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Prometheus – First Impression

I had the oppurtunity, pleasure, and honor of being one of the first people to enjoy an advance screening of this year’s (maybe this decade’s) best science fiction film, Prometheus. Do not expect a review here–the movie does not start in the US for another week, and I do not want to spoil it.

I woke up this morning saying to my wife today is the 31st, “You know what happens on the 31st?” And she looked at me and said huh? I said Prometheus starts! She gave me that look (the one that says, “idiot”) and asked me to check the date. I pulled out my phone and it said the 30th. Fuck!

Before lunch we exchanged some e-mails and she mentioned that I will be seeing Prometheus tonight. I wrote back and told her to shoosh, thinking she was poking fun at me. She responded, “No, I ordered a ticket for a sneak peak.” Oh yeah, game on!

At 21:45 I sat in a half-full theater watching the start to a story that began in 1979. I’ve gone on enough about my love of this period and the science fiction and pop culture produced, so I’ll skip that monologue.

This movie is awesome. Simply awesome. It is hands down one of the best science fiction movies that I’ve seen in a very long time. Not action adventure, not horror, but science fiction. Science fiction as it pertains to an event happening, not to an individual, but to everyone. In Alien the event was isolated, only occurring to a small group–horror in a science fiction setting. Prometheus shares that element, but constantly builds on the global, universal aspect. The horror isn’t meant for one heroine, it’s meant for everyone.

The start of the movie pays homage to every single science fiction influence since Stanley Kubrick’s 2001–the sterile fluorescent-lit rooms and hallways. The homage to Hal and Dave is so face-smacking to any film and science fiction amateur that I nearly grabbed the guy next to me yelling “AWESOME!” I refrained, but the inner child in me was gone.

There was nowhere else to go–until the exploration team charges in. Over 30-year-old questions are answered, and more are raised. Ridley Scott masterfully pokes, prods, and teases us in two hours, giving us a prequel, telling us where it started, and yet completely fucking with us as amateur followers. In the first minutes I’m wanting to grab the guy next to me, point at the screen, and say, “Wait, did that say SPOILER?” But I thought “SPOILER.” These weren’t inconsistencies, but nuggets. Nuggets that there is more to tell; this isn’t all there is before the 1979 Alien story.

The movie is masterfully paced, not at a neck-breaking speed, and not so slow that we’ve fallen to sleep before Dave has to fix the antenna on Discovery One… No, the pace is perfect, with enough time to absorb, enjoy, process, and take a breath. Time to take in the settings, the sets, the art.

One of the great aspects of the original Alien movie was the realization of H. R. Giger’s art brought to life. Any amateur will love Scott for bringing that critical, crucial aspect back to Prometheus. It is as much a part of the story as it is the story. After 30 years, finally seeing the Space Jockey come to life was worth the price of admission alone.

I want to write more, I want to talk about the film, I want to see it with my old friends Chris and John and geek out like we were 13 again watching Aliens and Alien. I want to see it 13 times and pick it apart. My inner nerd is screaming for more.

But that will have to wait. I have more to say on the film, and another viewing is needed before I can turn these thoughts and questions into content. I promised SamuRon to get this done before next week for the launch of fwooshflix.com. For now, I promised VeeBee a few post-movie words and I am delivering on that.

Keep an eye open on this space–next week we launch “Sci fi Week” and more.

Talk about the movie here: http://www.thefwoosh.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=99&t=68047