Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Movie Review You've All Been Waiting For...


 YOU GUYS. Bad Books, Good Times is now following me on Twitter! I can't help but feel ridiculously giddy about this because in the relatively short time I've been reading their blog, Ariel and Matthew have basically become my book-blogging idols. I have no idea how it happened, since this blog has probably about five readers and was being followed on Twitter by only two (now three!) people, so for me this is pretty big. I do feel like I have a lot to live up to now, though. I should probably get my shit together and maybe try to stick to a regular posting schedule or something. But thank you so much to BBGT for the support/ego boost/inspiration!

Anyway... Those of you who have been following me for a little while now are probably wondering where my scathing review of a particular movie is. So without further ado, I present my review of...

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Prometheus

Ha! You all thought it was Fifty Shades of Grey!


No, but seriously, I was totally going to review Fifty Shades, I swear! Honest! I saw the movie over Valentine's Day and everything and it was horrible! But then my boyfriend wanted to watch Prometheus yesterday. 


Yeah... it was...

I know, I know, I've put off both my 50 Shades movie review and my Fifty Shades Freed review for too long. But seriously, I HAVE to talk about this. What the fuck did I just watch?!?1!??1?1?!

I'm not even sure it's worth putting a spoiler alert for this review, because this movie is just such a laughably incoherent mess that I don't think anyone would care if I spoiled it (which I guess makes me a hypocrite for putting spoiler alerts on my 50 Shades reviews, but shut up). For those of you who don't know, Prometheus is a sci-fi horror movie directed by Ridley Scott and is a kinda-sorta prequel to Alien. I think. It doesn't really matter at all, but I guess the Alien references were thrown in there as a kind of shout out to fans? Maybe? Anyway, the basic premise is pretty much straight out of an episode of Ancient Aliens: that in prehistoric times a super-advanced race of aliens came to Earth and created the human race through the wonders of genetic engineering because reasons. 

Pretty much.
 The movie opens on this alien guy standing on the edge of a waterfall who looks like buff-Squidward from that one episode of Spongebob that I can't remember. There's what appears to be a spaceship hovering above him apparently ready to take off, but the guy just takes off his robe and I guess commits suicide by drinking a cup of this weird, moving black goo stuff, which... apparently destroys his DNA? And then he falls into the water and we see this CGI animation of his DNA being put back together again? I already have no idea what's happening.

So then we cut to this archeological dig where this scientist-couple (Liz and Charles? I'm so bad at names) have found a cave painting in which a giant man is pointing out a cluster of circles in the sky to a bunch of smaller people, which apparently exactly matches other carvings and paintings found all over the world. Again, exactly like Ancient Aliens. It's implied that these circles are a depiction of a cluster or stars/planets, and Liz (?) tells the bf that "I think they want us to come find them". Which--all sentimentality aside--makes no sense, and will make a lot less sense later on in the movie.

Two years later they wake up on a spaceship after having been in cryostasis, a ship on which the entire rest of the scientific team has no idea why they're going to the planet that they're going to, which begs the question, why did they all sign up for this mission without knowing anything about it in the first place? We meet David, a human-like robot who is there for plot convenience, and Meredith (?), a robot-like human who is overseeing the mission as a representative of the company financing it. So then using a needlessly complex series of holograms, Liz and Charles (??) explain that that they're here after following the cave painting map to the planet. Oh, I'm sorry, it's not a map, it's an "invitation."


Hey, dumbasses, way to just assume that these aliens--who would more likely be the decedents of the aliens that were on Earth thousands of years ago--even want you on their planet! Oh, and get this! Lady Scientist and her boyfriend are only here in the first place because they, based on no evidence whatsoever, believe that these aliens are the creators of the human race? Why? Because it's what Liz "believes".

I feel like the filmmakers were trying to make some sort of statement about religion, but it just doesn't work at all in this context.

So then they land on the planet outside this dome-thingy that may or may not be a natural formation, and decide to go inside it to find out if any of the aliens lived there. They get inside and find out that the air is breathable, so then like idiots they of course decide to take their helmets off, because of course it's not like there could be any deadly alien microbes floating around, or any emergencies that could happen in which they would need to put their helmets back on in a hurry and book it back to the ship. But hey, that one lady said it's "cleaner than Earth's atmosphere" so it must be ok!

