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jameson (ST)

Prometheus Discussion - SPOILERS!

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Sooo ... yeah ...

Firstly, I wanted a place to discuss freely without ruining something for somebody in chat. Thus this. If you haven't see the movie and want to remain spoiler free stay away ...

OK. Those of you still here. What did you think.

Obviously it was pretty much Alien free (by alien I mean the Alien). The Engineers/Space Jockeys as creators of mankind (or maybe just our distant progenitors) was pretty much implied by the trailers and other ads, but why do you think the pilot wanted to kill the earthlings?

For the most part I rather liked it, but I am still digesting the end, and how any of it ties into the Alien films directly (which is may not at all).

So, your thoughts?

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Well, there are a few clues that we can take away from the movie. The Engineer's body (the decapitated one) was carbon dated at 2000 years dead. That puts it right around 0 A.D., give or take a century. What was the world like at that time? What could be happening to make the Engineers decide we were done? Of course, there's also the idea that it had nothing to do with us. They might have wanted to see how we handled civilization up to that point and then the experiment was done, it was time to wipe the board and start over.

A bigger question to me is not why, but why didn't other Engineers pick up the experiment and wipe up out all that time ago? What changed in their culture to make us a low priority? Did they all die from their experiments getting loose? Did the giant face-hugger from hell effectively commit genocide by killing the last of them? What is Shaw going to find out there? Another ruined civilization? More ship-labs with some annoyed Engineers?

Also, what did people think the opening sequence was? I have thoughts but I'd like other input.

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I think the opening sequence could have been Earth, but it could also have been any of probably hundreds or thousands of worlds, I think the idea was to be ambiguous there and imply that the Engineers have done this more than once.

I think that the sculpture/mural in the back of the first chamber showed what the Engineers were trying to build - the perfect creature - the Alien that we know. The evidence does support this to some extent, the worms in the soil became proto-face huggers, and even Holloway became some kind of intermediate thing, likewise the geologist.

I suspect that Shaw was not entirely correct about the Engineer's goal in going to Earth - they were going to flood the biosphere with the black ooze (wait I better call it something else ...stupid x-files) with the evolutionary virus as a means to try and create the Xenomorph/Alien on a massive scale. Why? No clue, though the ship from Alien, the one on LV-426 had hundreds of eggs and Scott was been quoted to say he thought it was sort of a bio-weapons bomber ship, so perhaps the Engineers were at war with somebody, or something, else.

Lots of questions, few answers. I plan to see it again, but I doubt that will clarify anything.

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I loved Michael Fassbender's performance. The movie was beautiful and I enjoyed the first half of it. Those are the nice things that I can say about it.

Prometheus is to Alien what The Phantom Menace is to A New Hope. All it needed was to call the black ooze Midi-chlorians.

Why do you think the pilot wanted to kill the earthlings?

Since they were leaving 2000 years ago that really only leaves one commonly believed action for why they would want to wipe out humanity.

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Yeah ... space Jesus ... ugh ...

I really don't see how you can compare Prometheus to TPM (I can't even type it all out, it hurts me so). Prometheus really isn't an Alien movie, it's tangentially related in the same way that ST: TOS and ST: Voyage-ohmygodican'tbelivehowcrappyitwasforsevenyears-r are. Then again different strokes and all that. Personally I liked it. I liked the idea of the mutagen/retrovirus/black goo as both a tool and a weapon, or perhaps a tool to build weapons.

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I loved Michael Fassbender's performance. The movie was beautiful and I enjoyed the first half of it. Those are the nice things that I can say about it.

Prometheus is to Alien what The Phantom Menace is to A New Hope. All it needed was to call the black ooze Midi-chlorians.

Since they were leaving 2000 years ago that really only leaves one commonly believed action for why they would want to wipe out humanity.

Yes, Fassbender was awesome. I muttered, "Creepy Androids" more than once, particularly during his opening sequence.

I wouldn't call this The Phantom Menace. I felt that TPM was way, way, WAY worse than Prometheus. You might be talking scales here, but that seems a bit harsh. The black ooze was clearly the DNA to create the exomorphs that we so loved in Alien.

And while I jumped right to the birth of Christ, too, I don't think that the formation of a single mystery cult in the armpit of the Roman Empire would have caused that reaction. There were plenty of mystery cults forming and fading all the time in that era; Christianity was simply the one that took off and went somewhere. But it didn't really gain much political power until 300 A.D. with Constaninople, about 200 years after the Engineers would have wiped out humans.

