Sunday, 16 March 2014

Europa Report: Punching Above Its Weight … 

15th March, 2014.
You know, I think I can say I’ve had something of a horrible day, today.

Believe it or not … ?   I was actually hit by a car, as I was crossing the road.

Needless to say, it was largely my fault: frankly, I should’ve been looking where I was going.

And, in fairness to the driver, he immediately got out to make sure I was ok.

I think I’ll be ok: bar some aches and pains, I seem to be ok.

If anything changes, you’ll possibly be the first to notice … !

At ANY rate … ?

At any rate, I’m well enough to have actually rented a movie, tonight: the 2013, Sebastián Cordero indie flick that is Europa Report.

One I think we can say shows us a director coming from out of no-where …

16th March, 2014.
Out of nowhere … ?

Yes, indeed: seems Mr Cordero’s got only a few films to his name, since 1999: when he released his first film, Ratas, Ratones, Rateros.   Something I might just have to check out at some point: seems Mr Cordero’s been getting gongs for his work.

But let me try and sum up Europa Report for you.


Europa Report sees a privately funded group of international astronaut on a mission to Europa: one of the larger moons of Jupiter.

The journey is being broadcast to various TV channels: and narrated by Dr Under, the head of the company who’s funding the trip.

It seems things on the ship are going well.   Until, some six months from Earth, the ship’s communications systems are knocked out in a storm: and on crewman is killed in an effort to repair them.

Internal cameras still record the action: showing us the remaining crew reaching Europa.

Reaching Europa … and starting out on their explorations to find life.

And in doing so … ?

In doing so, the crew find exactly what they’ve been sent find.

There’s life on Europa … 


Now … 

Good … ?

Absolutely … !

Granted, I don’t think Europa Report did very well at the Oscars.

That’s understandable, possibly: I don’t know that the films producers had the budget to show it to LOTS of Oscar voters, or to advertise it more than they did†.

But this IS a competently done film.   One that’s well made, has a competent cast, sympathetic characters, and a nicely done script: one that, while it may not have had a budget for big, whizzy effects, DID focus on scientific accuracy, and a realistic portrayal of its setting*.

All in all … ?

Europa Report may not be worth buying …

But is a value for money rental.
Europa Report
Character: Played By
Dr Unger: Embeth Davidtz
Captain William Xu: Daniel Wu
Pilot Rosa Dasque: Anamaria Marinca
Science Officer Daniel Luxemborg: Christopher Camargo
Marine Biologist Katya Petrovna: Karolina Wydra
Chief Engineer Andrei Blok: Michael Nyquist
Engineer James Corrigan: Sharlto Copley

*        The film uses several NASA and JPL shots of Europa: and used footage from the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle missions, as reference footage for the effects department.   Not bad, considering the film was apparently film on location: in an industrial estate in Brooklyn … !

†        I should add that a few of the reviews I saw on the iTunes store compared it favourably to recent Oscar heavy, Gravity: whether it does or not is something I can’t comment about, until I see the latter film.

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