Let's talk about stupid: let's talk about Dallas...10,083 Views38 RepliesAdd A Reply
People say the guys from "Prometheus" and "Covenant" are stupid. I say, it is just how the very first Alien came aboard, Dallas - with a little help from Ash, who just needed an excuse.
Please, let's talk about stupidity from the very and lovely start :)
Beyond. Dallas was one of the dumbest characters in any of the movies. He was impulsive, dismissive, and haphazard. Definitely a frustrating captain.
These guys in the first film were essentially long-haul truckers. They can be forgiven. Now, scientists and captains on colonizing missions? Get your sh*t together!
@Ripleys_Ghost, he was a captain who knew quarantine procedures. Either way, what should we do with the so called "marines" in Aliens? - just following your line of thinking...
A captain is a captain. Full stop. Can't be forgiven! :)
@Ati, thank you for the first and for the second comments.
And, yep, he was a captain and what he did can't be forgiven - or might be, since without him being stupid, we wouldn't have had "Alien"! :)
You are welcome! :)
I don't understand why people want to see a film like Alien again. I mean, I see, it is special and blah-blah, but I'm sure Scott won't make a film again which is exactly the same as Alien. He wants to tell his story. And it's OK - for me.
@Ati, same here. Glad I am not alone :)
Dallas is something of both Inspiration and anti-Inspiration for the ship's Captain in ALIEN: Manticore. There's aspects I liked about Dallas's command style, but at the same time, yeah he made some grave mis-steps.
IN SPACE THERE IS NO WARNING
@Blackwinter-witch, great point! Thank you.
And @QueenElizabeth Shaw, I agree, but I have a better candidate: that would be whoever chose "Lieutenant Gorman" as a marine senior officer - James Cameron, but that stupidity is to be forgotten...
Ha ha this is so true, you can start with Dallas and go on and on from there. Example: why would you place the corpse of an organism that bleeds acid strong enough to breach the hull on a dish and study it?
The actions and protocols in Alien are far from unimpeachable. I simply don't get the comparisons so often made. But it's a great movie all the same, beautifully made, and ground breaking.
And that's the problem; once the ground is broken, there's no going back. There's only a template to be copied and not even Ridley Scott can make make the 'Xenomorph' (heretofore known as the Morb) interesting again. But hey, let's ignore that entirely and pick on every little detail we can pry loose.
What I find to be interesting is the dialogue this creates outside of the Internet, people who ordinarily wouldn't notice or care about certain things, like astronauts without helmets, for example, are all bent out of shape about it now. All science-fiction action adventure movies are riddled with whimsical conveniences, errors, inconsistencies, gaps in logic, you name it. Why should Alien movies be exempt? And when were they ever exempt? Alien has never, ever been about science or reality.
Alien is light years better than Covenant; in production, pacing, acting, story, score, editing, lighting, horror, suspense, etc, etc and the action in the end is better than all the action in Covenant.
Yes, Dallas was not a great Captain but he was a courageous leader. He thought of his crew. He took control of the situation and he remained calm under pressure.
I do not know how old are you people but I have to say that this generation does not have the same taste as our old school folks on this site. :)
All I see on this site are bitter fans because there are upset that they see fans like myself that dislike the movie for what it is. And the current box office shows that many people are turned off from what they are seeing from the negative reviews nor want repeat viewings.
I just had a free invite to a preview of Megan Leavey for military members and that movie was way better than Covenant.
In hindsight, none of these movies embrace "safety in numbers". Just like in Alien3, if all the prisoners just stood together as a line against the Alien; they could of defeated it. You cannot go one on one against the Alien; unless you have a weapon or like Vazquez who can kick the heck out of an Alien's head lol.
I personally agree with much of your criticism on Covenant and take no issue there.
I will say however (at least for me) something that's always frustrated me a bit since Prometheus were the many comments like
"oh please! Scientists would never be so stupid." or "a crew trained for this would never make such bad decisions".
The problem I have with this is that we indeed do live in a world where there is an abundance of incompetence. We see it with politicians, doctors, lawyers, economists, scientists, educators, etc. I don't have a difficult time believing the characters in Prometheus or Covenant would make such poorly thought out decisions because in my estimation, it's a reflection of the current reality we live in. I think there's something about this incompetence that's inherent to humans.
I have had many relationships that have afforded me opportunities to speak with geneticists, law enforcement agents, city councilmen, veterans, teachers, social workers, you name it. I used to be blown away by the stories I'd hear about their colleagues but now I'm used to it. We have a surplus of specialized professionals with NO common sense these days. Then there are the people who have gone so long adhering to the rules that they become desensitized and get lax with their own knowledge.
The point is, there are so often comments about Prometheus and Covenant having professionals that are too unprofessional to be believable, and I just don't see it. I think this was one of the areas that made Alien shine. The crew were so human.
