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Ridley Scott
Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong
Writing Credits:
Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof

Following clues to the origin of mankind a team journey across the universe and find a structure on a distant planet containing a monolithic statue of a humanoid head and stone cylinders of alien blood but they soon find they are not alone.

Box Office:
$130 million.
Opening Weekend
$51.050 million on 3396 screens.
Domestic Gross
$126.464 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (3D Only)
Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 (3D Only)
Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 (3D Only)
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 124 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 10/9/2012

• Both 2D and 3D Blu-ray Versions of the Film
• Audio Commentary With Director Ridley Scott
• Audio Commentary with Writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof
• “The Peter Weyland Files”
• Deleted and Alternate Scenes
• “The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus” Documentary
• “Enhancement Pods” Featurettes
• “Weyland Corp. Archives” Featurettes and Production Galleries
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Prometheus [Blu-Ray 3D] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 22, 2016)

Back in 1979, Ridley Scott became a “name” director with the hit sci-fi/horror film Alien. 33 years – and many sequels/spin-offs – later, Scott finally returned to his roots with the semi-sorta prequel Prometheus.

In a prologue, we see how alien “engineers” visited an unnamed planet that looks suspiciously like Earth. They used their bodies to “seed” the world and launched the rudiments of life.

From there we leap ahead to the year 2089 and meet archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green). As they explore a cave, they locate a star map that they believe acts as an “invitation” from an alien culture. Corporate mogul Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) pays for an expedition to follow up on this “request”.

Led by mission director Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), this sends the crew of the Prometheus on a journey many miles from home. When they arrive on the planet LV-223, they discover remnants of an alien civilization – and some terrifying surprises.

When asked about the subject in 2012, Scott vehemently denied that Prometheus acted as a prequel to Alien, and he’s right – in a pedantic sense. No, Prometheus doesn’t directly lead to the events in Alien. That film took place on the planet LV-426, not LV-223, and involved different – but very similar – beings/circumstances.

However, both clearly take place in the same universe, and Scott feels happy to remind us of their connections on many occasions. I think the film’s tendency to both distance itself from and embrace Alien seems disingenuous. Scott wants the easy access to an existing franchise but wants to avoid direct comparisons.

He can’t have it both ways, though I can understand his desire to keep Alien at a distance because it’s the radically superior film. Like many fans of the franchise, I really looked forward to Prometheus. I think Scott’s been an inconsistent – and often mediocre - filmmaker for quite some time, so I hoped that his return to his roots would jump-start his creative juices. I also hoped that he’d expand the Alien universe in a compelling new way.

Unfortunately, Prometheus ends up as a bit of a dud. Okay, “dud” probably overstates the situation, but I don’t think it’s a satisfying precursor to Alien. Placing in the Alien pantheon, I’d find it tough to pick Prometheus over any of the sequels; it’s superior to the fairly lame Alien Vs. Predator films but that’s about it.

What went wrong? Lots, starting with the characters. In Alien and Aliens, the filmmakers were able to introduce us to multiple participants and make them easily distinguishable. Sure, they could often fall into the “stock character” category, but they still stuck and we cared about them.

This never happens in Prometheus. I won’t call the characters interchangeable, but not a single one comes across as an interesting personality, and we never invest in any of them. I guess we’re supposed to bond with Elizabeth – the spiritual scientist – but we don’t. As played by Rapace, she’s just a weepy, annoying mess.

Perhaps it’s fitting that the most compelling character comes from the robot David (Michael Fassbender). Despite his lack of emotional range, the movie makes him easily more well-rounded and intriguing than any of the humans. Why not add some life to the real people, Ridley? They’re all dull duds without enough personality to involve us emotionally.

And that’s a fatal flaw. Thrills and action don’t matter much if we don’t buy into the characters. With more interesting personalities, the tale might’ve gone farther, but without them, it fails to get off the ground.

Much has been made of the movie’s many logic issues, and I agree that they’re abundant. I won’t harp on them, however, because they’re not especially important to me. I’m willing to forgive plenty of flaws of that sort as long as I enjoy the ride.

