Wednesday, September 14, 2011
APOLLO 18... I finally got around to seeing the sci-fi horror film yesterday, and needless to say, it was decent. If you’re a space geek like I am, then you’ll appreciate the effort that the filmmakers made to have the Moon footage look as authentic as possible (unless, of course, you work for NASA and want to punch in the face any conspiracy theorist you run into on the street...a la Buzz Aldrin). The explanation Apollo 18 gives on how NASA could launch another Saturn V into space without telling the public that it’s sending astronauts back to the Moon is plausible, though I can’t remember if it was stated that the mighty 360-feet-tall rocket was said to be delivering an unmanned Department of Defense payload into Earth orbit or to the surface of the Moon itself (which is what took place in the film). I’ll have to watch this movie again—for free—to find out.
Speaking of the Department of Defense... Once the true objective of the Apollo 18 mission is revealed in the movie, the U.S. military is cast in a sinister light. (SPOILERS AHEAD...despite the fact the film has already been out in theaters for 12 days...) The two astronauts sent down to the lunar surface are mere Guinea pigs in the eyes of the Pentagon...instructed to plant instruments (that the astronauts were told were eavesdropping devices used against the Soviets) which are secretly meant to broadcast a signal that will attract mysterious alien creatures to the Apollo 18 landing site. A Soviet cosmonaut who touched down on the Moon’s surface only a few kilometers away from where the two U.S. astronauts landed had gone missing...and the Pentagon and Russian officials wanted to know why.
I’m not going to spoil the ending for y’all, but the epilogue at the end of Apollo 18 actually lends the movie to a sequel—no, not Apollo 19—but one that takes place here on Earth. It is true that more than 800 pounds of Moon rocks were brought back to our home planet from Apollo 11 through 17 (except from Apollo 13— You know why)...but several of these samples have suddenly disappeared. If you watch Apollo 18 and know the significance behind these rocks, then you’ll know that another film installment that continues the "horror" story behind Apollo 18 would not be unwarranted. The movie is a box office success...grossing $15 million domestically (and $23 million worldwide) despite being made on a $5 million budget. That is all.