The Alien Series

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  sen3 on Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:58 am

ariadne wrote:So I saw Prometheus this afternoon. I shall hold off before doing a proper review, but for now I shall say it's like Giger meets Erich von Daniken and therefore totally awesome. Sure, it has its flaws, but overall, as I said, awesome.

ohhh! awesome. Like a big budget episode of Ancient Aliens!

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  ariadne on Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:11 pm

epudom wrote: I'm still trying to decide how I felt about the film - some of the plot strands made no real sense to me, but visually it was stunning.

Essentially - this. I very much enjoyed it, but there did seem to be something lacking at times, and some of the characterisation flirted with cliche occasionally. That being said, it is stunning to watch (I saw it in 2D, and imagine it would actually work very well in 3D, although I am not sure if I would want to see some scenes in 3D!) and the performances are uniformly excellent, Fassbender in particular.

All in all, it's a very enjoyable film. I suspect people (myself included) probably had too high expectations of it, that it couldn't live up to. But it's definitely worth seeing.

I can't wait for more people to see it as I have questions I need to discuss!

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  Fiammetta on Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:51 am

Saw it just a little while ago. I thought was solid enough, of course, but doesn't tread much new ground from the whole Alien series. I really enjoyed the character of David. I feel like the movie would have stood better on its own
Spoiler:
if it hadn't been so afraid of answering certain questions, and of course didn't go out of its way to avoid killing its protagonist. It seemed to be deliberately allowing for the possibility of a sequel, and therefore it seems weaker, on its own.


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Re: The Alien Series

Post  Esseilte on Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:43 am

Saw Prometheus last night and was sort of fifty-fifty on it. It was watchable, and had some really great moments, but overall it felt a bit flat. I loved David, and it looked absolutely beautiful in places, but I never really cared about any of the characters other than David.

I saw it in 3D but didn't feel they took enough advantage of it being 3D - one scene with star projections should have been stunning, and it was just pretty.

I suspect I probably would have liked it more if I had never seen LOST - they kept asking questions, especially toward the end, and I just couldn't manage to believe that those questions actually had answers. It seemed like things were just happening without any reason, and I didn't have any faith that even the people who wrote it knew what the reasons were.

Also - if you're running away from something large and vaguely wheel-shaped that is rolling toward you - run sideways you flipping dimwits.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  laddical on Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:47 pm

You guys are being so much kinder to it than I will be.

I don't care that most of the characters are barely sketches designed to fill space until something nasty happens to them. I don't care that Shaw is such a Ripley rip-off that her boyfriend calls her "Elly" - which is not a variation most people named Elizabeth get called, but gosh it sounds *so much* like "Ellen". I don't care that the Xenomorph doesn't look remotely like HR Giger's design.

Had all of those elements been in play in a standard "haunted house in space" Alien remake, I would have been fine.

But GODDAMMIT, Damon Lindelof, what the *fuck* is wrong with actually having *answers* once in a while? I keep reading reviews that talk about how it's obvious that Lindelof and Scott are already planning sequels to this movie so they saved some of the answers for later. And all I can think is, "Did any of you morons watch Lost?" The sequel is going to kind of maybe sort of answer one or two questions - say why the Xenomorph resembles a squid - but all it's going to do is raise six or seven more questions. And then the "final chapter" of the planned trilogy will answer one of those and then Damon Lindelof will go out on some interview and say, "Hey! I never promised you any answers."

So, yeah. This movie pissed me off. Everything about it that *wasn't* metaphysical mumbo-jumbo was really top notch, and this movie should have been so good. But this "We're raising questions about the origin of life and we're not even going to try to explain any of it" is just bullshit.

And I say this as someone who liked and defended the Lost finale. But that kind of bait-and-switch just isn't acceptable here, I think. This isn't a TV show with an indefinite life-span that you need to tease things out. This was a movie with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Planting seeds for a sequel is one thing - accomplishing nothing you set out to do with this movie in expectation of one is another.

God, this movie pissed me off so much.

Spoiler:
What was the pre-title sequence about? Was that the origin of life on Earth? Was that the incident that caused everything to "go to pot" at the Engineers' lab, as David put it?

Why did the pictographs all point to some laboratory anyway? If the Engineers "changed their mind" and decided to wipe out humanity with the Xenomorph, why point them towards the lab? If the Engineers wanted humanity to grow up and come and find them.... why point them towards the lab?