 
Cliche Count: 1

They start taking a look around, and David, being plot convenience personified (or android-ified?), starts messing around with carved inscriptions on the wall and activates an ancient security hologram device. Because following the logic that the aliens created humans, every single human language must therefore be derived from their language; we're supposed to believe that since David has studied every single ancient language, that he is therefore able to understand the alien inscriptions written on the walls. We're only about 20 minutes into this movie and I'm already having trouble keeping up with the relentless stream of stupid.

They follow the hologram down the passageway, and come across the decapitated corpse of an alien laying outside of a big door. Liz uses an insta-carbon-dater to determine that the corpse is 2,000 years old... despite being so well preserved that it looks like it could've died a few days ago. Using his magical plot convenience powers once more, David opens the door to reveal a room full of mysterious metal canisters. Against direct orders not to touch anything, he opens one of them up to reveal more of the creepy, moving black goo from earlier. But before anyone notices that he's messing around with shit, they get a warning from Prometheus (the ship, in case I didn't clarify that before) that there's a sandstorm coming that could tear there suits to shreds if they don't hurry up and get back to the ship soon. So Liz packs up the decapitated head and David packs the goo-filled mystery canister, and they start heading back. But oh noes, just as they reach the doors, Liz drops the head and needs to run back into the storm to get it, putting everyone's lives at risk!

Cliche Count: 2

She retrieves the head, and what follows is a completely confusing scene of the group stumbling through the storm, grabbing hold of each other and then latching onto a rope that does... something, even though I thought the captain said he was trying to close the ship's doors, and he said that the storm could tear their suits apart, but it appears to be doing no such thing? What the hell is happening? Is something wrong with the door? There's just so much noise and debris and shit and no one's saying any kind of dialogue... Are they already inside the ship's hangar or are they still outside? What is that rope-pulley attached to? I'm so lost right now.

Accurate depiction of me watching this scene
But thankfully they somehow get back inside the ship and everyone's ok. Except for the two guys that got left behind in the cave-dome... who were the two guys who were initially creeped out by everything and had originally tried to leave and go back to the ship ahead of the rest of the group in the first place, one of whom should've totally known where he was going since he was in charge of the sensor-thingys that mapped out the place. So of course they were the guys who got left behind, because someone always has to be the redshirts in these movies, and it might as well be the ones who are the most afraid and most likely to get killed off early on.

Cliche Count: 3

Meanwhile, back on Prometheus, Liz and the other lady whose name I can't remember are science-fangirling over the implausibly well-preserved alien head. Somehow they notice what appears to be new cell growth on the surface of its skin, with the implication that this will become important later... which it never does, marking the first instance of this movie introducing a minor plot point and then promptly forgetting about it. Then for God only knows why, Liz gets the oh-so bright idea to use electrical shocks (or something) to try and "trick" the brain into thinking it's still alive... or something. Why? Because why the fuck not, I guess! I mean, what the hell did they hope to accomplish by "tricking" a decapitated head into thinking it's still alive? What were they going to do, ask it questions?
I don't know what the fuck is happening anymore
So they start pumping the dead brain full of electricity. The eyes open and start blinking and they get all excited, but then blood starts leaking out of its skin and it makes weird pain faces, so something must OBVIOUSLY be horribly wrong... and of course the head then explodes for no reason. Because of course it does. Liz is shaken but then orders that they take a sample from the icky mess. Why the hell didn't you just take a friggin' sample in the first place? This movie is trying so hard to be smart, but it just ends up being really, really dumb.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, David is up to some really fishy secret stuff. He pulls the mystery canister he took from the cave... out of the fridge? Seriously, how did no one notice this... and cracks it open to reveal a slimy green... thing... covered in that weird black goo. He looks at a tiny drop of it on his finger and apparently comes to the conclusion that it's a living being. I'm totally surprised he didn't put it in his mouth or anything.

Later, we see Charles being all mopey in the game room (?) because the alien engineers of the human race turned out to all be long dead. David comes with a bottle of something and a glass--and it's totally not obvious at all that he has SOMETHING on his finger because he's careful not to touch anything with that finger. HMM, I WONDER WHAT HE COULD BE UP TO?--to cheer him up, I guess. Charles makes a kind of snide comment about David being an emotionless robot that humans merely created "because we could", like pretty much everyone else in this movie, to which David expresses the emotion of irritation.

