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Review: Europa Report

Europa Report
Jul. 29, 2013by:
7 10

PLOT: After the disappearance of a privately funded space expedition, the events are finally released via footage received from the doomed crew of Europa One. The discovery is a surprisingly inspired take on the “found footage” science fiction movie with not a single killer moon rock spider. Some Spoilers ahead.

REVIEW: In the new science fiction take on the “found footage” sub-genre, a group of astronauts are on an expedition to discover new life on Europa – one of Jupiter’s moons. It is a brave and dangerous journey from which they never return. Unlike most documentary style features however EUROPA REPORT is far more skilled in its exploration of deep space without the typical monster movie pitfalls that such a movie usually attracts. This is a smarter and more compelling feature than say APOLLO 18, even if it tells its story at a more leisurely pace.

Directed by Sebastián Cordero, the story unfolds as a mystery where we witness video feed from Europa One. The six astronauts on-board are gathered for a mission to find life outside of what we know. We also see select interviews of those in charge of the mission including Embeth Davitz as Dr. Samantha Unger. Bits and pieces of the puzzle are revealed early shedding only hints of light on what actually happened during the ill-fated mission. It is an interesting choice which ends up working in favor of the film, it also helps the audience to connect to the characters particularly Sharlto Copely (DISTRICT 9) as one of the astronauts who is clearly missing his son, Michael Nyqvist (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) as the oldest crew member and the ships pilot Anamaria Marinca.

As the movie begins to peel back its layers, we discover that those on-board do ultimately reach their destination. Yet without revealing too much the story builds to reveal the circumstances that led to the disappearance of the six members. Certainly this style of filmmaking has become a little too common for low-budget features yet EUROPA REPORT is ahead of the curve. Avoiding the overuse of shaky-cam, the film is shown via the cameras placed on-board the ship for documentation. The use of handheld is a rarity but it is used in an effective way, especially when Corrigan is filming videos to send home to his son.

Technically speaking Cordero has put together an interesting film that puts as much focus on the tedious day-to-day happenings in space travel. Most of the action sequences are subtly played with an emphasis on realism as opposed to manic horror. For some however, the telling of this story – with a screenplay by Phillip Gelatt – may not offer enough excitement or visceral thrills. Even still, EUROPA REPORT is visually interesting in the way it presents itself as documentary footage rather than an atypical fright fest. It is easy to believe that what is happening on screen is completely realistic.

As much as I applaud the sense of realism portrayed, the lack of a truly satisfying conclusion prevents EUROPA REPORT from being as terrific as its story suggests it could. Even still it is a relatively short and certainly entertaining watch. The sense of wonder and the ultimate sense of dread is very palatable and much better than the current spate of found footage low-budget features. What Cordero and screenwriter Gelatt present is a compelling enough dissection of the fear of the unknown. It is one that is worth experiencing for true science fiction fans.

Source: JoBlo.com

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+2
4:19PM on 08/16/2013

wow!

This movie was simply not a 7!! Wow, your totally off with this one man.....maybe a 5. Good acting but the story was just not up to par. Yes I know the budget wasn't that big but even with a 100 million dollar budget the story was sub-par at best. BORING!! a regular snoozfest was this one.
This movie was simply not a 7!! Wow, your totally off with this one man.....maybe a 5. Good acting but the story was just not up to par. Yes I know the budget wasn't that big but even with a 100 million dollar budget the story was sub-par at best. BORING!! a regular snoozfest was this one.
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2:38PM on 07/30/2013
Director Sebastian Cordero is from my country! Didn't knew until this review that he made this movie.. His movies are more indie-type.. Glad to know that his first sci-fi movie went out so well.. I'm gonna watch this as soon as I can.
Director Sebastian Cordero is from my country! Didn't knew until this review that he made this movie.. His movies are more indie-type.. Glad to know that his first sci-fi movie went out so well.. I'm gonna watch this as soon as I can.
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9:46AM on 07/29/2013
Really enjoyed the film too (watched it multiple times.) However- the time spent on Europa could have been more substantial in my opinion. I know this isn't a National Geographic documentary- but it's Europa, they writers could have spend some more time then they did.

Fun Fact: I have the right ascension & declination (Lat & Long) of Europa's coordinates as a tattoo.
Really enjoyed the film too (watched it multiple times.) However- the time spent on Europa could have been more substantial in my opinion. I know this isn't a National Geographic documentary- but it's Europa, they writers could have spend some more time then they did.

Fun Fact: I have the right ascension & declination (Lat & Long) of Europa's coordinates as a tattoo.
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+1
1:17PM on 07/29/2013

Excellent Film

Really enjoyed it. Was it amazing? No. Was it worth watching? Yes. I hope they make another one. Would like to a better resolution.
Really enjoyed it. Was it amazing? No. Was it worth watching? Yes. I hope they make another one. Would like to a better resolution.
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9:33AM on 07/29/2013
I really enjoyed this film, some of the best sci-fi in a while.
I really enjoyed this film, some of the best sci-fi in a while.
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9:16AM on 07/29/2013
"Moon" is still a better film. "Europa Report" is a fine movie (I also give it a 7/10), but "Moon" is amazing.
"Moon" is still a better film. "Europa Report" is a fine movie (I also give it a 7/10), but "Moon" is amazing.
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4:21PM on 08/16/2013
MOON was 1000x BETTER than this snoozfest!! Moon was an amazing film....this just didn't deserve a 7 in my opinion.
MOON was 1000x BETTER than this snoozfest!! Moon was an amazing film....this just didn't deserve a 7 in my opinion.
+0
4:20PM on 08/16/2013

.....

I haven't seen THE BUTLER yet but I can't imagine that it was worse than this movie. I heard The Butler was very good. IDK but we'll see......a 7??? JC man
I haven't seen THE BUTLER yet but I can't imagine that it was worse than this movie. I heard The Butler was very good. IDK but we'll see......a 7??? JC man
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2:14AM on 07/29/2013
It's good to hear that it's realistic and believable, as that is very much a challenge with lower budget sci-fi. How does it stack up to something like recent masterpiece Moon?
It's good to hear that it's realistic and believable, as that is very much a challenge with lower budget sci-fi. How does it stack up to something like recent masterpiece Moon?
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