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Ridley Scott
Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong
Writing Credits:
Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof

Following clues to the origin of mankind a team journey across the universe and find a structure on a distant planet containing a monolithic statue of a humanoid head and stone cylinders of alien blood but they soon find they are not alone.

Box Office:
$130 million.
Opening Weekend
$51.050 million on 3396 screens.
Domestic Gross
$126.464 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 124 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 10/9/2012

• Audio Commentary With Director Ridley Scott
• Audio Commentary with Writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof
• “The Peter Weyland Files”
• Deleted and Alternate Scenes
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Prometheus [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 19, 2012)

Back in 1979, Ridley Scott became a “name” director with the hit sci-fi/horror film Alien. 33 years – and many sequels/spin-offs – later, Scott finally returns to his roots with the semi-sorta prequel Prometheus.

In a prologue, we see how alien “Engineers” visit an unnamed planet that may or may not be Earth. They use their bodies to “seed” the world and launch the rudiments of life.

From there we leap ahead to the year 2089 and meet archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green). During a cave expedition, they locate a star map that they believe acts as an “invitation” from an alien culture. Corporate mogul Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) pays for an expedition to follow up on this request.

Led by mission director Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), this sends the crew of the Prometheus on a journey many miles from home. When they arrive on the planet LV-223, they discover remnants of an alien civilization – and some terrifying surprises.

When asked about the subject, Scott vehemently denies that Prometheus acts as a prequel to Alien, and he’s right – in a pedantic sense. No, Prometheus doesn’t directly lead to the events in Alien. That film took place on the planet LV-426, not LV-223, and involved different – but very similar – beings/circumstances.

However, both clearly take place in the same universe, and Scott feels happy to remind us of their connections on many occasions. I think the film’s tendency to both distance itself from and embrace Alien seems disingenuous. Scott wants the easy access to an existing franchise but wants to avoid direct comparisons.

He can’t have it both ways, though I can understand his desire to keep Alien at a distance because it’s the radically superior film. Like many fans of the franchise, I really looked forward to Prometheus. I think Scott’s been a fairly mediocre filmmaker for quite some time, so I hoped that this return to his roots would jump-start his creative juices. I also hoped that he’d expand the Alien universe in a compelling new way.

Unfortunately, Prometheus ends up as a bit of a dud. Okay, “dud” probably overstates the situation, as it’s not a poor film, but I don’t think it’s a satisfying precursor to Alien. Placing it in the Alien pantheon, I’d find it tough to pick Prometheus over any of the sequels; it’s superior to the fairly lame Alien Vs. Predator films but that’s about it.

What went wrong? Lots, starting with the characters. In Alien and Aliens, the filmmakers were able to introduce us to multiple participants and make them easily distinguishable. Sure, they could often fall into the “stock character” category, but they still stuck and we cared about them.

This never happens in Prometheus. I won’t call the characters interchangeable, but not a single one comes across as an interesting personality, and we never care about any of them. I guess we’re supposed to bond with Elizabeth – the spiritual scientist – but we don’t. As played by Rapace, she’s just a weepy, annoying mess.

Perhaps it’s fitting that the most compelling character comes from the robot David (Michael Fassbender). Despite his lack of emotional range, the movie makes him easily more well-rounded and intriguing than any of the humans. Why not add some life to the real people, Ridley? They’re all dull duds without enough personality to involve us emotionally.

And that’s a fatal flaw. Thrills and action don’t matter much if we don’t invest in the characters. With more interesting personalities, the tale might’ve gone farther, but without them, it fails to get off the ground.

Much has been made of the movie’s many logic issues, and I agree that they’re abundant. I won’t harp on them, however, because they’re not especially important to me. I’m willing to forgive plenty of flaws of that sort as long as I enjoy the ride.

Without any form of drama or excitement, unfortunately, Prometheus sags. Scott always was a visual director, but now he seems totally hung up on those elements and appears utterly disinterested in anything else.

Make no mistake: Prometheus looks great. The film creates a vivid universe that blends seamlessly, and it probably becomes Scott’s best-realized set of visuals since Blade Runner 30 years ago.

But we still lack enough meat to make this an appealing meal. Some defenders of Prometheus combat accusations of “style over substance” with the rejoinder that “style is substance” in this case – and I can see their point.

To a degree. Yes, the visuals of Blade Runner became a large part of what made the movie work, but it still had a fairly well-realized tale with interesting characters. Nothing of the sort occurs here, and I get the feeling Scott was so excited with the bag of tricks he didn’t have for Alien in 1979 that he didn’t care about anything else.

