This is my first review. I came on this site just to see this fan edit and it was everything I wanted from Prometheus, to be a direct prequel to Alien that leads into it and ties up loose ends. The best part was the ending that ties it all together and using special editing tricks, he made it work, and when I saw it, I cheered and applauded. Bravo! I think my only complaint, is that we don't see the eggs on the ship, but I guess it's self-explanatory. I wish it was the real thing. I'm glad I tracked it down. Thank you. Cheers!
Prometheus, while most would agree is a beautiful and thought-provoking film, is also incredibly divisive. Some, like myself, praise the mystery it has injected into the Alien franchise, while others have derided it as containing unbelievable characters, too many open ends, and even of not being a true prequel. This last point of contention certainly has some truth to it, as Lindelof’s entry into the project sought to distance it from established Alien continuity, and take the story into the uncharted realm of the then-called “Space Jockey” race as Ridley Scott wanted.
Enter The Man Behind the Mask, a prolific fan editor behind such edits as War of the Stars (the Grindhouse version of Star Wars) and the heavily shortened Kong. TMBTM’s vision for Prometheus is rather straight-forward: change LV-223 to LV-426 to make the film a direct prequel to Alien. This isn’t as simple as just changing the name of the planetoid on a star map and calling it a day, however. LV-426 is in many ways a radical departure from Prometheus, losing over 30 minutes of the original runtime and using new VFX work to alter the ending.
Taking a cue from JobWillin’s Derelict fanmix, TMBTM presents the film in black and white. While it looks great, I don’t know exactly why he went with this aesthetic. While Derelict is presented in this way to better marry the distinct visual styles and color palettes of two different cinematographers separated by 33 years, LV-426 doesn’t have this disadvantage, so what’s the point. Oh well, like I said, it doesn’t look bad at all, so there’s that.
Right off the bat, there’s a big difference: the entire opening. Gone are the ‘Beginning of Time’ and Isle of Skye sequences, replaced with voiceover from Shaw’s video message to Peter Weyland, pulled from one of Prometheus’ blu-ray features. This greatly speeds up the narrative, a theme that is carried through the entire film. In some spots, deleted scenes are used to fill the gaps, and with the exception of one, I enjoyed seeing all of them put back into the film. On the other hand, some other editorial changes I wasn’t too fond of, like the loss of David’s viewing of Lawrence of Arabia and all subsequent references to it, some of the humorous banter between Fifield and Millburn, and the wonderful ‘Navigational Map’ sequence, in which David activates the computer aboard the Engineer vessel. I also wan’t a fan of the repeated line, “The trick is not minding that it hurts.” Once was enough, and it is in no way better than another line it replaces at one point: “Big things have small beginnings.”
Video and sound quality are in tip-top shape, presented in over 15 mbps. The soundtrack is in 2 channels with what sounds like a Dolby Digital encode. It’s pretty solid, and has a bit of surround activity, or as much as can be expected in a stereo presentation. New VFX work is very subtle and almost unnoticed at the beginning of the film, but the biggest shots come at the very end. Beware, spoilers:
TMBTM removes the end ‘Deacon’ scene, instead digitally matting the creature into the Engineer as he is locked into the command chair, thereby revealing him as the dead Engineer from Alien, and the Deacon as his killer. This is a bold vision, but not one without its own set of discrepancies. If the Juggernaut from Prometheus is the Derelict from Alien, why is it fossilized after only several decades? What happened to the planetoid that so changed its environment (listen closely during Alien to discover that the Nostromo team’s walk to the Derelict occurred during the day–why is it so much darker than in Prometheus)? These problems certainly show how a direct sequel to Alien was certainly not the best direction to go.
That being said, TMBTM’s edit is a fun way to kill an hour and a half. It’s stark and beautiful, its tight and suspensful, and it uses the much better Xeno-Fifield scene that so many fan editors are enamored with. It is not my prefered version of Prometheus, but I enjoyed my viewing, and that is way more than what I expected going in. Recommended as an alternate view of what could have been.
Ah Prometheus, I have such mixed feelings about you. I remember being really excited for Ridley Scott to make another Alien movie, no matter how much he and the studio lied, saying it was NOT connected to Alien. The trailer was pretty awesome, had some solid stars in it (Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, and Idris Elba), and the trailer music was freaky cool! But then the movie came out and it was... fine, I guess. The characters make nonsensical decisions, Guy Pierce looks awful in old man makeup, and the engineers are just bizarre. Also having it be ANOTHER planet was really REALLY stupid. But thankfully The Man Behind The Mask decided to try and fix up what he could and tie this in better with the rest of the Alien series.
First off, editing the movie to omit any reference to this being a different planet was SMART. I mean we've got the engineer pilot with the chestburster EXACTLY like in Alien. You're telling me that's on a different planet? GTFOutta here! Good fix. The decision to make this in black and white was a bold move. At first I was kind of put off by it. Like the film quality is really high so being in black and white didn't make it seem like an older film. But given about 10-15 mins I started to like it a lot. I realized it helped desaturate against a lot of the excess color in the original cut while giving it it's own (non) color palette feel like how Alien was muted yellows and white (cool), Aliens was deep blues (sweet), Alien 3 was industrial molten steel red (umm, what?), and Alien: Resurrection was lime green (yeesh). So good on you for that!
The rest of the edit is a mix of fixing the character motivations, taking out excess engineer scenes with no true value, and keeping the pace going. I really like what was possible given the available footage. If I had my choice I'd prefer to recast some people (like discount Tom Hardy with yknow REAL Tom Hardy), rewrite half of the script, and have the spaceship NOT roll and crush Charlize Theron who should have JUST GONE TO THE SIDE LIKE 3 FEET... but beggars can't be choosers :) This is the best cut of Prometheus out there. Someone get it to Ridley Scott ASAP so he can fix whatever he's done with Alien: Covenant before it's out in theaters.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyApril 01, 2017
About the argument about "they should have gone to the side" when the ship was rolling behind them. Well, in fact there's a shot where Shaw and Vickers DO run to the side.
BUT he ship also rolls the same way, so visualy it's not super clear for the audience.
Plus on each side of the ship there are big elements on fire falling down like bombs, so it's not super engaging to change course...