I've rated all movies I watch for years now, but this movie compelled
me to write my first review. Mainly because of the disturbing amount of
reviews of people who just don't seem to understand what they've been
watching. Before watching this movie I knew nothing about it, just
found it on the new releases on Netflix.
Operation Avalanche is a low-budged retro styled (late sixties) found footage movie by Matt Johnson. Though it is a mystery-thriller movie, it also has elements of a documentary and even some comedy. The film aims to build a realistic, lively background story for the alleged filming of the fake moon landing footage. It incorporates some of the moon landing skeptics' (or conspiracy thinkers) most cherished arguments and theories. Like for instance the link with Stanley Kubrick. The use of stock footage from his sets of 2001: A Space Odyssey was one of my favorite moments in the movie.
From Wikipedia: 'The NASA scenes were shot on location. To get permission, Johnson told them he was making a student documentary. Additional scenes were accomplished through liberal application of newly-permissive fair use laws.' That's what I call brave.
Though I found Johnson's vision wild, yet well established - many have mocked this movie for basically not understanding it. This is not a conspiracy movie. This is not simple entertainment. It's a piece of art, historical poetry - albeit the history of the greatest conspiracy of all. Furthermore the movie uses all cinematographic tricks to warn us of those very same tricks. It distorts reality with realistic looking (historical) footage as a way to educate us on how we could actually be manipulated by films. Even halve a century later.
Some blame the movie for being badly filmed. Or even amateurish. The handling of the camera is some of the best I've ever seen! That car chase scene must surely be one of the best in cinematic history. All in one single shot. The Cinematography by Raab and Apelle is one of the most noteworthy of everything I've seen in the last years. Showing how photographic images can be faked in mere seconds. Showing us Kubrick's front screen projection technology and its use; just a background scene in this movie. Outstanding! The sets on which the fake moon landing footage is made in the movie are great as well. Everyone knows these classic shots from the original NASA moon landing footage. Lovely to see these shots recreated within the framework of found footage thriller.
The acting, which is said to be the result of improvisation, of the directer himself and a small cast of unknown actors is lively. Standout in the found footage genre I'd say. It doesn't even look like acting, just like actual historical footage.
Conclusion. By far the best and most relevant found footage movie ever made. Entertaining, educational and exciting especially for those who really like the profession and technology of film making. It is also the best ode to the work of Stanley Kubrick in any film and mind you, there are many such examples.
Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Drama / Mystery / Thriller
1967: the height of the Cold War. The CIA suspects there is a Russian mole inside of NASA, sabotaging the Apollo program. They send two young agents on a mission to go undercover, posing as documentary filmmakers to capture NASA's race to the moon. The real mission - use their access and technology to hunt down the leak. But what they discover is far more shocking than soviet spies - Their government may be hiding a secret about Apollo that could define the decade, and the White House will stop at nothing to silence anyone who learns it.
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January 14, 2017 at 03:03 AM