Sunday, 3 February 2013

Prometheus (2012)

This post is about the 2012 Sci-fi Adventure film Prometheus by Ridley Scott, starring Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbende. After being an Alien fan for quite a while (and I mean who isn't) I was quite excited when Ridley Scott decided to make a prequel to the series, to help explain how they came to be there in the first place.

If you are a fan of the Alien movies (or Sci-fi in general) I think you will really love this film. If you have seen the film let me know what you thought about it too!

Film Information

Cast and Crew

Director: Ridley Scott

Written by: Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba

Producer: Michael Costigan (executive producer), Michael Ellenberg (executive producer), David Giler (producer), Walter Hill (producer), Mark Huffam (executive producer), Teresa Kelly (associate producer), Damon Lindelof (executive producer), Mary Richards (co-producer), Ridley Scott (producer)

Production Companies: Twentieth Century Fox, Dune Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Brandywine Productions

A Brief Synopsis

A Prequel to Alien - kind of

Although written as a prequel to the Alien series, this film is not actually part of the Alien franchise. But it does tie into the storyline of how the Alien's came about and why humans had travelled to the planet/universe in the first place. Helping answer question which people had after the original Alien series. But Ridley Scott wanted it to be able to stand alone as a new film, and although it shares some of the story of Aliens it explores its own mythology and ideas.

I don't want to give away any of the major details of the film, so this is just a brief synopsis and will contain no spoilers I promise.

The film starts out millions of years before now, when an advance humanoid race of aliens lands on an empty Earth. One is seen ingesting a black liquid and dissolving into a river, where his DNA breaks down and is reformed - this is the start of the human race (although I don't think this is made very clear!)

Set in 2089 archaeologist couple Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) find a star map in a cave on the Isle of Skye off the coast of Scotland. Believing that this is a map (and invitation) to finding the Aliens responsible for bringing the human race into existence - they call them the Engineers.

Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the founder and CEO of the Weyland Corporation, funds a scientific deep space research trip aboard the USS Prometheus to follow the map to the distant moon of LV-223 several light years from Earth. The crew, made up of Shaw, Holloway, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) the mission director and a number of other scientists are in hyper sleep on the journey. Whilst David (Michael Fassbender) an Android is awake to pilot and oversee the voyage.

The ship arrives in 2093 in orbit around the alien planet and once the crew are awoken from hyper sleep they land Prometheus and explore the Pyramid like structure on the planet, looking for signs of life, or previous life. Although some of the crew are there to find the engineers and answer the question of how the human race began - others have an ulterior motive.

What they find not only proves that the engineers are the creators of the human race but also that there is a threat to the continuation of the human race.

As with most Alien films, obviously some will live and some will die - I shall not be divulging who though!

Watch the Trailer

Film Review

What I thought about it...

First of all I should say that I am a fan of the original Alien films - all of them! So was really looking forward to seeing this prequel in the hope it would indeed answer the questions as to why prometheus (and humans in general) were on the planets. Plus how the Alien's came about in the first place. Luckily all these questions and more are answered in a pretty good way.

The first few scenes of the humanoid alien race landing on Earth and starting the Human Race isn't entirely clear. I think this part could have done with being developed a little more, as it isn't that obvious that what is happen really is the start of Human life. The special effects are beautifully done in this part though. The blue 'Engineers' are really great and well done (throughout the whole film actually)

The scripting is really very good, a lot less cheesy than the originally Alien films - actually everything is less cheesy but that is expected of a 2012 film really. And the acting really does it justice. They chose a superb cast to play the roles and everyone was really suited to their parts. Not to much over (or under) acting, although Charlize Therone was a bit too angry all the time for me personally - but maybe that is how they wanted it played. Michael Fassbender as David was superb, he has to act very computerised and sightly stiff and void of real emotions which he does really well.