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I know, like the muscles on those guys were obscene! That was my first thought, even more than the 'ahmigawd giant white dude'. They had eightpacks and their neck muscles had muscles.

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Yah, my name is Hans Engineer, an' dis is Frans Engineer, and ve are heah to MUTATE YOU UP! Yah, yah I know!

:huh:

Seriously though, I think what bothers me most about this film thus far is the complaining about the black goo being "inconistant". Which I don't think it was at all. We only saw 3 life forms (ok 4 IF you count the super albino bodybuilder Jeebus from the prologue, but I don't) that were affected by the goo. The first was Holloway. We only saw him undergo a partial transformation but it was clearly making him change, while still retaining a humanoid form. The second was the worms that were in the ground in the ooze room, and they turned into some kind of weird ass face hugger worms. The third was geologist guy and he turned into angry lumpy guy.

Now some people complain that Angry Lumpy Guy and Face Hugger Worm are incompatible from the same black ooze. I call bullshit on that. I do so because I am not an idiot and I know that the DNA of a worm and the DNA of a punk geologist guy are slightly different. If I add sugar to tea and sugar to coffee they don't both taste the same, no, they both retain characteristics of their original make up with the added sugar. Yes, its an overly simple metaphor, but gimme a break here - worm vs human.

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I also felt like I was back playing Skyrim with ghosts walking around giving me the backstory.

I think that Prometheus started off a hell of a lot better than TPM. By the middle of TPM I didn't give a shit what happened. By the middle of Prometheus I still cared, even though I can't count how many times I have seen lets pet the violent creature that will kill me in film. By the end Scott took my good will towards the movie and stomped on it.

At one point in the movie I thought it could be a fun b-movie with a commentary about the engineers creating war mongering beings. They created humans first and once they got to the point where they were violent enough they would introduce another monster into the mix. I was probably thinking about how the movie reminded me of Halloween 6 at the time.

There may end up being a sequel that makes this one more enjoyable, but movies should be able to stand on their own. It didn't really work as a monster movie for me, not action or drama. It had some ok body horror in it, but when David tells Shaw that her lover didn't contract the virus in the ship the only thing I could think of was Scream making fun of stupid women running up the stairs when they just need to go out the front door. That spoiled the horror that she went through.

Why should we care if the engineer and an alien are fighting? I was ok with the captain of the ship until the end, but I thought it was incredibly cheesy they way they prepared for the crash.

TPM wasn't a good movie, but it was flat throughout. Prometheus was up and down and by the end all I could see was how far it fell.

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Your review makes albino space Jeebus cry. ;)

10e59c85_Prometheus_1.jpeg

It definitely left the rails when the worm alien showed up and the biologist was all "aww its cute". The whole David-Shaw, you have a baby and it aint pretty thing -could- have worked if that silly auto-doc bed thing weren't in the film. It would have been far more interesting and dramatic for some of the crew members to have had to force Shaw down on a bed while somebody (Vickers would have been a good choice) had to cut the thing out of her. That could have had a far stronger impact IMO, not only dramatically, but also as a chance for some creature carnage.

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So I mentioned this in chat to Carver but I wanted to post here about it ...

Prometheus; or, The Modern Frankenstein

yeah, that's right, this isn't about space jeebus, it's a retelling of Frankenstein

The Engineers create life, and find that it does not live up to expectations - check

The Humans create life, and also find that it does not live up to expectations - check (C'mon, David was a dick)

The Engineers find themselves asked by their own creation why they created them - check

The Humans also find themselves asked by their own creation why they created them - check (literally in this case)

The Engineers change their minds and decide to exterminate their creation - check

Not so much for the humans ... UNLESS ... on considers the alien "child" that Shaw aborts - check (even if it didn't take)

Creators and Created come to blows and mutual animosity - check

Pretty much all of the major flaws in Mary Shelly's seminal work are represented within Scott's movie.

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I agree with Chosen for the most part...sure they are setting up mysteries for the proposed sequel(s) but a better director (Chris Nolan perhaps) would have been able to make it satisfying on its own.

That's a good word for how I felt as I left the theater...unsatisfied...

Alien presented us with a very tightly honed life cycle for the xenomorph and even back when I first saw it I pretty much guessed the ship was a bioweapon transport (though not a bio-bomber since the eggs are pretty squishy) as the bank of eggs were being kept in "stasis" of some kind.

Then Cameron added the queen to answer where the eggs came from and the AvP rts game introduced Praetorians and much more detail about the hive...essentially they are Tyranids or Zerg-like bengs but still... a tight narrative and life cycle.

