Saturday, December 17, 2011

Apollo 18 (2011) - Quick Review

Apollo 18 (2011) Dir. Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Decades-old found footage from NASA's abandoned Apollo 18 mission, where two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, reveals the reason the U.S. has never returned to the moon.

Gallego took a big swing and a miss on this one. With such an amazing film as Nomadas under his belt, I thought it would be interesting to see his American debut, so to speak, but I was way off. I was so pumped to see this film. Man it upsets me to say the things I'm going to say.

I feel like someone just did a big ol glass bottom boat to my face. The characters are more annoying than anything, offering up no characterization to help me feel for any of the characters. Yes... I get it... it is a found footage movie. I can think of several other found footage films that are brilliant. Paranormal Activity = brilliant... Cloverfield = brilliant... [REC] = brilliant... Trollhunter = brilliant and I could probably think of one or two more, but Apollo 18 is not on that list. The first half of this film made the first half of Blair Witch Project look riveting.


One last warning... there is a spoiler below this line.

I was so pumped for the idea of rock spiders on the moon. It sounds like something out of a Roger Corman SyFy original film! I am all about that. It isn't even the creatures that ruin this film. It is trying to stay involved in the movie when half the time you can't see a damn thing. Yes... I get it... you were going for a realistic approach to a found footage film. Everyone that goes in to the movie knows it isn't a true story before they get there. We have all seen Warren in SyFy's Alphas, or if you haven't you should... Great show. The movie did look like it was made in the 70's and I respected that from a filmmakers point of view, but I would have liked to see some higher production value come out of the $5 million budget. Gareth Edwards made a masterpiece on less than 1 million. Duncan Jones made what should have been an Oscar winning film with Oscar winning performances for $5,000,000. This is what you came up with Gallego? Just atrocious. The creatures were underused, didn't look very good. The acting was bad, but not the worst part of the film. It was so hard to see what was going on half the time.

Ok, now that I have ripped the film a new one... there were some really good things the film had going for it. Make-up effects were done really well. I was super impressed by those. The flashing camera light in the dark crater idea was brilliant, and I'm glad they utilized it more than once. The flashes were a little quick, but it was enough to get the job done. This movie was just bad... boring and bad, and I can't believe I was talked in to seeing it, although I do give every film a fair chance until I have seen it. Now I need to go watch Rubber to end my night on a good note. Rock Spiders on the moon should be redone right. I'm still holding out for Sandworms on Venus though.

Entertainment Value: 3/10 Empty Russian Vessels
Cinematic Value: 4/10 Empty Russian Vessels

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