Review: Prometheus (2012)

June 15, 2012

Prometheus (2012)
124 minutes
Rated – R
Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron

Grade: B

Ridley Scott returns to the sci-fi genre with this epic, out-of-this-world tale of human explorers traveling to an alien world to find answers. The year is 2093, but flamethrowers and iPods are still useful enough to carry along on the journey. There is a lot going on in Prometheus, which is a burden and a blessing simultaneously. Sometimes, Prometheus is too big for its own good and there are plot points that just don’t work. On the other hand, the ideas the film explores are so big that it remains on your mind long after the credits roll.

The leaders of this mission are Elizabeth Shaw (Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Marshall-Green). The two have been researching cave paintings and have come to the conclusion that humanity’s creators, or as they like to call them “Engineers,” are inviting them to make contact on a distant moon. The assembled team, which includes an android named David, land on the moon and explore a large structure. The scientists soon discover that the aliens aren’t in the mood to sit down and have a conversation.

There are a lot of things that stood out to me in the form of excellence, the most glaring one being how Scott mastered the use of 3-D technology to present us an entire world in the way Avatar did in 2009. It avoided the common mistake of a dark 3-D film because even with the glasses on, Prometheus was bright and crisp to the very end.

The film wasn’t perfect though and the biggest problem was its screenplay. For a film with such high concepts circling every frame, the characters sure were one-dimensional. The acting was as good as it could be with a strong cast, but the screenplay barely provided them with material to show off their chops. Fassbender plays an alien that doesn’t feel emotion, so don’t expect anything spectacular from him. Theron remains cold and fierce, not budging from the single note whether she’s being hit on or sprinting from an aggressive alien.

The star of the film was Noomi Rapace, who made her presence known in the Swedish adaptations of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. Here, she has the most depth of every character, which isn’t saying much. But she runs with the film and exploits the strong, female heroine in the face of danger. I’m sure we’ve only seen the beginning of a very promising career.

Even though Prometheus has its shortcomings, it’s a very thrilling film that presents plenty of questions about the origin of human beings and life in outer space. In typical horror fashion, there are a lot of deaths and gore in the film, but none that we really care about since there is hardly a moment we learn anything about the characters. Despite this, Prometheus is beautifully shot and should keep the fans of sci-fi and horror at the edge of their seat, screaming for more. That’s good because you can expect at least one sequel following in the near future.

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‘Monopoly’ Movie

November 12, 2008

 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the classic boardgame ‘Monopoly’ will be adapted into a movie.  But that’s not all.  Pamela Pettler (Corpse Bride) is set to write the screenplay and guess who’s going to direct it… (drum roll)… Ridley Scott!  Huh?  What?  The guy who did Gladiator and American Gangster?  Yeah I know, I’m dumbfounded by the choice as well… and the fact that they’re going to make a movie from a real estate board game of luck (though Ouija Board and Battleship are also in development).  Hey, if it’s anything like ‘Clue’ then I’m totally on board!


Box Office Predictions (October 10-12)

October 10, 2008

 

     

 

The week after the Chihuahuas ran the box office comes a plethora of movies with potential to take the top spot.  Whether or not the dogs drop from box office champs will determine on these following films released today.

First, let’s start with Body of Lies.  Opening in over 2,700 theaters with power houses Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio running the show, this film has great promise to take the box office crown this weekend.  What are the drawbacks?  Well, if you don’t know, Body of Lies is one of those political war/action films about anti-terrorism.  Did I just turn you off from the movie?  Yeah.  Promoters did their best to hide the actual plot by showing you explosions, tanks, helicopters, and Crowe and DiCaprio being really intense.  Heck, it almost worked for me… and I think it’ll work enough to take down those dogs.

Opening in over 2,800 theaters is the football drama, The Express about the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy.  MAYBE… just MAYBE this film can topple the weekend box office… just not very likely.  What’s working for The Express is how sports films tend to do well, especially a football film during football season.  And the PG rating will definitely help draw a larger crowd.  But what’s missing is that big ticket drawer in the movie.  The biggest star is Dennis Quaid.  That’s not good enough!

