Expectations. They ruin everything. Relationships, fake meat, summer blockbuster movies… I often think about how often expectations factor into the general film review. This brings up a couple issues:
Can critics honestly review an over-hyped movie?
If they have bias, should we throw out the entire review?
Is it possible to honestly review an overhyped movie?
Remember Radiohead and that little album In Rainbows? There was a nine day notice of its release. Remember what happened? It was an instant classic. In Rainbows was every where, making the band more money than any album of theirs before ever. It was adored by fans across the board and revitalized the group into a new decade.
So this begs the question: What if Radiohead gave us six months notice? Would the response have been the same or would our expectations have ruined it?
With that in mind, I’d love you to stop, take a moment, and think about Prometheus. You might hate it, you might love it. Most people seem to state it as a “missed opportunity” from director Ridley Scott to revamp the sic-fi genre and create a new classic. To me, that sounds like insider movie-critic bull shit.
I disagree with just about all of it.
Recently, I watched Prometheus for the first time (yes, six months later). My expectations were gone. My appetite was ready. All I wanted was a solid science-fiction film to break my routine of Psych on Netflix and fill me with wonder. So my wife and I rented the Blu Ray and loved almost every minute of it.
Are there problems? Of course. The characters do stupid stuff, nothing really makes sense or is explained, the aliens look a little funny… It’s not perfect by any means but why would I expect it to be?
I had a good friend once tell me, “signs take all the guess work out of life.”
This can be true for movies as well. Why are we obsessed with knowing all the answers? I’ve always been intrigued by movies that don’t explain everything. It’s more realistic. I’ll give you a good for instance: Why would we know where the Cloverfield alien was from? Wouldn’t we all just run for our lives in utter chaos?
Speaking of aliens.
Prometheus was a great film. I don’t have a rating system, but if I did, it would be 4 weird white alien guys out of 5. After seeing the blu ray special features, there is a little frustration over the choices of deleted/alternate scenes that could’ve explained better or added more substance. But when all is said in done, we must take what Ridley Scott chose as the final cut and make our opinion.
It’s definitely not perfect. But beautiful, scary, introspective? Yes. And I would call that good art.
4 weird white alien guys out of 5.