading this, i want to know what you think about the sequel and hopes for a director's cut. One last thing, i enjoy how you criticize movies, it's very mature and entertaining even though i don't always agree with you, "the tarantino situation" for instance. Nonetheless, i was relieved when you gave a thumps up to Prometheus. I can't wait for your next review on Transformers 4, it's gonna be funny.

  • Comment number 34.

    It certainly provoked my thoughts, but not in the positive sense. As science fiction it is lazy - it contains most of the violations of newtonion mechanics that Star Wars and Star Trek have. What is worse it has a conception of artificial intelligence that would have caused Descartes to raise an eyebrow: David can think, make jokes, communicate, remember, be sympathetic etc...
    yet we are to know that he isn't consious or cannot 'feel'. This is absurd. Moreover the idea of aliens having engineered life on earth or humans specifically has about exactly as much explanatory power as if they didn't; where did the engineers come from. The movie is about as profound in this sense as 'Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull', except a hell of alot more pretentiuos (spelling?). Kubrick and Clarke put alot of effort into making a film that would suspend the disbelief of the scientfically literate and illiterate. It is ashame that with few exceptions their efforts have not been emulated.

  • Comment number 35.

    It was all style and no substance.

  • Comment number 36.

    Being a huge Ridley Scott fan, I was ridiculously excited by all the hype for this film. After watching it at the cinema, I thought it was decent enough. Of course, we know that this is merely the first installment etc etc yada yada yada. I will definitely be going to see the next one! My one big problem with the film is Guy Pearce's makeup. During the screening, my friend almost choked on her popcorn when she shouted out, "It's Biff!!". After that I couldn't watch it seriously.

    Indeed, it was as if Biff Tannen had wandered on to Prometheus in a misguided attempt to locate his Sports Almanac.

    I can't watch the film now without thinking of Biff Tannen and I don't think Sir Ridley wanted me to find Weyland THAT funny.

  • Comment number 37.

    This sums up Prometheus perfectly and everything that's wrong with it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBaKqOMGPWc

  • Comment number 38.

    way too many MASSIVE plot holes in this film. the "engineers" create life on earth by sacrficing one of them with a weird drink. Never explained why they then want to go back and wipe out life on earth with the same stuff thats meant to give life. If given to a person he dies, but if he procreates with a female she gives birth to a octopus type thing which will implant an original alien in the engineers!
    I really liked the premise and the idea of this film, pity it was poorly executed

  • Comment number 39.

    I should add that if the creatures in prometheus are the ancestors for the aliens then the face hugging creature should come from an egg, rather than have been implanted itself

  • Comment number 40.

    To be fair, donkey Punch was more insightful than Avatar...

  • Comment number 41.

    There seem to be a few comments that assume people who didn't like the plot, didn't like it because they couldn't understand it.

    This is wrong. It isn't hard to understand. It just isn't very good.

  • Comment number 42.

    Hello Mr Kermode.
    I live in Canada and stumbled upon your film reviews on youtube a few months ago and I'd say that for 95% of the time I agree completely with your criticism.
    Last week in my horror film class in university we were even assigned a reading of your paper "I was a teenage horror fan Or, ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love Linda Blair’ ".

    Like I already said I agree with most of your criticism and I admire the way you uncover the truth to whether a movie is great or terrible. However there are times when I disagree with your criticism.
    For example, every time you talk about Lars von Trier, you mention that you hate The Idiots, and while I agree that most of that film is trying to be extremely offensive and provocative, you have to agree that the last scene in that film is the work of a genius.

    The last thing and the biggest issue that I have with your criticism is the fact that you put down Eyes Wide Shut as a bad film. In fact you even called it "The inane ramblings of a man who needed to get out more." And just because of that I almost started believing that you are a terrible critic.
    As you can guess from my username, I love Stanley Kubrick, he's a God to me. While I agree that Eyes Wide Shut is not his best film, it is still a masterpiece especially if seen after reading the novel when you can see how much Kubrick improved it.
    I have heard from other people too that Eyes Wide Shut does 'not work' but nobody seems to give a good reason to why they think that.
    Therefore, good Doctor, if you have the time and the interest could you explain to me why you think Eyes Wides Shut is a bad film.
    (my email is hhh_rip@yahoo.com in case you want to respond)

  • Comment number 43.

