96: Prometheus (and Bob. KABLAM! baby!)

Prometheus – June 8, 2012
Starring: A lot of people
Written by: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Directed by: Ridley Scott

The plot: “A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.” – IMDB

[edit]: Yikes! Should’ve posted this a few weeks ago but completely forgot I had it here all ready to go.

My thoughts: I feel so torn about this movie. First off, I feel like I waited years and years to see it. There was so much build up and mystery surrounding it. Mostly “What is that HUGE face thing?!” but all the same, it looked cool in the trailer.

And it looked cool in the theater! Sometimes, I feel jealous that people 20 years older than I am got to see Blade Runner in theaters. For some reason, people always remember sci-fi movies in the theater – maybe because it isn’t a leader in box offices so they’re always memorable? All the same, I was so glad to see Prometheus on a huge screen because it was visually awesome. No doubt about that.

The acting was…okay. Fassbender was excellent doing a weird robot/David Bowie hybrid. And everyone else was just okay. It was weird seeing Trey from The O.C. on a big screen in a Ridley Scott blockbuster. Idris Elba, cool as always, and Charlize Theron just being stoney faced and a boss.

So those were the good parts. And now on to the bad: holes galore! And I don’t mean anything sexy by that. I know everyone is like, “But it’s Damon Lindelof! Of course he’s going to leave you with questions, what’d you expect?” Well, I certainly didn’t expect a movie that appeared to have been written by geeky nine-year-olds who kept shouting over one another saying “Oh! And then what if there was like, goo!” and “Yeah, and like, that’s who Charlize really is!”

PREPARE THYSELF FOR ALL THE SPOILERS

So, Red Letter Media made a fantastic video of things that just didn’t make a lick of sense in Prometheus. I’m going to point out some of the questions I had and expand a bit. Now, prepare yourself for fun.

Why did Holloway assume that the air was okay to breathe in? This bugged me so much. I’m sorry, but if you’re a scientist, wouldn’t it cross your mind that while the air reads as being breathable for humans, it doesn’t rule out the fact that there might be some toxic alien chemical make-up shit in the air that humans don’t even know exists? Wouldn’t the first thought be to run some tests? Or, oh, I don’t know, just play it safe and not breathe in alien air?

What was the point in the reveal of Weyland being Charlize’s father? Because it was completely irrelevant and added nothing to the plot or personality and really, wasn’t even a huge surprise. Which is odd, because the way they revealed it, (with the whole “Hello…FATHER.“) I felt like I should have gasped and yet I felt nothing. Though I did find myself entranced by Charlize’s silky smooth hair and diamond cutting cheekbones.

What was with Weyland being alive and then dead? He could’ve been alive and with them and just said “I’d also like to meet the people who made me. Sound good?” and everyone probably would’ve been like “Yeah, dude, the more the merrier!” But then also, some people were like “Oh shit! You’re alive Weyland!” and others were like “Oh, hey Weyland. How’s it going?”

Why did Noomi and Charlize run in a straight fucking line while a round spaceship rolled toward them? This was actually somehow my biggest complaint. If something is rolling at you, wouldn’t your first reaction be not just to run away, but to disperse to the sides? Because then you could just sort of move out of the way and let it roll right past you and everything would be hunky-dory. Some scientists and astronauts (or whatever).

So…I don’t know. Visually, this movie gets a five. It gave me a lot of Event Horizon vibes (which isn’t a bad thing!) In regard to plot, I don’t even know. I don’t understand what point it was trying to make or what the twist really was or if it was really supposed to be a prequel or maybe just Ridley Scott saying “Hey, kids, I made another movie about aliens a few decades ago. Check it out!” I feel like at the end, the lasting question was “See? Get it?” and my response is “No. I don’t get it.”

**

Advertisements

73: Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down – January 18, 2002
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Jason Isaacs, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana
Written by: Ken Nolan
Directed by: Ridley Scott

The plot: “123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.” – IMDB

My thoughts: You might be thinking, “Kaitie, how did it take you over a decade to see Black Hawk Down?” and the only conclusive answer is “I don’t know.” I have no idea how it took me so long to see such a well-known film, by such a prominent director, and starring…everyone.