Without any form of drama or excitement, unfortunately, Prometheus sags. Scott always was a visual director, but here he seems totally hung up on those elements and appears utterly disinterested in anything else.

Make no mistake: Prometheus looks great. The film creates a vivid universe that blends seamlessly, and it probably becomes Scott’s best-realized set of visuals since Blade Runner 30 years earlier.

But we still lack enough meat to make this an appealing meal. Some defenders of Prometheus combat accusations of “style over substance” with the rejoinder that “style is substance” in this case – and I can see their point.

To a degree, that is. Yes, the visuals of Blade Runner became a large part of what made the movie work, but it still had a fairly well-realized tale with interesting characters. Nothing of the sort occurs here, and I get the feeling Scott was so excited with the bag of tricks he didn’t have for Alien in 1979 that he didn’t care about anything else.

Prometheus barely even bothers to tell a new story. Despite its ample “creation of mankind” pretensions – which add up to precisely doodley-squat - Prometheus usually feels like a second-rate remake of Alien. The two aren’t perfectly analogous, but they’re close enough for the newer film to seem uninspired.

I don’t want to come down too hard on Prometheus, for as I alluded earlier, it’s not a genuinely bad film. Nonetheless, it isn’t a particularly good movie either, especially given the baggage it must carry. As part of the Alien franchise, it disappoints.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A/ Audio A/ Bonus A+

Prometheus appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. From start to finish, the movie looked amazing.

Sharpness excelled and provided concise, distinctive images. If any softness occurred, I didn’t discern it. I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also weren’t a factor in this clean presentation.

The film opted for a variety of tones, with an emphasis on blues, yellows and greens. These stylistic choices limited the color range, but I thought the hues looked solid given those choices. Blacks were deep and dense, and shadows showed clear definition; low-light shots offered excellent visuals. I felt really impressed with this terrific transfer.

Similar praise greeted the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Prometheus. From start to finish, the movie used all five channels as nearly constant partners. Music filled the whole spectrum in a satisfying way, and effects demonstrated tremendous breadth.

Though Prometheus didn’t offer a ton of action, it made great use of the soundscape. The components showed fine localization and blending; everything came from the right spot and the pieces fit together in a smooth way. When the track went for an action vibe, it cranked into high gear, but even when it stayed with ambience, it filled out the room in a smooth manner.

Audio quality lived up to the standards of the soundfield. Music was bold and dynamic, and speech seemed concise and crisp. Effects demonstrated terrific range; highs were tight, and lows seemed deep and full. Bass response added a real kick and gave the movie great power. Everything worked well here.

This set includes both the film’s 2D and 3D versions. The comments above reflect the 2D disc’s quality – what did I think of the 3D edition?

A rare live-action movie shot with 3D cameras, Prometheus benefited from a consistently excellent sense of depth. It lacked many standout moments, but it always showed a nice feeling of dimensionality. The many holographic displays looked cool, and a storm brought out an immersive feeling as well.

Visual quality also seemed strong. As usual, the 3D image looked darker than the 2D, and that could make the movie’s many low-light shots a smidgen murky. I thought the added punch from the 3D effects compensated, though, and made this the preferred way to view the film.

Along with the 2D rendition on Disc Two, we also get two audio commentaries. The first comes from director Ridley Scott, as he delivers a running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and development,

If you’ve heard prior Scott commentaries, you’ll know what to expect here – for good and for bad. On the positive side, Scott covers a nice variety of filmmaking components, and he does so in a lucid, frank manner. However, Scott tends to simply narrate the movie at times – too many times. That factor ensures this doesn’t become a great commentary, but it delivers enough info to be a good one.

For the second commentary, we hear from writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. Each sits separately for their own running, screen-specific chats that get edited together. Though they look at some general filmmaking subjects, they mostly focus on story/script/character areas and deleted scenes.

The Blu-ray’s publicity promises that the set’s extras will discuss all the movie’s confusing elements. Most of those explanations appear here, as the writers are the ones to concentrate the most on this topic. Don’t expect to have them offer great detail on the film’s “secrets”; they give us solid background but don’t spoon-feed us.

