Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thought - Are you ready for some football?

This is a part sports/part thought post, as it is about sports but it is also a thought in my head.  Stay with me.  Ok, Monday Night Football.  Now I love me some Jon Gruden, and Mike Tirico is cool too, but who here remembers when MNF was awesome?  I'm talking the 80s and 90s.  I'm talking John Elway, Brett Favre, Barry Sanders, Deion.  I'm talking Hank Williams  Jr. and his signature song that always got me going before a football game.  There is nothing that compares to "Are you ready for some football!?".  Sorry Faith Hill, but you suck.  I miss that song and I miss that opening tradition.  I know they all had a falling out, but hey, that song defined a television show.  It would be like 'Cheers' without "Where everybody knows your name!".  Something should be done.  I'm just saying.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Movie Trailer - The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincente Fernandez

Director: Elia Petridis
Starring: Ernest Borgnine, Barry Corbin
Release: 2012

This cracks me up.  Who came up with this movie?  At the very least it looks original, interesting, and funny.  That's enough for me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 13

Here are my NFL Week 13 Picks:
(I was 11-5 last week)
Bye teams: none

No @ Atl - I predicted the Falcons one loss this season to the Saints in Week 10, but I don't think the outcome will be the same this game.  Atlanta is undefeated at home and will get their revenge.

Jax @ Buf - The Jaguars are on a mini-roll, but their defense is still horrible.  Only three teams allow more points per game, but one of them is Buffalo.  The Bills will lose at home.
Sea @ Chi - Will Jay Cutler back and with the Seahawks terrible road play, this game shouldn't even be close.  However, Cutler is fragile, and you just never know.  I'll take the Bears.
Ind @ Det - Luck and the Colts are actually pretty good on the road and will make a game of this one, but I think the Lions will be playing angry after their embarrassing Thanksgiving loss.
Min @ GB - Talk about playing angry; the Pack got their collective ass handed to them last week vs. the G-men.  Rodgers will bounce back and continue his excellent home record.
Car @ KC - The Chiefs gave the Broncos a run for their money, but remain winless at home.  The Panthers are a good road team and Cam looked comfortable last week.  Carolina.
NE @ Mia - The only thing that could give Brady & Co. a hiccup would be Miami's D at home.  But I think the Pats are just too much for the Dolphins to handle.  Could be close though.
Ari @ NYJ - After starting 4-0 the Cards have lost seven straight.  Ouch.  The Jets have their own problems, but they're overall a much better team.  I will wear my Tebow jersey and hope.
SF @ STL - I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this game doesn't end in a tie.  The Niners are much better all around and Kaepernick is looking good.  Rams could lose big.
Hou @ Ten - The Texans have had three narrow wins in a row and a team that looked almost unbeatable is now showing some holes.  However, they get to play the Titans.
TB @ Den - The Broncos had a little scare last week and the Bucs are by no means pushovers, but Manning is hot and on target.  It might come down to the wire, but Denver will win.
Pit @ Bal - Charlie Batch proved that the Steelers couldn't win with him against the Browns, they're definitely not going to win with him against the Ravens.  Blow out city.
Cle @ Oak - Which awful team wants a meaningless win more?  The Raiders have a horrible defense, but the Browns don't have the offense to take advantage of it.  The Boys in Black.
Cin @ SD - The door is wide open for the Bengals with the Steelers struggling.  And the door is wide open for Norv Turner in a "don't let it hit you on the way out" kind of way.  Cinci.
Phi @ Dal - The Eagles may not have a team left by the end of the season, as they begin to clean house for next year.  The Cowboys still have a chance and they will take advantage of it.

