To my wonderful children,
If you are reading this, it means that Ridley Scott has bludgeoned mommy’s hopes and dreams for a prequel to Alien that didn’t suck, like a Russian clubbing a harp seal, and I am dead, metaphorically. You see, mommy didn’t want to believe, when she first heard that Scott was making a prequel. She was convinced Sir Scott was going to BLEEP it up, somehow. Exactly like he did with Robin Hood. Which should have been a freakin’ awesome movie! I mean, how do you ruin, cinematic gold, Russell Crowe as Robin Hood? Give it an agenda, that’s how. Which is exactly what Scott did. He made Prince John not so bad, and King Richard, a jerk, because, crusades. ALL WRONG. I digress.
I was suspicious, and highly skeptical that this was going to be just god awful. I was right to be cautious. Remember that, make smart choices first so when you look back, your life isn’t a mountain of poo filled mistakes. Learn from mommy. So I’m plodding along not getting sucked into the hype about the movie. Very comfortable with my position, that it’s all going to be gut rot in the end. Then it happened, as the opening night came closer, I changed my game, I watched Scott’s interview about the movie. Biggest mistake ever. It gave me hope, stupid awful horrible hope. That somehow, this movie might not be so bad after all. NEVER change your game plan. People who say, be flexible, learn to adapt, are dumb and wrong. Always stick to your plan because you’re smarter than everyone else so your plan is just fine the way it is.
I will now go through my Prometheus stages of grieving in painstaking detail:
Stage #1: Tolerance
The movie opens in Scotland, where some smart people with evil corporate money are spending it looking for pretty pictures in caves. They are called scientists. It’s nice scenery, so far so good. Then they find this picture with a guy pointing to five circles, they get all excited because it’s like all the others. Girl scientist concludes it MUST be an invitation to come visit. Clearly that’s what this ancient refrigerator art must mean. Now we are on a ship, because, invitation. Girl scientist is dreaming about her dad who says God exists because he chooses to believe. Which is about as clever as saying leprechauns exist because we believe they do. I’m annoyed at this point. But, I tell myself, to accept and tolerate the story line. So it’s not what I would write, that doesn’t make it bad. Yes it does, but that’s a different rant.
Stage #2: Pissed Off
It took no time at all to get to this stage of my grief. The movie took a complete nose dive shortly after landing on LV-422 (or something) and finding evidence of the Engineers. Who as it turns out, made us, and they’re complete jerks. So yeah, we were made by oversized man-babies. Who rip heads off people who try to talk to them. Does every single android in the Alien franchise have to be ripped apart by the end of the film? Ash, Bishop, and now David. As if it was somehow less morally offensive to shred an android. But these things, they are trifles compared to what really stunk about the film. I angry wrote my thoughts.
1. It didn’t have to be Alien, but it also didn’t have to be Alien 3. I knew Scott wasn’t going to make another Alien, you can’t improve on perfection anyway. But, I was hoping he would use at least some of the same directorial nuances. Like, don’t show us the entire alien because it looks goofy. That was why you (Scott) cut him out in the first place, and it was cinematic brilliance. Or if you are going to show us a bunch of alien stuff, make it not look like slimy rubber. I don’t know, turn the lights down or something. Remember this?
And that was in 1982. I know, you’d think we’d evolved beyond this. Although, John Carpenter’s The Thing was pretty cool, it was still obviously rubber. I could suspend disbelief in 1982, because I was 8, but not in 2012, because I’m 38, and I’ve seen Jar Jar Binx.
2. Leave God out of it, unless of course, you’re doing a movie about God. But otherwise, it’s obnoxious for the viewer. No one likes to be told how to think about what’s going on. We, and by we I mean, I, want to use my own experiences and beliefs to piece together the moral elements, if any, in the story. I was completely robbed of that opportunity when the screenplay hijacked religion and made it some relative concept that was no more meaningful than color worship (See below), and then shoved it into the storyline.
And it never works. Movies that try to be thoughtful about the existence of God without acknowledging the power of God, fall flat. Although, someone in the film does raise the question, who created the engineers? Which could then lead one to consider there may have been a divine Creator somewhere down the line, but it never gets any play in the movie beyond subtext. Of course, then again, I could be wrong, and I just made up that point because I’m super desparate to find the upside. Where is the win in this movie???
3. Corporations are not inherently bad. How tiring and played out is this idea that Corporation are responsible for all the bad stuff, always? NOT the alien life form that bleeds acid and is pure hostility, or the uber-humans that hate their creation and want to destroy them. No, it’s the company that sucks rocks.
4. No woman, I don’t care who she is, can haul a**, run and jump around an alien planet 3 minutes after having a cesarean. I don’t even need to expand on that thought, because it can’t happen. As an added bonus on the theme of female superpowers, here’s Helen Redding.
The morale of mommy’s Prometheus experience is simple, don’t care this much about a movie. I do because I am past being helped. But for you, my children, there is still time to learn how to read a book. We have them in the house. I have spent years discussing at length every aspect of Scott’s original Alien. Why? Because the movie is unique, and it leaves more questions than answers, and I like hearing the sound of my own opinions.