#4281  
Old 06-03-2012, 08:40 PM
The Elite Squad



The first word to come to mind is “ugly”. Then “brutal”. Then “muddled”, which is probably the operative word that dictates the rest of my opinion going forward. Proud new RoboCop daddy Jose Padilha gets a lot of things right, such as in the general mood of the piece, the gnarly vibrancy and/or squalor of Rio de Janeiro and its slums, and the credible, gritty performances. But he gets some things wrong, mostly owing to his moral equivocation with the police corruption and gangland feudalism being explored here. City of God examined a lot of the same themes, but it never went out of its way to deepen the murk of the situation by supplanting the broader social ideas for Expendables-like action, which this clearly wasn’t meant to be, or shouldn’t have been. I’ll be the first to take my reservations back if it turns out I’m dead wrong about the intent, but it did seem like the Elite Squad themselves were being put on a certain pedestal as some kind of force for “good” amid a morally bankrupt and violent city, who consider themselves above the corruption of their ilk… just before they go out and torture suspects and harass innocent people in their homes while fishing for intel. Not that the director is siding with them, necessarily, but the pointless narration from the brutish, unhinged hardcase of a main character creates a dramatic construct that seems to try casting him in a sympathetic light as the “good cop just doing his job in a bad city”. Without the narration it may have played differently, in a Bad Lieutenant sorta way, but as it is, it's an awkward balance.

-> 6/10
  #4282  
Old 06-03-2012, 09:09 PM


Snow White and the Huntsman 6/10

Wasn't really looking forward to this film, but I thought the trailers were very well done so I checked it out. It was lacking in most areas, Charlize Theron's scenes were my favorite and while I have heard some mixed reviews about her performance, I dug it. The special effects were pretty cool as well, but everything else seemed to be lacking. I wish it would have ended differently. Nothing special. Whoever did the trailers though deserves something because I don't think I would have seen it otherwise.
  #4283  
Old 06-03-2012, 11:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by syxxpac View Post
Indeed. Though now that I think about it, an 8 might be too high with those slight flaws I found. Again, ratings are unreliable from me, but a 7 I could live with too, for those who'd rather not slog through my verbal diarrhea to see what I think.
Yeah a 7 is what I gave it. Next up; Prometheus
  #4284  
Old 06-04-2012, 01:07 AM

Snow White and the Huntsman - *** 1/2

Although the pacing does lag a little and the movie could have been tightened up a little here and there and although Charlize Theron could have dialed down her performance a little, I think she's great in the movie but there are a few scenes where her performance is so over the top that it borders on camp, those are ultimately minor complaints in what I think is otherwise a truly enthralling, visually stunning and magnificant epic tale. LOVED, loved, loved this movie! And I don't get the Kristen Stewart complaints at all. She's not at all on Bella mode here. She's actually quite fantastic here. Much better than her work in the Twilight movies! My favorite movie of the year so far!
  #4285  
Old 06-04-2012, 01:49 AM
Young Adult (7/10)
The Whistleblower (8/10)
American Reunion (8/10)
Lilya 4-Ever (9/10)
Midnight in Paris (8/10)
  #4286  
Old 06-04-2012, 07:45 AM

Melancholia
4/10
  #4287  
Old 06-04-2012, 08:17 AM
The Bourne Ultimatum - 8.5/10
  #4288  
Old 06-04-2012, 08:47 AM
POLICE ACADEMY 5: ASSIGNMENT MIAMI

When all else fails, horror movies take the story to space (CRITTERS, HELLRAISER, LEPRECHAUN, etc...) and comedies take the cast to a neat location, such as Hawaii, Miami, the Bahamas or something like that. It doesn't mean that things are going to improve; typically, the signs are that things are only going to be worse... MUCH worse.
My hopes of the PA series making an uptick from it's last two installments was all for naught (duhhh), seeing as how they don't really "jump the shark" this time around; actually, Tackleberry sticks a revolver in a shark's face instead.
Only a limited amount of the cast which headlined the first four are present here, with only a enough of storyline to fill in for a single episode of a horribly shitty crime drama/comedy. Sadly, this movie tries to push itself into at least 85 minutes and to disastrous effects. There wasn't one time I thought there was anything funny in this movie. It was nice seeing Odo (Rene Auberjonois), I guess. That's something.
It also paces like water droplets reshaping stone over thousands of years; after 20 minutes, it felt like over two hours had passed.

