Wednesday, December 18, 2013


(Movie Review)

Why I Saw This Movie: I’m a fan of the Alien franchise generally.  More specifically, some of my more intelligent friends (people whose opinion I really respect) highly recommended this movie.

My History With the Alien Franchise
          Along with most of the rest of the world, I hold Alien and Aliens to be among the greatest films of all time.  Everything after that has largely been a disappointment.
The Review
            If a movie doesn’t explain all its plot points, does it get points for being deliberately ambiguous, or criticized for sloppy storytelling? 
            Does a movie get credit for asking philosophical questions even if it doesn’t provide any follow through?
            I’m leaning towards criticized, and no credit.  But intelligent people can disagree.
            Also, the original Alien movie expertly milked the suspense, but at this point in the franchise, I wonder if the slow build-up is having diminishing returns.   We already know it’s just a matter of time before the disaster strikes, so do we really need to milk the build-up?

Other Things I Would Talk About If I Wasn’t Strictly Limiting Myself to 100 Words
* Listing all the unexplained plot points that bugged me.
* Talking about how this film fits or does not fit in the Alien continuity
* The history of my fascination with the Alien franchise as an adolescent.

* I’m mostly in agreement with this reviewer here.

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky - Illegal but Legitimate
and from Chomsky: Israel and the United States are the real rogue actors in the Middle East


dpreimer said...

Man, it's been, what, a year-and-a-half since I saw that movie, and I still can't pin down how I feel about it. "Disappointed," obviously. And yet there was something so compelling about how coldly the Noomi Rapace character was manipulated by everyone around her. Her acting in that flick pretty much kept me on-board with it, I think. I'd probably rate is six out of ten.

Joel Swagman said...

It's a hard one to classify, wasn't it. I mean, aspects of it were very well done. Some of the atmosphere at the beginning was very good.

I think my opinion is summed up by the reviewer I linked to above, who wrote:
A third of the way into director Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, I wrote in my notes, “This is dang-near perfect—everything you’d want from a summer sci-fi thriller with cosmic aspirations!”

Two-thirds through, I wrote, “Hey, what the hell happened to that terrific, summer sci-fi thriller I was watching?”

dpreimer said...

Yeah, Peterseim hit the nail on the head. Although my heart began to sink earlier than that, when the engineer showed up chomping on a cigar and propping a Christmas tree on the pool table. At that point it seemed a clear signal that things were going to get kooky, and not in a good way.

Joel Swagman said...

update: This critique by Steampunk

Is beginning to win me over to the "Prometheus was a Bad Movie" Camp, and making me wish I had given this film 3 stars instead of 5. Oh well.