Projections - Movie Reviews

Titan A.E. Titan A.E.

Imagination and high quality animation boldly propels Titan A.E. through its classical formulaic science fiction story.  This ambitious project from co-directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman is fascinating as it showcases artistry of galactic spectacles smartly gleaned from two of the best film series in the sci fi genre, Star Wars and Alien.

This convincing space opera will appeal to avid sci fi readers.  While geared to male teens this well crafted amalgam of animation and narrative supersedes recent lackluster live action efforts like Wing Commander.

Bluth and Goldman go from the serious minded, but mostly unarmored Anastasia to an interest of theirs that isn't consistent in its tone, but  taps into unforeseen creativity, set in motion by richly detailed strokes of animation.

A powerful new race called the Drej, physically driven by blue pulsating exteriors, attacks Earth in 3028.  A father gives his young son Cale a special ring as the 5 year old is jettisoned from Earth in an escape craft before a massive laser beam forever palpably separates the boy from his father and home.

The Titan, a gigantic bulb like spaceship that Cale's dad (voiced by Ron Perlman) has devoted his life to, houses genetic materials that Cale attempts to reach on his nearly impossible mission to preserve human life.

Now, some fifteen years A.E. (After Earth), a weary Cale (Matt Damon's pipes) comes off as a "cosmic castaway," on Tau 14, a salvage station.  The angst ridden Cale has a rebellious temperament that leads to his rescue from some tough critters by the brawny, heady Korso (voice of Bill Pullman).

Cale begins to realize his quest as Korso activates his ring into a genetically encrypted map in Cale's palm that can locate the enormous star like vessel.  Soon, Cale is aboard Korso's vessel, the Valkyrie, after a threatening encounter with the race attempting human obliteration.

Aboard the Valkyrie he is introduced to a pilot, worldly Akima (voice of Drew Barrymore), a frenetic cook (voice of Jim Breneur), and the droll banter of John Leguizamo's strange yet brilliant turtle like navigator Gune, along with the slithery Preed (voice of Nathan Lane), and Janeane Garafolo's sardonic weapons expert, Stilth.

While the cutting edge music reflects Cale's gradual awareness, the surreal creations of hydrogen trees and the reflective crystalline Ice Rings weave a spectacular web that overcome stilted speech from Damon and Barrymore and a mundane climax.

Though their words lack persuasiveness, Damon and Barrymore project a common emotional need to recapture their youth.  Pullman nicely understates his flawed Korso, as Leguizamo disguises himself with a screechy pitch and Lane chomps satire into his astute alien.

From its breakthrough integration of 3-D and 2-D imagery, Titan A.E. has a technical wizardry that doesn't leave its life force in a black hole.

Titan A.E.

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