Certainly at this point the PA movies have nowhere to go but up. I think it finally reached its' nadir with "Assignment Miami".

2.3/10


POLICE ACADEMY 6: CITY UNDER SIEGE

What kind of fool was I to think that the series couldn't get any worse? I think this question is rhetorical, but it's hard to say. My brain is so jumbled right now I can't even think straight.

What I find pretty funny is that it took four movies to finally get the PA crew out of some kind of "training" and into a real "mission". That first mission in part five was against some jewel thieves.
Since it already failed the last time, why not have jewel thieves again? So now they can fuck up even more of what was wrong the other time, and make it even WORSE! Yeah, great idea!
This was so bad that I don't even remember it. And I watched it about 8 hours ago. Tackleberry's character motivation is even more meaningful than before, because he shoots things again. Almost as much as he did in part 5.
Why do I even bother? I have nothing to say about this, except that it would be like Chinese water torture if I had to watch this ever again.

It actually IS worse than part 5, so I had to grade PA 5 "up" a little bit. For comparison.

1.7/10



POLICE ACADEMY: MISSION TO MOSCOW

Phew. I did it!!!

It had been 5 years since the previous PA flick once this came out. Of course it makes perfect sense to "go original" and take them not to Miami, but how about instead to the place that is just as predictable and bland; the newly fallen Russia! It is up to the police force (they're not even a fucking "academy" any more, for cryin' out loud! Haven't been for years!) to represent the America, and bring a symbolic peace between the two nations after a long cold war kept them apart.
snnnoooooooooore

An amazing cast rounds out this movie, with Christopher Lee, Claire Forlani and[/b] Ron Perlman[/b]! Christopher Lee even kisses a dude on the mouth; TWICE! How can you pass this shit up, folks?!
Perlman and Forlani are Russians. Ron is the Russian bad guy, with an awesome accent; some times it's Russian-ish, other times it is French, and other times it flips between a French/Spanish sound; and even other times he sounds like an Italian mobster from New York! I love it. I give credit to Perlman for going all out in this movie, though. He hams it up and just plain looks terrible in his efforts. If I had a chance to be in this movie, I'd say yes. Better than NOTHING.
Forlani is hot as ever as a Russian interpreter. Here's where something strange happens, though; the only time the movie even seems to be working in ANY way is during the scenes between her and Charlie Schlatter (from 18 AGAIN). Granted, it's not very good at all, but there are moments when it seems like PA7 is actually trying hard to be something more than just a pratfall slapstick comedy. In fact, if you were to only watch about 20 minutes of the scenes between these two - and a few choice moments with Ron Perlman and his outlandish antics - there would be enough to warrant a passable waste of time if you're actually forcing yourself to sit down and suffer through this series.

I would not recommend this pile of shit to anyone unless you'd like to see some now recognizable faces before they got to where they are now (although Perlman has been around for AGES). I would say that if you aren't desperate to fill in those gaps of the entire movie list of a certain actor, you don't ever have to watch this. Ever.

3/10
  #4289  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:57 PM
Land of the lost - 7/10

The promotion 5/10

Clash of the titans 5/10
  #4290  
Old 06-04-2012, 03:21 PM
Kcm, how do you calculate your ratings so precisely. I mean decimals n shit
  #4291  
Old 06-04-2012, 03:56 PM

Snow White and the Huntsman(2012)-7/10
  #4292  
Old 06-04-2012, 08:27 PM
Lolita (1962) - I really enjoyed Kubrick's adaptation of the novel. James Mason was a perfect choice for the role of Humbert. I also liked how Peter Sellers' character had a bigger role than he did in the novel. 8/10

Frenzy - Another case of mistaken identity in a Hitchcock film. It probably should have been repetitive after rehashing the same basic story many times but Hitchcock still manages to inject new ideas into his films and make the story seem fresh. 7/10
  #4293  
Old 06-04-2012, 11:49 PM

The Devil Inside(2012)-5/10
  #4294  
Old 06-05-2012, 03:43 AM
Pusher (8/10) 1996

