This got a limited release two weeks ago but I only just got round to seeing it today. I dont miss any scifi films, good or bad.
This one was particularly relevant to see right now because this month, Mars is in opposition (as it rises in East, the Sun sets in the west) and is closest to Earth, so a prime time for seeing Mars at its most detailed not only for an amateur astronomer/astrophotographer like myself but also for YOU, this is the perfect time to see Mars yourself with just the naked eye as it is shining bright rising from the East after sunset arching upwards towards South throughout the evening and you will see its distinctly red tint... so look up in the sky for it and know that is Mars, our most fantasised planet in science fiction.
I have only been photographing Jupiter, Saturn, Sun and the Moon up until now because Mars was very difficult to capture, this is my best effort two days ago when it was at its brightest. I know it doesnt look anywhere as impressive as Jupiter or Saturn pics but Mars is special and fascinating to image once I can master it as its the only planet that we can image that has changing surface details all the time due to the huge dust storms and sand dunes. Its a very dynamic planet that we can observe from here with just a basic telescope.
You see the dark regions in my photo, those are the regions that have been swept by the storms. That same surface will change again in days. The white "caps" you see at the edges ar the ice caps. They dont change that much, at least to my knowledge.
There are two reasons why I am er...waffling and stalling to talk about the film here:
1) I cant help being a bit self indulgent
2) The movie is exceptionally ordinary and unoriginal that I dont really have much to say about it but here goes...
What we got here is very much a loose take on the classic Ridley Scott's Alien and Carpenter's The Thing but without any of those film's flair, edgy atmosphere, intensity, and thrill. Its just a very bland directed and unoriginal movie. The characters are of the most typical stock stereotypes for this type of "space crew trapped..." scenario. But you know, that last is not a criticism, I dont actually mind stereotypes, as long as they engage me but unfortunately they dont because the script and direction just dont allow room for them to expand, which is a shame because there are a some good actors I like here (especially main lead, Liev)and if wasnt for them, this film would have been a bit of a trawl. Despite the bland character development, the actors give it their sincere best and so I did get attached to some of them.
The soundtrack is good, it delivers atmosphere and an air of mystery. The visuals have a down to Earth (or rather Mars) realism feel to it, nothing particularly standout, it is an indy movie budget after all and it uses that budget adequately. I particularly liked the dust storms and make up. As a scifi junkie, regardless of how good or bad the film is, I still enjoy the setting, its Mars and it feels authentic, so good job there.
The narrative is very one track and whatever little turns it may have, are mostly signposted. Perhaps a newbie to the genre may enjoy this if they/you havent seen movies like Alien, Moon, Event Horizon, The Thing, etc. There are a few horror and thrill moments for newbies but otherwise for the rest of us, its not exciting enough to for the casual cinema goer to spend hard earned cash on.
I am glad to have seen it, though. I enjoy the basic "realism" scifi setting but story, characterisation and direction sorely lacks innovation and energy.