Prometheus (2012 dir. Ridley Scott)

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Sandra’s Verdict
Having been too young to fully appreciate the Alien movies first time around I was able to watch Prometheus without making constant caparisons to the first four films. So when the plot diverted slightly from the first film I didn’t feel cheated or that sacred ground was being trampled on. Although Prometheus has not been billed as a prequel to Alien many have been viewing it as such.

It is 2093 and a group of unconventional scientists and archeologists are sent to investigate the origins of humankind on a distant planet in their ship Prometheus, by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the aged CEO of Weyland Corporations. When they get there they find a large construction made by what they think may be extra terrestrial. As they explore the structure they come across snake-like beings and begin to realise that the true purpose of their visit has not been fully disclosed to them.

The film is both Sci-Fi and Horror, with the characters making dubious decisions which isolate them and put them in vulnerable situations. There is also comedy to break the tension and Idris Elba’s one liners are brilliant as he taunts an uptight Meredith Vickers, played by Charlize Theron. There is some excellent acting in the film with Noomi Repace playing the invincible powerhouse Elizabeth Shaw with passion and grit. Michael Fassbender is also superb as the complicated android David.

As is expected the visuals are excellent and with CGI effects and imaginative set design the world on board Prometheus and in space are mesmerising. A lot happens during the film but the action is fast paced enough so that the 124 minute running time is barely noticeable.

As Hollywood blockbusters go this is probably one of the year’s best, having already made $147.7 million at the box office I think that this film will go on to smash records and draw a whole new generation of fans to the other Alien films. Prometheus is a definite hit which should not be missed!

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The Cabin in the Woods (2012 dir. Drew Godard)

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Sandra’s Verdict

Okay so I’d waited for over a year to see this film, not only did it have the beautiful and very manly Jesse Williams in, from Grey’s Anatomy and Brooklyn’s Finest, but it was co-written and produced by Joss Whedon, the genius behind the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, which I was addicted to throughout university; so, as you can imagine, I had very high expectation for this film. And post-film, having avoided all the trailers and spoiler reviews beforehand, I can say that the long wait was most definitely worth it!

According to Whedon the film was a critique of the horror genre; “I love being scared. I love that mixture of thrill, of horror, that objectification/identification thing of wanting definitely for the people to be alright but at the same time hoping they’ll go somewhere dark and face something awful. The things that I don’t like are kids acting like idiots, the devolution of the horror movie into torture porn and into a long series of sadistic comeuppances. Drew and I both felt that the pendulum had swung a little too far in that direction”  (http://www.totalfilm.com/news/joss-whedon-talks-the-cabin-in-the-woods  retrieved 17/04/12).

This desire to swing the pendulum in another direction has paid off as The Cabin in the Woods is brave and original in its ambition and the audience is kept in the loop about the layers involved in this story without spoiling the surprises. The film is aware of itself and the stereotypic aspects of the genre and while playing up to them in places manages not to take itself too seriously by subverting them with refreshing twists elsewhere.

The direction from Drew Goddard is strong and the characters are believable and likable with enough time to setting them up so that the audience roots for them while they face the delights offered up by the cabin.

This is a good escapism film, that will not bog you down with complicated back stories and spend three-quarters of its running time giving you clues with a short ten minute battle or chase sequence at the end; instead it is laden with gory treats that will trick and tease you keeping you entertained and  amused throughout.