Fahrenheit 451I sat in a movie theater re-reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for an hour before Prometheus began. Terrible decision. Turrible decision.

Fahrenheit 451 is a masterful clarion call from 1951 warning us about dumbed-down, soulless, unconscious modern life: quick electronic entertainment over real relationships; staying numb rather than asking real questions; doing things the same old way instead of seizing the now.

Bradbury was Socrates asking us to examine our lives, to think rather than follow the herd. Thoreau calling us to live authentically. Jesus raising our vision to much greater things. Buddha reminding us of the suffering of others and calling us to put our feet on the path to enlightenment.

Prometheus is no District 9, a sci-fi movie which understood that speculative fiction can be mindlessly entertaining and possess uplifting social consciousness. Prometheus is the kind of entertainment that could have played the role of antagonist in Fahrenheit. Not that there’s anything wrong with mindless entertainment now and then (for the record, I really enjoyed The Avengers). It’s just going to induce some of the best parts of your nature to snooze more deeply, particularly when the end product is mediocre. Storytellers, we can do better. Audiences and readers deserve better.

Prometheus features gorgeous special effects, it’s nice and subtle in 3-D, but it’s cheap horror in outer space. It’s Hollywood. It’s fine for what it is, which is a spinoff on Alien/Aliens (better movies). If that’s what you’re looking for, then go see Prometheus. Disposable, one-dimensional characters who prevent your suspension of disbelief? Likable characters who turn into invincible killer space gorillas? B-Grade horror movie flashbacks? Action without humor? Prometheus has all of that. Go see it.

Then, when you need to put the pieces of your soul back together (and you will–whether you realize it or not), do yourself a favor and read Fahrenheit 451 afterward.

That will blow your mind. Completely.

p.s. Please check out one of the best tributes to Ray Bradbury I’ve read this week, from Stephen Hubbard at BookReporter.com: Farewell, Ray.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at 3:34 am and is filed under Movies, Recommendations, Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 comments so far

 1 

Call Avengers mindless entertainment? How dare you, sir! I’m throwing down my space gauntlet. If you call yourself a gentleman, meet me in the castle courtyard at noon. Your choice of swords or blasters.

June 9th, 2012 at 8:18 am
Moses Siregar III
 2 

Hehe. No I LIKED Avengers. 😛

June 9th, 2012 at 11:18 am
 3 

Moses, love Bradbury, hate mindless entertainment. Thank you so much for the warning. I went and saw Snow White and the Huntman last night, and was saddened at how poorly done it was. There were more plot holes in it than I’ve ever seen in a single film, despite some nice SFX. I keep saying, if I want to watch a good movie, I’m going to have to make it myself.

June 9th, 2012 at 11:31 am
Moses Siregar III
 4 

I hear you, Dave. I’m so critical when it comes to movies, but it’s because I just love movies so much and Hollywood dumbs things down and overuses formula so much. Man, I hope to see at least one of your movies some day!

June 9th, 2012 at 12:14 pm
 5 

Thanks for the heads up about Prometheus Moses. I’m not a big Alien fan (I don’t care for being startled ever since I watched the Amityville Horror as a kid), but I have a few friends who love it and are looking forward to seeing the prequel. I may go with them, with trepidation.

Dave, I saw Snow White last weekend and completely agree: good special effects, lousy story and lackluster acting for the most part. I can’t wait until Runelords is on the big screen. Gonna blow these wannabe movies away.

June 9th, 2012 at 3:30 pm
Moses Siregar III
 6 

Martin, if you can turn your brain off and have low expectations for the story, Prometheus is quite a spectacle.

June 9th, 2012 at 9:14 pm
 7 

Oh, I am good at turning my brain off. Had to do that for the GI Joe movie or I would turned into a Whirling Dervish in the theater (Gi Joe cartoons/comics were my Robotech).

June 10th, 2012 at 8:06 am
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  1. Human Relationships, Quality, Flow « Avast! A Geek.    Aug 05 2012 / 4pm:

    […] it a good thing I have followed this kind gentleman’s advice and waited until after seeing Prometheus to read this book!? Share this:MoreEmailPrintLike […]

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