Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Trickster Gods and Pop Culture

MCU Loki

Trickster gods may seem like a strange thing to some people. After all, why would you believe in a deity who would mess with you for laughs? Pagan trickster gods may occasionally seem malevolent, but they actually serve an important role. In pop culture, trickster gods are often used to critique the powers that be and question the status quo.

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Spoilers: the Good, the Bad, or the Ugly?

With the advent of the Internet and the ability to find the answer to every question you did or didn’t want to know with the click of a button, I thought I’d look at whether or not spoilers enhance the reading/watching experience or take something away from it. Lord of the Flies, Harry Potter, and Prometheus spoilers after the jump.

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Prometheus: A Review

I’m sharing my feels about this movie in bullet points because I can. First the things I liked:

  • My favorite part of the movie was the opening credits/all of the landscape shots. They were so pretty and it almost felt like you were seeing the movie in Imax.
  • The special effects were baller.
  • Michael Fassbender was excellent. He was creepy, but I think he was supposed to be that way.

Now my dislikes. If you look at my fave part of the movie, you know the dislikes list is going to be a little longer. Also, don’t read beyond this point if you don’t want spoilers.

  • When is it ever okay to have a C-section shown on the big screen?! Especially when the thing in utero is a baby kraken?! I did not sign up for that. I repeat: a baby karken removed from a human via C-section! I can’t make this stuff up.
  • Not enough Charlize Theron. She basically played a bitch, and she got, I don’t know, maybe twenty minutes of screen time? If you are going to bother casting her for something, put her in more of the movie.
  • The beginning scenes/setup to the Kraken C-section and all of the other cray-cray stuff that everyone paid money to see was too long. We had to get to the planet, we had to watch the android troll in everyone’s dreams, we had the put the suits on, get in the dune buggy, walk around, find and not touch things, touch things anyway, play with the things we touched while still thinking they are awesome and not something trying to kill you, and then android has to troll the crew. Then, we have to go put the suits back on, climb in the dune buggies, walk around some more before fun times begin. I made that sound about as boring as it was watching. And it wasn’t suspenseful at all because everyone came to the movie knowing that shit was going to hit the fan.
  • The fact that everyone dies at the end. Or has their head ripped off. Or has a Kraken removed from their uterus.

So the moral of the movie is don’t have sex on foreign planets. You never know when the android has spiked your drink.

Trailer Tuesdays: Prometheus

So my first thought upon seeing this trailer was something along the lines of this: Well, shit, if there’s one franchise that just refuses to die….

But, you know what? I’m glad Aliens is still going. Despite how bad or how senseless the movies have gotten, they provide a fun experience. I can’t stop loving this franchise, because no matter how embarrassing it gets, I still find some entertainment value in it. Like, take the fourth movie, for example. It’s stupid. There’s little to nothing in it that can be considered good, except maybe when the creepy scientist dies. It is a blemish in Joss Whedon’s history. A wonderful, beautiful catastrophe, but a blemish nevertheless.

So my only conclusion thus far is that Prometheus will either be amazing or enjoyably bad. One or the other. There’s no middle ground here.

Now, Prometheus is the fifth installment, not including the movies that face the Aliens off against the Predators, and it’s a prequel. I don’t know why everything nowadays is getting prequels. Prequels are not yet the bane of my existence, though Star Wars tried and failed to make that happen, but I feel as though prequels are just cropping up all over the place, and for the most part, they don’t always add to the story. Sometimes, it feels as though they exist for the sole purpose of making money with little to no artistic integrity behind them. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from selling. I’m looking at you, Star Wars, Star Ocean, Star Insert-Whatever-the-Crap-You-Want-Here.

There’s a bit of a space theme here.

Regardless, Joss Whedon has a lot more experience now, so that gives me some hope for this film. Ridley Scott actually has nothing to do with the sequel films, but ever since watching the first one, Aliens are something that I would associate with him, so it’s nice to see him back on the franchise. Hopefully, between the two of them, they can pull off a halfway decent movie.

So another thought I’ve been having about this movie: Why do science fiction films, shows, books, whatnot, feel the need to name their ships—or spaceships, I guess—Prometheus? Hell, even Stargate has a ship named Prometheus. Are there not enough ancient names from mythology we can use, or do we really have to use this one over and over again?

Furthermore, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m finding it hard to believe that Idris Elba has any time in his life for necessities, like eating and sleeping. He keeps showing up in the movies I review. Like, at first, I thought he was just trying to be the token black guy in comic movies, but it is nice to see that he’s expanding his horizons. But thank goodness he’s playing the token character in this film, because at least he’s a good actor. And who knows, maybe he won’t die. I mean, after all, it’s not as though the industries have a habit of killing the one and only black guy. It’s a science-fiction film; he’ll be safe.

Yeah, all kidding aside, this looks like it’ll be good, or at least entertaining.