Ep. 96: Boys in the Trees

Skateboarding kids on Halloween, a very visual idea. That may be why they chose it as the theme of this film’s opening. You have a group of boys in costumes, getting ready in the early afternoon for what promises to be a night of treacherous fun.

Boys in the Trees (2016)
TV-MA | 1h 52min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 20 October 2016 (Australia)

On Halloween 1997, two estranged teen skaters embark on a surreal journey through their memories, dreams and fears.
Director: Nicholas Verso
Writers: Nicholas Verso, Nicholas Verso
Stars: Toby Wallace, Gulliver McGrath, Mitzi Ruhlmann

(My rough notes)

They are clearly bullies. The bully leader with his blond hair tell the boys where and when to go and they follow like army troops. If you’ve seen “Stand by Me” you kind of get the idea but these boys are much meaner like the vampires in “The Lost Boys.” As the crew is skating in the park, they run across the bullied kid who accidentally runs into the big bully. He’s of course mean to him and tells him roughly to stay away. They refer to him as “fag.” Something about young boys, they just have a mean streak sometimes.

The second in charge bully doesn’t seem to mind how mean he’s being but we’ll hear more about him later. We’re left wondering why they are being so mean to this boy. Bully’s really suck don’t they? As you’d imagine, there is much more to this story. This film is about regret and the passage of time into adulthood. WE can’t change our mistakes but we can change our outlook because of them. I give you my film summary and review in the rest of the podcast.

After this point, there may be plot spoilers.

Bully #2 bings the gang over to his father’s house. His dad is a Crispin Glover look-alike, typical older looking dad. He seems loving though, he tells his son about the college applications he put in his room. The boy is very rude to his poor dad. We never find out what the root of this is. Perhaps it’s just youthful angst.

They play a lot of metal tunes showing the kids wreaking havoc of all sorts. One thing they accent is bully#2 throwing a dead crow at the bullied kid’s window. It’s just awful how hard they are on this poor kid. I know kids can be bad but the stuff this ccrew does is just horrible. You wonder is the impending Halloween trick-or-treating holds a lesson for them. Also, you have to wonder what’s to become of this bullied kid.

We find the bullied kid has drowned. It’s a spiritual journey of sorts. We find out at some point in their childhood, the bully#2 and the bullied kid were good friends who’d walk home together and go into the pipe together. Once the bullied kid was attacked and sexually molested by some older boys in the tunnel and Bully#2 just ran away, leaving him there. This fills him with regret and guilt but the end of the film signals a change for the better in the bullies, too bad it took this boy’s death to learn the lesson. The film ends on a positive note and depsite the fact it ts really all over the place, it leaves you with hope.

Ep. 95: The Wrong Man

Alfred Hitchcock states this is a true story in his monologue. This sets the stage for suspense and we are zoomed into the macro life of Emmanuel Ballestero 1953.

The Wrong Man (1956)
Not Rated | 1h 45min | Drama, Film-Noir | 26 January 1957 (USA)

In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel “Manny” Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Maxwell Anderson (screen play), Angus MacPhail (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle

This reminded me of the Dragnet intro where Jack Webb would say: “The stories are true but the names were changed to protect the innocent.” Viewers are drawn to crime stories. I’m sure there is a psychological reason for it but it’s undeniably true. In this movie, I identified with the protagonist and felt like what was happening to him was happening to me. I found this quite uncomfortable at times.

Henry Fonda and Vera Miles are the couple that shine in this film. He is a regular Joe bringing in the milk, Doing his music job on the bass at the club, checking on his kids in bed when he gets home at night. This family is strapped for cash. It represented to me the American family and debt. There really is no way around it when you are young. Fonda’s character Ballestero, is 38 which is kind of young but old enough to where you’d like to see he was doing a little better for himself. His wife complains of her wisdom teeth needing surgery. She says it will be 300 dollars. Then she doesn’t complain, she keeps her pain inside. I suppose at that time, a perfect wife. Nowadays, I kept thinking, ibuprofen would have cured her pain for the night. Why isn’t he getting her some? Simple answer is: it wasn’t invented yet. The wife is breathtakingly beautiful at the beginning and we only have clues as to how she may be weaker than we think.

For the rest of my film summary and review, I will be getting into some plot spoilers.

