It only takes one weak link to break a chain, and when The Counselor debuted in theaters in November, a once highly buzzed awards contender was reduced to entertainment rag cannon fodder rather unjustly thanks to the weak link of Cameron Diaz’s misguided performance in the film. Critics were divided, audiences were discouraged, and haters were ravenous — but to this author, much of the criticism is quite confusing in their points. If critics were to consider the tone of the film off-kilter, why not apply the same criticism to award-worthy oddities like Nebraska? If the film’s content was truly the issue, then why did audiences embrace downers such as Prisoners or Blue Jasmine?
Of course, the predictable pool of Oscar nominations is surely attributed to that of safety and necessity. While out-of-the-box candidates such as Gravity and Her will receive obligatory nominations, they’ll never be truly embraced by the Academy, allowing instead for the routine mix of charming character pieces, heart-wrenching melodramas, and zeitgeist-penetrating biopics to scoop up nominations all around. Meanwhile, as the horror genre is continually ignored for their incredible work in SFX, the Academy can sleep soundly knowing that legitimately unique cinema will not be given the satisfaction of critical embrace, at least not during its initial release.
“Everybody Talks. Everybody Talks. Everybody Talks.”
– Neon Trees, ‘Everybody Talks’
After White People Planet, I was kinda unsure about Ridley Scott. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, since I’ll love anything in the Alien universe, and that especially includes Alien: Resurrection in a genuine, unironic way. But Ridley Scott has definitely been on an increasingly steep slope in terms of his quality. Desert Spies, Gladiator Hood, Scarface 2: The Quickening and A Fucking Movie About a House Renovation?! have all indicated a master who has individual elements of greatness in different films, but has yet to cohesively assemble them as he did in his prime. White People Planet should have been a cakewalk for the auteur, and yet, the work of Damon Lindelof (not Spaihts, whose original script is so much better) didn’t jive with Ridley’s aversion to explore the philosophical ideas that were hinted at. If only he would have made an entire movie of David’s Bicyclesketball.
I’m starting to get worried. All these Trailers, viral videos (TED talk & Happy Birthday David), film stills, and the speculation surrounding Prometheus seem to be weaving together some grand picture none of us are able to see. If Scott is lucky, these new dimensions will function like brush strokes on a Van Gogh; indistinguishable, yet beautiful when focused on individually, but harmonious and complete when viewed as a finished work. If he’s not, Prometheus will fall on the mountain of its own hype and become nerd rant fodder (probably me,) as to why the Alien franchise should have been left alone.
[Read More + Video after the jump…]
With the June release date of Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated film Prometheus inching ever closer, the director has released a teaser video directed by his son, Luke Scott, as a sort of viral marketing campaign for the film. The clip features Guy Pierce as the sophisticated and eloquent businessman, Peter Weyland of Weyland corporation, speaking at 2023 TEDtalk about the technological revolutions of the early 21rst century. While not actually a part of the film, the speech offers a tantalizing glimpse into what can be assumed will end up being the driving force behind Prometheus’ plot.