The Wild Blue Yonder (2005)
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Critic Reviews for The Wild Blue Yonder
A scientific context is offered by interviews with researchers expounding modes of intergalactic travel, but the real pleasures are in the organic beauty of deep spaces and the ambiguous position of the humans suspended in them.
This wacky 'science fiction fantasy' (2005) by Werner Herzog looks like it was made for a few thousand bucks, but it's held aloft by the filmmaker's inexhaustible curiosity and wonder.
The Wild Blue Yonder is at times playful and inventive, at others simplistic and silly. Ultimately, Werner Herzog's free-form, idiosyncratic devolution of the documentary is beautiful but dull.
When Herzog cycles through scenes of scuba divers under the ice and astronauts sleeping in zero gravity, he conveys a strong sense of what 'alien' really means.
For devotees of lunatic Herzog adventure a la Fitzcarraldo, it's only a serviceable time-killer 'til the arrival of Rescue Dawn, the director's Americanization of his 1997 documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly.
The Wild Blue Yonder wavers between (sometimes) brilliant and (mostly) boring.
Audience Reviews for The Wild Blue Yonder
Bold and hypnotic. Hertzog blends real footage of a NASA shuttle mission, exploration underneath the ice shelf in Antarctica, and mathematicians explaining the gravity tunnels between planets and weaves a fictional narrative around it all with Brad Dourif playing an alien from Alpha Centari. The music is incredibly alien and often nearly overpowers the imagery onscreen, which says something as some of the footage is pretty incredible. The underwater sequences is repeated in Hertzog's later documentary about the Antarctica, Encounters at the End of the World, but here is used convincingly as an alien landscape. Its just amazing to see how well he weaves footage of things as mundane as a satellite being built and astronauts exercising on the shuttle into a movie about a mission to another planet. Its really quite inventive.
I really love the concept of this film. Deep, thought provoking and scientifically analytical, with a heavy dose of irony. The style of film is unique, basically taking National Geographic footage, and using it completely out of context. Dourif's scenes are quite interesting, as he seldom disappoints. Unfortunately, the term 'boring as hell' doesn't quite capture how boring it truly is. If '2001: A Space Odyssey' taught us anything, its that 1 1/2 hours of watching crap float around in space set to classical music is way, way too long. Basically, this is another film with serious potential that does some things right, but is largely squandered.
What Herzog has done is gathered together some gorgeous footage shot in space and in the arctic, then concocted his own story around the images and got Dourif to narrate. It's a neat idea and it just about works (it also avoids any global-warming spiel), but at the same time the images are amazing enough to speak for themselves, and the true story is just as fascinating.
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