Saturday, October 8, 2011

Let the Sunshine In! Just Don't Let It Into Your Blu-ray Player

Hello children.  Today we have a new student in class.  His name is Keith, and his report is on...Where are my glasses...?  Um, it's either on the pre-Colombian fishing practices of the Chumash Indians, or it's random thoughts on the Danny Boyle Sci-Fi stinker, Sunshine.  In either case, let's give him a warm welcome.

George Hamilton, Space Ranger

Sunshine (2007, Fox Searchlight, 107 min, color)
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland.

Fifty years after the Bush Economic Stimulus Plan saved Planet Earth's economy from perpetual depression a funny thing happened.

The Sun became a dying star.

Snapshots suddenly looked dreary even when flash-enabled. Favorite celebrities began sporting ashy, wan complexions on late-night TV.

People of Earth suddenly abandoned the crisis of global warming and climate change. They sent a team of astronauts aboard a fully-rigged spacecraft (Icarus, get it?) on an ambitious mission to deliver a very big bomb (a bomb as "big as Manhattan") aimed right up dying star's asshole in hopes to rekindle, invigorate and massage. Earth would be saved from under-exposed photos. Demand for Ray Bans, Coppertone and other fun-fair products might perhaps reach pre-21st century levels.

Things begin to go horribly wrong for our astronauts after a fly-by boost orbit of planet Mercury (apparently Mercury was in "retrograde" motion during the maneuver). First there's a fight over who gets to use the internet to phone home via a process similar to Skype.

Lesson One: Never design a sophisticated interplanetary spacecraft without adequate internet connections. People become testy and prone to panic. Like those poor folk in Vladivostock in the 60’s, queuing up at the local tundra post office to make collect long-distance calls to western-based relatives only to be advised by authorities the lines are down and they must use the more expensive RCA Cablegram.

Innocent people become injured. It isn’t pretty...

After the ruckus over cable access, a distress signal (similar to but quite inferior to early Milton Babbit) is received over the “Icarus II” system-wide loudspeaker. (Good Morning, “Icarus II.” Today is Interplanetary ‘Save Your Ass Day.’ We demand all your asses to participate in the auditorium at 11 am.”) The signal is determined to originate from the first mission to reignite the Sun. Surprise! Yes
there was a predecessor spacecraft, “Icarus I,” but it went awry because of a dial-up internet connection from AOL.

The cast decides to triangulate the AOL-enabled spacecraft for a visit just to say howdy and maybe enjoy a solar-powered bar-be-que shindig, but in the process manage to take out the most vital navigation system. As an encore they accidentally disable an equally-vital life-support system shielding their spacecraft from aggravating solar temperatures, sunburns, melanoma and a few freckles. (Oh, what a disagreement over download speeds and premium channels can do to people sharing a space.) Attempts to repair shield are successful but result in the loss of only sentient cast member (besides navigation computer).

When cast from “Icarus II” reach earlier “Icarus I,” they find it empty except for the dusty debris of its inhabitants. They, apparently, chose mass suicide by solar-induced fricassee rather than participate further in the screenplay.

They were lucky. This screenplay commands dangerous territory.

Do you remember the dissatisfaction experienced after viewing “Berserk” with Joan Crawford? I do. I remember it very well. To introduce the Diana Dors character (Matilda) in the last 35 minutes of the screenplay was the undoing of what could have been a very good picture. Not that I mind Diana being a tart thrill-seeker and a psychopath.  It’s the timing. She ought to have been featured in the first reel.

I experienced the same feeling of disappointment viewing “Sunshine.”  Thirty minutes before the conclusion of Mr. Boyle’s opus we meet the hitherto unmentioned former commander of the “Icarus I” mission who resembles our Matilda from “Berserk.” Thrill-seeker and psychopath.  Maybe a tart as well.

But we can't see him clearly enough because of bad CGI process, so have no clue as to whether or not he’s as much of a looker as Diana Dors. Or if he has big tits.

