Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sunshine: If 2001 became a slasher film halfway through



In the not so distant future, the sun is dying and the Earth is freezing.  A group of sexy astronauts sets off on a desperate mission to reignite the sun.

Sunshine, directed by Danny Boyle, came out in 2007, and has been high on my watchlist ever since.  It's entertaining and the cast is excellent, but Sunshine is too similar to 2001, Alien, and the other science fiction classics that inspired it.  Indeed, watching the movie is a bit like watching an episode of The Simpsons and spotting references.  Sunshine's also off-putting in that the first half seems like a cerebral thriller, but the second half turns into a sort of psychedelic slasher film that takes itself too seriously in light of the nature of the many grisly deaths.

The best part of the movie was definitely the all gold spacesuits with their viewport slits:




Wikipedia says of the design:

Boyle designed the gold-coloured space suits along these lines despite persistent encouragement to model them after the NASA template. The helmets were designed to have cameras mounted in them. This further enhanced a sense of claustrophobia useful to the actors in delivering more heartfelt performances. The helmets were also limited to a horizontal slit for visibility instead of a full-face visor as further consideration toward protecting the characters from the ambient radiation of outer space. According to Boyle, the funnel shape of the helmet was influenced by the character Kenny from South Park.
You can rent the movie for $3 at Amazon.  (Despite its shortcomings, it's lightyears better than Prometheus.)

3 comments:

  1. No exageration, it's one of my favorite movies of all time. I love it so much and I'm not even really a huge DB fan.

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  2. Right with you, Lenny. I absolutely love Sunshine--I think it is too easy to label it as descending into a slasher film. There are questions raised about the nature of man's relationship with God, whether Pinbacker is even alive or is some kind of sun-avatar, so much more. Not to mention the music!

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    Replies
    1. The manner in which they die, and the delight in dwelling on the gory nature of the deaths is why I say it falls into slasher film territory. I kept wanting to laugh, but the movie didn't seem to want me to.

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