Special effects are great - as expected really. No alien models being pulled by string, like the first one! Although they still retained just that slight ridiculousness and cheesyness of the originals (giant tentacles anyone!) There are some brilliant gory parts and gruesome deaths which is a must for a real Alien films.

Now as good as the actual final ending is - and I was quite satisfied with it - the bit before it (I'm not giving away any details) is a bit stupid. It is the only downfall of the script as far as I am concerned. There is a running scene, which you will know what I'm talking about once you have seen it, is just silly. It's that moment when you watching it going and why are they doing that!! That is just stupid and clearly not the right thing to be doing! If they ran the other way it would be different! Anyway not to give anything away I shall not say any more.

The entire filming is incredibly well done. From the technical stuff, the scenery and set, the costumes, props - the lot. It is really good. Although again this is expected of a Hollywood high cost film of these days.

I am kinda hoping of a spin off follow up to this film though, as they left it a little bit open at the end.

My Rating

I would probably give this film a 8 out of 10. It was great excepts one stupid part towards the end, which they should just not have done (running in the shadow! Seriously!)

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Surrogates (2009)

Film Information
Cast and Crew
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Written by: Michael Ferris & John D. Brancato (screenplay) based on graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele

Cast: Bruce Willis, Rosamund Pike and Radha Mitchell

Producers: Todd Arnow (co-producer) Elizabeth Banks (executive producer) Max Handelman (producer) David Hoberman (producer) Todd Lieberman (producer) David Nicksay (executive producer)

Production Companies: Touchstone Pictures, Mandeville Films, Top Shelf Productions, Wintergreen Productions

A Brief Synopsis

Based on a graphic novel from Top Shelf Comix.

Imagine a world sometime in the future where instead of humans living their lives through their own bodies they live them through robotic surrogates. Technology has advanced so much that people can link their bodies and brains up to their surrogate body to completely control and feel through them (all of which look exactly like humans, and can be made to look however you want, so everyone is perfect and beautiful) This was done to keep the humans them selves away from harm. Thanks to this new wave of technology crime rates have dropped to almost nothing. Not everyone lives through a surrogate though, as with any society there are people who rebel against the zeitgeist and believe humans should be humans. People start dying after their surrogates are destroyed (don't know what is the right term here as you can't really kill a robot?) and Tom Greer (Willis) a FBI cop is put on the case. This is an unusual twist on the typical Murder Mystery style, mixing it up with a sci-fi aspect. Can Greer find the killer before he destroys society as they know it or will he find the motives behind the killings are something he himself agrees with.

Watch the Film Trailer


Film Review

What I thought about it...

It's an interesting and strange concept for a future society (how do peoples minds come up with such weird things) but makes for a good story line. It is based on an old comic strip by the same name. The story is pretty straight forward, although it has some interesting twists, it's not complicated to follow, making it easy viewing for a wide audience. Although I wouldn't advise it for anyone too young due to the levels of violence in parts of it. As with most crime stories the audience is kept hooked by trying to work out who is behind the killings and why they are doing it. The truth is revealed through a very unexpected sequence of events. The story line is strong but the scripting isn't as good worse luck. It's a bit dodgy and can be quite weak at times. I feel the writer was trying too hard with the script which means alot of it is very unnatural. It feels very dated at times, like a cheese 90's film rather than a 2009 one.

The acting isn't really up to par either. Bruce Willis is a bit wooden compared to other roles he has played. Granted when he is a surrogate, the wooden nature is party of the role itself, but this extends to when he is not in surrogate mode. And the other actors don't really do much better sadly.

The filming is very well done though, with some great special effects, especially the robotics within the surrogates when they are damaged. Although the scene with the police surrogates being shot is a little silly, it looks so fake when it really could have been a lot better considering how well done other parts are.

There isn't really anything interesting to say about any other aspects of the film.

The Rating

I give this film a 6 out 10 rating. It is an OK sci-fi film, but the acting and scripting aren't that good. It's defining factors are good special effects and an interesting story/concept.

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