NYG @ Was - I can't predict RG3, he's a mystery to me.  But I know this; Eli is back and ready to win.  Also, the Giants love playing on the road.  The Redskins should lose a close one here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Movie Trailer - Any Day Now

Director: Travis Fine
Starring: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt
Release: 2012

Talk about a tearjerker.  A movie about a gay couple struggling to adopt a kid with Down's Syndrome in the 1970s?  Perhaps it's a bit much, but I trust Alan Cumming (Cabaret, Titus) , and I'm willing to put myself through a bit of emotional torture.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thought - Thanksgiving

Hello everyone, I'm back from Thanksgiving break.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got to spend some quality time with your families.  I consumed more pie this year than I normally do, and it was glorious.  Football was entertaining, Carcassonne was played, and I generally had a nice four days.  Now Christmas!  Decorating, getting the tree, 93.3, shopping, and hopefully some snow.  Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 12

Here are my NFL Week 12 Picks:
(I was 11-3 last week)
Bye teams: none

Hou @ Det - The Texans nearly let the Jaguars steal a win last week, but came to life when it came down to it.  They are undefeated on the road and should take care of a mediocre Lions team.
Was @ Dal - One of the best rivalries in football, Cowboys & Indians.  I need to start giving RG3 and the Skins a little more credit, but Tony Romo has never lost at home on Thanksgiving.
NE @ NYJ - Another great rivalry.  At least, it would be if the Jets didn't suck.  Wouldn't you rather see Tebow get beaten by the Pats than Sanchez?  I know I would, and I like the guy.

Min @ Chi - This game hinges on Jay Cutler.  If he plays, I think the Bears win.  If he doesn't, Jason Campbell and that awful offensive line are going to get a beating courtesy of Allen and the Vikings.
Oak @ Cin - The Bengals are on a little bit of a hot streak right now, and the Raiders are on a slide.  Their defense is just atrocious, and Dalton should be able to carve it up.
Pit @ Cle - Seems like an obvious W for the Steelers until you remember that Batch will be their QB this week.  The Browns should be able to steal a victory here, might be their last of the season.
Buf @ Ind - I'm just not comfortable calling Luck amazing quite yet.  The Bills are a solid team that can run all over anybody, but since the Colts don't lose at home I'll give them the slight edge.
Ten @ Jax - The Jaguars were dead in the water, last in points scored, and nearly winless until Henne steps up last week and almost beats the Texans.  They can get their first home win vs. the Titans.
Den @ KC - I believe in trap games, but I don't believe Peyton will fall for one.  No McGahee no problem as Hillman will step up this week and the Broncos will win big.
Sea @ Mia - If the playoffs were today, rookie Russell Wilson and the Seahawks would be in.  Not too shabby.  The Dolphins are trending in the wrong direction and ought to lose.
Atl @ TB - The Falcons won somehow last week, even with Ryan throwing 5 INTs.  He might have cost me my fantasy game, but I still believe in him.  He might throw 5 TDs instead.
Bal @ SD - The Ravens are playing Raven football right now and that it pretty scary.  The Chargers are playing Charger football, and that's scary for a different reason.  Baltimore.
STL @ Ari - One of those "who cares" games.  Both teams have returned to normalcy after good starts, which shouldn't surprise anyone.  Cards should win at home if they can choose a QB to start.
SF @ NO - Strength vs. strength in this nice match-up, as the Niners defense takes on the Saints offense.  San Fran has a QB controversy, and that's never good.  New Orleans.
GB @ NYG - Coming off a bye week, which Eli will show up: Super Bowl Eli or Confused & Slow Eli?  It's tough to tell.  Either way, the Packers are hot and should win.

Car @ Phi - Very rarely is there a MNF game that I don't care to watch.  This may be one of them.  Cam Newton vs. Nick Foles.  Meh.  The Eagles looked bad last week and should lose.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Movie Trailer - Now You See Me

Director: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher
Release: June 7th, 2013

Ok, so this might not be the best movie ever made, and yeah heists have been overdone, and yeah Jesse Eisenberg is kind of a douche bag, but I still want to see this movie.  It looks cool, at the very least, and that's something.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sports - Super Bowl Picks

It's getting closer and closer to Super Bowl time!  Now, a lot of people make their SB predictions at the beginning of the year, and I have mine.  But now that the season has progressed, would you change your mind?

My Super Bowl prediction: Preseason - Broncos vs. Giants - Manning Bowl!
My Super Bowl prediction: Midseason - Broncos vs. Packers - Elway/Favre!

