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Homeworld (2008)

DVD Cover (RhinoMotion)
Genres:
Alien Film, Paranoid Thriller, Sci-Fi Adventure, Science Fiction
Director:
Phillip Hudson Phillip Hudson
Starring:
Beau Ballinger Beau Ballinger
Bronston DeLone Bronston DeLone
Vance Harvey Vance Harvey
Galen Howard Galen Howard
Larissa Kasian Larissa Kasian

4.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: April 24, 2008
I've said it time and time again on this site, but I'll say it again: I'm not a huge fan of science fiction. I enjoy movies that use sci-fi elements in modern day settings (see: Predator, Terminator 2), but when a movie is set thousands of years in the future, features brand new races and bizarre technology, and takes place on planets that are galaxies away (see: Star Wars, Star Trek), I just have a hard time connecting with them. Enter Homeworld, a film that technically fits into the latter category, but there was just something about the trailer that hooked me regardless of my personal opinion of the genre. The actual movie didn't disappoint.

The year is 3037, and an alien race known as the Mendax are waging war against Earth and all of its inhabitants. In an attempt to turn the tides on this war, Earth sends five of its finest - Captain Dolen (Vance Harvey), Lieutenant Gray (Beau Ballinger), Doctor Bane (Kenneth Sears), Corporal Hart (Bronston Delone), and Sergeant Fulsom (Larissa Kasian) - to the enemy's home planet to deliver a deadly virus that will hopefully wipe them out. The kicker here is that the Mendax are a race that specializes in illusion, deception, and mind control thanks to their highly advanced psychic powers, so needless to say, paranoia amongst the team members kicks into overdrive when bizarre things start to happen to and around them. When you're on a mission to save the entire planet and you're facing an alien race who could control the minds of any or all of your teammates... well, who can you trust?

The main reason that I enjoyed this one was because of the fact that this paranoia aspect of the film was the central theme throughout the running time. Sure, an alien race brought them here, and yes, they're dealing with potential mind control issues, but the character's interactions with one another and their high levels of paranoia was the topic that was dwelled upon the most. This brought a human touch to the film and enabled me, a person who generally hates science fiction, to really get into these events and get wrapped up in the storyline.

As an added bonus, the acting was pretty solid all around, which was basically a requirement for pulling off a film of this nature. Sure, there were a few moments here and there that were a bit spotty, but I was able to believe the characters and get involved with their dilemmas throughout the vast majority of the running time. I particularly enjoyed Larissa Kasian as the "bad ass chick" and Kenneth Sears as the overly-paranoid doctor as well as their interactions with one another, but the rest of the cast certainly didn't slouch in this regard either.

Finally, one of the things that I was pleasantly surprised to find in this film was the lack of special effects. Wait, let me explain that one. In my humble opinion, you just can't create a realistic alien world without a Hollywood budget, and as such, filmmakers who attempt to create an entirely different world for their films on low budgets usually wind up with something that is extremely phony at best. This isn't a knock on the indies, but it's sort of hard to get into the storyline when you're constantly witnessing bad CGI and guns made out of painted mayonnaise jars. Here, this problem is avoided by putting the characters in a forest - yes, a simple run-of-the-mill forest. This actually works its way into the storyline towards the end of the film, but in my view, this natural setting worked better than any CGI environment ever could have. This is not to say that there are no special effects whatsoever as there are a handful sprinkled into the mix (most of which were extremely impressive given the budget), but this is not a film that relies on visual effects to sell tickets and DVDs.

I'm not a huge fan of science fiction as mentioned above, but I really enjoyed this one. The storyline was incredibly simple while still having a shocking amount of depth, the acting was as good as you could ask for, and the ambiguous ending will stick in your mind for quite some time after watching it. 9/10.
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Mr. Mistoffelees #1: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 04/25/2008, 10:04 AM
That seems like a really big forest. Do they ever leave it or is that the "planet's" make-up?
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