Cliche Count: 4

David hands him a glass, and OH-SO SUBTLETY STICKS HIS FINGER IN IT. So I get that he's irritated with being treated as inferior, but why did  he have to poison Charles with the black goo? Was he planning to do that all along, even before their conversation? Was he planning on it being Charles, or was he just a random victim? Also, did he even know at the time what the effects of the black goo were? Or was he just doing a little science experiment by feeding it to a random human to see what would happen? Is all of this part of a Cylon plot to finish off humanity?


Meanwhile, back in the cave-dome-structure-thingy, the two dudes who got left behind are wondering around looking for... something. They come across the room with all the canisters that the team was in earlier, but things seem to have gone a bit topsy-turvy because now all the metal containers are leaking black goo and that crap is all over the floor. For some reason it now has critters swimming in it; a thing that looks the Dianoga from the trash compactor in Star Wars pops up and the one guy wigs out, but the other guy thinks it's cute and wants to pet it!


Shockingly, this turns out to be a bad idea; the snake-thing attacks his arm and starts constricting it  until it breaks. His friend makes a valiant effort to try to cut the thing off his arm, but since apparently everything on this planet is an instrument of death it turns out to bleed acid, which sprays all over his helmet and melts it. He falls over and lands face-down in the black goo, which then eats his face off and kills him.

Body Count: 2

Meanwhile, back on the ship, Liz is all excited to tell her bf that their theory was proven correct; the DNA from the alien head turns out to be very similar to that of humans and predates it, meaning that humans had been genetically engineered from the alien species. Because of course the conspiracy theorist always turns out to have been right all along.

Cliche Count: 5

Charles makes some remark about this meaning that there's really nothing special or divine about creation since anyone with some DNA and enough technology can create life. Liz gets all offended, and somehow this leads into an awkward and completely shoehorned-in conversation about her being barren and unable to have kids. This has no place at all in this movie and adds absolutely nothing to her character. Then they have sex, because I guess talking about infertility and ancient astronauts gets them going.

The next morning, the captain assembles a search party because he hasn't heard from the two redshirts for a couple hours. Charles gets ready to go, only to look in the mirror to find out that OMG he's sick and something weird is wrong with his eye!!!! But, naturally he doesn't tell anyone about this.


Cliche Count: 6

 They get to the metal canister room, and surprisingly find that the guy who had his arm broken is still alive against all odds. He might as well be dead, though, because later when they bring him back to the ship I don't think we ever see him again. Maybe we do? I don't know, I guess he was just too insignificant for me to remember.

Body Count: 1

They do notice that the canisters are all leaking goo, though, so finally we've reached the point where the characters will start taking all this weird shit seriously. Naturally, this is the point where all the shit hits the fan at once. Charles starts acting loopy and Liz notices that he's sick right at the same time that the others discover the dead body of the other guy. They make a frantic call to the ship that they're coming back  and that they'll need a medical team, but instead of getting a team assembled, Meredith decides to suit up and take care of business herself.

MEANWHILE, David has split off from the group, and instead goes to investigate a sensor that was picking up a life form reading in another part of the dome. He comes across a room that looks like a futuristic board room/control room with a hologram projector that displays a bunch of planets, including Earth. This room also happens to contain a cryo-tube with a *gasp* still-living alien asleep inside it! Because of course all this technology would still function flawlessly for 2,000+ years.

Also, when David was exploring he had his helmet camera on which send video back to Prometheus, but TOTALLY NOT SUSPICIOUSLY AT ALL shut it off when he entered this room. This guy is totally up to something, yet at the same time none of his actions make any sense. I'm almost tempted to theorize that David's sinister actions were an attempt to pay homage to HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I'm pretty sure this movie isn't smart enough for references like that.

So the make it back to the ship, Charles clearly getting rapidly worse along the way. But oh noes, Meredith is there waiting for them with a flamethrower, threatening to burn him to death if they attempt to bring him on the ship! It seems like a dick move, but you know... she does have kind of a point. They have no idea what's wrong with him, how to treat it, or even how he contracted it. So knowing this, Charles sacrifices himself and walks right into the flames; Liz watches him die, and I guess is so upset that she passes out.

