Double Feature: Mean Girls 2 (2011) & Geostorm (2017)

Welcome to Double Feature #2 of 2020. I’m going to stop counting at a certain point (probably the next one). This pairing is probably the two least liked movie that I’ll put together but hey, why not, right? The first is the (not so) long-awaited sequel to Mean Girls, a whole 7 years after the original. The second is a disaster film which I watched on New Year’s with Gerard Butler in the name of Geostorm which I remember bombed pretty hard at theatrical release.

Let’s check it out!

Mean Girls 2 (2011)

Mean Girls 2

Director: Melanie Mayron

Cast: Meaghan Martin, Linden Ashby, Donn Lamkin, Claire Holt, Diego Boneta, Patrick Johnson, Maiara Walsh, Nicole Gale Anderson, Jennifer Stone, Bethany Anne Lind, Tim Meadows

The Plastics are back in the long-awaited follow-up to the smash hit Mean Girls – and now the clique is more fashionable, funny, and ferocious than ever. – IMDB

Its a fairly certain statement here that no one particularly wanted a sequel for Mean Girls especially when the entire cast had changed. Plus, the Mean Girls thing isn’t exactly something that can merit a sequel. Apparently, my non-creative mind was right because Mean Girls 2 was incredibly predictable and while it changed its characters and the lingo, it was pretty much the same kind of story as Mean Girls but just more mild in its bad deeds. The Mean Girl wasn’t threatening, the new girl that turns bad with power also isn’t all the innocent or whatnot. The whole scheming with friends plot line is all been there done that.

There’s a lot of unnecessary sequels out there and Mean Girls 2 definitely fits into that category. Mean Girls was great the way it was with its one movie as it covered what it wanted to express properly. There’s nothing new that they can add to the content in its original, making Mean Girls 2 quite less impressive especially if its the same structure, showing the same issues that occur in a different decade in the tough high school environment. I can be forgiving about the cast here as I think they did what they could with their flat characters, its really more the mentality that I don’t support that everything at some point or another needs a sequel. Sometimes, you can just leave things alone.

Geostorm (2017)

Geostorm

Director (and writer): Dean Devlin

Cast: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, Amr Waked, Adepero Oduye, Andy  Garcia, Ed Harris, Robert Sheehan

When the network of satellites designed to control the global climate starts to attack Earth, it’s a race against the clock for its creator to uncover the real threat before a worldwide Geostorm wipes out everything and everyone. – IMDB

Disaster films are never really meant to be some award-winning masterpiece. Its just a fun little romp with a lot of explosions and illogical concepts and some overdone action pieces. Geostorm got a lot of crap and lost a lot of money for the studios and its pretty understandable. I mean, Gerard Butler projects haven’t really been all that great in its last few offerings so for myself, it was like I was expecting it to be really good. Perhaps its the low expectations going in or the New Year’s alcohol hasn’t left my system but Geostorm wasn’t as bad as I had expected.

Geostorm tries really hard to add suspense and also tries really hard to be different. Where it misses its mark is in a lot of the overuse of drama and the whole brothers story that gets dragged into the mix. Gerard Butler is Gerard Butler which is pretty decent as he has some alright moments. The story itself has some issues here and there. I’m not a very knowledgeable science person so I don’t go and question too much about the whole technology they are talking about and whether it makes sense because it probably doesn’t if you dissect it.

Honestly, I’m not trying to defend Geostorm. Its just an average disaster movie. There are some funny moments here and then some moments that really stretched the imagination which they chalked it up to the family communication code or whatever. But hey, I always kind of like the charisma that Gerard Butler brings to movies (even the bad ones) and then we get a short role from Daniel Wu and Hong Kong scenes and I have a soft spot for that. The mystery of it all was pretty obvious where they would place the twist. Like I said, nothing too special here. Its just pretty average and I can see how some would think its below-average even. Like I said in the beginning, I’m pretty forgiving for disaster movies but if you aren’t, then just skip this one.

That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen these two movies? Thoughts?

Tomb Raider (2018)

Scratching another anticipated film from 2018 off the list. You can see the full list here.

I never saw the prior films with Angelina Jolie in the role so I have nothing to compare with, however, I’ve been looking forward to this new origin story style of Lara Croft especially with the franchise reboot for the game. It feels like it keeps it more real. Let’s start right away and say that I have a much more lenient view towards video game adaptations however, I will discuss why I think video game movies don’t translate so well on the screen, just like how superhero movies can be the same way (as I talked about yesterday in the double feature with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2).