You have to ask why the exposition of a family is being portrayed so long. HItchcock has a purpose for everything. It’s wonderful watching his films because you can feel free to see almost everything as meant and as a clue. In literature, these are often called “significant particulars.” Hitchcock has them coming at you from the opening credits. I noticed he lists as “consultants” the DA office of some county. See he’s already adding verisimilitude there.

When Ballestero goes to the insurance office, he is seeking a loan to get his wife’s teeth worked on. Immediately, the teller panics because she thinks he is the man who held up the window the month before. Hitchcock knows the way panic spreads along with rumors. He is followed as he walks home, apprehended by the police and they take him in for questioning. I like how he continually asks to tell his wife why he wouldn’t be coming home. The police don’t care in fact they even lie to him saying repeatedly, “It’s already been taken care of.” He does whatever they ask of him at the station. I understand this guy but he’s stupid! One should always err on the side of having representation. One should always have a lawyer. A public defender could have come right in there in that room and prevented so much turmoil for he and his family. Unfortunately, he either didn’t know that or his ego prevented him from asking for it. You really feel for the guy. He should have demanded a lawyer. Should have said “are you gonna charge me with something?” I was yelling at the TV as they are taking him in to stores. Back then and probably now people had such extreme respect for the police. Keep it in check with your rights!

“You’ve been identified as a hold up man by many witness …” They tell him. He agrees to write dictation. 2x This implicates him (assumedly). I really respect him how he goes in without a clamour. He is very respectful. Above all things, when dealing with the legal system, it is wise to be respectful. His family posts bail and it is an exciting scene. He is exhausted. Then it’s the wife to the rescue!! She finally calls the lawyer. At this point it becomes like a classic courtroom drama. The lawyer is so supportive but even he couldn’t avoid a mistrial. Some juror yelled out and it had to be over. Then they have to start again.

His wife is losing it. Her frail nerves we saw evidence of at the beginning have collapsed. He has to put her in a home where she seems to not be recovering. In the end, the real robber tries it again and he is caught. This gets Ballesteri off the hook. Sigh. But what about the wife?
The end credits say she did recover and went back to her husband and lives in Florida. Imagine that, a Hitchcock happy ending! This is a classic but not dark enough to be a 10/10. I give it a 9. Well worth watching.

The Wrong Man (1956) Notes

Alfred Hitchcock states this is a true story in his monologue. This sets the stage for suspense and we are zoomed into the macro life of Emmanuel Ballestero 1953. This reminded me of the Dragnet intro where Jack Webb would say: “The stories are true but the names were changed to protect the innocent.” Viewers are drawn to crime stories. I’m sure there is a psychological reason for it but it’s undeniably true. In this movie, I identified with the protagonist and felt like what was happening to him was happening to me. I found this quite uncomfortable at times.

Henry Fonda and Vera Miles are the couple that shine in this film. He is a regular Joe bringing in the milk, Doing his music job on the bass at the club, checking on his kids in bed when he gets home at night. This family is strapped for cash. It represented to me the American family and debt. There really is no way around it when you are young. Fonda’s character Ballestero, is 38 which is kind of young but old enough to where you’d like to see he was doing a little better for himself. His wife complains of her wisdom teeth needing surgery. She says it will be 300 dollars. Then she doesn’t complain, she keeps her pain inside. I suppose at that time, a perfect wife. Nowadays, I kept thinking, ibuprofen would have cured her pain for the night. Why isn’t he getting her some? Simple answer is: it wasn’t invented yet. The wife is breathtakingly beautiful at the beginning and we only have clues as to how she may be weaker than we think.

For the rest of my film summary and review, I will be getting into some plot spoilers.

You have to ask why the exposition of a family is being portrayed so long. HItchcock has a purpose for everything. It’s wonderful watching his films because you can feel free to see almost everything as meant and as a clue. In literature, these are often called “significant particulars.” Hitchcock has them coming at you from the opening credits. I noticed he lists as “consultants” the DA office of some county. See he’s already adding verisimilitude there.

When Ballestero goes to the insurance office, he is seeking a loan to get his wife’s teeth worked on. Immediately, the teller panics because she thinks he is the man who held up the window the month before. Hitchcock knows the way panic spreads along with rumors. He is followed as he walks home, apprehended by the police and they take him in for questioning. I like how he continually asks to tell his wife why he wouldn’t be coming home. The police don’t care in fact they even lie to him saying repeatedly, “It’s already been taken care of.” He does whatever they ask of him at the station. I understand this guy but he’s stupid! One should always err on the side of having representation. One should always have a lawyer. A public defender could have come right in there in that room and prevented so much turmoil for he and his family. Unfortunately, he either didn’t know that or his ego prevented him from asking for it. You really feel for the guy. He should have demanded a lawyer. Should have said “are you gonna charge me with something?” I was yelling at the TV as they are taking him in to stores. Back then and probably now people had such extreme respect for the police. Keep it in check with your rights!

