Europa Report (2013)
This was a fairly recent science fiction movie which interested me, but it has taken a couple of years to see it. It is not a huge budget Hollywood movie, and it formally almost comes across as a found-footage film.
In sci-fi film terms, it resembles 2001 :A Space Odyssey with a crew of astronaunts travelling to a moon near Jupiter when gradually a number of technical problems challenge their journey.
Some of it comes as video footage shot by the individual crew talking to camera, some as flashback (or flashforward even) interviews with other scientists, politicians etc. back on Earth speaking about the mission after it has taken place but as the film and story move along step by step.
In some ways this style of footage and filmmaking did keep it feeling fresh and interesting, when there were moments where I was thinking that I had seen many similar films focusing on realistic space travel missions. Also the actor Sharlto Copley really helped, as he is always worth watching since his performances in movies like District9 and Elysium.
So almost half way in and the film does not seem to different to many other similar sci-fi movies besides the interview/found-footage style. Thankfully gradually the problems on the spacecraft increase, the mysteries mount up and a great shocking final reveal hits us in the end.
Someone on social media did suggest that this film may have originally been made as a pilot for a tv series, which I can understand but it does stand well enough as a single sci-fi feature length film.
Perhaps not as great as I hoped it might be, but also did hold some surprises as well. Worth seeing if you enjoy more (mostly) realistic science fiction films.
James E.Parsons is a SF author- new SF space opera novel Minerva Century out now-paperback/ebook/hardback, and first book Orbital Kin also available in all good bookshops.