  • Comment number 44.

    That comment 2:30 minutes in about them running away from the ship...YES! YES! YES! That's what I was thinking! Why indeed run in the path of something you know is going to get you when you just run to the bloody side and avoid it! That happens so often in films it's absurd.

    PROMETHEUS really is pants. Emperor. Clothes. Etc.

  • Comment number 45.

    #@ 37. 9barr wrote:

    This sums up Prometheus perfectly and everything that's wrong with it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBaKqOMGPWc
    That is honestly awesome!

  • Comment number 46.

    Mark, you've often said that back-story (for example X-MEN:ORIGINS) is pointless and boring. You've said that there's a reason why back-story is back-story: it's because it's uninteresting and unnecessary. Well, the reason PROMETHEUS is rubbish is because it's little more than a mishmash of incoherent back-story trying desperately to tie individual threads together and failing dismally. The original ALIEN is set on colony LV426 yet PROMETHEUS is set on LV233; it's unclear as to how we get from LV233 to LV426 as the ending is limp and ambiguous at best. But to say PROMETHEUS isn't an ALIEN prequel is daft: without ALIEN there would BE no PROMETHEUS! It is set in the ALIEN universe! It has the same ALIEN ship in it! Following these clues so far? It even features Mr Weyland, founder of the company Weyland Yutani which "builds better worlds"! Anyone with a brain cell looking at the film would conclude without a shadow of doubt that it IS an ALIEN prequel. And besides, Mark, you've said many times that the director of a film doesn't necessarily understand what their own film is about! So if Ridley says it's not a prequel, that doesn't mean he is right!

  • Comment number 47.

    Its not just the deleted scenes that help flesh out the movie, its the making of documentary that really gives it the kudos I think the film deserves.

    Simply put (a bit like the trailer) the behind the scenes footage and interviews are actually better than the final product. Some of the original ideas for the story line are so much better than the final draft in my opinion.

    My feeling is Scott had to somehow shoehorn in a horror show/with origin of humanity themes/alien prequel, and craft a bid budget sci fi actioneer to keep the studio happy due to the cost of production.

    Ultimately what he ended up with was a mess of a film that could not decide what it wanted to be. Still love it though, warts and all. But there is no doubt; the making of has made me appreciate it even more, if only because I can really see the incredible movie it could have been, behind the good one it turned out to be.

  • Comment number 48.

    I loved the film, even with all its flaws. I've watched it 3 times now and it is still as engrossing as ever. Definitely not as good as the first or second ones but clearly superior to any of the ones that followed Cameron's film. I eagerly await a sequel to Prometheus.

    As for why the deleted scenes were not included in the first place, I can only presume it was 20th Century Fox's meddling.

  • Comment number 49.

    I bought it on Blu-Ray but it is just not good enough to be bothered with watching. It is in my collection and I'll get around to it, but there have been some re-runs of old Bond movies that have had my attention recently.

  • Comment number 50.

    Some very harsh stuff on hear for a good idea maybe not executed as well as the director could have but still a more than decent film

    Firstly forget Alien or comparing it to Alien, same universe as Alien yes but this is not a space horror and is about origins

    Prometheus - the titan who created man from clay and gave them fire upsetting the other gods

    We have an engineer sacificing himself to give us his DNA, then examples of human civilisations all looking like they had contact or knowledge from the engineers until a certain point...

    eventually we find out they planned to wipe us out, was that their plan all along or did we do something wrong ?

    not a perfect film granted and the last 20 or so mins is kinda like a runaway train the directors is struggling to control but an interesting story arc with a good cast and some good performaces

  • Comment number 51.

    irt. DarthPunk (#32):

    I approve of the increasing overlap between RedLetterMedia's audience and this blog (watching their review of Looper put me in mind of Kermode's).

