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…

Washington Post:

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.

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16 Responses to “Prometheus Benefits from Science Input. Could have used some Writing Input too, but…”


  1. Hey man, if your going to go there, you might as well add “don’t stick your face into an open extraterrestrial egg.”

  2. Nick Carter Says:

    Okay Okay!!! I’m off today….so I’m off to the movies ! xD

  3. otter17 Says:

    I have yet to see the Avengers…

  4. tildeb Says:

    A good review here if you want content over context.

  5. neilrieck Says:

    Okay so I am a huge sci-fi fan who has been waiting two years for this film (it is part one of two, BTW) and would have seen it last night except I have been out of town on business. What is really sad is that every review I have read has been mediocre to bad with one review (Toronto Globe & Mail) actually containing some spoilers. So, my wife and I decided to see it today (IMAX 3D version) and can tell you all that this movie is great. It is better than “Alien vs. Predator” which I loved, and at least as good as the original “Alien” or any of of the Alien sequels (number 3 was a real stinker). Now the person who wrote the review in the Toronto Globe & Mail must have seen a different movie than us because all the spoilers he described were different than what we watched. But I have seen this before with sci-fi movies; Many patrons and critics hated “2001: A Space Odyssey” (some walked out; some demanded refunds; prompting Kubrick to cut scenes “in the theater”) and it was never fully accepted by the public until about a year later (many complained that it had a weak plot which may be true; thank deity I had read the book before watching it). Even still, many people today consider 2001 the best sci-fi movie ever. But not me, for my money it has always been “Blade Runner” which was also not liked by the public for quite some time. Let’s face it. Only sci-fi people can fully appreciate this stuff.

    “Just my 2-cents”

  6. Mike Says:

    Taking your helmet off worked for Buzz Lightyear despite his initial misgivings.


  7. Couldn’t agree more. Saw this at an IMAX cinema yesterday and was so thoroughly bored by how incoherent and frankly amateur the writing is. I don’t understand why film makers think it’s all right to take the lazy option in scripts like this. To anyone comparing this to 2001 A Space Odyssey, seriously? Not a chance.

    Ridley Scott is a master painter with light and images, but all that effort is for nothing when you get appalling expository dialogue and poor writing that forces characters to act completely counter to common sense. The clichés roll out right up to the final scene and the dialogue is full of pseudo-profundity about the origin of man. Loathed this film.

  8. iheartunity Says:

    astonishingly bad movie. I had no sympathy for any of the characters and would have been fine if they all died within the first hour of the movie; so, i walled out about 65 minutes in.

    I laughed – heartily and loudly! – at the line: “I’m gonna try to trick it’s nervous system that its still alive” said – with complete seriousness! – as she inserts an unimaginatively designed hypodermic needle into an alien head that had been severed from its body … thousands of years ago(!). The movie was so preposterous. The editing bad… Enough said, because I don’t want to waste anymore time.

    BUT! Peter: discovered your “Crock of the Week” a few years ago and love them. Just started following your blog. I’m in full support of your efforts. Keep it up.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      great news. Just keep yer helmet on, in alien pyramids, and on this blog – that’s all I’m sayin.

  9. Nick Carter Says:

    “….and if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with!

  10. Jean Mcmahon Says:

    Avengers was highly recommended by 2 very enlightened friends of mine..I really did not like it much…a lot of violence,but I interpreted it to say all the good guys(and a few women) had done away w nukes


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