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rochefort [Film Festival 10.03.11] movie review scifi

Year: 2011
Directors: William Eubank
Writers: William Eubank
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: rochefort
Rating: 8 out of 10

When the trailer for "Love" started making the rounds earlier this year, the general response was a positive one, and many commenters noted that the images seemed to suggest a blend of "2001", "The Fountain", and "Solaris", among others. But in the months since, most of the attention and hype shifted to the involvement of Angels and Airwaves, the side project (or supergroup, depending on your tastes) from Blink 182 lead Tom DeLonge. It had shifted so radically, in fact, that most of the copy I'd read just before actually seeing the film proper had me expecting a long-form scifi music video, or perhaps a Pink Floyd-style accompaniment for a concept album, which honestly diminished my interest a tad. Thankfully, "Love" is a movie, first and foremost, and probably won't win over the cynics, but is nonetheless a gorgeous piece of simplistic yet shamelessly optimistic science fiction storytelling.

Captain Lee Miller (Gunner Wright) is a lone astronaut who believes his extended stay on the International Space Station is almost at its end. As his last day gets closer and closer, the transmissions from home become more sporadic and distorted, and it soon becomes clear that down below humanity has gone off the deep end. The last proper transmission is an apology from Control that he's not going to be able to come back any time soon, and shortly thereafter Earth's lights go out for good. Lee is able to keep his life support functioning and has enough food to survive for some time, but the loneliness and eventual madness threaten to take the greatest toll. "Love" is also the story of one of Miller's distant relatives, a Civil War soldier whose journal recounts his assignment to find and observe a strange item that has appeared miles from the battlefield, and how the two stories intersect.

So go ahead and add "Robinson Crusoe" and even "Castaway" to the list of movies "Love" calls to mind, and if you're expecting a drastic deviation from any aspect of these or the films mentioned above, you'll find little to appreciate in the story itself. The surprise isn't in any twists or spins on the formula itself, but rather in the almost aggressively straightforward narrative. Director William Eubank makes the most of a limited budget and claustrophobic set piece (almost two thirds of the film take place in one section of the ISS), and opts for a languid pace that has less in common with modern space movies that it does with the likes of "Silent Running" or the third act of "2001". And this is one of the rare cases where an obvious background in commercials and music videos is an actual asset. Every technical trick in the video clip handbook is on display here, from slow-mo to off-kilter composition to multiple layers of dissolves and fades, and it effectively provides a compelling approximation of Captain Miller's gradually deteriorating mental state.

For all the hype about the A&A soundtrack, "Love" doesn't feel like an excuse to slap some visuals on an album and force the elements to come together. The music complements everything extremely well, and the soundtrack deserves to be thought of in more or less the same high regard as recent ones by Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx (for the record, it doesn't reach the same awesome heights as D.P.'s "Tron Legacy", which made that film seem about twenty times better than it actually was). Nothing on display seems to suggest that the filmmakers believe they're reinventing the wheel here, and in the final analysis I think that's actually the point. I'd have been a lot less surprised if the mood was dark and angst-ridden, since that seems to be the modern method of giving things an easy "edge". Then again, the movie is called "Love". Keep an open mind with this one, and try and see it on the best screen and with the best sound system possible.

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Steven (11 years ago) Reply

awesome review for an awesome movie! LOVE is such an epic experience! Thanks Angels & Airwaves and the rest of who have made ​​this possible


(11 years ago) Reply


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