Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Prometheus

Ridley Scott is one of the greatest hit-or-miss directors of all time. When he hits, he hits big. One thing he rarely gets wrong is the visuals. Even his worst films are often visually compelling. Take for example Legend. The antagonist "Darkness" is one of the greatest villain designs of all time (played by the equally hit-or-miss brilliant Tim Curry). I admire what Ridley was going for: a fairy tale style story. Anti-Tolkein in it's aesthetic, more like an Arthur Rackam or Lord Dunsany style fantasy. But Legend missed so badly, as much as I wanted to like it even Neil Gaiman's "Stardust" captured the spirit of this old world fantasy much better. I recently watched the 'director's cut' and it was unimaginably worse. I still admire many of the visuals though. And Mia Sara is stunning as Lili, the love interest to Tom Cruise's insipid and demoted main character Jack. (it is interesting that Legend came out the same year as Top Gun)
Mia Sara as Lili

Tim Curry as Darkness

When Ridley Scott hits he hits better than almost any director out there. Rivaling Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, or even Peter Jackson on their best days. The two best examples are Alien and Blade Runner. Epic films that inspired generations of artists and directors after them.

Now Ridley Scott has decided to revisit the universe he created in Alien, a prequel called Prometheus. Fans of imaginative fantasy and speculative science fiction can only rejoice - so long as we get the brilliant Ridley Scott of Black Hawk Down and Matchstick Men not the dull director of such misses as Robin Hood and Kingdom of Heaven.

Perhaps it is a pseudo prequel, or only distantly related to Alien. The message isn't very clear on exactly what this film represents. Whatever it is I always admire Ridley Scott's craftsmanship, he is one of the best film directors and producers of all time, even when he makes a lackluster film the art and craft of the film itself are admirable.

Here is the teaser poster for Prometheus. May it be as great, or greater than Alien and Blade Runner!
 

7 comments:

  1. I watched part of Legend with the Jerry Goldsmith score, and it seemed like a much better movie.

    By the way, I only stopped watching 'cause I was out of time.

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  2. Hit or miss indeed. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.

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  3. For what it's worth, the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven is a huge improvement in practically every way. Unfortunately, Orlando Bloom's performance still drags the movie down.

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  4. while the director bears the blunt of criticism, the whole studio system is responsible for the success or failure of a film. Everyone involved: art directors, actors, casting directors, post production, marketing, and the studio itself all play a large part in the quality of a film. I have no doubt that many a brilliant film has been ruined by the system.

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  5. Just a nit-pick: Ridley Scott Directed "Alien" not "Aliens". The latter was directed by James Cameron. I've also got high hopes for Prometheus. Robin Hood looked so terrible I don't ever plan on seeing it.

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  6. I mean Alien, not Cameron's brilliant sequel Aliens, of course.

    Maybe I need to see the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven, but I don't know that I could sit through that movie again. :|

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  7. I actually really enjoyed the director's cut of Legend. Interesting fact about the movie, the entire sound stage with all of the scenery burned down early into the shoot, and Ridley Scott was forced to use ad hoc sets for the bulk of the shoot.

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