Fear. Sacrifice. Contact.
From director Sebastian Cordero comes the ‘found footage‘ narrative EUROPA REPORT (2013), which is a slow blend of sci-fi, suspense and novel storytelling. Though being a found footage film, it does not venture far from an aspect of predictability. The plot as a whole is a little vague–there isn’t a complete “grasp” on what’s all going on. So don’t expect aliens or the cosmic Cthulhu to come out of the screen. However, Europa Report’s overall visual presentation, editing and acting performances does make for an impressive viewing experience.
An unmanned space satellite sent a signal to Earth acknowledging the existence of extraterrestrial life on one of Jupiter’s moon. Naturally, the scientist get excited when it is discovered that perhaps a small, single-celled creature possibly set off the signal and a team of six individuals dutifully named THE EUROPA ONE lead by Corrigan (Sharlto Copley) the head engineer is sent out to investigate. Corrigan does not want to go and neither does Blok (Michael Nyqvist). However, they go anyway because who would not want in on the most significant discovery in all mankind. The other members of the team: Dr. Daniel Luxembourg (Christian Camargor), Rosa Dasque (Anamaria Marinca), William Xu (Daniel Wu) and Katya Petrovna (Karolina Wydra) are excited, as well.
Bad things happen as soon as the team reach Earth’s outermost atmosphere–they lose contact with mission control and other things go wrong on the ship. As the cameras roll, animosity and conflicts kick in which is natural when confined on a tiny ship with people you hardly know. The particular dynamics and personalities develop as the film progresses and even when the awe of the cinematics of space wear on you the film slows a bit. However, the simplistic realism of being thousands of miles away from home and floating in a tiny capsule, in outer space, were enough to make me cringe and keep me on the edge.
Okay so the film is “visually” over-abundant at times and it can be a bit excessive. However, it is worth it to immerse viewers in its cinematic awesomeness.
Sebastian Cordero‘s EUROPA REPORT (2013) in brilliant Blu-Ray presentation courtesy of Magnolia Home Entertainment in a 1.78:1 (AVC Encoded 1080p: 16×9) High definition transfer. Since the movie was already shot on digital there are no visual distortions, snow or debris. Now, since this is technically a found footage film, the cinematography is extremely well done. From a production standpoint–its perfect. The footage in the film presents in angles you would see as if it were seen through a security camera. The shots are not grainy or shaky. Some of the scenes are also presented in a “news” format as to explain to viewers what is happening in the story. All told, the movie overall looks really good. Concerning audio, the film presents in DTS-HD 5.1 “Master Audio” and the dialogue is clear and high quality. Captions are provided in English with optional Spanish subtitles. The minimal music score is strong and subtle throughout the film.
The Blu-Ray disc extras include two featurettes EXPLORING THE VISUAL EFFECTS OF EUROPA REPORT and THE MUSICAL JOURNEY OF EUROPA REPORT where the VFX supervisor discuss the unique aspects of the film; and we get to see the movie’s orchestra perform. In addition to a stills gallery, theatrical trailer and other trailers (unrelated to the film) from Magnolia Pictures.
Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2013 of Magnolia Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.