Sunday, June 17, 2012

SHTF Ideas For Food, First Aid, Hiding Goods & Vehicles

Prometheus: MDI's Movie Review

Hi Guys! Happy Father's Day to all the good Dads out there!!!! Having been asked by 2 people on this list to write a review of the new Ridley Scott movie, Prometheus, (should I see it) I did so and here it is! WARNING: if you REALLY love sci-fi movies and fully intend to go see Prometheus, then save this review for later reading ­ I give away too much of the plot in this review if you plan to see it. Prometheus Review by MDI OK, yesterday I ponied up the funds and let my old love for good science fiction get my butt in a theater seat for the new Ridley Scott movie, ³Prometheus.² Here are a few observations and comments about Prometheus in no particular order. It is billed as a ³prequel² to Ridley Scott¹s 1979 classic space-horror thriller, Alien, but it didn¹t seem like a prequel to me inasmuch as the plot didn¹t dovetail into the plot of the previous movie. The setting of Prometheus is supposed to be the years 2089-2091, and I don¹t remember the year-setting of the original Alien, so maybe this one precedes it, but it doesn¹t really matter in any case since both the plots are independent, although sharing quite a few common elements. Many people consider the original Alien to be the scariest movie ever made. It is without doubt that Ridley Scott is a genius Director, one of the best alive, and he has a way with space movies. The visual art of the movie is astounding, as many fantasy/fiction movies are these days, since we¹re in a time in which anything the mind can imagine can be put on the screen. It¹s easy to take the visual artistic complexity for granted after a few minutes because you get used to it, whereas if you saw screen-shots of scenes outside the watching of the movie, you¹d be amazed at the consistently stunning visual art. Basic plot set-up: Prometheus begins with an archeological dig (on the Earth in 2089) in which two young archeologists break through into a never-before-discovered cavern with nicely preserved cave-paintings on the walls. One of these paintings depicts a human form pointing upward to a group of six (I think) spots representing stars. Our attention is drawn to this group of stars as the archeologists gaze in awe and, with bated breath, whisper one to the other that this is the same star-pattern that they¹ve found on ancient sites all over the world. In subsequent scenes, they lay out their working theory that the alien race who ³seeded² human DNA upon the Earth came from a certain part of the galaxy that is represented by this particular star-pattern. The next thing you know, we¹re aboard a huge modern space ship named ŒPrometheus¹ as it arrives at its destination after a 2+ year journey to the star system in question and a particular planet that presents the best possibilities for life to have developed. The mission has been commissioned by a single mega-rich Earthling. He is very old and believes that the possibility of contacting ³the Architects² (³architects² of human DNA) might provide a way to defeat his imminent death. Herein lies the philosophical ground for the movie, in my opinion. The movie has quite a few elements that are ³echoes² of the original Alien. The first one (below) was disappointing to me since it kinda lowered the quality of the otherwise high-quality sci-fi: 1. As the members of the crew emerge from their stasis sleeping chambers in which they¹re suspended for the trip, we¹re introduced to each of them. Two of them are ignorant, dumb-ass White males (of course) who are just along for the ride as technicians making money. Now would that really happen on a mission like this? Would you cast these ignorant fools whose personalities are more like 1950¹s hillbillies who had never learned anything but hunting squirrels and possums than deep-space technicians of the future? These two guys die in short order, so their ignorant personalities have no place in the plot other than fools to get eliminated early. That was a huge casting/story error, IMO. 2. The kick-ass woman main character who defeats ridiculous odds, including a string of physical feats that would make a ³strong-man² competitor give up, immediately after having undergone a caesarian section to remove a fast-growing alien in her womb. That was also stupid. 3. The lair of the eggs, each of which carried an alien waiting to be activated by an unsuspecting human. 4. The 99.9% human acting-and-appearing android, ³David,² who handles the navigation while the humans are in stasis. There is no attempt to disguise the fact that David is a machine. From the moment you see him, before the others awaken, his movements are smooth and controlled (reminiscent of the ³Data² character in Star Trek, Next Gen) and you immediately think, ³robot.² Another direct quote from the 2nd movie, ŒAliens¹ is that David gets his head-section ripped off toward the end but is still able to help our heroine prevail while laying on its left ear and with gurgling speech. Presumably the head-section also shows our heroine how to fly an alien space-ship to make her final escape, so she carries David¹s head-section on board in a bag while talking to him. She even drops him once and apologizes! 5. Everybody dies except the heroine, who miraculously escapes. Now all of those things make the movie sound pretty darn slap-stick, huh? But I didn¹t experience it like that at the time ­ I was mesmerized by the incredible scenes and fast action, so I never realized the silliness in the plot until I thought about it while writing this review! The underlying foundation of the story was that human DNA was intentionally Œseeded¹ on the Earth in ages past by a human-like race from another part of the galaxy. There is also mention of the possibility that the ³Alien² creatures were developed as a bio-weapon to then wipe out the ³human experiment.