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  Weinstein Co.'s Apollo 18 (sci-fi thriller movie) (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Weinstein Co.'s Apollo 18 (sci-fi thriller movie)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-02-2011 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE Interview
Apollo 18's real-life NASA flight director

Every movie has a director, but for "Apollo 18," opening in theaters today (Sept. 2), a mere film director wasn't enough. To launch the "found footage" from a secret moon landing gone horrifically awry, "Apollo 18" needed a NASA flight director.

Enter Gerry Griffin...

music_space
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posted 09-02-2011 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I went to see Apollo 18 on its opening day. I really enjoyed it and I sure will see it again. As I sat down in that theater, I vowed myself to just get into it: that I did.

Apollo 18 has the cachet of independent cinema, a film d'auteur as it were. This is a "found footage" movie, a filmwriting genre similar to The Blair Which Project. I liked its minimalist approach, mostly devoid of sensationalism and off-the-point sideplots. I found that the interpolation of NASA stock footage with studio clips was ingenious, as was video and audio post-processing. In fact during most of the movie, the viewer witnesses the action up close, in space, from the claustrophobic – and realistic -- confines of spacecraft and spacesuits.

The requisite visual and aural elements of the Apollo iconography we would expect here – Quindar tones, logos, decals, instruments and all the rest, down to a mission insigna – are tastefully blended with made-up, late-1970's technological improvements such as "Westinghouse motion-detection cameras" with early mini-servos… albeit the crew setting up on the surface still sends its regard to "Captain Video"!

It felt to me the whole time as if I was embedded as a fourth crewman in the command module "Freedom" or in the LM christened "Liberty". I really got off on the dramatic shot angles the filmmakers availed themselves to in cockpit scenes. The effects for zero-g of orbit and one-sixth gravity of EVAs and lunar stay are represented without ostentation. In fact, one feels that deliberate consideration was applied not to overload literary and sensory impact.

As an aficionado of the history of astronautics, I just know that someone in this production knew their stuff, or got into it with gusto: Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin's time as a technical adviser hasn't been wasted. I haven't really seen much blatant misrepresentation – or literary misuse -- of historical events, techniques and people, besides a few compromises that keep the plot flowing. Space fans will recognize panels and labels, layouts and materials, idiosyncrasies and lingo.

And for the neighbour's space nut like us, this is a pretty good opportunity to fill the minivan with sons and nieces and neighbour's kids, head up to the theater and see what kind of fun discussions come up afterwards!

music_space
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posted 09-02-2011 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mercsim:
I went to see the movie today. I'm not a scary movie fan and didn't see Blair.
Actually, it's not ostentatiously a scary movie, even though it is classified and advertized as such (in Canada at least). It is, in fact, a Sci-Fi thriller.

music_space
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posted 09-02-2011 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They found one thing that no previous mission has: real basalt!

MikeSpace
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posted 09-02-2011 10:43 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't felt the urge to go to an actual movie theatre in a long time.

Gerry was the host/moderator at the ASF Apollo 15 event, and it was great to meet him and hear him talk. Amazing life.

music_space
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From: Canada
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posted 09-03-2011 02:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Believers in the revisionist Moon-hoax theories will delight at the revealing evidence which supports NASA foul play presented by this movie's website. For once, through these innocuous-looking jpg files, connoisseurs will get to see Apollo-era documentation with their own eyes. Twenty-one page of it, to be exact: pictures and printed material, checklist excerpts, classified memos from NASA officials, never-seen-before mission transcripts, sanitized CIA directives, that sort of thing.

Okay, let's see now. Given my prior interest in this type of stuff, it still took me about one hour just to take in those twenty-one pages and to run quick-and-dirty mental checks on their semantic and historical realism. I say that, so far, they pass, albeit I'd need a few more hours' worth of time to attest more authoritatively that they're all good fakes, not contradicting each other or any of the many such documents I've gotten to view through the years.

Now let's recall that during the alleged successful American lunar landings, documentation just like that had to be faked, i.e. "generated" in order to cover-up the faked lunar landings which were recreated in secret movie studios. Just for those twenty-one pages, it probably took dozens, if not hundreds of skilled hours/person of work from a team of researchers, writers, editors and printers specialized in facsimile. The deliciously subversive, scholarly-structured two-page excerpt from the faked book "Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs" alone must have taken a good afternoon's worth of writing and revision.

Bear with me just a bit more here. Like many, I actually collect this stuff, this fake Apollo-related printed documentation. I'm still a young collector, yet, I'd say I own several thousand times those twenty-one pages in real, heavy paper documents such as pictures, booklets and manuals that even smell like someone else's 1960's... I have so much of this that I have been known to give piles of it at times.

