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The Gnat's Movie Reviews: Prometheus/Lincoln Vampire Hunter
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The Gnat


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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
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Location: Minneapolis
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prometheus

This film was one that I wanted to like more than I ended up liking it. It has some great deep themes running through it that they handled quite well, and then a ton of tacky poorly developed horror elements that made no sense and were rife with plot holes. Without the horror elements this would have been an amazing film.

The story itself is very interesting, life was put on earth by these powerful god-like creatures (not without some sacrifice by these engineers) and then humanity finds out about them, seemingly by various check ins and leave a map throughout ancient history to the planet where the engineers have an outpost. They then set off on an exploratory trip to find this planet and these engineers in a quest to learn more about them and to contact someone from the stars and to find out why humanity was created. They read the planet to find that the remaining engineers on the outpost are in hibernation and as something has been killing them. And that is where the story falls apart, illogical acts by the Captain, a crazy android, which is actually one of the stronger points, and running directly in the path of a rolling space craft really hinders the strength of this film.

The three elements that are strong are: David, the android who wants to be human and has developed some human emotions, enough to know when he is being screwed with, but not well enough to know how to properly respond. It is interesting to watch his growth and his prying into the lives of people (and his obsession with looking like Lawrence of Arabia), but this was often secondary in the later parts of the film to the horror elements. Elizabeth's beliefs. Her horror elements were lousy, getting something cut out of her stomach and then running around without an issue, but the idea that this wasn't about a scientific discovery for her, but something to help clarify what she believed was an interesting thread that they didn't dwell on as much as they should have. And finally Weylands desire to live forever. This is severely glossed over (and the make-up on Guy Pearce was terrible for a film that was this large and grand a scale), but it was an interesting concept that really wasn't explored as much as it should have been.

There were unfortunately more weak elements than strong. The Geologist and Biologist were two of the most ridiculous horror cliched characters that seemed to change their opinion of things on a whim and act very irrationally which led to their quick death (and idiotic return). Idris Elba, who is a solid actor, plays one of the most illogical captains I've seen, also becoming a horror film cliche. His getting knocked down by Elizabeth and having her escape and then returning to the bridge like nothing had happened made no sense or less so, his leaving his post to go have sex with Charlize Theron (alright I give him that one) in the middle of a crisis with two of his men stranded, the inability of him and his crew to notice a storm coming but then to be able to tell the people trapped when it will end, his willingness to destroy his ship and kill himself (albeit after his characters stupidity, I'd want to kill that character off too). And Holloway was also a throw away character, he was basically an jerk (to put it in forum rules) and was a character that was meant to die, but his death was meant to be larger and more heart jerking than it was, which is because they didn't create good logical qualities in his character, they just attached him to main character and assumed that them having sex would be enough to get us to care about him, and it failed miserably, because otherwise he was a jerk.

In terms of the technical side of things, the scoring was shaky at times not matching up with the emotions that were being portrayed on the screen. But visually this was a stunning film, even with a in between forum of the alien creature who kills everyone being quite suspect in its looks. But the planetside and the first scene with the engineer were very beautiful.

My hopes are that when we get a directors cut that this film will come together and some of the more interesting points will be developed (or that the horror will become less than the cliche poor attempt at horror) and I will be able to like it more.

Entertainment Grade: B-

Critical Grade: C-

Overall Grade: C
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The Gnat


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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
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Location: Minneapolis
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

I'd describe this as a something I wouldn't recommend for most people, but I was thoroughly entertained by it. It is one that I'd say skip in theaters and redbox (even thought the 3D is fun) and that since I liked it, I'll pick it up when it goes down to $5 at Target. It is absurd and flips back and forth between serious and hilarious, but sometimes it works somehow.

The story is probably better in book form as the absurd scenes might be less absurd when you imagine them, and the serious scenes might seem less serious than they were portrayed on the screen. But this absurd film actually has an entertaining storyline about the rise of Abraham Lincoln and the twisted Southern Vampires. I don't know how to describe the plot as more than it takes Lincolns life (his youth, growing up, becoming a lawyer and eventually President) and adds in killing vampires to it with an ax that has it's tip covered in silver.

The visuals in this film were surprisingly good, even the absurd scenes, such as a buggy basically making a handbrake turn, were really well done, and the coloration of the film, often slightly washed out and duller than some films (than the trailer that was before it for The Great Gatsby for sure) it worked perfectly with the time period and semi-serious mood of the film. The 3D was also some of the better 3D that I've seen. It wasn't over the top, but it added depth to the film and wasn't constantly things shooting out of the screen at you. Even the scoring was solid as it blended more classical and period appropriate sounding music with some harder rock like beats during some of the action sequences.

Now, it didn't all blend correctly together, the seriousness was often in such an odd point that it didn't work well, and some of the absurd was just too absurd, but it was entertaining through the whole. They even developed one quite creepy scene, even though it was gotten out of in a most absurd manner, but, with a subject matter like it has, what should you expect, not all that much more. I went in with low expectations and they were exceeded by this film.

Entertainment Grade: B+

Critical Grade: D+

Overall Grade: C+
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