Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS

Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS

Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald

Random observations:

  • Is it Scott’s fault that all interstellar spacecraft now come equipped with handheld flamethrowers?
  • Was the single spoken reference to “cornbread” an attempt to tie this movie to ALIEN and ALIENS?
  • I read that a NASA JPL scientist consulted on the film. I wonder, though, whether an OB-GYN was anywhere to be seen on the set?
  • Were Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron altered in post production to look eerily alike?

I enjoyed the hell out of PROMETHEUS and look forward to seeing it again. The themes are familiar but the visuals and pacing are simply top-notch. We see world-building here that expresses what in the old days was only possible with a well written Sci-Fi novel. The film is so impressive looking that I actually think it would be possible to create a movie based on Vernor Vinge’s “A Deepness In The Sky.”

An added bonus is the interpolation of spritual themes without any heavy-handed preaching. We don’t usually see that in SF films — Contact was a major exception — but it is really interesting to see such things carried forward into the far future.

Still, it’s a piece of entertainment. It’s not profound. It aims for visceral thrills and succeeds.  

I’ve read other reviews that complained about its lack of originality, and I agree that’s true. We’ve seen many of these ideas and themes before, but I must say the whole package is very impressive despite the occasional absurdity (staples, anyone?)

I saw this on an IMAX screen in 3D with a sound system that was thunderingly loud at times, so loud that it literally shook the theater.

The 3D itself was not that impressive. The movie is so gorgeously photographed and detailed in its production design that the 3D effects add surprisingly little to the experience. Oddly enough, I found one of the most impressive-looking scenes to be a conversation between Charlize Theron and another character near the end of the film.

Basically, we’re looking at close ups of two people having a dramatic conversation. The color, lighting, detail, and 3D effects make the scene really stand out as realistically atmospheric. This is a subtlety that I didn’t expect and one that I think you need a director like Scott to carry out. But, overall, I’ll take the brighter 2D version over the 3D version the next time I see it; playing with my 3D glasses during the movie really showed the darkening that 3D generates.

Final note: a couple of nights previously I had watched the Blu-ray version of the original Alien movie on a decent HD set. I was amazed at how well the movie held up despite its age, evidence of Scott’s attention to detail and cinematography. Is Prometheus a worthy successor? I think so. Only in Prometheus we have two strong-willed female leads, not just one.

Review copyright (c) 2012 by Dennis D. McDonald


on 2012-10-10 17:08 by Dennis D. McDonald

From the time I ordered the PROMETHEUS Blu-Ray in July from Amazon with a price of $27.99 to when it was delivered to me yesterday the price dropped $8 to $19.99 for the package containing the  Blu-Ray, the DVD, and an Ultraviolet digital copy (which I loaded onto Vudu). Amazon calls this its “Pre-order Price Guarantee.”



Álex de la Iglesia's THE LAST CIRCUS

Álex de la Iglesia's THE LAST CIRCUS