Legendary director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) returns to his sci-fi origins in this epic adventure bursting with spectacular action and mind-blowing visual effects. A team of scientists and explorers travels to the darkest corners of the universe searching for the origins of human life. Instead they find a dark, twisted world that hides a terrifying threat capable of destroying them...and all mankind!
I've had the pleasure of seeing Prometheus twice. The first occasion was my first exposure to IMAX/3D and it was easily the best presentation I have ever seen in a theater. That prompted me to share the experience with two UK friends who were in town for my 50th birthday. Yes, I'm old.
The most difficult thing to overcome when reviewing Prometheus is separating the incredible presentation from the story. Should I review the experience, or just the movie itself? I have chosen to comment on both elements.
The opening shots immediately draw you in and establish that you are about to witness something special in terms of presentation. As the camera pans over the surface of a moon, you are part of the experience. As with Avatar, you are transported to a different world. The first shot of the ship is also effective, with the roar of the engines. Kubrick would probably turn over in his grave at the technical error of portraying sound in space, but it does add something for the viewer.
Prometheus is quite ambitious. It does a good job of explaining some of the events that led up to the mission in Alien. We are shown some of the discoveries which prompted the Weyland Corporation to explore deep space. A crew is sent to search for an incredible secret, which I won't reveal here. Unlike other films in the Alien franchise, the presence of an android is explained from the beginning. David (Fassbender) is accepted for what he is without anything being hidden. The one thing that does remain consistent is that the android knows more than he admits. Where did he get that information?
There is more than one alien species present in Prometheus, plus the humans. The story explains the origin of the type of ship discovered in Alien and we experience a small thrill of recognition. Ridley Scott balances new information with previous events in an effective way. I came away feeling like I knew a lot more about this universe, but I didn't feel that the original film had been betrayed in any way.
It took me several viewings over a number of years to raise my rating for Alien to 4.5/5. Perhaps because I know that film so well, Prometheus had more of an immediate impact. However, there is one thing preventing me from rating the film as highly. The character of Fifield (Sean Harris) is a blatant flaw in the film. He's a British geologist with the personality of an idiotic criminal. He's clearly intended to provide comic relief, and I admit that the audience did laugh at his comments during both viewings, but his inclusion felt so out of place. Up until that point, the film had me fully engaged. The story seemed plausible and interesting. Fifield would never have passed any serious attempt at psychological screening by the Weyland Corporation and would never have become part of the crew in any realistic scenario. His inclusion pulled me right out of the movie as soon as he spoke his opening dialogue. His scenes with Millburn (Rafe Spall) were all ludicrous and I'm forced to deduct half a point just because of their presence.
Everything else worked.
I'm not against the idea of humor in a serious movie. Vickers (Theron) and Janek (Idris Elba) did have an amusing exchange which was handled in a far more intelligent manner. Theron played her part well and her icy personality was believable.
The highlight of the film for me was the unexpectedly wonderful performance from Noomi Rapace. I liked her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in the original Dragon Tattoo trilogy and was pleasantly surprised to see her tackling a role in English. Like Alien, the movie ends with a fight for survival, and Shaw (Rapace) is the equivalent of Ripley. There's one sequence which made me laugh because it was so outlandish, but Rapace played it totally straight and still had me on the edge of my seat and rooting for her. This will upset some people, but I think she was a more effective character than Sigourney Weaver's Ripley. I like both tremendously, so I guess it doesn't matter.
Prometheus delivers in terms of story, action, and special effects, and most of the acting is good. The conclusion left the possibility of a sequel and I wouldn't be sorry to see that happen. It's always tricky when a franchise is continued after a long absence, but Scott really pulled it off. See it in IMAX/3D while you can and buy the Blu-ray when it is eventually released.Read more ›
Prometheus arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. This transfer is simply stunning. Using Red Epic digital cameras mounted to 3ality Technica Atom 3D rigs, the film was shot almost entirely on Pinewood Studio's famed—and enormous—007 lot, allowing Ridley Scott and cinematographer Dariusz Wolski complete control over the lighting of the magnificently detailed sets. The combination of a great camera system, high-quality Zeiss lenses, and precise manipulation of the direction and degree of light makes for an image that is terrifically sharp. The level of clarity is exemplary for a live-action film. Fine detail is ever-present in the textures of the actors' faces, the fabric of their clothing, and the intricacies of the props and set design. The film's distinct colour palette is also outstanding, including the inky depths of the pyramid, the yellow LED lights inside the explorers' helmets, the cool fluorescence inside Prometheus, the spatters of blood. (5/5)
Prometheus’s DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio lossless track is spectacular, like the video. From start to finish, it delivers room-quaking dynamics, pristine clarity, and polished, realistic, puts-you-right-in-the-middle-of-the-action sound design. From the opening scene on the barren planet Earth we get deep sub-woofer engagement, the lapping, crashing, and bubbling of a massive waterfall, and the thunderous rumble of an alien ship overhead. The sense of all-surrounding immersion puts you right in the middle of the action. The actors' voices, which—besides being well-balanced and easily understood—always reflect the acoustics of their surroundings, flatter aboard the ship, slightly muffled inside their helmets, echoing and wet inside the pyramid. All this is backed up by Marc Streitenfeld's enormous-sounding orchestral score, which alternates between quiet uneasiness and sheer bombast. (5/5)
A team of scientists travels through the universe on the spaceship "Prometheus" on a voyage to investigate alien life forms. The team of scientists becomes stranded on an Alien world, and as they struggle to survive it becomes clear that the horrors they experience are not just a threat to themselves, but to all of mankind. At the end of the movie, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and David went to investigate the origin of life and why our Maker changed His mind to destroy mankind. Do I smell a sequel to this prequel coming? After checking some websites, my hunch is correct. Prometheus 2 is in early discussion with return of Noomi Rapace and robot David (movie 4.5/5)
Prometheus has an estimated budget of $130 million, but grossed $302 million worldwide.
