I wrote this for my stepdad, who saw Prometheus and disliked it, and I feel he was unable to see why anyone might perceive the film as great. His criticisms were valid, and this film, like many of Ridley Scott's movies in the past, has split the audience down the middle. I like the movie, but acknowledge its flaws. I feel those who dislike it fail to acknowledge many of the aspects that make it great, since they are so tightly hidden. So this applies to many people, not just my stepdad.
Having just now watched your terrible quality cam-footage copy of prometheus, my second viewing, I think you missed the point of the movie entirely. While many of your complaints are valid, it really isn't like you to be oblivious to the other side of the coin, and while you are fully entitled to your opinion, here, I aim to address why me and so many others oppose it. I'll directly address some of the complaints you made, as well as others you did not, that may still have played a role in your overall view of the movie.
Firstly, I'll get the pirate copy argument out of the way, since it is the least relevant point concerning the movie itself. Watching such an awful copy is not just robbing yourself of the visual beauty of this movie (and holy hell it is one very nice looking movie), the visual fidelity can have a much more damaging effect on your experience than you may think. It makes the movie an uncomfortable watch, and the bad quality creates a barrier between the viewer and the movie, a constant reminder that they are watching a film, halting almost any chance of immersion before it even begins. I watched Kick-Ass on a similarly terrible copy, and didn't think much of it, but was convinced to watch it at the cinema a few weeks later, now it remains one of my favourite comic book movies. I don't plan to ever watch another filmed-in-the-cinema movie again for this reason. Movie is a a visual art form, anyone would agree, to remove that level of connection seems counterproductive. That said, moving on.
I saw that you complained about everything revolving around humans, in modern science fiction, and how you dislike it. I agree, as cinema always seems to make sure that things revolve around humans to give the audience a better stake in the plot, feel more connected. A cheap trick, and a valid complaint of cinema itself. However, I would argue that in Prometheus' case, it isn't that it doesn't revolve around humans, as instead, humans (and all other life, it seems) revolve around them. As Halloway says "There is nothing special about the creation of life", we are not really any more than an experiment by these engineers. It is a more cynical approach, to say that humans are really nothing special, just a product of something more special. Of course, the same trick is still played, by putting earth at stake, but the plot justifies this quite well (more on that later).
The parallels to greek mythology are clear (and very on-the-nose, as with the title itself). The purpose of creating the Xenomorphs to kill (or alter) humans is because they created us, and do not want us on their level of greatness. This is a little petty, almost human, they created the next possible dominant life on the galaxy, though the reasons are not fully clear. However, In the conversation between Halloway and David, Halloway says humans created david "because we could". Who says it needs to be any different for the engineers, and now they feel well within their right to destroy that life. When David says "A superior species, no doubt", he is not especially right. They are technically superior, and being an android, this is likely the only perspective he can see it from. They are in the sense that they have mastered space travel and the creation of life, but they are not above wiping out an entire species out of fear of competition. Once humans do the same, they are the gods, as Weyland alludes to in the promotional "TED 2023" video released a few months back. The engineers don't want that, and seek to destroy us, possibly to replace them with a new species, the Xenomorphs. Why? because they can. Whether they choose to destroy us, replace us, or genetically change us, is left to speculation. What is clear is that they are not happy with us the way we are.
They are also not above dropping test tubes full of their own weaponry, it seems. If they hadn't been so clumsy, we would have been gone around 2000 years ago, but in that downtime, we leapt into space and found them, becoming exactly what they feared, hence the anger from the slumbering engineer after the initial shock of waking to find Weyland on his doorstep with their robot child, asking where babies come from, and the secret to immortality.
Of course, Weyland was there all along, to find his answers before he dies. A plot twist with little reason or impact behind it, but can still be justified within the movie. That life pod was for him (not his apparently android-envious daughter), as shown by the fact that the automated medical table was calibrated for male patients only. I am not sure why he chose to keep his involvement a secret, but he seems the kind of guy that would like to keep his cards close to his chest. Beyond that, I agree that his involvement was only really to provide a plot twist to the already-messy third act. However, his involvement does justify David's habit of touching potentially dangerous shit, because his only priority is finding a living Engineer for Weyland. He doesn't really care for the safety of the other crew members, and I feel this bizarre and baffling behavior from the android served better when left mysterious until late in the movie. If we knew that Weyland was directly behind his bahvior, some moments would lose their impact and mystery, such as the scene slipped black goo into Halloway's drink. He is trying to see what will happen at any cost, and he even first asks what hallway himself would do for answers, almost like he is asking for his consent. While his motivations are left floating in the wind, it allows the audience to contemplate the morality of this android, and perhaps all androids. Of course, he is just following his programming, though we later hear he has a very interesting take on his own freedom later in the movie. This arc with David relied on this seemingly cheap plot-twist.
