Prometheus

Just watched this the other night.  Apparently it’s polarized Alien fans.

I liked it.  It was a pulp sci-fi movie in my opinion. It’s hard to discuss it without spoilers though so there are some below.

Prometheus:Alien::Derleth:Lovecraft.  Same universe, totally different stories.    Like Derleth’s (or Lumley’s) mythos stories, Prometheus has characters that are more proactive, and strive to do more than survive.  In this way it follows in the footsteps of the Aliens sequels.  It is not really a horror movie like Alien was.  It is more of a classic pulp science fiction romp where wild ideas get thrown around.

On the other hand, Prometheus‘ story line is less about the creatures from Alien than it is about the deeper context, as it looks at the origins of humanity as well as the aliens.  Spoilers: The origins of them both appear to be with the same alien race: the Engineers.  These space-faring titans created humans and later planned to send the Alien aliens to wipe us out. (They apparently decide to destroy humanity at about the time Jesus would have been crucified, if he were a real person.  Maybe he was an Engineer too.  The Engineers had a reason to destroy humanity.)  The twist ending suggests there will be a sequel.  It’s not actually a cliffhanger, but it left enough loose strings that the continuation of the story would reveal more of the Engineer’s secrets.

There are a lot of imperfections in the movie (not a lot of characterization of the minor characters, plausibility issues, and very loose science), but the visuals and performances of the main characters make up for these enough to make it a good movie.  As far as writing goes, it is one of those movies like the Matrix that mentions rather than engages in philosophy. (Pulp fiction had deeper discourse going on in the hitmen scenes.)  Still, there is some promise that a sequel might develop some of the ideas the film suggests.

As D&D fodder, Prometheus is in some ways a dungeon crawl, complete with exploring and scurrying back to “camp” and various traps and tricks.  The Titans make great villains, and the monsters (the Alien/worm hybrids and the apparently different sort of infection we see when one character is “infected” by what might be Titan DNA, as well as the supersized face-hugger) would work in D&D.

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Published in: on December 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm  Comments (3)  
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  1. I’m one of the Alien fans who liked Prometheus. Aside from some of the more obvious script problems (the guy in charge of mapping the Engineer base got lost? Really?), it set up the whole Alien universe rather neatly, and set up the notion that the reason the xenomorophs are so deadly is because they were deliberately engineered (ahem) to exterminate humanity.

    The base found in Prometheus had many different variations on that theme, and the idea that they all could be found and unleashed against humanity as some sort of “wrath of the Gods” opens up literally dozens of new possibilities for “OMG awful body horror monsters” follow-ups. Face huggers and chest bursters are only one of a zillion death-dealers the Engineers were prepared to unleash when… what happened? In at least one instance, we see that the Engineers got wiped out by their own creation. That opens up all sorts of possibilities in terms of them needing to reconcile with humans to stop the greater threat.

    I love that, and the two of them going off in the end to confront the Engineers opens up the whole thing to plots-within-plots, double-dealing, and all sorts of great stories.

  2. I liked the film overall, but there were a few things that irked me. I thought that Charlize Theron was miscast. I rolled my eyes when she was doing ‘push-ups’. The scenes with her in them just weren’t believable. Some of the other characters didn’t do it for me either, but it was actiony and fun so I could overlook some of these things. I’ve only seen it once so I don’t know if it will hold up if I watch it again. I’m a bit torn with it.

  3. I thought it visually impressive but silly and annoying. Rather than go into overlong detail I direct you to my “review” here:
    http://clawcarver.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/the-back-side-of-uranus-a-stars-without-number-one-page-dungeon-film-review/

    Nevertheless, despite its deficiencies (in my view) as a film, there’s no doubt that it’s full of usable game stuff.


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