Prometheus Benefits from Science Input. Could have used some Writing Input too, but…
June 9, 2012
Ok, I took a couple hours off and went to see Ridley Scott’s new movie “Prometheus”, widely touted as the prequel to the classic “Alien”, which is on everybody’s 10 best list for sci-fi movies. Will try not to give anything away.
If you are looking for pure entertainment, and you have not seen “The Avengers”, go there. Ditto if you are taking the kids.
Prometheus gets a 9 for intensity, a 7 as a reasonably engaging waste of time, and a 5 for logic and comprehensibility. The Washington Post, below, notes that the producers consulted exobiologists for a rationale as to why characters might be able to take their helmets off on a distant moon.
Any nine year old knows that you never, never, never, NEVER take your damn helmet off when inspecting an alien installation of any kind, much less one with, – well, never mind…
Just don’t freaking take the damn helmets off, and DO NOT approach that weird snake-like thing – if you want to be a sympathetic character – because if you are that stupid, I really don’t care what happens to you…
There’s a moment early in the new sci-fi film “Prometheus” where a scientist doffs his helmet on a distant alien moon.
But wait: The atmosphere is toxic, we were told. So what’s he doing? Well, the scientist has found a bubble of breathable air — which is handy, because who wants to watch pretty Hollywood faces stuffed into helmets for an entire film?
It turns out such a scenario is plausible. There could be a moon circling a faraway planet that has — in places — safe air.
The film’s director, Ridley Scott, knew this. While developing the script, he turned to one of Hollywood’s hottest science advisers, NASA astrobiologist Kevin Hand, who also consulted on “Avatar” and “Thor.”
Hand, who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., makes his living thinking about what alien life might look like and how we can find it. During brainstorming sessions with Scott and his team, the filmmakers said they wanted the characters to ditch their space helmets. Hand, who was detailing to Scott how alien worlds might look, feel and smell, explained how pockets of oxygen could be present.