It wouldn’t be October without horror films.  Opening this weekend close to 2,500 theaters is Quarantine featuring… well no one.  It’s not like horror films need a big name.  Just a bunch of good looking actors who one by one will die.  I don’t see how this film will be any different.  It has an R rating, which will be the biggest obstacle for this to make some serious dough.  The advertising has been strong.  I can’t remember the last prime time show I watched without a Quarantine commercial.  Will it be enough?  It won’t come in as #1, but a definite Top 5. 

The last big release of the weekend is City of Ember, opening in over 2,000 theaters and featuring Bill Murray and Tim Robbins.  You might be thinking, “Why haven’t I heard of this film?”  Hey, I’m in the same boat as you.  With a PG rating, it’s a family/fantasy adventure.  Those usually do very well, but I must state again that this movie is completely going under the radar.  If people actually knew about this film, it could easily beat out those damn Chihuahuas.  But it’ll probably settle for a disappointing gross.

Let’s check out our predictions…

 

Phil’s Predictions:

1. Body of Lies – $30 million
2. The Express – $21 million
3. Beverly Hills Chihuahua – $15 million
4. Quarantine – $10 million
5. Eagle Eye – $9 million

 

Dan’s Predictions:

1. Body of Lies – $17 million
2. Beverly Hills Chihuahua – $15 million
3. The Express – $12 million
4. Quarantine – $11 million
5. Eagle Eye – $10 million

 

My Predictions:

1.  Body of Lies – $21 million
2.  Bevery Hills Chihuahua – $19 million
3.  The Express – $15 million
4.  Quarantine – $10 million
5.  Eagle Eye – $9 million

 

Our predictions are quite similar as you can see.  Body of Lies is the unanimous choice to win the box office, and we all have the same five films we predict will land in the Top 5.  Will there be any surprises?  Not according to us, but the only film that might have a splash that’s not listed is City of Ember… but don’t count on it.

Let’s see how our predictions hold up.  Check back on Monday for the box office results.


Why I’m not pumped for Body of Lies

October 9, 2008

 

Body of Lies comes out tomorrow starring heavy weights Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.  Directed by Ridley Scott (American Gangster, Kingdom of Heaven, Gladiator) this movie doesn’t need an introduction to how star-powered this high production really is.  BUT, why doesn’t it seem like the big blockbuster like it should be?

Okay, I’ve seen commercials.  I’ve seen the trailers.  They’re pretty awesome.  I’ve seen Russell Crowe promoting the film on late night talk shows.  But… I just don’t feel like this is going to be as big a hit as it should be.  Of course, it has as much potential as any other film this year.  I mean… it’s Leo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe!  They should totally kick-ass in this anti-terrorism action movie!

Wait… maybe that’s the problem.  It seems as though Americans are fed up with all of these political movies.  There was an onslaught of political film last year that just bombed (Rendition, In the Valley of Elah, The Kingdom).  No one wants to watch a movie about the war overseas anymore.

Okay, what else could be ruining Body of Lies’ chances of being a smash hit?  Well, I hate to say it, but Ridley Scott is slipping.  After his incredible back-to-back masterpieces with Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, he’s made good but not great films.  Kingdom of Heaven was just continuing the epic-movie craze, A Good Year was a departure from his comfort zone, and then there was last year’s American Gangster, which actually was a smash hit ($43.6 opening weekend).  So why am I not completely pumped for this movie like I was for American Gangster?!

Is it because of Denzel?  Is he really the deciding factor through all of this?  He is definitely one of the most (if not THE most) bankable actors today.  So replacing Denzel with Leo doesn’t cut it.

All right.  Why the rant?  Well, just because I would not be surprised if Body of Lies doesn’t break $20 this weekend… and with such a stellar cast and a proven director, that’s pathetic.  Will I be seeing it?  Probably not.  It’s already getting mixed reviews from the critics (currently a 52% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes)

Oh well.  Even though American Gangster was successful in the box office, it failed terribly in the Oscars where it only tallied two nominees.  Look for the same result with Body of Lies, just with a significantly lower box office.


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