Tag: Prometheus

5 Jawesome Things for the week of March 23, 2012

The five best things I came across in the past week.

1. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

I wrote a full review here, but I forgot to mention a few things, so I’ll take this space to right my wrongs. I never really touched on how meta Eggers can get outside that opening section/preface. There are three scenes in particular where a regular conversation morphs into a back-and-forth with himself over the acceptability of writing a book about his friends and family. These asides are not only clever and interesting but vital to the success of the book. We have to know that Eggers is struggling with what he’s doing. He knows that no book can accurately capture these people’s lives and that they wouldn’t necessarily be happy if it did. It calls into question what Eggers the artist is doing to Eggers the reporter. Is the book more fiction than not? Does it matter?

2. 21 Jump Street

I’m just as surprised as you are. This movie was actually really funny, likely due to having some of the people behind the superb and underrated Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs involved in the directorial and writing positions. There are a few scenes that are just as crazy and absurd as that film is throughout, like the first drug trip the two undercover cops (the usually great Jonah Hill and the often-bad-but-surprisingly-great-here Channing Tatum) go on. It’s weird as hell and hilarious. The movie is pretty self aware, which is nice, and it actually does the buddy-cop thing pretty well. Fans of the tv show should keep an eye out for a few fun shoutouts and everybody should stay for the end credits, an explosion of color and clips and amazingness.

SWEARING!

3. Prometheus

Oh my. This movie cannot come out soon enough. It looks amazing. A prequel-thing to my 9th best movie of all time, Alien, directed by the director of that film, Ridley Scott would be enough to get me in the theater on opening day. Throw in MICHAEL FASSBENDER! and IDRIS ELBA! and NOOMI RAPACE! and I’ve already got my ticket purchased. Well, not really. Metaphorically. Jawesome! Now I just need to not see anything else until it comes out.

4. Javale McGee

Ah, basketball. The greatest of all sports. The only sport I care to watch. Javale McGee, a 7 foot center recently traded to the Denver Nuggets, was known as kind of an idiot around the league before this week. He had a lot of potential but it was all being wasted playing for the Washington Wizards. He did this there:

 That’s bad. However, in his first game as a Nugget he had an amazingly smart play to win the game. Watch it here: 
That’s some serious bball IQ right there. To get his defender off balance by stepping back and then hanging in midair to make sure he didn’t get called for goaltending takes a lot of smarts. I hope he continues to improve on his new team. Also, he has a DJ Roomba!

5. The end of Star Trek DS9‘s fifth season

I started watching DS9 because it was pointed to as a spiritual precedent for the Battlestar Galactica reboot. That show had a great mix of character, situation, and deep philosophical dilemmas. All of those things can be found on DS9, albeit in a bit softer form. But the softness isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I think that seeing these characters in situations that don’t concern the end of the human race allows them to be more fully developed. I liked a lot of the characters on BSG but I never got a feel for them as people, only as hardened warriors or meek bystanders. On DS9 there are life threatening situations, but there are also fun-time episodes. Those fun-time episodes make the events of the fifth season finale, the invasion by the Dominion and Cardassians, all the more exciting and intense. We know who all of these people are and we care deeply about them and their predicament. The final episode is executed perfectly, each character gets something to do and has something to lose. It’s wonderful.

Blade Runner sequel-thing will not be the worst thing ever

We’re not computers, Sebastian, we’re physical.

Blade Runner is unarguably one of the best movies of all time. The combination of noir and sci-fi is genius and gorgeous. The movie’s heart is the feel of it. It evokes future Los Angeles with all of the crappy weather and grimy streets that you’d expect. And the awesome umbrellas, too. This abundance of style can be attributed to one man: Ridley Scott. The production designer turned director understood how to make the future alien but recognizable. And it’s all misty and stuff. Cool. But now there will be a sequel. And as we all know, sequels inevitably ruin original films. Turn them into cash grabs that amp up the sex and violence at the expense of ideas and characters. Is nothing sacred anymore?

But wait! I have here a copy of the Movie Making Rule Book. Let’s turn to page 482, the beginning of the sequel chapter. Of course, we’re too early into the movie’s life to even know if it is truly going to be a sequel. We know, today, that Harrison Ford will not be in it. Which means that Deckard won’t be in it. Which means that it will likely be a spiritual sequel if anything, with future Los Angles as the only recurring character. Unless they get Edward James Olmos back to spout his weird made up language hybrid. That’d be fun. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, back to page 482: “A sequel is not inherently different from any other film. It, too, must tell a story. It, too, must have characters. It, too, must exist in a certain place and time. It, too, must have something to say. The only difference is that it might look back to the previous film for inspiration. A character, story element, location, or even thematic thread might continue from the earlier entry. Those are the rules.”

What wisdom! I’m sure that we could come up with numerous sequels that were not crap. The Empire Strikes Back is often cited as the best Star Wars film. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is the third film in a series. A lot of people think that The Godfather Part II and Aliens are better than their predecessors. These people are not right, but they’re entitled to their opinions. And the Bourne sequels are better than the first film. Are there more bad sequels than there are good sequels? Yes, of course. There are more bad movies than there are good movies, so, according to the Movie Making Rule Book’s decree, it would follow that there are more bad sequels than good. Because there are no rules for making a sequel. There is nothing in the idea of a sequel to a story that makes the sequel automatically bad. When the only thing we know about this sequel is that it is going to be produced and directed by Ridley Scott we have so little to go on that we might as well know nothing. If we are to form an opinion based only on this news we would probably do better to think it’s going to be great, not horrible. But we have been so trained to hate everything we hear about sequels we forget that they are no different from any other film at their cores. If there is anybody to trust with the legacy of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott is the one. The man who created the world in the first place is, at the very least, not a reason to be afraid of the sequel. And has another follow-up to a beloved sci-fi movie of his coming out soon. Prometheus is a semi-prequel to Alien, the only similarity that we know of is that they exist in the same world. Which is all we know about this Blade Runner sequel. So, if Prometheus turns out to be crap you can start to worry. But really, the only sane thing to do is to form an opinion after you see the film. Until then it’s all meaningless speculation. At least wait until there’s a trailer, internet.