Last edited by Hucksta G; 06-07-2012 at 04:34 AM..
  #4295  
Old 06-05-2012, 06:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digifruitella View Post
Kcm, how do you calculate your ratings so precisely. I mean decimals n shit
That was actually kind of a joke.
I wanted to give a 2/10 to PA5, but then after seeing PA6 it was even worse. I had to distinguish how MUCH worse somehow. I rarely give below a 3/10. I've given a 1/10 maybe a dozen times, and a zero I think twice. So I had a hard time saying how PA5 was a 2/10 but PA6 was less than what part 5 had to offer.
  #4296  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:35 AM
Get the Gringo (2012)


Too bad Mel Gibson's crazy rants of late stole the spotlight from his acting skills because Get The Gringo is actually a pretty decent prison/action/drama movie and he really does carry the movie as the gritty criminal trying to survive in a tough Mexico penitentiary. Some reviews dubbed it the "unofficial Payback" sequel and i would tend to agree.

7.5/10

Last edited by Dirtyfrog; 06-05-2012 at 09:20 PM.. Reason: srsly , what's up the 50% of my images not showing lately
  #4297  
Old 06-05-2012, 05:03 PM


There is something truly significant in creating a story where high school students begin to develop superpowers. The different dynamics that a screenwriter can take that concept, deciding how the central character chooses to utilize their new found abilities for the greater good, or evil. That’s why the comic books films like Spider Man work, as protagonist Peter Parker’s journey can seem relatable to any burdened teenager faced with such responsibilities. For director Josh Trank and screenwriter Max Landis, that film certainly seems to be the blueprint for their small budget film Chronicle, a found-footage type of film that encompasses a character’s difficult journey in choosing how to deal with the powers that they unwillingly acquired.

The found footage is utilized through the main character Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan), an outcast student who starts using the camera to past the time at high school and soon discovers, along with his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) and popular jock Steve (Michael B. Jordan), a mysterious hole in the forest that leads the three boys to develop psychic abilities. There is a unique way that Trank makes the found footage format feel more cinematic than the “you are there” feeling that most found footage films bring, but it also brings some cool visuals cues on how the camera captures how Andrew and the gang begin to use their powers in different situations. The only real problem for this type of cinematic style regarding the use of found footage is stretching the idea on how it is utilized, as certain points in the film uses other types of cameras to keep the found footage going, rather than just Andrew’s camera. While it’s clever in some spot, other times it feels a tad extraneous.

But, while the found footage style can be a bit of a stretch, it’s okay as the plot of the film is actually pretty solid. Andrew’s journey is certainly the reason for that, coupled with an excellent performance by Dane DeHaan. He gives the character of Andrew certain tic and personality shifts that remain consistent throughout the film’s short running time, and each big turn with the character’s journey feels plausible and not something that comes out of nowhere. The other two characters, Matt and Steve, don’t have as much screen time as Andrew is the character that film focuses on mostly, but the actors certainly make the mot of their given roles. Alex Russell gives a pretty understated performance as Matt, Andrew’s cousin and the guy who mostly chills in the middle of the High School social class. Matt is the type who tries to reach out for Andrew, but never puts that extra effort in to make sure that Andrew is truly okay. On the flip side, Michael B. Jordan’s Steve is full of charisma and energy as the most popular kid in high school. Whenever Jordan’s Steve is on screen, the viewer will certainly feel the joy and excitement coming from that character, and his developing friendship with Andrew is one of the best parts of the film.

If there is something to be said about Chronicle, it’s certainly that there are small time directors that can make the most of a lacking budget. Supposedly made for 15 million dollars, Chronicle’s final act seems like something that you would see in a big budget summer blockbuster. Granted, the visuals aren’t as eye-popping as those films, but the scale that the film takes when the action goes down is probably on par with a similar low-budget sci-fi film, Gareth Edwards’ Monsters. Add a solid, if a little uneven script, and you have a small film that feels big.

Chronicle is a nice, little film that combines the “found footage” and “superhero” genre into something that works in the long run. There are some kinks in the wheel of Josh Trank’s direction and Max Landis’s screenplay, but the actors, as well as the majority of the plot, keep it from being derailed.

