[Film] Prometheus + Sequels

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Re: [Film] Prometheus + Sequels

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Postby TheFriskyIan » Mon May 22, 2017 11:08 am

Furthermore:

View Original PostFalcon_of_the_Sun wrote:1 - A trillion dollar mission that should realistically represent the pinnacle of human research and enterprise into space has more than one crew member who is clearly mentally impaired AND bad at their job anyway. The moment this stupidty is not just in the background but it is actually instrumentally used to advance the plot, I'm gonna throw my toys out of the pram (sorry to have repeated myself from a previous post). Covenant is not as bad when it comes to this.

This isn't pointing out flaws with the characters actions though, it's just saying "These characters are acting like idiots!" without explaining why. The only time I can really think of such a thing on the top of my head is when Millburn is interacting with the Hammerpede.


2 - Once the aforementioned champions of humanity get into a place which seems to be void of any macroscopic lifeform and that oozes death from its freaking walls, they get their helmets off and expose themselves to whatever it might have been there that made that place that bad. The Covenant planet at least had vegetation plus pre-approved life-compatibvle conditions

Because they sent probes to examine the ship and they detected nothing else in the air that would cause harm? Not to mention they didn't even discover the black goo yet, the black goo that only ever leaked itself out in the altar room which they didn't have access to yet and didn't take on any gaseous form during the entire film. I'm surprised you're not angry at Covenant for just foregoing helmets completely and it actually led to a problem.
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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Mon May 22, 2017 3:57 pm

1 - Howling, "martian piss", removing the helmets, going in without weapons, the way Fifield has a freaking breakdown the moment they find the body of the engineer by the door, the realism of the 15 minute run back to the ship, whilst the amazing duo got lost like suckers (not bad for presumably the best geologist money could buy!), poor people's Tom Hardy boozing in the corner of the lab instead of being interested in the finding of the thing they came for, more boozing at the pool table, the probe picks a life form but it's a glitch what do you mean a glitch etc...


2 - Checking the SRT file, they say that "Outside... ...it's completely toxic, and in here... ...there's nothing. lt's breathable. There's something
generating an atmosphere. Dr. Holloway is correct. Cleaner than Earth... l'm not wearing this thing anymore. Do you copy? Do not remove your headgear."

They could tell the inside air was breathable as it didn't have the toxic gases of the outside, but from there to a perfectly breathable air free of patogens that could kill you it's a far cry and you don't need the scientists of a trillion dollar expedition to know that...

Sure, it's stupid for the Covenant crew to do the same, but at least the place they landed on wasn't a catacomb in an unbreathable desert? Which of the two places would you trust more?

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Re: [Film] Prometheus + Sequels

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Postby TheFriskyIan » Mon May 22, 2017 4:15 pm

View Original PostFalcon_of_the_Sun wrote:2 - Checking the SRT file, they say that "Outside... ...it's completely toxic, and in here... ...there's nothing. lt's breathable. There's something
generating an atmosphere. Dr. Holloway is correct. Cleaner than Earth... l'm not wearing this thing anymore. Do you copy? Do not remove your headgear."

They could tell the inside air was breathable as it didn't have the toxic gases of the outside, but from there to a perfectly breathable air free of patogens that could kill you it's a far cry and you don't need the scientists of a trillion dollar expedition to know that...

Sure, it's stupid for the Covenant crew to do the same, but at least the place they landed on wasn't a catacomb in an unbreathable desert? Which of the two places would you trust more?

The area we have scanned several times and everything says it's completely clean? Prometheus is not the dumber of the two in this scenario. They have scanned both the outside and the inside, the inside is CLEAN. Everything shows them that, there's nothing wrong with taking the helmets off when there is nothing showing that there is a problem with the air and all the tech they have at their disposal shows that it's safe.

The black goo is never shown to be in a gaseous form during Prometheus so even when they do walk into the Altar room and the vials begin oozing the black goo, they still would've been fine with their helmets off. This is a nitpick.
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Re: [Film] Prometheus + Sequels

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Postby Chuckman » Mon May 22, 2017 4:27 pm

I like Prometheus.

Still, I think these movies both have a serious problem with the characters acting like slasher movie characters, but not consistently like slasher movie characters. They'll act like normal movie characters for a while, then a switch flips in their heads and they develop an irresistible urge to split up from the group or act against logic just long enough to get maimed or killed.

What bothers me about Prometheus isn't stupidity, it's impatience. This group of charactes has basically surrendered their lives to this mission, given how long they'd be gone even if they just stopped and turner the ship right back around when they arrive. Space travel in this universe is time consuming, so it takes some dedication to participate in it. They've all surrendered the chance at a normal life on Earth and given up any friend or family connections to fly this alien planet for the sake of discovery, finding The Truth, and so on and so forth.

