Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What I Won't See

People keep asking me if I'm going to see Prometheus, Ridley Scott's new not-really-but-actually-yes prequel to Alien.  And I keep telling them that I won't.  There are a number of issues at play here, not least of which was that the original film was one of the taboo films of my childhood and established firmly that horror is not for me.

But now I'm an adult, and the type of horror that Scott dishes out is well within my tolerances.  So the real answer to the question of why I won't see Prometheus boils down to this: I think Scott is a lousy director.  He is simply not for me, and had made his way onto the list of directors whose films I avoid, simply because I know what he does and I don't think it's much good.

The main thing about his films is that they're astoundingly stupid.  Stylish and trying to talk about big issues, but talking about them in a brain-dead, half-drunk way, like a really handsome, well-dressed guy who got into college on a football scholarship taking his first Philosophy survey but only capable of processing the ideas as 'cool' on a stoner level.

Really, is there anyone out there that thinks Thelma & Lousie is an important feminist statement?  Or G.I. Jane?  It's quite telling that the lead player in most of Scott's films over the last decade has been professional belligerent manmeat Russel Crowe, a decent actor who clearly isn't nearly as deep as he desperately wants to be in real life.  Which is why he throws phones at people and threatens to beat up awards show producers who cut off his poetry reading.

There you go: an adult male who flies into a violent rage because he isn't allowed to finish reading a poem on a TV show in between the awards for best on-screen kiss and best sound editing.  That is pretty much the way I feel about Ridley Scott movies, in a nutshell.  When actual adults start making real science-fiction movies, maybe I'll go see them.  Until then, I'll stick with the kids films.  At least they know they're for kids.


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