“You’ve been identified as a hold up man by many witness …” They tell him. He agrees to write dictation. 2x This implicates him (assumedly). I really respect him how he goes in without a clamour. He is very respectful. Above all things, when dealing with the legal system, it is wise to be respectful. His family posts bail and it is an exciting scene. He is exhausted. Then it’s the wife to the rescue!! She finally calls the lawyer. At this point it becomes like a classic courtroom drama. The lawyer is so supportive but even he couldn’t avoid a mistrial. Some juror yelled out and it had to be over. Then they have to start again.

His wife is losing it. Her frail nerves we saw evidence of at the beginning have collapsed. He has to put her in a home where she seems to not be recovering. In the end, the real robber tries it again and he is caught. This gets Ballesteri off the hook. Sigh. But what about the wife?
The end credits say she did recover and went back to her husband and lives in Florida. Imagine that, a Hitchcock happy ending! This is a classic but not dark enough to be a 10/10. I give it a 9. Well worth watching.

Ep. 94: Mulholland Drive

Have a listen to my film summary and review of the mysterious masterpiece “Mulholland Drive.” David Lynch is a gifted filmmaker. He’s made an impact that will be felt forever in the annals of movie history. One shared aspect of all his films is that they contain clues to a mystery. Myself, and others like me, have entered into Mulholland Drive trying to collect the clues and solve the mystery but alas, it’s just not gonna happen.

Mulholland Drive (2001)
Mulholland Dr. (original title)
R | 2h 27min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 19 October 2001 (USA)

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux

I’ve found “spoiler” sites that claim to know the meaning of the film and they are frankly — reaching at best. At worst they are rewriting the movie. MY movie hero Roger Ebert said the film should not be interpreted but rather allowed to wash over you and do whatever it does.like that, it makes it more of an emotional experience rather than a technical exercise. I have seen it and read a lot about it. As for my experience of it? I feel it’s a love/hate letter to Hollywood. There is much beauty in this film ad much truth. Sometimes truth isn’t beautiful. Let me start my summary and review by saying this is not a normal film. It is non-linear and it doesn’t do much to help the viewer understand the message. I feel there is a strong message but others like Ebert who I respect feel it does not. Its only meant to be enjoyed: the moods, the music, the horror, the mystery, the actors.

Open ended and open to interpretation films are a mixed bag. Most of us want to be able to get answers to our questions from the director, the actors, or even from a critic on the internet. I used to be that way. I wanted to believe every story had a solid meaning if I looked for it. This changed for me about the time I watched Innaratu’s “Birdman” with Michael Keaton and strangely enough, the woman who plays Betty in Mulholland Drive, Naomi Watts. The plot in many films leads to solid meaning, in others it only serves as a background or a “playground” if you will for the viewer to derive a personal meaning. It can never be proven but it is encouraged by the filmmaker. The films like this are purposely ambiguous. When someone wrote that Niggan was dead in Birdman I bought it. When someone else said the whole movie (play included) was a misfiring of a dying brain that had just committed suicide. This made sense. I’ve had dreams that seemed to last for years. There is no time in dreams. I got a lot out of Birdman, the spanse of time is just one of my conjectures. A few other examples of films that are meant to be open to interpretation are: Donnie Darko, 2001 A Space Odyssey, and Under the Skin.

David Lynch has been a director for a long time. I believe some of what’s going on in Mulholland Drive is his judgment on actors, Hollywood, and the movie making machine.

For the rest of the episode, I’ll be giving a summary of MUlholland Drive and my interpretation: Spoilers may follow but you still have to draw your own conclusions with this movie.

No mainstream director has been pigeonholed as weird more than David Lynch. His movies feature metaphor and symbolism and they take me down a winding road everytime I see them. I have a hope they mean something because they are all very well made films. Mulholland Drive stands out as one of his most successful films. Despite this, there are handfuls of critics who say it’s not a good film and really tells no coherent story worth mentioning. I knew all this going in and more than once I tried watching this film only to stop it fearing it was “going nowhere” as some of these critics had led me to believe. Even my wife told me it was very weird and she didn’t “get it.” Let’s get into this masterpiece and see if we can derive some meaning shall we?

