A Gentlemen’s Duel – Prometheus

If you missed the first duel, it’s here.

Nathan: Welcome to another Gentlemen’s Duel between yours truely, Nathan, and my esteemed colleague, Justin. Today’s Duel will be over the film Prometheus. I would like to take the time to warn you all that there may be some intentional and non-intentional spoilers during this Duel. Justin, shall we start off with your thoughts?

Justin: I’ll start with a positive, Prometheus was a beautiful movie. It was an absolute treat visually, specifically the opening. The movie was very ambitious which is both a positive and probably its biggest negative. The plot intrigued me at the beginning but when it started to get a bit too ‘silly’ for my likings, I was just anticipating the movie to be over.

Nathan: That’s interesting, we talked about our opinions earlier in 140 characters or less, and we discovered that we have quite different opinions on this moive. Let it be known that I have not, as of yet, seen an Alien movie, which it doesn’t seem like I needed to do. Prometheus was one of the most visually stimulating movies I have ever seen, Mr Scott used a lot of massive set peices for this movie as oppsoed to using a lot of CG. The plot for me was very intriging to me, I didn’t see it as silly because it is a science fiction moive, so that didn’t bother me at all. It was an interesting concept in my opinion.

Justin: It’s a science fiction movie, yes, but it’s not the science part that made me start thinking it was silly. It was the fiction part. It was the way the characters reacted to the plot around them that really got me disinterested. I was LOVING the movie in the beginning, when we saw that the reason they were heading out to the planet or moon, whatever it was, was because of the cave paintings I was hooked. The mystery of it dragged me in and destroyed me. It was when the mystery started unraveling that I saw how loose the story actually was.

Nathan: I was hooked to what was happening the whole time. The unraveling of the mystery to me was, not neccessary the strongest part; but it was interesting to me. I liked learning what The Engineer’s were doing on that planet and watching the characters try and figure out why they weren’t there any more. Now that you bring it up, no the reactions weren’t the most realistic, but that didn’t bring me down too much.

Justin: To me what was the DUMBEST thing was that every time something big happened nobody would mention it again. Oh, that dude we thought was dead came back to the ship and started killing everybody and we had to light him on fire? Welp, he’s dead, let’s not talk about it ever again, ever. Ever. And that would happen for EVERY conflict in the movie.

Nathan: Yeah, that too me was an issue, but it seemed over clouded by all the other crap hitting the fan moments where going on. Yes they probably should have gone back and thought “What the hell is going on?” but they did not, and that was a weak point. Now, let’s talk about David.

Justin:  Michael Fassbender is a king of the acting world, and I loved every minute of him. I am slightly biased because I love Fassbender, but he has never let me down.

Nathan: I am on that boat with you 100%, Fassbender’s performance as the android was absolutly incredible I think. If you haven’t seen these already you should really check them out: Before Prometheus came out Ridley Scott put out two video’s online, one being a much younger Peter Weyland, played by the always great Guy Pearce, at a Tech converence almost 50 years before the movie starts. The Second is, what I assume to be the equivilant of a TV add for the David android.

CLIP 1     CLIP 2

Justin: I’ll go one further and say you should all check out Steve McQueen’s films Hunger and Shame. Those are destructive films and Fassbender is phenomenal in both of them.

Nathan: Definitely, two great movies, I just suggested those clips as they give some nice background to the strogest, most interesting character in the movie. What did you think of the end of the film?

Justin: By the end of the film I was so done with it that I wasn’t really too thrilled by it. It was a by-the-numbers ending to me so I wasn’t really too psyched by it. The neat little bit, you know the one, referencing Alien was cool, but it seemed like such a convoluted way of making the connection that I wasn’t really that impressed.

Nathan: I don’t agree at all with the convoluted thing at all. As soon as Elizabeth removed the thing from her stomach I knew where that was going so I was pleased with that. It didn’t bother me at all that the ending wasn’t Alien prequel heavy because Mr Scott and the production team said many MANY times that Prometheus wasn’t suposed to be a direct prequel. Same world, but it is it’s own story, a story that left it open for what could be a very interesting sequel in my opnion.

Justin: There was just nothing that really made me go ‘wow, that was great’ when I was watching it. I really wanted to be floored by something story-telling wise, but every device in the movie was just so obvious and, almost, Deus ex Machina. I too am glad it wasn’t too heavy handed and trying to be an Alien prequel, I actually enjoyed the idea that it was a story taking place in the same universe as another film universe. That is something that should happen more often I think, because over time it’ll make that film’s universe seem much more complete and whole.

