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3.4 out of 5 stars
Sunshine [DVD] [2007]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I think when first advertised the hype for 'Sunshine' gave people expectations beyond it's real quality.
I did in fact see this in the cinema when released, although i enjoyed it, i was left feeling disapointed a little, i wasn't sure.
the film is not a fast moving action movie, but the tension you could indeed cut with a knife.
An eight man crew set off to save the World, failure to direct the pay-load successfully into the 'dying' sun would mean the end of mankind.( a previous mission had failed, but why ? )
The film is set in the not to distant future, could we readh that point some time soon or is it pure sci-fi fantasy ?
i bought the film on 'blu-ray' because i thought the film would 'shine' on this format.......i was right, the film on blu-ray for both picture quality and surround sound is a must own for all you Sci-fi Buffs.
A good film to re-visit if not seen for a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
We are in the not too distant future and the Sun is fading out. After a first mission to reignite it with a nuclear bomb fails, with the ship apparently lost in space, a new team are sent to try again. But it really isn't as simple as that.......

Director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland team up once again for this sci-fi adventure thriller. For as long as I can personally remember, outer space and the planets that dwell within it, have always served us well for cinematic treats. Fears of the unknown and worries over the destruction of Earth, by and large make for great premise's. Not all films realise this potential of course, but it always makes for a great starting point. For his first venture into this realm, Boyle has gone for the Sun as his point of reference, and it makes for a marvellously claustrophobic picture that poses as many questions as it does answers. And even tho ultimately the science fiction aspects of it do not naturally add up, it's dazzling in its visuals and thought provoking into the bargain.

Boyle has never hid his influences and favourites from the public, and here he homages everything from Alien to Event Horizon, stopping for tea and crumpets at 2001s house along the way. But that is no bad thing, molding elements from great sci-fi past with his own intriguing story has given Sunshine a tremendous heart, to which Boyle then manages to cloak it with high quality drama. The crew are up there and we know that this is a genre piece and things invariably go wrong, this gives the discerning viewer an eager anticipation, a sense that one shouldn't go to the toilet for something will be missed. And Boyle lives up to the promise showed, such a pity then, that Boyle didn't let us get better acquainted with his characters at the start. Because then the impact would surely have doubled as each perilous and wrought scenario unfolded.

Having racked up the tension and intrigued us with the premise, expertly fusing CGI with his own craft work along the way, Boyle's Sunshine lives or dies by it's last quarter; depending on your proclivity of course. It has proved to be a most divisive point with critics and fans alike. To say it's a genre shift accompanied with implausibility is being a touch unkind I feel, this is after all a sci-fi picture about a ship going to reignite the Sun! Never the less it doesn't quite close the film triumphantly after the twists that preceded it, turns and explosions have lulled the viewers in, but personally it satisfies this entertained observer. Not in a big bang dynamic way, but in the way that asks me for a further thought process, and that may just be what Boyle and Garland envisaged when they sat down to make the film? Again, depending on your proclivity of course! 8.5/10 Comment Comment | Permalink
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
After reading the mixed reviews for this film I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring and add my thoughts to the collection here.

`Sunshine' follows a crew of astronauts and scientists as they embark on a mission to `kick start' the sun again after it goes into shut down. The crew live onboard a ship called Icarus 2 and whilst on their way to fulfil their mission they come across a distress signal from the original Icarus. When they divert to dock with the original ship a whole host of events occur to throw the mission into jeopardy and which they have to try to overcome to reach a successful mission conclusion.

Personally I liked this film a great deal and whilst it doesn't have the big actions scenes of other space based films, it certainly has a high degree of tension. Everyone acts very well and you get a real sense of the claustrophobia of living onboard a spaceship and of the harsh decisions needed to be taken to ensure a mission of this type is successful.

There is a certain mythical element to the film with some members of the crew becoming entranced by watching the sunlight and the link to the sun and life is highlighted very well indeed.

The soundtrack is excellent. It brings certain scenes to a crescendo and is stirring when it should be and quietly emotional at the right times too.

