Tag Archives: Apollo 18

Review: Apollo 18

Found footage films are tough things to screw up. They’re almost inherently effective because the technique presents the tale as a “true story.” Well, I guess that makes Apollo 18 a true anomaly.

After Apollo 17, NASA calls it quits on trips to the moon – as far as the public can tell. In 1974, the Department of Defense contacts the crew of Apollo 18 and informs them their mission is still a go, but it must be kept top secret, even from their families. Nate, Ben and John (Lloyd Owen, Warren Christie and Ryan Robbins) agree and the trio is launched into orbit aboard the Freedom.

Once in space, Nate and Ben board the Liberty and head down to the surface of the moon while John mans the Freedom. On the moon, the guys follow through with their mission by setting up these devices that will supposedly let the US track Soviet nuclear activity. After starting them up, the Liberty experiences communication issues and can no longer get in touch with John or NASA. While investigating some wreckage outside of the Freedom, Nate claims something’s in his suit. After bringing him back on board, Ben manages to calm him down, but even then, Nate just isn’t the same.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: All Hail Miles Fisher

Brace yourself because it’s one of those weeks. We’ve gotten a slew of brand new marketing material and, I’m proud to report, most of the competition revolved around the promotion department – well, for trailers at least. The past seven days have been rough ones for poster designers.

Apparently the team that put together the first image for Famke Janssen’s directorial debut, Bringing Up Bobby, have Lifetime on the brain, because this design would go perfectly with one of their schmaltzy productions. Taking a step up the ladder, Contagion spreads via a series of character posters. They’re not bad designs by any means, but they do primarily rely on star power and, while the film’s cast is stellar, it’s the story the promotions team should be pushing as the concept offer endless creative potential. Just about cracking promotional territory are two designs that popped up for Rise of the Planet of the Apes that many are calling “Banksy-esque.” No word on the designer responsible, but whoever he, she or they are, they deserve some credit as these images are wall-worthy.

In the land of trailers Beware the Gonzo, a film finally off the festival circuit and hitting theaters, certainly makes a statement with its brand new trailer. Part typical high school production, part edgy dramedy, this one proves it can appeal to the masses, while still offering up a little something different. In other Ezra Miller news, the trailer for We Need to Talk About Kevin also arrived, putting the young actor in an entirely different light. Watching one right after the other actually makes for a nice tribute to Miller, as this kid has clearly got some range. On the sillier side is the new trailer for A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. It’s really just a montage of Christmastime calamities as opposed to a trailer that suggests the film will have a beginning, middle and end, but that’s really all that’s necessary to get fans psyched for Harold and Kumar’s big return.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: From ‘The Darkest Hour’ to ‘Dark Horse’

It’s tough to make a movie for everyone. Even those four quadrant films don’t really appeal to every demographic. The same goes for promotional material, but, in the case of Best/Worst Movies Promos of the Week, selling power must always beat out my own personal preferences.

Speaking of which, despite my disdain for the Alvin and the Chipmunks series, clearly the Fox formula works, so there’s no use in changing a good thing, even if the actual content is pure garbage. Clearly the studio has the same thought in mind, as Chipwrecked’s new trailer is packed with goofy faces courtesy of Jason Lee, cheesy dialogue and pop tune singing Chipmunks. Similarly, as someone with no taste for karate combat, even though the trailer hints at some heart, Shaolin looks as though it won’t do it for me.

As for material more my speed, Shark Night 3D gets credit for delivering a short and sweet clip with a killer conclusion. Tower Heist also makes an impact with its very first trailer. Sure, some of the jokes fall flat, but in general the piece looks like a fun version of Oceans 11, but with some less experienced and tactless thieves. The Justin Timberlake starrer In Time also dropped a new trailer, which successfully lays out the details of the film’s intriguing premise and features tons of ticking clocks and pretty 25-year-olds.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: ’11-11-11′, ‘Apollo 18’ and ‘Final Destination 5’ Are Truly Horrific

Sure, it only makes my job tougher sorting through a slew of successful promotional material in an effort to narrow down the top three, but that’s a painstaking process I’m beyond thrilled to tackle as it suggests the feature film future is looking good.

Sadly, that also means some impressive pieces won’t receive their due honor. Captain America: The First Avenger was on the verge of snagging two spots in the promotion section courtesy of its incredibly thorough and exciting new trailer, as well as an amusingly clever Dunkin Donuts commercial. There’s also the new trailer for Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which blew me away, not necessarily because it’s a well cut piece, but more so for its ability to make me curious when I’m not the slightest bit interested in the franchise.

Settling in somewhere in the middle of the spectrum are the new trailers for War Horse and the teaser for Brave. If you’ve been keeping up with this feature, by now you likely know I’m big on story, and while the visuals in the War Horse trailer are stunning, without reading a synopsis I get nothing more from this footage than it being a film about a boy and horse — and that’s certainly not enough to get me to buy a ticket. Similarly, Brave continues to flaunt its stellar animation, but has yet to deliver that emotional clincher to create a connection to the film’s heroine.

As for our weekly dose of demotions, one genre managed to snag them all. Check out the new Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week for the breakdown.

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