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In the Kennedy days, all the States buzz about the Apollo moon program, even the bugs. Grandpa fly keeps 'inspiring' his grandson and two mates, a nerd and a glutton, with heroic stories. New they decide to get in on the action at Cape Canaveral via an astronaut's bred box. Grandpa also gets involved. There's also an evil Soviet Russian fly to with.Written by
This was the last movie reviewed by Richard Roeper during his tenure as a film critic on At the Movies (1986) (which had been renamed "Ebert & Roeper at the Movies" following Gene Siskel's death). Roeper and his co-host, Michael Phillips (who was substituting for Roger Ebert) gave "Fly Me to the Moon" a negative review. (Philips would return to co-host the show with film critic A.O. Scott, before it was cancelled in 2010. See more »
Lunar module is shown being removed from Saturn V as they prepare for lunar orbit. This step would take place shortly after leaving earth orbit. See more »
A timid excuse to watch all the glitter fly around on screen.
The 3D animated film is certainly not a new idea, and while the extent of applying real 3D through the use of glasses dates back to before Toy Story graced our screens, the technology has been somewhat underused. This is no coincidence however, as most will agree that with 3D glasses, along comes gimmick at the expense of story or narration. Fly me to the Moon certainly doesn't do much to shun away such allegations, as the experience is essentially a lame excuse to try out some really nice looking 3D effects and animation, but it is this impressive aesthetic that gives the film life that it would never have had before. Through this extra dimension the movie achieves a sense of compulsion with the viewer, engaging on a level only touched on by the greatest of cinematographers; Fly me to the Moon certainly feels like a trip into outer space, and on this basis alone should you decide whether or not to give this one a try.
Outside of the obvious sensory appeals of the film, the remainder of the much more standard and straight forward elements of film-making are dull and uninteresting in comparison. The story, which follows a trio of youngster fleas as they go on a brave adventure into space through means of hitchhiking in astronauts helmets, has its wonderful moments which will be sure to resonate with anyone interested in space travel. Although once again, without the punctuation of the wonderfully animated environments and smooth, crisp character designs, such moments would probably be fruitless; a little like watching a grainy, black and white version of 2001 with the sound switched off on the ten inch display. Nevertheless, the characters, although extremely standard fare for children's movies, provide adequate motive for the film to move forward and keep exploring all the images of space that lie ahead. The adventure is nonsensical, overly contrived and more than predictable, but for children at least, it will provide some entertainment. For the adults, it's all really just a timid excuse to watch all the glitter fly around on screen.
Where the film begins to lag behind however lies in the tacked on subplot involving some seedy Russian antagonists out to blow the moon-mission out of sheer jealousy. Although the depictions of Russia at the time is a little distasteful, lacking the needed comical edge to win over the audience in regards to their obviously caricature nature, this isn't the major flaw inherent to the development. Instead rather it is simply that it lacks any real coherency and fails to establish any sense of relevant link to the much more engaging main plot. Plus, taking place largely inside the brown hues of wherever these fleas live, and lacking any real amusing characters outside of ex-adventurer Grandpa, the segments which are spliced in between all the adventure and action feel perfunctory for the sake of maintaining standard structure expected of the genre and all the more uninteresting as a result.
In the end, whether or not you will enjoy Fly Me to the Moon depends on two factors: what age you are and what your disposition is in regards to 3D movies. While it would help to be under your teens and be fond of the three-dimensional gimmick, there are nevertheless other areas in which the movie can please. The main focus being that of space exploration and living out your dreams at the cost of risking your normal, everyday life is always playing out in the subtext of the film, but its presence is palpable enough to warrant engagement with all that is going on behind the fancy effects. Sure enough with such films as Space Chimps and big-shot WALL-E not long behind cinema goer's minds, it would be hard to justify another trip into space without having some serious backing from other elements within the film. In this respect, Fly Me to the Moon too often fails. With an overly formulaic script, flat character development and some spotty plotting, the feature does little to convince you that it is anything but a treat for the eyes. So unless you really enjoy your animated-children's-3D-space movies, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this, but there is still fun to be had here for those who are.
A review by Jamie Robert Ward (http://www.invocus.net)
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