Somehow the “Icarus I” commander teleports himself over to "Icarus II" where he runs amok and begins ranting and cutting up the remaining cast in a way reminiscent of those slice-&-dice grind-house epics of the early 1980’s. How he might possibly teleport himself using a dial-up connection is in itself suspect. Still, for all “Icarus I” might lack in tech infrastructure it possesses ample cutlery.  It sports the latest Ginsu knives (vis-a-vis NASA’s longstanding contract with Fingerhut).

Confession: I did not finish this movie. For all I know the nameless former commander of “Icarus I” might have brought the broadband connection up and running like a cat’s purr. He didn’t look so good when we turned off the DVD player, perhaps from multiple melanomas. Or the heavy sunscreen that flakes off when applied indelicately. Does SPF 25 mix properly with blood? That might have something to do with it.

Thank you Keith.  That was a very interesting presentation, and I'm sure we all learned some valuable lessons about how bandwidth-hogging in near-Solar orbit can lead to homicide.  Unfortunately, since you didn't include the no doubt stupid and incoherent ending, I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you an Incomplete for this assignment.

However, since you worked Joan Crawford into your science fiction movie review, and mentioned Diana Dors' breasts twice...
Could THIS be our space killer?
...I'll let it slide just this once.

Anyway, Class, please welcome our newest contributor in the comments, and let him know how you feel about space, boobs, and jump-starting the sun with uncomfortable-looking actors who clearly thought, based on the title and director, that they'd signed on for an arty film about LSD use in the Scottish Highlands.


Anonymous said...

Good job, Keith... you got me all worked up, and then...

Now, in order to be truly disappointed, I have to watch the damn thing to see how it ends.

BTW, space is nice, and boobs are great, but space boobs are fabulous!

Kaptain Kitsch-o

Eucrates said...

I read space boobs and though "My god, it's full of boobs!"

merlallen said...

Note to self, google diana dor's breasts, clear browsing history so wife isn't confirmed in her belief that I am a pervert.
Got it.

Brian Schlosser said...

In the end, Scarecrow kills the baddy and successfully blows up the sun, sacrificing himself but saving the world.


Bill S said...

I have a feeling this movie is perhaps not good.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Have never heard of Diana Dors before this, I know nothing about her... is that terminally-moronic 'expression' on her face a permanent disability, or was she smelling the photographer's farts?

I vaguely remember having seen a commercial for "SUNSHINE," back a bit, though not which particular knuckleheads "star" in this turd-in-a-punchbowl attempt. Was this shot back when people thought that Tab Hunter was straight? I know, I know, the listing SAYS "2007," but you never know how old that "archival" footage may be...

Bill S said...

Annti-here the entry on Diana Dors, from Danny Peary's book "Cult Movie Stars":
DIANA DORS (1931-) The former Diana Fluck was promoted as the "Blonde Bombshell" in England, that country's answer to Marilyn Monroe, but when Americans got to see her films they couldn't understand why. The young Dors, in her pre-platinum blonde days, when she downplayed sex while portraying good-natured teens and young women in lightweight British comedies and thrillers in the late forties, may remind some of the pre-star Monroe. But in the fifties, at the height of their fame, the actresses had little in common, either in role choices (though Dors would have been suitable for Monroe's star-making parts in "The Asphalt Jungle", "Don't Bother To Knock", and "Niagra") or persona (Dors hadn't Monroe's beauty, humour, wild-eyed enthusiasm, vulnerability, or "star quality"). Rather, Dors was a combination of the statuesque Jayne Mansfield-both women women dressed to emphasize their breasts-and the femme fetales played by Lana Turner in the forties and Kim Novak in the fifties. In "The Unholy Wife", when Dors struts about her humble home in tight purple-and-white outfits more suitable for a pleasure palace, it may remind you of Turner in "The Postman Always Rings Twice". Like Turner, Dors glows in the dark. Dors was pretty good at playing prostitutes, "good time girls," molls and sinners, but but the melodramas themselves were pretty dreary. Unfortunately, because she had to live up to her sex-goddess image, she rarely got to show much dramatic range. However, when she lost her famous figure and became obese-going the Shelly Winters route-she got character parts the let her stretch. Even in shallow films she revealed depth and was fun to watch. One of her most memorable oversexed, aging fat women was in "Deep End", in which her bathhouse customer has an orgasm while fantasizing about soccar goals.

culuriel said...