What the hell happened to Fifield? Why did he turn into some kind of unstoppable killing machine instead of simply gestating an unstoppable killing machine?

Why did David infect Holloway? After infecting Holloway, why did he tell Shaw about it? After making it clear that he didn't want Shaw to remove her "baby", why did he not ensure that she got put into stasis before she had an opportunity to escape? How did Shaw get to the medical pod - wouldn't Vickers have her life pod secured?

Why was Shaw so completely nonplussed by the presence of Peter Weyland on Prometheus? And why cast Guy Pearce and then bury him under that old age make-up? I get that they let him be make-up free in that viral "TED Talk"... but since that really had nothing to do with this movie at all, again... why cast Guy Pearce?
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  Putli Bai on Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:12 pm

Well, I'm not quite as cranky as Laddical, but yeah, still cranky.
Spoiler:
Those were - by far - the stupidest scientists I have ever seen. "Let's split up." "Hey, what happens when I poke this?" "Let's touch the alien goo with our bare hands." "Aw, look how cute the alien baby life form is - let's play with it." "Looks like the aliens might not be friendly, but hey, someone is knocking at the door so I'll open it." All that was missing was for one of them to say, "Here, hold my beer and watch this...."

Half of time I wondered if I was watched the deleted scenes from Cabin in the Woods.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  mozzarella on Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:26 pm

I really didn't get the entire thing. It was one of those Lost-style "pretends to be deep and meaningful but isn't" deals (no thanks to you, Damon Lindelof).

The story beats were so off, the characters so ill-developed...where do you even start? What was supposed to be the point?

This is the second week in a row where I've seen a movie that was A+ for visuals and D+ for story. At least Snow White and the Huntsman had characters whose motives made sense.

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  sagitare on Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:34 am

I was quite disappointed with it, I have to say. There was nothing in the movie that I hadn't already seen in many other sci-fi/horror type of movies: cliched and barely sketched out characters, stupid decision making ("oh look, an alien life form - let's touch it!"), predictable action sequences. I didn't have any expectations going in as it's been years since I saw Alien and I don't know that I ever saw any of the sequels in full, so I was ready to be thrilled or disappointed in equal measure. I figured with Ridley Scott at the helm I'd have a good chance of the former rather than the latter but alas, not the case.

The standout character/actor was Fassbender, for sure. Charlize was criminally underused, Holloway was completely pointless (like, you could have removed the character entirely without missing a beat) and I don't know why they bothered with Guy Pearce instead of an actual old dude. The scenes with the holograms in the tunnels were the best, I thought, both visually and story-wise, and I loved the scene with David and the star field. But otherwise just very, very ordinary and boring.

Also, the 3D was entirely unnecessary (as usual). The only time I thought it added anything was with the holograms in the tunnels and the star field scene. Definitely not worth spending the extra money on.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  Jamie on Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:03 am

I really liked Prometheus. The only Alien franchise movie I'd seen before was Aliens. I rented Alien, but didn't have a chance to watch it before. I ended up watching it RIGHT after I saw Prometheus, the difference in technology was pretty jarring. I wonder how our current movies will look in 20-30 years.

I was kind of expecting to not like it, since I was reading this thread before I went. It's hard for me to decide if the story was just open-ended or if it was full of plot holes. I left the theater satisfied and intrigued, so I'm leaning towards the first one. Yeah, there's still plenty of stuff I don't know and have questions about:
Spoiler:
What was that guy in the robe doing at the very beginning? We have the same dna, but so what does that mean? Why were the cave paintings all the same?
I ended up discussing it after with people I'd seen the move with. There weren't obvious answers, but I think the movie gave you enough to chew on. It was like season 1 Lost, where everyone was hooked and still hopeful that it would end in a satisfying way. :)

Of course, there was plenty of stuff that just really made no sense.
Spoiler:
Why would you invent a giant super-limited-edition self-surgery machine and then design it to be gender specific? Two guys from your team are stranded on an alien planet, and you don't have someone watching at all times to make sure they're ok?

I really enjoyed it and hope they make sequels.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  Snarryfan on Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:16 am

I liked it because I thought it worked as a creation and an evolution story, the humans searching for their origins while at the same time contributing to the evolution of the xenomorphs. The only big issue I had was with the tag at the end:
Spoiler:
In Alien the space jockey is sitting in that large command seat when his chest bursts open because when Tom Skerrit finds him he is calcified into it, unless the alien dragged the body back how would he get out of the escape pod?

