The Movie: 7.5/10
The possibilities of life on other planets is a magnet for my movie loving mind. Another Earth gets straight to the point as we meet a young woman, about to go off to college, at the moment in time when we discover another living planet nearby. The box says it’s “provocative, smart entertainment”. I’ll jump right in and say that’s a bit lofty for me. It’s compelling and beautiful and drew me quite intimately from the beginning, all of which created a lovely movie watching experience. It’s got some moments of brilliance when it comes to observing human behavior and character studies in regret, sadness, and contemplation. On the flip side of that brilliance coin would have to be the smattering of pretentious over writing, writer’s syndrome of forced dialog trying to pretend to be natural, a lofty hopeful display of a young beautiful woman trying to be tormented by her past and yet the pouty stunning looks she gives as she contemplates her mental and emotional torment felt like the authors (and same starring young woman) were pushing their intellectual wannabe buttons while salavating over the pouting and beauty contrasting the sadness of the story. Whew, that was a big juicy sentence.
The drama of the characters’ choices and struggles they are facing internally is the heart of the movie. The catalyst for their pain and anguish, redemption and healing are all wrapped up in this second Earthlike planet appearing in the sky. They do a weak job of explaining the science of this whole thing, so don’t bother yourself to be annoyed or impressed by it, just take it for what it is. This new planet in the blue sky is a constant reminder of options in life. We see a physical representation of another life, another way, another “me” and in the cases of these people and their emotional states the looming alternative life away from their realities dominates their behavior here and now.
There is a very strong presumption by the writers that we all wonder about another us, another life, a doppleganger out there in the universe who is a mirror image of ourselves, living our life but with tweaks and turns we might prefer to our own. I can’t disagree with this more. There has never been a moment in my life, even upon watching this movie, when I pondered the kitch of finding another Cidtalk roaming around and around this big world, or other world. I can let my mind leap to believe so many things when it comes to movies and stories. When something comes along that becomes a bit of a brick wall for my brain to conquer it does impact the respect I have for the movie overall. I really did enjoy the movie, loved the vibe, appreciated the tone, pace, heart, and honesty at times, and then those weaknesses kept taking me out of the wonderous world they were oh-so-close to successfully creating.
The best parts of the movie are hard to describe. The subtle references to this other planet are just right. I mean, it’s a big planet in the sky next to our moon, so that’s not obviously subtle, but it really doesn’t jump into Sci-Fi territory. The balance of human drama tipping the scale against the potential of introducing a new Earth, space travel, a world in wonder, etc. is pretty well achieved. It’s that push toward subtle that wins me over. I had a good time, even though there is a fair amount of depressing concepts in the story, it feels strangly hopeful and honest.
It’s not an easy movie to recommend to just anybody. I would say if you like drama and a you can go with the flow of a Science Fiction story that’s more fiction than science in all respects, give it a try.
- Deleted Scenes – A few deleted scenes with text commentary by the Director.
- Music Video – I do not normally like music videos but this stop motion animation from Fall On Your Sword is worth a watch.
- The Science Behind Another Earth – A so called “Expert” tries to explain the science behind the movie (If you think about the science of this movie too hard you might like the movie less)
- Creating Another Earth – A set of featurette’s that examine the making of the movie, unfortunatly they are very short and not that insightful.
- Direct Effect – A short interview which was aired on the Fox Movie Channel.
- DVD & Digital Copy – This three disc set comes with a DVD & separate Digital Copy Disc.
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
The image of a young woman with an Earth in the background in the sky, it’s striking if not a little bit misleading. Well, maybe not misleading exactly, but kind of leaning more toward looking cool than being representative of the story. I wouldn’t have it as a poster just because it is more of an image that stands along than one that reminds me of the movie it’s supposed to be reminding me to think about again and again. The menu is standard and functional.
Audio & Video: 7/10 (By Ascully)
Another Earth was filmed entirely in 720P so the 1080P image you are seeing in the AVC encoded transfer is essentially upscaled. You might think that would make the image a little soft but that is not the case. The very stylish look the film has been given in post sharpens up the image and gives it a dream like feel. Overall I saw no issues with the image at all which is unusual for a low budget indie film like Another Earth.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is low budget by design, don’t expect any crash bang wallop sound effects here as this movie is mostly talky. Aside from a car crash early on in the movie the rear speakers are not used at all. The superb music by Fall On Your Sword sounds great though and the opening and closing credits are a few of the standout moments in this soundtrack.
I don’t feel like this movie has much rewatchability. It’s got a great vibe and took me on an interesting journey with the characters, however there is a certain simplicity to it that makes it lose a lot of the intrigue. For 20 bucks you get the movie and a few extras which is a fair night in if you are having over a group of friends to watch and discuss. If you want to check it out wait for it to be on Netflix or other online streaming service so you can relax, watch, and still have enough cash to buy a delicious pizza!! (I’m hungry).
Overall Score 7.5/10