Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Life and death, science and destruction: key elements in Ridley Scott's epic return to the ALIEN universe in PROMETHEUS. Images: FOX.

"We were so wrong...."

Dr. Elizabeth Shaw's shocked and frightened words have never been more chillingly prescient than in the trailer for PROMETHEUS, which soon launched us, or should that be lunged us, into Ridley Scott's hugely enjoyable return to the dark and dramatic sci-fi universes of wonder and terror he first created in the original, and still stomach-churning (and stomach busting!) ALIEN back in 1979 (based on characters and a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett), following hot on the heels of STAR WARS success two years earlier.

Humanity comes looking for its creators. Bad idea...

Attempting to take the ALIEN franchise in a whole new and equally ambitious direction of storytelling, Scott's 2012 unveiled PROMETHEUS, almost like the film-makers own version of STAR TREK in some respects, what with its grandiose concepts of alien Gods, Humanity and our place in the universe, but mixed together with lots more atmosphere, dread and violence, is an intriguing Prequel to the world acclaimed Xenomorph saga, which sees the aforementioned scientist Shaw (in a nicely judged and played performance from Noomi Rapace that manages to be heroic yet different from Sigourney Weaver's previous, iconic Ripley) and her partner Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) embarking on a top secret scientific quest alongside the Weyland Yutani corporation ("Building Better Worlds" being their key motto!), in the search for a mythical race of other worldly "engineers" located in a far-off system, who may have the key to the development, and preservation, of life on Earth from its influence on the planet millennia ago. But once arrived on the storm shrouded, atmosphere hostile world of LV-223, the crew of the Prometheus discovers a scenario totally at odds with their original thesis, at first both beguiling and incredible, which soon turns everything mankind ever knew about its genesis on it head and sends our heroes into a fight for their lives of which they are totally unprepared, alongside a bigger and far more ominous threat to humanity's very existence, as the very nature of existence is sent head over heels with a shocking discovery, and a powerful biological weapon which has been inadvertently unleashed that, even in its early stages, has the potential to break boundaries and annihilate worlds...

Terror awaits Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace)

A critical and audience success, PROMETHEUS got this years worldwide summer box office clash of the titans to a strong and satisfyingly adult start, away from the equally enjoyable, more family fare and superheroism of THE AVENGERS. Scott indeed brings freshness to a tired saga, gives us several moments of genuine, and much talked about horror, then teasingly introduces and develops concepts from the 1979 ALIEN film that we've always wanted to know more about and which hadn't and should have been explored previously. There's harkening back to that classic film in other clever ways, of which this prequel has a lot more of the originals DNA than Ridley Scott at first said it had (He's such a good liar!). Only at the end, he says? My foot! This is very much an ALIEN film, right down to the amazing nightmare visuals based on Swiss artistic genius H.R. Giger, the crowd pleasing entrance of one of the iconic "Space Jockeys" and a very satisfying and promising last scene that bodes well for the future (and potential sequels). Intriguingly, PROMETHEUS is also a flip side to ALIEN. Wheras the original was mostly in darkness, the white lights and technology of the starship Prometheus shine brightly in a clinical but still scary way in contrast to the earlier working ship turned slaughterhouse horrors of the Nostromo. And whilst the original had very little incidental music from Jerry Goldsmith, this plays on the grand scale of the alien "engineers" and their galaxy traversing technology, with some fine work from Marc Streitenfeld.

Will curiosity kill the android? David (Michael Fassbender) discovers more about the alien species.

Main stars Rapace and Michael Fassbender (as the android creation of "The Company", David-a more malevolent version of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION's kindly Mister Data), are excellent throughout, and there's some other noteworthy performances from Guy Pearce, Idris Elba and Logan Marshall-Green. Other female lead Charlize Theron doesn't really have enough to do but looks lovely and adds some welcome bitchiness as the expedition boss and glacier personality ultimately afraid to take any risks-probably the most sensible person on the ship, actually!- Meredith Vickers.

Behind the mask: the iconic figures behind the original ALIEN-the Space Jockey- are revealed...

There's a few little bits of painfully obvious exposition here and there from screenwriters Jon Spaihts and LOST's Damon Lindelof that noticeably flop and definitely feel a bit clunky: such quirks should have been fixed somewhere down the production line, alongside one sequence of important revelations towards the end of the film that I also felt should have been re-interpreted and made bigger in scope, rather than left as an intimate conversation between a couple of characters: a scenario that was definitely the fault of Ridley Scott in this instance, and whom should have spotted it. In the end, however, the sheer talent on display and the exciting ending win out to make PROMETHEUS a notable and quality entry in modern sci-fi and movie making.

Never before seen deleted scenes, including more of the engineers, can be found on the DVD and Blu-ray release.

With no new STAR WARS live-action feature movies in the pipeline from George Lucas, and James Cameron's also anticipated AVATAR sequels a long way off, there's a dearth of truly exciting movie sci-fi out there, so I think we should all get behind Ridley Scott and 20th CENTURY FOX's bold re-imaginings for ALIEN and enjoy/support PROMETHEUS. There's a lot of potential to come with the now green-lighted second movie of his planned trilogy, intriguingly titled PARADISE (hopefully arriving by at least 2014), and if the next one can keep to the mostly high standards of this, or even go one step better, then we could all be very happy bunnies indeed!

Available on DVD, Blu-ray and 3D COLLECTORS EDITION Blu-ray combo packs from October 8th (with never before seen deleted scenes, and the latter release version having the most special features, including a special making of documentary), prepare to experience the awe and contemplate the unanswered questions raised by PROMETHEUS all over again...

One of the key international posters for the movie.

"Big things have small beginnings..."

Details of all the PROMETHEUS releases:

Details of PROMETHEUS releases:

Prometheus Blu-ray 3D Collector’s Edition

Disc 1
       3D Theatrical Cut of Film

Disc 2
       Commentary by Director/Producer Ridley Scott
       Commentary by Writer Jon Spaihts and Writer/Executive Producer Damon Lindelof
       The Peter Weyland Files          
       Deleted and Alternate Scenes that include an Alternate Opening / Ending
       Prometheus: Weyland Corp Archive Second Screen App    
       The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus
       Enhancement Pods
       Weyland Corp Archives which includes Pre-Visualizations, Screen Tests and more

Disc 3
       Digital Copy
Prometheus Blu-ray
       Theatrical Cut
       Commentary by Director/Producer Ridley Scott
       Commentary by Writer Jon Spaihts and Writer/Executive Producer Damon Lindelof
       The Peter Weyland Files          
       Deleted and Alternate Scenes that include an Alternate Opening / Ending
       Prometheus: Weyland Corp Archive Second Screen App    
       Digital Copy

Prometheus DVD
       Deleted scenes

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