Monday, January 2, 2012

Movie Review - Apollo 18

Apollo 18
2011
PG-13
87 minutes

If you buy in to official statements, Apollo 17 was NASA's last manned mission to the moon. But what if found footage of a secret Apollo mission that had taken place the following year could prove otherwise -- and explain why we haven't gone back?

When I first saw previews for this on other DVDs I was torn on how I felt.  While it did look creepy in a Quarantine or Paranormal Activity kind of way, I also felt 'Really?  We have to take it to outer space to keep that scare tactic alive?'  Still, I decided I wanted to see it.

Hubby and I watched this on pay-per-view a couple nights ago instead of waiting for Netflix to get around to it.  One thing I'm not used to anymore is watching movies that are not on DVD.  I am so used to being able to pause a movie or rewind to double check something, and we couldn't do that with this movie.  Hubby doesn't care about such things.  He'll just talk and leave the room for food or the bathroom and not care that he's missed anything.  I have to be totally glued to what I'm watching.  And right away in this there was some text info at the beginning that I missed and I couldn't go back to check what it was.  Gah!  (And it might very well have been an answer to my biggest question, as you'll see later.)

This is done in the style of Paranormal Activity, or Quarantine where you only see things through less than perfect camerawork.  In this case it is handheld cameras the astronauts have, and the cameras onboard the spacecraft.  The whole idea of a Quarantine type story out in space is rather nerve wracking.  Not like you can just run or drive to safety!  Right away, I was examining every inch of the screen, determined to find all the creepy little things I just knew were supposed to be there.  And it's always so funny when I do that with this type of movie because I *know* that things won't be showing up immediately.  I can't help it!

So in the movie, NASA calls upon these three guys to go on this top secret mission to the moon.  I don't remember what information they were given, if any, but they were all bummed that they couldn't tell their families 'Hey, I'm going to the moon!'  When they got there, one guy stayed in the 'orbiter' craft (?) and the two others went in the other craft that actually landed on the moon.  Those two guys were supposed to explore and gather samples of rock or soil or whatever they did when they went to the moon.  Pretty early on they start noticing problems in communications with both NASA and the other spacecraft.  They start noticing strange noises and happenings around their own craft.  While exploring they come across something startling, and in questioning the guys back at NASA they figure out they've been lied to and have been sent here for much darker puposes.

The actual creepy, spooky thing behind it all was a bit of a let down but the tension was still there.  And the fact that they are on THE MOON and eventually cut off from all communication is rather terrifying.  What are you going to do???  When contact is restored late in the movie, and desperate decisions have to be made, one was so shocking that hubby's reaction was like he'd literally been kicked in the gut: NASA decides to leave these guys up there because they can't risk bringing them back.

But that leaves me with that one big question I mentioned earlier . . . how did they get all that footage back?
(Yes, I know it's not real.)

This was not a fabulous movie but it was still pretty good.  You don't really need to be a space fan to enjoy it.  However, if you don't like the whole handheld camera technique you might get sick of this one.  There are a couple gross scenes where one of the guys has an injury but other than that there is not much violence or swearing or anything.  Well, there are some violent bits but the way they're shown is so choppy.  And I suppose there was swearing but again, it's all sort of a blur in the 'realistic' chaos of the moments.  Still, not a movie for kids.

Have you seen Apollo 18?  Or are you bored to death with this type of movie?

3 comments:

  1. Haven't seen it, sounds interesting.

    One question--is NASA's decision to leave them up there the thing that was like a kick in the gut? Not sure if I'm reading that paragraph right or not. If it's not, don't tell me what it is :)

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  2. Yeah, NASA's decision was the kick in the gut. I've changed that sentence a bit now.

    ~Deb

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  3. "(Yes, I know it's not real.)" Yeaaaah, right ...

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