The ending is a touch confused, but not excessively so and if you have watched the film closely throughout it is clear enough to bring you to a satisfactory conclusion. I have to admit the ending is the weakest aspect of this film though and some may feel slightly deflated after the excellent preceding 2 hours.

All in all I have to say I enjoyed this film immensely and it is easily one you can watch numerous times. It is well thought out, has some great writing and the direction is impressive too. If you have any doubts about whether this is worth a viewing based on some of the more scathing reviews here, all I can suggest is you give it a try and make your mind up for yourself.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 August 2015
Directed by Danny Boyle and with a screenplay written by Alex Garland Sunshine is a mature, ambitious, visually impressive SF film embracing both science and theology as it follows the crew of the spaceship Icarus II on their mission to deliver a thermonuclear payload into the heart of our dying sun and thus save the human race from extinction. As the narrative develops the inevitable tension is ratcheted up as human error, an unexpected discovery and the fragility of spaceships lead to chaos, confusion and a battle of wills. Similar to Tarkovsky's Solaris or Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey the film does not have transparent answers and neat conclusions and if you are looking for an action thriller in the mode of Star Wars, this is definitely not the movie you are looking for. In my opinion the film effectively conveys the insignificance of humans within the cosmos and this desperate journey to the sun (“our last, best hope”) merely confirms this. Moreover, this is also a symbolic voyage into the very soul of man as the difference between the rational and irrational becomes blurred as these scientists approach the sun (the giver of life / God). The acting is suitably understated, the sets appropriately claustrophobic and the accomplished soundtrack contributes greatly to the overall tone of the movie. An intelligent and divisive addition to the genre.
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265 of 316 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2007
A lot of people have given this negative reviews on here. I've read their reviews and the main criticisms seem to be:

1. It's boring. That's true, if you're the kind of person who can't sit through any film that doesn't have gunfire and explosions through 90% of the movie.

2. It's not a good Sci-Fi movie like Armageddon. Well, the fact that these people think Armageddon is great tells us something about their taste.

3. It's scientifically inaccurate. I find it hilarious that these critics think they know more about physics than Dr Cox, the scientific advisor who provides a commentary on the DVD. Of course there is artistic licence, but there's nothing wrong with that.

4. The end doesn't make sense. No, the end is confusing - there's a big difference.

5. The characters are paper thin. Again, not true. There is so much depth to the characters, but you need to actually think about it. Like any good script, this shows us the depth to the characters, rather than telling us. Look especially at Chris Evans' character.

This is an amazing film, and is easily the best of 2007 (so far). There are plenty of films for the people who didn't like this, but there are only a few movies with the perfect mix of style and substance that Sunshine achieves.
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This is an ambitious but not really succesful British SF film. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

It is the Year of Grace 2057 and our sun is dying. A first attempt to re-ignite it, by spaceship "Icarus", failed for unknown reasons (the ship disappeared without trace). A second mission is launched - spaceship "Icarus II", carrying an enormous "star-bomb device", passed already the orbit of Mercury and is now on approach towards the Sun. Then, the radars detect an object which should not be there... And then the film really begins.

Renowned director Danny Boyle tried to make a very ambitious SF film here, but as far as my perception of this film is concerned he mostly didn't succeed. Still, there is some good stuff, so let's begin with it, before the criticism:

1) The director gathered quite an ensemble cast and made all the actors perform well. The crew of "Icarus II" is made of following people:

- Captain Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada). Sanada is an excellent actor, who impressed me in "Twilight Samurai" - here he is very credible as the skipper of the most important ship in human history...

- Second-in-command/communication officer Harvey (Troy Garity). Never saw this guy in anything before - but he is OK in this film.

- Physicist Robert Capa (Cillian Murphy). This is an important character and Murphy played him very well.

- Pilot Cassie (Rose Byrne). Another important character and also well played - and this is a high praise coming from me, because I usually REALLY don't like this actress (since I saw her ruining Briseis character in "Troy")

- Engineer Mace (Chris Evans). Again not one of my favourite actors - I found him pale and perfectly forgettable in both "Fantastic Four" and "Avengers" (I didn't see "Captain America"), but once again, a honest performance here.

