May 12th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Films |

Sunshine (2007)

by Ghastly McNasty

Sci-fi horror from 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle. Set in the year 2057, the Sun is dying and a solar winter has enveloped the earth. In a desperate attempt to save the planet, the Icarus II, a spacecraft with a crew of eight men and women is sent deep in to space to deliver a nuclear device in to the heart of the fading sun.

As the spacecraft draws closer to the sun, the crew hears a distress beacon from the Icarus I, which mysteriously disappeared on the same mission seven years earlier. The crew feel duty bound to investigate even though it could endanger the entire mission and set a new course for the original Icarus. A decision that proves disastrous for the whole crew.

As a science fiction movie Sunshine works really well. We are treated to some interesting ideas about how space travel will look in the future and the solar-shielded ship has a few neat tricks to keep sci-fi buffs interested. It’s a very well cast film with everyone performing to a high standard. The crew are likeable and Cillian Murphy does an amicable job as the lead. You can feel the weight of the crucial decisions the crew have to make and you do feel part of their little family. The first two thirds of the film are very entertaining.

Unfortunately, as soon as the villain is introduced, to add a few scares to the movie, the film begins to show its flaws. The main problem for me is that once we know who/what the bad guy is the movie loses all sense of mystery. The ‘monster’ is so unscary the director allows us only glimpses of it through almost impossible to decipher vibrating camera work and weird angles and unusual lighting.

There is also an entire scene that seems to be missing from the film. There’s no oooo we discovered the other ship. It’s more like, lets dock to that ship we are suddenly right next to. Annoying.

An interesting plot with engaging characters is suddenly spoilt when they strap a vibrator and disco light to the front of the camera. However, if you love your sci-fi, you’ll probably love this film. 7/10

by Ghastly McNasty

Theatre of Terror

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  • DonkeySpank, June 20, 2008:

    I recently had a spare hour or two and decided to take this movie for a spin. Well… turns out this is a bit of a mixed bag. The quality of the writing, acting and production are very high. The film is so glossy it practically shines. The effects are exceptionally well done, muted and subtle – which works perfectly. But this movie doesn’t seem to know whether it’s a straight sci-fi movie (ala 2001:A Space Odyssey) or a Horror-in-space movie (ala Alien and Event Horizon). To be fair, it copes very well translating a fairly existential premise for the viewer (there’s a lot of “concept” in here that sometimes struggles to make itself understood by the audience) but it lack a clear direction. By the 3rd act we should expect to clearly understand 1) the threat 2) the protagonists and 3) what’s at risk. The movie seems to have forgotten all of that in it’s attempts at being psychological and fuzzy. On balance, if you like Event Horizon then you’ll like this, but I doubt even hardened scifi/horror fans will be back for a repeat viewing. (score 5/10)

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