Say goodbye »« “Not for all tastes”

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  1. says

    Oh jebus. Is Damon Fucking Lindelof involved? Oh, no, it’s some guy named Jack Paglen. I don’t suppose he could do any worse than Lindelof.

  2. unbound says

    Well, I could tolerate the bad science if there were things like a story and plot involved (completely missing from the first Prometheus). Not very encouraging since this would be the writer’s 2nd movie…and the 1st one won’t be out until next year.

  3. jacobfromlost says

    Ebert gave it four stars. It’s 74% fresh. 72% of the audience liked it. It made money. 400 million worldwide.

    Failure? *shrug*

    Keep drinkin’ the haterade. It’s making a lot of talented people rich.

  4. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    @3: Yes, and as we all know so well, you can gauge how good something is by the amount of money it has made.

  5. says

    Apparently it only made 126 million in the US, versus 276 million in foreign markets. Does that mean it was a better film translated into a foreign language?

  6. marcoli says

    I actually went to a theater to watch that horror of a movie. Remember sitting there at the closing credits with my jaw open, wondering ‘What…..? What just happened?’
    Please get Will Smith to star in this movie.

  7. Denverly says

    Am I the only one who has a weakness for creature features and monster movies? Lake Placid, Piranha, Anacondas, Godzilla, Predators, Leviathan, Day of the Triffids, Them, King Kong, Mimic, Gargoyles, Kingdom of the Spiders, Swamp Thing, Deep Rising, The Thing, etc. I love them all. :-)

  8. timanthony says

    PZ, FGS just direct the next one. You can’t do anything to help from the outside. I can’t even believe you allow your good name to become connected with sci-fi movies in the first place, there are almost NO good ones that would justify it. The last sci-fi movie that was good because of the sci, not the fi, was 2001: A Space Odyssey (that I can think of right now). The last one that was not completely awful was 2010: (Whatever). Even the ones made from good books are hopeless – thinking of everything with Well.I.Am.Smith in it.

    If someone ever offers to make a movie of the Foundation Series, I will personally kill him or her before they’ve completed the first story board. A good movie of that series could not BE made.

    I have a strong sense that criticizing SF to SF fans OR SF directors is like telling Mormons about Darwin: they know quite well that they are not even allowed to “get it”. I also have a strong sense that movie directors are trained, quite highly, to NOT think in terms that scientists are comfortable with. How else to explain the near-permanent dearth* of quality SF?

    * absence

  9. says

    Denverly, no you’re not. I have a certain fondness for movies with either murderous real life critters or murderous fictitious critters. I can heartily recommend “The giant spider invasion”, which involves spiders. Spiders that are giant. And from outer space.

    PZ, as for Prometheus being crap – I could deal with the laughable premise of life on earth originating from outer space, but with regards to the Alien *and* Alien vs Predator franchise it made no damn sense. Aliens still had to “evolve” during Prometheus, yet were brought to earth centuries ago by Predators to hunt them. I for one suspect the involvement of a certain JJ Abrams.

  10. yazikus says

    @Denverly

    Am I the only one who has a weakness for creature features and monster movies?

    I would highly recommend Shark Attack: in the Mediterranean. Make sure you watch the dubbed version- it adds flavor.

  11. Denverly says

    timanthony wrote:

    If someone ever offers to make a movie of the Foundation Series, I will personally kill him or her before they’ve completed the first story board.

    Harsh. I hated the Schumacher-Clooney Batman and Robin more than I pretty much hated anything, but that doesn’t mean he violated some sacred text or something by treating my favorite superhero like he joined the neon power rangers. I just stopped watching their movies. Jeez.

    @erikschepers, I will check it out, thanks!

  12. says

    Denverly:

    Am I the only one who has a weakness for creature features and monster movies?

    No, you aren’t the only one, and I grew up in the era of seriously bad creature features and monster movies. The year of my birth (1957) boasts some of the very worst ever made (like uber-threatening…snails! Yep.)

