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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 107 minutes, two audio commentaries, deleted scenes, wepisodes, short films, original theatrical trailer
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English, French, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Surround, English for the Visually Impaired, English 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English, Spanish

STUDIO: Fox Searchlight/ DNA Films/ UK Film Council
RELEASE DATE: 1-8-2008

SUNSHINE for the first 80 minutes is classic sci-fi, but the last 25 minutes switch to Horror thriller mode that SUPERNOVA and EVENT HORIZON did so much better. With that misstep by writer Alex Garland and director Danny Boyle, SUNSHINE fails to be one of the best sci-fi films since BLADE RUNNER. The mission of a crew of eight is the best sci-fi writing in ages. SUNSHINE didn't need to keep upping the stakes. The mission to reignite the sun with a nuclear bomb was suspenseful enough without the climax I hated. The interesting twist is that everything starts to go wrong when the crew of Icarus II decide to change course when they get a distress signal from Icarus I (the first ship sent to the sun and vanished without a trace for four years). It belonged to EVENT HORIZON or SUPERNOVA because it just clashes with the rest of SUNSHINE's fantastic script. SUNSHINE has metaphysical issues, but films like SOLARIS offer a better payoff. The production design is top notch and so is the casting (Michelle Yoeh, Cillian Murphy, Cliff Curtis, Rose Byrne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong, Troy Garity, and Chris Evans shows he can act).

SUNSHINE has two audio commentaries: one by director Danny Boyle and the other by Dr. Brian Cox (one of the science advisors for SUNSHINE). The audio commentaries actually compliment each other. Danny Boyle offers insights into the making of the film and some of the clever things they had to come up with due to the budget. Dr. Brian Cox reflects on the film and offers up a little science. BOth Danny and Brian do mention other sci-fi films like 2001, SOLARIS, and ALIEN. The deleted scenes (with optional audio commentary by Danny Boyle) feature some interesting material that should have been left in and the alternate ending doesn't amount to much (they didn't have enough money for a proper ending at the time).

23 wenbisodes cover the cast, production, special effects, costumes and graphic design, production design, and the science of SUNSHINE. Over 40 minutes total, it is a great behind-the-scenes look. Also the original theatrical trailer and two short films (Danny Boyle wanted included) round out the extras.

FINAL ANALYSIS: SUNSHINE is one step below being a sci-fi masterpiece due to a terrible third act.

this DVD review is (c)1-13-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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