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Author Topic: [I Have A Mouth and I Must Rant!] Ugh, Prometheus... Or as I like to call it...  (Read 1316 times)

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Offline Vanity EvolvedTopic starter

"Apologist Fundamentalist Christian Stereotype  vs. Intellect. Also, zombies."

I normally don't go out of my way like this. With this time I'm spending typing up this very sentence, I could be doing something with my life. Like, you know, cooking chips, watching a -good- film, or downloading mindless amounts of Japanese pornography. But no, for the first in years, a film has actively annoyed me to the point of almost being personally insulting to me.

To put this into perspective: I was relatively unmoded by the crud that was A Serbian Film. I have fell asleep through and had to rewatch one of the most boring films ever, a film which made Blair Witch look interesting, Paranormal Activity. I have seen Japanese gorespoilation films, like Tokyo Gore Police, which have nicer characters and better, more concise plot and message behind them. Prometheus, Ripley Scott's little 'Alien, but not really' prequel darling has topped all my expectations, and for all the wrong freakin' reasons.

Ten minutes. Ten minutes into this film and anyone who values their intellect are going to be offended. My brain already jumped the shark when the first line coming out of the main character's mouth, when questioned by one of her team, replies with...

"We're going to find the creators of the entirity of life on Earth, who designed and created them."
"Wait, what? You didn't tell us about this? And you're chucking out all ideas on the possibility of evolution, centuries of research? What evidence do you have?"
"I have none. I am a True Believer."

Because the opinion of any competantly written character in a professional opinion is, of course, DISREGARD ALL THINGS! Other fantastic quotes, if you didn't get the subtle (and by subtle, I mean, written on a hammer and jammed into your face) hint that the film was going for a Faith vs. Science deal:

"No, don't take off your helmet! We don't know if the atmosphere is breathable!"
"Pfft! Don't be such a skeptic."

Because caution and not acting on impulse is skepticism. And skepticism is an undesirable trait, especially on a scientific voyage across space! Also...

"I'm just a Geologist! I know about rocks! I don't know about... death!"

Subtle. Speaking of science voyage, too. Seventeen people? One of the possible cornerstones of humanity's scientific advancement, a trip two years across space, funded with trillions of dollars is going to be attempted by... seventeen people, with one rifle and a flamethrower. Because as we all know, preparing for the possibility that this completely unknown about alien race which potentially created all life on Earth could be at all hostile, let alone know if there's any native life on the planet which could be dangerous? Well, you just need Faith. Don't be such a skeptic!

This all, you know, wouldn't be so bad. Religion's waning influence on a world dominated by scientific explaination is something which should be explored - which is has, by far better writers. Arthur C Clarke, off the top of my head. I would love to point out that -raising- a topic and strawmanning it with hilarious characatures of what Hollywood believes the religious and the skeptical are like is not the same as discussing the topic. The closest we ever get to this is when yet another douchebag in the cast is berating the android for being an android, basically tells the robot to his face that he's useless, and when he throws it back at him, it's completely dismissed.

"Look at it from my perspective, sir. Your race created me. Why did you do it?"
"Well, because we could."
"Then can you imagine, for a moment, what it would be like if your creator told you such a thing? Wouldn't you be disappointed?"
"Yeah, well, lucky you don't feel disappointment then."

Yes, the guy mocking a robot (who is also the primary antagonist by the way - we're supposed to dislike this guy) is the male lead and yet the robot is more empathic, charismatic and likeable than these guys. They make huge scientific discoveries which could advance human understanding by years, but why is he bummed? I wanted to talk to them. D: Boo who. What's the point anymore.

Which leads onto the second moment which bugged the crap out of me about the main female character. The main male character, kind of at a loss at the idea that the human race is not special, and entire species could be created just by 'some DNA and half a brain'. Of course, the already hugely lovable main female decides we need random soap opera drama.

"Oh, unlike me? Because I can't have children!"

Because that is obviously what he was refering to. His worry that the entirity of the human race are but a blip on the radar in the cosmic scheme of things is obviously a veiled attack on your barren womb. Man, I hope there's not some contrived reason how this barren woman can immaculately concieve some sort of new race of...

Yep! The alien infected boyfriend has given a three month pregnency to her, within a couple of hours! Better get it out with the auto-doc in the captain's personal quarters.

The auto-doc in a female's quarters which doesn't do operations on women. Which, apparently can't do c-sections, but can still yank an alien fetus out, along with your womb just fine and not detect the difference between a man of a woman. Did I mention that the boyfriend has become a zombie now, because superzombies? No, I didn't, because it was freakin' stupid. Also, professionals scientists who 'don't know about death' and find alien corpses scary are quite happy to sleep in a room full of sentient black goo while getting high off their tits. Good to know that Ridley Scott has improved in the characterization department. Who needs strong female leads who combine both feminine and masculine aspects without being cliche, when you can have characters with such pathetic characterization and lack of point in the story that Freddy Krueger would laugh them off set?

