Prometheus, to me, is much like the acquired taste of beer. You may not like it the first time you try it, but the more you give it a chance, it becomes harder and harder to resist and suddenly that raunchy aftertaste becomes a thing of the past as it becomes more socially acceptable in your ecosystem. More so, it’s like fine wine. It only gets better with age. Yada, yada, yada. But seriously, If I had to rank my Top 3 “Most Anticipated” Films of 2012, Prometheus would have been a gut wrenching #4 choice. It’s not that I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but nothing could ever top my love for the Nolan’s Batman series, which I considered masterpieces, and Seth Grahame-Smith’s literary mash-up work, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (too bad the movie translation SUCKED). And oh yeah, there was that small tribe of insignificant Marvel superheroes too. What were they called? Oh yeah! The Avengers! So to say Prometheus didn’t have a little competition this year would be like saying peanut butter and chocolate don’t go together, BECAUSE THEY DO! One thing’s for certain ladies and gents, when I first saw Prometheus on the big screen, I was on the edge of my seat and I could not wait to take it all in…the science fiction…the breathtaking landscapes…and the ALIEN(s). Oops! Did I say too much?
You know that good old saying be careful what you wish for? Well, the same principle can be upheld here in regards to the plot of Prometheus where similar to the beliefs within the literary work of Chariots of the Gods, astronauts and archeologists go out in search of the truth of our existence without little regards to the potential dangers and hazards when they open Pandora’s Box, so to speak. Because after all, we all know we had a little “engineering” help from an alien race back in the day, did we not? Regardless, the premise and production of Prometheus was marked with a high level of secrecy, which rivaled most government clearances, and rightfully so because everyone wanted to know…IS this an Alien prequel or not? That was the million dollar question on everyone’s mind OR at least how much does it tie in with the existing Alien mythos is probably a more accurate one. However, the Prometheus issue of Entertainment Weekly earlier this year pretty much spilled the beans on that.
Going by what Director Ridley Scott says, Prometheus shares strands of Alien’s DNA and takes place in the same universe. Enough said, right? Right! The science fiction outing stars a now more beautiful than ever Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender (fully clothed this time out), Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green and I got to say, an incredibly smoking hot Charlize Theron. My God! What has happened to her? She looks more incredible every time I see the woman. The rules of aging are completely reversed for her as she defies them all.
So as I kind of mentioned before, the story of Prometheus is set in the late 21st century, 2089-2093 to be exact, and focuses on the crew of the spaceship of the same name as they follow a hunch by archeologists who believe they identified a star map in drawings found in ruins and caves of ancient civilizations here on Earth that they believe leads to the origins of humanity. Don’t they know nothing’s ever as easy as it seems? It’s always the things you think that are foolproof easy that end up causing frustration and going awry in life. Oh well. It’s a movie! We’re supposed to have complex twists and turns. So let the Act 2 fun and games section begin!
The crew of the Prometheus land near what I can best describe as some kind of “alien” temple that has been long abandoned. They cannot wait to explore. With less than only six hours of daylight left, the eager crew venture out into the great unknown wearing those bubbles on their heads for good reason, the air is a little hard to breathe out there. Have you ever heard of the word terraforming? I read a great deal about it while researching the Saturn moon of Titan, some time ago, and how life could be possible on it. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the term before going to check out Prometheus. You’ll thank me later.
After making a discovery of a long, but not forgotten dead alien body, the sh1t starts to get real. Things go bump in the night and black liquid starts oozing everywhere. But along the way, a remarkable discovery is made. The dead alien body I referred to sentences ago shares a unique trait with us…its’ DNA is a match with ours. Eureka! The trip to this distant planet wasn’t a waste after all! But remember I said that things are not always as easy as they seem? One horrifying event after another, this sh1t goes down.
And really…that’s as much as I can tell you without spoiling things for the peeps out there who have not seen the film. Scott was dead on with his statement I mentioned above. Prometheus shares similar DNA and traits with Alien and takes place in the same universe, but it’s a completely different movie. Sadly, the things that made the original Alien so horrifying and suspenseful are absent here, but wow is that alien environment and extraterrestrial terrain a beauty to behold. The cinematography captured by the RED Epic was simply breathtaking here against the landscapes of England, Iceland, Spain and Scotland, and that’s not even mentioning the technology of Prometheus. My God! I want one of those medical pods. I would never have to go to the doctor again.