Also:
Spoiler:
I totally want to know what David said to piss the engineer off!

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  Cynara on Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:10 pm

Saw it last night. I'm pretty sure movies like this are on my Murtaugh List, both for the crappy plotting/stupid decisions/unresolved questions aspect and the
Spoiler:
Noomi Rapace gives herself a cesalien section AND RIPS OUT HER OWN UTERUS
aspect.

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  laddical on Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:51 pm

Snarryfan, in answer to your question, this movie *isn't* actually that directly a prequel to Alien, as the planet is LV-223, not LV-426. Different planet, different Space Jockey.

Which, for me, just raises a whole other set of questions this movie couldn't bother to answer.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  sagitare on Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Jamie wrote:Yeah, there's still plenty of stuff I don't know and have questions about:
Spoiler:
What was that guy in the robe doing at the very beginning? We have the same dna, but so what does that mean? Why were the cave paintings all the same?
I thought the pre-title sequence was
Spoiler:
just representative of what the Engineers were doing on many worlds as they played around with mixing and changing DNA. That's what I took away from the star field sequence and some of the speeches: the Engineers were doing this sort of experimentation on many different worlds, either just to see what would happen or trying to come up with a DNA sequence that would lead to sentient beings like humans. I didn't think that guy was on Earth, just some planet where they introduced the gene in order to see what happened. I'd think if it was Earth where life evolved from the water, the atmosphere and surface wouldn't have been so developed and normal-looking.

Of course, there was plenty of stuff that just really made no sense.
Spoiler:
Why would you invent a giant super-limited-edition self-surgery machine and then design it to be gender specific? Two guys from your team are stranded on an alien planet, and you don't have someone watching at all times to make sure they're ok?
I know. I mean, come on:
Spoiler:
that machine would have been tested six ways from Sunday before it was even put in the damned ship. Making sure it was compatible with the person who was going to use it would be a no-brainer. And I had the same thought re: the two guys left overnight on the surface. Surely their suits were transmitting some sort of health status information. Even if there was no one monitoring them, you'd think the system would be designed to alert the ship if their vitals went wonky, or at the very least when the crew went to check on them the next day that some record of that would be available. I mean, to have no idea that these people experienced this sort of extreme physical event given the technology they're using was unbelievable.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  Snarryfan on Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:32 pm

With regards to the
Spoiler:
self-surgery machine
: I think it was supposed to be used by
Spoiler:
Mr. Weyland only since he was the only one who, in the end, really mattered, to those in charge of the mission.

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  blixie on Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:35 pm

That was my take as well Snarryfan that it was
Spoiler:
for Weyland alone.

I thought it was good enough, but much as I enjoyed Alien it's a classed up gotchya horror flick, so my expectations for this were more about the set design and effects and I thought they did a bang up job on that. The original film had better characters, but I definitely thought this story was much more interesting and I wasn't particularly frustrated by the lack of answers, I think they gave me enough answers, while still teasing out a continuing story.

I loved David, he had the line of the movie for me: "I didn't think you had it in you. Perhaps a poor choice of words." Robot humor, yay!

just couldn't manage to believe that those questions actually had answers.

Right? IDK I think the point is we can't help but ask, again and again from the time we're two til the time we're dead. In fact one of my favorite stories from the Beatles is when they left their yogi dude in India after spending so much time studying and meditating and what not, one of them ran back before flying away. The the others asked him what he said to yogi. "I asked him to slip me The Answer." Classic.

Having said that I think some answers are strongly hinted at
Spoiler:
namely that whatever humanity had become the Engineers considered it a mistake, and engineered the weapon of destruction, to go back to the drawing board, and then were ironically destroyed by it.

I'm not necessarily defending this movie as really (or....any) good, it's only 3/4's of a story (I think the David v. Vickers side of things went largely nowhere), and it largely references all these antecedent ideas without actually getting to any new ones, and it's kina half baked, but I LIKE theological/philosophical crap like this so I still enjoyed it.