So, what were your SB predictions at the beginning of the year, and have they changed?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Movie Trailer - Brooklyn Castle

Director: Katie Dellamaggiore
Starring: Pobo Efekoro
Release: 2012

I'm not usually into documentaries, but this one looks interesting.  If you watch The Daily Show, you may have seen the two names mentioned promoting their film, and if you did chances are they caught your attention too.  I think it's worth a look.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Movie Review - Hollow Man

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin
Year: 2000

Oh, Kevin Bacon.  It's hard to judge him by his movies because he's more about quantity, rather than quality.  Like Samuel L. Jackson, we love him as part of American culture, and every once in a great while he is part of a great film, but usually he just makes us shake our heads.  Combine his acting style with Verhoeven's directing (RoboCop, Starship Troopers) and you're in for a odd night.

Think The Invisible Man meets quantum physics and the plot will be set up.  The story follows a group of scientists on government payroll attempting to discover the properties of invisibility and, more importantly, the return to the visible world.  When Dr. Caine volunteers to become invisible himself, the results are not what any of the team could have imagined.  Things spiral out of control quickly as the power of his new state begins to consume Caine and the others race to fix this disaster.

Words can barely describe how utterly awful this movie is.  The plot is mildly interesting, but that's as far as it goes.  The story falls apart, the characters remain uninteresting, and the acting; oh my.  Some of the worse acting you will ever see is on display from every actor.  Each cast member in the movie should be ashamed of themselves.  Josh Brolin, who is an incredible actor, ought to feel especially silly for taking part in such a horrible movie.  We can forgive acting in bad films at a young age, hey you need work.  But this was 2000, not 1978, they should have known better.  I would only recommend Hollow Man for a good laugh, please don't watch it expecting talent.

My rating:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review - The Leftovers

Author: Tom Perrotta
Year: 2011

Given to me as a gift, I had never heard of The Leftovers before, nor had I heard of Tom Perrotta.  When I found out what it was about, I was very intrigued; a 'rapture' occurs in the present day and millions of people from every nation and faith just disappear.  Sounded cool, and I like sci-fi/fantasy/post-apocalyptic themes.  But I underestimated the depth and focus of the book, as it goes far beyond the single event that caught my attention.

The story focuses on the small town of Mapleton, a very normal, suburban community.  It is hit hard by the 'rapture', as is almost every city in the world.   The mayor, his family, and the residents of the town are all touched by the event in some fashion, and deal with the consequences in one way or another.  They must come to terms with their losses if they ever hope to move on with their own lives.

Perhaps I should have known from the title, but The Leftovers was about just that; the remaining people, not the event, not the search for the cause.  It was, in all ways, a character book, following the lives of those left behind and how they chose to cope with fear, abandonment, guilt, all of the emotions that confused and tortured them.  Those who enjoy character study and dialogue will enjoy this book, but don't expect much action or suspense.  The causality takes place offstage, leaving readers to sort through the effects.

My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 11

Here are my NFL Week 11 Picks:
(I was 10-3-1 last week)
Bye teams: Min, NYG, Sea, Ten

