Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Europa Report in 200 Words or Less

If you're fortunate then you've forgotten that a movie called Apollo 18 exists. Shudder. Anyway I sincerely apologize for ruining that bliss here, reminding you it is indeed a thing, but I had to because I kept thinking of it while watching Europa Report. They both deal with manned space missions falling afoul of strange space occurrences having to do with the surfaces of bizarre space landscapes. Europa Report actually feels like a nudge in the right direction from the abysmal take of that earlier film though - while far from perfect, and maybe not even all that good, it does have an occasional thrum of tension to it, not to mention that where Apollo 18 was just shockingly ugly film-making this one's actually pretty beautiful at times (there are a couple of shots from the titular moon's surface that are straight-up breathtaking). But then Europa also echoes much better films too - like there's a supposed-to-be traumatic sequence that the film-makers had the misfortune of putting out in the same year as Gravity, that loses most of its power in the shadow of Cuaron's daunting masterpiece-making.


das buut said...

Really? The only thing this had wrong with it was that it existed totally as crappy 'found-footage' and was out of chronological order. Those two things make me want to kill everyone who makes visual media. It's lazy and cheap. Don't even get me started when some bitch uses it in print media.

Jason Adams said...

Hey I didn't say I loved it or anything! Like I said I'm not sure it's even a good movie. But it's got at least a couple of parts that work. I am less bothered by found footage than most people are though, and at least here the found footage was well framed and often pretty, unlike Apollo 18 which was also found footage and was just an atrocity on every level.

das buut said...

LOL! I didn't mean for my response to sound bitchy, I was just surprised. It was a genuinely good movie, which was nice for a change.

Time to put on my film/science Hipster!nerd glasses: Yeah, the camera footage was easily explained, but still unforgivable. Twenty years ago, maybe even ten, the cameras and their limited footage would have made sense. Not in this instance, though. This important of a mission would be kitted out with every angle covered. At least television grade camera technology would be used on the outside. The limited technology is a plot point, but not one that makes sense with scope of the project and our equivalent technological standpoint. Okay, so that's a third problem.

The mention of Gravity got me thinking about why I was more passionate about this movie. Gravity just lacked the exploration spirit I look for in Science Fiction. It was a disaster movie in space. Visually stunning, but that's about all. That and the Clooney. Europa Report tried for something bigger, and with a better budget, might have gotten there. I really love projects that go out there like that.

Apollo 18 just turned into this big mess with the plots of two good movies. It was like they decided that it was so bad, the two plots could no longer stay together and had to stay five months apart.