Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prometheus

The new issue of Entertainment Weekly includes an article about the upcoming Alien prequel (or whatever the heck it is) Prometheus. I have to admit that, despite my better judgment, I'm actually very interested in this film. Ridley Scott is a very hit or miss director in my opinion, which is why I was wary when I started hearing rumors a few years ago that he was, in one way or another, returning to the universe of his 1979 sci-fi class, Alien, about which I've gushed on innumerable occasions on this blog.

I'm still wary. I have come to loathe prequels, reboots, and re-imaginings, especially when they are made decades after the originals. But I'd dearly love to see something good done with or in the style of the original Alien. This still, along with others, gives me hope that it'll at least be esthetically pleasing, if nothing else. There's definitely a '70s sci-fi vibe to this image and I like that. (The actors are still too obviously attractive, though, but that's Hollywood for you). Even if the movie stinks, it might have some nice visuals I can use as inspiration for Thousand Suns.

36 comments:

  1. I tend to find that whether or not Scott does a good job is entirely based on genre. He needs to keep his paws out of history and stick to gritty sci fi.

    That said, this doesn't look quite as gritty as I would like, though the giant head is pretty cool.

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  2. He needs to keep his paws out of history


    From your lips to God's ears.

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  3. I am.... entirely dubious. Especially given that (going by those new costumes) the original Alien aesthetic seems to have been thrown out the window.

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  4. I'll watch it. I like more of Scott's film than I dislike, especially the science fiction. I agree his last few historical epics sucked, but The Duellist was awesome

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  5. It isn't a prequel. Apparently it started life as such but that aspect was quickly abandoned. Scott may be a *bit* hit or miss, but I think that his good work far outweighs his bad, and the quality of each good to great film he makes more than makes up for his 2 "bad" films (I'm counting Robin Hood and G.I. Jane here).

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  6. his 2 "bad" films

    Kingdom of Heaven?

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  7. It isn't a prequel. Apparently it started life as such but that aspect was quickly abandoned.

    In one of the stills I linked to on another blog, you can see actor Idris Elba wearing a T-shirt that looks very much like it has the Weyland-Yutani logo on it. Granted, I might be seeing more there than there really is, but it still looks like an Alien-related film to me.

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  8. It isn't a prequel. Apparently it started life as such but that aspect was quickly abandoned.

    Thank God. The last couple of Aliens entries (I mean the AvP crap) were tragic, in that they were shameless cash-ins on a franchise that had until then maintained remarkable thematic continuity and artistic boldness. The AvP movies were not only pointless, incoherent garbage in their own right, but they poisoned the well for any future fans. I suppose some people feel this way about REH and the Conan comic books and movies. I can't help but feel like the AvP movies were a much, much worse betrayal of the source material. (My mind conjures up that Alan Moore gag from The Simpsons -- the "Watch-Kids" comic book entitled "V for Vacation!")

    With that background, any subsequent entry in the Alien franchise is going to be tainted by association. As for a "prequel"... isn't that what we just had, with a couple of crap "Alien" movies set in the 20th century?

    So I'm very, very happy to hear that the present project has nothing to do with Alien. Let the franchise rest in peace.

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  9. I knew it was too good to be true. From IMBD:

    Was originally intended as a prequel to Ridley Scott's Alien, but Scott decided to turn it into an original film with Noomi Rapace (who was already set to star in the prequel) still in the cast as one of five main characters. Some time later however it was confirmed that while the movie will take place in the same universe as Alien, and greatly reference that movie, it will, for the bigger part, be an original movie and not a direct prequel.

    Ugh. Perhaps I'm taking this too personally, but that's a bit like reading that the new Vin Diesel action movie is set in the same universe as 'Portnoy's Complaint'. What does that even mean? Alien was a movie about pregnancy, rape, and the commoditization and exploitation of the human body by mechanistic corporate bureaucracy. If this new movie isn't trying to extend those themes (which got explored in various ways in the four Alien films), then why the hell would you use the same setting?

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  10. @Picador

    If my understanding of the whole film is correct, it won't be a direct prequel in the same way that 'Phantom Menace' and the rest were direct prequels to 'Star Wars', sharing characters and direct storylines and such.

    This, instead will be in the same universe and have some relation to 'Alien' in theme but not be a direct start to the story.

    Now, what that exactly means, I have no idea. It could easily be awful as all of the Alien-franchise has been since 'Aliens'.

    Has there ever been a movie prequel/sequel set in a particular universe established by another film that isn't directly connected to it? In my cold-medicine enhanced fog, I can't immediately think of one, but there likely is.

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  11. Perhaps we can avoid frustration with the film by treating it for what it will probably be: a SF film that relates in some way to 'Alien,' without that relationship mattering much to the story. Ridley Scott didn't write 'Alien,' and he didn't have a hand in the sequels; we shouldn't expect him to go out of his way to please fans of the series.

    If can recapture the intensity and weird erotic menace of the original - or, hey, even a goofy Cthulhu-visits-the-Jetsons vibe as in the posted still image! - then 'Prometheus' will be, happily, a SF film directed by a man with a fine track record in such matters.

    The more we burden 'Prometheus' with Significance, the more it's going to bother us when it turns out to be a Hollywood SF flick. Don't suck the life out of your experience now!

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  12. Has there ever been a movie prequel/sequel set in a particular universe established by another film that isn't directly connected to it?

    The Kurt Russell film Soldier was written by the screenwriter of Blade Runner and has some strong hints they are set in the same "world", though there is no specific continuity or common characters between the two films.

