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Jadstersdad Gets Some SUNSHINE!!

Merrick here...


Jadstersdad sent in this look at Danny Boyle’s SUNSHINE. You can read other reviews of the film HERE and HERE. Jadstersdad said pretty much the same thing a few previous reviews have said, which is: SUNSHINE is quite interesting, often cool, but also rather flawed. Here’s Jadstersdad…
Hi guys, girls and geeks Just got back from an exclusive preview of Danny Boyle's 'Sunshine'. Special because it took place in his home city (Manchester) in the locally famous 'Cornerhouse' arts cinema, of which he is patron. There was a Q&A afterwards with Benedict Wong (Trey), also a Mancunian, and Dr.Hannibal Lecter. Er..... Colonel Stryker........er, no. Dr.Brian Cox. Actually and bizarrely, Dr.Cox looks 17 and is a ringer (sort of, but it was trumpeted) for Cillian Murphy! This proves that physicists can be good looking (but didn't Star Trek do that a long time ago?). We were also treated to a video intro by Boyle himself (explaining that his son was 'Home Alone' and turning into MacCauly Culkin so he had to babysit). Boyle reappeared (on vid) at the end in a short filmed Q&A also. So... the movie. A telling moment from Dr.Cox in the aftershow discussion related how Danny always tries to "do things differently" in his movies. Specifically in this case how he wanted to alter the generic pacing of sci-fi which typically starts slow and measured but gains momentum inexorably. He apparently realised (via the spectre of Kubrick over his shoulder...hmmm) that this couldn't be done and that this particular 'rule' of the genre could not be successfully bent. Thus, the movie's pacing does indeed echo 'Alien', for example (one of a number of films screened for the cast during their 'boot camp', prior to filming. In fact there are similarities to a number of genre movies in this one, though. Especially 'Event Horizon', although I was reminded a lot of the space jeopardy scene in de Palma's 'Mission to Mars'. Dr.Cox was at pains to point out that 'Sunshine', although necessarily straying from total credibility, was nonetheless completely "human". In other words.....no monsters/aliens/robots etc. I intend this to be spoiler-free but suffice to say that it's not entirely clear that this is the case. On the plus side. Although a pretty small screen, the sound mix and quality was amazing. It will lose a lot on your average TV screen. Apparently the effects house they used were pretty cheap but "made the money go a long way". I would agree wholeheartedly. The movie is a treat to look at and you really get a sense of the power and heat of the sun. Boyle helps this by keeping the palette for the interiors to blues/greens and keeping the warms colours for exteriors. The acting was above par, with some given more to do than others. A good mix, though. There was genuine suspense and creative camerawork. I particularly liked some subliminal shots of faces when a boarding party enters the derelict first ship, although this wasn't played out as effectively as it could have been. The big problem for me (and your previous reviewer) was the appearance of the 'fifth crewmember'. This is not giving anything away, but it's far from clear who this character is (for a good while, anyway) and indeed 'what' he is. Crucially his motivation is muddled or obscured by the sound/action. This is important as it is apparently the crux of the piece and was what Alex Garland started with in his script, working backwards thereafter. The aftershow discussion straightened this out and informed us that this character and his actions constituted the "philosophical" dilemma that the movie was trying to portray. Fair enough, but the execution left a bit to be desired. A shame as what preceded this was of such high quality. The music score (by John Murphy and Underworld) was ok and effective in parts but I would have preferred a more 'old school' approach such as a classic Goldsmith would have offered. All in all a noble effort and a hit rather than a miss, but this is such well-worn territory that it would take something really really special to make the kind of mark that the hard work and good intentions of the cast and crew deserved. Boyle told us that his next film would be 'Slum Dog Millionaire', scripted by 'The Full Monty's Simon Beaufoy, which concerns a guy who goes on an Indian version of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' purely because he knows an estranged girlfriend watches it. Or something. Hope this is helpful. If so, call me JADSTERSDAD


Readers Talkback
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  • March 27, 2007, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Suckas

    by shmu65

    NO

  • March 27, 2007, 10:23 p.m. CST

    think i saw a preview of this whilst watching the 300

    by Mr_X

    look like the core....

  • March 27, 2007, 10:30 p.m. CST

    it's FLAWED!!!

    by Son of Batman

    Yeah, so it's flawed. Big fuckin' deal. What isn't? What the fuck kind of stupid criticism is that?

  • March 27, 2007, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Dr. Cox from Scrubs?

    by jimmy_009

    weird.

  • March 27, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST

    i don't think i have A.D.D. or anything

    by chiahead

    but this reviewer's voice just frustrated the hell out of me. <BR><BR> what with, as they might say down town, and in half sentences by the people of movie reviewing land, it's almost impossible to maintain a singular thought within one sentence. Or so they say, afterhtought afterthought, side comment.<BR><BR> My one regret is that when Merrick says "this guy says pretty much what other people say" he doesn't add 'so don't bother reading it cuz he can't write for shit.'

  • March 27, 2007, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Knight images

    by THE KNIGHT

    nice images

  • March 27, 2007, 11:44 p.m. CST

    chiahead

    by fluffybunnywhiskers

    Agreed, I was going to say that exact same thing. Also, that one scene that AICN linked to with the crew watching Mercury or whatever, the music was not only fitting for that scene, it was incredibly beautiful sounding and was easily my favorite part of the scene, the pretty pictures aside. So I don't know if I agree with this guy's preference of a more "old school" score. But, in any case, I have faith that this film will be as entertaining, or more so, than 28 Days was for me.

  • March 27, 2007, 11:47 p.m. CST

    28 Days Later?

    by Ryang

    Let's pray that Sunshine is better than 28 Days.

  • March 27, 2007, 11:52 p.m. CST

    I'll just watch Armageddon again, thanks

    by BitterMan23

    Or i dunno, Fletch.

