Blu-Ray, 20th Century Fox
The Art of Prometheus
A quick flip through, and scanning of, Titan’s recently published book Prometheus: The Art of the Film reveals Ridley Scott is a great lover of design. Leaving aside, for the moment, his amazing visions of the future in his earlier science-fiction films, consider, for a moment, the aesthetics, design cohesion, and appearance of Rome in Gladiator, the middle-ages in Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood, the worlds of the Armed Forces in Black Hawk Down and GI Jane (on the latter – we are speaking only of design here!), and the urban claustrophobia of Hannibal and American Gangster. The man has an interest in, and a love for, every detail in all of his films. While this likely causes more than its fair share of consternation and frustration amongst his collaborators, the end result is always a thing worthy of attention. Even if the designs are loosely based on actual historicity or reality, there is an internal cohesion and relevance that makes his filmic worlds at once believable within their own frames of reference and also beautiful and wondrous. The book, like the film that it describes and illuminates, is a thing of beauty.
Neil Marshall’s second film, The Descent, despite its allusions to genre-films from the past thirty years as wide-ranging as Deliverance to The Thing, defies convention and brings its viewers to what is at once the most primal and terrifying of fears and yet an entirely new understanding of horror films.
The plot, like one of its major influences, Deliverance, is straightforward: a group of friends go off on an outdoor adventure and end up at the brinks of hell and madness. Specifically, after a horrible tragedy that ensued a year prior, namely the death of the family of the main character, Sarah, she and her group of friends go spelunking in deepest, darkest Appalachia and everything goes wrong. To start, they’re in a cave no one, or where they think no one, has ever been; it’s unmapped and completely new territory. No one knows where they are, and should they go missing, no one will know where to find them. The cave, or at least one tunnel, collapses, leaving them stranded in the dark (after quite possibly one of the most harrowing and claustrophobic scenes ever caught on film); they wander briefly through a few caverns to find an untold millennia-old cave painting depicting the mountain and two cave entrances. So there’s a way out. Hope. Well, that’s where the hope ends, unfortunately.
Prometheus has been in theatres for a few weeks now, which hopefully means I’m safe to write this without blowing any secrets or surprises. If you’ve been waiting to see the movie, I understand your delay. Despite being a massive fan of H.R. Giger and most of the Alien franchise, I waited for the crowds to thin and secured some mind-shatteringly awesome seats in the 3D Ultra AVX theatre before seeing the film.
Although Prometheus suffered from some plot issues, I can confidently say that not only has H.R. Giger’s original design been rightly glorified, but Ridley Scott has gotten his proper revenge.
Not sure what the hell I’m talking about? Well, there’s a little more to Prometheus than meets the eye…
Madagascar Rules, Prometheus Opens Strong – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report, Weekend of June 8th, 2012
A very solid weekend at the box office as two new releases had strong openings, while last week’s number one still showed some legs. Here’s how the weekend turned out:
Tight, tight, tight. That’s what it’s going to be like at the box office this weekend when one of the most anticpated sci-fi films of the year does battle with a family franchise force of nature. Both films are guranteed strong opening numbers, but only one of them can reach the top of mountain. So, which will it be? Here’s our prediction:
Did you check out our own Glenn Walker’s piece on the much maligned and possibly misunderstood Alien 3? If not, it’s well worth your time as the man looks back at the failed third film in the venerable franchise. Glenn echoes what most of would say about the film – killing off the characters of Newt and Hicks, two of the three survivors at the end of James Cameron’s Aliens was a big mistake. Doing so in the first three minutes of the the film – unconscionable.
Here’s the thing – there is an Alien world where Newt and Hicks lived. Where she grew up and he grew angry. It was black and white, dark and desolate and one of the most disturbing comics I read as a kid. And it’s my Alien 3.
The Alien pseudo-sideways-prequel Prometheus hits theaters in a few days, and as part of our build-up for the release here at Biff Bam Pop!, our editor-in-chief asked me to review Alien 3. At first I thought he was mad at me, punishing me. As you may have guessed, there is no love lost between me at the second Alien sequel. That said, having not seen it since I watched it in a movie theater back in May of 1992, I recently gave it a fresh viewing. These are my thoughts.