Just like all the guys got to ogle over Scarlett Johansson’s assets in the Avenger’s spandex, we get treated to much the same here with Charlize in her form fitting spacesuit. And I love every minute of it! Actually, there’s a lot to love about the characters in Prometheus. I guess you can say the brave character of Shaw, portrayed by Noomi Rapace, is the closest we get to a Sigourney Weaver from the legendary franchise, but completely different in some respects. That’s one thing Scott challenged himself with as to how to both differentiate the story and characters from the original Alien franchise and in my opinion; I do believe he succeeded in at least that. A fully clothed Michael Fassbender, who portrays the ship’s butler and maintenance android David, is fabulous as ever. Really, is he ever flawed in the err…acting department? And much to my surprise, I truly enjoyed Idris Elba’s performance as the vessel’s captain. His character really knocked it out of the park, in more ways than one as you’ll see in the film. And last but not least, there’s Guy Pearce. Was his Benjamin Button-like cameo worth it? I’ll let you decide for yourself.
So this is what it all boils down to. Was Prometheus a good story? Does it suffer? Does it falter? Does it splinter? In hindsight, I initially believed it did, but after watching some three times again it’s really growing on me…not as a standalone movie, but as something part of much larger. What that is remains to be seen. I would say as it relates to the likes of the Marvel superhero movie Captain America, Prometheus stands as little more than a setup for an eventual sequel. I still think the movie raises more questions than it may have answered and a result, a sequel is almost unavoidable. Like the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, I feel it leaves you hanging a lot. Is that a bad thing? I would say no in the case of Prometheus, but that all depends upon your level of tolerance. The more I think about Prometheus while writing this, the more I can’t wait to watch it again and again. It’s because of that feeling that I’m going to piss a lot of my fellow reviewers off here when I change my former theatrical film review score from a 3.5 to a 4 here. Who does that remind you of, Gerard? Oh well. Let them have their say. That’s what the comments are for. But for now, let’s get into the reason you are all here…the Blu-ray vitals!
Like the ancient pyramids of Egypt, can you get any more perfect here? Remember in Tron: Legacy how it revolved around the search for perfection, but in the long run life was already perfect…blah, blah, blah? Well…PERFECTION is right here. Right in front of you. Pop this disc in your Blu-ray player of choice and be prepared to be WOWED. I could stop this review right here without any more words in the video section and you will know I mean business, but since I’m a nice guy…I won’t do that to you. Prometheus’ 1080p AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, which is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio and shot on the RED Epic digital camera, is simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Fine detail is prevalent throughout in the tiniest of fibers, pores in the actor’s faces and in crevices otherwise left unexplored in the breathtaking set pieces and environments. The color palette and range of vibrancy is exemplary, while the blacks are all deep and inky, even in the darkest of scenes. Everything, including the skin tones, are in harmonious check here. What an absolute beauty the stunning and gorgeous cinematography of Prometheus is to behold from my viewing couch. Eat your heart out Jeff Bridges. This is absolute perfection.
KABOOM! Even the iTunes compatible Digital Copy rocks the house here. Prometheus’ lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track is where it’s at. I don’t know how many times I had to turn my speakers down. It was like telling my dog to sit and stay at times. The audio here cannot be tamed. And I mean that in a very good way. It completely delivers in every respect and puts you in the midst of all of the action. You will definitely experience and hear every little nuance within. From the crystal clear dialogue to the exploding rock debris, the HD lossless track will never leave you feeling like you wanted more. You have EVERYTHING you need right here, complete with a harmonious and infectious score from Marc Streitenfeld that will leave you humming for days. Cherish the quiet times in Prometheus on Blu-ray, as they are your friends and your ears will thank you later. This reminds me. My one ex co-worker used to have a four-letter plural word he would use in his unique vocabulary when something was remarkable or exceptional. I think it fits the bills here…T1T$!
Before we get into the nitty gritty of what Special Features you can find here, I thought it would be worth mentioning that although it looks like there’s a lot below, this set is bare bones compared to its 3-D big brother, the Prometheus 3D Blu-ray: 4-Disc Collector’s Edition, which comes with an exclusive bonus disc featuring a three-and-half-hour documentary by Charles de Lauzirika. Sadly I have not seen this documentary, but I have heard really great things about it. And right about now, I’m jonesing to see it! So let’s take a look at what we got to work with here, minus the three-hour doc on the 3D set.
Audio Commentaries - There are not one, but two audio commentaries to be found here. The first one features Director/Producer Ridley Scott as he basically describes everything in great detail. You won’t be lost with this one. The second audio commentary track features Writer John Spaihts and Writer/Executive Producer Damon Lindelof as they basically talk about all things story. Very interesting!
