This review also appears at Earthpages.org
The other day I happened to notice Sunshine in the video section of the local library. I’d never heard of this film but being something of a sci-fi buff, was willing to give it a try.
Glad I did.
Blending the genres of action thriller and psychodrama, Sunshine boasts an international cast with recognizable influences from several sci-fi classics, such as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, and Douglas Trumbull’s Silent Running, to name a few.
Without this being a spoiler, let’s just say that a group of astronauts are sent on a follow-up mission in a spaceship, Icarus II, to save the Earth from its dying sun. The first Icarus mission failed. And the second team’s job is to seed the failing sun – our sun – with an atomic bomb that hopefully will jump start a new star within it.
Not being a physicist, I wondered about the math behind this. But that didn’t really matter. What makes this film well worth watching is its solid cast, whose characters are a bit different from the usual sci-fi template, but not too different.
In addition, Sunshine’s special effects are certainly up to scratch. No jerky starfields, overdone spacecraft shadows, or obvious cutouts here.
The paradoxical closeness and distance of Sunshine to so many other sci-fi films and TV shows makes it a bit elusive—but in a good way. Maybe dreamlike would be a better word. The sets and action scenes are familiar, but not quite like anything else we’ve seen.
All in all, an engaging, enchanting film. Possibly not a timeless classic. But sci-fi fans should definitely take a look at this unique mix of action and introspection.
- Traversing the Cosmos – With a Little Help from My Friends (Pt I) | Science Not Fiction (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- First trailer for Douglas Trumbull’s insanely detailed 2001: A Space Odyssey documentary [2001: Beyond The Infinite] (io9.com)
- “Trailer â€” â€œ2001: Behind the Infinite â€” The Making of a Masterpieceâ€” and related posts (shadowandact.com)
- Indie Trailer Sunday: Making Of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ Doc (firstshowing.net)
- Movie Trailer: ‘Beyond the Infinite: The Making of A Masterpiece,’ Douglas Trumbull’s Documentary About the Making of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (slashfilm.com)
- Movie Review Friday: Silent Running (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- Must Watch Trailer for a new Documentary on 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (geektyrant.com)
- Douglas Trumbull’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ Documentary Looks Awesome (screenrant.com)
- What’s the Big Deal?: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (seattlepi.com)
- Why You Shouldn’t Drop Acid and Go to the Movies [Freakouts] (gawker.com)