Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sunshine (2007)


This post is an anomaly. I can assure you it will never happen again. This is NOT a bad movie in any way shape or form. This post will also be extremely brief (at least compared to my other posts). I have almost zero interest in reviewing current theatrical releases. My reviews often contain spoilers, but I justify that by telling myself you guys will a) never see the movie, or b) the movie is sooo fucking bad that you won't give a fuck even if you do see it. This review contains NO spoilers. I'm not like that asshole that ruined Harry Potter 7 for millions of poor bastards. Feel free to read on.

I had the pleasure of catching a free preview of Sunshine at the Boston Commons theatre tonight, wednesday July the 18th. Let me just say that I was blown away. During a summer of mindless, sometimes awful trash (If you've been to this blog before, you know that I often love mindless trash even when it's awful) it's refreshing to see a film that knows what it's doing. This is a film with some powerful ideas, distinct characterizations, and mind blowingly fucking awesome effects.

The premise is fairly ridiculous (In the, not too distant, future the sun is burning out. The earth is entering an ice age and in a last ditch effort to save mankind a crew boards the Icarus II with a nuclear bomb the size of manhattan attached in the hopes of reigniting the sun), but is told with such conviction by director Danny Boyle and, frequent collaborator, screenwriter Alex Garland that I was able to buy into it completely.

Chris Evans (Johnny Storm from Fantastic Four) was an absolute revelation as Mace the ship's engineer. If there's any justice he would receive a best supporting actor nomination next year. Of course, we know there is NO justice and this movie will be largely overlooked. Hiroyuki Sanada (Twilight Samurai) as Captain Kaneda was another favorite character of mine. He brought a stoic calm to the film even in the face of extreme peril. Actually, there wasn't a weak performance in the cast (I haven't even touched on Cillian Murphy or Cliff Curtis).

The effects blow away most of the movies I have seen this summer (including Live Free or Die Hard and Transformers). The score was completely unique for a film of this nature. Like any good score it built beautifully to a crescendo at the perfect moments (of course, no surprise here as Boyle is known for incorporating terrific music into his films).

If I have one, albeit very minor, complaint it's that the story devolved a bit towards the end (not nearly the offender that 28 Days Later was, however). It briefly became a standard "trapped in space where no one can hear you scream" film, but thankfully was able to right itself before the big finale. I loved this film. It demands to be seen on the big screen. I would love nothing more than for it to become the sleeper hit of the summer. Quality wise, this is the kind of movie that should play in the fall with all of the other "important" films. It opens this friday and I can't wait to hear your reactions. Of course, it's very possible that I've just completely overhyped it and you will all hate it (at least on the outside). I'm betting it can withstand my hype.

Like I said, this post is an anomaly. Now, back to the trash...

10 comments:

Gianni said...

I loved 28 Days Later (even with the aforementioned plot devolvement) because it was something I'd never seen before. I also loved Garland's first two books, Beach and Tesseract, though I never read his third book. One of these days I'll have to see this film.

Anonymous said...

Saw this movie with Kirker last night and it is fantastic. Visually stunning with great acting and good writing. Its nice to see something (sorta) original in a summer full of threequels and other mindless garbage.
-Dan-

brian said...

I liked The Beach (book, not the movie) and was lukewarm about The Tesseract.

"One of these days I'll have to see this film". By "One of these days" you mean friday?

brian said...

Between this film and the superb 28 Weeks Later (he produced that one), Boyle has owned the current movie season.

Gianni said...

Did you just describe "28 Weeks Later" as "superb"? Gotta say, you're the only person I know who's described it like that so far.

brian said...

It was superior to 28 Days Later, which I liked. 28 Days Later, towards the end, didn't really know where it was heading. Weeks on the other hand had a clear purpose, and ratched up the tension and maintained it throughout the film. The helicopter setpiece blows away a similar scene in Planet Terror. There were some great characters in this film as well. I loved the scenes with the American snipers on the rooftops, spying on residents with their scopes. Seriously, I don't understand how you could love 28 Days Later and not love this one even more.

Gianni said...

I just never saw 28 weeks later since everyone and their dog said it was crap, but now I may have to give it a second thought.

brian said...

I just found out that Sunshine is opening today ONLY at Kendall. So, you guys may have to journey out a bit. Hopefully, it will generate some nice word of mouth and move out to some bigger theatres.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how viewers can perceive a film differently! I saw a poignant tearjerker about a great piano player that suffers from some mental problems. I didn't know that it was the same director of 28 Days Later. I do agree that this film was stunning.

brian said...

Hmmmm, this film made 3.3 million at the box office. Not quite what I had in mind. You guys suck.

Oh well, there's always DVD.