Oh yeah, so before we start, you will like to also factor in that I had a very annoying theatre experience, even besting the Gravity viewing with a dog yelping in the seat behind me where a lady was texting and snapchatting for half the movie until another guy went to tell her to turn off her phone and she then just dimmed the phone. Common theatre etiquette apparently goes right over the head of self-centred people. Sorry if that sounds mean but it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience for more than the first half of the movie.

Enough rambling! Let’s check it out!

Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider

Director: Roar Uthaug

Cast: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas

Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared. – IMDB

There’s been fairly mix reviews towards Tomb Raider. Video game adaptations tend to have those feelings. I’m not very well-versed in Lara Croft although I’ve played a fair amount of the games and understand what its about, even though I’ve only started to dive into the game that this movie is based on. However, the director himself had said that he didn’t know squat about the game either so based on that, its suffice to say that whatever he created would be suitable as a movie experience or as the story itself. Whatever it was that he did, for me, he did a fantastic job. I tend to be more lenient on video game adaptations however, this one did tick a lot of the factors that made it work.

Before we get into the nitty gritty bits of the review, perhaps its important to talk about why I think video game adaptations, just like superhero movies, suffer from one factor and that is the lack of a truly dangerous feeling. Sure, we know that Lara Croft or Alice (from Resident Evil) or Iron Man is going to get into danger but will he die? Chances are if a movie is based on a main character and that movie has a chance to be a franchise, they probably won’t and that is why, it takes away from the tension. So for people who don’t even have the video game connection, it becomes nothing but a generic ride through a movie that you already know the ending of. Perhaps its because I play games that I tend to not mind these predictable endings and truly take the ride for what it is. For one, just judging by the story they are basing it on, you probably can’t compare Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft, which is an origin story versus Angelina Jolie’s version. They are a different era Lara Croft, telling a different time in her life. Maybe she’ll get into some skimpy shorts one day but comparing the Lara here and the Jolie one is like comparing Daniel Craig to Sean Connery’s James Bond. A bit of a contrast but I hope you get what I mean.

Tomb Raider

With that said, I think Alicia Vikander does a great job at being this intelligent and bad ass female protagonist. Her character had somewhat of a linear character progression as you would expect with a video game character but there’s a bit about her background and how she got dragged into this plus some mystery and puzzles to solve along with some tense action sequences. Honestly, that is all you could ask for because its exactly what defines a Tomb Raider game. We know that she’ll make it out alive but what dangers will she encounter. If you are familiar with video game comparisons, Lara Croft is something like the female version of Uncharted’s Nathan Drake. She has a lot of story to discover and so smart. Of course, this also highlights some of her inexperience as she sometimes does things like go back to get something that she shouldn’t in the middle of a huge storm but we always know that its going to work out in the end. However, it doesn’t stop that fact that she is a compelling character to watch unfold.

Tomb Raider

I’m not going to lie that while my experience with Alicia Vikander was mostly in Ex Machina (review) and she did a mighty fine job in that role, I was excited and incredibly happy to see that Daniel Wu. Daniel Wu might not be a big deal here because he was in an indie which not a lot of people saw called Europa Report (review) which I personally liked but I know it has some mixed reviews as well. And I’m currently watching Into the Badlands, which is an AMC series which is pretty good also. But Daniel Wu won the Best Actor in the Hong Kong/Asia equivalent of the Oscars and that makes him a big deal over there plus it helps that he has a sexy English accent when he talks and looks fairly handsome also. With that said, even before that in some of the debut roles, I thought he was always really good. As Lu Ren, he adds such a great character. Lu Ren might not have had a whole lot of plot in this one but it was enough to highlight the traits that mattered for his character to exist and as the first movie of what I hope will be a franchise for Tomb Raider, both of these characters along with the back story of Tomb Raider has enough to keep it intriguing to keep discovering her story. I can’t say I’m an expert either even if I’ve played a few of the games but Tomb Raider may have a bigger plot that they want to tell here but Lara Croft herself has so many memorable adventures that she can go on.