    Incidentally, they made a second video, this one about 'Prometheus on DVD'. Now, I wouldn't use either of those videos as a serious list of plot-holes, since RLM was aiming for humor (while making serious points, of course, but said points may get lost in transmission).

    That said, God help me, I liked Prometheus, a lot.

    Being a huge Giger fan was an important factor, the other being that I somehow still think there's a good story in there somewhere. I like the two main characters and I like (part of) the premise/topic of the film (being 'engineered' and how that relates to being 'real'). 'Alien' is mighty fine of course, but I'd have preferred Prometheus to be its own film and aimed for none of that 'strands of Alien DNA' non-sense. I realize that the topics I focused on were more Blade Runner-ish btw, but none of that either, thanks; make a God-damn stand alone film, not a pre/sequel to some other stuff.

    Or, if it were a bona fide Alien prequel, as Spaihts originally intended, that would have been fine, maybe. At least two scenes make way more sense in his version, from what I can tell based on an interview of his that I've read.

    Now a sequel's in the works. Eh. I already know I'll go see it, I'll admit to being a sucker for that, but really what this film needs is being put to rest. And I'll add but other opinions are available, remade after a while.

  • Comment number 52.

    Late post I know. When I first saw Prometheus I thought it was pretty good, I loved the visuals (as always from Sir Ridley) and the birth scene had me pretty shocked. Afterwards, me and my mate had our usually, ‘what did you think’ conversation, I was shocked to hear how much he hated it, I defend the movie all the way. Later I watched Prometheus on a long flight home and realised how wrong I was, taking it off the big screen the film loses it visual distraction and the cracks image, some films have plot holes you can drive cars through, in regards to Prometheus, you can drive a cruise liner thought them.
    It seems the writers spent most of their time thinking of questions rather than any answers, the characters were underdeveloped and all the best bits were in the trailer (some damn fine trailers they were). Plus the whole thing seemed like a rip off of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness! I’ve read some interesting articles online from people regarding the link to Christ which makes me want to see a sequel but this was a lost opportunity.

  • Comment number 53.

    I enjoyed Scott's return to the Alien universe and thought it a bold move from Fox to bankroll a non-'Alien', Alien adventure in favour of exploring -albeit rather unsuccessfully in the eyes of a very critical and vocal minority- a fresh narrative.

    I haven't gotten around to viewing all those deleted scenes or alternative bits and bobs and although I'm sure Scott will indeed revisit his theatrical cut at some point, I don't have a problem with any of this. It just appears, to me at least, that Scott has become an old pro at playing the game with regards to the inevitable compromises the come when financing a $130 million R rated sci-fi film.

    Theatrically, you'll get yours. Then I'll have the last word (directors cut) later when the film has an extended life via the various formats of home entertainment. Everyone is happy -eventually. I'd rather this commercial dog-and-pony show than the studio's point blank refusal to finance more original material.

    And so, to all those people who have been so very 'crushed' or disappointed by Prometheus, I say be mindful of the current state of large scale summer 'blockbusters' and just be careful what you wish for. You don't have to like Prometheus but it's hard to argue and moan about directors cuts and the like 'milking' anybody for anything if that is all part of how the 'deal' plays out.

  • Comment number 54.

    I have always thought that Alien was, and still is, a far superior film to the James Cameron's sequel. I also avoided Prometheus at the cinema, mostly to avoid the seat kicking, phone twiddling morons that have now made the cinema such a depressing and frustrating experience for true cine-philes. So I waited and decided I would watch Prometheus on DVD, and I am glad I did, because it allowed me to have a truly amazing experience on my "Big Telly". Plot holes aside (none of which actually affect your viewing), I thought that this movie was a more than worthy sequel to Ridley's original.

    With regards to the criticisms, well, the fact that Mark Kermode enjoys this movie, and the fact that he is a highly respected, and regarded film critic, tells me his thoughts are far more noteworthy than any of the other comments, or half-witted complaints, that permeate message boards, such as this one.

