Here we have Astronaut; The Last Push, (2012) Directed by Eric Hayden who also wrote it. It runs 85 long minutes and covers a three year period. Spoiler Alerts I will be talking about this film.
First of all, Thanks for the terrific quality, Superb. What we have here is basically a one man show. The man being Astronaut Michael Forrest played by Khary Payton. His partner dies early, and shows up in flashbacks. Now he gets to talk to Mission Control's Bob Jenson, played. by Brian Baumgartner. The mission is to Europa, to visit Seaworld. However when things go south, it is a journey to get back to the Earth, from Venus. They were going to use Venus as a sling shot to gain speed to get to Jupiter. OK, maybe. What it turns into, is an exercise in isolation and tedium. Three years to get from Venus back to Earth, as the mission is aborted. The following year (2013) the movie Europa Report was released, It had a better ship, and a bigger crew, and ultimately was a better movie.
This movie deals with the effects of Isolation, You have to give Khary Payton credit for giving us someone interesting to look at, almost full time. He reminds me of Obama in looks, his mood is almost perpetually dour, but living in cramped quarters, with little to do but mend the ship, and survive and go through isolation hallucinations to maintain our interest. A tall order.
Repeated shots of exercise, sleeping, eating, and pooping are the framework this story is hung upon. The technical failures, each one life threatening, must be tended to, The claustrophobia is oppressive, There is not even a window to look out of.
The effects are good. Only when the ship is within arms length of Venus, does a sense of wonder display itself. The music. simplistic and repetitive complements the dreary hours that make up a three year journey. Only swelling from the bland four note format, to a grander tonality as the views of Venus are revealed.
Taking a final cue from movies such as the 1936 Things to Come, The movie strives for the Heroic note to end upon. Concerning mankind's drive to the stars, "For man, no rest and no ending..." We watch as the Astronaut virtually takes on a suicide turn to resume the aborted mission. He did not have to. I give this one Six out of Ten "Miles to go before I sleep" Stars.