They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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Another World

Oh, Really?

Friday and Sunday were travel days for us, to and from Milwaukee. Mrs. Dr. Phil had some accrued vacation days, so she took off today as well -- and we took the Sunday paper and our bagels downstairs to the kitty room, flew open the windows and had our Sunday morning on a Monday this week. (grin)

The paper had an Office Max 20% Off bag -- we need some paper and some HP 60 cartridges. And a review article on an SF film I'd never heard of. Oh yeah? And it's only playing at ONE theatre in town? That means it's not going to last long. So it's off to movies! And order a Joe Chicago's stuffed pizza when we get out and shop at Office Max while it bakes.

Another Earth [PG-13]
Celebration Rivertown Theatre #5, 4:50pm

This isn't your usual SF fare. There are two tales here. The SF part has to do with another Earth, a twin of our planet approaching us and the efforts to communicate with them. The mundane involves Rhoda, who celebrates getting into MIT at age 17 -- and on her way home smashes into another car killing the wife and the son and leaving the husband in a coma. And then it gets complicated.

You want a comparison? It's gonna be obscure. Start with the Doppelgänger movie Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, throw in some of the New Zealand indieness of The Quiet Earth and some scenes reminiscent of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Another Earth is beautifully filmed. There's a couple of scenes where floating dust motes are swirling in the light. Wow. This second Earth starts out as a blue dot in the night. But as the movie progresses, it gets closer and closer, usually seen near the Moon in the sky, with phases. Neat looking, though I have issues as discussed below. And despite the poster and pic below, there's plenty of dark and night in the film -- and better done than most.

This is a movie about choices -- binary choices -- one or the other. Some of the choices are infuriating, but tough. Parts of the movie are disturbing, even creepy, but in the end it works. I don't drink and I certainly don't drink-and-drive. But seeing how it messes a life up, might scare you straight.

Okay, I hear you scream, what about the science? Well, it's bogus. As in, either these guys knew their script was wrong and they didn't care, or they don't know all that much science and it doesn't matter because it's the metaphor of another Earth and not the literal that's important here. I mean, if an Earth-sized planet got inside the Moon's orbit, there'd be real consequences in orbital mechanics for all three bodies. And if it really is another Earth -- where's its Moon? And trust me, in four years we'd have repurposed a probe and gotten better data that these people had. The second Earth is big in the sky and you're relying on SETI?

Where it does a good job is (a) discuss the philosophical implications of the Copenhagen many-worlds quantum theory and (b) illustrates a nice background nattering of conspiracy types and nuts - - sometimes slyly done in the background.

And among those binary choices? There's a series of it could go one of two ways at the end all the way to the last scene -- which raises many more questions than it answers. Well played.

If you have a chance to see this on a big screen, please do.

Highly Recommended

Trailers: Since Another Earth was a Fox Searchlight film, we got a number of their trailers, including The Descendants with George Clooney. Also, Lucasfilms is doing Red Tails about the Tuskegee Airmen. Yay! We Will See That One.

Dr. Phil

PS -- Great pizza, as always!
Tags: movies, pizza, reviews, sf

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