HEY! I liked this movie!

heydave said...

Diana Fluck?

I love her already.

pajzilla said...

Thank you all for the warm welcome to "World O' Crap." As a long-time devotee, I've always secretly harbored a desire to contribute, but couldn't pull myself away from my profession -- coding software for weapons of mass destruction -- to write anything of any import. This is much more enjoyable.

First a nod to Captain Kitch-o: don't go anywhere near this turkey. Stay home. It's Sunday. Your local PBS station might have a rerun of Lawrence Welk or something (I'm tuning in for Jo-Anne Castle!)

Thanks, Brian, for revealing the ending of Sunshine. I ought to have guessed ... somehow I knew Danny-boy would save planet Earth. Lately he's been into happy endings.

I'm thrilled to hear from Anntichrist Coulter as well. Annti, if this is your first intro to Diana Dors then I've brought some joy to the world in these dark desparing times. I feel good about it.

To heydave: Yes, she was born Diana Mary Fluck in 1932. has a very nice treatment for her. The bio is better than usual for them.

Finally, Mr/Ms. culuriel: there's no accounting for taste. I have a secret to share with you. I actually liked "Teenagers From Outer Space." No kidding around here. It's so earnest in its portrayal of Eisenhower-era modes of morality and consumption. It's also well-lensed, although those x-ray guns are kinda tacky.

Again, thank you all for your comments.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I watched the thing the whole way through, but couldn't for the life....errr, un-life... of me remember it.

I think I ate some Republican brains to wipe it from my memory.

Bill S said...

If my memory serves me correctly, Tuesday (Oct. 11) is Annti's birthday. She would do well to request suitable alternatives to the traditional Ann Coulter pic, since Halloween isn't for another three weeks, and we needn't view anything scary until then.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Awwww, Billl, you are so thweeet!!! Yes, ANYTHING is better than She Who Shall Not Be Named ('cause it makes me projectile-vomit!), even the same pictures as Scott posted last year... But S.Z. will have to correct that perceived "error," I feel sure. If she didn't, I might feel disappointed. I'm sure that it'll be a small enough picture of teh undead soul-sucking vampire that you'll be able to scroll past it before you ruin your monitor permanently. Besides, Charlize is more than capable of deflecting the pure evil exuded by ol' bug-eyes.

And hey, Keith, if you weren't funny, I wouldn't be here!

Though I coulda lived my whole life without knowing about some broad named "Diana Fluck"... *sigh* Ahhhh, well...

D. Sidhe said...

Oh, fine. Teach me to stop paying attention. I guess I'm not the first commenter to wish Annti happy birthday.

And Hi, Keith. I have even less idea what that movie was about than apparently you do, but the review was funny, and that is very likely all that counts.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Doesn't matter who's first, D., all that matters is that you give a shit.

Will you send me cigarettes in prison after I take Tater's aluminum tee-ball bat to the heads of these punk-ass teenaged fucktard around the corner? 'Cause the fuckers definitely DESERVE IT. There is NO actual NEED or real USE for fucking BASS TUBES, WHATSOFUCKINGEVER, and we should be legally entitled to shove them up the asses of the little cocksuckers who use them to fucking INVADE *our* fucking HOUSES!!!!!! Even when I had my OWN house for five minutes, the little bastards would cruise by at 3 mph, rearranging the furniture in my house with that tasteless ignorant GARBAGE!!!!!! This neighborhood, "Desire," is about 10X worse, and the little fucks aren't DRIVING AWAY.

And don't EVER hold your fucking breath for NOPD to lift a fucking finger to do SHIT.

Ohhhh, yeahhh, it's a THRILLING fucking birthday thus far...