I don’t have much to say, sadly.
This is a movie I mildly enjoyed the first time. I mainly remembered not liking the end.
This second viewing wasn’t really good: the documentary format annoyed me, the hard scifi setting is repeatedly ruined by stuff done to promote the dramatic progression (I had even forgotten about the landing, and if I had to pick, that was the single most shocking aspect of the movie for me on that second viewing), and the astronauts are pretty darn dumb.
I loved Andrej’s character, how it is setup to make him look insane in a 2001 sort of buildup while he actually may be the only one thinking straight.
There was Dexter’s brother in there (I hadn’t watched Dexter yet the first time), and darn he could have not been there for all that matter.
The payoff tries to pull a Lake Mungo, excepting we already know a Matrix sentinel is lurking in there (it killed a member of the crew, live, already!), so it failed twice for me.
Yeah, here it is: I liked Lake Mungo a lot better.
Sorry, Chris :’(
OK, uh, I guess I did too? But I don’t see a relationship between the two films, how did Europa Report try to pull a Lake Mungo? Since we’re talking spoilers and all that.
It’d spoil Lake Mungo a bit, but both are fakumentary (I think that’s the name of the genre?) with a reveal at the end. Excepting the reveal isn’t really a reveal in Europa Report, so hm.
I won’t overstay my welcome here, since I don’t think much of anything about it anyway, excepting it’s not really good.
Yeah, I don’t agree it’s trying to pull a Lake Mungo. If nothing, else, the Lake Mungo reveal is a shock (and trying to be one). Up to that point it could have been nothing. The Europa Report reveal, to the extent it is one, is simply a pay-off. Here you go, have a good look at the thing you knew was there. I agree it doesn’t really work, mainly because it undermines the ostensible hard sci-fi approach. But it’s doing a totally different thing to that Lake Mungo shot.
All right, I’m with you on the fake documentary thing. I thought you were going somewhere else with the whole “pulling a Lake Mungo” bit.
I kind of agree. It’s pretty impressive what they were able to do on a low budget, but I got pretty tired of the camera pointing at the wide-eyed astronaut instead of the thing they’re looking at. And given that this is hard-sci-fi, I would’ve appreciated more Europa science. What are the expectations for surface conditions? How does water flow through the oceans? Why is it possible to fall through the ice? Also, a creature that large would require a whole ecology to support it. Where is that ecology? I was actually more interested in the weird algae they found than the kraken. Would they have been so willing to justify sacrificing the crew for a sample of that algae?
I hate the fake documentary approach. I found no character really compelling. I had to remind myself these were supposedly smart individuals, and you’d think the loss of life would have more of an impact but it felt like there was zero attempt to make me care about them in the first place which was probably more the fault of the documentary style. I won’t remember much about this movie in a few months and certainly not in a few years. There was just no impact, and I found it really hard to keep watching. I would have turned this off earlier if it weren’t for my commitment to actually watch the movie.
I’m about 2/3 of the way through Blue is the Warmest Color. I kind of wish we’d watched that film instead. There’s so much more going on. It’s not a perfect film, but it does some things really well. And my god, Adèle Exarchopoulos turns in the performance of a lifetime.
Well, I loved it the first time around and felt the same way a second time. I don’t feel like the characters ever behaved unintelligently (unlike, say, the scientists in Prometheus) the way you guys apparently did, I was impressed with all the little details and faux verisimilitude - I’m sure there’s plenty that could be nitpicked but as a layman none of that stuff bothered me, and it’s a pretty solid tale of intrasolar exploration, IMO. I don’t know that I would have chosen to do a full frame zoom in on the critter, but that was my main complaint. Well, that and they chose to cast Sharlto Copley as the guy who gets killed first - I think the movie would have benefited tremendously with switching him for the guy that played Daniel, who never really stood out the way literally everyone else on the crew did.
And yeah, I recognized a lot more faces this time around: the big bearded dude from Mission Control was the lovable muggle in Fantastic Beasts, Katya was in Sneaky Pete, Rosa was in The Girl With All The Gifts…I thought I recognized the guy who played William but I guess the only thing I’ve ever seen him in was Warcraft, where he was in full orc CGI so there’s no way. Obviously Andrei I knew the first time around from his key role in the original Stieg Larsson adaptations, although he’s also been in Bond, John Wick etc these days.
Finished this. Really good film. It’s kind of unfortunate that it has the reputation it does for the graphic sex because the sex scenes are kind of ridiculous and uncomfortable. The film would actually, I think be better without them or with a more edited down version of them showing the hungry passion of the two leads without the porn-lite theatrics. The French title of the film (and the graphic novel on which it’s based) is literally translated Adèle’s Life, which is more appropriate but less evocative. It’s just about Adèle as she struggles with becoming a young woman and how this relationship with another young woman colors her experience. There’s an arc to the story, but there’s no Hollywood ending or anything. It’s a piece of someone’s life, clearly not the beginning or end of it, and there are brilliant repeated slice-of-life vignettes throughout that illustrate that: Adèle marching in a protest, celebrating a birthday, awkwardly hosting her first dinner party, sitting bored in a classroom, teaching a class full of kindergartners, going to a club, eating with her mouth open, sleeping face down. It’s just a great film with amazing acting performances, that unfortunately missteps with what it’s most notorious for.
Stop hijacking the winner’s thread! @Juan_Raigada’s pick will win someday ;)
Actually, Blue is the warmest colour is the translation of the French title of the graphic novel (and a pretty good adaptation of its Frecnh wordplay). The movie’s complete Frecnh title is Adèle’s Life, Chapter 1 and 2, which is very evocative (at least in Frecnh), unlike the truncated version that it is, regrettably in my opinion, referred as to ##grammarmodulefailing##
As a 59 year old I felt like I was looking into somebody’s house through a keyhole for Blue. I had to stop watching it. Not my thing, regardless of the message there.
