Review: Lunopolis DVD

Lunopolis DVDSTUDIO: Virgil | DIRECTOR: Matthew Avant | CAST: Dave Potter, Jed Himel, Nathan Avant, Arte Richard
RELEASE DATE: 10/11/2011 | PRICE: DVD $24.99
BONUSES: commentary
SPECS: NR | 98 min. | Science fiction thriller | 16:9 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

The pseudo-documentary trend is exhausting the possibilities and now, with the 2009 independent science-fiction thriller movie Lunopolis, they’re pretending to discover that the Moon is actually an outpost for human time travelers … and always has been.

Lunopolis movie sceneIt’s a revelation made possible by the ill-advised purloining of a backpack contraption pilfered from a secret laboratory under a Louisiana swamp. The theft sets off a series of cat-and-mouse chases — low-budget chases — that pits our erstwhile twentysomething filmmaker heroes Matt (Matthew Avant) and Sonny (Hal Maynor) against the government, lunar visitors and an army of goons dressed like 1960s IBM salesmen.

Actually, the filmmakers play their conceit very well and Lunopolis was rewarded with an armful of indie and genre film festival trophies. The movie’s first hook-laden half is a pretty convincing, fast-paced science-fiction conspiracy yarn, thanks in part to unbreakable acting by a largely amateur cast.

The story begins to gasp when it takes a wheel-spinning turn into satire instead of staying in thriller territory, with not-so-veiled references to Scientology in the guise of the Church of Lunology. The shark thus jumped, the film requires more patience on the part of the viewer to make it to the end. Having said that, Lunopolis is worth a look-see, but it’s slightly frustrating that there isn’t a bigger payoff.

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About Buzz

Buzz McClain reviews DVDs for Playboy magazine and is a former critic for Video Business magazine. But what he really wants to do is direct.