PLEASE NOTE: “As an Amazon Associate, [Need Coffee] earns from qualifying purchases." You know we make money from Amazon links,
and I know you know this, but they make us say it anyway. More info, click here.

Wayhomer Review #122: Prometheus 3D

Michael Fassbender as David in Prometheus 3D

Episode #122 for Prometheus 3D, in which our protagonist marvels at what a pretty movie it is, completely forgets to talk about the cast* he’s so damn flummoxed and wonders just what in the hell that was all about.

Direct link for the feedreaders. Downloadable iPod version here.

*–Finally settled on 3 cups because the look and feel of the film and the excellent performances, especially by Fassbender and Theron, can’t be overwhelmed by my increasing number of “Wait, what the hell was that about?” realizations that continue post-viewing. Also, I am not counting against the film the number of post-film things I’ve read which state they’re “leaving questions open for the sequel,” which albeit a lame excuse for not providing much in the way of closure is not, ultimately, the film’s fault. I look forward to your e-mails.

Want to subscribe to our Wayhomers as a video podcast? Here’s your link.

Want to subscribe to all our video podcasts in one fell swoop? Here’s your link.

Special thanks to PhantomV48 for the closing animation.

Previous episode here.


  • Wow….. How CAN one attempt to get ranty or even explainy about the film sans spoilers??
    Dunno if one can… Let’s just say there’s little above that I’d disagree with.
    (Opening five mins was incredible.. then never referred to again in any way…..!)
    And the *end*… that annoyed me for (as you say) NO reason this should not have been a direct prequel.

  • Typical Ridley: amazing visuals / superficial story.

    What is missing most in Prometeus IMO is a sense of ‘now’, meaning present time. If you watch the original, you really get a sense that this all happening now, and we are following the action blow by blow, as it is happening. This grounding in the present time actually happen from the very beginnig of Alien, with the eary mood of the awakening ship. To get that feeling of ‘now’, one also needs a close identification of the audience with the characters, which grows out of observing their emotional responses, beat by beat. Without it, we loose the sense of ‘now’, and ww don’t share in the anticipation of what might follow. Of course, a good story is key, and so are realistic characters. Neither of which we get in Prometheus unfortunately. I am starting to suspect that there is something wrong with Ridley, perhaps a lack of empathy, maybe?

  • Pascal: Good comments and thoughts. The number one thing that bugs me about Ripley is that he feels the need to put his stamp on things after the fact. Like his revelation about Deckard in Blade Runner. You know, part of the reason your film has endured, Ridley, is that it’s nebulous. It’s open to interpretation. Just like the opening of PROMETHEUS…I don’t believe we know for certain what planet that is. But Ridley wanted to come back afterwards and tell us. It’s like he doesn’t trust his audience unless he Explains It.

    Which is so weird, since so much of the film really needed some better explanation.

    Anyway, thanks for the thoughts, chief.

  • Wow… Where to start? First off, to me the film felt shorter than it actually was, it is very densely paced, with short scenes. Secondly: I hate this movie. I hate it for wasting a once in a lifetime cinematic opportunity, and for wasting all the right ingredients that they were very much able to come up with/inherited. That’s right, I think everything was pointing towards an instant classic.

    I was willing to go along with the ancient-astronaut frame/basis, since it allows for an expanding movie universe rich in symbolism, a gateway to mixing sci-fi with existing mythology and which might be populated by great new stories. The characters they created could be great, intriguing agendas are present, and some (not all) good actors to make us care about the people (Holloway could’ve been great). The world they inhabit looks great, could be as effective as Alien’s. The landscape, the grand scale of the world architecture feels right. (one of my only nits to pick with Alien was the lack of landscape while they were landing on LV 426)
    The technology feels real too, not over the top, not annoyingly out of touch with either today’s or Alien’s, good job. Lastly, I admit to reading the detailed plot on wikipedia before watching the movie, and I actually liked it “on paper”, then I read another spoiler, which just made me want to see it even more.
    The plot “on paper” is twisty, rich in scheming and all kinds of tensions, and the main characters are interesting enough.