7.5/10



Game Of Thrones (Season Two)

The first season of Game of Thrones was a pretty exciting and eventful piece of television. Writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had compacted the first book of George R.R. Martin’s epic series into some truly masterful HBO television drama. They took liberties on what was and wasn’t in the book, allow characters that seemed to have a bit of one-sidedness in Martin’s book to become truly realized characters. For fans of the book, it was a welcoming addition to an already engrossing noel, as well as allowing newcomers of the series to become enthralled into the complexities of how each character worked in the setting of Westeros.

Now, as the second season adaptation of Martin’s A Clash of Kings has come to a close yesterday, the universe is ever expanding in the world of Westeros. New characters are entering the playing field and the dangers of a cluttering plot could shortchange certain characters and motivations. But, do not count the writers out, as they certainly seemed to have a handle of where to cut corners regarding where the book’s journey goes. I think this is the season where fans of the book will realize that Benioff and Weiss’s are creating their own story of Westeros on the small screen, rather than being as faithful as they were towards the Game of Thrones novel in the first season.

That’s certainly the best course of action for a sprawling series such as Martin’s, and Benioff and Weiss certainly deserved the accolades for going about condensing such a lush novel as Clash of Kings. Sure, certain things seem to get muddled in the mix as the impact of certain characters’ get a bit shortchanged as the episodes go on, but mostly everything is done immaculately. Benioff and Weiss still enjoy going off book, allowing different characters to display a side that readers haven’t seen from the book, and it is enthralling. From Lord Tywin’s (Charles Dance) increased appearances than from the novel, or allowing Robb Stark to establish an arc regarding his new stance as King of the North; the writers continue their quest to never leave a character’s exposition stone unturned. This allows for unexpected character interactions that weren’t the novel, but certainly lap up the tension and drama that the show is known for.

The actors seem to certainly enjoy what the writers give them, as they are all still on point to their literary counterparts. Peter Dinklage can simply play Tyrion Lannister in his sleep, and it would be interesting. Lana Headley seems to slowly rearing Cersei’s serpent personality as the seasons continue, and it’s lovely to watch. Richard Madden and Kit Harington are solid as ever as Ned Stark’s sons Robb and Jon, each on their individual journeys, as well as Malaise Williams and Sophie Turner as Ned’s daughters Arya and Sansa. Emilia Clarke also shines as Danerys Stormborn, making the most of her scenes as she journeys to reclaim her lost throne.

Even the new additions of the cast are perfectly cast. Stephen Dillane is great as the weary and power hungry Stannis Baratheon, relaying the anger of being neglected by his more prestigious brother Robert. Liam Cunningham brings poise and loyalty as Davos Seaworth, right hand man to Stannis, and Carice Van Houten brings a perfect otherworldliness aura as the red priestess Melisandre.

Benioff and Weiss certainly brought their A game for this second season of Game of Thrones, expanding the locales and raising the stakes of the story and action that TV shows bring to the table. This show truly feels like something epic and vast with each episode, and with the third season apparently only focusing on half on the third book in the series, there will certainly be that care and benefit to the story and characters of Westeros in the near future.

9/10
  #4298  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:04 PM
About a Boy



Hugh Grant brought his flair for playing a shallow callow cad in Bridget Jones to a movie where he gets to be the focus of the show, instead of having to steal it from Zellweger and her spotty Brit accent. So here the ultimate douchebag bachelor Will Freeman (which can be rearranged to “Free will, man!”, to no one’s interest but my own trivial amusement) gets a crash course in growing up when he tries to plot his way into the panties of a hot single mom and finds himself the unwitting father figure of a precocious British kid, played by Nicholas Hoult, who I couldn’t believe was actually Beast in X-Men: First Class when I checked IMDB later. Christ they grow up fast, don’t they? Anyway, breezy hilarity and dramatic wit follow close behind as the two bond and find a much-needed friend in the other. It’s refreshing in the sense that given that scenario, you’d think you could see exactly where it’s going or what clichéd tricks it wants to spring in a corny third act, but apparently Nick Hornby – he who wrote the novel this is based on - don’t play that game, bro. But not just a boys club, Toni Collette and Rachel Weisz provide strong female supporting performances to round out a pitch-perfect cast. Also kinda cool to see Osha from Game of Thrones (Natalie Tena) show up in her first major screen role.

