Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunshine - The Movie

Saw Sunshine tonight on DVD.

The special effects are passable - after that things go downhill pretty damned fast indeed.

The plot is hackneyed, contrived, and easily predictable. The basic premise of the movie is ridiculous. The science is idiotic. The portrayed technology is retarded. The characters are cardboard cutouts. The camera work is nausea inducing. Apparently in the future nobody owns a light bulb, either that or they forgot to take the lens cap off during filming.

And worst of all? It's boring.

It's a lot like the directors of two other piece of shit movies, Event Horizon and Solaris, got together and had a bastard love child who came up with this turkey.

Don't bother. Really.


  1. Thanks! I really like how you moderated your opinion to avoid the possibility of offending anyone related to the film. ::snort::

    Yeah, that's one of the things I like best about you. I don't have to worry about subtext bullshit. You're going to call it like you see it.

  2. Well, I'm not exactly known for subtly - especially when people are irritating me and wasting my time, which is what the producers of sunshine did for about 90 minutes.

    If they don't like what I had to say about their shitty-ass movie, well, they should make a better one.

  3. Hey, I resemble that remark!

    Sometimes, they're paying me to work on a shitty-ass movie. They know it and I know it and the craft service guy knows it. And you know what? The paycheck cashes just as well for a shitty-ass movie as it does for a good one. :-)

    Actually, it really is easier to work hard on a movie you think is going to be good, but sometimes I am just there for the paycheck.

    BTW, your "Sunshine" link goes to the Mt. Blanco story. Just sayin'.

  4. Link Fixed.

    I understand about the paycheck, you gotta pay the rent first. And this flick had the potential to be good, instead the director tried to be artistic. Which is funny considering that his last movie was the zombie flick 28 days later (which I like, BTW). I hate artsy movies - I'm probably the only guy on the planet who thought The English Patient sucked beyond words.

    Besides artistic, they opted for every scifi cliche they could find - "Hey! I know! The sun is dying and we'll restart it with a bomb! A BIG bomb. And get this, we'll have a guy go crazy and try to kill everybody else!" Magic gravity. talking computer that sounds like bad voicemail. giant ship, but only one airlock. I could go on but you get the idea. Sigh. too bad you can't return DVD's.

  5. Jim,

    I'm pretty sure the vast majority of men who said they liked the English Patient were just being polite to their S.O.'s. I'll go a step further and say that half of the S.O.'s were also bored to tears but couldn't bring themselves to say anything after having dragged said men to the thing in the first place.

    As I've said elsewhere, I'm hesitant to comment about the shows I'm working on in any way that might get me into hot water with the producers. So, since I want to be helpful to the U.C.F. (Union of Collaborating Founders), I'll introduce my first bit of code here. If I'm ever babbling about the movie I'm working on and I say, Oooooh! You guys just gotta see this one," you'll know that its a piece of shit.

  6. Oh, and did you check to see if Netflix works in AK yet? Much less painful when the movie sucks.

  7. Um, you ever see something, and can't believe your eyes, literally? I was in the kitchen making ham, cheddar, and mushroom quiche for breakfast, my wife's favorite. I set my coffee cup down. The White Cat, Stupid, jumped up on the counter and stuck his nose in my hot coffee. If I hadn't yelled, he'd probably have tried to drink the whole thing. There's now a large clump of cat hair floating in my cup, and Stupid's nose is brown.
    Words fail me.

    And, no, netflix does not work in my area. However, I get pay-for-view premium HD cable, it's okay and reasonably cheap - but I forget about it all the time. Think I've used it once, maybe twice.

    And I like your idea for the code. I will be alert for secret messages in the future.

  8. I have Netflix here in Squarebanks. Anchorage is home to one of their processing centers. Oh, but with the vagaries of the postal system, why give yourself the headache...

  9. Tania, well, yeah, the Palmer Post Office is sort of the Short Bus of the Postal System.

    In all the places I've been, the Palmer Post Office is the absolute worst. Every cliche of lazy, slow, weird postal workers could have originated here.

  10. We have typically bought most dvds - it's less expensive than our typical late fees. Or, we watch them on on-demand.

    I tried Netflix, but I'm surprisingly disorganized about the mail and had a hard time keeping the queue moving. Plus, our passive-aggressive postperson just jams everything into our little neighborhood array of postal boxes, she's not about to put anything on the porch. I'm pretty sure she'd break more than she delivered.

  11. Funny thing about Sunshine: that was a movie where all the good reviews convinced me not to see it. Seriously. I'd hear/read the folks on NPR or in Slate saying/writing: "Sunshine is great because blah blah blah..." and I'd think, "Good grief, that sounds utterly retarded and/or derivative."

    My rush to prejudice, I'm afraid to say, was only confirmed when I finally saw 28 Days Later several months ago: 28 Days isn't a bad movie, but (no offense to present company) it's very obviously a horror movie made by and for people who don't like or see many horror movies. Which is exactly what Sunshine sounded like vis-a-vis SF. 28 Days was pretty--but it wasn't really as original or clever or smart as it obviously thought it was. Ironically, it would have been a better movie if it had been a more modest movie, if the director and writer had simply gone for "Let's make a good zombie movie" instead of "Oh, let's reinvent the zombie genre even though we're obviously new to it."

    Similarly, every review of Sunshine seemed to suggest the movie was much like the line attributed to Samuel Johnson: "Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good."

    Sorry if I sound like a snotty horror/SF fan. I'm not saying horror and SF don't need fresh blood--I'm just saying Danny Boyle hasn't impressed me as the guy who ought to be making movies that reek of "You're lucky a brilliant guy like me is deigning to grace your backyard with my artistry. Though I did like Shallow Grave.

  12. Eric, exactly.

    This movie very much projected an air of "Oh look how clever we are," and it was obvious that they really thought they had something new, something arty, something original. When basically it was a catalog of every scifi channel b-movie cliche. There was nothing new in this movie at all, everything had been done before, and done better.

    Like you said, I doubt very much that these people actually read much scifi - though they obviously read some, otherwise they'd have made another asteroid/comet inbound on Earth movie.

  13. It wouldn't surprise me if they'd read some SF. I mean, one of the things that was surprising about 28 Days was that the writer wasn't totally unacquainted with horror. I fast-forward-skimmed through the commentary track to see if the filmmakers had a clue, and there was at least one point where Alex Garland (who wrote 28 Days and Sunshine) acknowledged that one scene was a rip (I think he called it a "tribute") from Day Of The Dead; the problem was that the whole movie was full of stuff that had been done in various plague/apocalypse/zombie books and movies, ranging from The Omega Man to The Stand to the Romero movies, and the filmmakers just seemed oblivious to all that. Especially Danny Boyle, the director.

    Without actually having seen Sunshine, my guess (based on 28 Days and the reviews) would be that you're probably right: Boyle and Garland have probably seen 2001 and maybe one or two other SF films, and then they have this vague impression about the rest of the genre that isn't really rooted in anything specific (or is based on seeing Star Wars and half a Star Trek episode). And probably a lot of critics and mainstream viewers who shared that background thought Sunshine was "teh awesome."

    Speaking of which: Kubrick went into 2001 thinking he'd reinvent the genre, but he actually pulled it off--because his first move was to get a master of the genre on board with him. There's a lesson in there, isn't there?


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