Enter Prometheus...the Engineers use one form of goo (nanogoo?) to seed life.

Then they have another(?) nanogoo to make bioweapons...but inconsistently. Worms it makes into throat snakes...a Fifield it turns into a Voldo-crab-walking super-zom, and Holloway it just makes sick...infects him with eyeball-worms, and turns his semen into a giant squidhugger embryo that then implants a (very ugly and poorly designed) xeno-thing into an Engineer....riiiiiight.

The original Spaihts script was much more of a true Alien prequel that kept the story tight until Lidleoff was hired to come in and ruin it. The jump from giant squidhugger to small handshaped facehugger is too great IMO.

Also...the ambiguity of the story, while ostensibly is supposed to be intriguing, to me came off as piss poor storytelling. It's like Lost all over again...I'm hoping that the filmmakers actually have a solid thesis that will tie everything together tightly in the next film(s), but as of now it feels like they are just making stuff up as they go along.

Other gripes...most of the crew was poorly developed and felt cliced in an AVP/RE way...compare with how real the crew of the Nostromo felt...perhaps its just a sign of the times and movies these days are flash over substance. The characterizations in the movie, with the exceptions of David and Shaw just felt flat, and Shaw's dramatic fliflopping of course seemed too forced...the Vickers character and even Weyland could have been left off the ship and largely out of the movie IMO.

Perhaps the 20ish minutes of cut footage promised for the BluRay will deliver the movie I'd been hoping for.

And can someone tell me why is it that the geologist and biologist don't do anything remotely related to their profession? Seriously...how stupid do you have to be to coo at a rearing cobra-thing? That and so many other aspects of the film just make me feel that the script/plot was hackneyed together...

#highexpectationsleadtodisappointment

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So I mentioned this in chat to Carver but I wanted to post here about it ...

Prometheus; or, The Modern Frankenstein

yeah, that's right, this isn't about space jeebus, it's a retelling of Frankenstein

The Engineers create life, and find that it does not live up to expectations - check

The Humans create life, and also find that it does not live up to expectations - check (C'mon, David was a dick)

The Engineers find themselves asked by their own creation why they created them - check

The Humans also find themselves asked by their own creation why they created them - check (literally in this case)

The Engineers change their minds and decide to exterminate their creation - check

Not so much for the humans ... UNLESS ... on considers the alien "child" that Shaw aborts - check (even if it didn't take)

Creators and Created come to blows and mutual animosity - check

Pretty much all of the major flaws in Mary Shelly's seminal work are represented within Scott's movie.

I have thought more about this and I like the anology that this is Frankenstein. However, I don't think it's an intentional retelling as much as an exploration of the question that humans have long asked: why were we created? Too many of our myths don't answer this directly, or they imply that it was a whim of the gods rather than a meaningful creation. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic faiths indicate God was lonely, and given that the Engineers visited humanity 25,000 years ago (or however long ago the first dig we saw in the movie was), well before they decided to off us, perhaps that was their reason as well. Maybe they liked making things, and another faction eventually took control and decided to off us.

Asa, while your link was cute, it did mess up the timeline. The Engineers were visiting us well before they decided to off us, and at that time, at least, they were communicating with us. They were teaching us, at a minimum, where they were living. So they did come back and talk to us for a time (could this be where the stories of the angels and nephalim came from) before they decided to destroy us.

I think people are making rush judgements about the movie without really thinking about it or its deeper meanings.

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An interesting mythological perspective I found on the internets:

Donovan Glass 4 days ago

To give some historical/mythological background that may shed some light, Ridley stated the SJ culture was based on Persian Myths. This would be Sumerian/Akkadian/Hindu. Ill just use Sumerian since its the oldest. This is all taken from the Atra Hasis.

Creators - "G"ods- Annunaki - Dragon Humanoids (Naga, Dragon Kings,)

Helpers - "g"ods - Igigi - Engineers. (Android like living beings....BIOmechanical humanoid. Key features- Pale skin and large black eyes. Also known as watchers, Grigori, and Archons) (in many summerian texts they are actually referred to as "Pilots". Pretty much the Annunaki Air Force.)

When the Annunaki began terraforming the earth, they had the Igigi do the work for them. After a few thousand years the Igigi revolted and went on strike. The Annunaki then decided to create humans to do the work for them.

They sacrificed one of the rebel Igigi named Geshtu to use his blood and dna to make human beings, by mixing it with elements native to the earth.

