Wednesday, 7 September 2011

221: Review - Apollo 18

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Apollo 18 poster

Apollo 18
7th September 2011. Location: Cinema

Do Entertainment Film Distributors and the Weinstein Brothers really... really hold their audience in such contempt that they blithely assume that some of them will actually believe - in 2011 - that film footage which would be considered a) evidence in a criminal investigation (Paranormal Activity), or b) highly confidential government property, would actually have slipped past the relevant authorities, and gotten distributed internationally in cinemas? Really?

I suppose if your target audience is that monumentally dim, they probably won't notice when your "real" film features Young Indy's dad and Tarn out of Battlestar Galactica.

Leaving aside this pin-headed experiment in consumer gullibility, this pretty much got on my tits for the entire 86 minutes, due to the "footage" being from various video and Super8 cameras that the astronauts have taken with them on the "final manned mission to the moon". What this means is a film that's been tweaked to look jumpy, warped and generally appalling for the whole thing*. Don't get me wrong, the vintage-effect of the footage looks great, just not watchable. It's going to be more bearable on your TV, rather than a massive fit-inducing cinema screen (but that's a personal thing for me, to be fair).

So, it's a remarkably slow start, followed by what would otherwise be some quite nice plot developments, if you could see them properly. I'd have enjoyed this a lot more if it had been filmed "normally" and just presented as the fiction it clearly is. Apart from anything else, the kind of nut who'd believe this conspiracy theory is already convinced that the moon-landings were faked anyway.

It's got some great sequences in it; the first exploration of the crater, and Walker filming himself during his mental degeneration while his parter sleeps just feet away.

But ultimately, it just feels like a big missed opportunity. Despite its lo-fi feel, I know a lot of money's gone into this, and it just seems like it's packaged badly.

Oh, There's also no mention of how this footage from the last manned mission to the moon found its way back to Earth for developing. Especially odd as the final scene has the main rocket and a lander probe colliding in space...

Ultimately: Watch it on DVD if you want, but avoid at the cinema. It might be more engaging on the small screen, but I doubt it. I'm giving it a 3 because of the work that's gone into ageing the footage, but film-wise, it's a 2.


He's Young-Indy's DAD. He was in Monarch of the Glen, for fuck's sake.

* That said, at least it doesn't fall into the trap of The Last Exorcism, a documentary which is "filmed" with one camera, despite cutting between three at times, and even features incidental music at one point, presumably when the editors forgot what they were supposed to be working on. Hmmf. This mockumentary shit ain't for me.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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