Film Junk Podcast Episode #372: Prometheus

0:00 – Intro
8:10 – Review: Prometheus
43:55 – Headlines: Justice League Movie Back in Development, Guinness Book of World Records: The Movie, World War Z Rewrite and Reshoots, Jackass 4: Bad Grandpa, Django Unchained Trailer, Wreck-It Ralph Trailer
1:10:50 – Other Stuff We Watched: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Planet of the Vampires, Leviathan, DeepStar Six, Wanderlust, Dennis the Menace, White Squall, Black Rain
1:56:45 – Junk Mail: Directors We’d Like to See Return to a Franchise, Batman Premium Podcast, Cinema Studies Responses, Ti West vs. Alexandre Aja vs Rob Zombie, Movies That We Wish Found a Bigger Audience, Movie Catchphrases That Enter Your Daily Vernacular
2:17:45 – This Week’s DVD Releases
2:18:30 – Outro
2:20:24 – Spoiler Discussion: Prometheus

Film Junk Podcast Episode #372: Prometheus by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

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  • Henrik

    Portugal omnomnomnom we won 3 of last 4.

  • Tahir

    Some extra Weyland stuff here…

    http://www.whatis101112.com/

    If its the USA date format then what happens on
    11 Aug 2012 ?

    Could be just a dvd release date.

  • Tahir

    Sorry – that should be 11 Oct 2012

  • Noah Sol

    Loved the film. If you’re a fan of Alien mythology and the universe of Alien then you will as well! If you’re just looking for an Alien remake and some scfi horror then whatever…

    One point that I think is missed is that the Engineers aren’t looking to destroy earth for some kind of revenge mission. They’ve developed a bio weapon that requires a host to complete the creation. Earth and humans may have initially been created by some good guy Engineers but now some bad guy Engineers can use us to develop their Alien army.

    Why is there an assumption when dealing with an Alien race that they would all have the same motivations and personality. Maybe there was a war between two nations of the Engineers and these guys developed a nice wee WMD? Perhaps the pile of bodies are prisoners that have been used as hosts in experiments?

    Do we really need so long piece of exposition to explain every idea being explored. I think most of the haters problem is they can’t explain the movie in a single tweet, try using a bit of brain power people!

  • Mrespony

    My biggest problems with this movie had more to do with the bumbling crew and the dickhead Weyland conspiracy. How do those two guys get lost in the first place when they were never out communication with the ship and had those nifty hovering mapping devices? If Weyland wanted to visit this planet for his own selfish reason why not just go out there with a ship of Davids rather than risk conflict with a crew of people you just deceived? The inconsistent quarantine procedures bothered me as well, the first Alien was so grounded in realism that Prometheus’ crew seemed like rank amateurs when compared to the likes of Parker and Brett. It’s easy to get lost in Alien because of the attention to detail, tight story, there were only a few times you might get taken out of the story (mostly Ash’s bad fake head) but with Prometheus this was happening every other scene and for multiple reasons.

  • Mrespony

    Having said that, I liked the expansion of the Alien mythology, I like that the film raised questions that still need answers. I just wish the filmmaking had been on par with Scott’s earlier work. But let’s be honest, Prometheus is a riff on a 30 year old piece of set decoration.

  • Colin

    Apparently Prometheus is good because it asks lots of questions and doesn’t answer anything…

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120606/REVIEWS/120609989

    Thanks Roger!

  • Sigh.

  • Okay, I debated about whether or not to post this since I have not listened to the podcast, but I am 99.999% certain that most of the effects in the movie (okay, not the DNA thing) but the sets and creatures and such were practical effects. In fact, I think Rapace talked about this a lot in interviews. Just wanted to point that out if anyone cares.

    Also, I wish people would stop blaming Damon Lindelof for everything. He didn’t make the entire movie by himself. He didn’t hold a gun to Ridley Scott’s head or whoever made the final edit. If you’re still bitter about the last episode of LOST (which I am) I think it’s entirely possible to leave that out of critiques of Prometheus. Let’s not get crazy here.

  • Any film containing any member of the Lost writing/creative staff will ultimately see its faults placed on the shoulders of that person. Either that, or it will be blamed on JJ Abrams, even if he has nothing to do with the production in any way whatsoever (I’m looking at you Halfyard.)