I guess the final part here is both the dangers of tomb raiding and our villain here played by Walton Goggins. If Tomb Raider fell apart in anywhere, it had to be in the villain. Now, Walton Goggins did a pretty good job but as a villain, he did feel quite one dimensional. This relates back to what I mentioned in the beginning about video game adaptations and their predictable ending (I should really do a vlog on this topic, what do you think?). Walton Goggins never felt like a threat even if he tried to be ruthless by killing an innocent but the villain felt like he was just going through the motions as his goons had a more menacingly feeling. This character wasn’t smart or particularly badass, he just was there. Luckily for us, Tomb Raider and the dangers that came with the location along with the mystery never stopped long enough for us to deramp from the tension and the entertainment that it was a fun adventurous ride that it needed to be.

tomb raider

Overall, is Tomb Raider anything to call home about? Yes and no. Yes because Tomb Raider is one of the better video game movies to come out in the recent years (but we do have a few coming out this year as well, so who knows) and it does give us an intelligent and bad-ass female protagonist (reiterating that I never watched Angelina Jolie so not comparing the two) that is so great to add to the existing repertoire and has developed not only her character but Lu Ren’s enough to keep wanting to know more.  At the same time, the mystery itself is multilayered and gives us enough to be intrigued for where the future movie can hold if it does happen. However, no comes in the form that until they can break the mold of building video game adaptations with well-developed villains, the threats will be more the environmental and the end game will remain more or less predictable and that takes away a little from the experience itself. With that said, its never actually stopped me from enjoying a Marvel’s movie or any other video game character like the Resident Evil franchise.

Bottomline: Tomb Raider is a thrilling and entertaining experience with enough depth in both plot and characters to keep us at the edge of our seats waiting for the next danger and how Lara Croft makes it through.

Fantasia Film Festival 2014: That Demon Within (2014)

Finally at the LAST post for the Fantasia Film Festival 2014.  Fantasia has been over for more than a week and due to my own personal scheduling (and life in general), I haven’t gotten around to writing as quick as I’d like to.  The last movie I saw was last Tuesday with Hong Kong action psychological thriller, That Demon Within. It stars two of my favorite actors in the industry, one of them have really been picking up some amazing projects and I’m still trying to catch up with all of his recent works. Hong Kong flicks were scarce in this year’s festival and I stop to wonder if its appeal is really not there anymore. Either way, I hold a special love for the Hong Kong movie industry and I’ll talk a bit more about it when I dive into the review.

Lets start with a little synopsis first!

That Demon WithinDirector: Dante Lam

Cast: Nick Cheung, Daniel Wu, Ka Wah Lam, Kai Chi Liu, Andy On, Stephen Au

Dave Wong (Daniel Wu) is a generous and dutiful cop and despite all that, he has been transferred to many departments due to his unstable personality to bond.  His desire to follow the rules makes him into someone that others have a hard time working with, however, unknowingly, he ends up donating blood to the leader of the robbery gang leader, Hon Kong (Nick Cheung) and saving his life while the police, specifically Inspector Mok’s (Ka Wah Lam) team having been trying to track him down.  This causes Dave to become obsessed with trying to investigate the whereabouts of  Hon Kong and his crew called Demon King Gang, and in the process stirs up a few demons hidden within of his own from the past.

 

First of all, I’d like to say that I’m extremely happy that Hong Kong entertainment has started branching into this.  There is no doubt that Hong Kong action has had a lot of praise.  After all, we can the success just by the appeal that Jet Li and Jackie Chan has.  Both very different but nonetheless, very good at what they do, action and martial arts.  However, Jet Li and Jackie Chan may be great stunt and action stars but they are not very great actors however the industry has built on some very good actors and expanded the world of action and thrillers into the psychological area.  That is my favorite type and thats what makes me even more excited and its for exactly that reason that I chose to see this one.

That Demon Within

 

If you think I’m bad at directors in Hollywood, which I am, I’m even worse with the new ones thats surfaced in the last 10 years or so.  After doing some research on Dante Lam, I happen to own a few of his directing efforts.  On top of that, his last hit Unbeatable (which is sitting on my shelf waiting to be watched) hit the festival circuit and did very well from what I’ve heard.  He’s worked with a lot of Hong Kong stars that I love and honestly, I’m growing to like his style: the dark atmosphere he gives and the action is set up pretty good as well.  The whole world of stirring up demons, psychological issues, struggling with the inner demons is done very well here so I give him applause.

That Demon Within

 

 

Although Dante Lam has brought on Nick Cheung, the villain in this movie, for many of his projects before as his lead, in That Demon Within he is given a lesser role with less screen time but there is no doubt that his character is extremely important to play opposite that of Daniel Wu who plays the main lead.  Nick Cheung’s role as Hon Kong is chilling and crazy.  It impacts the audience maybe at times even more than the character development that Daniel Wu’s role Dave has to go through as he literally melts down from struggling to embrace his past and deal with his present.

