Sunday, September 11, 2011

Apollo 18 (2011)

Director: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Starring: Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins

More info: IMDb

Tagline: There's a reason we've never gone back to the moon.

Plot: Decades-old found footage from NASA's abandoned Apollo 18 mission, where two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, reveals the reason the U.S. has never returned to the moon.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not but I'd get a kick out of seeing the DVD extras.

It's rare I ever go to the theater completely cold on a movie. I knew nothing about this except it's a found footage flick about astronauts on the moon. OK, so maybe I wasn't totally cold but I hadn't seen the trailer or anything else about it. I'm a sucker for real-life space exploration so anytime there's an outer space flick that's somewhat grounded in reality, especially when it's got NASA written all over it, it's like space porn to me.

I dug this flick. It's a great premise that's executed very well. I can do without some of the modern film making techniques used in order to 'jazz it up for the kids' like the overuse of sound (some of it in space where it doesn't belong, giving the creatures clicky and screechy noises, etc) and some flashy camera movies. Those are minor issues that would have made the film better had they not employed them but I still liked it. Within about 10 minutes we're in space so there's no fucking around getting ready for the trip. That was great. At 86 minutes it felt like the right length.

I like the ideas that were thrown out there like finding an abandoned Russian lunar lander and going into a darkened crater. Neat stuff. That this was even made is remarkable. I hope it does well enough at the box office and beyond because the creative forces behind this project did a very good job indeed. And for you shaky cam haters like me, there's very little of it and I was totally cool with what was there. Give it a shot. It looked great on the big theater screen.

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