Prometheus was originally conceived as a prequel to Ridley Scott's Alien, but Scott announced his decision to turn it into an original film. Some time later it was confirmed that while the movie would take place in the same universe as Alien and greatly reference that movie, it would mostly be an original movie and not a direct prequel.
Director Ridley Scott named the film Prometheus, seeing the name aptly fit the film's themes: "It's the story of creation; the gods and the man who stood against them." In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus was a servant of the gods, who stole and gave to mankind the gift of fire, an immeasurable benefit that changed the human race forever (for better AND worse).
Did you know that the androids' names in the Alien films follow an alphabetical pattern: in Alien it's Ash, in Aliens and Alien³ it's Bishop, in Alien: Resurrection it's Call and in this film it's David.
Being an experienced obstetrician, I thought I was pretty fast in doing a Caesarian section: from skin to skin in 10 minutes. But in this movie, the robot beat me by a whopping 9 minutes. Wow! What more can I say!
Any movie directed by Ridley Scott or starring Charlize Theron is good enough for me. Our heroine Noomi Rapace (as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw) is also outstanding. Plus, it has top-notched audio/video. It will be grouped next to my Alien Anthology box set. At $24.99, this is of great value. Get it before the price will definitely be going up. Of course, it is highly recommended.Read more ›
I did enjoy the movie for what it offered. It is good entertainment with majestic imagery, mostly solid performances and absorbing music. Having said that, it is a movie not without its flaws. Some of them are hard to ignore. >>>>>>>>> SPOILERS AHEAD <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
A SHIP OF FOOLS One would think that when someone is making a trillion dollar investment and, to boost, having his own immortality ride on this expedition, he would make a more careful selection of his team. Not slap together whoever happened to be waiting for the bus at the corner, right? So who did we get here? -- A captain that is more interested in getting in the pants of the owner's dominating daughter than what enters his ship or not. -- An archeologist (intense Rapace was a excellent fit for the role) who supposedly has faith but that seems to exhaust itself on clinging to her cross. However, I am willing to give this some leeway as it is bound to come up in the sequel(s). I am guessing sacrifice and probably I am not alone in this. -- A geologist/gun expert that is so grossly stereotyped and has such a bad temper (no one thought of running a personality screen BEFORE launch, right?) that his (telegraphed) death is actually a relief. -- A Biologist who is eager to abandon all notion of evolution in favor of an alien designer at the drop of a penny. And his sole contribution, when faced with an alien creature that looked like a cobra (fear of snakes is innate, mind you), was to try to...pet it, while uttering "here, kitty-kitty-kitty"... Of course, "kitty" eats his face off. As a Biologist myself, I felt shame - and I have to ask: of all the millions of Biologists on Earth, why did they choose this hooded hippie again? -- The owner's daughter who decides to follow her father in order to cause his death and finally inherit him. Would it not make more sense to simply wish him farewell and stay behind on Earth? There was no way this ship of idiots would ever return!
PLANET-SIZED PLOT HOLES Suspension of disbelief is a requirement for almost every single movie and needed in a large dosage for every science fiction one. Nevertheless, there are some thorns in my side that would not let go. -- A spaceship that is capable of traveling between stars, entering an alien atmosphere without burning up and being set down like a helicopter wherever managed to catch the team's eye at the last moment? No one even thought of scouting and mapping out the planet first in order to have a landing plan, right? -- Said magic spaceship can also accelerate like a sports car in Earth-like gravity at a 45 degrees angle (in order to ram the alien ship) and the captain manages to make it do this, not in an g-suit and strapped in a harness, but standing up in his loose-hanging veteran jacket. -- The archeologists were pursuing their discovery whereas the rest of the rag-tag team probably needed the money. But why would ultra-rich Vicker's daughter go on a mission like this? Did she have a death wish to undertake such a dangerous (and haphazardly slapped together) mission? -- Relativity is a heartless mistress. Gliese-86 is 35 light years away. That means that even at light-speed, it would take 70 years to get there and back. Did she leave no one she cared for behind? Because almost everyone she knew will be dead by the time she gets back. -- Okay now, what WAS the plan? Meet with these alien creators so that Vickers can become immortal? Did they have any indication that this was even remotely possible? Then how would they know about the mutating alien and have a plan to bring it back in a host in stasis?
I saw it in 3D and, with the exception of the first 3 minutes, it was not worth the glasses hassle. An interesting prequel to the Alien Saga. I only wish they had given the script as much thought as they did the cinematography.Read more ›