  • *laughs through tears*

    Jay, someone said you wrote a review somewhere? Or did I imagine that?

  • Can we just blame Matthew Fox instead?

  • bg

    Noah Sol , Thank You. I agree a statement about the movie that says it all.

  • I don’t want to divert from the riveting ‘why’d he take his helmet off, huh? ANSWER ME THAT’ Prometheus questions, but…
    Blade Runner: the Final Cut really is the definitive version. They may sound ruinous but the few minor re-shoots really do improve/correct serious flaws in the old versions. Unless, of course, you prefer having what is clearly a stunt man in a ladies wig pretending to be Joanna Cassidy in a key scene, as opposed to having Joanna Cassidy come back and redo the scene herself. idk. Up to you.

  • Tahir

    Just heard an interview with Ridley Scott here on one of our UK stations and he said Prometheus will have 2 follow ons if successful.

    Prometheus takes place on LV-223.
    The next film will take place on another LV planet and
    the final film will take place on LV-426.

  • daphne loves shaggy

    If all four film junkers were left with the impression that the downed ship in Prometheus is the same derelict from Alien and Aliens, then some of the criticism should rightly fall on Lindelof for delivering an overly complicated script that germinates more questions than it answers. That approach may have worked in laying the groundwork for the mythology of a TV show but it doesn’t necessarily work for a film – regardless of whether the film is the “first” in a franchise or not. The post-Prometheus discussions we’re hearing are very reminiscent of the post-Lost finale backlash. Mainly, because there were so many contradicting interpretations of how things wrapped up. Many unsatisfied fans still believe that the island on Lost was an afterlife and are disappointed that they’ve been “right” the whole time in (incorrectly) assuming that they all died in the pilot. Even though film, like all forms or art, is not a direct language and is open to interpretation, much of the disappointment in Prometheus stems from the writing and it’s clear from the podcast discussion that everyone perceived the overly-complicated story elements differently. It’s come to the point that the analysis of the film and several diverging theories I’ve come across is more satisfying than the film itself.

    My favourite theory is that the engineers in Prometheus are not even the same species as the space jockey. One clue is that the space jockey set and occupant is twice the size of the engineer pilot we see. The space jockey race (a giant to the engineers as the engineers are giants to us), are the god race who created all life, including the engineers who are their servants/drones (as androids are to humans and angels are to god). 2000 years ago, the engineers revolted against their/our god(s) and planned to destroy Earthlings, who they were jealous of (as Lucifer grew jealous of humanity in Paradise Lost). They got as far as loading the biological weapons on the bomber before the Space Jockeys took them out with their own weapons – possibly xenomorphs as we know them. Xenomorphs and face-huggers are visible in the mural so it can be argued and supported by the cargo on the original derelict from Alien that the space jockey/god race developed weapons which were egg sacks with face-huggers while the engineers derived a similar mutagen weapon as urns/bombs (a more man-made, militarized version developed by workers, not gods). Elizabeth’s remark, “then who made them?” may have been on the nose.

  • From here: http://www.thisisfakediy.co.uk/articles/film/a-long-prometheus-discussion-with-writer-damon-lindelof/

    DAMON LINDELOF: All these ideas where on the table, and yes, there were drafts that were more explicitly spelled out. I think Ridley’s instinct kept being to pull back, and I would say to him, ‘Ridley, I’m still eating shit a year after Lost is over for all the things we didnt directly spell out – are you sure you want to do this?’ And he said, ‘I would rather have people fighting about it and not know, then spell it out, that’s just more interesting to me.’

    SO THERE YOU GO.

  • daphne loves shaggy

    What does “SO THERE YOU GO” mean? Is it that Scott should step forward and shoulder all of the criticism? Neither Lindelof nor Scott should be required to defend, apologize or back peddle. The film just only came out and they should stand behind their work and move on. Why respond to the the reaction on the internet. Some people really liked it, others didn’t. That’s the nature of fandom. No one is right or wrong in how they feel.

  • It’s also unclear how much of the credit / blame should go to Jon Spaihts.

