Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
Clearly, we're not the only ones who aren't too thrilled with the turmoil The Simpsons is facing do to financing issues. In case you haven't heard, Fox has threatened to terminate The Simpsons at the end of this season if the cast is not willing to take a 45 percent pay decrease. Yesterday, Fox further stated that even with the pay decrease, The Simpsons would likely not continue on past one additional season on the network. Although most of the cast has been silent on the issue (funnily enough, considering 'talking' is their primary job description), one of the voice actors has vocalized his stance on the issue: Harry Shearer (who plays a vast array of characters including Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers and Principal Skinner).
Said Shearer earlier today, "If pay cuts are what it will take to keep the show on the air, then cut my pay. In fact, to make it as easy as possible for Fox to keep new episodes of The Simpsons coming, I'm willing to let them cut my salary not just 45 percent but more than 70 percent—down to half of what they said they would be willing to pay us. All I would ask in return is that I be allowed a small share of the eventual profits." Shearer further highlighted Fox's unwillingness to grant this to he or any of the other castmembers in previous talks: "There were, the Fox people said, simply no circumstances under which the network would consider allowing me or any of the actors to share in the show's success." However, he is hoping for a change in the network's perspective soon.
Shearer made a point of noting that he does not speak on behalf of any of his fellow castmembers: this statement applies solely to him, unless and until we hear otherwise from the rest of the team behind The Simpsons (which includes Dan Castanella, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria).
Some of Shearer's additional Simpsons characters include Otto the busdriver, Homer's friend and coworker Lenny, Dr. Hibbert, news anchor Kent Brockman, Reverend Lovejoy, action star Ranier Wolfcastle, retiree Jasper Beardley, music teacher Dewey Largo, police officer Eddie, Judge Roy Snyder, war veteran/amputee Herman, Kang the alien and Scratchy (of The Itchy and Scratchy Show).
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Trouble begins to brew for the Springfield clan when Homer rescues a pig from the butcher’s guillotine. But Homer doesn’t want to eat his new pot-bellied pet—he takes it home and showers it with affection. Seeing Homer be a doting dad to a pig pisses off Bart--and leaves him vulnerable to the niceties of neighborino Ned Flanders. Meanwhile Lisa’s grassroots efforts to save the polluted Lake Springfield have paid off: the Environmental Protection Agency erects a cement barrier around it to protect it from its residents. The EPA's cockamamie plan actually works--until Homer decides to dump a homemade silo filled with pig poop into it creating a toxic cesspool. In a jab at FEMA and the New Orleans Superdome calamity the EPA retaliates by isolating Springfield under a giant Plexiglas-like dome leaving its citizens without food electricity or a way out. When Springfield residents try to lynch Homer and exact revenge the Simpsons escape the dome via a sinkhole in Maggie’s sandbox. But while the Simpsons escape Springfield they can’t flee their conscience—and Homer must return to save his hometown from the mess he created. It's a classic Simpsons tale that ends with the show's trademark theme of redemption. It won't disappoint fans but the story hardly warrants a feature presentation. Surprisingly producer James L. Brooks and creator Matt Groening didn’t go to town with guest star appearances on The Simpsons Movie something that often plagues the TV series. With the exception of an opening number by Green Day and a closing remark by a famed film star (OK it’s Tom Hanks) the actors who voice the Fox animated TV sitcom are the big-screen stars here including Dan Castellaneta (Homer/Krusty the Clown/Itchy/Barney/Grampa/Mayor Quimby) Hank Azaria (Moe/Apu/The Sea Captain/Professor Frink/Comic Book Guy/Chief Wiggum/Lou) Harry Shearer (Principal Skinner/Lenny/Dr. Hibbert/Ned Flanders/Mr. Burns/Rev Lovejoy) Julie Kavner (Marge) Nancy Cartwright (Bart/Maggie/Ralph/Nelson/Todd Flanders) and Yeardley Smith (Lisa). And just like the episodic Simpsons characters the feature characters do some uncontainable thing and eventually learn the error of their ways. But while Homer Marge Bart Lisa and Maggie take center stage other Springfield locals—such as Mr. Burns and Smithers--hardly make an appearance let alone Patty and Selma Bouvier. What separates The Simpsons Movie from the TV series is according to director David Silverman the production’s scale. This translates to more characters in each frame richer colors and textures and greater latitude for camera movement. "Normally you have a crowd shot the cut to a close-up " Silverman says of a scene in which a mob congregates outside the Simpsons’ home. "But I wanted to give the scene a lot of energy so I kept moving the camera into the crowd." But while the feature is visually more dynamic than the series it’s hardly something Simspons fans will take notice of. The series has a following because of its political and social lampooning and its 22-filled-minutes of well-timed jokes; there are no Pixar-type expectations here. Yet the film’s storyline as well as the character’s story arcs is no more relevant than a TV episode. The emphasis so to speak is on the wrong syllable. Panoramic views of Springfield and an in-depth look a Milhouse’s street and its one-level homes are intriguing tidbits fans are more likely craving and more of these should have been offered up in the movie adaptation. Show creators said they waited 18 years to bring The Simpsons to the big screen because they wanted to create a story that demanded the scope offered by a film but after a year-and-a-half in the making it doesn’t live up to the hype.