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Movie Review



Starring: Dave Potter, Jed Himel, Nathan Avant and Ray Blum
Director: Matthew Avant
Media Savant
Running time: 132 mins
Currently showing at film festivals

Through a late night conspiracy broadcast, a frantic caller claims human beings from the future are living on the moon, controlling our every action. His call is cut short, but when a box of unusual materials arrives at the radio station several days later, filmmakers Matt and Sonny become involved and pursue the story, following the lead and chasing a set of hidden coordinates deep into Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin. Little do they know that their quest for the truth will put their lives in danger...

movie imageLunopolis is an independent movie written, produced and directed by Matthew Avant.

I always dread reviewing movies like this - mainly because they are always labours of love where everyone involved is on board because they have a passion for filmmaking. If I don't enjoy a project I always try to be constructed because these people have had the balls to go and attempt to make something which they passionately believe in... even if, in the vast majority of cases, no one will actually enjoy it other than those involved in it's production.

The biggest issue is almost always the acting - although a good editor can usually cut around a bad actor to create a much better performance. When Lunopolis opens two of the first actors we meet made me think I was in for a long and painful experience. The (I presume) Australian news reader and the (I think) British reporter gave performances that didn't make me believe they were really people employed in that profession.

movie imageHowever, in the whole movie, they were the only two performances which felt slightly (and only slightly) unrealistic. Okay, there's the odd "Oh, my God!" over the top ad libbed scene, but on the whole every single actor turns in a solid performance.

The movie follows a couple of filmmakers who become have-a-go conspiracy hunters on the back of some information sent to a late night talk show. As the movie unfolds we see the world through the eyes of their camera lens as they uncover a real conspiracy.

For the most part this works incredibly well and when the odd special effect (for example the unexpected car moment) is included it really does make a strong impression.

movie imageThere is a long segment in the middle of the movie that deals with the Church of Lunology and the history of the Moon, which starts to get a bit tedious. This segment is presented in much the same way as real documentaries are, with experts in various field talking knowledgeably about different aspects of the myths and facts surrounding our largest satellite. The slight problem I had with this is that I couldn't work out why there were so many experts in this field, and why they were discussing their beliefs for a supposed documentary when the subject of the documentary was one that was supposed to be a closely guarded secret.

It could be that these experts were simply talking about the beliefs of the founders and members of the Church of Lunology, but it felt like what they were discussing was a common fact. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that all of the academics who are interviewed were real academics - their delivery and passion for the fake topic is just as enthusiastic and well delivered as it would be for a real subject.

movie imageGiven the fact that this is an independent low budget movie, everything comes together incredibly well. The twist in the end is also well hidden - the build up is handled well and executed almost to perfection.

It's not difficult to see why this is winning so many film festival awards. This is a conspiracy movie that will almost have you believing that there are men on the moon.

If you're attending a film festival and you see Lunopolis is playing it's well worth checking out.


Nick Smithson

Screen shot

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