Piffle. Many a collector from collectSPACE's readership have enough to make floors buckle and home insurers cringe. The most seriously afflicted collectors, in ill-advised, desperate attempts to unload some of their boxes of printed material, become dedicated resellers, ending up in effect in the dutiful custody of tons, literally, of the stuff. In those household, wife and children wage loosing battles to this growing blob of binded paper and cardboard.

But if the reader is really serious about this, he or she will eventually visit Houston, TX, which is after all the world capital of spaceflight deception. At neighbouring U of H in Clear Lake, one can peruse the Apollo Archive. One of the most comprehensive library of Apollo's documentation, the huge collection is an institutional tribute to the old adage to the effect that "before an aircraft [and by extension, a spacecraft] can take off, it will have generated its own weight in paperwork." Let me assure you that this holds true for faked missions too!

I did just that a few years back, that is, to spend five full days, from sunrise to sunshine, as a visiting scholar inside that most amazing library. What exhilarating reading I did! I walked out of there with twenty ponds of photocopies, fifty pages of handwritten notes, and hundreds of kilobits of typed notes on my old Macintosh Powerbook. At the end of this, I was drained.

Each time I reminisce of the linear miles of material archived in that one place. I feel the pain of having hardly made a dent. That Friday evening, I left Houston with one sobering conviction: even if I were to outlive myself ten times, I would never get to read "all" that was ever written while faking Apollo.

Or flying Apollo, as it were. In matters of printed documentation as in other costly considerations, successfully faking lunar landings would have taken no less resources than successfully flying them did.

I traveled through the entire USA. I saw hundreds of rockets and rocket parts. I've found my way inside most the NASA "centers" and famous aerospace-related schools and universities. I've even met several so-called "moonwalkers", and most of them looked reasonably convincing in their pretenses.

But nothing like these mountains' worth of books and booklets, of graphs and pictures, of countless words and sentences, nothing else could convince me, if I ever got to doubt it, that American lunar landing missions succeeded.

SRB
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posted 09-03-2011 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The New York Times review begins -
'Apollo 18,' a drab combination of science-fiction horror film and conspiracy thriller, accomplishes something the world wasn’t really crying out for: it recreates the tedium of watching the later Apollo missions.
The review goes down hill from there finding fault with the lack of credibility of the plot and lack of creativity using the mock documentary approach. Maybe if Gerry Griffin helped them write the script it might have been better.

Fra Mauro
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posted 09-03-2011 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did you catch the nasty comment, "the tedium of watching the later Apollo missions."

AJ
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posted 09-03-2011 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The times review was written by Mike Hale, who usually reviews things like "Spy Kids 4". I don't take him seriously at all. His reviews are filler, in my opinion.

Gilbert
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posted 09-03-2011 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just saw it. While the plot leaves something to be desired, I really enjoyed the movie. To me it was well acted and very accurate with the hardware and lingo, etc. Lots of nice touches and nods to real Apollo missions. As a lost footage SF horror thriller, it worked pretty well I think. I would see it again. At the end several in the audience clapped which I thought was a good sign. It did not pander to its audience at all, by the way.

Go4Launch
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posted 09-03-2011 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Save your time and money. Although I give the producers a lot of credit for pretty accurately portraying the hardware, this is one terrible movie. It's like having a cheesy Apollo nightmare, except instead of waking up you still have to drive home.

MCroft04
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posted 09-04-2011 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The cinematography was very good, the action scenes pretty good, but the plot so so. The attention to hardware detail was excellent. What I really want to know is which A18 scene will Alan Bean paint first? I'm partial to the one where Ben is looking out the Russian LM at Nate beat on the window with his rock hammer.

Space Emblem Art
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posted 09-04-2011 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space Emblem Art   Click Here to Email Space Emblem Art     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting movie. I enjoyed it although I'm glad I saw it for the early bird matinee price. Liked the Soviet angle. I think the last time I saw a Soviet manned spacecraft in a movie was in "Marooned", about 1970.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-05-2011 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Apollo 18" has come in third at the box office with $10.7 million for the four-day holiday weekend, opening behind "The Help" in its fourth week ($19 million) and "The Debt" ($12.6 million). The Los Angeles Times summarized it as follows:
"Apollo 18" is the latest movie this year from Weinstein Co.'s Dimension Films label -- after "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D" and "Scream 4" -- to underperform.

The sci-fi film, which purports to show "found footage" from a U.S. space mission, has no major stars. Its mysterious marketing campaign revealed little about the film's story. The movie received a dismal average grade of D from movie-goers, indicating they may have expected something quite different from what they got. Those who saw the movie were 57% male, and 56% were under age 25.

moorouge
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posted 09-06-2011 09:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
Did you catch the nasty comment, "the tedium of watching the later Apollo missions."