More uninteresting stuff and suddenly, Weyland is here! He's here to get immortality from his creators. Which goes swimmingly well, when Blue Kratos, God of Creation (and/or War) proceeds to destroy everything and try to escape. Of course, we get a heartfelt, thrilling sacrifice from...

From...

Errr... That one black dude who was kind of established as being captain of the ship? And the Asian guy who never does anything in the film? And random white friend of the Asian guy who we also see do nothing? Man, my heart bleeds at this immense sacrifice of well-developed, heart-wrenching protagonists.

Now for my favourite rant-worthy section of this film: The ending. It's not just intent on having one of the laziest endings, where a literal button press saves the main character from the super-evolved creature (who is 100% identical to our DNA - which is why they all look like muscle-bound children of Kratos from God of War and we don't), which also shows that she is the reason for the Xenomorph to exist, but our final development?

"You still wear that cross. You never gave up believing, did you?"

Dear Ridley Scott, wearing a cross does not make a character religious or show a devoutness to an ideal. It means nothing. If you're trying to ask the question of the crisis of faith, or how science can push back the ideas of religion as our understanding expands? You've got to show it. Never once did she question her faith. Never once was her faith tested. At most, you have a throw-away line of 'Yes, they made us, but what made them?' earlier on and some -very- clunky forced dialogue from the robot talking about her dead father. But otherwise, why does it focus on this? Religion wasn't a major part of her character's identity. They paid more freakin' attention to her inability to procreate, the amount of drugs she pumped into herself and getting a squid pulled out of her stomach.

To this end, I would like to say that Ridley? You dun goofed. You made a beautiful set-piece. I havn't seen animation and special effects this beautiful since Avatar, and that's saying something. But where did you go wrong? How did you go from Bladerunner's critique on meeting the person who made you, and what seperates AI from humanity and what truely is conciousness to this... this pathetic strawman attempt at Hollywood philosophy which would have a five year old in an RE class laughing? Just... Goddamn.

Offline Chris Brady

Sadly, the most common reason as to why Prometheus was bad?

This:


Offline Vanity EvolvedTopic starter

Hahahaha, that is genius. I would have loved to have seen 'Prometheus: A Tale of Cyborg Guy Touching Stuff'.

Offline Sasquatch421

Was the guy that played David the same one that played Magneto in X-Men: First Class? I think it was, but couldn't really tell by voice and blond hair....

I hated all the religious stuff in the movie, but still didn't think the movie was as bad as everyone says. Then of course I love all Godzilla movies as well, even the one with Mathew Broadwick....

Offline Vanity EvolvedTopic starter

Was the guy that played David the same one that played Magneto in X-Men: First Class? I think it was, but couldn't really tell by voice and blond hair....

I hated all the religious stuff in the movie, but still didn't think the movie was as bad as everyone says. Then of course I love all Godzilla movies as well, even the one with Mathew Broadwick....

I didn't mind the religious stuff. I could see where they wanted to go with the religious stuff. It was a nice angle to shoot for.

What annoyed me was how blatently silly the religious stuff was, while trying to justify it with large handwaves of 'Any form of caution, skepticism or science means you're an idiot! You just have to BELIEVE!'

Offline Sasquatch421

Also have the point for the whole it's a scientific mission on an alien world where we have no clue what here.....But guns are a no-no, just leave them and the flamethrowers on the ship. We'll talk hostile alien life down and reach out to touch alien snake looking things.

The giant face hugger was awesome though.... That engineer totally got the tentacle. And people wonder where I got a love for tentacle porn....

Offline Kunoichi

I think these might be relevant:







Offline Vanity EvolvedTopic starter

Hehehe. Glad to see I'm not the only person who shared these opinions!

Offline Lux12

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Eh.I believe the whole ancient aliens theory is crock anyway as everything is sufficiently explained by human factors and thus care little for plots involving them,  though I can see why you would be rather miffed. That sounds like some rather terrible writing on the creator. It sounds like they chose the most ridiculous stereotypes of either sort of person and then decided to make a film about them.

Offline Vanity EvolvedTopic starter

That was my problem. I can dig ancient aliens, or 'aliens as the explaination for religion' deal for a film. No problem with that. I've got no problem with the conflict of religious faith versus scientific fact. My problem is that this film is offensive on all fronts, to me. It's very poorly written, and characters are terrible. Ontop of that, the characters really have no personality besides spouting random exaggerated religious or anti-religious phrases. Even worse, some of these people flip between them! The main character who is completely happy to throw away evolution and scientific evaluation ('Because I'm a true believer!', which is odd, as she's also set up as the Jesus freak. So, she's hugely religious towards God, but really wants to believe something else which isn't God created us?) is also the same girl who derides her lover for doing equally stupid things, like 'I'll just take off my helmet when there's no reason to assume this air is safe. Don't be such a skeptic!'

