The Surface of the Sun
This afternoon, between class and making a film for a class, I sat down and watched Sunshine. I never head of this film before (at least not that I can remember) and the only reason I actually sought this out was from watching Kick-Ass. I loved the sound track from that film and looked it up. I found out that two John Murphy songs were not included. One was from 28 Days Later and than one from Sunshine. Naturally I looked up both songs and loved both of them, especially the one from Sunshine.
So to the movie. The film is directed by Peter Boyle and I have to say I’ve enjoyed the few movies of his that I’ve seen. The story in reality is rather simple. In the future the sun is dying and we humans send nuclear bombs to try and restart the sun. The first ship they sent failed and this is the account of the second. That the overall gist of the story, but of course a lot of shit goes down rather quickly and as far as the story goes, it works. As others have already pointed out there are scientific errors. I’m unaware of them, but I’m not a scientist so it really doesn’t bother me all that much. The only problem with the story is the end. Everything moves rather well up until the last twenty minutes or so. It’s a nice twist, but it doesn’t fit because the last twenty minutes turn into a slasher film. This would work if it was introduced earlier on and had more time to run, but it doesn’t. I’m personally tired of slasher films in space as I’ve seen enough of them and nothing new ever seems to come out of them. The story is good enough and would probably end better if the slasher part was removed.
I’ll save the best bits in my mind for last, so here we have acting. A number of notable actors. Sadly they are not all ones that I know their names right off the bat. The acting is good. Nothing so bad that it caused me stress, though some bits were meh. I blame the story on those aspects, since those characters were given small parts and very little to do in those parts. I wouldn’t say any of the acting was outstanding, though Cillian Murphy and Cliff Curtis seemed to be the best.
Mark Strong makes an appearance, though I don’t feel right commenting on his acting. I’m sure he does a phenomenal job, however I must now say that I have a spoiler alert right here. Mark Strong is our slasher dude and is a crazy man who has apparently adjusted to the extreme sunlight, because his skin is nasty and burned all over. Every shot of him running around is out of focus and jerky, so you never really get to see him. I can’t say he did a bad job acting, because honestly there wasn’t much to see. Great voice over work though.
So the visual & special effects were orgasmastic. The picture up top is one of those scenes that’s just fucking brilliant. The special effects really are amazing and lovely. They aren’t over done either. The camera work (say for the bit I mentioned about Strong) is rather good as well. I love the shots of the actors on the scooter going through out the ship. There’s a line that the camera steadily follows. Simple, but really nice. Sticks with you. There’s also a scene on the other ship (dun dun dun) that captures the crew perfectly. Lovely shot. Also a lovely use of having other images flash up on the screen in a moment of suspense.
And the score! John Murphy is now one of my favorite composers for film. The score works so well, especially with the visuals. I love listening to this soundtrack while walking around. It makes me feel empowered or that everything around me is just amazing. Really powerful shit.
And here is a clip from the movie that really hits on the score and visuals. The clip does give a bit of the film away. I saw this before watching the film though and it really didn’t put me off.