Ridley Scott's long-awaited return to sci-fi guarantees a brilliant BD release...
Following the discovery of a series of cave paintings and carvings that seemingly point the way to the home of humanity’s intergalactic ‘Engineers’, the scientific research ship Prometheus is dispatched to explore what’s out there. But what they discover are not the benevolent Gods they hoped for, but an ancient race that holds the key to our destruction.
Ridley Scott’s prequel to his own Alien movie confused part of its audience by not being, well, much of a prequel to his Alien movie. It’s hard to think of another mega-budget sci-fi flick that deals with such an elaborate and far-reaching concerns. Gone are the efficient monster movie mechanics of the 1979 classic and in their place you get a pick and mix of ideologies and concepts drawn from Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods. Not to mention the influence of horror author H.P. Lovecraft – Prometheus is a film of unknowable eldritch terrors, of maddening uncertainty, of stomach-churning body horror in a universe where there are no easy answers (if there are any at all).
There are some plot holes, too, including leaps in logic that simply shouldn’t exist unless characters are privy to events we never witness, and two of the film’s scientists behaving so stupidly you’d think they were in a teen slasher movie. But who wants perfect? Especially when imperfection is as provocative and tantalising as this?
Picture: This 3-Disc Collector’s Edition features both 2D AVC 2.40:1 1080p and 3D MVC 2.40:1 1080p encodes of Prometheus (each on its own separate disc). It’s no understatement to say that both are at the forefront of what we’ve seen from the format.
Both deliver beautifully realised images, as sharp as a Xenomorph’s teeth and lavishly detailed. However, it’s the 3D version that most makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. Every shot has the kind of tangible depth and volume that most other 3D presentations can dream of – Scott proves himself a master of the format. For instance, as good as it looks in 2D, David’s interaction with the Engineers’ holographic star map in Chapter 23 is breathtaking when experienced in three dimensions, while the confines of the Med-Pod become even more confining and dangerous during an impromptu spot of surgery in Chapter 25.
Picture rating: 5/5
Audio: Prometheus’ enveloping DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio is equally impressive, delivering the kind of mix guaranteed to conjure sci-fi scares.
The sound design is perfectly judged and expertly rendered, whether it’s something as simple as dialogue, atmospheric as water dripping around you (Chapter 9) or as aggressive as a silica storm blasting across the soundfield (Chapter 12). Indeed, having watched the film several times now in both its 2D and 3D incarnations, it’s nigh on impossible to find a single flaw in the audio to comment on – making this a reference-quality soundtrack that your speakers will relish.
Audio rating: 5/5
Extras: The 2D Blu-ray disc kicks off with a pair of fascinating commentary tracks by Ridley Scott, the second by writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. A 37-minute run of 14 deleted/alternate scenes is up next. It’s an intriguing mix of material that was wisely cut (the extended opening); should have been kept (a conversation that would have helped patch over a plot-hole); or which simply offers a glimpse at a different version of the film.
The Peter Weyland Files houses four in-character viral videos (Quiet Eye: Doctor Shaw; Happy Birthday, David; Prometheus Transmission; and TED Conference, 2023). Also included are a Second Screen mobile app and a BD-Live link.
The centrepiece of the Special Features bonus disc is the sensational The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus. Running to 221 minutes, this exhaustive nine-part documentary covers the film’s production, from the earliest concepts, through casting and filming, up to scoring and editing. And, in case there’s still something that hasn’t been covered, it’s accompanied by 23 ‘Enhancement Pod' videos detailing everything from how they came up with the film’s title to the fake fan script that generated heaps of commentary online. These can either be linked to while watching the documentary or accessed from the disc menu.
The Weyland Corp Archive holds the disc’s remaining extras, including 31 art and photo galleries, six pre-viz videos, Noomi Rapace’s screen test, a reel of costume tests (with optional cast commentary), a time-lapse set construction video, four trailers (two also available in 3D), 28 TV spots, nine short online promo videos and a HBO First Look featurette.
The 3D platter offers up short stereoscopic extracts for Fox’s Avatar, Titanic and I, Robot 3D Blu-rays.
Extras rating: 5/5
We say: If this isn't counted as one of (if not the) best Blu-ray releases of 2012, we’ll eat a Xenomorph
20th Century Fox, All-region BD, £28 Approx, On sale now
HCC VERDICT: 5/5
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