Simon Plotkin is a film obsessive and man in that order. When not in the cinema he can be found re-arranging his DVD collection and arguing about Schindler’s List (it’s overrated and manipulative by the way). He has written for magazines and websites; mainly in English.
Website URL: http://@simonplotkin
WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR THE END OF STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
I’m going to preface this by stating that, for the record I am a modest Star Trek fan. That is not an obsessive Trekker but enough to know that ‘Trekkie’ is a pejorative term (at least until progressive, third wave Trekkies reclaim it). I’ve seen pretty much every show and watched all the films. When I was ten I even went to a Star Trek convention and listened to William Shatner burble on about English Muffins for an hour.
What makes cinema cinematic? Books, radio and TV can tell stories with dialogue and plots as good as any film but what is it that makes people gather together in a dark room and tolerate other’s munching and nattering to watch a movie? Without wanting to come across like those anti-piracy ads; it’s the experience. And Prometheus is an experience. When talking about this film I typically moan about the plot, the dialogue and some questionable characterisation but when asked if one should see the film I answer; ‘Yes. Now. And on the biggest screen you can.’
Is it wrong to clamour for exploding heads and cancer guns while watching this film? Director David Cronenberg made his mark in the 70s and 80s with splatter horrors like The Brood, Videodrome, and The Fly: films that, while queasily horrific, had intelligence behind them. Now, with A Dangerous Method Cronenberg has stripped back the horror, leaving the intelligence and the results are just a bit boring.
By now a whole bunch has been written about Prometheus and its many faults and plus points have been analyzed within an inch of their lives. While it’s clearly nowhere close to perfect it had moments of awe. Pure awe. Therefore I can’t condemn it too vociferously – in today’s cinema there is so much spectacle and so little awe that we should hang on to all the awe we can. I do, however, want to highlight one of the elements that was sorely lacking; the monsters.
Beware: spoilers ahoy after the jump.
Ralph Fiennes set himself several challenges for his directorial debut. Could he adapt one of Shakespeare’s most obscure works and make it seem relevant and necessary? Could he film this in a way that would be cinematic and not just a filmed play’? And, most difficult of all, could he coax an effective performance from Gerard Butler; a man whose previous high watermark was constantly yelling ‘Sparta’ in front of a blue screen.For the most part he succeeds (even the Gerard Butler one).