I saw Starshine yesterday - Journal of Omnifarious
Aug. 2nd, 2007
07:15 am - I saw Starshine yesterday
And much of it was technically accurate (well, there is no decent explanation for the situations when there is gravity (or some facsimile thereof) vs. when there isn't) as far as it went, but it suffered from two major problems... mediocre acting and stupid crazy 'artsy' camera work and effects. I suppose I should be grateful because the run-of-the-mill science driven Hollywood movie has so many technical flaws that you can't even begin to take it seriously.
There really is only so much you can accomplish with sudden random cuts, little random subliminal flashes, purposely blurred and distorted camera shots, weird and crazy camera angles, and tense and suspenseful music. Really, you can't carry a movie on those things. In fact, if you do that for more than about 2 minutes of the movie total (well, except for the tense and suspenseful music, a good movie can consist almost entirely of this) you're doing something seriously wrong. If a good 20 minutes of the movie is taken up with that kind of 'artistic' trash the movie becomes awful.
The acting, intended to portray people, some of whom are a little on the unstable side was stilted, strange and not very believable most of the time. I blame the directors for this and not the actors. There was no real sense that the people on the mission were actually the best the Earth had to offer when the mission was launched.
And the villain is an interesting twist, but so little time is spent dwelling on him as opposed to the weird random cuts, crazy camera angles and blurry camera work that they have to resort to making him physically grotesque because he doesn't have enough lines or time to demonstrate his psychological grotesqueness.
One might almost suspect that Mission to Mars and this movie were done by the same director, but they aren't.
I was hoping for an intellectual sleeper hit that was too brainy and slow-paced for most people, like Contact. Instead I got a really badly done thriller incongruously set in a well-thought-out science fiction setting.