    For me Prometheus is far superior to that dimwitted, badly scrpted, shallow 3D experience that was AVATAR. The fact that a lot of people on here will defend 3D and Avatar, but pour hatred upon Prometheus, really only tells me one thing. Perhaps those people shouldn't throw stones whilst living in those glass houses?

  • Comment number 55.

    irt. Dunkacciono (#54)

    I loved Prometheus. I went to see it in the cinema 4 times, and I even got the DVD. Which is enough to make me pretty much the greatest sucker in the eyes of its detractors.

    That said, I won't dismiss those naysayers. I'm not seeing a rush of Prom bashers/Avatar worshipers. I'm seeing all mixes of opinions. Dismissing contrary opinions as having no taste is itself in poor taste.

    Prometheus is flawed. Love it or hate it. I love it.

  • Comment number 56.

    I wasn't dissapointed in Prometheus because it wasn't like Alien as I did not want it to be like Alien.
    I was dissapointed in it for several reasons

    1. Narrative stupidity, so they have sophisticated mapping equipment but can't find their way out of a cave?
    2. One of he guys who was lost in the cave and terrified decies that the weird snake thing wants to be his friend??? How does this make any sense??
    3. The best scene in the film was Noomi Rapace having the creature removed from her stomach but even this is neutered as five minutes later she is running around and jumping about!
    4. Charlize Theron should have been told, if a giant alien ship is about to squash you you can easily survive by running sideways.
    5. Idris Elba's stupid accent. If you want him to do an American voice let him do the Baltimore accent he can do perfectly or you know just let him use his regular voice?
    6. Wasting good talent. Guy Pearce is a very good actor yet what was the point in sticking him in prosthetics to play Weyland. He appears onscreen and I think "it's Guy Pearce in a mask" just get an older actor.
    7. To much CGI, though you can level that criticism at most big budget films thesedays.

    A lot of people have said it was not a film for fans of Avatar but I also found Avatar to be very poor so I'm not in that camp.

    I'm surprised Mr. Kermode is so forgiving of all these very basic flaws.

    No pressure Ridley Scott but please don't tanish Blade Runner!

  • Comment number 57.

    My opinion hasn't changed; it's awful.

  • Comment number 58.

    My disappointment started when I saw that Damon Lindelof was handed the script. Anyone who watched Lost or Cowboys & Aliens had a good idea what to expect. This level of disappointment will unfortunately move to his next master piece Word War Zeeee. The script to Prometheus was more suited to marvel comic book film or an episode of the power rangers. To be fair to the people who own the “FRANCHISE” they once did have a great director (David Fincher) and script (Dan O’Bannon) to make an Alien movie and everybody but a few hated it. You reap what you sow

  • Comment number 59.

    Many have compared 'Prometheus' to '2001', which is the same as suggesting that 'Robin Hood' is the new 'Becket', 'A Good Year' is the contemporary equivalent of 'The Apartment' and 'Hannibal' is ten times the film that 'The Silence of the Lambs' is. Everything Scott touches turns to gold, and no one is intelligent enough to understand this guy's brilliance.

    I have read both scripts (by Spaihts and Lindelof), and it felt that the film got worse and worse as it progressed in the production process. If they had filmed the Spaihts script as is, it wouldn't have been as good as Alien - but it would have still been pretty darn good. All reasonable concerns about the film - all of them - are not present in the draft:

