Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review of Prometheus and Avengers

JohnnyTwoToes Reviews Prometheus and Avengers 

Note: I am very pleased to announce a new collaboration with JohnnyTwoToes, my friend, film-score collector, cinema enthusiast and a fellow Blogger from Nashville, Tennessee. Starting today, I would be working together with Johnny in bringing you some of the very best film scores and movie reviews in the days to come. After all, Johnny has an impressive collection of over 10000 movie scores - certainly much larger (and better) than mine. Here, he reviews two of the most prominent releases this summer of 2012 - Prometheus and Avengers along with Underworld:Awakening, the fourth installment in the Underworld film series! Read on, enjoy! 

Ridley Scott's Prometheus and Joss Whedon's Avengers are two of the best films of the year for different reasons. Scott's Prometheus is a creepy but intelligent science fiction film that is the "prequel" to his 1979 masterpiece Alien. If you go expecting a rehash of the Alien films,people screaming with exploding chests, you will be dissapointed. However, if you go to see a thoughtfully done film that they clearly have put a lot of though into creating then Prometheus is for you.

It starts out as scientists discover cave drawings that match from different areas of the world and from different time periods. It is an impossibilty that they all knew each other, so Mr. Weyland (Guy Pierce) finances a trip to the believed origin of the drawings with a crew of scientists and security personel. Once there, and after a calm before the storm, all hell breaks loose but not as you would think. That is all I can say without giving away the pleasures of this film. Suffice to say it is never boring, but it is a more cerebral film and challenges the audience to think. There is your standard but effective action that flows out of the characters and the story, but there is so much more here.

Scriptwriters by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelhof know how to construct a solid story with smart dialogue and clever, subtle humor. Ridley Scott, who has had a few stinkers in recent years rebounds and shows why he is a master of his craft, and Marc Streitenfeld's score is a glorious memorial to Jerry Goldsmith's score to the original film. I have not been the biggest fan of Mr. Streitenfeld's music, to be honest. I have his scores but, in the movie they were fine, on their own they were bland. Streitenfeld's Prometheus score is phenominally well done. To be honest, Harry Gregson-Williams did compose 2 tracks that are also terrific. Prometheus is old school science fiction done perfectly with a dream cast that includes Pierce, Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall Green and Michael Fassbender as the nefarious droid, David. The cast is uniformally excellent and solid throughout. The visuals and the cinematography are simply stunning and the details that they have put into Prometheus is simply staggering. Prometheus is a mesmerizing masterpiece. Prometheus-**** out of 4.

Joss Whedon's Avengers is a rousing, popcorn film that has a terrific cast and they are put to good use. Whedon has assembled all of the the Avengers to do battle with Loki after he steals the tesseract (a cube of unlimited energy and power). I have always liked superhero films even though they can be kind of silly. Whedon embraces silly with gusto and has LOTS of fun with it, too. The characters are all interesting and the screenplay, by Whedon, is smart and very,very funny. There are some great lines that are said in this film and Whedon sreads it out to all of the characters. Alan Silvestri's score is tremendously exciting as is the whole film so you will not be bored by anything that you see or hear. Avengers-**** out of 4.

On dvd, the latest installment of the Underworld franchise is out and this is one series they need to end. Underworld: Awakening is a dreadful piece of filmmaking that brings back Selena (Kate Beckinsale) battling with the humans and the Lycans(STILL?). This film is slow, boring and very uninteresting. After about 30 minutes I began to play Angry Birds on my phone, figuring I would not miss much. Only momentarily looking up did I realize I was right, too. The only thing Underworld has going for it Kate Beckinsale in a cat suit and Paul Haslinger's score. Other than that this franchise desperatly needs new blood (pardon the pun) or put it to rest. Underworld: Awakening *1/2 out of 4.


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