Nathan: That would be an interesting thing for movie franchises to do, I think that there are quite a few that could benifit from that, but at the same time it’s a dangerous thing to do because Hollywood will just beat that to death as well. The music in this film was almost as beautiful as the visuals, it brought out the best of the movie and set moods really effectivly, but at the same time it didn’t beat you over the head and say “You need to feel like this or else you have no soul” like some movie scores can do.

Justin: I imagine I’m going to get crucified for this, but I don’t even REMEMBER the score of the movie.

Nathan: Well I won’t kill you this time as we didn’t get the chance to review this as early as we wanted to originally, so I’ll blame the time gap on that. I thought that the main theme of the movie was really haunting I think, very mysterious. I like how they constantly revisited the main theme, Life, and added bits and changed it throughout the movie, that is one of my favourite things for soundtracks to do.

Justin: I guess in the end I was disappointed because I really wanted to go into this movie and love it. I didn’t even have high expectations, my friends were much more gungho about it than I was. There was lots of good at the beginning and then it just got worse and worse as the movie pushed on. I’d never turn it off it was on TV, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it like many other movies.

Nathan: For me this is a movie I will definetly go out and see again, probably with my mother, and will most definitely buy on Blu-Ray, first thing’s first though, I need to watch the Alien films. Any last thoughts before we get to our pros and cons and give our final scores?

Justin: Not at this point, anything I’d say I’d sum up in my pros and cons.

Nathan: Alrighty then, hit us with your list of likes and dislikes good sir.

Justin: Pros: The movie looks absolutely beautiful and the entire world of it is incredibly believeable. The acting is great from everyone, with Fassbender blowing me away the most out of everyone.

Cons: The tedium of the second half of the movie was just too much on me. The characters were beyond stupid. I mean, how could I reasonably believe that the geologist who mapped out the area was the one who got lost in it? Not to mention the communication with the ship that had the map and their location in a giant hologram.

I would never say that this movie is bad, but it just bit off more than it could chew. It isn’t a science fiction movie that made me believe in science fiction. I’ve read tons of theories and explanations online for all of the things I missed, but none of them made me enjoy the movie anymore. I’d recommend it to people who I know would enjoy it, I’d tell many others to just catch it on cheap nights or when it goes on sale on Bluray

2.5/5

Nathan: Y’ouch! Not enjoyed by you all that much sir.

Justin: I’d say not enjoyed and not hated. Just wonderfully average.

Nathan: That is a very fair way to look at it.

Pros: The scenery blew my mind, as soon as the first shot of the hilly area at the top of the movie was shown my eyes were latched to the screen and would not leave, this movie was GORGEOUS. The acting was great, even if at later parts the characters weren’t being realistic, the actors STILL sold it. Michael Fassbender’s performance as a under apreciated cyborg who everyone pushes off to the sidelines was one of the best performances I’ve seen in quite some time. Again, the music to me was perfect and did everything it needed to do in the movie and did it well.

Cons: As I already said, the characters get very unrealistic near the mid way point and most of the end, some of the things they did, or more accurately didn’t do, just wouldn’t be done in any scenario.The end of the movie left WAY more questions then answers and hit you over the head with the obvious fact that there will be a sequel, if you care it will probably be called Paradise, google it, I’m serious. One thing I didn’t mention earlier is that I did not, at all, enjoy the character of Fifield, the acting was fun, his character just didn’t sit well with me, if he was so skeptical, why come on the damn mission? The pay may be great but if you’re going to act like that bugger off.

3.5/5

Justin: Before we give out the total score I also want to say I saw the 3D version and that I thought it was great. The first 3D movie that made me feel like I wasn’t watching a 3D movie, which is the biggest compliment I can give a 3D movie. It can stop being a gimmick when we stop having to add something onto our bodies to experience it.

Nathan: That is something I wanted to mention as well, but of course forgot until you mentioned it. I saw it in an AVX theatre and it was an incredible experience. Other then Hugo this is the only movie that I think is actually worth the extra money for 3D, and as I’ve said in other reviews, I can’t stand 3D.

Justin: Hugo is definitely another one.

Nathan: I’m glad you agree on that with me. In other words, go see Hugo, it isn’t in theatres any more but it is a great movie that you should all go watch. ANYWAY, with that our final score for Prometheus is 6/10 if my math is correct.

Justin: Sounds right to me. Now let’s just wait for Prometheuses, directed by James Cameron.

Nathan: That’s one way to keep the Alien continuity!

Prometheus: 6/10
(Justin 2.5 | Nathan 3.5)

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