Movie Preview: Apollo 18

by Stefan Abrutat

When The Blair Witch Project came out, I was dating a girl that some might consider a little lacking in the brains department. Luckily, she had a butt you could bounce a quarter off and boobs you could hang a hat on, but I digress. She was convinced the movie was genuine footage, despite my starkly horrified protestations to the contrary. She was also religious, which was probably the underlying root of such a naive stance.

There were too many coincidental filmmaker errors, I argued, plus the premise was ultimately ridiculous. She refused to believe my citing of common sense and rationality, and firmly espoused I was the spawn of the devil for doubting her shudderingly certifiable bullshit.

It was the first time I’d ever been exposed to people who truly believe magic exists, and I found I’d fallen into a relationship with her. Yikes. I dumped her quicker than a dump truck dumps, and fled, panting and sweating, back to more civilized folk. Y’know, people with more than one book. And conversation.

Now, the Blair Witch model has been used a few times in movies, most recently and notably in JJ Abrams’ Cloverfield (wherein I was cheerily hoping the monster would eat the badly-drawn, boring, tweenie movie characters) and now with Apollo 18.

The premise is this: Apollo 17 was the last moon landing. However, the filmmakers would have us believe there was a subsequent one that received scant press, as if they could keep a moon-shot secret.

Let’s think about that for a second. It’d help to know a couple of things about the Saturn rocket first, the launch vehicle for the Apollo missions: for a start, they were 363 feet tall. That’s a football field with significant interest. They were 33 feet in diameter and weighed in at 3,000 metric tons. That’s essentially a navy cruiser, on end, blasting into space. Someone would have noticed. Unless they suddenly invented silent rocket engines without us knowing.

Premise aside, I’m willing to suspend my disbelief if you are.

There’s not much buzz or press attached to this movie, so my instinct is to expect little. But you never know. Maybe they sneaked one by us: they do occasionally, usually because the powers that be in Hollywood don’t know a good movie from a crap one until they see the receipts.

I’ll go in with a wide open mind. I recommend you do, too.

Opens September 2, 2011.

One Comment:

  1. You may recall that they used a couple of Saturn V’s for cargo launches, in particular the launch of Skylab. So in the movie, they explain that the 18 launch was announced as a cargo launch. That’s plausible enough.

    As I mention in my guest review, there is one big, gaping logic hole in the film. It’s much bigger than this one, and could only really be explained by a sequel.

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