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quietearth [Celluloid 11.06.08] movie review scifi

Year: 2008
Release date: Nov. 11th 2008 (R1 DVD)
Director: Wayne Coyne & Bradley Beesley & George Salisbury
Writer: Wayne Coyne
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Amazon: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 6 out of 10

Even with today's overuse of that grainy and scratchy style from the 70's, the film still had a fantastic beginning. A moon boot broad shooting a rainbow laser gun, a theatrical voice un-pronouncing the film lead-ins, and overall a massive wish that I had surround sound attached to my tv. I think I missed out on a large portion of the film due to that, nuts. But this is only the introduction.

The actual film is shot in black and white with hints of color, and starts immediately with a pensive mood, possibly bordering on space sickness, which then transitions into the menacing. Our main character, Major Syrtis, wanders around trying to get things ready for Christmas, alternately doing and watching some cryptic electrical maneuver to the backdrop of some incredibly well designed sets. (It should be mentioned these were built in Wayne Coyne's backyard, with some of the industrial footage shot in and around Oklahoma city.) Well, except for the thing which looked like an oven.

Almost immediately Syrtis is beset with "we're screwed!" and while we're not sure just yet, it's obviously implied things ain't going just right. Syrtis responds to this with silence, or very heavily dialog with space in between, as if it's hard for him to find the words. I should mention there's also this baby encased in a plastic bubble and a mom with a juicer hookup at her navel. I really don't know what this is all about, I'm thinking it's supposed to be this weird or the symbolism is lost on me.

The overall tone of this well lensed film is "Human beings weren't meant to live in space" and with the coming collapse of the Mars situation, we get a martian showing up. He travels by bubble and when he's done he shrinks it and puts it back into his mouth. Oh, and he's not wearing a space suit but the atmosphere doesn't bother him. He just wanders up to the Mars station as one of the inhabitants, who happens to be wearing the Santa costume, commits harakiri by jumping out the airlock. From here he is somewhat reluctantly accepted as part of the crew and wanders around the Mars station even though he doesn't speak.

I could tell you some more, but I think you can guess what happens.

I should point out that I'm not a fan of the Flaming Lips and that's not to say I don't like them, I just don't listen to their music (Wu Tang!), so this didn't in any way affect my review with fanboy-ism or the opposite. I just watched this as a simple film, and while this is a nice little flick which would be a good adult replacement for any of those stop-motion kiddy stories liek Rudoplph the Red Nose Reindeer or Father Time or whatever, in the end this was clearly designed to be watched on some type of narcotics (probably the ganja), and sadly, I don't do that stuff anymore. It's definitely an oddity, and as a film alone I'd recommend watching it in the hospital doped up on morphine, but does it have cult potential? I don't know, why don't some people get back to me on that.

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Cyberhal (14 years ago) Reply

sounds like a cool cult flick to me, i'd like to see it, but i have to say, saw the Flaming Lips at the Hollywood Bowl this summer and i thought they sucked, others there loved it

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