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Review – Sunshine (DVD)

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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.

–MC

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Author: Michael Clark

I'm the administrator of Earthpages.org | Earthpages.ca with a Joint Honours B.A. in Psychology/Sociology at York and Trent U, an M.A. in Philosophy and Religion at Visva-Bharati, India, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at UOttawa.

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