Feeds

Sunshine

A little missing?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Movie review There's an old adage that science-fiction movies tell us more about today than tomorrow. Sunshine, from Trainspotting and 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle, arguably goes further: it has its eye on the past as much as the future.

Sunshine - image courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures

The movie-making past, that is. Sunshine is the latest film in that small sub-genre the 'space endeavour' movie. The most recent example is Brian de Palma's Mission to Mars, and while the strand's genes extend back to the likes of George Pal's Destination Moon, the real archetype is 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sunshine has a snappier title and way more sophisticated special effects than Kubrick's gem, but that's clearly the movie it most wants to be favourably compared to.

Odyssey lays down the laws of the genre, and Boyle follows the rule-book almost to the letter. The 'space mission' premise is simple: a small crew of boffins in a starship progressing in a stately manner through space to perform a task of Earth-shattering significance. In Sunshine, it's to re-ignite the dying sun and spare humanity a slow, cold death. Not for them space travel as everyday occurrence but a project with the human race's best minds behind it.

Crucially, all these movies are really about what happens when the crew arrive at their destination, but being serious sci-fi flicks with at least a nod toward Titanic-esque verisimilitude, they can't cut to the chase but have to endeavour first to show us what 'space travel is really like'. And it's dull, very dull.

To keep the movie ticking over and the audience from walking out, en route to the sun we get a series of dramatic events. In 2001, it's all that stuff about HAL cracking up; Sunshine has a previous mission that failed - essentially the same motivation for the Mission to Mars crew - and the discovery of the first ship. All this is set against the familiar sci-fi themes of dislocation from the home world - courtesy here of a communications "dark zone" - and the inevitable disobiedient computer - a seriously overclocked 'mainframe' if the sub-zero coolant it sits in is anything to go by.

Sunshine's script - by Alex Garland, author of The Beach, also filmed by Boyle - gives solid reasons for all this and what happens next, but ultimately, as with 2001, it's presented solely to set up the ending, leaving it largely unsatisfying.

Sunshine - image courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures

Which is why the finale has to work that much harder, to provide a pay-off that not only justifies the crews long peregrination but also the audience's. Sunshine's coda is cute: the familiar juxtaposed against the inappropriate landscape, in this case the Sydney Opera House, poking up above the snow like the ruined Statue of Liberty sitting in the surf.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.