Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” intrigues with its opening scene and sustains this right up until the end credits, perhaps even after this point: hours after seeing the film, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. A semi-prequel to Scott’s science-fiction horror masterpiece “Alien,” it begins rather appropriately with the silent introduction of an extraterrestrial being, but not the one of “Alien” that haunted our nightmares. This alien is tall and humanoid, with a pale complexion and the darkened eyes of a great white. Adorned in a monk’s robe, it stands atop a gargantuan waterfall in the early years of Earth, where it is shown to poison itself. Its apparent sacrifice and subsequent tumble into the flowing waters below breathes human life into our planet. Already, “Prometheus” is stirring.
We travel forward to the year 2089 and find ourselves in the mountainous landscape of the Isle of Skye in bonny Scotland. Here, archeologist couple Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace, the original girl with the dragon tattoo) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green, “Devil”) discover a cave painting depicting humans worshipping a constellation, the same constellation they have seen etched into the cave walls of other ancient civilisations, none of which ever shared any contact. Shaw, whose neck dangles a crucifix, sheds a tear at the sight. Investigation into the skies above shows that this constellation exists in a far-off corner of the universe, and that sitting within it is a sun similar to our own, and a moon capable of sustaining life. Intriguing. (Continue Reading…)
(Eight outta Ten)
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The star of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is Andy Serkis, an actor who appears in the film solely through the use of motion-capture technology. He plays Caesar, a chimp who is presented to us entirely through computer-generated imagery inserted into a real-life environment. Serkis, who previously provided the movements of towering ape Kong in Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” remake, succeeds in conveying emotions more so than any of the live-action humans in the film, all while playing an animal who isn‘t really there; as such, his performance completely steals the movie along with the special effects used to physically create the furry character.
Caesar is the son of an ape that has been genetically modified in a San Francisco laboratory. This mother chimp has been experimented on with a retrovirus that is hoped to be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and one of the side-effects it has on the chimp is increased intelligence. One day, while scientist Will Rodman (James Franco, “127 Hours”) is giving a presentation on the project, this mother chimp escapes from her cage and is shot dead by security.
As you should know, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a prequel to the Franklin J. Schaffner sci-fi classic “Planet of the Apes” of 1968. Rupert Wyatt’s film serves as an explanation of how exactly the planet of the apes came to rise, how the apes took over and how our planet would eventually be run by a bunch of horse-riding chimps capturing humans in nets and dumping them in cages.
You may be against this decision; a sense of mystery surrounding background stories never hurt anyone, and just explaining away could possibly damage a storyline‘s strength. But no, in this case it doesn’t, instead doing sufficient justice to the beloved original, shining a light on the story’s past as well as superbly standing on its own two hairy feet as a singular movie. (Continue Reading)