So a very good movie... couple problems. I'll talk about the good stuff first.
Lots of good stuffs. Michael Fassbender is delicious as the android David. He's just thoroughly entertaining to watch. Ranging between subtle to "neutral" to muted, he's just so much fun. Watching David idolize Lawrence of Arabia is a real treat especially considering how much he resembles Peter O'Toole and how his affect so closely mirrors his performance. Watching his little verbal sparring with Charlie is an almost wicked version of Data vs insert generic android hater here (Bruce Maddox TNG; Measure of a Man). Trying to determine how much David actually feels versus how much he's simulating feeling to make humans more comfortable is a fun new thought experiment. The one clear thing is Asimov's Laws of Robotics are transparently not present in their traditional form. Particularly with how cavalierly he treats Charlie and Elizabeth which is actually interesting. First it seems David has an affinity for Elizabeth, but then it becomes clear that's only to spite Charlie. You almost have to come to the conclusion that David has an almost undeveloped emotion maturity and is that because a true emotional maturity would make him "human" as with Lance Henriksen's character in Aliens? David's villainous acts remind one of Bishops musings that the earlier versions were "always a bit twitchy".
It was fun to have both versions of a Ripley character. The scared early Ripley from Alien and the baddass motherfucker from Aliens in both Elizabeth and Vickers. Lots of Cthonic fun with Elizabeth's offspring, very Shumagorath. The odd religion versus science debates in the form of David the android telling Elizabeth she should keep her "nontraditional" baby reminds one about the partial birth abortion debates and also to the current War on Women. They actually have that debate, but cutely so. Multiple times Elizabeth is asked why she still wears the cross despite now knowing the origins of humanity, etc and at the end of the movie when David asks once again she does what most people of faith do when I corner them into giving me a real answer that isn't a non sequitur. She says nothing, because it's not about reason or logic, it's about the rationale of comfort. This makes me feels safe. That's it, which is the purpose of faith to manufacture a secure attachment style. I'll sidestep the long polemic about how religion often works against that very thing.
The concept of the planet being a lab or genetic munitions plant is an interesting one, but why would the Engineers give us hints as to where they manufacture death weapons? Sure you could say, "Where do you come from? Oh, over here." Why leave notes as to human origin if you don't care about humans. But I suppose if you don't care then why wouldn't you. As for the subject as to why they "all of a sudden" want to kill us perhaps there was a regime change at Engineer central or they just grow humans to test their weapons on like mice in labs? Of course why would you show the mice where the nursery is?
I have to raise the point of how is it nobody has that big of a problem with taking helmets off in an alien environment. Most of these people are scientists who are not known for doing ignorant shit like exposing oneself to potential alien microbes in the air that could be virulent. I was upset with David touching everything until I realized he didn't give two shits and then I was like, okay that makes sense. He doesn't care about death or the humans around him so fuck it, but even the humans were touching everything. Don't touch anything then they're immediately touching everything. What the fuck. The biologist particularly sees a white testicle snake and it flares like a cobra and he's like, "Naw, it's cool." No, it's fucking not cool. If you get this gig, you're not the fucking Crocodile Hunter because we All know what happened to him. And why was the geologist such a shit? I mean, that's not really a problem, but why?
What was totally mindblowing was that the Engineers looked Just Like Us! Taller and more Neon Flux-y, but human. That blew me away. Maybe because the astrosuits were these elephant exoskeletons and that's what I expected so for these mysterious creatures to be human was just too much, I Loved it. Which dovetails nicely with my biggest disappointment of the film. They revive the Engineer... David speaks the lingo, The Engineer clearly registers that he speaks the lingo and what does he do? "KILL ALL HUMANS!" That's pretty much where the movie dropped from a 4.5 to a 3.5 star flick. KILL ALL HUMANS. And I can hear the director or whoever now, "well, if they're just like us it's very a Human response". No. I'm not buying it. Your creation gets to a point where they can not only travel into space, but build robots that look like them as well who can fucking speak the language! You don't "KILL ALL HUMANS" at that point. You at least stop and say, "Holy Shit! You can fucking talk." and then take it from there. But you don't automatically KILL ALL HUMANS. That's just Dumb and unsatisfying.
It was super fun to see the tentacle thing fight the giant and how that resulted in the pregnant alien thingee and the permutations of the toxic genetic soup was cool too. All the alien hallmarks were enjoyable as well from the monster facehugger to the Elizabeth trapped in the test tube with the cthulu-baby (how did it get so big again with no food to eat? Where did the mass come from?) Lots of throat rape in this one. I guess if you're gonna have testicle cobras you're gonna have throat rape.
I did like how Elizabeth decided to jack one of the spaceships and go after the Engineers, but what does she expect to happen? I mean, how does she expect it to go down? What if these Engineers are like what we are to chimps? She and this android head step down the gang plank and they're outnumbered and they're basically primitive animals compared to the Engineers... they're just going to rip their heads off. It's a cool ending, but I guess it'd have to be a stealth mission or a weird twist on Planet of the Apes. Which isn't bad.
Okay, I'm tired, I'm going to bed.
Listening to: NPR
Reading: Science of Good and Evil
Playing: Stick Fighting