Then when they land they're unbelievably impatient. This is going to take years. Let the map drones map the whole craft before you go in. Keep your helmets on until you've meticulously charted it and tested anything you find. Act scientifically. Actually explore.

It makes no sense that the kind of person who would just yank off their helmet in an alien environment because it's fiiiiine would be on this mission in the first place, or that they'd land and send the scientists in first and not a force of, I don't know, space marines to check it all out. Disciplined trained people who won't react badly to a frightening situation.

There's a lot of the same thing in the script. Space truckers exist in this universe; why isn't there a space trucker crew just towing the colony rig to its destination? Having all these personal attachments between members of the crew and the crew and the colonists makes no sense at all. You'd want experts operating the ship.

Rather than think these things through they're just glossed over to get to the "interesting" stuff and it's a flaw with both of these movies. Science fiction doesn't work without examining the human impact of whatever is driving the plot- unless the science fiction elements are very, very well thought out and compelling on their own and the characters don't need to do more than bear witness. That's not the case here. These movies aren't bringing up original thoughts or concepts, they're dragging out tired sci-fi cliches and adding very little that's new or original to them.

What I dislike most about A:C is that, by tying itself into both Alien and Prometheus, it effectively says: Remember all those cool questions we raised in Prometheus? The answers are really boring and trite, and the horrors of the universe are because playing God is bad, as if you needed to be told. Have a nice day!
TheFriskyIan wrote:The area we have scanned several times and everything says it's completely clean? Prometheus is not the dumber of the two in this scenario. They have scanned both the outside and the inside, the inside is CLEAN. Everything shows them that, there's nothing wrong with taking the helmets off when there is nothing showing that there is a problem with the air and all the tech they have at their disposal shows that it's safe.

The black goo is never shown to be in a gaseous form during Prometheus so even when they do walk into the Altar room and the vials begin oozing the black goo, they still would've been fine with their helmets off. This is a nitpick.


If I'm in an alien space ship I'm keeping my helmet on for a while. What if the part of the structure I'm walking around in is an exhaust vent for the fuel system and five steps after I remove my helmet I get blasted with chlorine gas?

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Postby Reichu » Mon May 22, 2017 5:11 pm

TheFriskyIan: Sensors can only scan for known hazards. Even if, in the future, tech gets to the point where you don't have to -- say -- conduct a dozen different tests just to rule out most known contagions, there's just no way to look for something that hasn't been discovered yet. Which is why thorough, safe sampling of the air, soil, etc., of an alien world would be conducted before anyone nonchalantly exposes themselves. There's also the rather old, basic "canary in the mine shaft" test. Expose a "disposable" organism with similar physiology to humans to the conditions, then keep it in quarantine and see what, if anything, happens.

@Covenant: It's a pity the script wasn't refined some more, because they were on the right track. Like when they stopped to collect water samples -- super basic environmental science there, and I was happy to see it depicted. Making the crew not-idiots about wearing helmets would have only required moderate changes to the neomorphs' infection method, which was pretty dumb and in need of improvement anyway. (The way the "motes" were depicted made them seem like they could "intelligently" glom together and direct their movement. Bwah? Dark magic, in my Alien film?)
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Re: [Film] Prometheus + Sequels

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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 22, 2017 7:12 pm

View Original PostTheFriskyIan wrote:Every minor flaw people bitch about in Prometheus has been debated to death yet people will still make ridiculous claims like "It's an objectively bad movie.


A lot of the stuff people bitch about in Prometheus is objectively bad. You brought up the hammerpede, and it is perhaps the best example -- that scene was objectively bad. There's no debating it, because it's easy for even non-scientists to understand why it's so terrible. And while it's the most egregious example, it is not the only one -- there are plenty of others, and they are also objectively bad; the difference is one of degree, not kind.

Some things, like performances and story quality, are subjective. Some other things, like Charlize running in a straight line, actually aren't the horrible gaffes people make them out to be. But there's plenty in that flick that is objectively terrible. Ignoring it or claiming it doesn't exist doesn't change that.
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Postby Sachi » Mon May 22, 2017 8:19 pm

Are these things, such as the hammerpede scene, still objectively bad if I enjoyed them and didn't mind the idiot ball that needed to be carried to make it happened? What's wrong with seeing idiots get killed off due to their own idiocy? Being that it's a trope in horror films, it's something of a token thing here this movie. The dude may have been a biologist, but that didn't guarantee he also had common sense, and yeah, I enjoyed watching him die.