    * The captain and Shaw have a relationship over the course of the film. This explains his sacrifice at the end.
    * David's turn in the final act is actually surprising. He doesn't give a thousand glares to the crew members, doesn't press a hundred buttons, doesn't ruffie crew members. Instead, he knows more about the mission than the crew do. He is extremely polite and courteous, and shows enthusiasm for the mission (which Shaw and Holloway find infectious). Then, in the third act, he reveals his true feelings, and his sudden coldness is chilling, especially in an excellent scene in which he allows the facehugger to infect Shaw.
    * Vickers and Weyland aren't father and daughter. In fact, Spaihts doesn't try to redeem Vickers in the final act: she's just a bitch, and that's fine. Not everyone needs pathos.
    * Holloway is a sympathetic character. He cares about other peope, doesn't get pissy when the smallest thing doesn't go his way, and doesn't treat David like shit. Also, his death (he explodes during sex) is a witty idea, which explains why Soctt probably hated it.
    * Fifield also is a sympathetic character. He's just a miner, and there's credible conflict established that - if they don't find any minerals - the miners don't make a profit. So he really doesn't have any investment in scientific discovery.
    * Fifield doesn't just turn up to kill all the remaining rew members (he shows up at the end, to kill Vickers in a nice you-reap-what-you-sow-moment).
    * No flashbacks to Patrick Wilson.
    * The script has some sense of flow to it, as well. 'Prometheus' has a thousand beginnings (Engineers, Shaw and Holloway find the carvings, David chillaxing, the crew wake up, Vickers explains the mission), but this actually has a sense of flow to it, so that - with the exception of the prologue - there's a causality to the story construction: Shaw and Holloway find the carvings, then they meet Weyland, then they wake up etc.

    If Scott had left the script alone (or, I don't know, let someone else make it), then 'Prometheus' would have been the second best blockbuster of the year. By far. As for the Lindelof draft 'Paradise', it is not great, but it is much, much better than the finished film.

    * No lame Vickers/Weyland twist.
    * No filler (such as the silly interplay between co-pilots).
    * Fifield is a biologist, not a geologist. It explains why he wouldn't be interested in a mission, considering that there is little chance of finding plantlife (I have no idea why a gelogist, on the other hand, wouldn't be interested in the planet, considering that there is obviously huge potentiasl for finding new rocks on this planet). Also, the Milburn death is much better executed on the page.
    * Holloway is less of a douche.
    * No "I can't create life" crap for Shaw.
    * David's motivations are clearer.
    * Janek has a monologue that justifies his decision at the end.
    * There's an actual reason why Guy Pearce is in the film. In fact, his dream sequence is a fun scene, which explains why Ridley Scott probably hated it, and replaced it with the 'smoke-and-shadows-for-its-own-sake' sequence involving David and Vickers.
    * Overall, the film gives Shaw a fuller, more definable arc.

    Years ago, the film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum described Ridley Scott as a guy that provides "the snazzy paint job" to his material: he's a designer who can't improve a car with a terrible engine, but he can make a good car look excellent. In 'Prometheus', every single decision he made - everyone - was misjudged. He took fool-proof material and proved that there is no such thing as anything being 'fool-proof'. He cast it poorly, directed the actors to give bad or misjudged performances (Janek, for instance, is written as British, and Elba would have clearly been more comfortable to keep his accent than a clumsy Southern/Canjun hodge-podge), clipped scenes to remove important exposition about the character's motivations and generally asked Dariusz Wolski to photograph the film in the most dull, monotomous way possible.

    Basically, Ridley Scott is like someone who borrows your car, leaves scratches on it, urinates all over the back seat, and then lectures YOU about how to treat your vehicle. If you complain, he plants some cocaine in the back seat and calls the police.

  • Comment number 60.

    irt. Burnett (59):

    Your post makes me want to read Spaihts' version even more. I read an interview with him and from what I gathered, he wrote a bona fide Alien prequel.

    Now, when I went into Prometheus I wanted a stand alone film. BUT, a confident prequel would have been better than "strands of Alien DNA" wishy washyness. I know from that interview that some scenes made more logistic sense; Elizabeth spends hours being healed after the surgery, while Cuddles rampages among the ship crew. With one stone, the magic staples and magic octopus growing without food are removed.

    Apparently Spaihts' script was even more coherent than merely preventing minor plot holes. I'll have to read it now for sure.

  • Comment number 61.

    Mihai Pomarlan, I hope you do read the script. It's a very solid piece of writing and features one of my favourite scenes of the year ... which isn't in the final film. David reveals that he has two missions: to help the scientists as best he can find the alien life, and - subsequently - kill the scientists. Shaw (Watts in his draft) begins to run, then he chases after her, saying of humanity, "You're all so stupid. Stupid and slow." He drags her across the floor of the alien ship and holds her down, allowing a facehugger to infect her. Obviously, this is a homage to the Holm/magazine sequence in the original, in which the android attempts to 'rape' the female lead. It's a shocking sequence: chilling, funny and terrifying. None of which can also be said of the final product.