The film thinks it's far smarter than it is, and even five year olds have a greater understanding of the conflicts between crisis of faith caused by scientific progress than Ridley Scott shows in this film.

Offline Lux12

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Ah yes.That contradiction in and of itself makes me question if they knew what they were trying to make when they made this film.If there was a lesson to be learned from that alone it would be that humans are often hypocritical and contradictory in their beliefs or attitudes. I do not believe there needs to be a conflict between science and religion. However, the way those involved handled the character seems rather half assed, especially since the person in question also believes that humans were created by aliens.

Offline Vanity EvolvedTopic starter

Ah yes.That contradiction in and of itself makes me question if they knew what they were trying to make when they made this film.If there was a lesson to be learned from that alone it would be that humans are often hypocritical and contradictory in their beliefs or attitudes. I do not believe there needs to be a conflict between science and religion. However, the way those involved handled the character seems rather half assed, especially since the person in question also believes that humans were created by aliens.

I tend to believe a lot of religion only survives due to lack of understanding, but that's a beside point; my problem with the film is it obviously seemed to be building itself towards this set up of a woman losing her faith, or her faith being tested by the existance of these creatures who created humanity, which obviously renders a lot of her beliefs moot. But the film doesn't quite know what it wants to be and I partly chalk this up to Ridley not knowing how to write that conflict in any way other than cliches, so of course, the arguements are stupid and short lived. Her religion is brought up two or three times in the film, for -no reason-, and the one legitimate time it's brought up, when the guy questions why she's so eager to find these things and why she wears a cross when she's discovered God didn't make man 'in his own image', her reply is 'Well, who made them?' and then instantly skips to a sex scene. Whenever they even try to explore the subject, it sounds stupid and is quickly pushed aside for slasher film cliches, like a bunch of scientists who one minute are afraid of alien corpses, but the next are happy to get high and fall asleep in a room of alien jars filled with sentient fluid so they can get killed off.

Offline Sabby

That was my problem. I can dig ancient aliens, or 'aliens as the explaination for religion' deal for a film. No problem with that.

And yet you mock my Stargate fandom x3

Offline Callie Del Noire

The movie HAD the potential to be good but failed to be. Annoying really

Offline Vanity EvolvedTopic starter

And yet you mock my Stargate fandom x3

Because Stargate does it pretty terribly, too. ;D

Offline Lux12

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Because Stargate does it pretty terribly, too. ;D
Indeed. That was also one of my primary gripes with them as well. Also, it seemed kind of boring to me for some odd reason.

Offline Ironwolf85

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this is going to get ranty.... just a warning.

First off, the theological questions were half-assidly raised, never adressed, and like most hollywood movies are filled with re-hashed character types. When I saw then woman holding a cross I was kinda hopeful she'd be a decent representation.
I was sorely dissapointed, and frankly insulted.
Not to mention the alien facehugger squidibob was ripped out of her, did they just go for gore and pain on that?

I prefered Dune's view on religion among the stars.
Simple. I wish people would stop using movies as half-assed soap boxes, if you've got a point to make, make it clear without being insulting.
okay done rant...

I've seen a few other games and books adress it well without falling into the stereotypes.
I think I've seen maybe three movies, one really good one that was basicly "android child created by a man to replace his lost son, has a bad experience with a local boy, reads about pinochio, and goes off seeking the blue fairy to turn him real." I can't remember the name now, but it was an interisting movie.
One of his companions over the course of the journy is a male "pleasure bot" he meets outside a church after mistaking the neon virgin mary for the blue fairy. (the guy's programmed with a bad boy persona)

The conversation went along the lines of.
"What is that place?"
"Cathloic Church kid."
"what's that?"
"well kid, humans created us, they here go to worship the one who created them"
"why?"
"No Idea *takes drag off cigerate* great place to pick up chicks though."
"huh?"
"simple truth kid, humans are crazy, and I love'em"

Much less insulting that strawman characters...
Or the series Firefly, that was a good show for thoughtful stuff, It was also interisting to see how human culture was a symbosis of eastern and western (more along the lines of Chinese, and American, as those nations formed the first colonial programs) culture, and their faiths reflected that too.
Or the New Church from Doctor Who, with bishops and priests armed like modern marines protecting colonists from the Weeping Angels, or the headless monks who had literally given up their identity to become completely selfless in all things. The idea of a Papal Mainframe handing down orders built on a combination of Theology, History, and Computer Logic.

