Five most provocative things from the “Prometheus” trailer


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Between “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” it’s been a pretty great week for trailers. With a countdown that started on Monday at Apple.com with 30-second teasers hosted by director Ridley Scott, the bar was set pretty high for the premiere of the trailer for “Prometheus” today. After watching it several times over, we think it’s safe to say it completely delivered.

With speculation raging about how much of an “Alien” prequel the film would be over the last several months, aside from being edge-of-your-set menacing and stunning to look at, the trailer is packed with Easter eggs that die-hard fans of the mythology surrounding the acid-bleeding xenomorphs should find extremely exciting. Here are the top five things we noticed.

1. The Mystery of the Space Jockey

The first alien that the crew encounters in the 1979 film isn’t the one that hugs your face or the one with a second set of jaws in its tongue, it’s the creature dubbed the “Space Jockey” by the fan base, and he’s been dead for a while when they find him. By something that burst out through his chest. Some folks might have turned around at that point and gone home, but then it would have been a really short movie.

Who the Jockey was, what he was doing with a ship full of of monsters, and how he became impregnated are all story threads that have not been addressed in the films, but it looks like the mystery will be cleared up in this film, because we’re pretty sure that’s his helmet sitting on the examination table.

2. The Derelict

The horse-shoe shaped vessel sending out the “unknown signal” (which Ripley later figures out was a warning, and could possibly be the transmission we hear at the start of the “Prometheus” trailer) that the Nostromo investigates is completely out of commission at the beginning of “Alien.” The derelict briefly appears in the director’s cut of the James Cameron sequel, after that it disappears from the film continuity.

In the “Prometheus” trailer, we finally get a chance to see the ship fully functioning. At least until it gets blown out of the sky and almost crushes Charlize Theron. The mystery of whether or not the eggs were originally cargo or something laid by whatever burst out of the Space Jockey might finally be solved.

3. The Weyland-Yutani Corporation

While the protagonists of the “Alien” films are consistently menaced by drones, warriors, queens, face-huggers, chest-bursters and hybrids, the most insidious monster has always been the corporation that will do anything and sacrifice anyone to achieve their goal of weaponizing the intergalactic biological threat.

With their logo branded all over the vehicles, equipment and Idris Elba’s t-shirt in trailer, it suggests that Ridley Scott plans on keeping the theme that humanity’s worst enemy is often itself.

4. Humans Used As Hosts

One of the more horrifying aspects of the “Alien” franchise monsters is that they don’t just kill anything they can find, they completely violate the human body whenever they have the chance. In the original film, John Hurt’s character Kane is not simply murdered, but is first used as a host to incubate the creature that would decimate his fellow crew members and ultimately lead to the destruction of his ship. In a deleted scene from “Alien,” the horror was even further explored when Ripley stumbles across her fallen comrades in the bowels of the ship, where they are slowly being transformed in to egg sacs to produce more drones.

Judging by the appearance of the crew-member springing on to the flame-throwing troops at the 43-second mark (most likely Logan-Marshall Green’s character, who is being sprayed with something volatile earlier in the trailer), the element of physical corruption will remain in the DNA of the franchise for “Prometheus.”

5. A Full Shot of An Alien

Horror and science-fiction films are notorious for not giving you a clear look at the monster or the alien in trailers. The trailer for the original “Alien” (embedded at the bottom of this post) barely revealed the creatures at all. That’s why we were surprised that in the trailer for Prometheus, the alien shows up at the 44-second mark. In comparison to how tiny the crew of Nostromo appeared when they explored the pilot’s cabin in “Alien,” it stands at least twice as tall as a human. As the being isn’t in its space suit, you can see just how much it resembles the giant, hair-less head featured in the film’s poster. While it isn’t a shot of the titular alien from the other films in the franchise, it’s a bold reveal for a first look at the film and it makes you wonder what kind of surprises (and horrors) they’re holding back for later.

“Prometheus” is due out in theaters on June 8th, 2012. You can watch the original 1979 trailer for “Alien” below and see how they line up.

What did you think of the trailer for “Prometheus”? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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