Prometheus barely even bothers to tell a new story. Despite its ample “creation of mankind” pretensions – which add up to precisely doodley-squat - Prometheus usually feels like a second-rate remake of Alien. The two aren’t perfectly analogous, but they’re close enough for the newer film to seem uninspired.

I don’t want to come down too hard on Prometheus, for as I alluded earlier, it’s not a genuinely bad film. Nonetheless, it isn’t a particularly good movie either, especially given the baggage it must carry. As part of the Alien franchise, it disappoints.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A/ Audio A/ Bonus B

Prometheus appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. From start to finish, the movie looked amazing.

Sharpness excelled and provided concise, distinctive images. If any softness occurred, I didn’t discern it. I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also weren’t a factor in this clean presentation.

The film opted for a variety of tones, with an emphasis on blues, yellows and greens. These stylistic choices limited the color range, but I thought the hues looked solid given those choices. Blacks were deep and dense, and shadows showed clear definition; low-light shots offered excellent visuals. I felt really impressed with this terrific transfer.

Similar praise greeted the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Prometheus, as the movie used all five channels as nearly constant partners. Music filled the whole spectrum in a satisfying way, and effects demonstrated tremendous breadth.

Though Prometheus didn’t offer a ton of action, it made great use of the soundscape. The components showed fine localization and blending; everything came from the right spot and the pieces fit together in a smooth way. When the track went for an action vibe, it cranked into high gear, but even when it stayed with ambience, it filled out the room in a smooth manner.

Audio quality lived up to the standards of the soundfield. Music was bold and dynamic, and speech seemed concise and crisp. Effects demonstrated terrific range; highs were tight, and lows seemed deep and full. Bass response added a real kick and gave the movie great power. Everything worked well here.

When we shift to extras, we find two audio commentaries. The first comes from director Ridley Scott, as he delivers a running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and development, cinematography and shooting 3D, story/character subjects, sets and locations, visual design and effects, connections to the original Alien, and a few other subjects.

If you’ve heard prior Scott commentaries, you’ll know what to expect here – for good and for bad. On the positive side, Scott covers a nice variety of filmmaking components, and he does so in a lucid, frank manner. However, Scott tends to simply narrate the movie at times – too many times. That factor ensures this doesn’t become a great commentary, but it delivers enough info to be a good one.

For the second track, we hear from writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. Each sits separately for running, screen-specific chats that get edited together. Though they look at some general filmmaking subjects, they mostly focus on story/script/character areas and deleted scenes.

The Blu-ray’s publicity promises that the set’s extras will discuss all the movie’s confusing elements. Most of those explanations appear here, as the writers are the ones to concentrate the most on this topic. Don’t expect to have them offer great detail on the film’s “secrets”; they give us solid background but don’t spoon-feed us.

Instead, they mainly stick with information that looks at story subjects and how these evolved. That’s appropriate, and the two separately recorded commentaries mesh well. Both Spaihts and Lindelof touch on their work nicely, though Lindelof’s “everybody hates me” remarks get a little tedious. Nonetheless, we learn a little in this tight piece.

14 Deleted and Alternate Scenes run a total of 36 minutes, 51 seconds. I’d love to report that these offer “lost gold” that would’ve helped make Prometheus a more satisfying movie. Unfortunately, they’re not particularly interesting. Most extend existing scenes, and no revelations occur; even the alternate opening/closing pieces aren’t especially different. A scene between Vickers and Janek has some merit, but most of this stuff seems forgettable.

We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from editor Pietro Scalia and visual effects supervisor Richard Stammers. They give us background for the scenes as well as why the segments got cut. Their remarks flesh out the sequences well.

Under The Peter Weyland Files, we get four clips that focus on the movie’s characters. These include “Quiet Eye: Elizabeth Shaw” (2:37), “Happy Birthday, David” (2:28), “Prometheus Transmission” (7:08) and “TED Conference, 2023” (6:58). “Eye” shows Elizabeth’s attempts to get a meeting with Weyland, and “David” offers an advertisement for Weyland’s artificial lifeforms. “Transmission” provides a reel sent by humans to let the aliens know they were on the way, while “TED” shows Weyland’s presentation to discuss the ascension of man to god-like status via technology. Created to promote the film in the “viral video” manner, all are cool to see.

A second disc gives us a DVD Copy of Prometheus. It’s a basic version without any extras.

After 33 years, Ridley Scott returns to the Alien universe with a thud. Prometheus looks great but lacks much beyond its production design to interest us; story, characters and action all seem forgettable. The Blu-ray soars, however, as it provides excellent picture and audio along with a genuinely exhaustive roster of supplements. As a Blu-ray, this set nears perfection, but as a movie, Prometheus remains a disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.7205 Stars Number of Votes: 68
10 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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