Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: High Moon

High Moon, Syfy TV Movie

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Bottom Line:  Bryan Fuller quirkiness on the Moon amped to the Nth degree with a bit of Lovecraft thrown in. Entertaining, but WTF?

This television movie is (very) loosely based on the book The Lotus Caves by John Christopher and is actually a failed pilot for a proposed TV series.  It takes place on the Moon where several countries have set up bases to mine Helium 3 (though it’s not in any way related to Duncan Jones’ excellent film Moon) and there is an ongoing rivalry to encroach on each other’s territory.  The plot--such that it is--of the story involves the deaths of several men that may be related to terrorism but that also turns up signs of vegetation potentially growing on the Moon.  It’s all a pretty whirlwind, mind-bending affair with the trademark quirkiness of helmer Bryan Fuller bursting at all the seams.  Visually, the film utilizes a very bright color palette not dissimilar to Fuller’s Pushing Daisies, but it delivers an all-to-clean, artificial, retro-future look that seems to misfire on giving it the distinctive look it’s going for.  But if that doesn’t work for you, stick around as it goes full-on Lovecraft toward the end.  Then there’s the giant robot dinosaur, but I don’t even know where to begin explaining that.  The movie definitely has Fuller stamped all over it and delivers plenty of the expected rapid-fire, witty dialogue.  And it has a definite sense of fun about it, something sorely lacking in many sci fi genre entries these days.   The cast are all up to Fuller’s usual standards and all have that where-did-I-see-them-before vibe going, though most of them have only minor genre credits to their name.  For those who know Fuller only from his work on Hannibal, this one may not quite work for them, though it does offer a respite from the chasm’s of darkness and near torture-porn of that show.  But those who loved Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, and Dead Like Me will likely find something to enjoy here.  I can definitely see why Syfy decided not to move forward with this as a series seeing as it goes well over the top while also diverging into non sequiturs.  But it can be entertaining at times as it revels in all of its idiosyncrasies.  Worth a look, but intoxicating substances may enhance the experiance

No comments:

Post a Comment