² My personal opinion is that this possible seeding (or at least modification of human DNA by an alien race) is not a far-out, crazy notion. While being far from ³proven,² there is a LOT of anecdotal archeological and biological information that would support that hypothesis. Some commentators I¹ve heard have tried to present an either-or situation between ³God created humanity² and ³an alien race created humanity.² In my world, this presents a false dichotomy and is completely anthropocentric thinking, like ³the Earth is the center of Creation.² God creates Everything, so the possibility of seeding the human race on this planet is well within the creative possibilities of the Being in which all exists. The ³Aliens² in this movie are not the same as those in previous Alien movies ­ they¹re more like very aggressive giant squids. Toward the end of the movie, the human party finds that one of the ³Architects² is still alive in a stasis condition in one of the pods in a hidden chamber. They awaken the Architect, expecting to learn some answers to the questions posed by their findings. But, to their surprise, the Architect just goes wild, smashing and throwing them around the chamber like a mad elephant (he¹s about 9 feet tall and built like the best pro wrestlers). That¹s when David¹s head gets torn off. This development was ridiculously disappointing, plot-wise. Here¹s a humanoid race that, we are to believe, is intellectually and scientifically advanced beyond humanity by tens or hundreds of thousands of years. One of them is awakened after a long period of stasis by another humanoid race and he immediately goes wild trying to kill them? Ridiculous! As a final plot-continuation twist, as the heroine makes her escape (having a conversation with an android¹s head that she¹s carrying in a bag), the Architect, who has taken off in one of his space-ships, starts to flop around as the Alien which has been ³cocooned² in his body starts to break out thru the rib cage as in the original movie. When this Alien ³birth process² concludes, we see that the Alien that comes from the Architect is very much the same as the original Alien species from the first movie. I guess that¹s where the ³prequel² characterization comes in, but I still don¹t quite understand the connection since there is no implied plot continuation into the original save that original-looking Alien showing up at the end. Summing up: my long-standing love for science fiction led me to enjoy the experience of watching this movie. The visual art of the movie is so astounding that I didn¹t really notice the bad plot lines (for the most part) until I got home and started thinking about it as a story. I also didn¹t think it had a lot of gratuitous gore. I had been afraid of that before seeing the movie, but I found the violent aspect of the movie more or less appropriate for 2012 movie sensibilities and ³manageable² with 2-3 places of not watching the screen, since you know what¹s happening anyway and why put those images into your visual cortex and memory banks? On the question of whether I would recommend seeing it or not, I would say that it depends on your relative love for science fiction. If you¹re way-high on that scale, the visual aspect of Prometheus is worth seeing. If not, the violence and silly plot lines (especially after my having pointed them out in this review) will be a bummer. One last word. If you¹re a person with the sensibilities and knowledge of how movies and entertainment in general are being used these days as an intentional tool of social engineering, you might be curious about that aspect of this movie. Does it deliver overt and/or implied messages that service the AGENDA behind the social engineers? To that question I have to say that Prometheus is fairly benign. Yes, there are some messages that can be interpreted in that way, but there are also messages that can be interpreted as being in opposition to the agenda of the social engineers. Going over them all specifically would be too long a discussion and I can¹t pretend to remember them all ­ sometimes they fly by in the dialogue. However, I¹ll mention just one of the positive ones: Earlier I mentioned that the Prometheus mission was commissioned by a very old Trillionaire earthling, ³Weyland,² whose goal was to find the knowledge that would save him from death and possibly extend his life indefinitely. Late in the movie we find that the tottering Weyland has been aboard the Prometheus all along, unbeknownst to the crew, with the exception of David the android and the corporate ³manager² of the mission, played by the ever beautiful Charlize Theron. Well, as mentioned above, Weyland dies toward the end of the movie, when the Architect, who was supposed to have been the source of this life-saving knowledge, goes wild and tries to kill everybody in the room. This, I felt, was a very nice philosophical ³quote² from the grand-daddy of such literary messages, Mary Shelley¹s Frankenstein. Not only was the result the same ­ Prometheus even quotes the scene from the early Frankenstein movies of giving life to the lifeless ³monster² with great anticipation only to be crushed as the monster does not behave as expected or wanted. The message, as interpreted by me, is that the pursuit of physical immortality is a result of a profound misunderstanding of the nature of human existence and the nature and purpose of the cycle of living and dying. Such pursuit is inherently ego-driven and ends inevitably in self-destruction. MDI

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