Saturday, August 4, 2012

Movie Review - Issac Asimov's Nightfall

This is a great movie that I'm sure no one saw.  The movie is Issac Asimov's Nightfall.   IMDB - Post

My first impression upon putting the movie in the player was, wow this is going to be cheesy.  The menu music is super, super cheesy.  It really made me think that I was watching a film from the 80's or even the 70's for that matter.  It wasn't until I looked the film up on that I even knew it was made in the current millennium.

This film takes place on an alien world of Aeon.   Aeon has six suns that surround it.  With six suns the world has never known night.  The planet itself seems to be in a strange time limbo though, where we have both swords, blaster pistols, and magic.

The movie has almost no known actors yet the acting is pretty good.  There is one B movie film star in the in this movie, David Carradine.  David Carradine plays Gnomen the head professor of the Scholars.

There are two factions on Aeon that barely coexist on the planet.  First we have the University of Scholars and then the Temple of the Watchers.   The Scholars are a relaxed people that live the lifestyle of a college, where learning is the key point of life.  The Watchers are quasi-religious group that live the lifestyle of monks.

As you can imagine where you have intense faith on one side, and sharp intellect and knowledge on the other side things can be a bit strained.  I see this as a similar argument to creationism vs evolution.  Or pro life vs pro choice, as you can imagine things get a bit heated on both sides.

The film begins at a quarry of the Watchers where they make a strange discovery.  The head of the miners runs off to tell the Watchers of his discovery.  Muttering to himself he runs into Sheerin who overhears that the site could be over 1000 years old.  She then runs back to the University to tell her best friend Illyra so they can go check it out together.

Illyra our main character is a tenacious scholar who is trying to follow in the footsteps of her father Gnomen.  She is trying to bring knowledge and understanding to the people of Aeon.  Illyra is played by Jennifer Burns, a relative unknown in the world of Hollywood.  She brings a certain strength and sensuality to the part of Illyra.

When Illyra and Sheerin arrive at the quarry they are confronted by the workers at the mine.  They however manage to get a peek at the discovery in the quarry before they get forcible removed by the Watchers.  Intrigued they come back later when the workers are all sleeping.  Illyra manages to sneak into the cave of discovery and find a few relics before she realized the cave is full of snakes.  She is then rescued by a strange man with mysterious powers.

The two women just manage to make it out of the Quarry with their newly found artifacts.  This of course helps to increase tension between the Scholars and the Watchers.

The next day Illyra and Sheerin are wandering the streets of the market and happen to find a strange camera.  When Illyra inquires to the source of the camera the merchant points her to the local bar.  A man named Metron sold him the camera.  When Illyra and Sheerin get to the bar they find out that Metron is actually the man who saved Illyra at the quarry.

Illyra convinces Metron to take her into the desert where the camera came from.  Illyra swears Sheerin to a vow or silence as to where she has gone.  While in the desert they encounter the Sand Searchers who are a nomadic people who live in the desert.

The exchange goes badly they run for their lives and end up in a dark cave.  This is where Metron found the camera he sold to the merchant.  In the dark cave Illyra learns what it's like to be enclosed by total darkness when you live in a world of eternal light.

This is also where we learn of the impending doom to the planet.  Illyra and Metron survive to tell everyone else about the impending doom.

At this point the doom falls upon them and all hell breaks loose.  People turn on one another and well if you watch it you'll know what happens.

Overall I really like the message that the movie sent.  It was mostly in a vague sense don't be stupid and burn your house down.  Or perhaps it was don't be one of the sheeple in the street panicking.  Oh, I know, DON'T PANIC, oh wait some other movie already used that one.

I have yet to mention the wonderful costumes.  Illyra and Sheerin's costumes look just like they were taken right off the cover of an Isaac Asimov book.  I found this really interesting and cool that they would honor the cover art in such a way.  It was mostly lame's that are shiny and thin, like I said straight from the cover art.  Apparently in the future no one can afford real fabric so they just use this thin, cheap, lightweight, fabric to make all their clothes.  Although the Watchers had actual robes on, so this theory doesn't work for everyone.

Overall I really liked this movie, it had a good plot, costumes, and effects were adequate for a film of this caliber.  I wish they would have been able to explain a few more things along the way though.  There were a few scenes that they sort of glazed over to keep the movie moving along.  I'm sure the book is much better, as they usually are.

I rate this movie four out of five smiley Mike heads.

I would have rated it higher but it was a bit lacking in story in some places and some of the dialog seemed like it didn't quite fit the situations.

Isaac Asimov By Asimov, Isaac


  1. The book was waayyy better. They messed up the movie!!!

  2. I have heard that said of many movies. As much as I enjoyed the film I will have to go check on the book someday soon.

    Thanks for letting me know.


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