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Apollo 18

Does anyone out there really care about Apollo 18? I certainly don’t.

The latest and least in a string of faux found footage “fakeumentaries” (some might call it a “mockumentary” — but I’ll reserve that for satiric efforts like Spinal Tap or Bob Roberts) Apollo 18 follows in the uncertain footsteps of The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, The Last Exorcism, and other similar projects.

This time around, the whole thing is a government cover-up during the space program, and a disastrous trip to the moon which ends very badly indeed. I’ll leave the relatively gory details of the plot for you to discover, if you wish to do so. Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego, the film has an effective build-up, and a solid premise, but these “now it can be told” fake footage narratives are getting rather tiresome as a structural conceit.

As Daniel Frankel notes in The Wrap, Apollo 18 cost only about $5 million to make, and was aggressively and ingeniously marketed with various online “teaser” campaigns, but as of Saturday 9/3/11, the film was on track to rack up a slightly disappointing $10 million at the boxoffice for the weekend, with The Help still on top of the list. But it will make its money back, don’t worry.

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About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. To contact Prof. Dixon for an interview, reach him at 402.472.6064 or wdixon1@unl.edu. Visit him at his website wheelerwinstondixon.com.

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