Thursday, January 17, 2008

instead of writing tonight i watched again danny boyle's movie sunshine. upon a 3rd viewing the seams begin to show. what was more interesting were the extra features which includes deleted scenes. one was the 'alternate ending' which was just a cheaply shot version of the theatrical ending.

it puzzles me why such a gifted filmmaker, a movie-maker with such a delicious sense of black humor [see trainspotting; see shallow grave], would opt out in this film for the cheap happy ending. boyle's previous effort, the revisionist zombie flick 28 days later, had an alternate ending added as a bonus feature to the dvd where the tone matched most of the tenor of the entire movie: it was bleak, and thus in my mind refreshing. and i prefer the alt-conclusion to 28 rather than the optimistic ending of the theatrical print.

so rather sunshine ends on a note far too positive and quashes the film's buddng metaphysics: the nature of man and the will of god. but that theme is too shallowly explored to develop past the notion of, um, whatever.

just the same, boyle's films, even when failures are visually and aurally impressive. boyle chooses just the right score as ambient textures and musical notes gathers up and delivers us to a fantastic field of vision of smeared, blasted light. that alone makes a sitting thru sunshine worth the effort. i think.

speaking of film scores. i think one of the best i've heard in a long time is the soundtrack to 30 days of night, where there really wasn't any music at all but it was all texture and weight. i'd best describe it as a latter album by aphex twin, just almost. i can't weight for the dvd release for that movie.


At 10:13 AM, Blogger Logan Ryan Smith said...

I watched this for the first time the other night. And I have to say that I was seriously disappointed. After the first half of the movie I was convinced I was watching a stellar sci-fi movie... then it all deteriorated in a flash. The fact that they had this great cast of characters, this fantasticly outlandish plot to "re-ignite" the sun, and a real sense of mood paired with a nice score-- the fact that they had all that and then comes the MEGA COP-OUT with the insertion of GENERIC CREEPY BAD GUY #A, apparently with superhuman powers, too-- what, to be walking around skin-less or whatever. Man, that was SO BAD! The second SCARY BADGUY was introduced the whole movie unravelled into a steaming pile of donkey shit. It's not just the ending, which was certainly lame.

Now, in regard to 28 DAYS LATER and it's relatively optimistic ending-- I LOVED IT! i f'n loved the ending of that movie and thought it was the far superior ending to the whole dying-in-the-hospital ending. just the way the theatrical ending was shot, the scenery, and everything... oh, it is perfect! and i think it was perfect because watching it i felt that certain sense of optimism and hope that i think it was trying to achieve. and that certain sense of peacefulness and beauty, too.

Holy shit I love that movie.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

logan: agree with you following the last 3rd of _sunshine_ was thinking that the better story would've been the plight of icarus 1 since the crew obviously grappled with the ideas of life, death and an antigonistic view of god, that are vaguely expressed in the film. but overall, i love how the movie is put together and scored. boyle has such a gifted eye and ear.

as for _28_ well, the ending is beautifully shot, edited and acted. but it feels a bit contrived and not in keeping with the overall mood of the entire film. it seems that boyle did a test run with a few audiences with the alt-ending and found that the test audiences didn't care for it's pessism so boyle and crew went back to reshoot a happy ending. and as for the alt-ending, hopelessness was never more beautifully expressed than when serena and hannah, still wearing those formal dresses, covered in jim's blood, pick up their weapons and fade out down the long, dark corridor. that is thrilling.


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