- Doctor/psychological officer Searle (Cliff Curtis). Well, the Fire Lord Ozai can do no wrong - he managed to shine even in a turkey like "10,000BC"! A pleasure to watch him.

- Biologist Corazon (Michelle Yeoh). Doctor Corazon who takes care of "oxygen garden" of "Icarus II" is my favourite character in the whole film - and this is once again a high praise coming from me, because Michelle Yeoh is also my all-times LEAST favourite James Bond girl...

- Navigator Trey (Benedict Wong). No problem with the actor, but the character he plays is a horror (see below)!

2) Danny Boyle used a relatively high-budget (for a non-Hollywoodian film) and it shows on the screen. Visually "Sunshine" is pleasant and by moments pretty impressive.

3) The soundtrack is honest.

4) I rather liked the ultimate scenes.

Sadly, there are also things which I liked much less and which damaged this film very; very badly. WARNING! SPOILERS here!

1. Who on Earth could name a ship on such a mission "Icarus"? TWICE!? God Almighty, that is possibly the LEAST appropriate name EVER? Why not say things strait and name the ship "My wings will melt and I will crash"?

2. The whole fate of humanity depends of those missions and amongst the 16 people selected from ALL HUMAN KIND you still manage to put a barking-mad mouth-foaming murderous LUNATIC on board of one ship and a completely incompetent, distracted, careless MORON on board of another one? Who wrote that scenario - the "Prometheus" guy?

3. The film takes itself too seriously. Not even one moment of second degree and/or humor. And come on man, even people on the death row sometimes joke...

4. SPOILER here. The thing which disgusted me the most - again, the bashing of religion and of religious people. Jeez, this is such a cliché amongst the movie makers - honestly, when and where in the real world have you seen Christians murder the fire-fighters and/or paramedics who save other people, just because they consider it is "God's will" that people die and therefore trying to save them is a sin? When and where did you hear Christians say "Let's not rescue the victims of earthquakes, typhoons and such, because God wanted them to die and we must not contradict him"? I never heard of such a thing, but in cinema you keep seeing it again and again and again... Well even if Mr Boyle and his pairs hate so much God, the religion and religious people I still say to them "God bless and all the best for you, your family and all those you care for". Amen.

Bottom line, I mostly didn't like this film. Good general idea, good actors, visually splendid - but an abysmally stupid and completely unbelievable plot, treated as seriously as Gospels...))) But well, OK, I am obviously biased here, so watch it at your own risk and make your own mind about it.
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The spaceship Icarus II sets off on its mission to re-ignite the dying sun with a bomb, seven years after its sister ship, the Icarus I dissapeared carrying out the same mission. Everything seems to be going to plan, until, while passing through Mercury's orbit, a distress signal is recieved by Icarus II. It's coming from the long lost original ship, and soon a debate is under way amongst the crew as to the merits of diverting their course to check for survivors. As the crew of the Icarus II get closer to the sun, it seems that their humanity is slipping further away, through a necessity to carry out their increasingly dangerous mission.
This intelligent, character driven piece of science-fiction is a highly enjoyable watch from start to finish. It's visually stunning, and captures somewhat the sheer vastness of space, as our protagonists appear as ants on the huge interstellar canvas. The scenes following when the Icarus I is boarded, and the subsequent appearance of Pinbacker, both recollect the film 'Event Horizon' for me. The acting is all from the top drawer, with Cillian Murphy superb as Capa, and there's an excellent musical score from Boyle regulars Underworld amongst others. One reason I will mark the film down slightly is the ending. For a film to build up the tension the way that Sunshine does, is some achievement. To almost ruin all the build up with a rushed,damp squib of an ending is a rather more unwarranted achievement, but one that Sunshine almost succeeds in carrying out. However, what has preceeded the ending more than compensates for any weaknesses during the finale. A pretty exhilarating piece of science fiction for the most part. 4 out of 5
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VINE VOICEon 19 July 2008
It is the year 2057. The sun is about to peter-out in about 50years. A mission was sent seven years ago to reignite the sun; the ship disappeared. Now a new mission and last chance.