Body Count: 2

When she wakes up she's in sickbay, where David's attending to her. He makes a creepy comment about "watching her dreams" while she was in cryostasis, and then asks her if she had sex recently because...... she's PREGNANT!


Cliche Count: 7

Wait a minute, this totes isn't a normal pregnancy, though; despite having been in stasis for two years as of three days ago she appears to be almost three months pregnant. Then again, I guess alien fetuses are kind of a cliche of their own at this point, so...

 Cliche Count: 8

However, in a shocking turn of events, Liz turns out to be more genre-savvy than previously implied, when she demands that the thing be cut out of her before it burst out of her stomach. When the doctors try to get her to go back into stasis so that the situation can be sorted out back on Earth, she wigs out and instead runs out of sickbay to another room with an insta-surgery machine... which for some reason is not in sickbay. So she gets in and basically performs an emergency c-section on herself moments before a baby squid-alien would've burst out of her uterus!

Hold on a sec, how did she even become pregnant with a squid-alien in the first place??? So someone swallows the black goo (which itself is one type of alien), they have sex with someone else, and then that person gets pregnant with another species of alien? And more importantly, why was this even in this movie? The plot is just all over the place at this point. I feel like the writer had no idea where he wanted to go with the script, so why not have there be a fucking alien baby!!!

I... I don't even. 

Somebody plz help me
ALSO MEANWHILE, remember that other guy who died when he got a face full of acid and black goo? Yeah, turns out he's now a zombie and is tearing shit up in the hangar bay! Seriously, the writer is clearly just throwing everything into this movie now. The script's already enough of a mess, but who cares, just add zombies! Because clearly what this movie was suffering from was a lack of zombies.

Body Count: 5-ish?

Liz stumbles back into sickbay covered in blood and with staples in her stomach, but instead of frantically chasing after her and then demanding to know what the hell happened once she got back, the doctors just nonchalantly hand her a blanket and don't even say a word. What douchebags. They're more concerned with the old guy who just came out of cryostasis, the same old guy who owned the company financing the mission and who was supposedly dead by now. He secretly had himself frozen so he could live long enough to meet the aliens that Liz had convinced him were the engineers of the human race. Liz tries to tell him that they need to leave because everything on the planet is trying to kill them, but he refuses to listen, since he believes that if the aliens created humans they logically must also be able to save him from dying... or something. Oh, and it also turns out that the crazy old guy is Meredith's father, because no one could see that coming.

Cliche Count: 9

So despite having just had emergency surgery, suffering personal tragedy, and having no clear reason to go back there, Liz suits up to go with the old man to the room that David found with the live alien. She runs into the captain, who tells her that they really have to leave, because it turns out that this place isn't actually the alien's homeworld, but rather some kind of military outpost where they were mass-producing the black goo as a bio-weapon of mass destruction, and something must've gone horribly wrong with it 2,000 years ago, hence all of them being dead. Just how he knows all this for sure I have no idea, but it raises another question: if this was just a military outpost, then why the hell is THIS planet and NOT the alien homeworld that is depicted in all those cave paintings on Earth? Also, so much for your "invitation", idiots.


So then David, Liz, the old guy, and two other people we don't care about go the the mystery room. David starts messing around with the computer and talks about the hologram of Earth that he found. Horrified, Liz assumes that this means that they intended to destroy humanity with the black goo and ask why they would do that, to which David replies, "sometimes creation requires destruction". Um, what. The way he says it sounds more like he's trying to say that sometimes in order to create you must first destroy, which makes no sense in context and just made the line sound more stupid than philosophical.

Oh, and at the same time that all this is happening, the captain and Meredith are looking at the map of the inside of the dome, which looks like a big crescent of connected passages. The get "oh shit" looks on their faces and immediately figure out that it's some kind of spaceship. Ok, maybe I'm just stupid and don't know anything about spaceships, but that's not what my first assumption would be. But since the movie says it's a ship, then yeah, it must be a ship.


Anyway, David proceeds to wake up the alien from stasis, and after waking the alien dude at first just kind of stands there calmly, as though he doesn't even see all the people in the room. Since David is a walking deus ex machina, the old guy tells him to say hi and ask him what the secret to eternal life is, while Liz demands to know why the aliens want to kill what they have created and gets ignored. David starts to talk the the alien, which promptly gets him his FUCKING HEAD RIPPED OFF, which of course none of us could've ever predicted would happen.

