Tag Archives: Prometheus

Scorecard: June 2012

Figured I’d try to get around to posting this before we got quite halfway through July. There’s a pretty good range on here this month, thanks to a few screenings at the LA Film Festival. I usually get to fifteen or twenty screenings there, but this year I cut it back so I wouldn’t be quite so exhausted, and only ended up at eight total, but I think it was overall a good choice. I was able to process and appreciate the ones I saw more. We’ll see if I remember that come time for AFI in November, when I also usually overschedule myself.

What I Loved

The History of Future Folk

I went into this one at the LA Film Festival fairly blind, but came out pretty much loving it. A sweet little film about an alien who comes to Earth hoping to find a place for his people to live before an approaching comet destroys his homeworld. Instead, he discovers music and settles down…until another alien is sent to kill him and continue his mission. But the film focuses on the music and the relationships rather than the sci-fi elements, though when some special effects are needed, they’re surprisingly excellent. There’s a refreshing tenderness to the script and the characters are very appealing (they’re actually a real band who have been using the alien personas as their backstory for quite some time – the movie just expands and streamlines it). A hidden gem for sure, and worth seeking out. Full review on Row Three

2012 USA. Director: John Mitchell and Jeremy Kipp Walker. Starring: Nils d’Aulaire, Jay Klaitz, Julie Ann Emery, April L. Hernandez, Dee Snider.
Seen June 17 at the LA Film Festival, Regal LA Live.
Flickchart ranking: 437 out of 2990

Safety Not Guaranteed

When a local paper runs an ad for someone wanting a partner to travel back in time with him, a human interest magazine can’t resist going to try to find out what this guy’s all about – does he really think he’s built a working time machine? Over time, though, this sort-of time travel investigative comedy turns into a very good, very poignant drama about people and relationships. It would be almost incredibly easy to screw this up – make it too cutesy, or too weird, or too maudlin, or too cliched, but even though it’s clearly in a specific American indie genre, it avoids every pitfall and ends up being one of the standout films of the year. The more I think back on it, the more I love it, and a lot of that is thanks to a very strong script and a fantastically grounded lead performance from Aubrey Plaza, who’s quickly becoming a must-see favorite of mine.

2012 USA. Director: Colin Trevorrow. Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake M. Johnson, Karan Soni, Kristen Bell.
Seen June 16 at AMC Burbank.
Flickchart ranking: 572 out of 2990

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Prometheus: Things I Liked, Things I Didn’t

It’s been a few weeks now since Prometheus hit screens, but the vociferous dialogue about the film has barely died down – it has its fair share of lovers and haters, and it seems the only thing no one thinks is that it was just all right. I don’t fall into that category either, as I really enjoyed it and can’t quite believe the amount of vitriol I’ve seen hurled at it. In any case, here are the things I liked and disliked about it. I am NOT holding back spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film yet, hold off on reading this until you have. There are plenty of other spoiler-free takes on the film around, both positive and negative.

Things I Liked

The visuals

Nobody denies that Ridley Scott’s strength is visual; even the people who hate Prometheus acknowledge that it looks ridiculously gorgeous. That goes an awfully long way with me, and giving me something pretty to look at is perhaps all-too-effective at getting me to overlook flaws in other areas. I think the flaws people have pointed out in Prometheus are largely overblown, but even if I didn’t, I’m not sure I wouldn’t still have enjoyed the hell out of watching it. From the opening fly-over to the intricate interior of the mounds, not to mention the dazzling effects in the map room and even the static-filled holograms, my eyes were happy every second of this film.

The story it chose to tell

There are lots of stories that could be told within the Alien universe, but when I rewatched Alien a few days before going to see Prometheus, I realized that the story I wanted to see was about the giant pilot in the crashed spaceship. At one point in Alien, that seems to be a big mystery, but then they get attacked, horror takes over, and it becomes about survival rather than discovery, and I wanted to get back to the discovery. Prometheus is all about the discovery, and tells the story that had piqued my curiosity in the first place. Even though the mystery isn’t fully solved, I felt more at home, inspired and fulfilled by seeing this story addressed.