DVD Reviews | Jan 8th, 2008

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Starring Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Michelle Yeouh, Rose Byrne, Hiroyuki Sanada,
Written By: Alex Garland
Directed By: Danny Boyle
Studio: Fox Searchlight
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It’s 2057 and the Sun is dying. In order to help save Earth, a group of Astronauts are headed toward the Sun to deliver a payload the size of Manhattan, and save mankind and re-ignite the Sun. Cillian Murphy stars as the physicist in charge of the payload and is strong as the lead in this film. Sunshine has its moments in the film to be a solid, sci-fi adventure but then looses its focus toward the third act of the film and therefore loses all credibility.

Earth is in Nuclear Winter due to the fact the Sun is dying and a last ditch effort by a group of Scientists/Astronauts are heading towards the Sun to deliver a pay load that will jump start the Sun and bring life back to Earth. This could be it for all of mankind. Icarus II is the space station that is heading to the Sun and is made up of several different nations and different levels of expertise in mostly science related fields. The film takes place when the Icarus II is almost near the Sun. From the look of the crew, they have been on their journey for awhile now and it seems like the space flight is getting to most of them. There are plenty of things on this ship that helps the crew survive, like their eco friendly garden which helps provides food, energy and oxygen. There are also things like the de-stress room which is a room that shows elements of Earth and help the crew calm down from whatever stress is bothering them. Imagine how these people feel in space for so long? Just look at the loonies on shows like Big Brother and see how wacky they get for being inside a studio made house for a month or two. These people have been up in space for what is probably years, though they don’t say.

After flying over Venus, the radio waves on the Icarus II pick up the signal that Icarus I is giving off and why it did not reach the sun and deliver its payload. Icarus I was set out ith the same mission that Icarus II is now in charge of more than 7 years prior but failed the mission and no one seems too sure as to why. Icarus II sets out for the Icarus I in hopes of finding some answers. Time is of the essence though and most of the crew are concerned that there won’t be enough oxygen to go to both the Icarus I and the Sun and still make it home alive. Mace (Chris Evans) is really the only person opposed to this side mission, because they are there to do a job and save the earth and the rest of the crew thinks they will be able to get the other payload from that shuttle and deliver two payloads to the sun which would make it just as good, right? Many shocking events and discoveries happen when they do visit the Icarus I and starts to lead the movie in the wrong direction. Just like a good thriller, everything starts to go wrong and in some ways, in pretty predictable fashion.

There are some good elements to the movie but for the most part, the film is tainted by the silly third act of the film where it turns more into a slasher/thriller movie. I think the premise of the movie was cool and interesting without all that extra nonsense to make it a multi-genre movie. The idea that the Sun has stopped working and a delivery of a nuclear payload to reignite it is pretty fascinating. I would think the relationships of the crew alone should have been explored more and just focused on that. Getting to the sun in and of itself was a big task and could have been exploited that way than have the ship go off on a side mission like this would not really happen. The film shows promise but just did not deliver.

Besides the movie, you get a very interesting audio commentary from Director Danny Boyle, as he discusses every detail of the film, including casting and the science involved with creating the story. Also Dr. Brian Cox, a science consultant on the film also provides a commentary and gives the viewers a closer look at the possibilities of the story and how they tried to make it as realistic as possible. Also included are the usual fare like deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

I happen to see a first look view of the film when the movie was sent out late 2006 for test screenings and did not really like the film back then. I think the same reasons for this final cut and the original are what still makes the movie disappointing and not strong. I really think the end of Act II and all of Act III ruins the movie. I remember seeing the film without all the graphics and CGI completed but you get by because of the story, and I was impressed with the final cut of the film and how they improved on most scenes. I was disappointed with the use of the villain in the film and how they portrayed him. The film had the chance to really be a quiet hit for the director, but failed to impress many.

Deleted Scenes with Audio Commentary by Danny Boyle
Alternate Ending
Web Production Diaries
Two Short Films with Intro by Danny Boyle
Audio Commentary by Director Danny Boyle
Audio Commentary by Dr. Brian Cox, University of Manchester

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color

English, Spanish

Favorite Scenes: Act I, the very last scene on Earth
Rating: R
Running Time: 107 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: