I may be the only one who liked Prometheus, so I may also be the only one who enjoyed the Yutani mention in this teaser trailer:
Ridley Scott returns to sci-fi after a decades long hiatus with Prometheus, the story of a space expedition to a planet that was mysteriously mapped in 35,000 years old cave-paintings on Earth. In the vein of the classic Alien movie, what the expedition finds on this planet is not quite what they pictured.
If you follow this blogs Twitter stream, you’ll know I’ve been quite excited for Prometheus. Not only due to Ridley’s name being attached — after all, he made Blade Runner — but also because Damon Lindelof co-wrote the movie (who co-wrote Lost). Add to this the fact that Prometheus, while not an Alien prequel, is in fact set in the Alien universe. Making such a movie is a monumental task, and the expectations are huge. So as a mindgame, when I sat down in the cinema I put myself in the screenwriters place and asked myself what kind of movie would I have made, were I given this task. Prometheus hits nearly all the beats I found were necessary for being an Alien-universe movie (and a good one at that). The visuals are completely gorgeous, and there are oodles of Alien references for fans like myself. The movie is long but it doesn’t feel too long. The plot twists are not totally expected. The music is good, and I most definitely felt I had received my moneys worth. Go watch it, you have my blessing. It’s a worthy Alien successor.
That said, Prometheus is not perfect. Many characters feel under-utilized, and some subplots are either weirdly unsubstantial or just not brought to fruition. I would very much like to see an extended cut once Prometheus hits physical media, to see if something was left on the cutting room floor. I’m pretty sure, though, that most of the unanswered questions were ones that Ridley hopes to address in one or two sequels. Which I’d be fine with.
So, I’m pretty psyched about Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. It’s a space opera following the crew of the starship Prometheus. And unless Scott has lost it, it’ll be a thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi adventure.
I have a thing with sequels: I like continuity. Re-casting an actor takes me out of it. Sometimes a “movie reboot” is the solution to whatever ailed the old series; other times it’s a death-knell to a flawed diamond. Turns out there’s a third option: the pseudo-reboot.
JJ. Abrams Star Trek (2009) was created in such a way that if you were new to Star Trek, you could disregard 40 years of baggage. On the other hand, if you were a trekkie1, the movie gave you a straw to grasp at which would acknowledge those 40 years of continuity. Star Trek did the impossible — provide an entry for new movie-goers yet satisfy (the majority) of the trekkies, all the while actually being a good movie! I don’t even need to explain to you what exactly Star Trek did to respect the old continuity, that’s the point. If you didn’t pick up on it, it’s because you don’t need to worry about it.
Now watch this:
That’s continuity. If you want it to be. Did you get it? You might prefer not to read on.
Turns out Prometheus is a pseudo-reboot of Alien. Peter Weyland is the co-founder of the Weyland-Yutani corporation, the evil conglomerate and eternal nemesis of Ripley. Which means, if you’re an Alien fan, you can consider Prometheus a successor to Alien. If you like, also Aliens. Perhaps even Alien 3, but I would expect most of you to disregard Alien Resurrection (whose only good part was the whiskey cubes). On the flipside, if you don’t care about Alien, you’re unlikely to watch the above viral video. You’re probably unlikely to even care. But there’s a chance you might go watch Prometheus anyway because every effort has been made to convince you it’s its own thing. The continuity is optional, and I like that.
- Or trekker, I don’t care about the difference. ↑
The Star Wars Blurays are out. I’m not getting them. And not because Darth yells “Nooooooo” or because Greedo shoots first (or whatever). Simply, I’ve seen them enough times now. I’m done. No, not done in that smug, grown-up “Star Wars is for kids” kind of way, trust me I’m as juvenile as ever. I still love lightsabers, I giggle like a schoolgirl whenever someone says “titmouse”, and I listen to the Mega Man 2 soundtrack on repeat. I’m right down with you nerds. I’m just at a point where I’m thinking it’s perhaps time to throw my love on something else.
The amount of energy spent by the Star Wars fan community discussing the Bluray edits is astounding. One fan (or several, I wasn’t paying attention) is taking it upon himself to restore the “non special edition” of Star Wars in HD:
Note how R2s hologram is actually white in the original version, vs. slightly bluish in the “enhanced” version. I totally cancelled my Bluray preorder when I saw this. George Lucas, you ruined my childhood!
That would be me if not for the fact that I discovered other sci-fi television. Turns out, if you have 400 hours to spare, instead of restoring the original version of Star Wars to HD, you could watch every episode of Star Trek ever made! Think about that for a moment.