    There are other examples in literature, from Greek myth onward. For example, The Horse and His Boy is a Narnia tale with no direct connection to the other books.

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  13. The look of this film looks much more like '90s style sci fi to me.

    Like Babylon 5 or the lousy Lost In Space movie. Padded spandex with plastic armor and crew cuts.

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  14. I do like the image, given that's my bag and all, but it doesn't quite 'look' the part, if you've an idea of what I mean. But that is just me and one sole image to assume upon.

    The idea of being set within the universe, but not directly correlating with events of the Alien films seems pretty ace to me. I've always been pretty big on expanded universe stuff, especially if it can avoid just rehashing what we've already seen many a time and going in its own fresh direction.

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  15. The cast have quite typical looks, but when you compare them to the Alien cast they seem impossibly plastic. Maybe there was a Eugenic War at some point?

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  16. @Picador:

    "If this new movie isn't trying to extend those themes (which got explored in various ways in the four Alien films), then why the hell would you use the same setting?"

    $ome my$teriou$ rea$on.

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  17. It's well known Ridley Scott doesn't think much of the last few Alien films. Plus, I wouldn't totally judge the look on the film from the Entertainment Weekly pics, as they tend to photoshop and highlight the pics a bit too much. But from some of the Comic Con footage I saw, the film looks like it might be a pretty dark and closer to spirit to the original.

    BTW-Scott has done a few sci-fi related things since Blade Runner.. Such as this spot he did a few years ago for Barclays:

    http://tinyurl.com/85jo7yw

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  18. " What does that even mean? Alien was a movie about pregnancy, rape, and the commoditization and exploitation of the human body by mechanistic corporate bureaucracy. If this new movie isn't trying to extend those themes (which got explored in various ways in the four Alien films), then why the hell would you use the same setting?"

    Because there's more to talk about in that setting than rape metaphors and corporate corruption? Stuff that hasn't been even vaguely addressed by any of the movies?

    "Okay, enough with the rape shit. We get it. Now tell us more about that freaky space jockey thing!"

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  19. That pic is some of the worst photoshop work I have seen this year. No wonder they look plastic.

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  20. Dunno this picture reminds me more of Alien's spiritual successor Planet of the Vampires in style and look. That is sort of a winning point in its favor for me.

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  21. i can guess the ending, humans created the aliens

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  22. It's mostly the blonde dude that looks plastic. Noomi Rapace looks a little plastic, the dark haired guy looks fleshy. The blonde dude looks as artificial as the villain from Lazytown.

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  23. "Okay, enough with the rape shit. We get it. Now tell us more about that freaky space jockey thing!"

    Yes please.

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  24. This, instead will be in the same universe and have some relation to 'Alien' in theme but not be a direct start to the story.

    Now, what that exactly means, I have no idea. It could easily be awful as all of the Alien-franchise has been since 'Aliens'.


    See also Blade Runner and Kurt Russell's semi-sequel Soldier. Or rather, see the former, don't see the latter.

    It's mostly the blonde dude that looks plastic.

    That's Michael Fassbender, recently seen in X-Men: First Class. He is a bit hit-and-miss.

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  25. Most of the Tarrintino movies are connected via 'the same world.' Inglorious, reservoir, pulp and kill bill are tied by the same fictional cigarette brand. There are other ties that are stronger (one of the inglorious shares a last name with someone from reservoir or pulp, can't think of which one at the moment). So there's an example of an interconnected world mythos that doesn't trod upon itself.

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  26. That's not a movie, that's a Mass Effect sequel. Right? Right?

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  27. his 2 "bad" films

    Kingdom of Heaven?


    The theatrical cut of KoH is horrible, but I'd advise you to take a look at the director's cut. It actually makes the move more than watchable.

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  28. @Anarchist:

    $ome my$teriou$ rea$on.

    LOL. Yes, my question was worded incorrectly. What I meant was something more like, "Why would I want to watch it?"

    @John Hendry "Okay, enough with the rape shit. We get it. Now tell us more about that freaky space jockey thing!"

    I suppose. I mean, fanfic has its place. If somebody wants to make a family-oriented rom-com about Kirk and Spock settling down together in a beach house on some tropical planet and adopting a family of adorable Tribbles, that's fine, but it's not really a Star Trek movie at that point. It's just kitsch, like a truck decal of Calvin peeing on a Chevrolet logo.

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  29. I believe that the actual background was much more fully developed in Cameron's Aliens, especially if you go with the director's cut.

    Scott's has some hints, but everything is very vague and generic, almost as if they did not want to commit to locking it into any sort of hypothetical future/history.

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  30. I have come to loathe prequels, reboots, and re-imaginings, especially when they are made decades after the originals.

    Weren't you touting Malory the other day?

    Remakes/reimaginings decades apart? Try centuries.

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  31. Weren't you touting Malory the other day?

    I don't think the fact that a reboot or re-imagining can be done well, as I think Malory's is, makes my general feeling nonsensical. I can count the number of reboots that, to my mind, work on both my hands probably. They are exceptions that prove the rule.

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  32. Just in: a bad dupe of the upcoming Prometheus's trailer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watchv=3idSf4q2fVI&feature=player_embedded

    Now that's what I call an Alien sequel!

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  33. http://www.avpgalaxy.net/2011/11/26/exclusive-new-prometheus-trailer-footage/

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  34. "The theatrical cut of KoH is horrible, but I'd advise you to take a look at the director's cut. It actually makes the move more than watchable."

    People always say this but the director's cut is the only version I've seen and I still thought it was stupid...

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  35. Even Scott can't resist the Orange/Blue lights, filters, and set dressing these days. Blech

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