Even though the humans were created and did the work, 1/3 of the Igigi still werent satisfied and sought revenge for Geshtu, so they rebelled again against the Annunaki Lords and began breeding/mixing with the human females creating Nephelim. This is what sparked the Prime Lord Enlil to flood the earth. Some humans were saved by Enki, the Lord responsible for the sacrifice of Geshtu and the creation of humans. Enlil and the rest of the annunaki decide to return home and let the humans develop on their own. Enki and his family stay behind. The Igigi are forced to leave earth as well. The remaining rebel Igigi are imprisoned on a planet on the way back to the homeworld and it is said as punishment and as a mark they are altered into a demonic appearance, no longer retaining the Angelic appearance.

Enki and his crew are probably the ones leaving the maps for humans to find, along with the ones helping humans advance throughout time.

The sacrfice engineer is Geshtu

The lone engineer is most likely Marduk or a servant/worshipper of Marduk.

The xeno is Mushussu, a creature Marduk fashioned and used as his pet.

The "Engineers" we see are trying to destroy Earth are of the Igigi rebels who view earth as their own. They have always despised humans because the Annunaki saw us as more in their likeness than them. ITs possible that the Igigi have long since destroyed or taken over the annunaki and the homeworld, and Earth was like going to claim the prize or spoils.

They mustve used to the Xeno's to win this war and through its perfection it has began to destroy and infect the Igigi who manufacture and transport it, creating more Mushussu.

the xeno in Alien is most likely an older pilot igigi birthed Mushussu egg crossed with human or a future Annunaki birthed one which would explain the size difference in hosts.

It is mentioned in several lesser stories that Marduk created the Mushussu out of using the essence of the Gods' (Annunaki) he killed as a symbol of his conquering and being able to control them... ie the mural.

If you want to get more into conspiracy nut territory google "Prometheus Annunaki" but I like that this version sticks to historical mythology...

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One of the themes of "Alien" was that a truly alien lifeform's motives would be unknowable or anathema to ourselves, so the ambiguity of what the Engineers want or are up to didn't bother me. I don't mind having to work to interpret something. The Engineers could change their minds for any number of reasons - thousands of years is a LONG time to hold one opinion. For comparison's sake, the change in relations between NATO and the Soviet Union is less than thirty years old. Or, like NATO and the Soviet Union, maybe they aren't a monoculture, but a shifting brew of factions that remain opaque to us.

I think piling that ambiguity on top of the ambiguity with David was maybe a little much, though. (Though the second I realized he was talking to Weyland, my focus immediately shifted from 'what does David want' to 'well, clearly he wants to please Weyland, so what does Weyland want?' which is a far clearer picture.)

Overall, I thought it was a very good movie - it wasn't Alien, but I wasn't going in treating it as a prequel to Alien, and the limpest parts of the movie were when the comparisons to Alien became explicit rather than implicit. Similarity of theme - ambiguity of alien motivation, for example, or body horror tied in with sex - is fine, but when I see a ten-foot-tall dude in Gigeresque armor in a cockpit I am suddenly reminded of another movie, and I'm not thinking of the immediate peril of the ship reaching Earth. Likewise, I see a flamethrower and I think "wait, would it really function that way in a heavily CO2 based atmosphere? Why is - oh right, there were flamethrowers in Aliens, I get it."

There are plot niggles, such as Chekhov's Medical Capsule that is in a woman's escape pod yet is calibrated for a man, and the notion of a "luxury escape pod," which is lunacy on a space ship where every pound of weight would have to be accounted for. (The movie is pretty clearly trying to be hard-science when it comes to spaceship technology, so I feel this is a legitimate criticism.) Things others thought were plot niggles, such as not turning ninety degrees to either direction when trying to outrun a giant rolling space donut, didn't bother me - I think there is ample evidence in life that people don't always do the smartest possible thing when they're in fight-or-flight mode. I also thought that setting up a trilogy the way it did was perhaps a little too on the nose.

But overall, I'm glad I saw it. And it may be a product of my personal obsessions, but did anyone else notice that the aesthetics of the Prometheusverse looked a LOT like Mass Effect?

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I also thought that setting up a trilogy the way it did was perhaps a little too on the nose.

God yes. That was so transparent and bothersome. Better to have ended the movie with Shaw's and David's ultimate fate uncertain, apparently stranded on the planet, alone with no way to survive.

I also took issue with the semi-xenomorph reveal at the end, it just felt forced to me.

There are plot niggles, such as Chekhov's Medical Capsule that is in a woman's escape pod yet is calibrated for a man,

I thought that this was pretty clearly intended as something included for Wayland's benefit, a bit of foreshadowing to the reveal that he was alive and on board the Prometheus.

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