Thursday, June 7, 2012

Predicting the (Cinematic) Future

Preemptive Review

I’ve decided that I’m going to attempt a new gimmick at reviewing things, Preemptive Reviews! It’s going to work like this: operating with no knowledge of a film other than the teasers and trailers available before release, I will review a movie. Then, after seeing the film, I’ll see how spot on I was. This is going to be fun. For me. I’m sure that my tens of readers will enjoy it as well. Mainly because those 12 people consist of people that are legally required to say they enjoy my writing (Hi mom!).

First up is Prometheus, the long awaited, much anticipated kinda/sorta prequel to Ridley Scott’s classic psychological thriller, Alien. I have been wanting to see this movie for years, ever since rumors of the early script development started popping up on blogs and websites several years ago. My very very first thought when I saw the trailer was, “Oh crap, they’re not doing that silly Humans-As-Slaves-To-An-Extra-Terrestrial-Race subplot from AVP are they?” Watching the rest of the trailer I’m pretty sure the answer is no. Not really. But kind of.

I’m pretty sure that the helmets they’re using to walk around on the planet (I’m making an assumption that it is LV-426 from Alien and Aliens) were lifted straight from the set of every sci-fi film before it, but I don’t mean that in a negative way. Excited to see that the Space Jockey is there, but it looks a bit different so I’m left to assume this is just a simple change because the original model is lost/destroyed or they went CGI and couldn’t get the model to look exactly the same. Or maybe it’s not the same Space Jockey at all, which would raise some interesting questions.

*POTENTIAL SPOILER AHEAD* HIGHLIGHT TO READ I’ve seen one of the viral videos that accompanied the trailer so I know that Michael Fassbender and his huge cock are an android, which should result in some fascinating scenes. He’s a fantastic actor and I can’t wait to see him pull off the android bit. In the other alien films the androids have been out and out bad guys, fairly helpful, or kinda silly (I’m looking at you Winona Ryder…) so I’m excited to see what Fassbender will bring to what is always a pivotal role in the Alien franchise. I predict another amazing performance.

Noomi Rapace appears to be the female lead, and I’m guessing she’s going to be a Ripley knock-off. This could be a good or a bad thing. She’s a good actress and I liked her in the one other thing I’ve seen her in: Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows (sorry, haven’t taken the time to watch the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo yet). I don’t know how far in the past this movie is in relation to Alien but I hope against hope that no allusions are made that Rapace’s character is in some way the forebear of Ellen Ripley. That would be too cheap. Ridley Scott is a great filmmaker though, so I’m sure he’d avoid something so easy.

The last big name I saw was Charlize Theron, but she’s not featured very prominently. Company representative? I’m making an assumption that the Weyland-Yutani Corporation is involved (how could it not be?) and she seems like the good fit. Plus it gives a strong actress to be the bad guy and cause friction with Rapace.

Now, as far as my reaction to the film proper, I’m predicting lots of oohs and ahhs at the set pieces, but I’ll probably be disappointed in how they tie some things together (the Space Jockey alone is a major point of contention in sci-fi and I’m sure I’ll feel disgruntled at the explanation after 30+ years of speculation). Star Trek set the bar pretty high in how they showed “future” technology dreamed of in the 60s reimagined for modern audiences, and I hope but doubt that Prometheus will pull it off as well. Since I will most likely have my wife in attendance, I am 99.9% confident that the first time a face hugger grabs hold of someone she will shriek like a startled banshee and probably pee herself the first time a chest burst is shown on screen. They have to show those things, right? You can’t have an Alien film without it! Knowing Ridley Scott, I’ll probably get really attached to a character and then they’ll get killed off in some dramatic fashion, probably not by a xenomorph, though we’ll be lead to think that. Bastard.

On a five star rating system, I’ll probably give this one a 4½. Great sets, huge action, the music featured in the trailer will be used to great effect, and  a fantastic cast will make this one of my top films of the year, even if I am disappointed in some of the answers they provide. Ridley Scott is back as a pitch perfect genre director; I foresee another movie or two in the Alien-verse and there are rumblings of a Blade Runner reboot, or sequel coming. I’m stoked.

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