That Demon Within

With that said, this is an ambitious concept and one that I truly love.  This is supposedly  inspired by a real case that occurred, however Dante Lam’s decision to add in the Demon King and the elements of fire make this movie intriguing to see.  There are certain meanings behind fire and Hell and it proves even deeper in the world of Buddhism and the many levels of Hell.  Even more than that, if you’ve dabbled in the Hong Kong movie world, you will know that this movie has a few veterans playing the Demon King gang and Inspector Mok and even a previous Shaw Brother actor in a small role as the father of Dave. There are some notable names in here.

That Demon Within

The Demon Within is a lot of things: a psychological character analysis, action thriller and some even would say its in the film noir/horror area as well.  Thats a lot of places to hit and it may be this reason that it hinders how I could possibly judge this movie. Mostly because when I step into a movie with each of these specific genre, my expectations prove to be different.  This one took me a little by surprise.  Plus, there are parts which stretches out a little too much, some useless and rather confusing parts were added. Although some people were laughing at the ending as they exited the theatre, for once, I actually believe it was the best way to do it.

that demon within

Overall, I appreciated The Demon Within.  I enjoyed what I saw and I liked what it was trying to do.  The setting, the atmosphere, the background music and even the casting of the main guys, Nick Cheung and Daniel Wu and even a few of the other roles was spot on.  My main issue was the length.  At about halfway, I started wondering if the story was going to ever start. Maybe the building up of the character development took longer than expected or maybe it felt like for a little bit there was a lot more details than I needed, but Dante Lam does take the time to wrap it up nicely and he does some very adrenaline pulsing and fantastic action scenes.  This is no doubt a dark movie and it will have you thinking of what direction its heading into.  I felt like it took a little while to find its footing but once it did, it picks up the movie and turns it into a whole lot more than you’d normally expect.

If you do like Dante Lam or Hong Kong action thrillers, I’d definitely recommend this one to you. Its really a refreshing take on adding more elements to the traditional action thriller making it more dark and deep in what its trying to say.  Sure, its by no means the best action thriller I’ve seen but its heart is in the right place and for that, I believe its worth a chance.

What do you look for in action thrillers? Do you like Hong Kong action movies and if so, have you seen a lot of them? Can a film be multiple genres and succeed or is that trying to be too much?

 

Fantasia Film Festival & My Line-up!

Fantasia Film Festival starts this week in Montreal. It runs from July 17th to August 6th.

Last year, I lost track of when it started and ended up catching 2 movies.  Sad and pathetic, yeah, I know.  In my defense, I was super sick and was on antibiotics.

This year, I amended my old ways and tracked the event and waited for the schedule to go up and then chose my movies and was ready to pounce at those tickets the first moment they went online.

My plan is to see 10 movies and as this goes up, I’m still hoping that one of them will open up because I don’t quite understand what “restricted availability” is but I have a few backups, I that I can choose from. I’ll tell you which one in a little bit.

No rambling on today.  We’re going straight to business.  This is my line up in order of when I’ll see them.

1) JULY 18: OPEN WINDOWS/SPAIN/USA/2014

Open Windows is one I’m not completely sure about.  Sasha Grey isn’t all that convincing to me but then I’m guessing she’ll strip so there’s a appeal to people who like that but my reason is that Elijah Wood has been on a crazy streak of horror movies and they’ve all been received well.  I haven’t seen Maniac or Grand Piano yet but the trailers for those looked good as does this one.  I’ll try to squeeze in Maniac before I go, just to get an idea of Elijah Wood in horror movies, but no guarantees 😉

2) JULY 19: I ORIGINS/USA/2014

I Origins is probably one of the most anticipated movies in 2014 for me.  Brit Marling has been doing amazing movies with Another Earth and The East. She is unstoppable and this one is loaded with cast that I love.  This one was squeezed on a not very good day with another one that I’ll talk about in the end that I had to miss because of my friend’s wedding.  This one cuts into hers just a little but I’ll only be 20 minutes late max.  It should be okay, right? I just couldn’t give it up…what else can I say?

3) JULY 20: CYBERNATURAL/USA/2014

http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2014/en/films-schedule/250/cybernatural

Somehow Youtube didn’t have a trailer for this one but they have a trailer if you follow the link the festival’s page 🙂

Cybernatural is one of the last decisions that I made when compiling this list.  I gave my boyfriend a few choices since he’s going to see some of the weekend movies with me (especially horror).  This one was the final choice.  It looks like it has a pretty intriguing setup and seems to touch on various social issues in the process.