A nasty comment indeed. However, it doesn't alter the fact that NASA was paying TV stations to cover mission highlights for the later Apollo flights such was the lack of interest in them.

J.L
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posted 09-06-2011 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
However, it doesn't alter the fact that NASA was paying TV stations to cover mission highlights for the later Apollo flights such was the lack of interest in them.
I believe NASA approached PBS about airing the EVA activity. I do not recall them pitching the major networks for any coverage though.

John K. Rochester
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posted 09-06-2011 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...it was like watching footage from an actual mission! However, I'm afraid today's viewer would rather have the movie versions of spaceflight, like "Apollo 13", "Space Cowboys" and even "From the Earth to the Moon".

DChudwin
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posted 09-08-2011 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw the movie and enjoyed it forwhat it is-- a sci-fi thriller.

Like many sci-fi films, Apollo 18 requires a suspension of belief in that the plot is preposterous.

Once past that, the film is very well done. I could niggle about some of the details (the LM interior was actually smaller than what was depicted), but there was good attention to detail that made the movie seem like a 1970's period piece.

The tension necessary for a sci fi thriller was there and kept me on the edge of my seat (despite the fact that the ending was somewhat predictable).

The actors, although not well known stars, did an excellent job.

Overall, I would recommend the movie and give it a B+.

FFrench
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posted 09-10-2011 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just saw it this afternoon, and concur with David and many others here - not too bad, worth seeing once on the big screen. Nothing in the plot that couldn't be justified for reasons of dramatic license, nicely paced, and kept you wondering how it might end (unlike the recent movie "The Ruins," which has much the same plot despite being set on a Mayan pyramid in the present day). I had low expectations based on some of the lousy reviews I had read out there, and so I was pleasantly surprised to watch a well-paced movie that made the audience jump in all the right places...

Rizz
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posted 09-11-2011 03:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rizz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How do you figure all of that 'classified' film footage made it back to Earth?

garymilgrom
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posted 09-11-2011 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw it and agree with those who liked it. At the start I thought "a new movie about Apollo, my favorite hobby, fantastic!!". The movie itself is well done. The design of the Russian LM is especially good.

FFrench
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posted 09-12-2011 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rizz:
How do you figure all of that 'classified' film footage made it back to Earth?

I could tell you, but it's classified...

albatron
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posted 09-12-2011 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My 9 year old HUGE aerospace enthusiast grandson and I went. He really struggled with the difference in fact and fantasy and it really upset him they actually disrespected the space program with it.

I spent more time explaining it's not like that, but rather a fictional story simply for entertainment. He's too pragmatic to enjoy it.

That being said, I felt like this would have made a really great Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode.

I did enjoy the photography and historical inserts though.

But the cliches were way overboard too.

But hey, that's simply my opinion. I can see how many would enjoy it. I AM surprised, it came in 3rd in box office showings for several reasons.

astro-nut
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posted 09-18-2011 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw the movie and overall I thought it was poorly done and did not like it very well. There were a couple of good scenes throughout the movie but overall I wasn't too impressed by it.

p51
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posted 09-18-2011 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I liked it. I went in not expecting all that much and was impressed with the look of it more than anything. The only problem i had was the idea that NASA somehow knew everything that might happen when 18 landed and didn't brief them on anything. It's almost as if they conducted a billion-dollar human sacrifice or something. I never really got what the real idea for the mission was, just to see what those things were out there or what?

I'm looking forward to the DVD if it has a good "making of" segment, that would be very interesting if it's well done!

FFrench
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posted 09-23-2011 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's an interesting new NASA page comparing the movie to the real Apollo 18 possibility.

MCroft04
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posted 09-23-2011 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Francis. From that article:
There never was a DoD-dedicated Apollo mission and no astronauts named Anderson, Walker or Grey were ever selected for NASA's astronaut corps, as the movie depicts, or failed to return from the moon.
Yeah, that's what NASA wants us to believe!

Fra Mauro
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posted 03-12-2012 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I gave in and rented it — don't waste your time or money!

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 03-12-2012 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll agree. So much could have been done with the movie. Instead, it seemed as though the director wanted to capitalize on (and copy from) the "Paranormal Activity" series of films.

Dave Clow
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posted 03-13-2012 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hear they faked it in a studio in Arizona.

p51
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posted 03-13-2012 10:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I liked the film, bought the DVD and have watched it several times. And I hate horror movies! I was quite impressed with the level of detail they gave to this film (especially with such a low budget). I suggest people rent it and watch for themselves before giving in to those who expected a sequel to "Apollo 13" when this film was never intended as such.

As for Arizona, I know that’s a joke but it was filmed in two studios in Vancouver, British Columbia. I know where these studios are, and have driven by one of them in the past.

mikepf
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posted 03-14-2012 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It being filmed in a studio is a hoax. It really was filmed on the moon.


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