Nothing Fresh Here To Hold The Attention Of A Concerned Audience.
This brief (12 minute) piece is included as an "extra" for an Echo Bridge DVD release hosting an unexpectedly entertaining feature film, shot in Canada, FINAL DAYS OF PLANET EARTH. It is plainly slapped together with little thought, given its title question, ARE WE ALONE (in the Universe)? This query cannot at present be answerable, but is one that most viewers will have at times considered; unfortunately, no sense of style is evidential here in this work from veteran short film director Max Schonenburg. Although one may anticipate that the subject will stretch an imagination, the film as constructed shows little of that, being simply an exercise of the camera's eye pointing upon a mix of some cast and crew members, and then encouraging them to aimlessly babble, with results predictably dubious. A good deal of time is given to Gil Bellows, male lead of the featured work, who is quite garrulous, as he edges into subjects ranging from "our culture of fear" to the mysteries of Easter Island. Female lead Daryl Hannah makes airy reference to mushrooms, stating they might well be alien life forms, while veteran character actor Beau Starr speaks of the California town of Lone Pine, where many local residents believe firmly that aliens appear only on Wednesdays. The most perceptive player of the cast, Campbell Scott, makes a point that man has no comprehension of what the universe might be. Indifference marks the comments of others for the theoretical question posed to them. However, some comments are noteworthy. Director of Photography Thomas Burstyn does not believe United States N.A.S.A personnel made a moon landing, and avers that alien life is "just as far-fetched", while the feature film's producer, Matthew O'Connor, holds that it would be pompous of humans to presume that they are the sole sensate life forms. In sum, this is a weak attempt to flesh out a DVD package. A fair test for its value would be to eliminate the "interviews" one by one, to establish which might have real interest. It is likely that most humans would be willing to scotch the lot of them.
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