Tag Archives: sci-fi movie

Review: Europa Report – no not how the euro is doing


The Europa Report is about a manned space mission to Europa, for those of you who don’t know, Europa is a moon of Jupiter.  These astronauts go there in hopes of finding life, in the form of bacteria and stuff, and not the little green men type.

The good; I love sci fi, and I love this hard sci fi stuff.  Europa Report reminds me of these other movies; Moon, Silent Running, Sunshine and 2001.  And to a certain extent Mission to Mars, everything before they actually get to Mars.  There’s something about man facing the elements, or lack of, in space.  Europa Report follows in that tradition.

The science fiction of this movie makes me believe that a mission to Europa could actually happen.  Adding to the science of it is the way the movie was filmed.  We’re watching an uploaded report, inter-cut with talking heads from the team on Earth and other things.  There isn’t much that feels staged, it’s as if we’re just watching the surveillance footage from their mission, just edited together.  It’s using the tricks found in Paranormal Activity but in a sci fi world, and for that I love it.

The bad; it’s predictable.

The story is told in a non-linear fashion… I don’t think that added anything to the experience.  It makes me wonder how the film would be if it were edited chronologically?  I’d like to think that the impact of certain scenes would still hold up, if not more so.  Oh well.

*SPOILERS* When the first victim (Sharlto Copley) bites it, the moment is simple and not an action scene with huge explosions.  Very similar to Tim Robbins’ death in Mission To Mars.  Really liked how they covered that scene.
The end… like with the director’s cut of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind we’re shown too much.  I would rather the film footage be consumed by a bright light than to be shown a glimpse of an alien… *END SPOILERS*

Overall I had fun going on this journey, but was left very in the middle when the credits came up.  The music is done by the great Bear McCreary.  If you like hard science fiction, I would recommend Europa Report, but look past it’s flaws.
But it feels like there was a missed opportunity for a great movie here.

Review: Oblivion – obliterates the competition

I went to see Oblivion last night.  Didn’t get to see it over the weekend, apparently everyone else did…
It’s about Tom Cruise as the last man on earth, sort of, the planet is ravaged and he his mission is to repair the drones that repel the alien presence.

The good; I love the premise, it reminds me of all those post-apocalyptic movies before the eighties, the ones that immediately come to mind are; Planet of the Apes, Omega Man, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running and Damnation AlleyThen more recently Moon.

The production design in creating the world is great.  Everything is a variation of white, the equipment, living quarters, clothing… all white.  But Tom Cruise plays tech Jack Harper who goes out in to the wasteland so his white uniform is grayish from all the dirt and grime.

Oblivion is directed by Joseph Kosinski, who previously did Tron: Legacy. It’s nice that he got a second chance to direct a movie with a stronger story.  This film really feels like a lover-letter to all those previously mentioned movie in the seventies.

The bad; the film does drag in spots, but there’s something about Cruise, he can carry a movie, much like Mc Queen in Bullitt.  So I was able to forgive the pacing in areas.

The story is nothing new, there’s a lot of aspects of other movies and stories that we’ve seen here.  I know I mentioned this above as something I liked, but it felt more like here’s this movie and then now here’s that movie, the melding needed work.

*SEMI-SPOILER* There’s a twist/reveal at the end.  Basically if you’re an uninformed movie goer (a Michael Bay fan *ahem) then you’d be gasping when this plot point reveals itself.  I could see this twist coming a mile away, and again, it’s nothing new that we haven’t seen, so I guess I was just predisposed to expect it.
When the revelation hits Harper I find that he buys in to it way too easily.  Some might say that was already fighting mentally with what he was doing, so when the truth hit him, it was always something he knew but could never see or hear.
At this point in the movie taking more time to explain the “truth” of what’s going on wouldn’t have been so bad, cause they did take their sweet time getting there.  Just felt weird, why take your leisure and then when something important like this comes up we speed right through it?  It’s basically told in exposition, which felt very lazy.

Overall I enjoyed this movie more than I thought it would be.  The visuals are great and Tom Cruise, luv him or hate him, he can certainly carry a movie.  Viewing this movie made me want to watch all the other movies that I thought of, so I know that the filmmakers’ hearts are in the right place, cause they like some of the same movies I like.