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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cody's Film Review: Prometheus

Throughout his entire career Ridley Scott has been criticized as a director who cares for vision over characters and plot. I have always thought of him as a more talented Brian De Palma, the king of all style and no substance. The main difference between these two directors is Scott has a unique vision that when rendered becomes ground breaking and changes the face of cinema. De Palma looks more to the past and takes from the old masters of classic film. Ridley Scott has made about 30 films and only 4 are good and 2 are great, and like Prometheus, were science fiction films. It's a rare thing when a visionary director and a good script come together and a great film is made. I thought Ridley Scott's career like many past visionary directors (Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam) suffered with the advent of computer technology. These directors need to be reeled in and instead of finding a creative way to put their visions on screen they just put whatever their hearts desired with shitty CGI. For the first time in 15 years Scott shot a visually stunning and flawless film, it's just too bad the script got in the way of making his 3rd great film. First off it's on par with Alien and Blade Runner visually, but not as ground breaking set and design wise. I saw this film in IMAX 3-D and although the 3-D wasn't necessary, the IMAX experience encompassed me. This is what every CGI film should look like, there is nothing half-assed about it, and the whole point of using computers is not to see the computers! I still can't wrap my head around why this film and The Dark Knight cost 130-140 million to make and Indiana Jones and Crystal Crap and Spidercrap 3 cost 190-250 million to make.Unlike Alien and Blade Runner there are holes in the story with plot lines that go nowhere and misuse of characters. *Spoilers* I can deal with a few holes, but after The Mystery man at the beginning, the cave drawings, David's knowledge of how to make the queen (he may have been experimenting, but he knew what to do and what to look for) , everything with the Engineers, over the top reveals, stupid scientist doing un-scientific things, and leaving the film open for a sequel, it begins to add up. The cast is great with the exception of Logan Marshall Green as Dr. Holloway who seems more like an extreme sports rock climber than an scientist. Fassbender is amazing and is really the centerpiece of this film, but his motivation is never clear. David's motivation is of course tied into Guy Pearce's motivation as well, and Pearce is just wasted in this film and it's never clear exactly what he wants or expects to happen.There must be 45 minutes of deleted scenes that all involve Pearce, because the TED Talk 2023 ( ) is far superior than anything he does in the film. One thing that I loved was Ridley Scott's homage to Lawrence Of Arabia and 2001: A Space Odyssey, two of my all-time favorite films. David is pretty much the android form of HAL and Old man Pearce looks exactly like old man Dave Bowman, but the one that blew me away was David's obsession with Peter O'Toole's Lawrence. I love Lawrence of Arabia and I wanted to watch the whole thing in IMAX 3-D. Overall  I recommend this film just for the visuals alone, it's just about flawless and see it in IMAX if you can. My problems with the plot and characters is sometimes petty, but I want every movie I see to be great. If it falls short in one department and is great in another, then I see that as a missed opportunity. 3 out of 5 stars

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