-> 8/10
  #4299  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:22 PM
Pusher ('10) - 2/10
Garbage remake.
  #4300  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cronos View Post
Pusher ('10) - 2/10
Garbage remake.
Looked like it.

The Raven



Visually appealing and decently paced, but just not enough juice to make it all compelling enough. The obvious shades of Se7en are neat, though nowhere near the genius of that film. Resolution was very weak. McTeigue really fell since V for Vendetta, and it's now beginning to be obvious just how much Wachowski helped him out with that film. The guy is capable, he just needs solid scripts.

5/10

Last edited by Digifruitella; 06-05-2012 at 08:33 PM..
  #4301  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:59 PM
The Spirit of St. Louis - I liked James Stewart (if even if he was a bit old to play Lindbergh) but the story just wasn't compelling enough to keep me interested. The effects during the flying scenes were pretty impressive but that's not really enough to overcome a merely average script. 5/10
  #4302  
Old 06-06-2012, 02:52 AM
hi,,
i want to ask, is there anyone know reference the movie/tv series with braids /cornrow style actress??
i have some references:
1.(mena suvari-stuck)
2.(pat arquette-tiptoes)
3.(bo derek-10)
4.(Tarryn M - hustle & flow)
5.(jolene blalock - slow burn)
6.(courtney cox - friends)
7.(mary j. blige -rock of the age)
8.(bianca L - bones)

please give me more references?? i would really appreciate..
  #4303  
Old 06-06-2012, 03:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by syxxpac View Post
About a Boy

-> 8/10
Agreed. Its hard to believe this movie just turned 10. Definitely due for a rewatch.

MacGruber - 5/10

Will Forte tries.....very, very hard, but he has nothing on the true masters of spoof comedy: Mel Brooks and the Abrahams/Zucker/Zucker trio. In fact, he could have made a successful spoof if he didn't tack on and repeat countless below-the-belt jokes. And maybe add some imagination to the proceedings. I guess he thinks "Lets go pound some Cunth" is funny when you hear it twenty times. The only funny scenes involved Kristen Wiig. I counted 3. Missed opportunity.

28 Days Later (rewatch) - 8/10

Possibly the third time I've seen this since its release and holds up very well. Boyle's decision to shoot it on digital works in his favor as this alternate reality is quite horrifying. I appreciate how he focuses on the humanity in the story, spending ample time with our main characters who may not be talented wordsmiths or clever jokesters cooked up by an imaginative screenwriter. They're modest people you could meet just about anywhere. Most current filmmakers forget to develop their characters and they figure balls-to-the-wall action will divert attention spans the world over. This is yet another example of how important that development is. Those craftsmen do not realize their films will be long forgotten or widely disregarded in the years to come (coughDarkShadowsBattleshipSnowWhitecough).
  #4304  
Old 06-06-2012, 04:18 PM
Sons of Anarchy: Season 2



In keeping with the momentum season 1 has built, this is easily one of the best TV series on TV right now, next to Breaking Bad.

9/10
  #4305  
Old 06-06-2012, 08:36 PM
Divorce Italian Style - I really enjoyed this comedy about a man who wants to kill his wife in order to marry his cousin. Marcello Mastroianni is always fun to watch and the complications that arise in his plan are funny. 8/10

Places in the Heart - A lot of very good performances in this film headlined by Sally Field. I'm not sure if she deserved the Oscar but as a whole the cast was probably one of the better ones I've seen in a while. 8/10
  #4306  
Old 06-06-2012, 09:22 PM
watching on dvd



7/10
  #4307  
Old 06-07-2012, 01:00 AM

We Need to Talk About Kevin(2011)-6/10
  #4308  
Old 06-07-2012, 03:58 AM
IRON SKY - 5.5/10

It is what it is, of course. There were some pretty damned funny parts in it. The American president annoyed the fuck out of me, but it was funny how they made fun of so many countries' ideals. Especially the US and its arrogance, and the scene where North Korea "confessed" about the ships. Hahahahaha!

I liked it.

WANDERLUST - 4.5/10

It really is not that funny. There were a few good moments, though. I would not say there were enough to warrant watching this movie. Plus, Paul Rudd's endless psyching adlibs before having sex was dreadful. I was praying for it to stop.
Justin Theroux was unrecognizable and pretty good in it.

