Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project #6 – Prometheus

Adam, Will, and Norm discuss the high points and problems with Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, including Adam’s ultimate spoiler for the film. Beware, spoilers abound!

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37 thoughts on “Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project #6 – Prometheus

  1. Devil240Z just replied to your comment:

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  2. I tried to come up with something funny to say about Norm’s mannerisms at around 2:05 but… nah.. He looks so lost though. Funny.

  3. This discussion is so damn good. And I’m glad you guys are calling out Prometheus for what it is. Every time I bring up any criticism, people try and tell me that I’m “not smart enough to understand it”. Nah, it was just dumb.

    I really hope Gary writes the Sequel and fixes everything.

  4. I’m starting to understand everyone criticism and I know it’s no a perfect movie. But I still thought it was good.

  5. Hey guys, is there some rule that Gary can never be on the same podcast as Adam? Or will the Universe implode if those two meet? 😀

  6. Thanks for doing this! It’s amazing hearing Adam talk about movies and the people that make them.

    I don’t think that Prometheus is a terrible movie, it’s just very disappointing. I too love the central concept (creators) but the movie doesn’t do anything with it. It does connect to Alien in a number of ways, which is cool, but to me there is no reason for this movie to exist. I feel completely apathetic about it. And then there is all the stupid stuff that Adam talked about…

    David said (according to the internet): “This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life.” It fits because our creators only want to destroy us, that’s why he attacks David and the others.

    I really liked Fassbender in this movie. The idea that we perceive him as evil when he in fact is only awkward when socializing with humans (because he is a robot) is very interesting to me. “I was designed like this because you people are more comfortable interacting with your own kind.” That’s one of the few characters that I found interesting.

  7. You know what I like “Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project” as a name for these podcasts. Seems oddly fitting.

  8. …a story about the making of Young Frankenstein

    Brooks also recognized he wasn’t always the master of what was and wasn’t funny. One scene, envisioned by Wilder, involved the great grandson of Frankenstein doing a Burlesque number with the monster as they tap dance and sing Irving Berlin’s “Putting on the Ritz.” Wilder was proud of the idea when he presented it to Brooks. On the other hand, Brooks’ reaction was, “What kind of conceit is this?” He felt it was too silly and tore the film apart. Brooks also stated that he wanted the scene to come out of the film. To his credit, he had a deep respect for everyone he worked for, even when that person’s visions differed from his. When he realized how hard Wilder was fighting to keep the scene, he agreed to let it stay in. When Wilder asked why Brooks simply replied, “I wasn’t sure if it was brilliant and right or crazy and wrong. And I wanted to see how hard you’d fight for it before I decided which.”

  9. Great podcast! Would have loved to hear an even longer version of this, because Prometheus deserves every single piece of criticism that it gets.

    It is a terrible movie – but yes, it is pretty. Nothing in Prometheus makes any sense – at all! I watched it on opening night and I was so excited about that movie that I had dragged 8 people to come and watch it with me. Plus, I had told everyone that the trailer made it look like the next big sci-fi movie. The one we’ve all been waiting for for so many years. But God damnit…

    I was kind of hoping that either Will, Norm or Adam was going to point this out, but they didn’t so here goes….

    Why did we need to know that Charlize Theron’s character was the daughter of Weylon? Why? It was like this big revelation that led to absolutely nothing. When she said, “yes…… father” I thought for a couple of seconds that I had missed something – but i hadn’t. It was just there for some reason? Did they forget to edit it out and save that for a longer scene coming in the Director’s Cut?

  10. Am I the only one not surprised that Lindelof wrote this turd? Lost was complete nonsense posing as deep storytelling.

  11. Really enjoy these little savagecasts but if only they were longer.

    The movie is great eye candy but it has the same narrative style as procedural crime shows, (“This is what we’re doing.” “That’s because of this, which I already know but have to explain to the audience.”)

    The most ridiculous thing I found in the movie, is the giant denture filled starfish that without ingesting anything manages to put on about half a ton of muscle.

    I would’ve preferred a little mechanical spider instead of the stapler.

  12. Am I the only one not surprised that Lindelof wrote this turd? Lost was complete nonsense posing as deep storytelling.

    It’s hard to dismis the guy already. He didn’t write most of Lost (as far as I remember) and sure Prometheus and Cowboy and Aliens weren’t exactly gems but Lost was great until season 4.

