Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Did they store Apollo 18 in Hangar 18?

Apollo 18  (Dimension Films, 2011)

Before the Camera:

Warren Christie  (TV's Alphas)
Lloyd Owen  (he was young Sean Connery in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles!)
Ryan Robbins  (Catwoman)
Lt. Colonel John Grey

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Produced by Timur Bekmambetov, Ron Schmidt, Jonathan Shore, Kathleen Switzer, Shawn Williamson, Michele Wolkoff, and Cody Zwieg

Written by Brian Miller and Cody Goodman
I think we officially now have to consider the 'found footage' thriller to be its own genre. We're definitely in double digits, and that's just from movies made this century!
This time out, according to an opening crawl, 84 hours of formerly classified NASA film footage has been pieced together to show what happened to Apollo 18, the true final mission to the moon. And since the official story has always been that Apollo 17 was the last moon trek, you know something big had to have happened up there for there to be such a massive and all-encompassing coverup.

Moonbuggy down! Moonbuggy down!
I initially attempted to put this together as though the movie is truly showing formerly classified NASA film, but since even the film admits it's a put-up job with end credits, I gave up and just put the real names in. I enjoy a good found footage movie - there's something about the idea that if the "footage" has been "found" something untoward must have happened to those who shot it, and watching the events leading up to that can be unsettling and full of dread. It worked for me with Blair Witch and both Paranormal Activity movies. This one, however, somehow doesn't work as well. There's no obvious reason why in the setup - you have a bare few characters, and you have the usual camera stuff - a couple mounted, and a couple moving around with the characters. I think the problem here is they just weren't able to bring the scary stuff up on a slow boil starting early and increasing across the running time. The bulk of the scares come in the last twenty minutes, and the final payoff is not all that it should be. To be sure, the actors are good, there are some okay scenes, and there a couple of truly creepy moments, but it's across almost an hour and a half and at premium theater seat pricing.
    This one gets a home video recommendation to completists of found footage flicks or NASA movies (they do a really nice job reproducing a very realistic moon mission); if you're not in one of those two eclectic groups you'll probably want to skip this one.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

Very roughly just past the hour mark, Warren Christie decides the Moon is a harsh mistress.

Eye Candy ?

The only ladies in the movie are briefly seen in home movie footage of a barbecue at one astronaut's home. So, no.

Buddha Man's Capsule Review
Buddha Man says "Apollo 18 isn't over the moon, taking a few too
many luna-tics of the clock to get to the scary stuff."

Summed that one up nicely, Buddha me lad! Thank you! And until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. Still better than the shark movie.

  2. I'm interested in seeing this one and it shocks me to the core because I HATE found footage. They are always poorly crafted, acted and written. I can't believe people actually pay to see this dreck. It's worse than anything SyFy has ever produced. So the mere fact that this one interested me is horrifying to say the least. I should probably bash my head in with a hammer until the desire goes away.

  3. You know, I think that the found footage and reality TV genres could be renamed The Trouble With Tribbles, Part Deux. They seemed benign and different at first, but now, they're all over the place.

  4. This movie sucked. The only person I know who liked it was our neighbour and he hass horrid taste in movies.

  5. I'm not really interested in watching this. Nothing beats what Ron Howard did with Apollo 13. He worked magic combining the true story with a dramatic action. A few artistic liberties were taken...but that's okay. Maybe this flick should be on the History or Science channels as a documentary.

  6. Craig, you nailed that review. It had its moments of suspense and creepiness, but those were few and far between. Visually, it looked very realistic, thought the editing was so poor, it caused me a headache. LOL.

  7. if its a true story how did they get the footage back especially the hand held cam footage if they all died in space and never returned???