At the beginning, we see a Brunette who is about to be murdered. As she is riding in her limousine, some scary types order her out of the car. We see later that she is way high above the night lights of Hollywood. As they are forcing her out, a joy ride with some wild teenagers comes flying up the road and smashes into the limo. It appears the brunette is the only one who escapes the crash and lives. She starts to work her way down the hill to the city but speaks nothing. We come to find out she has amnesia and doesn’t remember her own name. This is the first place in the film where open interpretation can come in. She could be a famous actor or she could be no one. She makes her way into a house where she sees a woman is locking up. The house is vacant which may be pretty good for her as she figures out what is going on.

I saw this as a symbol of Hollywood. Fame is in play all the time but there is little control of it. David Lynch is a great guy to tell us this because he has been so successful himself. What happens to a great actor when her memory is gone, when she is alone in a strange house. It’s as if she is equalized from a star down to the human level. There is a new character introduced and he is talking about his dream in Winkies (it has the logo of Denny’s). Job interview? Who is this guy.Investigator? Walking out back he sees a zombie like figure. From his dream. I can only guess that this must represent the monster of the city that can swallow you whole if that is your fate. There is a general theme of fear that roams like a fog into every scene. It’s like the opposite of security. Hollywood has none of that.

Naomi Watts (Betty) comes into town and moves in to the house with the Brunette, with amnesia is in the shower and assumes the name Rita because of the Rita Hayworth poster she sees. The Brunette doesn’t belong there, she’s like a nowhere girl. Betty is very kind to her and there seems to be a real mutual affection here. I think the brunette could be the persona Betty is trying to create as an actress.

I think it’s safe to assume this film is somewhat of a commentary on Hollywood and the politics of how films get made. It’s also a statement of how with fame, it’s all an illusion. One person can be a star in place of another and it has little to do with well-meaning auditions. There’s also something here about how it can all change on a dime in Hollywood. We have the director, Adam Keshir, who carries a golf club assumedly for protection. He tells a group of suits at an audition that he will pick his leading lady. They disagree and demand that he pick theirs. When he storms out, terrible things happen to him. First, he finds his wife in bed with Billy Ray Cyrus. Second, his bank account is emptied and he has been fired from the movie by the studio. He is instructed to go see “the cowboy” which he does and finds out he can have it all back if he chooses the right woman for the role. When one is rich, she/he runs the risk of losing much and in Hollywood we get the impression that is happening all the time.

This movie is all over the place but after a few scenes, Betty and Rita have a lesbian makeout scene. When this is meant to be a film (I believe) to show the victimization in Hollywood by studios and/or a mistreatment of women, I found this writing a little odd. It could also be an ego massaging itself.

The emcee explains in different languages that everything is an illusion; Rebekah Del Rio comes on stage and begins singing the Roy Orbison song “Crying” in Spanish, then collapses while her vocals continue—her performance was a recording. Betty finds a blue box in her purse that matches Rita’s key. Upon returning to the apartment, Rita retrieves the key and finds that Betty has disappeared. Rita unlocks the box, and it falls to the floor with a thump.

Everything is an illusion and the people we try to be and fail at are often roles we shouldnt get on stage and in life. I also think the Aunt’s money is a symbol too: easy come easy go, especially in Hollywood. If you don’t earn something, it may harm you in the end. Again, the illusion of success permeates the film.

Ep. 93: Eyes Without a Face

In this podcast I give my summary of “Eyes Without a Face.” An excellent thriller/horror from 1960. For what it is, a creepy and scary “body horror” film way before its time, I gave it a 10/10.

Eyes Without a Face (1960)
Les yeux sans visage (original title)
Not Rated | 1h 30min | Drama, Horror | 24 October 1962 (USA)

A surgeon causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured, and goes to extremes to give her a new face.
Director: Georges Franju
Writers: Jean Redon (novel), Pierre Boileau (adaptation) (as Boileau-Narcejac) | 4 more credits »
Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel

Ep. 92: All I See is You

Listen to my film summary and review of this film, “All I See is You.” I found it to be a great thriller with some excellent acting and writing. Here is some information about the film from IMDB:

All I See Is You (2016)
R | 1h 49min | Drama, Mystery | 27 October 2017 (USA)

A blind woman’s relationship with her husband changes when she regains her sight and discovers disturbing details about themselves.
Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Sean Conway (screenplay), Marc Forster (screenplay)
Stars: Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Ahna O’Reilly

Ep. 91: Dark Country

A horror noir film set in Las Vegas. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and talked a lot about why it works. I hope you enjoy listening.