OTOH I still enjoyed Europa.
Use this anecdata as you will.
There’s a pretty common storytelling technique. I’m sure we’ve all encountered it in books and TV and movies, and perhaps all the way back to when we told stories around campfires. You start the story not at the start of the story, but in the middle, at the point where you know you’ll hook your audience. You want people’s attention, you want the maximum impact, so you start your story there. And when you know you’ve got people really paying attention, then you can start over from the beginning.
So, Europa Report doesn’t do that. It starts off in the middle of the story, sure enough, but it starts at a point where the crew is down because they lost a member of the team, and they’re all down in the dumps, no longer excited about the mission. And that depression is infectious. These people don’t care about the mission anymore, so why should I care?
That’s where Europa Report starts. It shows you its cards at the start. Here’s what’s waiting for you: a scientific mission with depressed people who don’t care. So if you’re willing to put up with a story told just through on-board mission cameras, this will be your reward. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
And then the movie starts from the beginning of the story. Wow, that’s a lot to put on the audience. Honestly, if I wasn’t watching this movie for the Movie Club, I would have followed that warning shot from the story teller and bailed. But no, I was committed to watching this movie, so I was going to watch the movie.
You do eventually find out how that crew member died. You do find out what happened in the story in what order. You do get used to the camera footage enough that you start looking past it and get to know the characters. And by the end of the movie, you certainly care more about the scientific mission than you do about any of the crew. So in the climatic moments when the crew finally realizes this as well, when they are resigned to their fate, and they also show more care for the mission than for their lives, I have to admit, it’s a pretty triumphant moment that was well earned, where I felt really happy for the first time. It was like a long pent up release: YES, that’s correct, you people are not important, the mission is important!
So in the end, I found the overall movie emotionally satisfying, I have to admit. It tries so hard to feel like actual footage, like a documentation of what really happened. So at the end, I felt like it earned that feeling of being a document of what happened to these people and their successful mission. The ending kind of brings the whole thing together for me, and it changes into a movie I enjoyed because of those final moments. So well done. Kudos to the story teller in this case. When I started listening around the campfire, he warned me he was going to bore me to sleep. He was right about that. But eventually, he brought it back to subvert that expectation and made me care.
Very late weighing in here; it’s been a busy couple of weeks!
So my girlfriend and I have been wanting to watch Europa Report for a while now. I was told somewhere that it was a slow film but I found the chronological jumping around and edits made it feel too fast and almost insecure, like the film was afraid you’d lose interest. It’s one of the only found footage films where I thought the format wasn’t right for it, which is a criticism that surprised me given how found footage is often seen as a gimmick or cheap hook. I watched Hellhouse LLC a few months ago and that did the found footage documentary format a lot better, as did Lake Mungo. It’s refreshing for a sci-fi film to try it. Another thing that bothered me was Bear McCreary’s great music which I thought jarred badly with the reality of the found footage format; it seemed more suited to a traditionally told movie. It’s a really bizarre juxtaposition in a documentary!
As far as the content of the film goes it didn’t do a great deal for me, and I love harder sci-fi flicks and don’t mind the found footage delivery either. My girlfriend and I started talking about similar films like The Martian, Gravity, Apollo 13, Sunshine, Life, Interstellar etc. and we enjoyed all of those a lot more because we found the characters or situations a lot more engaging or fresh in some way. Don’t get me wrong, some of those had their issues too. I feel like a lot of the situations in Europa Report should have worked for me but, for reasons I’ve not been able to put my finger on, they fell flat. Maybe they’re starting to feel too familiar, or maybe the chronology of the film worked against the natural momentum building in certain scenes, maybe more time was needed to let the characters flex and breath more. It was by no means a bad film, but I found it weaker than the sum of its parts.
I am re watching it now. There is a lot good here, a lot weird here, and a very lot European.
I long for a good sci fi series in the early exploration of the solar system (sort of a 2001 space odyssey without the last half).
So, I watched Europa Report this evening.
Like @Rock8man I found the starting en media res a little off-putting. I didn’t hook me, it made me want to stop watching as I found the characters dull and the plot not compelling. It picked up a bit, but even then I found it to be a fairly generic “Space Science” film. Bland. I didn’t really grow attached at all to any of the characters except the Engineer who gave his life for Andrei.
Part of this was that I found the “One Cam” shot logos and technique off-putting. While the director was trying for an interesting “you are there” feel, I actually found it created a distance between myself and the film. And it was distracting at times. I found the “after” interviews far more enjoyable from a aesthetic standpoint. And at the point of the spacewalk, the initial departure from Europa, through the crash down the technique became more and more disruptive to enjoying the film, plot and getting into what was happening in the film. When Xu unbuckled himself I thought, “Now they all die and never leave, one by one”. Suspense-less really.
At that point it kind of became standard fare “and then there were none” and it ended with tentacles. But in a 15 minute rush with no Atmosphere.
It was OK. I wouldn’t recommend it, and I don’t think I’d watch it again. I’d call it SyFy or Netflix-film fare, except I’d much rather watch an episode of The Expanse. Better plot, character, suspense, camerawork, etc., etc.
I think I want to see Solaris (1972) again, to see this sort of thing done right.
It was kind of a blah. If Movie Club was “Dinner Club”, where we all get excited about looking forward to a meal, I feel like this month we all ended up voting in reaction to going to a very traditional Japanese Restaurant last month. So this month? We went to Appleby’s.
Man, I am really starting to wonder if there’s any overlap between the sensibilities of the rest of the club and mine.
There’s only been two movies. That’s not even enough to establish a pattern. Never fear!