Friday, March 8, 2019

Prometheus Review

Prometheus, 3/8/19, 92%, A-, 4.5 Stars.
A step up from the abomination that was Resurrection, this prequel to Alien both stands on its own as high-concept sci-fi while simultaneously showing us where the xenomorphs come from. I found it odd that Ridley Scott chose to have the ending narration from Shaw mirror Ripley’s from the original, but it was fitting.

The plot is very well paced, wasting no time showing us the “Engineer,” who goes unnamed, followed by Shaw and her lover’s discovery that launches them into space, and by that, I mean right into the next scene set four years after that discovery. The rest of the film takes place on the planet where the “Engineers,” as Shaw calls them, were creating the biological weapons that (spoiler alert) become the xenomorphs we know from the original movies. It all makes sense from beginning to end, with no serious plot holes.

The characters of this series has always been a weak point, which I find odd because Ridley Scott directed my favorite movie, The Martian, which I love for its character development, but Shaw proves to be an interesting lead. Everyone else has good character moments, but nothing really clicks with me in terms of relatability, and while I did kind of feel sad for seeing Shaw’s lover get burned to death, the fact I cannot remember his name as I write this and refuse to look it up to jog my memory proves how weak the character development is.

The visuals of this film are gorgeous, with the grand landscapes and the visual aesthetic of space faring I came to appreciate from The Martian being clear and awesome here. Everything we see on screen is believable and adds to the storyline of discovering humanity’s origins that make this movie able to stand alone from the movies that take place after it, but still have relevance to the larger story. It’s kind of pointless to have like Alien Resurrection, but like I said, the origin of humanity plotline makes this a quality movie on its own, regardless of ties to the Alien franchise.

Marc Streitenfeld’s soundtrack, with a couple of tracks by Harry Gregson-Williams, gives the feeling of grandness this story already has. There is also one particularly quality use of silence that adds to the drama of the exploration. It’s more memorable than the soundtracks of the movies that came out before it and take place after it, so I’m glad I watched those before this one.

There is the right level of humor in this particular movie: almost none. Also, early on, there was this weird moment where static cut off an f-bomb in the way a PG-13 movie would, yet there was a clear one later on. The overall first half felt like a hard PG-13 with some moments that would have risked an R-rating while the second half went all in to get that R-rating. These movies have never had full frontal nudity, which makes me wonder if they maintain modesty even in scenes like the surgery one to avoid an NC-17 rating, but I digress.

Prometheus proves to be A-level work in a series where I gave two Bs, a B+ and a D+. Its promethean (no pun intended) storyline that cuts deep pays off in making it stand alone as a movie while being a prequel to Alien.
Plot
-Pacing 9/10
-Coherence 10/10
Characters
-Relatability 7/10
-Development 7/10
Picture
-Visual Believability 10/10
-Purposeful Content 10/10
Soundtrack
-Emotional Resonance 10/10
-Appropriate Use 10/10
Dialogue
-Appropriate Humor 10/10
-Appropriate Cursing 9/10
Numeric Breakdown
-1 = That Bad
0. Unbearable
  1. Awful
  2. Really Bad
  3. Bad
  4. Weak
  5. Mediocre
  6. Questionable
  7. Good
  8. Great
  9. Amazing
  10. Perfect
Letter Grade
100%-97% = A+
96%-93% = A
92%-90% = A-
89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B-
79%-77% = C+
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C-
69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = D-
59% or below = F
Star Grid
0%-19% = 0.5 Stars
20%-29% = 1 Star
30%-39% = 1.5 Stars
40%-49% = 2 Stars
50%-59% = 2.5 Stars
60%-69% = 3 Stars
70%-79% = 3.5 Stars
80%-89% = 4 Stars
90%-99% = 4.5 Stars
100% = 5 Stars

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