MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
Cliff Curtis as DR. SEARLE
Cillian Murphy as ROBERT CAPA
Michelle Yeoh as CRAZON
Hiroyuki Sanada as CAPT. DANEDA
Rose Byrne as CASSIE
Benedict Wong as TREY
Chris Evans as MACE
Troy Garity as HARVEY
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Studio: Fox Searchlight
BY KEVIN CARR
Due to a family vacation that got my butt on a boat in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico this summer, I missed seeing “Sunshine” in the theaters. And that’s a real shame because if I had a chance to see it, it would have been a serious contender for my top 10 list at the end of the year.
This seems to be a thing I have with Danny Boyle. I didn’t see “Trainspotting” until just a few years ago, and it earned a relatively rare 5 star rating from me. Similarly, I missed “Millions” in the theaters a few years back, and it ended up on my top 10 list when I finally caught it on DVD.
“Sunshine” came and went in the theaters with very little fanfare, but not because it was a bad movie. It wasn’t a mainstream film, so it didn’t capture the audience like “I Am Legend” did, but it was still an excellent film.
The movie follows the crew of a spaceship on a suicide mission to the sun. Because our only star was fizzling out, humanity needed to send a nuclear weapon the size of Manhattan careening into the sun’s surface to jump start its fission process again. As the crew gets closer and closer to the blazing ball in the sky, they face a new set of challenges which include human error, the vacuum of space and possible ghosts from a previous mission.
Danny Boyle is a master filmmaker and one of the most underrated directors of our time. While people are gushing over Michael Bay’s latest action flick, they are forgetting Boyle, who deserves to be remembered.
“Sunshine” is not crammed with excitement, but it is thoroughly engrossing. Refusing to stoop to sensationalism and overblown special effects, the movie captures the essence of real space travel and the real dangers of being so close to the sun.
Rather than being an action piece, “Sunshine” is a speculative drama that pits the characters against themselves and the universe. They struggle with the psychological effects of being cramped with the same people for months on end, and they also face the realities of putting the mission first. In the end, the entire crew comes out as heroes in one way or another, fighting to keep the solar system alive at all costs.
The DVD comes with a unique assortment of special features. There are two commentary tracks, one by the filmmakers and one by Dr. Brian Cox of the University of Manchester for those science geeks who want to know how realistic the film is in its portrayal of the solar system.
Other DVD features includes a flurry of webisodes that offer an inside peek at the making of the film, deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer. The final special features are two unrelated short films that Danny Boyle wants to highlight. While I love the idea of throwing short films on a DVD, similar to the flip-side content of the old 45 records, these two short films are a bit too artsy for my taste. But I love the concept.