  • March 28, 2007, 12:07 a.m. CST

    28 seconds later - my own personal porn movie

    by everstranger

    Oh wait, that was for another article. Ok so Sunshine is out. My space dreams can get another year (or 2??) of sleep, before Spielberg's Interstellar and Cameron's Avatar...

  • March 28, 2007, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Fifth Crewmember=Saul Tigh!

    by Darth_Gonz

    DAMN CYLONS AND THEIR FRAKKIN' SABOTAGE!

  • March 28, 2007, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Uh oh.

    by Demosthenes2

    Event Horizon and Mission to Mars are far from ideal films to resemble. Yeeps. I was hoping this would feel like a different style for a space-mission movie the way that 28 Days Later felt like such a different style for the zombie movie, but the reviews so far make it out to sound status quo, which is unfortunate because this particular subgenre of scifi has been played out and could use some reinvigoration from Boyle.

  • March 28, 2007, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Nothing relevant to say.

    by Greatmouthpiece

    It's true. I really don't.

  • March 28, 2007, 2:53 a.m. CST

    i'm horned up about this film

    by council estate scumbag

    wanna see it so bad it hurts. its gonna be good. empire says the end is shit, but what the fuck do they know?

  • March 28, 2007, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Damn you Michael Bay

    by Damnyou

    Damn you Michael Bay

  • March 28, 2007, 3:42 a.m. CST

    eh, this film sounds like it sucks balls:

    by newc0253

    when even the most positive of 4 AICN reviews describes a film as flawed, that's pretty much your cue to wait for the DVD.

  • March 28, 2007, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Do I know you?

    by Babyshamble

    I live in Manchester and a few peeps I know were going to this. Hmmm, do I know you Jaderstad?...Nah probably not. I fucking love the cornerhouse, they have quite a few cool events there, I saw Terry Gilliam there last year.

  • March 28, 2007, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Exorable homosexorable

    by RedCricketChase

    This film looks quite aweomse but im drunk so what do i know? ben benny_zero@hotmail.com im secretly hoping someone will email me! so there

  • March 28, 2007, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Manc buddies

    by JADSTERSDAD

    Hi Babyshamble. No, unlikely I know you though it would be good to have a movie buddy nearby. Recently moved to the area. Wanted to see the Gilliam last year! What else you in to?

  • March 28, 2007, 4:30 a.m. CST

    chiahead..

    by JADSTERSDAD

    ...sorry you don't like my voice, but - as we say in the UK - well, not 'say' exactly, but write, which is kinda the same thing, but not, a bit like Ghost Rider might be the same as Superman as filmed by David Lynch.......to each their own.

  • March 28, 2007, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Underworld scored that movie too? YAY!!!!

    by DerLanghaarige

    I love their score for Breaking & Entering! And I even think that John Murphy might be a better partner for them than Gabriel Yared! SCOREKEEPER!! WHERE ARE YOU!?!

  • March 28, 2007, 4:54 a.m. CST

    Whatever...

    by Shoegeezer

    ...problems it may or may not have in other departments, I'd recommend seeing this on the big screen. I've seen it twice, presented digitally, in theatres and the sound and visuals are certainly impressive and different enough to warrant shelling out cash for.

  • March 28, 2007, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Don't listent to Empire, scumbag. Ever.

    by Lost Prophet

    They are useless, lazy, incompetent, biased hacks with all the critical faculties of a small melon (not even a large melon). It pains me that they have their jobs.<p>On this though, everything I have heard suggests that the end may indeed be poo. Did Empire only give it 3* by any chance?

  • March 28, 2007, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Excellent film

    by Buffalo500

    I’m a bit surprised by the average reviews, saw the film a couple of days ago and loved it. I’m even thinking of going to another preview tomorrow. I think some people will have a problem with this film because it maybe tries to throw in too much. As well as the philosophical/spiritual elements there is plenty of action & horror too. Add in the great visuals and sound design and you have a film that has to be seen on the big screen. In fact I wish the film was longer and more time was spent with the crew before things start to go pear shaped as there is a great cast assembled and my one problem with the film is we don’t get to know some of the characters too well. Apart from that, the best sci-fi film in a long time.

  • March 28, 2007, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Underworld

    by pk money

    I'm with "the long haired one" on the whole Underworld thing. I had no idea they were scoring this one too. They're my favorite "band" (collective?), so heres another reason, among many, to see Sunshine. One question to the reviewer, does this movie have cheap jump scares? I hope not, 'cause I hate that. Coming from Boyle, though, I would think that he wouldn't stoop so low. Anyway, nice review, your "voice" is totally fine, I think a lot of us are just frustrated that the reviews for this movie aren't overtly positive.

  • March 28, 2007, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Jump scares?

    by JADSTERSDAD

    I don't recall any that jarred with me, though there are ones that might for some. I did enjoy the movie, I just was perhaps hoping for more. Agree with the poster who says 'see it in the cinema'. Worth it.

  • March 28, 2007, 8:56 a.m. CST

    LITTLE MISS: THIS YEAR'S SUNSHINE

    by Pound Sand

    Not as spiritually powerful as I HEART RACHEL WEISZ, but good in it's own way.

  • March 28, 2007, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Training oil rig workers as ghostbusters

    by Spandau Belly

    is easier than the other way around.

  • March 28, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Don't listen to Empire....

    by council estate scumbag

    They were generous, Lost Prophet. They gave it 4 stars! They said "aside from a last act blip" it was wicked. "marks another genre nailed by Danny Boyle"

  • March 30, 2007, 7:41 a.m. CST

    see- How unreliable is that

    by Lost Prophet

    they are always fucking generous. How can a duff 3rd of the movie justify 4*? WANKERS