I came across an article and trailer for this film while browsing the web looking for new indie sci-fi films and filmmakers, as I do. It was a *somewhat* catchy trailer, but I was more powerfully drawn to the film's glowing accolades, not only from the Huffington Post, but from the Godfather of Marvel himself (I'm a DC/Marvel geek)! That's right...on the OFFICIAL trailer itself, STAN LEE is quoted as calling this film "An edge of your seat mystery-thriller." Furthermore, according to the Huffington Post (via the trailer), "This is an invitation to us all to decide how to create the new epoch, the new human narrative." WOW! High praise. I would link the page, but I don't know of IMDb's policies on external links (hopefully nobody takes that trailer down after this post). The trailer clearly showed that this was an indie, budget, student-level film (which is perfectly fine), which made me all the more impressed by these words, and there was a superficial sheen upon everything, which drew my eye. I wanted to read more, so I "Googled", but apart from a number of secondary sources dropping his name, I could find no mention of the man himself having anything whatsoever to do with this production, or ever having said anything about it personally. I find this personal endorsement of his to be highly dubious (although I invite the filmmakers to prove otherwise). As for the Huffington Post article, well yes, there was an article - on the contributor platform! Anybody is allowed to post there - my twelve year old daughter could have been the author, lending just as much "Huffington Post" cachet! I even came across a PR release including both of these "endorsements". I left all of this with an eyebrow raised, to say the least, but decided in good faith to give it a shot, and rented it. Obviously, the film is not good. The filmmakers are clearly inexperienced. The storytelling mechanism, the core of any good film, is stilted and fragmented here, taking us one place, and then another, creating neither anticipation nor resolution at any stage. It doesn't feel natural, it doesn't flow, and it doesn't keep eyeballs on the screen. The technical side of the film doesn't do the story any favors, with clumsy, awkward camera work. The musical score isn't the worst, yet I doubt that even a bespoke Hans Zimmer soundtrack could have saved the day here. I won't say that the film is *entirely* devoid of charm: there are glimmers, but they are few and far between. The daughter did a fine job. There is substance behind some of the dialogue (often poorly delivered), but hearing these are like dots of green on a mostly barren landscape. No one can say that the filmmakers didn't come in with the best of intentions. Perhaps they tried to wrestle with a big idea, one which either they themselves don't understand...or lack the ability to translate into a cohesive, engaging story. No young filmmaker should be put down for having big ideas, and initially struggling to realize their grand vision. Such achievements often take time and repeated mistakes. But the dishonest marketing, the packaging of this as some sort of epic, groundbreaking feature film (complete with deceitful endorsements), troubles me. This is a student-level film, at best, and packaging it like this is like wearing cubic zirconium in a room full of jewelers...and telling everyone you're wearing a rare De Beers diamond! It doesn't feel tasteful - in fact, it feels downright tacky. If you're going to wear CZ...just rock it. Plenty of budget films do...with powerful results. Is this sort of fakery commonplace nowadays? Was it always? Should unscrupulous filmmakers not be called out on it? Moreover, I see from other reviewers that there may have been some evidence of spam voting. I hope that's not the case but if it is...the perpetrators ought to feel ashamed of themselves (but maybe every film crew does that on IMDb, I don't know). I noticed that this film is rated 95% (!) on RT. It's hard to reconcile that with what I watched, and what I now see here. Where there's smoke...? One poster here, who seems surely to be a member of the team (for who else would so vehemently defend the film?), points out (correctly) that throwing more money at a film does not make it better. Certainly, many brilliant short and full-length films are produced on low budget, sometimes with inexperienced filmmakers going on nothing but their fierce storytelling instincts. In fact, the industry is full of them. To the filmmakers, I'd say this: having a grand, noble idea isn't enough. You and a million other hungry filmmakers have grand, noble ideas. The quality of your filmmaking will set you apart, and to a large degree, the way in which you conduct your business and and PR affairs. To the first point: keep at it, I guess. You have much to learn. To the second: be careful how you represent yourself and your work to the public. Dishonesty has a way of repaying itself in this business (and anywhere in life, really). Welcome to Hollywood.
One Under the Sun
Drama / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller
One Under the Sun
Drama / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Astronaut Kathryn Voss, sole survivor of a disastrous space mission, is desperate to reunite with her terminally ill daughter but becomes a fugitive when the government discovers she's returned to earth with an extraordinary gift.
October 28, 2020