Finally, a scifi film that's actually based on speculative science! This well-produced film shows what science fiction is actually about: science, technology, discovery. So many scifi films coming out of Hollywood these days are just war movies or gory horror films disguised as scifi. In many of them you could just replace the phasers with M-16s and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them and a 20th-century pro-war propaganda film.
How refreshing it was to see a film about hope, aspiration, and discovery; not dystopia, apocalypse, and violence. The technology depicted in this film seems to be based on what may be possible using known physics. Of course there were some aspects that were there just to make it more visually appealing, like the streamlined spaceship (vehicles in the vacuum of space that manipulate spacetime for displacement don't need to be aerodynamic), or the bright lights coming from the back of the spacecraft (high-energy radiation is not in the visible spectrum). But these types of filmmaking choices are almost necessary to create a visual and audio experience that's compelling and exciting.
The filmmakers appeared to make the right choices when it came to the allocation of scarce production resources. They hired competent actors, they focused on creating high-quality CGI and sound, and they didn't waste a lot of money on props and sets that might have detracted from the quality of the production (e.g., they didn't try to fabricate a space helmet for the astronaut, which probably would have looked goofy anyway -- helmets in low-budget scifi films always look goofy). The result was a high-quality product. (Although at one point I found myself calling out at the screen, "Put you're helmet on you fool!" -- but he didn't have one. Oh well.)
I really like how this film was inclusive on race. The small cast in this short film included a black woman in the top position at the flight center (played by Karin Konoval), a Hispanic/Middle Eastern (Moor) woman as the astronaut's partner (played by Aliyah O'Brien), and an Asian woman TV reporter (played by Mana Mansour). And there was no racial derision at all in this film, which often happens in Hollywood films. I also like the fact that most of the people were of mixed race which is very realistic because a hundred years from now most people will be of mixed race in an equitable society. (Although in a post-Hamilton entertainment industry a person of any race can play any character: past, present or future.) And judging by the surnames in the credit roll, the crew was equally diverse.
I would have made a different choice on gender, though. I would have had a female astronaut and had her husband anxiously waiting at home for her safe return. But I like to break stereotypes...
Story-wise, the film limited itself to a snapshot of a much bigger story. At just 15 minutes, we get about 10% of that bigger story. I hope the filmmakers get the funding (and latitude) to produce an entire feature or serial about this story. It would be quite entertaining.
Overall, a well-produced film that puts big-studio films to shame. This would easily get a 9/10 rating but because it was so inclusive and equitable on race, it gets a 10.
Advisory: None. Suitable for all audiences.
Rating 10/10; submitted 2020/9/15 10:00 EDT
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