  13. How about just making it official and just calling this “Untitled: The Adam Savage Project.”

  14. The biggest shame for Prometheus to me is that I enjoyed the idea or premise for this film so much that I gave it multiple chances to redeem itself, more than I should have and it failed at every chance. I don’t understand how you can ruin this formula. Sometimes I wish directors like Ridley Scott would contract this sort of shit out to writers like Greg Bear, Joe Haldeman or John Scalzi to write the script. I’m sure there are a million reasons why that combo would never work or they might not be interested but seriously, I’m sure one of them could have written a better human creation myth alien prequel than Lindelof.

  15. On the topic of Munich: the thing that bothered me the most about that film was the fact that in several places it was a shot-for-shot ripoff of a tv movie title Sword of Gideon. I went to see Munich and realized a half hour in that I had seen this exact story before. And by the end I had decided that it was inferior to the original.

    Watch Sword of Gideon and then watch Munich back to back. You will see.

  16. Man, I would love to see a video series of Adam going through the process of making the Prometheus helmet (if it’s actually possible).

  17. I think it was at the point when the “biologist” tried to pet the alien snake thing that I realized this was not a smart sci-fi/horror film, but a really stupid one.

  18. To me, Prometheus felt like Avatar. It was well shot, well directed, beautiful looking movie. Everything on a technical level was great and the actors did a fine job with the material they had. Sadly, the story and dialogue weren’t all that great. I wouldn’t call it a “bad” movie, I kind of liked it. I still think it wasted a lot of potential.

    I vote for the podcast title to stay “Still Untitled”. Keep doing them, they are great!

  19. This was a very frustrating listen, mainly because I liked the film a lot but am all too aware of its massive flaws. The directing, visuals and acting are all great, and IMO Scott comes in for an unfair beatdown in this podcast. However, I do agree that the script and plotting are all over the place. As you mentioned there is no real character drive, with ideas constantly being introduced and then passed aside, and in general everything just feels like it is padding time until the inevitable sequel. Does any of this sound familiar at all? That’s right… Lost. I think the key issue with Prometheus is not Scott, but Lindelof. The guy might have plenty of big ideas but just doesn’t have the chops to give them real flesh, instead relying on the same tired old tricks of deferment. Lost was never known for it’s high calibre of writing (cut away the Sci-Fi trappings and it was essentially no better than a daytime soap opera) and the same is very true here. Who knows, maybe the sequel will be the film everyone envisaged this one would be, with a much tighter but more fulfilling story at its heart, but if Lindelof is once again on writing duties I won’t hold my breath.

  20. The biggest shame for Prometheus to me is that I enjoyed the idea or premise for this film so much that I gave it multiple chances to redeem itself, more than I should have and it failed at every chance. I don’t understand how you can ruin this formula. Sometimes I wish directors like Ridley Scott would contract this sort of shit out to writers like Greg Bear, Joe Haldeman or John Scalzi to write the script. I’m sure there are a million reasons why that combo would never work or they might not be interested but seriously, I’m sure one of them could have written a better human creation myth alien prequel than Lindelof.

    Ridley Scott waited for years to get the option for Haldeman’s The Forever War. Hoping he doesn’t mess that up.

    That book is basically just a big metaphor for the Vietnam War and he’s admitted in an interview I read that he understands that fact so it gave me some relief that he isn’t completely oblivious. Plus he’s done Black Hawk Down, GI Jane and The Duelists. If anything depicting stories that seem authentic of servicemen/servicewomen seems to be well within his wheelhouse moreso than the scifi, it’s probably why he had a hard time directing the ‘scientists’ in Prometheus.

  21. I get that a lot of people don’t see an issue with the word
    “man cave”, but at the same time, I don’t understand what makes it so
    worth defending, or what anyone gets out of using it that they don’t get from calling
    it a shop.

    It seems especially strange to me after that great talk Adam
    gave at Maker Faire. What he said about getting young people excited about making
    was really inspirational. As someone who was encouraged to make as a child, and
    who really value the sense of agency that experience grants, it was a message
    that personally resonated with me. To then see that message followed up by a
    word like “man cave” that has the potential to make some of those who were inspired
    by that talk feel excluded is kind of a huge bummer. To be clear, I don’t at
    all think that exclusion is in any way the intent of using man cave, but that
    is the effect. Identifying the shop as a
    space for men, and not for women, is really all “man cave” does. Even going
    back to the beginning of Tested, the core idea that Will discussed in the early
    videos of being enthusiastic about technology rather than cynical has been what
    has made this site so great, and it has only gotten better now that it has been
    opened up to enthusiasm for all kinds of science. No matter how innocuous “man
    cave” seems, to risk making anyone feel excluded or dampening their enthusiasm just
    doesn’t seem worth whatever vague rewards there are.