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  sagitare on Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:58 pm

This has been making the rounds on Twitter but if you've haven't yet come across it: a rather thoughtful and interesting discussion on what the movie was all about. I thought this bit:
Spoiler:
"The black slime reacts to the nature and intent of the being that wields it, and the humans in the film didn't even know that they WERE wielding it. That's why it remained completely inert in David's presence, and why he needed a human proxy in order to use the stuff to create anything. The black goo could read no emotion or intent from him, because he was an android."
was informative as I was wondering about that myself. I also liked the subsequent bits about
Spoiler:
Shaw's pregnancy and its comparison to the Virgin Mary
.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  bookworm on Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:55 pm

I feel like the writers wrote with their feelings and not their brains. Trying to impose logic on this is making my head hurt, so I'm just going to admire hot Michael Fassbender with his blonde highlights. Speaking of David. I really want to know
Spoiler:
WHY DID HE INFECT CHARLIE. WHAT WAS HIS MOTIVATION? SERIOUSLY? HOW DID THAT FIT INTO WEYLAND'S PLAN? HOW DID PUTTING HER IN STASIS FORWARD WEYLAND'S PLANN? HOW DID HE EVEN KNOW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. WORST. SCIENTISTS. EVER.

Also, when Charlize Theron was all "NO HE CAN NOT COME IN." I was all FINALLY SOMEONE WITH SENSE.

Also,

Spoiler:
What was with the chamber with the vases? What was with the mural? And the BIG HEAD. How did all of that fit in?


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Re: The Alien Series

Post  PrincessCleo on Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:56 pm

I loved it and even saw it twice. The 3D is really well done, I didn't even get the headache I usually get from regular 2D. I'm not even sure why I enjoyed it as much as I did, because most criticisms of it, I'm like, "Yup, it's true. They're all idiots and none of it makes sense. BRING UNTO ME ANOTHER TICKET."

I can actually tell you what David's motivation was, apparently:

Spoiler:
According to an interview I read, it was directly related to "He said, 'Try harder.'" Basically, y'all just blew up the only "evidence" you had, think of something else to try. He had an urn of primordial goo, he had a jackass, he had an opportunity. The real problem there, I guess, is that the results of the "experiment" had nothing to do with what David actually succeeded at, which was finding the live Engineer in the ship.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  laddical on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:08 pm

A fascinating dissection, and it slightly upgrades my opinion of the film. But there's still too much reliance on the audience having more knowledge about Greek and Christian mythology than is common, I think. There's no "legend" to the map of Prometheus - all of that wonderful symbolism the writer uncovered was already there for her in her head. She brought it to the movie, and lucky for her. For the rest of us... well, hey, I am a Christian, and even I missed the line about "2000 years ago", and while I know the basic story of the titan Prometheus I *didn't* know that he also created mankind - all I'd ever heard about was that he'd given us fire (technology). So... I guess "yay?" that the movie doesn't beat the audience over the head but I think a few more obvious guideposts along the way would have helped. A lot.

And there's also a mighty big assumption in the middle of her argument:
Spoiler:
the bit about the black goo reacting to intent and emotion. That's *definitely* something that should have been asserted more directly, I think, because I'm still not sure it makes any sense in regards to what happened to Millburn and Fifield.

Also, the blogger made a big deal about the mural. It would have been really helpful if we could actually see it - it's so dark and goes by so quickly that until it started disintegrating that I had no idea what it showed.


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Re: The Alien Series

Post  blixie on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:09 pm

Hee, I thought David's motivation was
Spoiler:
This Holloway guy is an asshole, even I, a robot, can tell, let's see if he dies horribly when I give him some goo. It was, I guess potentially an avenue of "contact" that would help Weyland, but I still vote cure for an asshole.

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Re: The Alien Series

Post  PrincessCleo on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:14 pm

Heh. I figured that was just a happy bonus.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  laddical on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:12 am

Elizabeth and an Engineer text each other.

Spoilers, naturally.

To nitpick, I would say "Elly" in that SMS has some of the facts wrong re: the star charts, but otherwise, spot on parody.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  Menshevixen on Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:07 am

I really, really enjoyed Prometheus (and I am one of those who has yet to totally forgive LOST for all that biz). My gent and I talked about the film for about two hours last night after we saw it. I'd definitely like to see it again, to pay closer attention to David in particular.
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  year of the cat on Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:11 pm

I just read Cleo's recap and the only answer I could imagine from the Engineer was:
Spoiler:
"If you don't eat yer meat you cant have any pudding."
Now I want a movie of just bitter British-sounding cyborgs and androids. "And then, they went to Citi-Alpha VI! Nothing is too stupid to do if you have DNA."
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Re: The Alien Series

Post  bookworm on Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:56 pm

Someone linked to this on Twitter and it is pretty spot on: Questions about Prometheus.
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Re: The Alien Series

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