We are now introduced to the standard crew mix over the obligatory eating scene. The mission is reviled. We learn of each person's personality and quirks. And it takes a long slow time. (For people with Blu-ray you can fast-forward with sound on, it does not sound Mickey Mouse.) Soon we find the fate of the previous ship. We also suffer from an accident caused by miscalculation. Will these mishaps jeopardize the mission and the human fate?

The film is a tad slow probably by design and there are lots of flashy visuals. Many look like they ware borrowed from "Solaris" (2002.) The external accouterments aside, the film is a well formulated standard Sci-Fi with all the elements needed. We have each character meting his/her cuisses and how they deal or do not deal with it. There are moral and technical difficulties to deal with. The story has the "stay in the car" or "Don't open that!" feel. And of course the standard twists and turns with the surprise (supposed to be surprise) ending.

The whole film could have been and pretty much has been done in an hour or half hour episode of Star Trek. Not all Star Trek's had space monsters.

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The Blu-ray version has a couple of commentaries that make the movie a tad more attractive and the obligatory extras.
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on 7 August 2012
I never went to see the movie when it first came out ( i wish i did ) but i was watching tv one night bored and this came on, it was soooooo good, if you like big bangs lots of action etc, then altough this movie has some, its not about that.

the science behind it altough isnt perfect, its still good, star wars doesnt suck because the science cant work, the science in this is well not accurate but it makes sense, its beleivable, considering a 1000 years ago the best minds of the time thought the earth was flat, you can hardly critisise a movie for some shall we say left feild physics.

the ending confuses me no end, with the extra crew member lark, and well just the ending is a bit whaaaaa, no way did it ruin it for me i loved it at the end, i dont want to spoil it for anyone but that was somthing else, a very negative ending on the face of it but i personally found it amazing.

watch this film, take it with a pinch of salt, but watch it and enjoy
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 24 September 2007
Caution;this review contains plot spoilers,although if you've seen Alien and either version of Solaris I don't think anything in this film will come as any great surprise.Danny Boyle wears his influences on his sleeve here and the above two are just the most obvious,but you can also add 2001 A Space Odyssey,Event Horizon,the remake of Solaris and quite possibly Mission To Mars,or was it The Red Planet?

Anyway,as it says in the review above, 8 astronauts are tasked with saving the planet by exploding an atomic bomb in our dying sun.Nice idea,fairly original,but let down badly by the fact that it states very early on that everyone on the mission is going to die.So, there goes any dramatic tension.Unless,of course,we really care about the characters,but unfortunately they're just not given enough screen time for us to care about them at all.Of course,if their mission succeeds then the human race will be saved,but it's not the human race we're going to be empathising with when we watch this film,it's the humans in front of us on the screen.Unfortunately, they turn out to be as distant and vague as the rest of the human race.

Boyle and writer Alex Garland try to overcome this very real problem by introducing an intruder onto the spaceship,but frankly I didn't feel their heart was really in it and the scenes of menace are cursory,badly lit,confusing, poorly edited and all a bit rushed.I'm usually complaining that films are too long these days,but here's one that could have done with an extra ten minutes or so,just to build up a bit of tension and also to introduce us to the cast at greater length ,who are all pretty good,but 2 dimensional.Shame really,because even a movie like Pitch Black managed to give it's characters more back story.

The other problem is that the film makers obviously wanted to make some kind of statement about life and humanity, a la Solaris, but really don't seem to have anything to say.I mean, what is the point of this film?Other than to ask the question should humanity be saved if even our greatest talents turn out to be a bunch of squabbling cardboard cut outs like the crew here?But,of course,life on this planet doesn't just consist of humans,so the question is incomplete anyway.

Having said all that,the film is mostly well shot,well acted, despite how little of substance the cast are given to get their teeth into,and generally good to look at.But it is very badly paced and at just about 90 minutes a lot of it feels far too rushed,whilst other sections are lingered over to no great purpose.Danny Boyle almost makes great films,but if you thought 28 Days Later was very good up until the introduction of the army unit,then you're probably going to be as disappointed as I was with his latest offering.

Recommended to sci-fi enthusiasts only.
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