Alien prequel or not?

Prometheus is a great piece of sci-fi. The only problem is that the underlying question - is this an Alien prequel or not - getsin the way.

First, let me tell you what I liked. The special effects look great. The story is compelling. The characters feel real. There’s lots of goo. It’s scary.

But the filmmakers have been going out of their way to explain this is NOT an Alien prequel for months. Why? Just make the movie and let the audience decide.

My opinion is that this is very much an Alien prequel and there’s nothing wrong with that. That, in fact, is what Alien fans like myself wanted. And I was not disappointed. Will Prometheus 2 be a sequel to Prometheus or a second Alien prequel? I don’t even care anymore.

Van Gogh takes Ottawa by storm

There is always a good reason to go to Ottawa. It has great restaurants and bars, museums, galleries, and historic sites. This summer, Canada’s capital even has Van Gogh.

The exhibit is called Van Gogh: Up Close. It runs until September 3. If you have been on the fence about this one, my advice is to cross over and go. There are 40 works on display and it’s the first exhibition of Van Gogh’s work in Canada in a quarter-century. It’s an impressive exhibit. And the fact that it’s in Ottawa’s beautiful National Gallery means you cannot go wrong.

I have always loved Van Gogh. It always amazes me to hear that his art was not appreciated in his own lifetime. So sad. The colours, the details, the stories he tells through his paintings are masterful. No other artist makes a pile of wheat as interesting as he can.

One of my favourites in this exhibition is called Undergrowth With Two Figures. Here it is:

I love this one. It’s as if the lovers are being consumed by nature as much as they are consumed with each other. They are lost in the forest as they are lost in love. They are fading away into each other’s hearts. Beautiful.

There are many other fine examples on display in Ottawa from public and private collections.

The National Gallery in on a hot streak. I wasn’t sure how they could top last summer’s Caravaggio exhibit, but they have come mighty close with superstar Van Gogh. No matter where you live, it’s certainly worth the trip. I’m game for a second visit.