More to address other people's concerns now, rather than your own; I have heard many complaints about inconsistencies with some elements of the film, most prominently, the effects of the black goo. It seems to destroy the engineer at the beginning to tera-form earth (supposedly), and does something similar to Halloway, but slower, due to a smaller dose. In contrast, it also appears to make the mean-guy stereotype super dangerous and mutated, and he nearly wipes out the crew on his own. However, to clear any confusion, there are two separate substances; the stuff the Engineer drank at the start and Halloway drank is the same stuff, but the other black goo that leaks from the vases is different, this is what the mean-guy came into contact with. Notice; when they walked into the vase room, disrupting the atmosphere, the vases went damp, and seemed to melt out a liquid all over the floor. When someone steps on the ground in this scene, you see worms beneath their feet (this was not clear on the cam-rip). I assume that the black liquid mutated the worm-like creatures They now have an instinctive nature to kill, and the means to do it. The same happens to the mean geologist, after getting a face-full of the stuff, during the struggle with the now-mutated worm things. Allow me to speculate a moment. This liquid's gives things Xenomorph-like capabilities; amazing strength and agility, serious mutations, and an urge to kill, almost a rage. It seems to alter things genetically, evolving them into weapons. This likely had a huge part of making the Xenomorphs what they are. I don't think the confusion between the 2 black liquids was intentional, and had they made the distinction clearer, it would likely have added more consistency to what we saw on screen, and a bit more method to the madness of what the engineers seem to plan. It is easy to spot, but if it were missed, like it seems to have been by many, it could create unnecessary plot confusion.
The pacing is strange. I wouldn't say it is bad, just weird. Not what the audience is conditioned to enjoy or expect. To be fair, I wouldn't call alien or Blade Runner traditionally-paced movies, they are both a bit strange, and didn't play by many of the established conventions, and this is part of what made them great, but perhaps harder to watch. I felt Blade Runner was much better second time round, and so was prometheus. However, I still feel there is too much build up for an overall disappointingly impact-free third act. It is easy to miss out of things in this movie, as Ridley himself put it, "Its all about everything". Every moment in this movie serves a higher purpose than its face value, and I can definitely see that in my second viewing. What doesn't happen on screen is arguably more important than what does. You can't be expected to make the connection first time through, and in some cases, the connections are just speculation. It creates a new question faster than the audience has a chance to ponder the last one, and these loose ends can easily be perceived as plot-holes, when that is not necessarily the case.
I think the questions it poses are what make the movie, not the characters (of which there are few of value). Not just the question of what is going on second by second, or the motivations of characters, but the questions of creationism, religion and morality. I feel perhaps it was a bit cheap for them to release a movie deliberately peppered with unanswered questions that are open to debate and discussion. Lost had that gimmick, but unlike Lost, it is very apparent that these questions are carefully placed. It is evident that Ridley thought hard about each question that may be asked, and many of the possible answers. I would rather admire Prometheus for this, than criticise it for being pretentious. Unfortunately, the basic level of entertainment the movie provides then suffers from the focus on the higher level plot.
The characters are pretty flat, at least on first viewing, and still nothing special on the second. However, I liked Captain Janek a whole lot, and I am sure there is a lot more going on with him than meets the eye, but I'd rather not speculate on why, it gets complicated. I also thought David was great, though his illogical habit of touching things he shouldn't baffled me at first, it was justified by the end. I also liked Weyland's daughter, Vickers, as it is clear Weyland wanted a son, perhaps as an heir to the empire he built. She seems jealous of Weyland's affection for David, which is why she tends go out of her way to be a lot like him (similar clothes, uptight, cold). That said, Elizabeth Shaw was pretty uninteresting, and her lines feel like they were written by someone else entirely. The writing is far from perfect, but her lines just sucked. Her boyfriend, Halloway, was also just plain boring. This is my main problem with the movie, the two characters I am meant to relate to are both just cardboard cutouts. The geologist was just the mean-guy stereotype, as mentioned already, and he died suitably. His friend, the biologist, was just inconsistent. One minute he is Shaggy from Scooby Doo, scared to go anywhere near any signs of alien life, the next, he is poking an alien penis-snake in the face. His death was suitably grim too.
There are also many questions that can't possible be accurately speculated on by the audience. What is the formula to make the Xenomorphs? what happened differently on LV-426 to make them so different from what we see here? Perhaps these were an earlier prototype? We will likely never know, just like we will likely never know the story of what happens to Shaw afterwards (I hope anyway, that would be a dumb sequel). All I know is that the face-value movie is nothing special, but beneath it is a goldmine, for those willing to look. The fact that it was written this way could be argued as being pretentious, but I feel that makes it refreshing and appealing. I feel that the mistakes in the movie, such as uninteresting characters, could have been easily rectified, but Scott's focus was obviously on the higher-level mystery here. This harms the film significantly, stopping it from being truly great. However, I admire and applaud it for what it dared to do, and I feel it was mostly successful. In an industry so full of summer-blockbuster movies too afraid to ask questions for fear of alienating the audience, or leave story threads hanging loose for speculation, I argue this is good something a movie worth noting. Not as a movie that sits in the inevitable shadow of Alien, but as a film with a very different purpose that succeeds on its own merits, but fails where it tries to disguise itself as something resembling Alien. You can still feel free to disagree, of course, but this is my strong opinion that I am sticking by, and I hope I have made the appeal of this movie clear.