    Then they F it up by placing the plot and interesting characters into a standard “slasher” flick to pander to Hollywood box office expectations, adding aimless and meaningless action scenes and weightless deaths. This was not the film to do it with. This was a film that had such a built in audience of grown up sci-fi fans they could’ve done anything and get their money back, especially since they stated right at the green light this would not be a traditional Alien movie, so xeno-maniacs were warned and probably distanced…
    To avoid further spoilers I will just say the biggest difference between Alien, Blade Runner and Prometheus (gotta mention it, since Prometheus dabbles in the same questions and problematics as Blade Runner, plus it does so on multiple levels which could be the deepest it gets) is that those were movies for grown-ups, with grown up decisions made by the characters.
    Prometheus is basically the sorority house horror on a distant alien planet, and I can’t believe Ridley Scott announced the cinematic release was his director’s cut, since it felt like the good, intelligent stuff has been cut out, and thus nothing felt important, and the movie lacks a focal point/moral center of gravity/main thematic. Looks like they just forgot to write it after they came up with all the neat ideas. Grrrr.

    P.S.: Widge, I hope you will revisit Prometheus at a later point, in a spoiler-rich written review, to examine all the good and bad of it in thoughtful detail. This wayhomer was defeated by the rules of the game, and I’d really like to read your actual thoughts on this film.

    All the best, M.

  • Montag: Thanks for writing your own damn review in response to my review. Well played. :-) I think we’ll be talking about it this week on Justice, that’s for sure. I’m actually trying to think about this movie less, because the more I think about it, the more I think I was too nice to it. :-)

  • Cool, will check WJ for more then. Sorry for the long post, just couldn’t resist the urge. Scott’s two original sci-fis are ingrained in my visual/cultural world-map, and I had a lot of hope for this one. Thanks for the review anyway, and best!

  • Montag, I feel the same way you do.

    I was so looking forward to this film! It could have be great… They had this golden opportunity and f*** it up !!!

    The most memorable thing for me remains the stark vision of that magnificent ship landing: what a sight! I think I’ll quickly forget the rest.

    I believe what did the film in was just hubris.

    Here is a quote from Lindlof, the 3rd (!!!) writer (famous for his work on ‘Lost’):

    “I came in cold from the outside, and when I first read Jon Spaihts’ draft, I sent in a draft to Ridley (Scott), and I said: ‘I think there’s some really great ideas here, but almost a little too much Alien…too much cowbell.’ So I stripped almost all of it out, chucked it out entirely, and then I looked at the tent poles in the film, where we would need those elements to come back, and put back just the right amount.” (from:

    What an a-hole, IMO!

    Contrast that to this interview with the original –humbler– writer (Jon Spaiths):

    Well, rather that a miss-mash of ‘Lost’ and ‘Alien’, I think I would have much preferred to see Spaiths’ more fully fleshed-out (and probably truer) version.

  • Spaiths sounds like a hard working guy who’s down to earth. I can’t really comment on Lindelof though, not enough personality in the interview, didn’t seem like an A-hole based just on that, and it’s the only interview I read with him. Also, I can’t say whose writing I didn’t like in the movie, could’ve been any of the two, or even some of the bigger wigs or even RS, who knows…

  • Montag: Yeah, that’s a good point and that’s always the thing–and I do try to contextualize it like this, although sometimes I forget while driving–you just can’t tell who wrote what in a movie with multiple folks on it. Because you’re right–RS no doubt had a hand in, some other executives and probably some uncredited writers as well. The only time I ever actualize pin it on a single writer is if there is a single writer credited. Because, hey, they put their name on it front and center.

    Thanks for the comment, chief.

  • Personally I really liked the movie. As to answers I don’t think the director had them or even claimed to have them, it’s just a presentation of a story, without anything so much as a message but it didn’t try to which is more redeeming in my opinion than trying an failing to have a basic boring message. Ridley Scott seems to be just saying, “Ok you wanted a film? Here’s the film, make of it what you will.”

    I thought the performances were great, this is only the second of Micheal Fassbender’s movies that I’ve seen and already I’m a big fan of his, I thought the tone of the movie was just right and once the pace started picking up I thought it moved along great. There was a certain amount of character stupidity but again that’s rather to be expected from an “alien” type film. I liked it, it wasn’t fun or light, it was heavy and totally unabashed at doing whatever it wanted.