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Cross The Streams: Europa Report, Robot & Frank, And The Host All Hit Streaming This Week

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Hope everyone had a great Veterans Day, and even if you don’t serve, we still hope you had a good day since we’re all veterans at this game called life. If everyone isn’t too busy keeping our country safe for the next week, there are more than enough streaming entertainment choices to keep you busy. As a plus, most of them are new…ish!

europa reportEuropa Report (Netflix Instant)
Sebastián Cordero’s low-budget mock doc Europa Report, which hit theaters earlier this year, dealt with unfair comparison to the borefest that is Apollo 18, but it doesn’t take long for the film to differentiate itself, filling its short runtime with a smart, tense look at exploration and humanity. A team of scientists on a mission to Jupiter’s most promising moon Europa, hunt for what rests beneath its giant ice sheets. A winning appearance from Sharlto Copley, and interesting, though vague, auxiliary characters compliment the brainy sci-fi. Not even a weird cameo from Dan Fogler can pull this one down. There’s no doubt Gravity has the advantage when it comes to CGI, but Europa Report one has my vote for the most interesting space-based thriller of the year.

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Europa Report Touches Down On Blu-Ray: Today In Science And Science Fiction

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EuropaAll the buzz right now might be focused on Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, but that admittedly excellent flick isn’t the only noteworthy space movie to come out in recent months. Europa Report hit on-demand services this past summer, and had a limited theatrical run thereafter, but for most people, this will be the first chance to see one of my favorite movies of 2013.

Essentially a found-footage movie, Europa Report presents itself as “real” footage of a privately funded mission to Jupiter’s moon of Europa. The plan is to search the liquid oceans beneath its frozen surface for any signs of life. Unfortunately, things go Horribly Wrong along the way and Earth eventually loses contact with the craft. Some time later, their footage is recovered and the full story of what happened to them unfolds as the movie you’re watching.

Much like Gravity, Europa Report is much closer to a true “hard science fiction” movie than we typically get out of Hollywood, almost more of a procedural that follows the ins and outs of such a mission and the stresses it puts on the crew. But once they reach Europa, without spoiling anything, things truly get interesting. This is no place for spoilers, but I will say Europa Report is perhaps the only movie I can recall that elicited an audible gasp from me at one point. You’ll know the moment when you see it.

Europa Report is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital formats. You can read Nick’s review right here.

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Europa Report For Reals: Crowd-Research Project For Jupiter Moon Trip Enters The Planning Stages

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europaScience fiction is a genre where art imitates and expounds upon life on a regular basis, and we’re now at a time when life constantly attempts to create the things initially imagined by filmmakers and novelists. The mission behind the the crowdsourced think tank Objective Europa is simple: to answer whether or not a manned mission to Jupiter’s moon of Europa is possible. That question was already dealt with earlier this year by Sebastián Cordero’s Europa Report, and according to that, we probably don’t want or need to find out what Europa is made of. But that was just a movie.

Objective Europa is the group effort of scientists, architects, designers, and former NASA specialists who want to amass as large a research base as possible before making any attempts to move on with any actual manned missions. Think of it like a Kickstarter for ideas rather than dollar bills.

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Europa Report And Defiance Season One Hitting Blu-Ray This October

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EuropaMost of the much-hyped science fiction movies of the spring and summer were met with mixed reviews and box office success. Oblivion pulled in $280 million worldwide, but didn’t win over critics terribly well (53% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). Star Trek Into Darkness did better, earning nearly half a billion worldwide and receiving largely positive reviews (87% fresh), but earned the ire of many Trek fans not happy with Abrams’ handling of their favorite fictional universe. Even Pacific Rim, which we loved, only did so-so here in the States, earning much of its $407 million worldwide box office from international markets such as China. But if you asked me to name the best science fiction movie of the year so far, none of those would be in the top slot. Instead, I’ll evangelizing about Europa Report, the rare hard sci-fi flick that beautifully evokes the danger and wonder of outer space, wrapped up in probably the most satisfying finales I’ve seen in ages. If you haven’t seen it yet, mark your calendar: it hits Blu-Ray and DVD on October 8.

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Europa Report Director, Producer, And JPL Scientists Doing Reddit AMA This Afternoon

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EurRepWe haven’t been shy about our love for the new hard science fiction flick Europa Report here at GFR. Partly because we try not to root for any science fiction project to fail, even if it isn’t our cup of (infinite improbability engine-powering) tea, and all the more so when it’s an original project rather than a sequel, prequel, remake, or adaptation. Factor in the fact that it’s an underdog, indie flick and we can’t help but hope for Europa Report to be a big hit. The flick has been available on demand for a while now, but it’s just getting a theatrical release this week. To help promote that release, the film’s director and producer are joining two consulting scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are doing a Reddit AMA this afternoon.

If you’re not hip to the lingo, AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything,” and it’s precisely that. Somebody hangs out on Reddit for a while answering questions from readers. The AMA subjects can be anything from creative types such as filmmakers and writers, to non-famous people who just want to share information about their life or areas of expertise. Checking the site right now, you can see that recent AMAs run the gamut from a prison nurse, to an editor of the Chinese government’s official news agency, to the Most Interesting Man in the World himself.

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Europa Report Lands In Theaters: This Week In Science Fiction

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EuropaAll too often, science fiction at the movies is just a standard action movie wearing a funny hat and drop-kicked into orbit. It’s rare to see films, especially Hollywood outings, that truly embrace the elements that define the best of the genre: a sense of wonder, a thoughtful exploration of where we may be going, and above all a story that uses the trappings of the futuristic or fantastic to examine the human condition in the here and now. By all accounts the indie science fiction movie Europa Report exemplifies the best of science fiction, and after a couple of months of exclusive video-on-demand release, this week you’ll finally have a chance to see the film in theaters.

Directed by Sebastián Cordero and written by Philip Gelatt (who has been rumored for the Dead Space movie as well), Europa Report is a found-footage science fiction thriller focusing on a privately funded voyage to Jupiter’s moon of Europa. After losing communications with Earth, the six-person crew is left to continue their mission to Europa, where they find something “more profound and terrifying than they originally believed.” That’s what they get for ignoring the warnings of the Monolith