Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
Imagine NASA making a documentary about a hypothetical exploration of
Jupiter's moon, Europa. Now add elements of high drama to make the
documentary a little more entertaining. Et voilà! Europa Report.
In many respects this film reminded me of 2010:The Year We Make Contact: It has much of the feel of 2001 but the decision making, along with the science, is less credible than 2001. So that's about the same as 2010. The film is based on our actual scientific knowledge of Europa which is a big plus for the film.
Europa Report is presented as a retrospective assessment by a mission controller on Earth. It is well done but somewhat flat and predictable. The attempts at drama are equally flat and predictable.
So how to sum up? Europa Report is a well crafted movie and you can easily imagine this is an actual space mission. It makes a refreshing change from space soap operas and silly adventure films like Armageddon. However it will appeal most to scientists, engineers, teachers and those with a genuine interest in space exploration. If all you want is another episode of Star Wars you should look elsewhere, but personally I kinda liked this movie. Of course I'm an engineer.
Paradoxically I'm giving this a high score - not for what it is, but
for what it might become. The premise is ridiculous and but for the
appearance of Stephen Lang I would probably have abandoned ship or put
on Avatar instead.
This is a polished production from a special effects perspective, although the dinosaurs are not well thought out. Stephen Lang exudes command authority to the point I can't help think this is the real man - not just some flaky actor. Everyone else is mere eye candy by comparison.
Life in dinosaur times would be extremely arduous - it would not look like a holiday camp. Where are the flying insects that would drive people behind domes or at least block buildings? Why would you build individual, designer homes with toilet paper hanging from the ceiling? Really the whole camp concept is ludicrous.
But if the premise is questionable, the story is outright absurd, starting with the circumstances leading to our heroes' arrival in Terra Nova. I view them as thoughtless and selfish people. The script writers need to be replaced by the team from Eureka which, by the way, has the same focus on the under-rated police officer.
Of course any Eden requires a protagonist. Again the situation presented in the pilot does not ring true at all. However I'll allow some hope to enter into the equation. Maybe the writers just wanted to get past the starting premise as quickly as possible so they could focus on the real story? I have to hope this is the case and ignore the sinking feeling in my stomach.
There are books like Larry Niven's "Legend of Heorot" or "The Mote in God's Eye" that cry out to be made into a film or series. So why on earth did the studios agree to this lame, derivative and implausible series?
First, the single shortfall. Wallace and Grommit work better on TV. For
Chicken Run they used clever techniques which allow claymation to make
a highly effective transition onto the big screen; but for Wallace and
Grommit a technology make-over would've simply been wrong, wrong,
So, if you can live with this minor shortfall, the rest of the news is all good. The story? Pure Wallace and Grommit. The characters? The stereotypical English eccentrics have all turned out in force. The pace? Perfection.
This film pays homage to some classic horror stories, but don't be swayed against taking your youngest kids along - this is pure family entertainment at its finest. I left the theater feeling agreeably satisfied, and I hope you do too. Perhaps it lacks the whiz-bang appeal of The Incredibles but the pure britishness of this film is a glory unto itself. Thanks to everyone who pored their hearts into making this mini-epic.
Lets try and be kind about this film. The tripods are excellent, I want
one. The aliens were cute and certainly won me over.
Okay, now the downside. If you liked the film "Signs" then you'll most probably adore this film. It has the same, total absence of logic. Remember "Signs"? The film where naked aliens invade a world covered in water? The same aliens that dissolve in a rain storm? Imagine if they had landed in England... the invasion would've ended swiftly and very badly. Remember also the alien ships, invisible by day yet they light up like fireflies at night. Hey, why be invisible when you're indestructible anyway? Back to "War of the Worlds". This film is full of glaring flaws, lapses in logic and is so full of unlikable and annoying characters I was fervently hoping the aliens would squish the whole bunch of them.
Want an example of the errors? An EM (Electromagnetic) pulse burns-out car starter motors, solenoids, wrist watches and electrical appliances everywhere. Yet a few moment later we see a man standing in a street using a fully functional video camcorder. How can this be? Does he have a military hardened video? I think not.
Or another example. A massive aircraft crashes into a house. There's no fire to speak of, the engines are almost perfectly intact and a car outside the house is unmarked. A few minutes later we see the car speed through the middle of the aircraft's broken fuselage; evidently a miracle has opened a corridor amidst the corridor. Hello? Was it necessary to treat the audience with such contempt? Or is Spielburg simply getting tired and lazy?
The examples of abject stupidity are endless and sadly I rate "Mars Attack" a dramatic masterpiece compared to this drivel. At least I liked the main characters. None of the characters in "War of the Worlds" are likable from start to finish. There is a saying "in adversity we find ourselves". It does not apply here. The principle characters are selfish, pompous and shallow people at the outset; they are unchanged at the end. If you want a film where humanity rises to a challenge... this certainly isn't the film for you.
Stars of the films? The microbes you see in the opening scene. Far more lovable, they are the true and only heroes in this stinker.
I'm being far too generous about this movie. I want my money back. Strictly for those whose lives are ruled by soap opera and mindless emotion. For anyone with an intellect this film is a crashing disappointment and you'll do yourselves a tremendous favor if you skip this film for the rest of your life. Honestly, it's that bad!