I don't think we should ever stop being critical of Prometheus and Covenant's weak points, but I do feel this particular complaint gets a little too much play. Furthermore I think focusing on things like this which are excusable, take steam away from focusing on things that truly deserve to be lamented over such as poorly thought out editing, bad pacing, lack of character development, and scarcity in genuine tension.
Though I will say one thing on character stupidity...
Fifield smoking pot in his space suit on an alien planet in a situation where he's already freaking out about corpses?
I'm sorry but no. Just no. So forced, I wish it would be removed from the film. A very tacky add-on to market to those who enjoy partaking in such consumption
@Queen. I agree. I saw combat in Iraq and did two tours in Afghanistan and I saw some ridiculous tactics when I was on patrol. My Command Sergeant Major was killed by a suicide bomber because he kept on taking the same route, week after week to see the sheiks.
Also, these movies rely sometimes on the lack of logic or common sense; same with slasher movies.
I just do not like the focus on the android and the engineer story but again; that is just me and I know I am the minority in that department.
BTW Queen, are you a female or a guy that just picked that name? lol
Ya welcome :)
For myself, I can accept 'reasonable stupidity' for the sake of Plot/Story, but there's times when it gets a bit much.
The Spacesuit Hotboxing by Fifield, as example.
As for 'The Holloway Maneuver', heh, a sadistic writer like myself can use that element of stupidity to advance the plot/sction and such.
Not even necessarily due to some body-wrecking horror...just some affects it has in regards to how the Mission Commander sees his overall competence, leading to some fun inter-personal conflict and such.
IN SPACE THERE IS NO WARNING
Yes, putting aside the realism of pervasive incompetence, it is definitely true that these movies rely on stupid moves as a means to advance the story.
Also I'm sorry for the tragedy you witnessed while serving. It sounds like you were right in the thick of it. Glad to hear you didn't suffer the same fate as your Major.
Also, in regards to your last question. I once was a woman, until an android with corrupted system files intentionally exposed me to a foreign pathogen. I am now neither male or female. I am an it. I am this...
The biggest problem I have with stupidity and actions driven by such in movies like ALIEN is they make things seem foolish.
Remember the sheer 'Oh hell no' feeling in ALIENS when, despite all logical and practical precautions...the soft beeping of the motion trackers began?
"Hudson may be right." Pretty chilling words.
Yeah, there's scary...and it's not from 'convenient idiocy' but from good writing and suggestions that your enemy is maybe smarter than you are.
IN SPACE THERE IS NO WARNING
I completely disagree with the notion that Dallas was stupid. Of course he is not perfect for he is human, but he shows strong leadership traits and proves to be brave. The most questionable action he made in the movie was to allow Ash to keep the specimen, but I think this has to do with the way he was trained and pressure from the Company. When he broke the protocol it was a calculated decision; practically half of the crew were outside, and at that point he just didn't have enough information about the creature. But then again like people commented above, there would be no story if they left Kane to die outside. The movie that perpetuated the cliche of the dumb crew is Prometheus and Covenant followed in its steps unfortunately.
I liked Dallas- he was the captain of a hauling ship. A CPT is a CPT- the basic duty is to complete the mission and ensure the safety of the crew and ship. Well, he did that as best he could given the cir***stances and gave his life when he could have delegated the xeno search to someone else. It also goes to show that he and the crew didn't closely read their contracts or never imagined those clauses would come into effect.
Yes I'm seeing a mistake here and I've seen it a lot on here since Prometheus came out. Ok i guess not strictly a mistake as its up to the viewer how they interpret things even if it is weird and illogical!
But alien was a 'hard' sci fi film as its not very commonly known : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_science_fiction the most real sci fi film involving fantastical ideas I've seen. And that's why it's so mind blowing. Its the hardest type of sci fi to make because people will and can pick it apart because we all live in the supposed same reality as the film...maybe apart from a few ehem :) .
Softer sci fi or more fantasy based sci fi is based in a made up reality separate from our universe as such dune is one such example. And obviously it's much harder to criticise because we don't live in that reality they also usually focus on humanity not scientific accuracy. But obviously it has to have some basis in it reality or we just wouldn't understand it! And yes lines gets blurred some are bits of both in the middle etc.. but alien was hard. And I'm starting to think recently Ridley thought it was soft :s . As the new ones seem soft.
Anyway this it's the first problem are you viewing it as hard or soft... this then moves on to the next mistake... hard sci fi is real as real as possible and yes people make mistakes in real life Kane made a mistake according to protocol but in that moment he decided because of the crazy situation to break the rules. You can even see him thinking i shouldn't do this. So it felt real. And there were very few illogical decisions and out happenings in alien. Now Prometheus just felt very odd like it was trying to be hard sci fi or was it? The main difference being the sheer amount of illogical stupid or just damn right gaping plot holes. Yes some of them were rectified a bit if you knew about the spaights script before the final script. But why should you have to know about a previous script to make a film slightly more logical :O that in itself is illogical. And anyway even with that knowledge there are many many more problems...