Dark Country (2009)
R | 1h 28min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 9 October 2009 (USA)

A couple en route from Las Vegas are forced to deal with a body out in the desert making their honeymoon one hellish ride.
Director: Thomas Jane
Writer: Tab Murphy
Stars: Thomas Jane, Lauren German, Ron Perlman

Ep. 90: Berberian Sound Studio

Sound effects to me are so cool. I’ve always been interested in them. I recall they used to show how they made movie sounds in a pre-trailer ad for the Times. That was awesome, it made me realize that sound effects are cool. “The Berberian Sound Studio” is about sound effects in movies. There is also an underlying story that bridges horror with drama and a psychological twist. As an aside, I have changed my podcast name to “Why This Movie Works.” I explain why as an intro to this podcast. You can listen here.

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
Not Rated | 1h 32min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 31 August 2012 (UK)

A sound engineer’s work for an Italian horror studio becomes a terrifying case of life imitating art.
Director: Peter Strickland
Writer: Peter Strickland
Stars: Toby Jones, Antonio Mancino, Guido Adorni

I see a common theme in this film with “The Shining” where the protagonist is spiraling down into madness. You also see this in the classic lit tale “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. This is common on many horror films. I think we are all worried about it to an extent.

In this film, a guy is hired to come in and do sound effects for film. He doesn’t know much about it. As he goes through his professional duties, we get to see how they make sound effects for movies. It is really cool! Later on in the film, we find out he is trapped there. He decides to take up his responsibility and just do the work.

The video of the film is never shown. We are kept guessing by the audio. It really shows how powerful audio is to movies.

I greatly enjoyed this film and I highly recommend it to you. I give it a 9/10. There is much more detail in the podcast you can listen to right here on this website.

Ep. 89: Sami Blood

One review I read before watching this film said, “Open up to this film.” That’s what I did and I am glad. It is beautiful to look at and it contains a timeless tale.

The haves vs the have-nots: one of the most ageless templates of humankind. This is a Swedish film with English subtitles. That’s what’s going on here in “Sami Blood.” Elle Marja is an old woman reflecting on her life as a young woman who is part of the “Sami Blood” or the reindeer farming peasants. After foul treatment at “school” and discovering a general malaise in the life style she was born into, she decides to impersonate someone in the upper echelon. She is desperate, she will do anything to be part of the higher society.

Sami Blood (2016)
Sameblod (original title)
1h 50min | Drama | 2 June 2017 (USA)

With Prime Video
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A reindeer-breeding Sámi girl who is exposed to the racism of the 1930’s at her boarding school, starts dreaming of another life. But to achieve it, she has to become someone else and break all ties with her family and culture.
Director: Amanda Kernell
Writer: Amanda Kernell
Stars: Lene Cecilia Sparrok, Mia Erika Sparrok, Maj-Doris Rimpi

The Swedish landscapes are incredible and the hardworking director/writer Amanda Kernell makes sure they are in many scenes as background or even just filling the entire frame. These hills tell a story. In interviews she says she had to make decisions similar to this young character. Many of her culture had to decide where they would live. There is a powerful scene where the young woman demands an heirloom from her family so she can continue going to private school under a dead girl’s identity. The mother is torn as to what she should do. The “low people” are like native Americans the way they live. They do need money though so this is a demand that borders on insult.

She falls into a relationship with a young man. At first it appears as if they love each other. The cinematography of them dancing and enchanted time time together is wonderfully mesmerizing. Later though, his parents in whose home they are having their affair question her motives and they force him to turn her out. On her way out, she doesn’t state her love for him, she is desperate. She only pleads, “Tell them I can work here cleaning.” While a sad scene, it goes to show the invisible wall between these two castes of the Swedish countryside.

My daughters are going to “Vid-con” in a few months. We paid for their tickets at Christmas. There, they will see “The Gabby Show” and other of their favorite Youtube stars. These rich famous people are their stars. I couldn’t help but draw a parallel to the lower and upper people in this film. Maybe America hasn’t come very far in its middle class. Still, I am happy my kids have tickets to something they feel excited about.