I feel that if there's still room for enjoyment, it's not objectively anything. It can be heavily argued one way or another, but such things are then considered subjective, no?
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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 22, 2017 8:36 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:Are these things, such as the hammerpede scene, still objectively bad if I enjoyed them and didn't mind the idiot ball that needed to be carried to make it happened?


If you're acknowledging that an idiot ball was needed to make them happen, then yes. The fact that it's objectively bad does not have any bearing on whether or not it's enjoyable for some viewers; it just means their SoD works in such a way that they can overlook the film's failings and enjoy it regardless.

It's okay to like bad movies. It's okay to dislike good movies. It's less okay to claim bad movies are somehow good even when the things that make them bad are clearly articulated, and it's similarly bad form to pretend a good movie isn't good even though we personally may not enjoy it.

(and please, no nitpicking on the meaning of "bad" or "good" in the above statement, as the intent should be fairly clear. You can substitute different words for "good" to represent characterization, plot, themes, symbolism, clarity, cinematography, etc, and realize that a "good" movie is proficient at all or most of these while a "bad" movie is not.)
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Postby Sachi » Mon May 22, 2017 8:40 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:If you're acknowledging that an idiot ball was needed to make them happen, then yes.

This is where you and I disagree then. An idiot ball is a plot device like any other, sometimes used brilliantly, and other times just used. The usage of an idiot ball in of itself does not make something bad, and therefore cannot be used as an objective measurement.
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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 22, 2017 8:53 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:This is where you and I disagree then. An idiot ball is a plot device like any other, sometimes used brilliantly, and other times just used. The usage of an idiot ball in of itself does not make something bad, and therefore cannot be used as an objective measurement.


It is generally not possible for an idiot ball to be used brilliantly, as proper use of a character's ignorance, stupidity, or essential nature does not involve carrying the ball. The idiot ball by definition involves characters acting out of character and contrary to what the narrative's established in ways that don't meaningfully develop the character. There are exceptions (supervillains, for instance), but none apply here.
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Postby Sachi » Mon May 22, 2017 9:06 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:It is generally not possible for an idiot ball to be used brilliantly, as proper use of a character's ignorance, stupidity, or essential nature does not involve carrying the ball. The idiot ball by definition involves characters acting out of character and contrary to what the narrative's established in ways that don't meaningfully develop the character. There are exceptions (supervillains, for instance), but none apply here.

In that case, I did not find Millburn's actions to be out of character. Again, he may have been a biologist with a degree, but that doesn't guarantee common sense, especially in the field. He seemed particularly wide-eyed, naive, and very much a follower throughout the movie. His first scene where he introduces himself to Fifield displays a lack of awareness for hostility unless it's made clear to him. His second scene where he pompously denounces the idea of being created by alien life because it would spit in the face of darwinism displays his own rigid belief in what he's been taught and a level of arrogance, when this entire movie is about having one's faith and beliefs challenged. He may have been a scientist, but was not displayed as a smart character by any stretch, all the way up until his death. If anything, the huge dissonance between his profession and the way he conducts himself seems intentional.

Go ahead and counter any of that, but keep in mind that as we do this we're slipping more and more into subjective territory, which is my initial point.
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Re: [Film] Prometheus + Sequels

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon May 22, 2017 9:09 pm

To be fair, my original claim was that one could argue that the action of the characters in Prometheus are objectively more infuriating than those same actions performed by the cast of Alien because of the expectations based on the premise and underlying base assumptions and logic of the different casts in the different films are, well... different. I never said that Prometheus was bad. It wasn't a statement on quality inasmuch as it was a statement on audience reaction. The decision on what its quality is based on that scale of infuriation can arguably be a different topic.
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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 22, 2017 9:14 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:In that case, I did not find Millburn's actions to be out of character. Again, he may have been a biologist with a degree, but that doesn't guarantee common sense, especially in the field.


It should have, given that he was selected for a high profile mission by people who have the resources to hire the best money can buy. That's not subjective, which is my point -- the movie never gives an adequate explanation for why such wildly incompetent people were chosen for such an important mission, and that lack of clarity is a serious flaw in the movie. It wouldn't have been if it had been addressed somewhere, but it never was.
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Postby Sachi » Mon May 22, 2017 9:25 pm

The capitalists in this franchise haven't exactly been shown to be competent either. Who says they're any better at their jobs than the scientists? Another huge part of this movie is using power simply because you can, and not because it's entirely understood. Weylin himself had a deadline considering he needed this mission to be in the works before he died. Who's to say he didn't rush things? He didn't seem particularly concerned about any of the glaring dangers after he woke up and demanded to be taken to the Engineer, so who's to say he was cautious prior to the mission either?
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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 22, 2017 9:28 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:The capitalists in this franchise haven't exactly been shown to be competent either. Who says they're any better at their jobs than the scientists? Another huge part of this movie is using power simply because you can, and not because it's entirely understood. Weylin himself had a deadline considering he needed this mission to be in the works before he died. Who's to say he didn't rush things? He didn't seem particularly concerned about any of the glaring dangers after he woke up and demanded to be taken to the Engineer, so who's to say he was cautious prior to the mission either?