Mia @ Buf - Neither team is playing well right now, which makes for a tough pick.  The Dolphins D started strong but has been fading, so the Bills have a chance at home in the cold.
Ari @ Atl - After starting 4-0, the Cards have lost 5 straight.  The Falcons are no longer undefeated, but that's doesn't mean much.  They will win this week against a sub-par team.
TB @ Car - The Bucs couldn't be hotter, and they seem likely to stay that way.  Cam & Co. have shown that they can't score enough points to be relevant.  Tampa Bay all the way.
Cle @ Dal - The Cowboys got a boost last week beating the Iggles and should play with some confidence.  The Brownies haven't won on the road yet and won't this week.
GB @ Det - As bad as the Packers D has looked at times, they really don't allow that many points, only 20 per game.  The Lions are not pushovers, but should lose a relatively high scoring game.
Jax @ Hou - Whoa, not fair.  The Jaguars only score 14 points per game, and allow double that.  The Texans couldn't be playing better, and should absolutely dominate this game.
Cin @ KC - The Bengals shocked the reigning champion Giants last week, and still have a shot at a wild card, considering the Steelers' injury problems.  The Chiefs are awful and should lose.
NYJ @ STL - Ties are embarrassing, and the Rams should feel that.  The Jets have gone from bad to worse and Sanchez seems destined for failure.  Could be a close one, with the Ram just ahead.
Phi @ Was - Hmm, which bad team is better?  Vick might not play for the Eagles, and that might not be a bad thing.  Watch Foles step in, check the ball to McCoy, and cruise past the Skins.
NO @ Oak - Upset alert!  The Saints beat the Falcons and seem to be back in stride.  But the Raiders can score and they know it.  The Black Hole will win dirty, 30s to 30s.
SD @ Den - The Broncos are on fire and don't lose at home.  They also don't lose to dysfunctional teams.  The Chargers helped the Broncos get on this roll and will help them stay on.
Ind @ NE - Not the same rivalry that we're used to seeing, but should be a good one nonetheless.  I've tried to give Luck more credit, but the Pats will just be too much for the Colts.
Bal @ Pit - Ouch.  Big Ben is out, and it could be a while.  The Steelers defense is just not the same as it used to be and can't pick up that much slack.  Ravens win big.
Chi @ SF - The battle of the concussed QBs.  And it's sad, because this was shaping up to be a good match-up, but now will be a strange MNF game.  Campbell isn't awful and could carry the Bears, but Kaepernick knows his team better and the Niners know how to use him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Movie Trailer - Anna Karenina

Director: Joe Wright
Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Release: November 16th, 2012

I'm a sucker for period pieces, especially if they have Keira Knightley in them.  From the director of Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, this ought to be a good one; stimulating, beautiful, larger than life.  It may not be for everyone, but if you like epic love stories, than here you go.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sports - Tebow Part II

I will admit it; I have a man-crush on Tim Tebow.  Not only is he devastatingly handsome, but he's nice, likable, watchable, interesting, and top-notch boyfriend material.  Anyway, football, right.  On October 9th I stated my view of Tebow with the Jets (Sports - Tebow), so I won't go through it again.  On October 24th I predicted that the Jets would lose at home to the Dolphins (Sports - NFL Picks, Week 8) and that, following a Week 9 bye week, NYJ would turn to Tebow.  They didn't, and my question to the the world is, why not?

In Week 10, the Jets lost 7-28, failing to score an offensive point.  Mark Sanchez went 9 of 22 with an interception, adding to his dismal 2012 stats: 10 TDs, 9 INTs, 8 fumbles, and completing only half of his passes.  The Jets are now 3-6 and have, basically, zero chance of making the playoffs.

Why has Tim Tebow not been named the starter?  Say what you want about him, he has GOT to be a better option right now than Sanchez.  Rex Ryan is on the verge of being fired, the entire team is collapsing, Sanchez could be let go in the offseason; why not made a move that could win you some games, and at the very least will get your team on Sportscenter?

The Jets need to make the switch;  if for no other than reason than 'why not?'

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Movie Trailer - World War Z

Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Brad Pitt, David Morse
Release: June 21st, 2013

I'm not huge nto zombie movies, but O.  M.  G.  This is one of those must-see-on-opening-night movies A) because it looks awesome and 2) because it will literally look awesome.  And I'm excited that it shouldn't be your run of the mill zombie/action/crap thanks to an actual film director and an actual film actor.  WWZ should be an excellent movie that happens to be about zombies.  I might be a little bit excited.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sports - Go Duke!

It's that time of year again; college basketball.  Tonight is opening night of the season, and I'm ready for it.  College basketball is great for many reasons, but #1 has got to be this; is has the most entertaining postseason of any sport, amateur or professional.  Nothing beats March Madness.  Now, I'm an NFL guy, and I can watch any weekly match up.  I can't say the same about the NCAAB, but even football playoffs can't compare to the opening weekend of the college hoops tournament.

