×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Love

Venturesome indie sci-fi opus "Love" eschews monsters and laser guns for a more cerebral brand of futuristic adventure reminiscent of "2001," "Solaris," "Moon" and the like.

With:
With: Gunner Wright, Bradley Horn, Corey Richardson, Roger Fanter, Jesse Hotchkiss, Troy Mittleider, Brid Caveney, Ambyr Childers.

Venturesome indie sci-fi opus “Love” eschews monsters and laser guns for a more cerebral brand of futuristic adventure reminiscent of “2001,” “Solaris,” “Moon” and the like. An impressive show of imagination and design scaled to modest production means, writer-helmer William Eubank’s first feature was germinated by ex-punk-pop supergroup Angels & Airwaves, whose original soundtrack will provide a marketing hook. That angle, plus appeal to genre fans amenable to brainier fare, should make the pic viable for arthouse pickups, with decent home-format prospects down the line. Title’s a hurdle, though.

Initially puzzling prologue is set during the Civil War, as Lt. Lee Briggs (Bradley Horn) muses upon the horrors of battle — depicted via striking, painterly slo-mo tableaux by Eubank, also cinematographer. Having survived service in several otherwise decimated Union regiments, “man of nine lives” Briggs is sent on a special solo mission to witness and report on a mysterious object found in a Western desert canyon. We don’t glimpse that entity (presumably a spaceship) until much later. Relevance of this historical interlude is likewise only partly clarified well into the proceedings.

Pic then lunges nearly two centuries forward and 220 miles outward. Astronaut Lee Miller (Gunner Wright) is orbiting Earth in a one-man space station, his precise job unclear but seemingly involving a routine channeling of data back to his Houston HQ. Naturally, he’s soon got a problem: Communications with his home base become erratic, and he’s told he’ll have to sit tight a while because “something is going on here.”

Cut off from contact entirely, Miller begins to unravel, experiencing dreams and hallucinations in which the pic’s only other cast members appear. (They include several disparate personality types offering philosophical insights in interview segs shot against stark white backdrops.)

While the station offers seemingly indefinite life support — not without a crisis or two — man cannot live by energy bars alone. Or forever alone, period. Pic’s nod to “2001” grows more explicit as Miller goes on his own ultimate trip, a murky transcendental leap whose meaning some will no doubt weigh through repeat viewings.

That spiritual abstruseness and the script’s myriad other ambiguities might infuriate in a film less ingeniously designed on more tangible fronts. But “Love” delights with the detail of its primary set — a compartmentalized tubular space station (purportedly built by Eubank on his parents’ driveway) — as well as in accomplished f/x, consistently interesting yet subservient soundtrack textures (the sole original song is reserved for the closing-credit crawl) and a brisk editorial pace.

Lead thesp Wright, shouldering nearly a one-man-show burden, is gamely athletic, all-American and somewhat of a blank slate, like Kubrick’s astronauts — until some unfettered personality begins to seep out.

Despite all onscreen musings about the need for human interconnectivity, “Love’s” precise point remains as cloudy as its deliberately ambiguous narrative. But the packaging is so intelligently resourceful that most viewers will enjoy the ride regardless of its enigmatic destination. Tech and design contributions are first-rate despite being on a budget.

Love

Production: An Angels & Airwaves presentation. Produced by Dan Figur, Vertel Scott, Nate Kolbeck. Executive producers, Tom Delonge, Mark Eaton, Angels & Airwaves. Directed, written by William Eubank.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Eubank; editors, Brian Berdan, Scott Chestnut; music, Angels & Airwaves; production designer, Eubank; sound, Dan Figur, Vertel Scott; sound designer, Bob Kellough; supervising sound editors, Kellough, Craig Henighan; re-recording mixer, Andy Koyama; visual effects, Five VFX, Griffin Interplanetary Studios, Zoic Studios; associate producer, Chase Rudolph; assistant directors, Josh Hamilton, Adam Hein. Reviewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival (Independent Features -- competing), Feb. 2, 2011. Running time: 83 MIN.

With: With: Gunner Wright, Bradley Horn, Corey Richardson, Roger Fanter, Jesse Hotchkiss, Troy Mittleider, Brid Caveney, Ambyr Childers.

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE More Reviews Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night' TV Review: 'Vanity Fair' Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. More Reviews Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night' TV Review: 'Vanity Fair' Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content