  22. Since you mentioned the man cave issue again: I must admit that my knee jerked pretty hard when I first discovered the man cave videos, because I’m a woman who makes props for fun and I have occasionally gotten the comment “did your husband/boyfriend make that?” (a question asked without first confirming my marital status and with vast assumptions made regarding sexual identity). There are definitely some folks out there that have a perception that if you are into props and costumes, sewing is for the women and making cool guns is for the men. Now of course, I’m very certain that Adam Savage does NOT have this perception and would not ask this kind of question. But my knee jerk reaction was basically “meh, adding to the perception that this is something only dudes like to do”.
    Until I watched the video about the Indiana Jones bullwhip, and Adam mentions that his wife was away and so he had time to devote to this. And indeed, working on props is solitary work. You can’t really pay attention to a significant other while doing it. Even if you both love doing this kind of thing, you can’t normally work together on it. It falls under the “me time” category – which is something every person needs. In hetero terms, “man cave” just illustrates that this is the space for the thing this particular man (not all men everywhere) does.
    Just my thoughts on the subject. I have now dubbed my workspace the “Lady Lair” – because woman cave sounds far more wrong than “I want to visit your man cave” does.

  23. I really enjoyed Prometheus. I love Alien, but that film is not about the characters, it’s about the look, the mechanics of the Alien, the creeping dread and terror. There’s nothing especially interesting about Alien’s characters. Likewise Prometheus. Where Prometheus does fall down though is, as Adam points out, it’s kind of hard to fathom why these people do these things. But I’m personally willing to accept that because I know people’s motivations are not always clear, and they are often muddied by disappointment, jealousy and other petty emotions.

    Regarding all of the “why did that happen to this guy, and that happen to that guy?” as regards the black goo, I think they really need to have some more material in some kind of extended cut to explain that a little better, but it seemed reasonably clear to met that the goo mutates people very unpredictably. Whatever strain of the goo was in the vial that was used to infect the guy (whose name I forget because who cares what his name was), was obviously a fairly specific formulation of the goo that infected his sperm, and the mutated sperm impregnating a human egg, shazam, squidbaby.

    For years I have had a kind of a sci-fi thing in the back of my mind, involving aliens who had meddled in human history. I kept running up against the question why, and the only answer I could give myself was that it was impossible to understand on any human level. Prometheus seems to ask that question, but similarly can’t come up with an answer.

    I don’t want to end up being an apologist for this movie, but I genuinely think Prometheus does some very interesting things with the Alien’s biology, and the Space Jockey mythology. The characters and the plot are very clumsily assembled, and some of the dialogue is nonsensical, or just poor, but I was willing to give it a pass on those. I kind of wish instead of trying to give them meaningful arcs, they had kept them very functional like Alien did. Nobody cared about Kane’s reason for being on the Nostromo. Nobody wanted to know about Dallas’ background as ship’s captain.

  24. Prometheus is a rather frustrating film really. Technically and visually the film is fantastic, and on the whole the acting was top notch in terms of the actual performances. However the plot is just nonsensical and undermines the whole. I can’t help but feel that there was an opportunity there to make a pretty suspenseful first contact film if it was played straight (with everyone acting like proper scientists rather than boy scouts on their first field trip) and was more focused. Also I realize that Guy Pierce was cast on the TED promo role, but given we don’t see him as a young man in the film one has to question the sense in doing the young man in make up thing Vs just getting an old actor in for the part, as the old man makeup thing never ever looks good and just distracts. Someone like Max Von Sydow would of been perfect for instance.I’m interested to see what Scott does in terms of a directors cut DVD tbh, but given much of the plot relies upon the scientists basically being anything but scientific (did they not consult with anyone when they wrote this?) I can’t see him turning it around much though.

    Like the idea of that terrible films kickstarter. Definitely something that needs to be done.

  25. It’s a great podcast guys, complements ‘This is Only a Test’ quite nicely. Adam seems like a really genuine person.

  26. I liked the review. I wonder if Adam et al have read the script “Alien Harvest” which, about a year ago was widely thought to be the “Prometheus” script. It turns out, of course, that it wasn’t, but it’s still a good read and better than the one for “Prometheus.” I bring it up because Adam mentioned fan fiction in this review.

  27. Great discussion. I have never watched Alien but, I watched Prometheus a few weeks ago and I really liked it. After listening to this conversation I’m not sure how I feel about it now, I still want to watch it a second time on Blu-Ray regardless. Maybe Ridley Scott will make a final cut like he did with Blade Runner that might help it a bit.

  28. How about “Chief Sit ‘n Bull” or “This Way Up”, like on a corrugated box, for titles. It’s hard to suggest a title when “This is Only a Test” and “No Jars Allowed” have already set the bar.

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