At that point everyone in power as well as everyone they hire is carrying the idiot ball, which is its own problem.
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Postby Sachi » Mon May 22, 2017 9:41 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:At that point everyone in power as well as everyone they hire is carrying the idiot ball, which is its own problem.

There's another theme of the movie: even the gods and the powers that be aren't perfect. David is disappointed by his creators, the same way Halloway and Shaw are disappointed by theirs. Those with power wield it because they can, and they create because they can. But being a creator doesn't make one a god, as demonstrated by Weylin's death, and the Engineers aren't perfect either. The Prometheus mission was fundamentally flawed from its inception, down to the very purpose of it all (for Weylin to achieve immortality and become a god). That's the point. We're mostly there to follow Shaw and her crisis of faith.
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon May 22, 2017 9:43 pm

Note on the Helmets:
The Colonial Marines in ALIENS are going to a colony where over 160 people mysteriously disappeared. They have zero idea what caused this. It could have very well been a viral outbreak. They go charging in there without any protective breathing gear or helmet whatsoever. If there had been a viral spread of the Alien in that film it would have been something people would call the movie for. Because ALIENS never goes that route no one ever calls the movie out on it but I would say that's a solid criticism of a 31 year old film.

We're at the sixth entry in this series. Almost 40 years of Alien lore. These films despite their A+ presentation are still B genre pictures. Alien was horror. Aliens was war. Alien 3 was horror again. Alien Resurrection is a comic book/black comedy. Prometheus is essentially a B genre scifi picture from the 1960s (Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires being the obvious inspiration down to the costume design). Alien: Covenant is Frankenstein/The Island of Dr. Moreau. The rules for this franchise & the genres it plays in is the same. Humans foolishly go where they shouldn't & are punished for their ignorance.

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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 22, 2017 10:00 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:There's another theme of the movie: even the gods and the powers that be aren't perfect. David is disappointed by his creators, the same way Halloway and Shaw are disappointed by theirs. Those with power wield it because they can, and they create because they can. But being a creator doesn't make one a god, as demonstrated by Weylin's death, and the Engineers aren't perfect either. The Prometheus mission was fundamentally flawed from its inception, down to the very purpose of it all (for Weylin to achieve immortality and become a god). That's the point. We're mostly there to follow Shaw and her crisis of faith.


None of that addresses the problem I described, though. If your movie relies on everyone involved acting foolishly all the symbolism in the world won't help it.

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Note on the Helmets:
The Colonial Marines in ALIENS are going to a colony where over 160 people mysteriously disappeared. They have zero idea what caused this. It could have very well been a viral outbreak. They go charging in there without any protective breathing gear or helmet whatsoever. If there had been a viral spread of the Alien in that film it would have been something people would call the movie for. Because ALIENS never goes that route no one ever calls the movie out on it but I would say that's a solid criticism of a 31 year old film.


Eh. The Company knew exactly what happened, which is why they sent in the marines instead of the W/Y equivalent of the CDC. The marines didn't know that, but that's why Ripley was there -- and she told them they were after some sort of xenomorph, which pretty effectively rules out disease.
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Postby Sachi » Mon May 22, 2017 10:13 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:If your movie relies on everyone involved acting foolishly all the symbolism in the world won't help it.

This logic does not compute for me. How is having a plot full of people and structures making mistakes inherently bad? Again, I fail to see the objectivity behind all this.
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon May 22, 2017 10:17 pm

Company didn't know the Aliens took over the colony. They ASSUMED because of Ripley's story. At that point WY has not yet had any physical evidence of the Xenomorph. They sent Burke with the Marines to verify. Either way, whether the Marines take Ripley's story as fact - they don't - those guys going in without a helmet is still just as valid a logistical criticism as it is in Prometheus/Alien: Covenant.

Either way, I'm having a bit of a laugh seeing people on the Evageeks forum attack Alien: Covenant for having characters acting foolishly advance the plot & then we turn right around & vigorously defend Evangelion 3.0 for pretty much committing some of the exact same flaws. Characters making dumb decisions, information not being shared, characters letting their emotions override thought, etc. Mind you, I love both series & the latest entries of both have their flaws but characters in distress making the wrong choices is not one of them.


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