  • Comment number 62.

    irt. Burnett (61):

    By the power of Google, I got myself a copy. Yep.

    My favorite part, but also the one with the most transparent reasons for being simplified for the film, was the beginning, both in terms of what the Engineers seem to have been up to, and in terms of how the scientists were trying to figure them out.

    I liked all that because it was the work of someone who wanted a plausible SF script done. I understand why it was cut out and I'd say justifiably so because the film wanted to focus, presumably, on the slasher/invasive angle of Alien, at least in early stages of development.

    There were two techie things in that script that sat unwell with me (one is about lenses, one is about trinary code), but those aside, it's a very good script.

  • Comment number 63.

    The problem I had with Prometheus was not necessarily the marketing as was the self-aggrandizing hype that My fellow film students and Lecturers were taking part in. What i mean by "self-aggrandizing" is that they were pushing the film themselves as though they would be the first individuals to spread the word about what they thought was going to be the next mainstream big-budget film which would be worthy of studying on an academic level.
    My lecturer was even trying to arrange a mass exodus to the local vue cinema to see Prometheus, which he predicted would be come the most important sci-fi film of the last ten years. Funnily enough since then, he hasn't uttered a word about it. When i came back from seeing the film, one student was horrified at my reaction as when asked if i liked it i simply said "i did'nt think it was very good". His reaction which was a huge mess of anger and confusion was quite startling and his response to me was " and you thought the Avengers was a good film?!". Implying , that because i liked a comic book and fantasy film, it somehow made my assessment of Prometheus irrelevant. I, like many others can go on to point the many plot holes in Prometheus because there are lots of them, but in all fairness most films have them, i had other issues with the film but i very much doubt that my opinion would ever register in the ears of a load of pretentious film students who try to convince others that their reasons for falling in love with film was because they saw "La Jette" when they were aged 5.
    Prometheus was supposed to be the blockbuster it was okay to like if you were a intellectual and it's this ridiculous and contemptible attitude which made me dislike the film even more after i had seen it. I actually thought and still do that the film is fairly bland in it's content,if the ideas and themes it was addressing could have really been thoroughly explored we could've had a really controversial, startling and thought-provoking film in our midst. But i just felt that the film never truly explored those themes and never addressed them in any great detail. I got the feeling that Prometheus believed it's own hype before it had finished production , for me, it has this air of arrogance about it which is hard to get away from. I think it makes it worse when you are told by the films defenders that "you just didn't understand it", well by that logic surely the Transformers movies must be high-brow intellectual films full of subtext and meaning. On a second viewing i did appreciate it more because the hype had definitely died down and i actually think that my hostility was probably directed at the pomposity of some of it's defenders not necessarily the film itself, which now i think that without the hysteria surrounding it, is just a fine sci-fi film.
    Overall I don't think it's a disaster but i don't think it really hits the mark either, but after reading the comments and watching the video i will be purchasing the 3D blu ray at some point so maybe i can, yet again, reassess the film, which makes me think that the film itself will end up being a massive talking point in the future not because of it's content but because of it's reaction and the constant debate about it's merits.

  • Comment number 64.

    'Prometheus' aims to both recapture the spirit of the original 'Alien' as well as create a new, added layer of wonder. It fails at both.

    Whilst the sheer spectacle is fun to behold, it completely misses the point of precisely why we loved the original 'Alien' to begin with - the stripped-down, nuts-and-bolts inventiveness; the claustrophobic horror/suspense. As with George Lucas' original Star Wars films, director Scott was ultimately empowered by his technical limitations the first time out. Now, with the infinite abilities of CGI at his fingertips, he offers up this in-your-face epic - for which initial titillation dissolves into a resounding 'meh'.

    That said, it isn't without its moments - and the performance of one Mr Michael Fassbender is worth the price of admission/rental all by his mesmerising self.

 

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