As the film concludes, we aren’t given a nicely wrapped conclusion. This is one of those films you have to make your own mind up about. For me, it is about the age=old controversy between upper and lower class. The middle class is a new thing America has produced. THrough time people have been either “Haves” or “Have-nots.” Can we judge Elle Marja for wanting something better? Was this her only option? He young sister stayed faithfully with the Sami Blood. At a point near the end, at her sister’s funeral, Elle Marja rips off the casket lid and her sister’s weathered face is revealed. Which lived a truly happier life? This is a longer, historical period piece in a foreign language. It won’t appeal to everyone. As for me, I was deeply touched. It lost one point because several scenes took longer than they should have. Beyond that, it’s excellent. I give this film a 9/10.

Ep. 88: Barracuda

My score: 8/10. Damien Riley’s Audio review of the film “Barracuda” (2017).
1h 40min | Drama, Music, Thriller | 11 March 2017 (USA)

With Prime Video
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A strange woman comes to Texas to meet her half-sister and stake a claim to the family music legacy-one way or another.
Directors: Jason Cortlund, Julia Halperin
Writer: Jason Cortlund
Stars: Allison Tolman, Sophie Reid, JoBeth Williams

Ep. 87: Prometheus

It takes place in the same Alien universe with the same sorts of life forms only other species thereof. This could be considered a prequel that requires another movie to really explain what is going on in the Alien movie itself. Furthermore, there is an alien creature at the end that is a child version of the ones we know so well from the franchise.. Ridley Scott has said numerous times that this is decidedly not a prequel to the Alien franchise. I would say that is a somewhat misleading statement.

Prometheus takes us back to the time before Ridley Scott’s Alien. It fills in a few gaps for us as fans of the franchise and opens all sorts of curious new doors. It stars a relative newcomer who really packs a punch in her role. The actress who plays the tough and sexy Elizabeth Shaw, Noomi Rapace, is well known for playing Lisbeth Salandeteen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series (Swedish version). Other actors with outstanding performances include Logan Marshall-Green, known for Devil, and Michael Fassbender as the android.

The movie starts out slowly though it reveals some truly amazing cinematography of Saturn and other parts of the universe in the story. In the beginning a human-like creature drinks a poisonous mixture and the special effects of his demise pull you in right away. There are, in fact, some really gruesome scenes in this movie. No special effect is spared when actors are taken out, Alien anyone? Still, despite the obvious resuscitation of an old sci-fi hit, Prometheus has a lot of treats all its own not the least of which being the question of how we came to be as a species. This movie says that aliens created us then decided they’d made a mistake, and then made aliens to wipe us out. It’s actually a pretty interesting premise, though it sounds really simplistic now as I write it.

Here’s a summary: The crew of a ship named Prometheus are heading to another planet that has some of the features of Earth and is able to sustain life. When they get there they find cave drawings and dead bodies of ancient creatures that died around 2,000 years prior. One cool piece of trivia is that the cave paintings are derived from and include some of the actual cave paintings from Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams. In discovering these giant caverns, they set off dormant life that was meant to destroy humanity. This was not the life of their creators but rather created beings to destroy humanity. It is evident that “the engineers” or, those who created humans didn’t really care much about us and in fact decided we were destroying Earth’s environment to we therefore needed taking out.

There is a token android on board along with a bunch of men and women that are almost identical in character to those in the Alien movie. After a lot of gratuitous violence meant to show the aliens truly hate people, Elizabeth Shaw discovers as one of the last living crew members that she must destroy a disembarking ship designed to kill all life on Earth. She manages to destroy it with the self-sacrifice of a few of the remaining crew who die. In the end, Elizabeth takes off with the severed head of an android (?) and sets out to “search” for the engineers. The movie isn’t over before an alien is “birthed” in the usual way. As I said, there are a lot of commonalities between Prometheus and the Alien movies.

Final Thoughts
In the final analysis, Prometheus is a visually stunning, well crafted and well acted movie. It starts slowly but when it picks up it is the ride of ones life. I haven’t seen a sci-fi this exciting and enjoyable since … well, since Alien. All the questions I ever had about Alien were answered here. Well, all except one: will there be a second prequel to catch us up to the beloved sci-fi horror film we know and love so much?