4) JULY 26: JACK ET LA MECANIQUE DU COEUR/FRANCE/2013

In English, the title is called Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart.

Last year, I saw a few animated movies from France and the style just charmed me so much that when I saw this one and the trailer, I knew I had to see it.  I like the whole dark Gothic style and the original idea of having a boy with a cuckoo clock as his heart.  I’m really excited for this one.

5) JULY 27: HAL/JAPAN/2013

Back to back days of animation.  How can I go to Fantasia and not see something from Japan? I almost wanted to choose a Korean one but it didn’t really work for me other than the cute characters and this one seems to have a more intriguing storyline whether its love or maybe something more. Plus, its only 60 minutes and the animation looks really nice.

6) JULY 28: INTO THE STORM/USA/2014

I already had Into the Storm in my anticipated movies for 2014 but seeing as this showed up in Fantasia Film Festival, I’m guessing it might not make it to the theatre near me.  Plus, I get advance viewing from everyone else in Montreal whose not seeing this on July 28th? Who needs perks anyways? I just want to see Richard Armitage in a leading role and I love disaster movies.  This one could hit the over the top area but sometimes, it works well 🙂 I’m staying optimistic for this one!

7) AUGUST 1: DYS-/QUEBEC/2014

I’m usually not running towards Quebec productions and no, that should say Canada because as much as Quebec wants to believe its unique and not part of Canada, it is.  Just so no one bans me from the movie for saying that, I’m going to shut up about that part.  This movie is weirdly in English (take that, Quebec :P) and its shot in my friend’s condo building.  I recognized the hallways.  Plus, it has a creepy vibe to it.  Its the only horror that I will be going to see by myself, unless some friend decides to join me.

8) AUGUST 2: THE DROWNSMAN/CANADA/2014

Last year, I wanted to check out Antisocial, which looked mad gory but it had some messed up time where I was always at work.  I know a few of you of reviewed it.   The Drownsman is done by the same team, I believe I read that somewhere.  Confession time: I can’t make it through the trailer? My boyfriend watched it for me and gave it a thumbs up for scary and potentially awesome and he laughed because he doesn’t know how I’ll get through the movie if I can’t get through the trailer.  I don’t know either but I’ll figure it out when I’m sitting in the theatre…

9) AUGUST 2: TIME LAPSE/USA/2013

Thats right! August 2nd is a double feature for us.  We have back to back movies with a little time slot in the middle to eat dinner (hopefully). I wasn’t so sure about Time Lapse until I saw the trailer and then I was sold.  Time Lapse looks intense and pretty intense.  The question with these sci-fi time travel-esque movies is whether it makes sense.  I’m confident that it will but I’m also curious to see how this pans out 🙂

Thats what I’ve bought so far!

The movie I believe slipped out of my grasp is also the one I expected to also: the special screening of Guardians of the Galaxy.  I don’t really mind too much.  I’ll still end up seeing it opening weekend, I’m pretty sure.  One of my friends seem pretty hyped up about it.

BUT, that means to complete my 10 movie run, I need to choose one more.

I have to miss Suburban Gothic (and the chance to see Matthew Gray Gubler) because of my friend’s wedding but here’s the trailer:

This just looks so good.  But I had to make a choice and I have prior commitments.  Lets see other options…

There is one that made me laugh called 3D Naked Ambition, a Hong Kong movie at 11:55pm.  Red light flashing on it possibly being in the porn department since its like at midnight.  As I was trying to find the trailer, I actually found the full movie on Youtube so nope, especially since I won’t have public transport to go home either.

Honeymoon also looks pretty good, but I’m not too fond of watching too many horrors on my own.

As interesting as this is, its also a pass.

Now, I could go on because there’s a few action movies that looked decent as well but I came to the final conclusion that it doesn’t feel right to give up the chance to watch a Hong Kong movie on the big screen.  They have one, From Vegas to Macau which I actually bought when I went to Hong Kong earlier and I will review it during this festival time (if I find time for it).

The final choice goes to That Demon Within.  Its somewhat of a horror action flick, if that even exists.

Nick Cheung has been churning out hit after hit and he’s just been out of control.  Daniel Wu is also one of my favorite actors.  The more I watch this trailer, the more I’m convinced this is going to be epic.  On top of that, its a crime thriller and I just can’t resist them.