Last edited by KcMsterpce; 06-07-2012 at 08:14 AM..
  #4309  
Old 06-07-2012, 04:34 AM
Prometheus
Sure the script is weak but everything else is awesome! The visuals, the art direction, the atmosphere, the gore, the Fassbender!
(8/10)
  #4310  
Old 06-07-2012, 07:36 PM
Promotheus - 9/10

Men In Black III - 5/10

Rise of the planet of the apes - 8/10
  #4311  
Old 06-07-2012, 09:33 PM
The Rules of the Game - A fun look at the French upper classes and their disdain for anyone but themselves. I've heard this called one of the greatest films ever - I wouldn't go that far but I did like the film especially the woman who played the maid. 7/10
  #4312  
Old 06-08-2012, 07:37 AM
Green Lantern (4/10)
  #4313  
Old 06-08-2012, 08:04 AM
The Adjustment Bureau - 8.5/10
  #4314  
Old 06-08-2012, 08:29 AM
Piggy - 8/10
  #4315  
Old 06-08-2012, 09:16 AM
Pusher



The first part of the Danish crime trilogy that put Nicolas Winding Refn on the map, it’s both an audacious underworld thriller and an effective two-hour simulation of a noose being tightened. Refn follows a week in the life of mid-level drug dealer Frank (Kim Bodnia) - walking his beat, chilling with his sleazebag friend and colleague (Mads Mikkelson, almost unrecognizable in appearance and character for those of us Casino Royale fans), collecting debts and distributing quality brown sugar to unsavory Swedes. All in a day’s work, right? Seems simple enough, until the cops drop in and force Frank to dump 180 grand of his supplier’s best junk in the lake on a deal gone bad. Trouble is, he already owes 50. Well fuck. Cue a mad scramble for survival as a desperate man finds himself getting in deeper and deeper debt to the ruthless but strangely compelling Serb gangster Milo, who has as much an affinity for baking as he does electroshock torture. The film amps up the tension to such a degree that you start to become as paranoid as Frank by the end, and Refn keeps the cinematography tight and gritty in real time to put you right there alongside him. He’s a bit of a brute, selfish and insecure, but that Refn makes you feel sorry for him and want him to get out of this nightmare alive is saying something to the complexity of the gray area these characters live in. He brought most of it on himself, but still.

-> 9/10

Last edited by syxxpac; 06-08-2012 at 09:21 AM..
  #4316  
Old 06-08-2012, 09:26 AM


I was very disappointed.

6.5/10
  #4317  
Old 06-08-2012, 10:37 AM
TRUST (2010)

For the first half hour, I was just pissed off because I knew exactly where this movie was going.
But then, about 40 minutes in, I realized it was NOT what I was expecting.
Casting Clive Owen is a great choice (and it's fine that he doesn't try to change his accent), since a movie about an underage girl being raped calls for someone like Clive Owen to seek revenge. Then again, the kind of themes and tone presented in TRUST doesn't rightfully call for Owen's vengeance; but there's always a chance in might happen!
I like the themes presented and the efforts brought forth in exposing how an entire family can be affected by the victimization of one member within it. Owen did a great job, but I think most would say he's amazing more often than not. The real surprise performance goes to Liana Liberato as Alicia. She's one of those younger actresses who understands how to display true heartbreak and/or anger more openly than most at her age. Granted, I wasn't with it 100% of the time, but even 85% is about 80% more than most actors her age.

TRUST wants to be a thematically challenging drama that rips at the soul. The subject matter alone is enough to encourage the audience to be shocked, angered and shouting for retribution. It doesn't really hit the beats well enough - or hit a truly strong chord for me - as say, THE WOODSMAN did for me.
In the end, though, I still highly recommend this for those that like good performances and some interesting (and I would say most appropriate) dramatic beats and revelations within the final 10 minutes.

It ends at exactly the point I thought it should have ended, and didn't need to go any further than that. So another "bravo" is sent out on my part.

Score: 7/10
  #4318  
Old 06-08-2012, 12:04 PM
50/50 - 9/10
  #4319  
Old 06-08-2012, 01:02 PM


Ridley Scott’s newest sci-fi opus Prometheus could be compared to an artist’s painting. The brush strokes and design feel immaculate, handled with care and love towards the themes being stated on the broad landscape. Unfortunately, those themes just ring completely and utterly hollow, making all the effort that the painting brings seem like complete waste of great potential. That’s this film in a nutshell, the visuals and sets looks really good, but the story, characters, and points that screenwriters Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts are trying to make feel so muddled and mediocre that any grand ideas displayed on the screen simply feel lost in the shuffle.

The film wants to ask the big questions of “Where did we come from?” and “Who are our makers?” The answers come in the form of a space expedition by a space vessel named Prometheus, with archeologist and geologists traveling to a distant planet that may hold the secrets to our world’s evolution. But, much like everything in this film, the way these ideas are handled just don’t feel as important as they should be. It always feels like its put on the back burner, as the film is trying debate whether to bring some sort of smart science fiction film a la 2001: A Space Odyssey, while also being a gross-out science fiction thrill ride. This just brings about scenes that are cool on paper, but never feel like a cohesive whole for the film’s plot.

I’m simply baffled on how this story was handled, to be honest. Was there a lot on the cutting room floor? I don’t think it really matters, as the great characterization and story that Scott had brought to other sci-fi films like Blade Runner and Alien was just about non-existant. Was Scott just enjoying making a visual thrill ride, while not worrying about how the story would play out? I don’t even know, but it certainly seems that a director’s cut of this film won’t help matters much.

For one thing, there is no focal point of sympathy or engagement to these characters. They all feel like avatars, popping up every now and then to say “Hey, I’m so-and-so”, and they falls back in the shadows until they are needed for hacky exposition or fodder to be served up for some good old’ fashioned body horror. The only characters that come close to being more than one dimension is Naomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw and Michael Fassbender’s David. But, the script certainly doesn’t do any great favors for them. Rapace’s Shaw only feels like a character becomes the film shoehorns a pretty ridiculous flashback to show her ideals, and nothing more. Michael Fassbender, on the other hand, does his damn hardest to make sure that David, the android aboard the Prometheus, works as a whole. For the most part, it does. He brings an engaging opening act to the film, as well as bringing some great ambiguity towards his central mission to the space expedition. Unfortunately, the film likes to throw unanswered questions towards David’s actions in some regards, regrettably harkening back to the completely muddled plot.

As for the rest of the cast, even gifted actors like Charlize Theron and Idris Elba can’t save their one-note characters. Logan Marshall Green is probably the worst contender for this film, saddled with a character of a love interest to Rapace’s Shaw that most viewers will have absolutely no sympathy towards what happens to him. It’s as if these great actors were signed up for the fact that maybe they would elevate their piss-poor characterization, but no dice.

But let’s get to the big discussion, the connection to the Alien franchise. There are certainly nods to that film’s universe that fans of the series will appreciate, but don’t go expecting a true prequel to Alien. Theirs is certainly a connection to the mysterious “Space Jockey” from the original Alien films, but it never really delves further than that. But, the fact that it’s only a quasi-prequel to Alien isn’t that case of why this film doesn’t work, it simply isn’t a good science fiction film. Nothing feels unique or fresh, and the film seems adept to pull out the “stupid character decision” or some gross-out moments that try to shock, but ultimately feel unnecessary and a bit overdone. It’s as if Lindelof and Spaihits were flipping through a handbook on “What Makes Sci-Fi Thrillers Work?” and thought certain sequences will keep the viewers invested in the proceedings. Oh, and don’t get me started on the plot twists in the final act. I thought the soundtrack, which sounded well but soon became unnecessary for when things start taking a dark turn , was going to throw in a “DA DA DA DUN!”

I don’t know how the rest of the summer season, or even the rest of the movie year will fare, but Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is probably the biggest disappointment of 2012 so far. It’s baffling, and a bit infuriating, that for all the potential that this film was able to have, Scott was fine with painting a world with beautiful strokes and designs, while allowing the screenwriters with the job of simply throwing paint at the walls.

4.5/10
  #4320  
Old 06-08-2012, 02:52 PM
Moonrise Kingdom

Perhaps its my love for Wes Anderson or my weakness for nostalgia trips but this is his best film since Rushmore; the follow-up I always wanted Tenenbaums to be. Wes is in top form letting his imagination run wild surprising us until the end, and thankfully letting the final product reveal itself as more than just a well cut trailer (Darjeeling).

9/10
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