Love (2011)

Drama, Sci-Fi
Gunner Wright, Corey Richardson, Bradley Horne, Nancy Stelle
After losing contact with Earth, Astronaut Lee Miller becomes stranded in orbit alone aboard the International Space Station...
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  • 07 Sep 2012 Released:
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  • William Eubank Writer:
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A half-baked cake1/10
This is an idea, not a story. I am very tolerant of abstract artistic pursuits, and this would have been fine if it was a short film that didn't need to have a point. But it was a feature length movie, and it never got past the idea phase in order to start actually telling a story. I have seen thousands of movies in my life, and this is one of maybe half a dozen that I actually regretted watching. It made me angry at the end that I had wasted that time of my life, and that the filmmakers had the audacity to pawn off this artistic exercise as a movie. Had it been presented as something else, I might have been able to enjoy it. Just don't go into this thinking you'll be watching a movie. I have a sneaking suspicion that the vast majority of the people who gave this film good reviews are just pretending to understand and like it in order to make themselves feel smarter than they actually are (an unfortunately common occurrence with abstract art in every medium). There are, of course, also those who just applied their own meaning that has little to nothing to do with the actual ideas behind this work, and as such they like it immensely, since they made it. Nobody but the filmmakers themselves actually enjoyed this movie for what it is alone, though, I can assure you that.
Agonizingly slow and disjointed, very disappointing4/10
Typically I have a soft spot in my heart for Indie and low budget films. When I saw that this film had a decent user rating (at the time of this writing) I thought I might be in for a treat much as I was when I watched other great Sci-Fi Indie films such as "Moon", "Pandorum", "The Man from Earth", "Melancholia" and "Another Earth".

Sadly, I had to force myself to watch this through to its end, in the hope there would be something redeeming to justify the agony of watching what I had already put myself through. While I did not anticipate the "revelation" at the end, it certainly did not leave me whole.

Great films, even if only moderately good, take you on a ride of ups and downs… I am very sorry to say this was just plain boring and full of unnecessary scenes and shots.
For a budget so small, they did so much...7/10
Usually, I think a work of art should stand on it's own without the viewer every having to hear a single word from those behind the project. Because in the end, the real art is what we see, not what they see. But in the case of Love, I feel like the filmmakers' feedback turned me from just being okay with the movie, to loving the work they came up with.

Love is a film that was made, not to tell us a story, but to get us thinking about what it means to connect with another human being and how essential that connection is to survival. Our Space captain returns to a new International Space Station and after a few days of communication, he is cut off. Unbeknownst to him, the world below him has completely destroyed themselves.

As I said before, Love is about inspiring thought within the viewer more than it's about telling a linear story. Their story of connection and how little we mean to the rest of the universe is quite clear. The sparse writing involved isn't too preachy and doesn't give away all meaning, giving the audience a bit of work to do. Gunner Wright does a decent job of playing the lonely astronaut, although I wish we could have gotten a bit more emotion out of him at times.

The visuals of the film were fantastic. The ultra slow motion of the Civil War battle scene up to the spectacular visuals at the end of the film, these guys did an amazing job. Also, there is an intense sense of isolation and desperation going on. Routine becomes the only way our captain stays together, but it's obvious there is a thin string holding him.

There were just two problems I had with of which I immediately wrote off after the talk back. Certain portions of the film looked professional and absolutely amazing for an budgeted film. But there were aspects, such as the astronaut's joke of a space suit and the obvious wall of box fans oddly added to the space station. The space station itself was supposed to supersede our current one, but the interior still looked like it was from the 1970. There was also unexplained gravity. After the film, we learned it was made for $500,000. What a phenomenal job. The director talk about how he filmed the battle scene in his parent's backyard and built every aspect of the film himself just by going to Home Depot was ridiculously awesome. The Space Station was built in the driveway by him and his little bother. Still, a lot of those very distracting things could have been taken care of in the script. Instead of a new Space Station, make it the one we've used for years. Mention we discovered artificial gravity. But those were left out.

My other (and really only) problem was Love was full of thought, but no love. We have this guy in space that is completely alone for years and the only thing we see him do is lose track of his sanity at times. But we never see moments where he breaks down There are moments of him missing his family, but the filmmakers spend too much time with the mundane tasks of life in Space rather than the emotional journey he is going through.

Love was well worth the wait and I almost wish they could do the film again with more money and small changes in the script. But I would say if you can excuse a few budget problems, you're going to have a glorious time watching the movie.

I'd also recommend reading that Carl Sagan quote on Pale Blue Dot before hand. You'll see the film closer to the filmmakers if you do...

I encourage people to read the quote from Carl Sagan about the photo "Pale Blue Dot" before going to see the film.
No Love Lost for This Stinker3/10
Sometimes I am like a moth to a flame when I see a poster covered with those awards all over them. "Winner, best international film, Siberia film festival!" I just can't resist checking them out. So, that leads me to watching Love… What a mess a movie. Someday I will learn my lesson. I didn't know anything about this movie but from the trailer it looked promising, even if it did seem to be a rip off of Moon. The premise is pretty simple. An astronaut is orbiting the earth on a space station. There is an undisclosed incident on earth and now the astronaut is trapped on the space station with no way to get home. Sounds interesting right? Nope. The movie bounces between the astronaut and another story involving a soldier during the Civil War. The soldier has been sent on a mission to investigate a mysterious object. Apparently the soldier left a diary that the astronaut has with him on the ship. The astronaut becomes enthralled with the story and with a bunch of old Polaroids that he finds. Eventually due to loneliness and boredom the astronaut starts having crazy hallucinations.

The movie for me was 90 minutes that felt like an eternity. It is a movie that doesn't really go anywhere. It is really just a prolonged music video for the band Angels & Airwaves who did the soundtrack. I would have preferred if they had just done a movie about the Civil War story. I think it would have been a much more interesting film. Love starts off fairly strong and dissolves into a mess of visuals and abstracts that made me understand why I had never heard of this movie. It is just not very good. Listen to the first line in the trailer below and I think you will get an idea of the type of movie that you are in for; "When all that is left is a simple shadow, what will we want it to say?" I want it to say "Pretentious drivel." If you are a fan of Angels & Airwaves then you may get some joy out of watching this but, I recommend everyone else go watch Moon instead. It is a much better film. Love gets 1 guy from me.
Solitary confinement aboard a faltering space station isn't blockbuster Hollywood material. Those expecting Bay pyrotechnics will rightfully feel cheated. 'Love' is a film about the human condition, not science, and an unexpected jewel of a film.

Set in the near future, Captain Lee Miller is the first in twenty years to board the ISS space station, assigned to repair and reactivate. Early in the mission all contact with earth is lost after a final apologetic recorded message of 'things going on down here' and advice to hold tight. Interspersed with events from the American Civil War, numerically indexed testimonials and reminisces of random strangers, encroaching hallucinations and madness, 'Love' documents Lee desperately following that advice to the end as ISS fails around him.

'Love' is beautifully shot and beautifully paced. Rare today it treats every character with respect and dignity, always inclusive and never ridiculing. Emotions and reactions ring true. The dialogue is intelligent and real. The score is perfect. It demands attention, setting fleetingly on critical plot elements, not a movie that rewards distractions. A surprise future classic worth seeing.