The Wild Blue Yonder

"Excellent"

The Wild Blue Yonder Review


Werner Herzog, one of the most consistently fascinating documentarians in recent years, takes his recent non-fiction work and slices and dices it together with his gift for traditional narrative. Well, in the case of The Wild Blue Yonder, it's far from traditional. It is, however, one of the most fascinating examples of feature filmmaking I've seen in awhile.

The plot is really quite simple: An alien (Brad Dourif) from Andromeda narrates his tale to the camera, for posterity. He's one of the few remaining members of his kind, having survived the arduous travel from his planet to Earth, which seemed the best place to land after his planet began to die. Unfortunately, the Andromedans don't get what they were planning on: Earth's era of greatness is now past, and it doesn't seem much better than the planet they just left. In fact, Earth is now dying as well, which has spurned the earthlings to search for a new planet of their own. Naturally, they find, and land on, Andromeda.

The story fractures into two pieces. The first is most fascinating and is revealed through Dourif's bitter monologue. His species, he says, is not some super-intelligent race. Rather, he bemoans, "We suck." His scenes are filmed in a ruined ghost town, which Dourif's alien explains are what remain of his race's planned super-community that would become a new world capital. Only no one came. It is perhaps Dourif's most soul-searching moment he's ever put on film.

The eye candy mostly comes after, involving his retelling of the earth astronaut's trip into space. Here, Herzog uses footage from an old NASA mission exclusively, wrapping a story around the audio-free images, involving chaos on the ship, despair, and the eventual arrival at Andromeda. Clearly shot in the '80s, the hairstyles alone date the story, but they don't blunt its power. It's a testament to how the right caption can completely change the meaning of a picture. Once they've arrived and find the planet covered in ice, Herzog switches to footage shot by an amateur photographer from beneath an Antarctic ice floe. It's quiet and fascinating, and Herzog lets it speak more for itself than the shuttle shots. It's here where the music, which is a mix of deep strings and tribal vocals, really gets under your skin.

Neat stuff, and while the narrative relies on some pretty goofy science (a few PhD's are thrown into the mix), it's nonetheless a fascinating story to hear told.

The DVD includes a trio of featurettes about the making of the film.



The Wild Blue Yonder

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th June 2007

Production compaines: Tétra Média

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Andre Singer

Starring: as Alien, Donald Williams as Astronaut Commander, Ellen Baker as Astronaut physician, Franklin Chang-Diaz as Astronaut Plasma Physicist, Shannon Lucid as Astronaut biochemist, Michael McCulley as Astronaut pilot, Roger Diehl as Mathematician, Martin Lo as Mathematician, Ted Sweetser as Mathematician

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.