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Critic Reviews for Earthbound
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Audience Reviews for Earthbound
I know I shouldn't say this, but I really do expect this review to be one of the shorter ones I've done in a while, since I don't imagine that I'd have a lot to say. I don't really know what to make of this movie, because part of me really appreciated its approach to its story and its characters, but part of me also found this to not be entirely consistent. There's a more DIY approach to the sci-fi in this flick, like it's obvious that they didn't have a massive budget to work with, but they do what they can with what they got. If you're looking for cool-looking gadgets or amazing special effects, then you're really watching the wrong movie. Not only because of its budget, but because of the fact that I think it relies more on character than its sci-fi trappings. I think this also benefits from the cast, which I felt was quite strong. It's not like this is the best cast sci-fi flick I've ever seen, but Rafe Spall makes the character easy to relate to and how he's held on to this story his father has told him, where he's an alien who's the key to his planet's survival if he finds a woman compatible enough with him. But it also showcases Joe's refusal to let go of his father's stories, which are the only things he has from him after he passed away when Joe was 11. I think Rafe brings a certain likability to the character, he gives the character heart. It's a film that's definitely quirky but, like I said, Rafe Spall finds a way to make the character more than just a quirky, weird guy. The narrative is fairly predictable. Joe struggles with whether or not he should tell the love of his life the truth about his origins. Once he tells her and she does not believe his far-fetched tales, she tries to find him psychological help, which leads him on a road that bursts the bubble that he so carefully wanted to maintain at any cost, due to not wanting to face the reality of what his life is like. So, later, of course, it's revealed that Joe is indeed an alien and his lady love has been taken hostage by the bounty hunters that have been after him his entire life in order to sacrifice him, for some reason or another. This is never made clear, like why do they need to sacrifice Joe. Would it stop the rebellion? Wouldn't him being sacrificed make the resistance movement stronger? I don't know, I have no idea where they were going with this. Jenn Murray is just lovely in this movie and she has real good chemistry with Rafe. The movie does get a little sentimental once Maria and Joe discover their real feelings for each other, but it's never overbearing, to me. What bothers me more is the fact that the film never really is consistently funny and the pacing isn't great, it feels longer than it actually is. And it's not a film that even goes that long. The film clearly has the best intentions at heart and it's clear that they wanted to make a good movie and they were close to succeeding. I just feel that this is slightly above average, at best. At least they made an effort, which is more than I can say for some flicks. I wouldn't recommend it, but I'm sure other people will enjoy this more than I did.
At age eleven, Joe (Spall) learns from his dying father (Morrissey) that he is in fact an alien from a far off world. He must find a human mate but only one in every million earth girls are compatible. When Maria (Murray) enters his life, he realizes she is one such girl but there are forces at work trying to scupper his romantic plans. As an Irish movie fan, it depresses me how awful my country's cinematic output is. For some inexplicable reason, we just don't seem capable of creating average, let alone great, cinema. We're known around the world for our sense of humor yet comedy is the one genre we constantly fail at. Brennan's film doesn't contain one single laugh in its strained running time. It looks slightly better than the average Irish film thanks to a nice use of color but that's really all it has going for it.
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