Don’t get me wrong, Star Wars was good. Especially Empire. That whole Cloud City thing was way better than what they did in Star Trek. Here’s Cloud City:
And this is Stratos from “The Cloud Minders”:
Still, once you’ve seen Cloud City, you’ve seen Cloud City (that is to say, once you’ve seen Cloud City in all three four versions, you’ve seen Cloud City — but don’t worry if you haven’t, they’re pretty much the same save for a tibanna gas refinery). And say what you will about Star Trek, but that Kirk got down with the ladies, even green ones. And not one of them were his sister!
You could also get into Buck Rogers (just pretend season 2 never happened). Listen to them crunchy grooves:
But wait, there’s more. Here’s Erin Grey as Col. Wilma Deering:
… and let’s not forget Pamela Hensley as the evil Princess Ardala. Always trying to score with Buck. Silly girl, didn’t she know Buck preferred good girls? And damsels in distress? And Amazon Women? Occasionally bad girls. But not Ardala! Except of course when he was brainwashed, but that’s another story:
That may not be a metal bikini, but it sure deserves being restored in HD more than the original Star Wars does.
Next time you get an irresistable urge to spend 400 hours on restoring Star Wars to the way it was meant to be, consider if maybe that time was better spent watching Star Trek or Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (season 1). You could also watch Space 1999. Or UFO. Or even the original Battlestar Galactica — heck, any Glen A. Larson show. You could even watch Patrick Duffy as The Man From Atlantis! Patrick Duffy! (It’s all in this pamphlet).
You must do what you feel is right, of course. But sometimes we must let go of our pride and do what is requested of us. It all starts with a choice. A choice to spend your credits not on more Star Wars. Instead, roll up your blinds and let in the light! Then roll them down again and put on Buck Rogers. Season 1.
Steve Rogers is a scrawny kid from Brooklyn with his heart set on helping his country turn the tide of the war in Germany, but his physical condition keeps getting him rejected. For his good nature, however, Dr. Erskine is willing to give him a chance to come the super-soldier Captain America, so that he can defeat the evil Hydra led by the Red Skull.
As far as superheroes go, the Cap is one of the sillier ones. While the fashion in which Steve Rogers receives his costume is almost believable, Rogers sneaking into a Hydra camp — all flag-clad — is not. Impressively, the intrinsic silliness of being dressed in red white and blue is trumped by something even sillier: a soldier wearing a bowler hat into battle.
I found the music to be quite anonymous. There was an action montage in the middle of the movie that was out of place and annoying. Some of the climactic scenes were a confusingly put together. There was a post-credit scene, a concept which is starting to feel like a waste of everyones time.
Still, there’s a lot to like about Captain America. Hugo Weaving is an inspired choice — he does wonders with the material he’s given. Joe Johnston delivers on his promise to do a Rocketeer inspired period piece and you’ll see are mini u-boats, tricked out motorcycles and delta-wing planes. The good guys wield colorful weapons and the bad guys are all dressed in black. It’s almost Star-Warsian in its simplistic themes. If you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll very much enjoy this film.
Six kids are making a zombie movie, as they inadvertently capture a train accident on camera. As they wait for the reel to be processed, they learn that the train accident might not have been a simple accident. The processed film doesn’t make things any less mysterious.
Super 8 is JJ Abrams love letter to Steven Spielberg. From the Drew Suzan-esque poster to the music, from the period to the plot, everything about this movie is an homage to the wonderful adventurous Spielberg era of movie making. And Super 8 works well in it’s places. There are moments when Spielbergs magic is captured.
But Super 8 also lacks some of the natural flow of Spielbergs masterpieces. There are a couple of confusing moments, a couple of messy shots, and at least one — significant — plot point that is somewhat unsettled. The music, while good (Michael Giacchino is my new favourite composer) doesn’t reach the monumental heights that John Williams did — though arguably that task was insurmountable. Finally, like all other movies, it’s too long. 90 minutes is the correct length of a movie. Ask anyone.
Still, Super 8 is a good movie. All the actors are extremely well cast and they act well. Abrams loves a good mystery and he delivers. I can definitely recommend this film.
Have I told you lately that I think Tron Legacy is the movie of the decade? It’s the first thing I tell The Wife when I wake up in the morning. In any case, in preparation for an increasingly likely Tron 3, there’s Tron: The Next Day, a shortfilm about what happened between Tron and Tron Legacy. Now there’s also this squirmingly awesome little DVD easter egg which seems to confirm the Tron 3 villain. Delicious!