Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Heckler has missed his first deadline, and, if we'd actually discussed the blogging schedule of Heckler and Kochk before he'd gone on his emergency holiday to Turkey, he'd be on course to miss the second (in case you were wondering it's my intention to propose one update per blogger per week). So let's talk about things the two of us haven't seen together, and he probably hasn't seen at all.

Like much big screen serious Sci-Fi, Sunshine[1] (2007, Dir:Danny Boyle, Trailer[2]) is very silly, but looks fantastic. That's the gist of this Strange Horizons review by Adam Roberts, which I agree with almost entirely, so you might as well ignore me and read that instead. To take an example that isn't in that review, when there's a fire in the oxygen garden on their spacecraft, they flush it with oxygen to burn it out! I don't know, do they think they're the Human Torch, to whom every problem is a barbecue? Nevertheless the full sequence looks amazing.

Event Horizon takes the metaphor that Faster Than Light (FTL) travel leads to madness and chaos and takes it literally. There are scenes in Sunshine that hark back to Event Horizon (a deserted ship, people going mad), but a clearer influence is 2001: a Space Odyssey[3], in this case suggesting that the closer we get to the Unconquered Sun, the closer we get to God, which will inevitably drive some people mad.

Well blimey. Three films reviewed, two of them with religious themes. Still there's a difference in the way characters are brought to belief in Sunshine and The Reaping. In The Reaping God smites and creates flashy miracles, the sort of thing that the most hardened unbeliever wouldn't be able to ignore[4]. In Sunshine, it's the mystery and the luminous numinousity[5] of the Sun that brings people to the conclusion that we aren't just fall out from an uncaring supernova ("are we just spacedust?" I think is how they refer to it).

But I've probably talked about God in films enough. Next, let's see what the Sci Fi channel have done to a children's classic. There can't be any religion in a children's classic, can there? Can there?

Final score: 7 rounds (One for each of the crew, but lets Cillian Murphy survive to safeguard the future of the human race)

All 3 of the videos linked to in one handy playlist player below.

[1] Not to be confused with Little Miss Sunshine (a fine comedy) or The Sunshine Boys (which I haven't seen), both films that were on Sky the night I saw Sunshine.
[2] There's currently six different trailers in the first seven on this page (the number 6 spot has been taken by a Little Miss Sunshine Trailer) so if you're feeling up for a bit of trailer action go there and watch.
[3] With an homage to the famous airlock scene; I'll note that this film subscribes to the theory that the only good decrompession is an explosive decompression.
[4] A true sceptic (and I'm looking at one of you in particular here) might still entertain the alien or psychic powers theory, but the biblical god theory would be my leading candidate.
[5] Yes the entire point of this review is to get this phrase onto your screen (or "numinous luminosity"). That and the Human Torch joke.


  1. if you're looking for stuff to review, come on over to the Classic Science Fiction Channel - www.rimworlds.com

    I'll be adding you guys to my blogroll


  2. When I get around to putting some linkage on the right, your site will definitely be there. I may even put a post up.