Monday, June 11, 2012

Prometheus Spoilers Ahead

I'm giving you ample time to turn around now and not have anything spoiled for you. Turn around now if you don't want anything ruined and you want to go in fresh, which will be tough to do if you read Aint It Cool News at all because that's all they seem to be talking about.

I'll keep it brief, but to the point. Story spoilers ahead.
The biggest spoiler? Aliens created donute. Big, metal donuts. 

I just put this together, (and apologies if someone else did this) but Prometheus is essentially Star Trek 5 The Final Frontier, but with better wigs. I mean special effects.

Think about it:

Crazy old man takes spaceship to the farthest reaches of the universe in search of God.

Some crew members become taken with idea, while others rebel against it.

Ship lands on rocky, seemingly desolate planet and find a cave where "God" lives.

"God" turns out to be not what they think, and winds up an enemy trying to destroy them.

Diminished returns on the fifth outing of a "franchise" picture, while tenuously holding on the hopes that fans will turn out no matter what. (Which they do, although with much grumbling as the weekend progresses, although in the case of Prometheus far more people are giving the films flaws a pass due to Ridley Scott's "master" status, which if you stop to think about it consists of 2 films over 30 years old where one of them has been tinkered more times than Lucas fiddled with the trilogy. Although Gladiator is pretty great).

$20 says the director's cut has Rapace and Fassbender singing "Row Row Row Your Boat" as they go off in search of the albino bodybuilders planet.
What does God want with a starship? A $50 Million weekend? To build this city on rock n roll?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The New Films from Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott

Wes Anderson is 7 for 7 in my book. I unabashedly love his movies, and while I can understand why some people don't, they can go to hell. Moonrise Kingdom is one of his best ones, a film that balances the line between his growing maturity and his usual Anderson-isms. It's got great performances from the two unknown leads ,Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, who play star crossed lovers that run away together on a small New England island. Forming the search party that hunts for them Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, alongside Frances McDormand and Anderson stalwart Bill Murray.

And every one of them are great in their parts, no matter how small or subtle the nuanced role is.  Even Bob Balaban's awesome posings as the narrator are highly entertaining while being Anderson-y.

As always, the musical selection is superb, this time relying mostly on Benjamin Britten and classical arrangements as opposed to British Invasion normally reserved for his films. Solid camera work, set designs, editing, etc. But it all comes down to the performances, and if they didn't work, this whole thing would fly apart. Thankfully it does and we've got a charming a lovely film to counterbalance all the big eye candy flicks of the summer.


Alright, so this is a gorgeous flick to look at. Ridley Scott is always one to have amazing visuals, and his long awaited return to sci fi does not disappoint in the eye candy department. It's also got great use of 3D for all the aforementioned visual treats. And Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender are pretty terrific, with Rapace taking the lead for the best actor in the whole flick.

But from a story and filmmaking perspective, it's a huge mess. There's no sense of pacing, there are tons of characters that have absolutely no purpose or sense of character other than a quirky trait that never pays off, the third act is a mess, some of the acting is pretty bad. there are no set pieces to speak of, the links to Alien are tenuous at best, the score is annoying and used inappropriately, did I mention the lack of pacing? There are scenes that happen then are forgotten, events that suddenly happen for no reason and have no consequences, sudden jolts of nonsense here and there... I could go on, but it's upsetting me.

There's something supremely off about the whole thing, which makes me sad because I'm a sucker for big budget sci-fi, and I wanted this to work like hell. But it didn't. Most critics are being too kind to it, myself included, due to how good it looks, but fact is, it might have been better served if Paul WS Anderson directed it.

That's right, I went there.

Still, I can't completely say don't see it. It's got good things as well. It's not an unmitigated disaster. I would suggest seeing it under an influence of some sort, and I suggest you bring along an iPod and play Aphex Twin's Ambient Works Vol 2, and you'll have yourself an awesome time at the movies.

And just because, here's a recreation of the Prometheus trailer made entirely with paper.