Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Sunshine, a Fox Searchlight Pictures film, has the misfortune of being buried in a release schedule that caused a large number of people to miss it when it was initially released.

I missed it, but I'm glad I finally saw it. Not only is the story compelling, but the film's visuals are simply amazing.

What boggles my mind is not the number of people that say disparaging things about the film, but the sheer commitment I've read from some people to trashing the film.

First off, this film wasn't trying to be "high art" nor was it trying to be a cookie cutter brainless crappy Michael Bay action film. It's just a movie, plain and simple. The plot of the film - that the Sun is "dying" - which turns out to be a theoretical possibility (see Q-Ball) - is about all that's really needed.

Films have become either completely devoid of plot or character development (see Michael Bay's films for evidence of this), but is given the lame excuse that it should be "forgiven" because it's "supposed to be a brainless action film." The other extreme are films bogged down with so much so-called "development" - even if it isn't actually beneficial (see Pirates of the Caribbean's sequels for examples of this).

This leads the rest of the films to people assuming that all films aside from "brainless action films" should be filled with a whole lot of character and "plot" development (or background in this case) or else it's automatically bad. On the other hand, people who hear about how "good" a particular film is may actually categorize a good film as "brainless" if the story/plot/characters don't measure up to their high expectations.

So let me say again. The plot and characters are as developed in Sunshine as they are required to be. It's insulting and annoying to read so many people who just don't get that simple thing.

The story is simply about a crew on a mission and the unexpected problems that could potentially happen along the mission. What a shock, real problems that can randomly occur on a mission? Jeez. My job never ever has any problems with it that are either beyond my control or completely unrelated to any action that I may have taken - unfortunately still causing some issue that I'll need to fix. That's life - and Sunshine captures that perfectly.

People have become so used to characters being infallible, that no movie character can ever make a mistake and that a problem must always be attributed to a problem beyond their control, or else the movie poorly written and directed. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic and speaks volumes of the level of detail that people bother to even notice when watching a movie.

However, realizing that this review quickly went off on a completely separate tangent and quickly wanting to get back to the film itself, this was a breathtaking movie - and probably the best space-centric science fiction films to come out in the last decade.

No comments: