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. From start to finish, 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.
This set includes both the film’s 2D and 3D versions. The comments above reflect the 2D disc’s quality – what did I think of the 3D edition?
A rare live-action movie shot with 3D cameras, Prometheus benefited from a consistently excellent sense of depth. It lacked many standout moments, but it always showed a nice feeling of dimensionality. The many holographic displays looked cool, and a storm brought out an immersive feeling as well.
Visual quality also seemed strong. As usual, the 3D image looked darker than the 2D, and that could make the movie’s many low-light shots a smidgen murky. I thought the added punch from the 3D effects compensated, though, and made this the preferred way to view the film.
Along with the 2D rendition on Disc Two, we also get 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,
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 commentary, we hear from writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. Each sits separately for their own 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.
On Disc Three, the main attraction comes from The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus. In this three-hour, 40-minute and 56-second documentary, we hear from Scott, Spaihts, Lindelof, Stammers, Scalia, executive producers Mark Huffam and Michael Ellenberg, production designer Arthur Max, visual effects art director Steven Messing, conceptual artists Carlos Huante, Steve Burg, Neville Page, David Levy and Ben Procter, creature and special makeup effects supervisor Neal Scanlan, director of photography Dariusz Wolski, costume designer Janty Yates, space helmet units prop master Grant Pearmain, first AD Max Keene, special effects/vehicle supervisor Trevor Wood, prosthetic supervisor Conor O’Sullivan, stunt coordinator Damon Inch, on set VFX supervisor Matt Sloan, visual effects producer Allen Maris, Weta VFX supervisor Martin Hill, MPC VFX supervisor Charley Henley, MPC animation supervisor Ferran Domenech, MPC VFX lead Nicola Danese, MPC VFX technical director Joan Panis, composer Marc Streitenfeld, orchestrator/conductor Ben Foster, supervising sound editor Mark P. Stoeckinger, re-recording mixers Ron Bartlett and DM Hemphill, and actors Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Kate Dickie, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Rafe Spall, Sean Harris, and Ian Whyte.
“Gods” covers the project’s origins and development, story/character/script areas, production/concept design, vehicles and creatures, cast and performances, costumes, cinematography and working 3D, sets and locations, various effects, stunts and action, editing, music and audio, and the film’s release.
With nearly four hours at its disposal, you’d expect “Gods” to offer a pretty complete documentary – and you’d expect correctly. If I wanted to find a flaw here, it’d be from the “borderline overkill” nature of the piece; this is a long show.
But as long as the content is good, I’m happy with super-extended documentaries, and “Gods” comes packed with useful material. Of course, we get some repetition from the commentaries, but that’s not a major concern, as the many additional perspectives open up the topics. Add to that scads of behind the scenes footage – including hilarious footage of the actors as they contend with their aggravating space helmets – and “Gods” delivers a thorough and enjoyable documentary.
If that’s not enough, 23 Enhancement Pods run a total of one hour, 10 minutes and 54 seconds. You can view these as a branching option as you watch “Gods” or you can access them on their own. Across these, we hear from Scott, Spaihts, Messing, Max, Yates, Page, Procter, Levy, Fassbender, Marshall-Green, Wong, Pearce, Lindelof, Scanlan, Burg, Scalia, Wolski, Theron, Rapace, O’Sullivan, Stammers, Maris, Ellenberg, set decorator Sonja Klaus, caterers Guy Scott and Ben Rowland, linguist/teacher Dr. Anil Biltoo, Fuel VFX visual effects producer Felix Crawshaw, Fuel VFX visual effects supervisor and lead designer Paul Butterworth, Fuel VFX visual effects associate supervisor Anders Thonell, Fuel VFX CG sequence supervisor Simone Riginelli, Fuel VFX compositing supervisor Sam Cole, and actor Patrick Wilson.
The “Pods” examine the movie’s title, the “board game” Spaihts used to help write, character/story topics, props, set dressing, and other visual design elements, the Engineers’ language, thoughts about Alien, creatures, sets, and locations, various effects, and a smattering of other topics.
The “Pods” work exactly as this sort of “branching” material should. They include interesting tidbits but nothing that would be called essential. I like that trend; this means that we get the meat of the discussion in the main documentary and the “Pods” add a little bit of flavor. They’re fun and interesting little toss-ins.
The set’s remaining extras show up in the Weyland Corp. Archive domain, which subsequently splits into three smaller realms. Pre-Production comes with The Art of Prometheus and Pre-Vis. “Art” provides into “Ridleygrams” (405 screens), “Giger & Gutalin” (89), “Conceptual Art” (954), “Costume Design” (139), “Creatures” (363), “Vehicles” (216), “Props” (65) and “Logos and Patches” (49). With more than 2200 frames of material, this collection qualifies as “exhaustive”. It’s a real treasure trove for fans.
As for “Pre-Vis”, it shows 25 minutes and 47 seconds of computer graphics used to plan shots. I’m not always a big fan of this sort of material, but these are high-quality and more interesting than most.
Under Production, we move to three subdomains. Screen Tests offers “Noomi Rapace as ‘Shaw’” (9:55) and “Costume/Make-Up/Hair Test” (11:28). The “Screen Test” shows a few different scenes and is much more polished than the average tryout; the footage looks so good that it almost could’ve fit in the final film.
“Costume” lets us see different looks for Rapace, Fassbender, Theron, Harris, Spall, and Elliott. We can also watch the segment with or without commentary from those actors. I’d recommend it “with”, as the collection of tests is much more interesting when you hear about the choices.
Time-Lapse Sequence: Juggernaut goes for one minute, 51 seconds and shows the creation of a large set. This is reasonably interesting, though like “Costume”, it works better when viewed with optional commentary; here we get notes from Arthur Max.
“Production” finishes with Unit Photography, another compilation of stills. We locate 762 frames of material, so expect another voluminous collection. These cover virtually all aspects of the shoot and add many good shots.
“Archive” comes to a close with Release. Marketing Gallery breaks into “Poster Explorations” (131) and “Key Art” (23). Both are good, though I especially like the “Explorations”, as that area lets us see a bunch of unused advertising ideas.
A variety of ads appear under Trailers and TV Spots. Here we locate four trailers – two US, two international – and 28 TV promos. Nine Promotional Featurettes fill a total of 18 minutes, 43 seconds and provide remarks from Scott, Marshall-Green, Rapace, Theron, Fassbender, Pearce, Spaihts, Lindelof, Max, and Keene. As promised, these are promotional in nature, so they don’t tell us much, but they’re more interesting than most in their genre.
Finally, HBO First Look runs 12 minutes, three seconds and features Scott, Rapace, Lindelof, Marshall-Green, Theron, Elba, Fassbender, Keene, Max, Scanlan, Klaus, and Pearce. It’s just more of the same kind of material found in the “Promotional Featurettes”. While there’s little of value on display, I’m still glad the disc includes “First Look” for archival purposes.
A fourth disc gives us a DVD Copy of Prometheus. It’s a basic version without any extras.
After 33 years, Ridley Scott returned 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 movie, Prometheus remains a disappointment, but I do like this Blu-ray presentation, especially since it gives us such a strong 3D image.
To rate this film visit the original review of PROMETHEUS