  13. Denverly says

    Caine and yazikus, thanks for the recommendations. I guess that the glaring problems with a movie like Prometheus just don’t bother me because I’m used to stuff that is much worse. Case #1: Red Planet with Tom Sizemore and Val Kilmer. Sizemore’s character is a biologist, going on about whatever, and says something like “A, G, T, P, that’s what I do” referring to the four nucleotides. Yes, he said P. I checked several times. Case #2: Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. No idea who the actors were, but one of the women “scientists” says they can’t kill the megaladon shark because it “is a huge advance in marine anthropology.” Yep, marine anthropology.

  14. Moggie says

    erikschepers:

    I for one suspect the involvement of a certain JJ Abrams.

    Can’t be. There would have been more lens flare.

    Caine, I’m surprised to see that The Host scored only 7.0 at IMDB, because I thought it was great, but admittedly I pretty much worship Bae Du-na.

    Denverly, I’m prepared to overlook the dodgy science in Prometheus, but character behaviour which makes no fucking sense is another matter entirely.

  15. says

    Never mind the scientific goofs. The major problem with Prometheus was the ridiculous excuse of a plot, coupled with the utter absence of characters. There wasn’t a single person in that movie that was half-way believable or likable.

    For example, the main character watches as her lover (Fiancee? Husband? I forget) is mutated into some alien monstrosity and subsequently burned to a crisp with a flame thrower. Next scene, it’s forgotten and she acts like nothing ever happened.

    It wasn’t even idiotically entertaining, the way such movies can be. Alien vs. Predator was like that; stupid as hell, but at least it was fun to watch and laugh at. Prometheus couldn’t even do that much.

  16. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    Got taken to the IMAX 3D of the first one by my g/f. I still can’t work out whether I liked it, which I don’t think is a good thing.

    Not holding breath over #2!

  17. says

    Yeah, I went to see this at an IMAX 3D place. Compared to the horror I felt when I realized that they are now using the IMAX name to sell not-very-impressive digital projection on a Very Big Screen, the movie itself was only mildly horrible.

    Some of the visuals were kinda neat though.

  18. says

    Moggie:

    Caine, I’m surprised to see that The Host scored only 7.0 at IMDB, because I thought it was great, but admittedly I pretty much worship Bae Du-na.

    At IMDB, 7.0 is high praise. I suspect that a lot of ‘merican viewers opted for the dubbed version, which seriously dumbs down several of the characters and makes them caricatures, which not only ruins the characters, it interferes with the storyline as well.

    I thought it was a terrific movie too, and I really liked the creature. That was some nice work.

  19. says

    I suspect that a lot of ‘merican viewers opted for the dubbed version…

    Dubbing; conclusive evidence against the idea of a loving god.

  20. Chie Satonaka says

    Caine, I’m surprised to see that The Host scored only 7.0 at IMDB, because I thought it was great, but admittedly I pretty much worship Bae Du-na.

    I’m assuming that you’re not talking about the Stephanie Meyer one.

  21. unbound says

    @3 – Prometheus was nothing compared to Independence Day which made an adjusted gross of $550 million. And we all know what a timeless classic that movie was…

    Just because a bunch of people (including critics) got suckered by PR and glitz doesn’t make a movie good. I suggest you watch Penn & Teller’s BS “Bottled Water” episode for a bit more clear cut example.

  22. dongiovanni says

    DAMMIT! I demand that Del Toro is allowed to produce At The Mountains of Madness!

  23. says

    Denverly:
    What are the limits to your love of creature features?
    Are you willing to watch any of the monster movies from Asylum?
    ****
    @3:
    Well that is one logical fallacy you have definitely perfected.

  24. Moggie says

    davidgentile:

    Any predictions on the quality of Ender’s Game. I’m going unless it gets After-Earth-like reviews.

