Saturday, November 30, 2013
Europa Report (ER) is one of the best SF films I've viewed in some time. I actually hadn't heard much about it before I came across it somewhere. It's too bad because it is far more interesting than many of the blockbuster SF films with a huge marketing budget.
It reminds me somewhat of another great SF film--2001: A Space Odyssey. Both feature exploratory spaceships headed for Jupiter and much of the concluding action takes place there. The difference is that ER focuses at the end on the events following the landing on Europa, a moon of Jupiter, while 2001 concludes in the vicinity of Jupiter. Moreover, the ending of ER is much more in line with present day scientific findings.
The design of the ships in both films is complex and not the typical cigar shapes found so often. In addition, the photography has clearly been influenced by Kubrick's film, especially the frequent closeups of the cast in which bright lights are reflected off the space helmets or even on the bare skin of their faces.
The focus of the film is realism, an attempt to portray an actual exploratory journey to Europa to explore the possibility of life there. The film incorporates the latest findings about Europa, especially the recent discovery that, although covered with ice, there is a strong possibility that there may be an ocean underneath the ice cover, much like the lake recently discovered under the ice in Antarctica. NASA photographs have been seamlessly incorporated into the film which add to the realism of the film. In addition, I don't recognize any of the cast members which eliminates the distractions caused by familiar faces.
If you are looking for a recent fact-based SF film about space exploration, take a good look at Europa Report--it won't disappoint you