Thats it for Fantasia Film Festival for now! I’ll be back with reviews in a little bit 🙂 I’ll try to get them out as soon as possible but with the movies mostly at night, I might have a few days delay depending on my schedule.  Things will stay as normal as possible here.  For sure, the focus will be geared towards movie reviews but I still remember that I have the Hong Kong trip that I have a few posts to put up also at the very least.

What movies peak your interest? Have you been to the Fantasia Film Festival? If you are going, what are you seeing? 

Europa Report (2013)

To some longer movie bloggers, you will probably remember Chris @ Film Hipster.  Sadly, he isn’t in our blogosphere anymore but before he left, I remember him being one of the first and few to review this movie, Europa Report and giving it a decent rating.  Now, I have a bad memory but that was why when I saw this on sale in Plattsburgh, I snatched it off the shelf.  A few weeks later, here I am, having watched this and pondered a little on what to write.

Lets check, shall we?

europa report posterDirector: Sebastian Cordero

Cast: Daniel Wu, Sharlton Copley, Christian Camargo, Karolina Wydra, Michael Nyqvist, Anamaria Marinca, Embeth  Davidtz

William Xu (Daniel Wu), James Corrigan (Sharlton Copley), Dr. Daniel Luxembourg (Christian Camargo), Dr. Katya Petronova (Karolina Wydra), Andrei Blok (Michael Nyqvist) and Rosa Dasque (Anamaria Marinca) are some of the best astronauts from around the world and they are all commissioned to complete a privately funded mission to explore Europa, one of the Jupiter’s moon.  Their assignment is to extract sample and document whether there is life form there as they documented the existence of a vast amount of water under the icy surface.

Europa Report

I’m just going to keep the synopsis brief because in the end, this is a sci-fi thriller in its rawest form.  Its shot to be something like a documentary on the space crews ventures there: what happened and what they found. If I told you more, it’d just be pure spoilers and that would ruin the fun.

With that said, Europa Report is my kind of thriller (maybe its yours also).  The slow-burning type.  In the nothing happening, I felt something happening or just something that could happen in the unknown causing the feeling of uneasiness. Europa is unknown territory and as much as I loved space when I was very young some time in elementary school, I’m not very knowledgeable about these things anymore.  The scientists use big words and the visuals look authentic to those you would see in space magazines.  Fact is, I watched a bit of the special features afterwards and they did extract pictures from actual satellite shots of that area.  In general, space is a captivating topic.  We can see that with the success of Gravity.  This is obviously not as visually stunning as that but it has its only type of beauty to watch.

europa report 4

A lot of how the movie is featured is with its various cameras set on the spaceship.  All these cameras give us a perspective of their down times in their living quarters to up to the cockpit.  Thats the admirable part of this because we can capture a good idea of the set up of every angle of the spaceship and how everything works within the beginning part.  Thats important when the issues (which you know they will have) occurs eventually and they have to move about.  They also use close-up shots when the crew is sitting near the camera working to capture their reactions.  I feel that gives it a kind of familiarity and bond with the crew as they try to not only get through this mission but maybe prove something amazing in the process. The cameras emphasize on the limited space they have and the unknown outside as they approach Europa and this adds on the tension.

Cam E

Most of the actors aren’t very known to me but there are two familiar faces I’d like to point out.  One is Michael Nyqvist who played in MI:Ghost Protocol as the bad guy or you may know him from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as the journalist in the original Swedish one. As Andrei, he is a bit weird and is in his own territory where he just engineers and plays with this and that. The other actor is one of my faves in Hong Kong film industry is Daniel Wu.  To see him totally exercising that perfect English of his in an international movie makes me very proud, plus I have total faith in his acting.  Everyone has their part in the movie, even the supervisor (I think) of the mission sitting back on Earth played by Embeth Davidtz as she hears the updates from headquarters and recounts the events of this mission just like you would in a documentary.

europa report 2

There really isn’t much else to say.  Overall, Europa Report is a pretty awesome sci-fi thriller. It uses confined spaces in an spaceship and a mission into the unknown to search for possibility of lifeforms. Its six brave people who chose to face some problems and survive.  It may be slow but it builds up the tension very well.  The use of cameras observing the crew’s movement we experience the mission as if it actually happened. This one has just got a lot of style and I totally love it. And it has one of the best endings that I’ve ever seen. I don’t say that very often for a movie because most movies just mess up with a lazy ending but man, this one was a *GASP* moment.  If you are into this sort of movie, sci-fi/thriller/slow-burning, this might be a very good choice for you 🙂

Have you seen Europa Report? What did you think of it? Are you a fan of sci-fi/thriller?