Instead, they mainly stick with information that looks at story subjects and how these evolved. That’s appropriate, and the two separately recorded commentaries mesh well. Both Spaihts and Lindelof touch on their work nicely, though Lindelof’s “everybody hates me” remarks get a little tedious. Nonetheless, we learn a little in this tight piece.

14 Deleted and Alternate Scenes run a total of 36 minutes, 51 seconds. I’d love to report that these offer “lost gold” that would’ve helped make Prometheus a more satisfying movie. Unfortunately, they’re not particularly interesting. Most extend existing scenes, and no revelations occur; even the alternate opening/closing pieces aren’t especially different. A scene between Vickers and Janek has some merit, but most of this stuff seems forgettable.

We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from editor Pietro Scalia and visual effects supervisor Richard Stammers. They give us background for the scenes as well as why the segments got cut. Their remarks flesh out the sequences well.

Under The Peter Weyland Files, we get four clips that focus on the movie’s characters. These include “Quiet Eye: Elizabeth Shaw” (2:37), “Happy Birthday, David” (2:28), “Prometheus Transmission” (7:08) and “TED Conference, 2023” (6:58). “Eye” shows Elizabeth’s attempts to get a meeting with Weyland, and “David” offers an advertisement for Weyland’s artificial lifeforms. “Transmission” provides a reel sent by humans to let the aliens know they were on the way, while “TED” shows Weyland’s presentation to discuss the ascension of man to god-like status via technology. Created to promote the film in the “viral video” manner, all are cool to see.

On Disc Three, the main attraction comes from The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus. In this three-hour, 40-minute and 56-second documentary, we hear from Scott, Spaihts, Lindelof, Stammers, Scalia, executive producers Mark Huffam and Michael Ellenberg, production designer Arthur Max, visual effects art director Steven Messing, conceptual artists Carlos Huante, Steve Burg, Neville Page, David Levy and Ben Procter, creature and special makeup effects supervisor Neal Scanlan, director of photography Dariusz Wolski, costume designer Janty Yates, space helmet units prop master Grant Pearmain, first AD Max Keene, special effects/vehicle supervisor Trevor Wood, prosthetic supervisor Conor O’Sullivan, stunt coordinator Damon Inch, on set VFX supervisor Matt Sloan, visual effects producer Allen Maris, Weta VFX supervisor Martin Hill, MPC VFX supervisor Charley Henley, MPC animation supervisor Ferran Domenech, MPC VFX lead Nicola Danese, MPC VFX technical director Joan Panis, composer Marc Streitenfeld, orchestrator/conductor Ben Foster, supervising sound editor Mark P. Stoeckinger, re-recording mixers Ron Bartlett and DM Hemphill, and actors Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Kate Dickie, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Rafe Spall, Sean Harris, and Ian Whyte.

“Gods” covers the project’s origins and development, story/character/script areas, production/concept design, vehicles and creatures, cast and performances, costumes, cinematography and working 3D, sets and locations, various effects, stunts and action, editing, music and audio, and the film’s release.

With nearly four hours at its disposal, you’d expect “Gods” to offer a pretty complete documentary – and you’d expect correctly. If I wanted to find a flaw here, it’d be from the “borderline overkill” nature of the piece; this is a long show.

But as long as the content is good, I’m happy with super-extended documentaries, and “Gods” comes packed with useful material. Of course, we get some repetition from the commentaries, but that’s not a major concern, as the many additional perspectives open up the topics. Add to that scads of behind the scenes footage – including hilarious footage of the actors as they contend with their aggravating space helmets – and “Gods” delivers a thorough and enjoyable documentary.

If that’s not enough, 23 Enhancement Pods run a total of one hour, 10 minutes and 54 seconds. You can view these as a branching option as you watch “Gods” or you can access them on their own. Across these, we hear from Scott, Spaihts, Messing, Max, Yates, Page, Procter, Levy, Fassbender, Marshall-Green, Wong, Pearce, Lindelof, Scanlan, Burg, Scalia, Wolski, Theron, Rapace, O’Sullivan, Stammers, Maris, Ellenberg, set decorator Sonja Klaus, caterers Guy Scott and Ben Rowland, linguist/teacher Dr. Anil Biltoo, Fuel VFX visual effects producer Felix Crawshaw, Fuel VFX visual effects supervisor and lead designer Paul Butterworth, Fuel VFX visual effects associate supervisor Anders Thonell, Fuel VFX CG sequence supervisor Simone Riginelli, Fuel VFX compositing supervisor Sam Cole, and actor Patrick Wilson.