Deleted and Alternate Scenes (HD) – Normally I hate watching these deleted scenes. I always believe there are a reason they got cut so why should I waste my time with them. But not here. I dove head over heels into the below scenes trying to gather as much information as I possibly could about anything in the story I may have missed the last four times I watched the feature. There are approximately 37-minutes worth of goodies here complete with optional commentary too, which I highly recommend listening to. I broke them all down individually below, complete with runtime lengths. They are all rendered in glorious High-Definition. WARNING: THE FOLLOWING HIGHLIGHTS CONTAINS SPOILERS.
- Arrival of the Engineers (2:45) - This early cut of the film’s intro scene features the sacrificial Engineer with several of his comrades, including an elder one and dialogue.
- T’is the Season (1:07) – A little more dialogue between Janek and Vickers around the Christmas tree.
- Our First Alien (00:51) - An alien species is discovered in the dark, black running waters.
- Skin (00:51) – Milburn and Fifield make a discovery.
- We’re Not Alone Anymore (1:32) – Shaws presents a toast to their feats, but her lover, Holloway, does not join in the celebration.
- Strange Bedfellows (3:11) – This is a different take on the bedroom scene with Shaw and Holloway.
- Holloway Hungover (1:35) – An extended version of the afterglow between Shaw and Holloway.
- David’s Objective (00:31) – Tension between David and Vickers! Just an extra scene here, that’s all.
- Janek Fills Vickers In (3:43) – Janek tells Vickers a story. I didn’t really care for this one. It seemed too forced.
- A King Has His Reign (3:56) – This is merely an extended version of the scene between Vickers and her father.
- Fifield Attacks (2:14) – I wished they used this scene instead of the one they did. This one shows a more mutated alien-like creature we are all fond of rather than the more human approach they ultimately went with.
- The Engineer Speaks (4:23) – Here’s a longer version of when David awakens the Engineer for Weyland. If my opinion matters, I’m okay with this one being cut.
- Final Battle (5:51) – I loved this scene. Unfortunately, it did not make the cut in favor of a quicker final battle between the lone, pissed-off Engineer and Shaw.
- Paradise (5:20) – This extended scene reveals new information about the Engineer’s homeworld, where Shaw is going next and more chatter between her and David.
The Peter Weyland Files (HD, 18:57) – These are a collection of internet promo videos courtesy of Mr. Weyland, which talk about the signals they have received from an unknown distant planet (a tip of the hat to the original Alien film) and whatnot. There are four videos in total here:
- Quiet Eye: Elizabeth Shaw
- Happy Birthday, David
- Prometheus Transmission
- TED Conference, 2023
Second Screen App – The Blu-ray also provides exclusive access to the Prometheus Weyland Corp Archive – Second Screen App. Experience the Prometheus Blu-ray in an all-new way by syncing the movie with your tablet or smart phone for the ultimate interactive experience.
- Questions will be answered as you go deeper into the mythology
- Uncover secrets with other fans through integrated social networks
- Flick movie extras from your device to the TV screener (LOVE THIS!)
The App is available in the Apple App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prometheus-weyland-corp-archive/id563562816?mt=8 and Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fox.android.pss.
Digital Copy/DVD (SD) – There is a second disc included here that serves as both a DVD version of the film as well as the key to unlocking the iTunes Digital Copy. There’s also an UltraViolet compatible version accessible here too, but I have not successfully unlocked that as of yet because of some login problems Flixster is having with this title. God! I HATE UV copies. Can’t wait until that technology dies. LOL. Yes, I am bitter.
In conclusion, I urge you to enjoy Prometheus for what it is, not the most outstanding piece of science fiction ever written, but rather a much-needed and deserved trip down memory lane filled with beautiful bombshells (Rapace and Theron), a fully clothed Fassbender (thank the Gods) and a surplus of beautiful/exotic landscapes and gorgeous cinematography that will take your breath away like a plastic bag over your head, not to mention the reminiscent, but distant alien DNA too. This is an outstanding Blu-ray package to behold and if not for the lackluster Special Features section as opposed to its 3-D big brother, this 2 disc-set would have been as near perfect as possible. For disciples of Ridley Scott, the Alien anthology or sci-fi fans in general, this is a MUST-OWN on the Blu-ray format. If you seek more, then perhaps the 3D edition may be more to your liking. I know I’m wishing I had that 3-hour documentary to watch right about now. Enjoy!