At this point I'm ready for the movie to be over, but nope, we still have the entire cast to kill off yet! Shit goes down, the old guy and the two other people we don't care about die, Liz takes off running, and ground starts to break apart as the alien guy prepares to take off in his underground spaceship.

Body Count: 8 I think?

Liz runs towards Prometheus and tells them that they need to do whatever they can to stop the ship, since it's headed to Earth and bend on destruction. Since they don't have weapons, this obviously calls for RAMMING SPEED! Meredith nopes the fuck out of this suicide mission, and heads for an escape pod just as the captain jettison off the unnecessary part of the ship onto the planet's surface and prepare to ram the fuck out of the alien ship. The captain and his two buddies on the bridge are weirdly gung-ho about committing suicide, to the point where they even put their hands up like they're on a roller coaster when they crash into the other ship. Hey, if you're gonna die you might as well go out with a bang, right?

Body Count: 11? Maybe?

So then the big-ass alien ship crashes, and Meredith and Liz have to outrun it! Apparently they can only run in a straight line due to rule of drama, though. Meredith gets crushed (what was even her plan when she took the escape pod, anyway?) and then Liz falls and the ship rolls on top of her and she dies the end.
 

Oh Christ, you mean this movie is still going? Ok, so she doesn't die, but rather manages to crawl out from under it and make her way over to the remaining part of the Prometheus just before running out of oxygen. She goes around the ship gathering supplies when she comes across the room where she gave birth to the squid baby, and looks through the window to see that it's now a giant-ass squid. Aww, the grow up so fast! And then because the director insists on dragging out this movie even longer, Liz gets a call from David on the commlink in her suit, because apparently even ripping his head off won't get him to shut up. He tells her the the pissed-off alien guy is alive and coming to attack her just as he attacks her, and her brilliant plan is to open the door to the surgery room, unleashing the squid monster on the alien and allowing her to escape.

Good lord, this movie will not end. David informs her that there are other alien ships on the planet (I guess he must've learned that from the ship's computer?), and that with his help could use one to escape. She tells him instead that she wants to go and find the alien homeworld, so she can find out why they wanted to kill the humans that they'd created. Of course, that's assuming 1) the aliens there are not also extinct by now; 2) they don't kill her on sight; 3) her showing up there asking questions doesn't prompt them to renew their efforts to kill all humans; and 4) that the aliens on the homeworld even know about Earth, because this is clearly part of their ancient past, and it might've just been a small, secret organization that worked to create/destroy humans in the first place.

So then she and David's head leave the planet, and the movie is finally over. Except it's not. We get one final scene on the remains of the Prometheus, where we see the alien guy laying there dying. Apparently the squid monster impregnated him, too, because there's a big hole in his stomach, out of which crawls the alien from... uh... Alien. So let me get this straight one more time: Charles drank the black goo, and had sex with Liz, who got pregnant with a squid alien, which then attacked another alien, which got pregnant wit a completely different species of alien. 


Moral of the story? Don't get pregnant, or you will die. Shit, I could've just watched Mean Girls to find that out. So thank you, boyfriend, for sharing a very confusing and entertaining afternoon with me. I guess watching bad movies together is kind of our thing now... and that's why I love him. <3

So yeah, sorry to pull a dirty trick on all of you, I guess I'm just trying to avoid having to write my 50 Shades review because I'm just so desperate for a break from it. If you're lucky, I might punish myself and force myself to get it done tomorrow. Oh, the pain I put myself through for this blog...

2 comments:

  1. On behalf of both Matthew and myself, thank you for writing the absolute sweetest thing ever about us!

    On behalf of just myself, thank you for hating Prometheus as much as me. I saw this movie on my first real date with my fiance and I really and truly believe our mutual hatred of this film was the foundation of our relationship.

    " He secretly had himself frozen so he could live long enough to meet the aliens that Liz had convinced him were the engineers of the human race. Liz tries to tell him that they need to leave because everything on the planet is trying to kill them, but he refuses to listen, since he believes that if the aliens created humans they logically must also be able to save him from dying... or something." Perfectly sums up the entire movie. I DIDN'T UNDERSTAAAAND!!!

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    1. Hey, thanks for following me! Seriously, you guys are awesome.

      Isn't it just the greatest thing ever to have a significant other that hates the same things you do?

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