movies

I’m pretty sure I didn’t “get” Prometheus.

Posted by Jonathan Nori on June 17, 2012
Personal Life / No Comments

Apparently I have to write this a second time. Woohoo.

So.

I saw Prometheus opening weekend.

Meh.

In fact, that’s an understatement.

I was looking forward to a triumphant return to a film universe that I really thought was imaginative.

Sadly, much of Prometheus was dull, predictable, or unnecessary. It had bright spots, but this movie will go down as being another Alien Resurrection or Aliens vs. Predator entry in in the xenomorph mythos. The DC Elseworlds Superman vs. Aliens one-shot was better.

The acting was excellent, for the most part. Fans of Michael Fassbender will really get a kick out of his outright creepy no-nonsense portrayal of a David-model android synthetic human. The supporting cast was hugely entertaining, while they were alive. Charlize Theron’s character was very likable. The only disappointment was Noomi Rapace, who seemed to be trying to unsuccessfully channel Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley.

As I said before, the cinematography was beautiful. The Prometheus ship itself was gorgeous, and the landscapes and camera pulls and pans always left you wanting to see just a little bit more. (But then, with around 100 years of moving pictures under their belt, Hollywood doesn’t really have a good excuse for bad cinematography these days.)

The music was a letdown as well. With all the talented composers out there, you’d think they would have been able to stumble drunkenly across a single musician who could have written a score that didn’t distract you from the movie. Or maybe that was the point.

My big issues with Prometheus had to do with the plot.

Oh yeah, SPOILERS FOLLOWING.

Seriously. The plot: 35,000 year-old cave paintings directing near-future spacefaring humans to distant planets in search of the “alien Engineers” who created life on Earth? Wasn’t this covered in one of the less-popular Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes?

And don’t get me started on the Enterprise-sized plot holes and Ridley Scott predictability. Rapace surgically removes an alien embryo from her womb before it can kill her, ends up covered in blood with a dozen staples across her belly, and nobody notices her wandering around the ship bloody and delirious? Granted, Scott was busy killing off all the rest of the supporting characters at the time in the cargo bay, with a contrived plot device specifically to kill off people so he didn’t have to deal with them. Sorry, rabbit trail. Back to our blood-soaked heroine: Eventually she stumbles into a room full of people, and proceeds to have normal conversations as everyone ignores the fact that she is STILL IN HER UNDERWEAR AND COVERED IN BLOOD. And nobody is concerned by this?

The xenomorphs were…interesting. This was definitely a setup for a future film addrssing the xenos spread through the galaxy (which, thankfully, was NOT humans’ fault, which may be a new concept to some: Us NOT being to blame for every bad thing that befalls everyone in the entire universe).

But even the failures of the plot are secondary to the real disappointment in Prometheus.

The Message.

Ridley Scott must be feeling mortal these days. The years must be weighing heavily on him in his twilight. Questions of life, the universe, God, Creation, and purpose permeate this film.

Unfortunately, the answers this film provides are nothing less than depressing. “Guess what! We’ve found the Creator of all life on Earth! He’s a 12-foot tall alien with identical DNA to us. Oh, and remember the YHWH of the OLd Testament? Changeable, angry, bitter, jealous, and full of smite? Yeah, these gods are just like that. So, in a nutshell, yeah, god exists, but he’s just a small, petty, changeable, and finite as you are.”

So abandon all hope and despair, because there’s nothing better out there.

Not exactly the message *I* want to pay $12 to hear.

If Prometheus was supposed to be instill me with wonder, fascination, and hope? Yeah, I definitely didn’t get that.

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The 2009 Hollywood Preview

Posted by Jonathan Nori on December 30, 2008
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I am a rather voracious consumer of entertainment media. Books, movies, music, DVDs, television, stage productions…at any given time I have around 65 DVDs in my Netflix queue, and my Tivo records everything from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to Fringe. 2008 was a great year for movies, and I’m looking forward to the DVD catch-up of the movies I didn’t make it out to see.

2009 is not looking so hot. Every year around this time I look up the coming movies for the next year and make a rough list of what to see, what to skip, and what to plan on renting. Mostly rent, because I don’t go to the theater terribly often. This year, I figured I’d post my list here, just for the fun of it. 🙂

Besides, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty rough year for Hollywood. I figure they can use all the promotion they can get right now.

January

Inkheart – Yet another Brendan Fraser action/adventure flick…what can I say, I love the guy. This is a renter.

Outlander – This one is already in my Netflix queue, because there’s no way I’ll actually see it in a theater. So very, very B. I miss MST3K.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – How can you go wrong with vampires AND werewolves in the same movie?

The Dark Knight – RUMOR! I have seen reference on the Internets (therefore it MUST be true!) that The Dark Knight will be returning to IMAX screens sometime in January. I might have to get a babysitter.