My team is Duke.  Yeah, I know, you probably hate them.  You hate them because they've always been rich, cocky, relevant, and hyped (Cowboys, Yankees).  But that's exactly why I chose them.  Years ago, I was looking to get into college basketball.  I didn't have any loyalty to a particular school, so I was open to anything.  Duke was always on TV, I liked their old school approach, I respected Coach K, they were an exciting, small, 3-point shooting team, and they just happened to be my favorite color.  So I chose the Blue Devils, and I've been a fan ever since.

Who is your favorite college basketball team?  Does it differ from your favorite college football team?  Is your choice based on location, parents, both?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Movie Trailer - The Americans

Creator: Joseph Weisberg
Starring: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys
Release: January, 2013

At first I thought that this was the worst movie ever made.  And then I realized that it was the worst TV show ever made.  Either way, Keri Russell peaked doing Felicity and will never top that.  Sad, considering how bad Felicity was. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sports - NFL Picks, Week 10

Here are my NFL Week 10 Picks:
(I was 12-2 last week)
Bye teams: Ari, Cle, GB, Was

Ind @ Jax - I may not have as much faith in Andrew Luck as the rest of the country, but even I think he will beat a team that can only score 15 points per game.
Oak @ Bal - The Ravens have been hit hard by injury, but thankfully for them Suggs has returned.  With the Raiders banged up as well, I expect a bloody battle with the home team winning.
Den @ Car - John Fox returns to Carolina and he should be able to leave with a smile.  The Broncos and Peyton are hot and should outscore the Panthers by 20 points.
NYG @ Cin - While a falter against the Stillers was expected, I don't think the Giants will suffer the same fate this week; the Bengals are a mess.
Ten @ Mia - The Titans' problem is their defense; they are the only team to allow 300+ points this season.  That's an average of 34 points allowed per game.  Dreadful.  Miami.
Det @ Min - These teams are going opposite direction; the Lions are on their way up and the Vikings are on their way to the basement.  Ponder has hit a wall and should lose this game.
Buf @ NE - How many of us had the Bills as a sleeper team this season?  Their offense should be scoring more points and their D should be much better.  But the reality is, they're awful.
Atl @ NO - This is the week.  The Falcons have been lucky in a few games this year, but it may be about to run out.  Should be a very high scoring game, with the Saints winning by a nose.
SD @ TB - Both teams are 4-4, both teams play good D, and both teams will most likely miss the playoffs.  Look for Rivers to get rattled and blow the game; that's what he does.
NYJ @ Sea - Well, I predicted Tebow would start this week.  So far no good.  The Seahawks defense is just too good for a hapless Jets team, especially if Sanchez starts.
Dal @ Phi - So, who wants to get fired first?  Both Garrett and Reid are soon to be out, as well as their respective QBs, most likely.  The Cowboys play pretty well on the road and might win.
STL @ SF - The Niners are just too good for a team like the Rams to go up against.  In what should be a low scoring game, we should see a pretty easy win by the best defense in the league.
Hou @ Chi - The Game of the Week for sure, on SNF, featuring the #2 and #3 defenses, and two teams that each score 30 points per game.  Not to mention that the Texans are undefeated on the road and the Bears are undefeated at home.  Something's got to give, and I can only assume it will be Jay Cutler.  Texans win.
KC @ Pit - Talk about anticlimactic.  The Chiefs are plain miserable, and the Stillers are on the up.  This game shouldn't even be close, as any KC QB they throw out there may not come back alive.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Movie Trailer - This Must Be the Place

Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand
Release: November 2012

I'm just not sure.  Sean Penn; of course.  Frances McDormand; yeah.  A movie about an ex rock star; ok.  Jews and Nazis; alright.  An amateur director; not really.  All these things combined; I'm just not sure.  The trailer might be just enough to get me to watch it to find out.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Movie Review - Moonrise Kingdom

Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban
Year: 2012

In case you didn't know, The Royal Tenenbaums is my favorite film of all time, written and directed by, of course, Wes Anderson.  I've loved everything he's every done except, of course, The Life Aquatic (no one liked that one).  And I was pretty sure I would enjoy Moonrise Kingdom if it was at all like the former, as opposed to the latter.  I was not disappointed.