It was depressing and gory and I would have to imagine quite realistic. I have not been involved in war nor do I really know anyone who has served in the military, but still, it seemed believable to me.

The film was based on a book which was based on a true story about the U.S.’s raid on Somalia to capture warlord Aidid and because of this, the characters are “real”. I would have to assume that some – if not a lot of – liberties were taken in putting these characters on screen. At the same time, they all seemed so genuine and for lack of better word, normal. There was no hyperbolic, speech-y captain nor was there an underdog that saved the whole day. It was just all of these guys trying to stay alive and complete their mission.

The film was chaotic with a few moments of tense calm (that’s a total oxymoron but I’m not sure how else to describe it) as I would assume war is. It seems like in a lot of action movies it’s just non-stop firing and blowing shit up for 15 minutes and then a retreat followed by one big attack. In Black Hawk Down, the teams split up and went off on other little missions (rescuing the black hawk pilots). There was a lot of waiting around and regrouping.

For as many characters as there were, they did a pretty impeccable job of giving them all personality and a chance for us to get to know them just a little bit. There isn’t really a “main character” per se. Everyone is pretty equal despite their ranks.

I really enjoyed Black Hawk Down as most people did 10 years ago. It was honest and gruesome and yeah, I might have gotten a little teary at the end. I honestly can’t even think of any drawbacks. Maybe just don’t watch it if you’re in a depressed mood. It probably won’t be an effective “pick-me-up.”

Stars: 5/5

67: Blade Runner (a bit late to the whole thing)

Blade Runner – June 25, 1982
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young
Written by: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples
Directed by: Ridley Scott

The plot: “In a cyberpunk vision of the future, man has developed the technology to create replicants, human clones used to serve in the colonies outside Earth but with fixed lifespans. In Los Angeles, 2019, Deckard is a Blade Runner, a cop who specialises in terminating replicants. Originally in retirement, he is forced to re-enter the force when six replicants escape from an offworld colony to Earth.” – IMDB

My thoughts: I’m a little ashamed to admit that last night was my first time viewing Blade Runner. It’s a sci-fi classic and as a self-proclaimed geek/nerd, it’s something I probably should have seen ages ago. I guess that sentiment is applicable to a lot of films. Plus, I’m old enough now to fully appreciate a film like Blade Runner! Anyway, it’s been on my list for years, but a few months ago I was at a restaurant where I’m pretty sure Blade Runner should not have been playing and I saw this shot:

At that moment, I thought to myself, “If I don’t see Blade Runner, I’m just going to hate myself forever.” So last night, I finally did.

Honestly, I think the most stand-out thing for me was not the plot or the acting, but the art direction and shots in this film. It was beyond gorgeous (particularly the scene shown above in GIF form.) The costumes, the cityscapes…it all felt wonderfully futuristic and complete. I think that a lot of “in the future” movies work hard to make cute winks and clever jabs at technology’s current state, but in Blade Runner, it was an entirely new world. It looked like crazy people had moved to a new, inhabitable planet and made an almost Earth but not really and then let it slowly fall apart.

Harrison Ford and Sean Young were good in it, but I was more impressed by Rutger Hauer’s performance as I think is common after watching Blade Runner. He’s obviously psychotic and yet I fully sympathized with him. All he wanted was to live and love and in the end, he was just a desperate guy with no one there for him. Come on, that’s pretty sad.

I did a bit of reading up on the movie and in ’82, I guess it wasn’t especially popular. People wanted Star Wars and what they got was a film set heavily in developing characters in the future with little action and little galactic combat. A lot of critics thought that the plot was lost to special effects and that it was slow moving. True, maybe. But rather than saying “Here are the good guys, here are the good guys, let there be war,” the film really lets us get to know characters and I don’t know, probably wants us to question what it is to be human and blah blah blah.

The point is, it became a cult hit and Blade Runner stands the test of time even 30 years later. I really enjoyed it and can understand why it’s a sci-fi staple and see what influence it’s had over the futuristic/sci-fi genre. The acting was great, the design and art were impeccable, and even Vangelis’s soundtrack was wonderful.

Stars: 5/5