    I am not putting one fucking penny into Orson Scott Card’s pocket.

  25. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    @ jacobfromlost, #3

    “Keep drinkin’ the haterade. It’s making a lot of talented people rich.”

    Fixed that for you.

    To be fair, there were some very talented people in the production areas – just not in the whole story-thing department.

    The problem was Lindelof and Scott preaching from the book of fail. Read some of the interviews around premier time – Scott actually had the hide to say he was educating the audience.

    I love crappy SF films! I put myself into “this is just fantasy crap” mode and enjoy the pretty lights. I can even enjoy ID4…

    What I can’t enjoy is a lapsed-pseudo–catholic, anti-science, von Daniken worshipping, propaganda film wrapping itself in the trappings of science fiction and pretentiously delivering a message.

    …and then being told from a smug, ignorant, Hollywood director with a shit-eating grin that I will learn something from it.

  26. Jerry says

    I love science fiction movies so much that I sat through the movie version of Dune. It was so crappy that at times I had a hard time following the plot, despite the fact that I had read the book (again) recently. The SciFi cable channel version was a *lot* better. From everything I read about Prometheus, though, I’m skipping it. The plotline is totally unbelievable, full of junk movie-science, and doesn’t even hold itself together. My suspension of disbelief only goes so far before it’s MST3K time. I won’t even watch this for free on Netflix.

  27. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Here’s one for the SF movie fans:

    Prometheus looks like a remake of Galaxy Of Terror – a 1981 rip-off of Alien.

    Giant space pyramid? – check

    Worm monsters? – check

    Squid monsters? – check

    Ham-fisted existential premise at end? – check

    Galaxy of terror was still better – it was a Roger Corman production so you didn’t expect much.

  28. chrislawson says

    Sally Strange@1, Jack Paglen is supposedly a very good scriptwriter who had an SF script on the so-called Black List (that is, really good scripts that never got picked up by a studio). Of course, that’s no guarantee that any intelligence in the script will survive the production process.

  29. chrislawson says

    unbound@2: I can tolerate a certain amount of bad science in my SF, but my problem with Prometheus was that the science was (a) extremely dodgy, and (b) presented as cutting-edge. Seriously, in interviews Ridley Scott claimed that evolution needing an extraterrestrial/divine tweak was the official position of NASA. So, sure, I can overlook the lack of relativistic effects in Star Wars, but I can’t overlook von-Danikenesque bullshit paraded as serious science. (And, yes, the story of Prometheus was terrible even leaving aside the bad science.)

  30. chrislawson says

    for timanthony@9: a list of very good SF movies with good science since 2001: A Space Odyssey:

    12 Monkeys
    The Thing (1982 version)
    Contact (with reservations about the ending, but the opening shot alone is worth the price of admission)
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Primer
    Pi (if you take it as a film about delusional obsession rather than about real maths)
    The Abyss (until its pseudo-2001 final act)
    The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951 version only, especially if you look up the original, studio-rejected ending — yes, I know this is after 2001 but I like it anyway)
    Silent Running

    A list of movies with some dodgy science that at least maintain logical coherence with regards the premise:
    The Matrix (first movie only)
    Alien/Aliens
    Dark City
    Forbidden Planet (also pre-2001, also great)
    District 9
    Pitch Black
    The Fly (2002 — incredibly dodgy science, but really sticks to its guns and turns into a great horror film)
    ExistenZ
    Blade Runner
    Dark Star (arguably the funniest scene in all SF when a crew member tries to defuse an intelligent bomb by explaining phenomenology)
    Gattaca

  31. dancaban says

    The most determined attempt I’ve seen since Alien 3 to kill off a franchise. And they are getting another go?

  32. Rob Grigjanis says

    chrislawson @43:

    I can’t overlook von-Danikenesque bullshit paraded as serious science.

    So you’re giving the evolution-tweaking in 2001: A Space Odyssey a free pass?

