You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


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: 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.


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

  • 'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of

    'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of Possibilities,' Will Make You Cry

    The Thursday evening conversation between game-making auteur Hideo Kojima and “Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus about highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 game “Death Stranding” was filled with interesting anecdotes, but little in the way of hard fact. Instead, Kojima made a promise of sorts to the audience and seemingly fans everywhere waiting for more news on the [...]

  • Trailer for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Entry

    Watch: Trailer for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Entry ‘Song Without a Name’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — Peru’s La Vida Misma and Paris-based sales agent Luxbox have dropped the first trailer and poster of Melina Leon’s “Canción sin nombre” (“Song Without a Name”), selected this week for the Cannes Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight. Written by Leon and Michael J. White, “Song Without a Name” sums up some of ambitions and focus [...]

  • 'Aladdin,' 'Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,' 'Shaft' Set

    'Aladdin,' 'Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,' 'Shaft' Set for China Debuts

    Disney’s new live-action “Aladdin” will release in China on May 24, day-and-date with North America, giving the studio a run of three films in Chinese theaters as many months.  Two other Hollywood titles will also hit the big screen in the Middle Kingdom in the coming months: “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” on May 10 and the [...]

  • Patrimonio

    Film Review: 'Patrimonio'

    Though it never really went away on much of the globe, a sort of creeping feudalism is making such a striking comeback — with the ever-more-fabulously-rich squeezing the poor of every dime and resource — that Lisa F. Jackson and Sarah Teale’s documentary “Patrimonio” feels like a frightening portent. Will such crude appropriations of land [...]

  • Fan Bingbing

    Fan Bingbing Starts to Re-Emerge Months After Tax Scandal

    Half a year after she was found guilty of tax fraud and disappeared from the public eye, Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing has begun to signal her comeback, attending a gala event and launching her own beauty product on social media this week. The 37-year-old actress unexpectedly hit the red carpet in Beijing on Monday at [...]

  • I Trapped the Devil

    Film Review: 'I Trapped the Devil'

    “I Trapped the Devil” sounds like the title of a sermon or gospel song, but it’s a very literal-minded statement coming from the mouth of a leading character in writer-director Josh Lobo’s debut feature. This being a horror film, there’s a chance he’s even literally correct, rather than simply mad. A mixed-bag frightfest, IFC’s limited [...]

  • American Factory

    Tribeca Film Review: 'American Factory'

    When the last truck rolled off the assembly line of the General Motors factory outside Dayton, Ohio, filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert were there to film it, documenting the end of a certain American dream, along with the unemployment of more than 2,000 people — down from 6,000 in more prosperous times. That was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content