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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  • Comment number 64. Posted by Jeff Fyke

    on 23 Jan 2013 14:22

    '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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  • Comment number 63. Posted by dbache1

    on 19 Nov 2012 18:20

    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.

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  • Comment number 62. Posted by Mihai Pomarlan

    on 19 Nov 2012 09:15

    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.

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  • Comment number 61. Posted by Burnett

    on 19 Nov 2012 07:25

    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.

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  • Comment number 60. Posted by Mihai Pomarlan

    on 16 Nov 2012 21:55

    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.

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  • Comment number 59. Posted by Burnett

    on 16 Nov 2012 05:04

    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.

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  • Comment number 58. Posted by neogamma

    on 12 Nov 2012 18:34

    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

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  • Comment number 57. Posted by johnnyyen

    on 11 Nov 2012 15:44

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

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  • Comment number 56. Posted by Yes_Mr_Luthor

    on 3 Nov 2012 14:49

    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!

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  • Comment number 55. Posted by Mihai Pomarlan

    on 1 Nov 2012 22:23

    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.

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