The Origin of the Specious

Neither fun, nor scary, an orgy of trailer moments for a film that will never be made.  
Reported on 2nd of July, 2013

Thing is, I already thought I wrote a piece on Prometheus, never occurring to me that some twenty second rant on someone’s fb wall would somehow re-propagate and share itself with itself and wind up here. The problem is that the internet isn’t automatic enough, something that someone is working on desperately right now. In a prequel to The Social Network.


5 June 2013 @ The Brighton Odeon

-$23.00 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

§  §  §


So it was somewhat disappointing to find, doing the worst films of 2012 as I am (and I fairly sure Prometheus is, though there is Skyfall; it’s really hard to say. If you held a gun to my head…no that wouldn’t work. If you held a copy of Prometheus to my head, I could probably pick one. But I’d make you watch it too) that my rant was actually the property of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg. So I found a typo, corrected it, and now reprint it here. Live by the copyright sword and so on. I believe someone asked what part I found implausible.

There was more than one.

Which part? The part where 100 years before the best map technology they had was two pixels colliding in an airduct, they have super 3D flying map balls. Or the part where the guy in charge of 3D mapping gets lost? Or, that said guy, who is ostensibly afraid of aliens, then approaches creepy worm flower creatures, saying ‘Hey little guy’? Or, that when they scream in devouring agony, that 100 years after our present, they have robots that can read minds, but not voicemail? Or that when Ms. Charlize Theron, risk management specialist, buys one of ‘only five’ super robot medical operating machines, she forgets to check if it works on women? Or, when Frk. Noomi Rapace gets an alien abortion in said medical pod, no one seems to notice, care or say anything? (Wait, I do have an answer to the this: it’s the future; it’s just not talked about. Like religion. Or Alien Creationism). Or that Ms. Theron’s escape pod (she’s a risk management specialist!) is so advanced you have to 1) Eject the pod, 2) get into another pod, then 3) run, presumably in space, to the first one? Or that the aliens created humans only to kill them? Or that when Frk. Rapace actually points this out this glaring idiocy, that Mr. Michael Fassbinder fails to reply: ‘That’s what happens when you write for the trailer, and not for the movie’? Or when Mr. Damon Lindelof, having masterminded Lost, making him the Bernie Madoff of the entertainment business, has not been banned from ever writing again?

Which part?

Demons exorcised.

But it is time to return, as this is not the complete story. Crappy screenwriting, par for the course these days, especially since there seems to be only one screenwriter, and an easy target too. And an easy target two: that this is a genre killer, that the man who created the entire Alien franchise, one that lives and dies by the rules (that aliens impregnate humans and bleed acid), decided to simply forget this. Instead, they focus entirely on the guy in the chair, who, according to the original, was not some weird Aryan proto-race, but another unfortunate being that was overcome by the Alien. And so the Alien is simultaneously de-acidfied, and the actual events changed. At least they finally found a way to beat it.

A theater watching a Damon Lindelof film. Shit. I'm still in a theatre watching a Damon Lindelof film.

Further still, this is neither a story, or a genre film, or a character piece. With all the supposed mystery aka, just making shit up as you go along, it’s neither fun (Aliens), nor scary (Alien), and all the action winds up happening in about 40 seconds. It’s certainly not entertainment. What it is is an orgy of trailer moments for a film that will never be made. The film is the cutting room floor. I’ve talked about the A-Scene-Where-Ism, and this is certainly part of the problem, where each idea is left in from every napkin scribble, and half-baked muttering ‘and then he could be…his father…of himself…in the past…after he travelled to the future’, is simply left in to fill the two and a half hours we now demand that movies will be.

But as terrible as Prometheus is, what it really says is that we now live entirely in the future. Or in the past that’s behind the past of the original future, only this future takes place after the future that happened before it. This makes sense (ahem) since the original films featured technology of their time, and the prequels generally feature technology that is better than it will be. It’s a 400 pound cell phone, but it can read minds. And tell the future. Which won’t include cell phones. Extend this to the story, and you get films that are trailers for nothing.

And I’m not talking about the obvious Z is for Zombie or whatever the hell it was called obligatory ‘this isn’t the end’ voiceover, where you know that when you’re pitching a tentpole, so to speak, you have to leave the option for a sequel open. Also so to speak. Fine. If Omega Code has to have a sequel, so does everything. But this isn’t about the ending, but about the structure of the entire film itself. I would say that I’ve cracked the code of the Lost success, especially given than that it was such a failure, and that is writing random moments of inexplicability without any idea of where it’s going is all about the promise of what’s to come. Not fulfilling that promise is actually the point, since nothing can. It’s not that every moment is a trailer moment, it’s that every moment is a trailer. The sequel to that moment is always on the horizon, even in the film itself.

Was made for 2D glasses. But the technology didn't exist yet.

Was made for 2D glasses. But the technology didn’t exist yet.

But here’s the funny thing about the future: it’s not dangerous. I love my cell phone, kinda, and that if something happens, I can call the police, or at least put a link to my impending murder on my wall, and hope I get enough likes for the police to come. Years ago, I wrote, for fun, since it would never get made, the prequel to Star Trek. And yes, I hate prequels, and yes I’m a fanboy, doing and being the two things I hate, but the point of the prequel was the opportunity. The point of making a prequel to Star Trek (original, not TNG, that would just be weird), is a bunch of people getting sucking into vacuums, The Fly-like transporter accidents, aliens that are so powerful they just kill you by accident, and aliens so innocent that you kill them by accident. Space travel, as the only decent film about it ever made (Apollo 13), is really, really, really dangerous. Making a prequel to Alien where everything is safe means that the screenwriter has to force the characters do something random, stupid or inexplicable.

Has to. What? Did someone hold a copy of Moonrise Kingdom to his head?

The Take

The FX are amazing. I admit it; even in 3D I got my money’s worth.
Total Profits
The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts to use clips from much better movies.
So they created humans to kill them…
…a glaring plot hole which our lead then voices…
…and doesn’t receive an answer. In post-modernism, putting quotes around incompetence passes for competence!
All the other stuff I said. Unsee! Unsee!
Total Losses


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