Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Sunday, June 24, 2012


(Caution:  Spoiler filled commentary!)

Who knew?  In Prometheus, Producer/Director Ridley Scott's "Alien" prequel, we learn that Mankind was saved from total destruction by a primitive form of the creature that terrorized Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in the 1979 landmark film.

Well, that's what I took away from the 3-D experience of Prometheus.  Movie making technology is awesome.  Even the 2-D versions are absorbing.  Yet, as always, it's the story frontier that excites the imagination.  Sadly, Prometheus pulls an Avatar and opts not explore that frontier.

In a nut-shell (gotta love that phrase), a dying billionaire funds a stellar expedition to visit the postulated "Engineers" of  Mankind.  In a frustratingly brief opening scientist/explorer Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace)  and colleagues discover ancient cave art in Scotland depicting giants pointing to a cluster of stars.  It's an image found worldwide.  That plot element, with an assist from any Graham Hancock work, is thrust enough for the imagination frontier.  What we have here is the businessman hiring Shaw and a crew to find the Engineers and have a chat.

So the tale of Prometheus, the name of the ship traveling to the distant planet, is about the chat that never happens.  The planet is found, and ancient structures located and explored but, alas, the old ones, the Engineers, are all dead.  Shaw finds and keeps the helmeted head of one of the deceased and, surprise, their DNA is a perfect match.  There may be no one to talk to, but proof positive that Mankind descended from them.  So, why are they dead?  They who traverse the universe and seed life?

David figures it out
The odd structure is revealed as more a military outpost, an isolated place for the development of the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.  Exploring on its own slightly separate mission, David (Michael Fassbender),  the humanoid created by the billionaire, discovers the flight plan for the voyage that never occurred by the Engineers.  With a cargo of thousands of killer life forms, the great ship was on its way to Earth to eradicate Mankind.  Happily (well...) the killers manage to break containment and kill all but one of the Engineers.  One lies in suspended animation awaiting launch of the ship and arrival on earth.

Wonder Woman
In the meantime the relentless killers are getting around, including Shaw's womb.  A tumble in the bed with her infected colleague/lover results in a three month pregnancy overnight.  It's Wonder Woman time and Shaw manages to self-direct a cesarean section just in time.  Quickly stapled, and isolating the what-ever-it-is, she leaps tall ships, mountains, and other rigors with an occasional wince and grunt.

David learns how to manipulate the alien ship controls and brings the lone Engineer to consciousness.  Many people when suddenly awakened are a bit grouchy and it's usually best to leave them alone for a bit.  The cranky giant (think a tall, husky albino from DaVinci Code) is immediately pestered by several of the small Human creatures he's prepared to destroy.  So, he goes about killing them.  So much for a conversation with a higher power.

The Engineer launches his giant craft to complete the mission.  Human heroics and the sacrifice of the Prometheus, bring down the craft.  The giant survives and now stalks the lone human, Shaw.  I'll leave it there.  Suffice to say we finally reach the point where Ripley's tormentor arrives.

One inside moment:  Noomi Rapace played Lisbeth Salander in the first movie versions of the Stieg Larsson novels.  In Prometheus she's Elizabeth Shaw.  But, of course, in one passing tribute line, she's called "Lisbeth."  Hey, I liked it.  The line, that is.

The movie, alas, is alongside Avatar with great cinema, cardboard characters, and a totally missed opportunity to race along the imagination frontier.

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