A new movie trailer may explain why Ridley Scott has not been saying anything about what to expect in his new movie Prometheus, the new science fiction film from the universe of the Alien franchise. Because, like a good magician, he is not going to reveal the big surprises until just the right time. This is something cool and by itself gets a cybernetic thumb up from borg.com–in its realism, it is oddly prescient, and in its calmness and innocence, something outright creepy. Check it out:
This new trailer is more an “ad from the world of Prometheus” than a typical trailer with snippets from the movie to entice us to see it. Like Total Recall with all its advertisements for transplanted memories from the company called Rekall, this advertises something different, something at the core of a lot of science fiction–the ethics of science–just because we can do it, doesn’t mean we should do it.
The ad seems like it may be good for people who like the chilling parts of Philip K. Dick’s science fiction, people who liked the brilliant science fiction film Gattaca, but who also hope that world never arrives. The character is familiar–we’ve seen androids and similar cybernetic organisms before and have discussed several here at borg.com. This guy looks like Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the eerie quiet and childlike movements also conjure something dark like something you’d get from Stephen King–or maybe like Data just before he malfunctions and takes out the crew of the USS Enterprise.
When and how is this seemingly sentient thing going to break?
Science fiction is often at its best when it shows us tomorrow… failing. Like the Millenium Falcon with a broken hyperdrive.
This trailer feels like 2001: A Space Odyssey, maybe just because of the choice of the name “Dave”. Now I am pretty much not a fan of most of Stanley Kubrick’s work. Despite some neat outer space scenes in 2001, the single scene with HAL and Dave, and some neat set decoration, I’ve never been able to get through the entire film in one sitting. I just find it stunningly boring every few years when I try it again to see if I will like it this time. But if Prometheus is like this ad, with this kind of quiet future scary science… this trailer might have elevated Prometheus for me from a future rental to an actual theater ticket. And that’s saying something because its traditional trailers haven’t convinced me this is something I’ll care about. But then again, their print ads state this David 8 robot is powered by… wait for it… Verizon. Umm… right. And all the restaurants of the future will be Taco Bell.
We probably shouldn’t be surprised that Sir Ridley Scott, creator of the films Blade Runner, Alien, and the recent Prophets of Science Fiction series, has some visionary tricks up his sleeves. But the release of this very, very different movie promotion struck me as surprising, in a good way. And if they do the movie right, “Happy Birthday, David” may be the next sci-fi catch phrase.