APOLLO 18 - 2011
Apollo 18 Productions, Bekmambetov Projects Ltd. (BPL)
Ratings: USA: PG-13
APOLLO 18 was directed (so to speak) by Gonzalo López-Gallego (KING OF THE HILL). I've only seen two of his movies before this (HILL and Sobre el Arco Iris), but APOLLO 18 was every bit the type of López-Gallego movie that I've come to know.
This movie was written (for lack of a better term) by
Brian Miller and Cory Goodman (PRIEST).
Timur Bekmambetov (9) and Michele Wolkoff are (ostensibly) the Producers.
The cinematography (such as it was) was performed by José David Montero, who ran film stock past the gate on Director Gonzalo López-Gallego's other two features.
The editing, according to the credits, was by Patrick Lussier (NEW NIGHTMARE, SCREAM, MIMIC, SCREAM 2, SCREAM 3, RED EYE, WHITE NOISE 2: THE LIGHT, MY BLOODY VALENTINE ), who has been working in Hollywood as an editor for the last quarter century. It must be heart-breaking for him to watch APOLLO 18 and realize that his entire career has led him to this.
APOLLO 18 stars three background working character actors. Lloyd Owen as Commander Nate Walker, (but you may know him as Prof. Henry Jones, Sr. of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles),
Warren Christie as Ben Anderson (but you may know him from THE THING BELOW, MTV's BENEATH, MALIBU SHARK ATTACK, TIES THAT BIND), and Ryan Robbins, who has spent most of his career making SciFi/Syfy Channel movies (but you may have seen him in, PAYCHECK, ALIEN VS PREDATOR: REQUIEM, VAMPIRE, WRECKED).
Three men are picked to go on Apollo 18, which is a top secret mission
that is being run by the Department of Defense. The Saturn liftoff (at night for that EXTRA top secret flavor! Fewer people can see a bright, fiery glowing rocket launching into the sky at night!) is disguised as an unmanned launch carrying a really heavy cargo into orbit for something or other.
Like all folks, whenever everything seems to be going our way, we tend to gloss over the discrepancies and enjoy the ride. The minute things start going wrong, then all those things we glossed over come to the fore and we pick apart the minutia.
Through a series of long-winded, repetitive, redundant (which in this context is pretty much the same thing as saying repetitive, but I really want to drive home just how superfluous one and a half hours of this movie really is), we finally reach our two-bit ALIEN rip-off, Varmint-Got-In-My-Chest! moment.
There's varmints on the moon!
They throw a mean harpoon!
With a Hey! And a Ho! And a Hey! Hey! Ho!
What we are supposed to be seeing here is about 76 minutes of around 80 or so hours of lost film from the top secret Apollo 18 mission back in the early 1970s (which, while being Top Secret, still had its own Commemorative collector's insignia). This is supposed to be the edited version: comprised largely of film cuts, undeveloped film, and even shots of the film sprockets running past. Really poor editing in other words and it doesn't suspend belief.
Now for my review.
When you see the ending you'll ask, "If that's the ending, then how in the hell could this film have ever been recovered?"
Don't ask or there won't be a movie. Not that this is much of a movie. Pretty much everything on YouTube is a better movie.
Moreover, how did these folks get a hold of the family home movies?
Please understand that I've seen movies like SUPERNOVA, BATTLEFIELD EARTH, and the trifecta of Horror franchises in space: HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE, LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE, and JASON X. So relatively speaking, I know what a great Science Fiction, Horror in Outer space movie should look like! - relatively speaking. At least relative to this movie. After all, HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE and SUPERNOVA were Alan Smithee movies. So how bad was APOLLO 18?
According to Dictionary.com,
[tee-dee-uhs, tee-juhs] Show IPA
1. marked by tedium; long and tiresome: tedious tasks; a tedious journey.
2. wordy so as to cause weariness or boredom, as a speaker or writer; prolix.
1. wearing, boring, tiring, monotonous, dull.
The actors are the only ones I don't blame for APOLLO 18 out of the ones I've listed. They are all hard working bit playing character actors going from paycheck to paycheck and they did a pretty decent job with what they presumably had. I also don't blame the editor. Lussier had to work with what he was given and man do I ever feel sorry for him. As for the rest of you Director, Writers, Producers? You intentionally wasted my time and money. You suck! You stink! You shit! My Money! Back! Now! Plus my time!
One Shriek Girl and one Negative Shriek Girl.
This review copyright 2011 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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