  33. dean says

    <Am I the only one who has a weakness for creature features and monster movies? Lake Placid, Piranha, Anacondas, Godzilla, Predators, Leviathan, Day of the Triffids, Them, King Kong, Mimic, Gargoyles, Kingdom of the Spiders, Swamp Thing, Deep Rising, The Thing, etc. I love them all. :-)

    Another addition to the “no you are not” crowd here. When I was a kid my folks let me stay up friday and saturday nights, watching the ABC channel from Flint, MI, when they broadcast no end of creature features and bad science fiction movies. I was born in ’56 and there seemed to be no end to the movies. The really bad ones today, both in theaters and on SYFY, I view in some sense as the modern equivalents. I can settle in to a chair, have 4-5 fingers worth of good scotch, and blow a late night with ease.

  34. chrislawson says

    Rob@48:

    Yep, because 2001 isn’t very von-Danikenesque. The only tweak was that near-sapient creatures coming into contact with a monolith got a small boost in intelligence. It’s not particularly justifiable science, but it doesn’t directly contradict evolutionary theory.

    Compare to Prometheus where the implication is that the Engineers kick-started life itself, which means intelligence is pre-loaded into evolution (a common ID fallacy). Then there’s the fact that we find out about the Engineers from ancient star maps (which means the Engineers hung around long enough for humans to evolve, but then conveniently disappeared just before the human historical record began, and leaving not a single artifact behind as evidence of their existence). Then there’s the crude drawings of the stars somehow being good enough to identify the only place in the galaxy that matches — when there must be millions of places in the galaxy with that rough arrangement of stars in 2D projection. It goes on and on and on. The evolutionary tweak in 2001 was a teaspoon of implausibility, while Prometheus is a raging torrent of bullshit.

  35. Rob Grigjanis says

    Chris @50:

    Being a Ridley Scott fan, I was really looking forward to Prometheus until I saw a synopsis. I’ll wait until it’s on the telly.

    As for 2001, it always struck me as a very religious film. Mysterious intelligent forces turn herbivorous hominids into techno-mad omnivorous killers (i.e. us). Monolith as Tree of Knowledge. Humans follow the breadcrumbs to Jupiter, to encounter more enigmatic bollocks. Dave Bowman has his psychedelic trip to Enlightenment. Reborn Starchild comes home…

    Not even a hint of the motivation of the Others.

    The humans in the film seem to be just going through the motions, like puppets. The only character who shows any emotion or internal conflict is HAL.

    And of course, 2010 is the punchline, with its “something wonderful” crap (which means the mini-Creation in the Jupiter system), and the reverse-Garden-of-Eden ending.

  36. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Re Golden Compass: did anyone notice the airship was called the Sky Ferry?

  37. birgerjohansson says

    Rob, in regard to what I would call meta-SF, Tarkovsky’s
    “Stalker” (a radical re-working of Strugatsky’s “Wayside Picnic”) is a classic.

    And we need a proper film version of Strugatsky’s “Prisoners of Power” or “Beetle In The Anthill*

    And a film version of Budrys “Rogue Moon” (with a modernised premise)
    Ditto for “The Voices Of Time”.

    * The book pre-dated Blade Runner; One detail is that the readers are supposed to understand what it means if a character starts re-checking his childhood memories.
    Aha! Something is wrong, he suspects he is a synthetic human! But if you don’t make the connection on your own, the author does not spell it out.

  38. birgerjohansson says

    Since there are thousands of teenagers who would proof-read the stuff for free for tejh kudos of spotting logical flaws (and come up with alternatives) the reason why Hollywood screws up like this must be that they despise their audience.
    As long as they can attract crowds of viewers they don’t give a damn.
    Hell, even “Lost” could have been saved if you had let some clever teenagers come up with consistent explanations for the weirdness.

  39. birgerjohansson says

    And if Hollywood wants near-religious stuff, refer them to the Eschaton!