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Midnight Movies: My Date With Prometheus

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A natural beacon for the young, the studenty and the geeky; who else would be drawn to watch the latest sci-fi epic at midnight on a Thursday? Well, in our case, four thirty-something former-geeks sat right in the centre of a half-filled cavernous theatre.

I remember my first midnight movie: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Ever optimistic that at least it wouldn't be as bad as The Phantom Menace, we hauled our 'don't have anything better to do' and 'can get by on not much sleep' arses to the cheering, jeering fan-obsessed filled cinema seats, each adorned with a free can of Red Bull, which I'm still not sure whether this was supplied to atone for the late hour, or the anticipation of another dull opening scroll detailing trade blockades. Oh well, we got to see Yoda fight Dracula, so it wasn't a total disappointment.

Ten years later, and slightly less student-like, we opted for the creme-de-la-creme of midnight movie experiences: Vue's Extreme 3D VIP seats. For anyone who hasn't tried this it's like cinema, but super-sized and served with onion rings.

Whilst I'll always take my drama, comedy and foreign language films in independent cinema-served portions, you can't beat Vue for their megalomaniacal presentation of blockbusters (nor their price supplement upon price supplement multiplier, for that matter) - for if you're going to subject yourself to a steaming dump of Hollywood poo, you want it to be two double-decker buses high and coming at you in at least three dimensions.

With not much else to do until the 00:01 start time, it's customary to drink a variety of sugary alcoholic beverages, a three-shot flat white and at least half a sharing bag of Maltesers before the movie, which at a time when your body is naturally readying itself for sleep, has a rather supernatural effect leaving you wide-eyed and massively susceptible to the pounding horror trailers for Chernobyl Diaries and The Pact, helping the caffeine/glucose overdose engulf you completely.

Anyway, I'm guessing that like I was, you're here to get a glimpse of Ridley Scott's latest...

So. Pithy poster quote time: "Ridley Scott...? Rather not." Sadly.

I was primed to love this film, to jump, to squirm and to experience some extra terrestrial waking nightmares. But instead I got the standard contemporary CGI-beauty befuddled story, with pace and rapid editing paving over the cracks in story, character and, oh gawd not more, subtext masquerading as cliched dialogue: "I don't want to be friends, I'm just here for the money".

Ridley, and Hollywood, sweethearts, some advice: a cliche wrapped in CGI is still a cliche; a one dimensional character presented in 3D, despite the simple mathematical suggestion otherwise, is still just a single dimensional character.

And then there's the elephant in the room. Well, the elongated-feline-geiger elephant in the room, at least. It's as if Ridley Scott has turned his 1979 classic into a genre all of its own, and allows himself to recall each of the movies' classic conventions, and thus, faithfully recreating all the iconic mood, devices and scenes, with style for sure, but also a rather odd after taste in one's mouth when recalling the filmmaker's declaration: "this is a film in its own right". Yeah, right, Ridders.

For fans of the horror sci-fi genre, it's a chance to see an old master at work, touching up a former classic painting with a CGI palette, but, much like a bad case of flesh-eating acid blood dripping on your chest, it leaves you feeling a little hollow.

But, while we're on the subject of past masters, Prometheus really isn't all bad: it sure knocks ten rounds out of The Phantom Menace.

Midnight movies are great and all, but it's now 3.30am and I need to log this blog - I have to be a grown up tomorrow:

"This is Ripley, W564502460H, executive officer, last survivor of the commercial starship Nostromo signing off."

Come on cat.