Loved this. The music was perfect. As things start to fall apart on the spaceship, the image gets more strange, with some almost avant-garde shots throughout the second half.

Spaceship behind giant solar shield is heading for dying sun to launch a bomb that may reignite it. On the way, they board the previous ship that was sent out on same mission, now inhabited by a dark force. Shades of Event Horizon follow, with a heaven thing going instead of Event‘s hell thing.

Each crew member gets enough personality to be easily distinguished a half hour in (and I was hardly trying to keep up), so that instead of wasting time in the second half trying to remember who’s who, we can focus on action blasting through space. Your standard kinda Aliens / The Abyss sci-fi action structure then, but with images that do not seem to belong in a big-budget movie. The camera can’t seem to SEE the Icarus 1 captain – he’s always out of focus or hidden by sunlight, even when another character should be able to see him clearly. I just enjoyed the hell out of that idea, and probably appreciate the movie more than I should because I’ve latched onto it. But there’s no shame in loving a particularly well-made sci-fi thriller. This one will be my War of the Worlds or Minority Report for 2007.

Who were those people: Cillian Murphy is in an upcoming film noir comedy. Michelle Yeoh was in Crouching Tiger. Rose Byrne was the girl in 28 Weeks Later and Kirsten’s friend in Marie Antoinette. The tan guy was in The Fountain and Die Hard 4. The captain played the lead in Twilight Samurai and was in The Promise and Ring. Suicide guy was in Code 46 and Tristram Shandy. The replacement captain was Human Torch in Fantastic Four. The guy who doesn’t make it back from Icarus 1 played Tom Hayden in Steal This Movie. And best of all, the captain from Icarus 1 (which lost contact seven years ago) was in 1999’s Sunshine (just over seven years ago) starring Ralph Fiennes in the Cillian Murphy role.

Kelly’s follow-up Southland Tales starring The Rock and Buffy is finally getting released later this year, or so I’ve heard.

Forgot how GOOD this movie is. Somehow I’d chalked it up as a sentimental underdog fave, but I still really like it.

Donnie’s dad will be in Southland Tales, and we caught him last night in Bring It On.
Donnie’s mom plays the president of Battlestar Galactica.
Samantha Darko is Lilo in Lilo & Stitch and a regular in Katy’s Big Love.
Bunny Suit Frank was in every “cool” teen movie in the 90’s.
Donnie’s teacher is in Southland Tales, No Country For Old Men, and Little Miss Sunshine (as a pageant official).
Recording artist Jena Malone will be in Into The Wild and The Ruins.
Seth Rogen of Knocked Up was apparently in there somewhere.
Donnie’s psychiatrist had starring roles in Butch Cassidy/Sundance Kid, The Graduate, The Final Countdown and Stepford Wives.

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First good Julianne Moore movie since 2002. Has it been that long?

Apolitical gov’t flunkie Clive Owen is recruited by ex-flame Moore to help her gang of revolutionaries deliver the only known pregnant woman to a secretive humanitarian scientist group in a devastated and infertile future. The government is against him after he’s targeted as a terrorist, the revolutionary group is against him thinking the woman is better used to serve their own cause, even the undercover prison guard acting as his inside man turns against him. Clive’s only true friend is his old pot-smoking pull-my-finger hippie friend Michael Caine with a post-gov’t-torture braindead wife living out in the country.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Denzel’s partner in Inside Man) is the revolutionary leader after Julianne is killed, Claire-Hope Ashitey is Kee the pregnant woman, and actor/director Peter Mullan is Syd the prison guard.

The whole thing is extremely real. This future has so many intricate ties to our present, politically and socially, in little details scattered among the ruins. It’s all carefully drawn out to seem so real… then there’s the camerawork. Extremely long takes with an amazing amount of stuff going on during each one… stunts and effects and running steadicams, all shot by the guy who did The New World. As someone or other mentioned, the long shots help show you what’s at stake… no cuts to relieve the action, just follow Clive in his panic, showing us how much is at stake, how one slip will blow the whole game. So the movie sets up this real world, then plunks us in the middle of it.

And it’s grim, relentlessly hopelessly grim, dark and dreary, everyone against everyone else, no reason to keep living so they’re all out for their own self interest. It brings us down, down, down, leading up to this very hopeful Dead Man-reminiscent ending but with a great ray of hope, and since we’re so down, that ray of hope is brighter than I can remember seeing in any movie before. It’s Eternal Sunshine + Before Sunset caliber hope. The most positive and negative movie at once… completely thrilling and gorgeous and makes me cry just thinking about it. As someone else said, it’s scary how far ahead this film is over everything else I saw this year.

A couple of weeks later, I still can’t stop thinking about this one. Saw it again with Katy in the new year. It will probably end up as my favorite movie of 2007 as well as 2006.

Not much left to say about Dr. Strangelove, since I’ve nearly memorized it by now.

Groovy font on the titles.

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George C. Scott is actually better than Peter Sellers in this movie.

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