Set on an island in New England in the 1960s, the story is, quite simply, one of young love facing insurmountable odds.  Sam, an orphan Khaki Scout, and Suzy, an angry schoolgirl, decide to run away together, following an old Indian trail and living off of Sam's Scout training.  However, Suzy's parents, Sam's Scout troop, and the local police team up to find the young couple.  As the storm of the century approaches the island, can love conquer all?

Taking a classic tale, setting it in an interesting location, and adding some patented weirdness, Anderson creates a movie that is part children's novel, part dark comedy.  He has an amazing ability to transport audiences into an Anderson World where the bizarre makes sense and all characters learn something about themselves in an hour and a half.  The acting is impeccable, the dialogue is hilariously understated, and the mood is captivating.  While not quite Tenenbaums standard, Moonrise Kingdom is a wonderfully strange love story that will be loved by any Anderson fan.

My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thought - Moving

I was AWOL from my blog yesterday, as I was helping my mom move.  For anyone who doesn't know, the Coens are big movers.  We're like nomads.  It would take me a full day to list all of the places my family has lived over the course of my childhood and the places my parents, my sister, and I have lived independently.  But no matter how many times we move, we still enjoy the day itself.  We don't believe in movers.  We always try to only make one trip.  We always have donuts at the break of dawn.  And that U-haul is always packed like a puzzle.  Moving is a Coen tradition, much like tacos, boardgames, and football.

Anyway, I'll be back blogging like normal on Monday.  My next movie review will be Moonrise Kingdom.  It's not a movie for everyone, but you will have the same opinion of it as you do of Royal Tenenbaums.  So, stay tuned.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Review - The Time Ships

Author: Stephen Baxter
Year: 1995

As mentioned before in my review of The Time Machine, I reread it in order to refresh my memory so that I could read The Time Ships, a sequel written exactly 100 years after H.G. Wells' classic.  I enjoyed the original very much; it was a quick, exciting, and interesting read.  I expected the second in the series to be equally interesting, but I was not prepared for the philosophic depth that Baxter's novel would bring, going far beyond the story that birthed it.

The Time Traveler, as the protagonist is called, is off on another adventure.  After his trip to the far future and his return to London, he sets off again to visit humanity's descendants.  However, the Earth he discovers is unaccountably different, and time, it appears, is more complicated than he could have ever imagined.  With a very strange companion, our hero journeys through space and dimension, attempting to unravel the truth and history of his own invention.

A much longer and more complicated novel, The Time Ships does justice to its predecessor.  It takes the idea of time and twists it, examines it, and ultimately breaks it down in a way that is more philosophical than scientific.  Baxter does an excellent job writing his book in a very similar style to Wells, using the same catch-phrases and tone, just in a different setting.  These novels should be read as one book, as each makes the other better, and together they create one of the best sci-fi stories of all time.

My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Movie Review - Prometheus

Director: Ridley Scott
Year: 2012

Ridley Scott is a director with one of those pedigrees that speaks for itself: Alien, Blade Runner, Legend, White Squall, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven.  When he is involved in a film it will be well made, high-octane, and deeper than an action movie ought to be.  Such is the case with Prometheus, a sci-fi-action-alien thriller with never a dull moment, but with a story that goes beyond a single film into a dark depth that will surprise you.

Credit to Justin Pyle for letting me in on the well-known "secret" of the movie; it is basically a prequel to the Alien trilogy, setting the scene for one of the best sci-fi franchises of all time.  On a mission to discover the origins of humanity, a group of scientists, pilots, and corporate heads travel across space in order to find the Engineers, a race theorized to have created human life on Earth.  Of course, all does not go as planned, and the crew is soon fighting for survival; their own and that of mankind.

If the plot seems manufactured, it can be forgiven.  Prometheus was created to be the quintessential sci-fi roller-coaster, as well as a vehicle for later films.  It is everything you would expect from an action blockbuster, and yet it upheld the standard of its Alien legacy.  The plot was interesting, the special effects were incredible, and the acting was respectable.  The only actor to break mediocrity was Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, A Dangerous Method), playing David the robot assistant to perfection.  For a film in a series, Prometheus holds its own, and excels as a homage to sci-fi.

My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