While I waited for a 7:25 p.m. showing of “Prometheus” at Regal Brandywine, a married couple exited the theater after the new sci-fi’s previous showing.  The woman said to her husband with a laugh, “Next time, I’m picking the movie!”  Hearing that only made me wonder how intense and gory this was going to be beyond what the trailers show.  For someone who is a fan of the “Alien” trilogy, I have a bit of a weak stomach.  But I’ve been curious about this new Ridley Scott sci-fi since first hearing or seeing anything about it.

Despite all the anticipated gore, I’m definitely a fan of this summertime out-of-this-world blockbuster.  “Prometheus” had a strong case, amazing special effects and a mix of new elements with “Alien” trilogy similarities.  Some of the similarities I saw spanned the “Alien” trilogy.  There would be a similar scene or dialogue, action, etc., between “Prometheus” and “Alien” or one of its sequels depending on what was going on.  Along with the obvious drama of being in a strange place, there was also a bit of humor in the dialogue and a romance between two characters.

Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) reminded me a lot of Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley for a few reasons.  She’s intelligent, strong and can take care of herself just as well as Ripley in going against danger.  Both Ripley and Shaw fought hard to stay alive through everything that came their way.  In “Prometheus,” Shaw was the one to root for to survive the environment and its unfriendly creatures.  This is the first time I’ve see Rapace on the big screen and I loved her performance in the out-of-this-world sci-fi adventure.

Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) sometimes reminded me of Ripley as well, depending on the scene.  She briefs the crew on the mission and at later on argues with David.  These were two such scenes that made me think of similar moments from “Aliens” and “Alien” respectively.  Other than how she reminded me of Ripley, Vickers had a coldness about her.  But it wasn’t a negative aspect among the characters, since her character had a high authority level in the mission to find the engineers.  With this being the second great movie I’ve seen Theron in this summer, I’ve got to see her Oscar-winning role sometime.

David, the android (Michael Fassbender) seemed to have a mix of being charismatic and creepy.  Of course, David isn’t the first android in these “Alien” movies but the role was well-acted.  I’ve only just started to be introduced to Fassbender’s talent from this past award season and one other film in which he starred.  However, it is easy to see that he has great range in his acting.

The special effects were mind-blowing to say the least.  Among those that impressed me the most were the mapping gadgets used in the pyramid to get a read-out of the its schematics.  Of course, there was more movie magic on the way as the unusual static giant human-like engineer appeared to the crew.  When David later taps into their controls, he reveals another great visual element of “Prometheus.”

The last trailer I saw before finally seeing “Prometheus” had me convinced that Shaw was going to fall victim to a chest burst.  In fact, due to what I was expecting, the most intense scene to me was when she was lying inside a medical scanning machine and shaking as if fighting something.  Overall, this movie had the same effect on me as the others of the “Alien” installments had: a difficulty of watching to see what was about to happen to someone.  But, of course, that only means that its creators did an outstanding job.

I don’t remember enough of “Alien: Resurrection” (1997) to compare it to “Prometheus.”  However, a few similarities to various moments in the first three stood out in my mind.  There was a mess hall scene and at the start of it, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d see something reminiscent of Bishop’s knife trick in “Aliens.”  Before entering the “pyramid,” Shaw doesn’t want weapons brought in with her team; in “Aliens,” the soldiers at one point are told to give up their weapons.  Both cases get similar reactions from characters under command.  Some other dialogue about making sure the danger at hand didn’t spread off the strange planet to Earth reminded me of Ripley’s need to wipe out the xenomorphs at all costs.  There are plenty of other examples I can think of, but I’ll leave that for others who haven’t seen “Prometheus” to find out.  I don’t know how others would feel, but I really liked that connection these similarities made to a trilogy of which I’ve been a longtime fan, in combination with the new elements.

Given these thoughts, “Prometheus” is a new addition to my list of favorite sci-fi movies involving aliens, whether menacing or friendly.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • “The Thing from Another World” (1951)
  • “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951)
  • “War of the Worlds” (1953)
  • “The Blob” (1958)
  • “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)
  • “Alien” (1979)
  • “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial” (1982)
  • “Aliens” (1986)
  • “Alien 3” (1992)
  • “Independence Day” (1996)
  • “Men in Black” (1997)

The one time I did watch “Alien: Resurrection,” I didn’t like it as much as the previous three installments.  Besides the gore factor, it just seemed that the story of Ripley’s battle against the acid-for-blood xenomorphs was over with the end of “Alien 3.”  At this point, after studying film in college, I feel like re-visiting not only the trilogy, but “Alien: Resurrection” as well.  I can at least look at all of them in terms of cinematography, mise-en-scene, etc.

If you are a fan of the “Alien” franchise, which is your favorite?  For those of you who have seen “Prometheus,” what did you think of it?  If not, is it on your list of movies to see?