February

Push – Looks like another Jumper–marginal action/sci-fi. Rent, but don’t expect much beyond some flashy SXF.

The Velveteen Rabbit – Something to take my daughter to see! The only other movie she’s seen in the theater is Wall-E, and we saw that twice.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li – The only redeeming factor of this movie is…wait, there isn’t one. But it’s Street Fighter, so I’ll rent it eventually. Shoryu-ken!

The Resurrection – This is one of those rare movies that I’ll see in the theater even if it’s awful.

March

12 – A remake of Twelve Angry Men! A renter for sure. It’ll have to be amazing to outdo the original. Maybe it’ll have mind-readers, or robots, or time travel. Or maybe a time-traveling, mind reading robot. Or not.

Watchmen – More comic superheroes. Unless I hear really good things about this one, it’ll be a renter.

April

Dragonball Evolution – As a huge Dragonball and Dragonball Z fan, I can’t express in words how terribly frightened I am of this movie. The cast actually looks good, but In the Name of the King is recent proof that a good cast can’t make up for a bad director. Definitely a renter, unless I’m looking to blow an evening on something pointless. On the other hand, I’m sure some of my friends could twist my arm into convincing me to watch Emmy Rossum for 90 minutes. Kamehameha!

The Soloist – A drama that actually looks good. What a concept.

May

(This is going to be a busy month. Why Hollywood has to smash all the good stuff together I’ll never understand.)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – This is the first of the “Babysitter Night” movies. I will see this in the theater.

Star Trek – What can I say here? Don’t screw it up, J.J. Abrams. Opening night will be a Babysitter Night, if I don’t manage to make it to a midnight opening. This is my Number One Movie to Be Excited For in 2009.

Angels & Demons – My favorite Dan Brown book, and likely to be a much better movie than The Da Vinci Code. I’m hoping the soundtrack is as good as Da Vinci Code’s. That will make the movie worth seeing. Again, I’m predicting a Babysitter Night.

Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian – The first Night at the Museum was a fun movie, and I’m looking forward to seeing the familiar Smithsonian buildings in this one.

Terminator Salvation – A Terminator movie without Ahnold?  BUT it has Christian Bale as John Conner! Woo! I guess Bale can’t get enough of saving the world. Can you say Babysitter Night?

Up – The new Pixar film. Need I say more? This won’t need to be a Babysitter Night, because I’ll be taking the Munchkin to see this one!

June

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Yay more Transformers! Should be good, even if we have to put up with more of Michael Bay’s nearly incoherent action sequences. Definitely another Babysitter Night.

July

Ice Age 3 – Yep, another Ice Age movie. I’m predicting another father-daughter outing.

2012 – Another disaster movie from Roland “I’ll never make another disaster movie” Emmerich. I’ll definitely see this, thought probably not in the theater. The very idea of 2012 is just too tempting to pass up. I do have to say, though, I’m rather disappointed that I haven’t seen any Christians jumping on the “end of the world in 2012” bandwagon with books predicting the rapture or Jesus’ return. My favorite part of the legend is the bit about the domesticated animals rising up against their human oppressors. Fun times!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – This one is on my must-see list for the summer. I think I’ve already got a babysitter lined up.

August

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra – I’m pretty excited about this movie, but the movie photos seem to be mysteriously devoid of any American flags. I thought GI Joe was “The Real American Hero”. Hopefully this will make our military boys and girls look as awesome as Transformers did.

September

Pandorum – Looks like another Sunshine, which was almost a good movie–or possibly another Event Horizon, which wasn’t.

Daybreakers – This will probably be a renter. It sounds like I Am Legend, but with more bloodthirsty vampires. And hopefully less depressing.

Whiteout – Another renter, I think. Could be a fun thriller.

Surrogates – An interesting combination of robot-related ideas. Definitely a renter.

October

Zombieland – Sounds like somebody read World War Z a few too many times. Might be a renter, if they manage to keep it from being a gore-fest. Otherwise, it’s a cool idea, but I’ll skip it and wait for the real World War Z movie.

Where the Wild Things Are – Yay! Imagination! If the trailer looks really good, this might be a family outing.

Astro Boy – Must. Rent. Movies. Based. On. Anime! Now if only they’d make Akira…

November

New Moon – More baseball-playing angst-ridden romance-seeking non-gory vampires, please. And don’t forget the funny.

December

Avatar – No, not that Avatar (which is apparently being directed by Shyamalan), but it still looks like it might be good. Not Aang/Katara/Toph/Sokka/Zuko good, but watchable.

Anything Else?

Okay, so 2009 is actually looking pretty slim as far as movies go. Hopefully I’ll find some good anime to keep me out of trouble.

And I’ve got a bit of a backlog in my Netflix queue, so maybe I’ll have a chance to catch up now.

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