There is so much color and culture to explore, philophers, theologians, priests and more travling across the stars. instead of "nope, don't exist, science wiped it all out, cuz I don't wanna think about it." brush.
"I don't wanna think about it" makes poor science fiction.

Let's take Firefly's Symbosis east and west culture for a moment, one figure in it's history was a buddist dictator, who was expelled for his extremist views. He believed tortue bought out truth, and had a flair for art and poetry. By the same token, imagine protistant christans and buddists on the same ship, and instead of killing each other like some worn out stereotype, they begin to talk, and as they work togeather to get to the colony instead of violence, the two faiths form some pasifist faith based on meditation and redemption.

I suppose what I'm saying is there are interisting cultural and religious topics to explorde in sci-fi, painting over it, or propping up simplistic strawmen because you want to write "rambo... in... spaaaaaacccceeee" and be politically correct at the same time, is simplistic bullshit.

Disproving lightning being a holy bitchslap didn't kill religion, nor did the now widely accepted theory of evolution, neither did the Higgs Bodson, Nor any of the other multi-billion scientific discoveries people have made that someone said would "disprove god" and neither will the FTL drive.

It will change, morph, and continue to be relevent to our future.

I say Religion I don't mean in the contest of "Far right televangalists, who are corrupt, and protest abortions in the late 20th and early 21st century, and hate gays. Yet can't resist the urge to go about politically dickslapping people, and then wondering why the younger generation of christians abandoned them in the last two elections."
I mean it in the context of "The theological and cultural history of organized faith that has come before us. Both good and bad, shall continue to morph and change as we grow outward and expand our understanding of the grand tapestry that is the universe, life, and the universes beyond this one."

This movie used the strawman approach, and it makes me really sad to see.

Offline Lux12

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Preaching to the choir here. The truth is, like everything else, religion evolves and adapts, and it is part of our experience as humans whether we disregard it or follow it  zealously.  There was a time when those who created science fiction not only understood this, but took time to explain it so that we could understand how things had changed and evolved in the future described. I dislike optimism immensely, but people seem to forget that humans are capable of getting along. For example, in the country of Trinidad and Tobago the population is divided pretty evenly between non believers, Hindus, Christians, and Muslims. Three of which have come into conflict over the centuries. Yet here they are at peace. There are even religions I know of that incorporate scientific theory and understanding into their beliefs. Indeed, the way it is often handled in these modern works of science fiction handle the subject in an infantile fashion. They do not discuss, dismiss it with a hand wave, or throw as many strawmen at the reader/viewer as possible instead of examining the possibilities related to it. They avoid the true intricacy of these faiths and related cultural paradigms and institutions and how they interact with other, more secular structures. It grieves me deeply.

Offline sirtree

I know if the movie was still fresh in my mind I would join in on a long winded rant but I watched it a long while ago and ranted then :p and yes the robot is by far the best person in terms of being likable lol
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 01:55:43 PM by sirtree »

Offline Ironwolf85

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The android was the best character hands down.

Offline sirtree

The android was the best character hands down.


Yep by far the best!

Offline Kendra

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I know if the movie was still fresh in my mind I would join in on a long winded rant but I watched it a long while ago and ranted then :p and yes the robot is by far the best person in terms of being likable lol

+1

though my rant would not have been quite so long winded
shoot me but I did have moments where I was engrossed and liking the movie but that could easily have been whenever Fassbender was on screen  :-)

Offline Sabby

Don't worry guys! The Blu-ray is out :3

Because when it takes 8 hours of extra features to explain a 2 hour film, and the box proclaims it 'will answer your questions', you know your movie was goooood :3

Offline Olivia Cycien

I think I can understand    Vanity Evolved's gripe here. It seems to me that these days there is not much imagination going on in Hollywood. They seem to spend a lot of time remaking old movies because they haven't come up with any new ideas for years and the ideas they have come up with seem empty or shallow.

I can't say that I've been wonder-struck by many of the movies Hollywood turns out. While it is true that I like some of the movies, I am aware that some of them don't really have much of a plot, or are so convoluted that the plot makes no sense. For instance, I enjoyed the movie Wanted, not because it was intellectually thrilling, but simply because I was in the mood to watch an action flick. The movie doesn't make a lot of sense, but it is fun to watch.

It seems to me that these days Hollywood directors are thinking that the majority of people are mindless drones and will watch anything that comes out on the big screen. So they turn out mindless movies, lacking in plot, with two dimensional characters. A shame really.

Offline Chris Brady

Here's the thing, it's not that there are no 'new stories', there aren't very many that we're used to, or want to hear, it's the execution of these stories that are the real issue.  The lack of imagination is how the story is told, not the actual story being told.

If you get what I mean.  It's the How rather than the What, that's the issue here.