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
March 27, 2007, 10:18 p.m. CST
March 27, 2007, 10:23 p.m. CST
look like the core....
March 27, 2007, 10:30 p.m. CST
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
March 27, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST
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
by THE KNIGHT
March 27, 2007, 11:44 p.m. CST
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
Let's pray that Sunshine is better than 28 Days.
March 27, 2007, 11:52 p.m. CST
Or i dunno, Fletch.
March 28, 2007, 12:07 a.m. CST
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
DAMN CYLONS AND THEIR FRAKKIN' SABOTAGE!
March 28, 2007, 1:18 a.m. CST
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
It's true. I really don't.
March 28, 2007, 2:53 a.m. CST
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
March 28, 2007, 3:42 a.m. CST
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
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
This film looks quite aweomse but im drunk so what do i know? ben firstname.lastname@example.org im secretly hoping someone will email me! so there
March 28, 2007, 4:26 a.m. CST
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
...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
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
...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
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
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
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
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
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
by Spandau Belly
is easier than the other way around.
March 28, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST
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
by Lost Prophet
they are always fucking generous. How can a duff 3rd of the movie justify 4*? WANKERS