The “Pods” examine the movie’s title, the “board game” Spaihts used to help write, character/story topics, props, set dressing, and other visual design elements, the Engineers’ language, thoughts about Alien, creatures, sets, and locations, various effects, and a smattering of other topics.

The “Pods” work exactly as this sort of “branching” material should. They include interesting tidbits but nothing that would be called essential. I like that trend; this means that we get the meat of the discussion in the main documentary and the “Pods” add a little bit of flavor. They’re fun and interesting little toss-ins.

The set’s remaining extras show up in the Weyland Corp. Archive domain, which subsequently splits into three smaller realms. Pre-Production comes with The Art of Prometheus and Pre-Vis. “Art” provides into “Ridleygrams” (405 screens), “Giger & Gutalin” (89), “Conceptual Art” (954), “Costume Design” (139), “Creatures” (363), “Vehicles” (216), “Props” (65) and “Logos and Patches” (49). With more than 2200 frames of material, this collection qualifies as “exhaustive”. It’s a real treasure trove for fans.

As for “Pre-Vis”, it shows 25 minutes and 47 seconds of computer graphics used to plan shots. I’m not always a big fan of this sort of material, but these are high-quality and more interesting than most.

Under Production, we move to three subdomains. Screen Tests offers “Noomi Rapace as ‘Shaw’” (9:55) and “Costume/Make-Up/Hair Test” (11:28). The “Screen Test” shows a few different scenes and is much more polished than the average tryout; the footage looks so good that it almost could’ve fit in the final film.

“Costume” lets us see different looks for Rapace, Fassbender, Theron, Harris, Spall, and Elliott. We can also watch the segment with or without commentary from those actors. I’d recommend it “with”, as the collection of tests is much more interesting when you hear about the choices.

Time-Lapse Sequence: Juggernaut goes for one minute, 51 seconds and shows the creation of a large set. This is reasonably interesting, though like “Costume”, it works better when viewed with optional commentary; here we get notes from Arthur Max.

“Production” finishes with Unit Photography, another compilation of stills. We locate 762 frames of material, so expect another voluminous collection. These cover virtually all aspects of the shoot and add many good shots.

“Archive” comes to a close with Release. Marketing Gallery breaks into “Poster Explorations” (131) and “Key Art” (23). Both are good, though I especially like the “Explorations”, as that area lets us see a bunch of unused advertising ideas.

A variety of ads appear under Trailers and TV Spots. Here we locate four trailers – two US, two international – and 28 TV promos. Nine Promotional Featurettes fill a total of 18 minutes, 43 seconds and provide remarks from Scott, Marshall-Green, Rapace, Theron, Fassbender, Pearce, Spaihts, Lindelof, Max, and Keene. As promised, these are promotional in nature, so they don’t tell us much, but they’re more interesting than most in their genre.

Finally, HBO First Look runs 12 minutes, three seconds and features Scott, Rapace, Lindelof, Marshall-Green, Theron, Elba, Fassbender, Keene, Max, Scanlan, Klaus, and Pearce. It’s just more of the same kind of material found in the “Promotional Featurettes”. While there’s little of value on display, I’m still glad the disc includes “First Look” for archival purposes.

A fourth disc gives us a DVD Copy of Prometheus. It’s a basic version without any extras.

After 33 years, Ridley Scott returned to the Alien universe with a thud. Prometheus looks great but lacks much beyond its production design to interest us; story, characters and action all seem forgettable. The Blu-ray soars, however, as it provides excellent picture and audio along with a genuinely exhaustive roster of supplements. As a movie, Prometheus remains a disappointment, but I do like this Blu-ray presentation, especially since it gives us such a strong 3D image.

To rate this film visit the original review of PROMETHEUS

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main