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  • I spent some rather dismaying hours trying to extract any worth at all out of Ridley Scott's latest sci-fi film, "Prometheus" tonight.

    It looks gorgeous. The cinematography and special effects are as good as you are going to see. But the film was crushingly disappointing to me, especially as I regard Ridley's previous science fiction films, "Alien" and "Bladerunner" as masterpieces in the genre.

    It's empty.

    Empty of originality and empty of sense. It borrows themes and looks from Ridley's earlier films, not mention a considerable slice of Kubrick's "2001", and wrings the life out of them.

    None of this matters too much if you are just going along for the ride and luxuriating in the visuals, but as soon as you start to think about it, it just falls apart.

    Anyway, I'm not going to further into it as I don't wish this be a spoiler for anyone who has not seen the film and wishes to, but the contrast between this and my recent viewing again of "Blow-Up" could not be starker.

    What it did do, though, was to turn my eyes back to our own planet where life is found in abundance and needs no fancy pseudoscientific justification.

    Like this ivy growing up the support of a railway bridge in downtown St. Louis.

    Ivy that would, should us humans disappear, undoubtedly cover the entire structure in a glorious green tangle.

    I often try to imagine how our man-made structures would look should they be reclaimed by a natural world that we no longer influence, and this is just a hint of what might happen.

    Enough of a hint, though, to give me a sense that life - in its broadest sense - is so much more persistent, powerful and adaptable than we, as mere borrowers of it for a brief spell individually and for a slightly longer spell collectively, will ever be.

    I find this thought extremely comforting.
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