Release Date(s)2007 (January 8, 2008)
Studio(s)DNA Films/Moving Picture Company/Fox Searchlight (20th Century Fox)
- Film/Program Grade: B-
- Video Grade: B
- Audio Grade: B
- Extras Grade: B
Sunshine has been highly touted in some quarters as a thinking-person’s science fiction tale. It’s certainly a step up on the usual space opera or space horror offerings that we so often get, particularly with regard to its remarkably “realistic” spacecraft and production design, but for any confirmed science fiction reader, there’s little new here.
Directed by Danny Boyle, the story follows the happenings aboard a spacecraft sent to kick start the Sun which, 50 years from now, is apparently dying. The movie starts promisingly enough buttressed by some fine art direction and special effects, but a shrill music score that too often belies the movie’s efforts to tell a serious futuristic tale becomes increasingly annoying. When an abandoned spacecraft is intercepted, one suspects we could be headed into Alien or Event Horizon territory and that proves correct to some degree. The cast (Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis, Troy Garity) provides a workmanlike but ultimately completely unmemorable effort.
Fox’s BD presentation is satisfactory. The image never really jumps off the screen like the best high definition offerings, although it is quite detailed-looking during most close-ups. The DTS Lossless audio is powerful if somewhat front-heavy in its delivery – not very helpful when dealing with the most objectionable aspects of the score. Most of the supplements (deleted scenes, web production diaries) are delivered in standard definition. Two audio commentaries, one by Boyle and particularly the other by the movie’s technical director (Professor Brian Cox), are the best of the extras.
- Barrie Maxwell