    The thing that I would hold against Lindelof, which seems consistent with his style on Lost, is that he’s a lot more focused on the big picture mythology stuff than the characters or the moment-to-moment flow of the film. I think Frank mentioned this on the podcast and I tend to agree with him.

  • Any ideas on what the next premium podcast will be??

  • Daphne Loves Shaggy: I think you missed my earlier comments about not blaming any one person for Prometheus’s perceived failures. I don’t think anyone should be blamed for anything because I think the negative commentary and press is totally unwarranted and unnecessary. That being said, I think it’s clear that the film was a collaborative effort.

    I loved Prometheus and would see it again in 3D a dozen times if I had the money!

    As a general comment: I don’t know how this culture of blaming came about. When you don’t like a movie or an album, why does blame even have to come into the equation? You don’t like it, fine. But to namecheck people seems silly. It’s not like they’re senators voting for or against a law you don’t like and you’re keeping tabs on them.

  • Greg

    Batman: It’s Spider-man. Sorry.

  • You should be talking more about me :(

  • jarny

    i also like dennis the menance

  • Kathy

    Listened to the podcast and there are some questions about the movie I’ve been asking around the internet and no one has been able to answer satisfactorily.

    First and foremost – why would the Engineers show prehistoric man THE LOCATION OF THEIR WEAPONS FACILITY?
    So that they can have us in for a tour of the facility before they kill us?

    I could accept the idea that they were terraforming the planet for humans to come to later (like monoliths in “2001” and something went wrong…but then how do you explain Grumpy in cryo going Michael Meyers on their ass the minute he wakes up?

    – The first hologram shows a group of Engineers running to a room and shutting the door…and turns out they’re straight into a room full of the goo that is thought to be what caused what they’re running away from. Why?

    – Holloway asks David if he can read the hieroglyphs on the wall…to which he says “Perhaps” and then starts operating the alien tech like a pro. And yet, NO ONE EVER ASKS DAVID WHAT THEY SAY FOR THE REST OF THE FILM???? Not they ask him and he lies as says he can’t, mind you. They ask once and then never ask again.

    – Shaw had to set the machine to remove a “foreign object” and has it operate on her as if she were a man…and yet the machine takes only the Squidy…not her uterus and ovaries which would be “foreign” to the body of a man wouldn’t they?

    – At the end, David warns Shaw that she must “…get out immediately” because the Engineer was coming for her. How could he know she was in the Lifeboat?

    And these are just the some of the questions I have while trying to look at the movie as an independent film and not an “Alien” sequel.

    As an “Alien” sequel…okay, so the happenstance of all of this DNA combining causes the creation an Alien Queen. Well, great. Now she’s on unoccupied planet. If Queens need to eat, she’s got the remains of the Engineer and Vickers (because the ship rolled off of her again) but unless she can figure out the food dispensers on the Lifeboat, she’s dead. But even if she lives she’ll be laying eggs full of face-huggers that will never attach to anyone. We know the Engineers haven’t bothered with the place for 2000 plus years (otherwise they’d have gotten Grumpy out of cryo)…not much chance they’ll come back now. How does a ship full of eggs and operated by an Engineer end up crashed on another moon for the Nostromo to find?

    Visually it’s perfect. The script however is amateur shit.

  • The title Alien gets a new meaning after watching this semi-prequel. Were the Xnemorphs ever named in the Alien movies? I don’t recall.
    This is the first film in the series that shows another alien race, but to me, the true aliens seem to be us. According to Prometheus, we were created just as the Xenomorphs were created, by the same beings. It makes the following films somewhat ironic, since we’re at war with our kins, basically. We do share the same Creator, after all. The light and the dark side. Maybe that explains the irresistible attraction Weyland-Utani has for cracking open the secrets of the creature, especially as shown in part 4, when we come full circle, with Ripley as a clone – another copy – playing a mother to the monster. Quite incestuous, I would say.
    Of course it’s all in hindsight, but it sort of all falls into place. It takes the mystery away from the creature, but it creates a whole new mystery in the process. A classic Lost move. Lindelof’s fingerprints are all over this.

    Fascinating movie, and great discussion in the podcast.