Oh and aorta : every acid has something that won't react to it ...hydrofluric acid is one of the worst and has to be kept in plastic containers as it melts through glass metal and many other things. I seem to also remember something about the acid neutralizing after death on facehuggers though i forget were that was... maybe not in alien.
Anyway much more but i need to do something now :S ... oh and i probably should say AC seems more together less of the stupidity plot holes and mistakes but only really the first half... It then seems to follow Prometheus down the wtf route...
"It's almost as if they are making it up as they go along" :D
Outside of plot devices and such to propel a story forward a good friend of mine is a scientist. He actually is on the front lines of climate change research and teaches at a local University. I ran some of the ideas by him about 'how scientists are smart' and would not make stupid, often fatal mistakes, especially in sci-fi films. He laughed pretty hard and said: "Yeah, its like we are the new priests or something and we never make errors in life. If people actually believe that a scientists 'smarts' in their research translates to making good decisions in life then they have either never met any scientists, live in the same fantasy land the sci-fi films they watch are based or just plain fail to understand human nature."
That was harsh LOL!
He added to that he and others have to go through an enormous amount of survival training when they first land in Antarctica with refreshers on follow up visits. "You would be surprised at the mistakes people make, experienced people, in that environment."
@colonialsoldier, I am old enough to have seen "Alien" in the movie theater in 1979, and it is still my favorite movie in the whole series :)
@Blackwinter-witch, yep, you hardly have a story without someone doing something stupid. On the other hand, as you also mentioned, there is a limit for stupidity to be applied.
@QueenElizabethShaw, what a look! Terrific :)
@djamelameziane, I wouldn't say "Alien" is hardcore Sci-Fi, I mean, not when compared to "2001", "Interestellar" or "The Martian". I mean, the scientific approach is not strictly applied, as to generating a gravitational field on the spaceship or the, for now, impossible distances to consider in a lifetime. But, yes, it was meant to be serious Sci-Fi, and people make mistakes all the time and those become even more tragic in space when confronting an alien organism.
I love Dallas, please don't get me wrong. The whole Nostromo crew, by the way. My point is that, when you pay close attention to all Alien movies, stupidity is the order of the day. You can consider those stupid decisions excusable or not, but they are there in plain sight. Maybe Ripley became everyone's favorite because she kept her mind sharp at all times. And I think Shaw did the same in her own way.
Now, if you think about Kane's attitude when he saw that the thing in the egg was alive, would you have done the same he did? Not only he didn't run as fast as he could as he also tried to touch that thing without knowing what it was! - Millburn and Fifield just followed tradition :)
Then, Dallas forgetting the most basic quarantine procedures and so on so forth.
Now you think about "Aliens", the "Marines" who should have known better and all the whole mindset that led them to end up trapped in Sub-Level 3. Once again, it was Ripley who told Gorman to have his guys out of there - and, of course, he didn't when they still had time.
In "Alien 3", as colonialsoldier pointed out, as a group they had more chances to defeat the creature, but no! Let's play cat and mouse with it :)
I don't quite remember many details in "Resurrection", but I wouldn't bring back such a dangerous organism. Then again, we have real scientists in real life messing around with what could kill everybody, viruses and the sort, so why not playing that dumb in a movie?
@Bubba Zanetti, thanks for bringing that up. Scientists, just like the rest of us, are far from being the "perfect organism" :)
@ colonialsoldier Just curious regarding your comment about the action in Alien being better than that of Covenant. Sure it's dramatic but the effects in that scene are lazy as hell. The Alien is literally stiff as a board when being launched out of the the escape ship You think that holds up well today? I think it was poor in 1979 let alone 2017.
2001 etc. Seem harder because they are not set as far in the future in fact 2001 is now past :) . And so they use perry much what was on the horizon at the time.
And again I'm not saying realism is no mistakes but is not tons of mistakes either when you have scientists doing things a 6 year old wouldnt it's bit different to a lower iq leveled space trucker being a bit stupid.
Prometheus is probably a 9 out of 10 on the stupidity scale over all AC maybe a 7 and alien is a 3 its vastly different. And it's not just oh that was stupid it's erm that just would not ever happen type stuff. All very different levels...
A geologist... which deal with mapping and subterranean architecture doesn't have the skills of a 6 year old ...really? He was scared... really wanted to get out and there was two of them...3d mapping... communicating with ship the place wasn't exactly that big. And they had extra time to get back. Etc etc... anyway been argued a million times over. But it's level 1000 dumbness. not a simple mistake. And when it gets that big you just think sigh and are no longer wrapped up in the film anymore your thinking baaad production :D etc etc...
Those scientists are not of average intelligence not even matching a chimpanzee that is the problem.
"It's almost as if they are making it up as they go along" :D
@djamelameziane, you sure have a point there about Fifield, and it is definitely a 9 on a stupidity scale of 10 :)
@Queen - Awesome photo lol