Operation Avalanche

2016

Thriller

43
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 69%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 6 10 3375

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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January 14, 2017 at 03:03 AM

Director

Cast

John F. Kennedy as Himself
720p 1080p
683.38 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
P/S 18 / 162
1.42 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
P/S 19 / 142

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Greg Phipps 8 / 10

Johnson's sophomore effort is an impressive period piece

Matt Johnson previously directed The Dirties which was shot for less than $10,000, blew away audiences at Sundance and nabbed an exclusive distribution from Kevin Smith's company. I personally was very impressed with the gritty independent style of the film, and it left me wanting more from the filmmakers.

With Operation Avalanche, Johnson is 2 for 2, delivering another solid film through his directorial style and performance. I'm not sure whether the film was shot digitally or on 16mm, but the cinematography throughout the film thoroughly immersed me in that 1960s environment. The other actors, Owen Williams and Josh Boles deliver authentic performances as CIA agents faking the moon landing.

The film's dramatic tension is key here; scenes which are otherwise simple moments in an operation are brought to life by the film's unique staging and editing methods. In terms of historical accuracy, it's obvious that the film is merely faction, that is, taking archive footage of real people working at NASA in the 60s and seamlessly blending them into the narrative while still maintaining many details from the moon landing conspiracies. The script is structured in such a unique way that it's apparent how powerful editing can negate a bigger budget.

Johnson has proved again that he knows the mockumentary format and how to keep a viewer on edge throughout a film. Even though the dialogue in the movie was mostly improvised, it feels completely organic. The film's real strength is in its tension, specifically the car chase at the climax of the film. Its staging and execution solidified it as one of my favorite all time chase scenes in a movie, without a doubt. I can't wait to see what Johnson and co. make next!

Reviewed by Matthew Kresal 8 / 10

Conspiracy Thriller As Documentary

Normally the "we faked the moon landings!" conspiracy theory makes my blood boil. That is even more true when people go out and make 'documentaries' trying to prove it to actually be the case. That said, the idea had produced some good fiction in its time including the 1970s conspiracy thriller classic Capricorn One. Added onto that list as well is this film, a indie made period thriller with a neat twist.

That neat twist is that it looks and feels like a documentary being made in the 1960s. Operation Avalanche which claims to be a documentary following a group of CIA recruited filmmakers led by Matt Johnson (playing a fictional 1960s version of himself) whom, upon discovering NASA is behind schedule, convinces his bosses to let him and his team stage the Apollo 11 moon landing. If nothing else, it is a great way to bring to life an old idea.

In fact, it is the documentary style nature of it that is what make this film. Johnson and many of his lead actors are playing fictional versions of themselves and (as the DVD extras reveal) there was a large amount of improvisation of dialogue going on, something which is evident. Evident not in a bad way but in that it means that there is always the sense that these are people in the heat of the moment. The reactions to things are never over the top but range from the comedic to the panicked, all of which are believable as the events taken on an increasingly darker tone.

Yet the film has more going for it than just a good idea. Despite being indie made, the film features some of the finest period production values for a film set in the 1960s that I can recall seeing in recent memory. There are cars, clothes and yes even sets. It is sets that are among the most impressive elements of the film including the construction of the one that represents the Eagle lunar module on the Sea of Tranquility. As a NASA buff, I was impressed by the level of detail put into the film's NASA focused elements right down to recreating moments from a couple of later Apollo landings. It's impressive to say the least.

The highlight of this film though might be in its cinematography and effects. The film has the look and feel of 16mm 1960s film in its look, containing the right amount of grain and an occasional washed out look to it. The camera-work as well plays well with the found footage format but also manages to avoid much of the shakiness that has become an all too frequent part of the genre. Indeed, it is to the credit of the filmmakers that they find just the right balance to make it believable but also not a frustrating (and for some even nausea inducing experience). The effects meanwhile are subtle and impressive, often finding ways to put the actors into real-life NASA footage including an impressive sequence in Mission Control where the footage works brilliantly with the scene playing out. The most impressive sequence of the entire film might well be the CIA filmmakers visit the set of Kubrick's 2001 in the UK complete with Stanley Kubrick himself. It's something that sets this film apart from both many indie films but conspiracy thrillers as well.

All of which makes Operation Avalanche an impressive piece of work. It's an incredibly well made piece of work combining a period film with a thriller plot told in a documentary style. That also helps make the outrageous premise believable, presenting an (on the surface at least) idea of how it might have happened. If you enjoy conspiracy theories or the found footage genre, this is well worth a watch.

Just remember, it ain't real...

Reviewed by Movie Enthusiast 3 / 10

Boring and claustrophobic

I understand that this gritty hand held camera style was intentional, but it did not work for me. I never liked these "Blair which project" style hand-held soddy grimy footages and if i had known that the entire film is in that style i would not have gone to see it. The story line was good and had a potential for a good drama or thriller. The ethical dilemma that the main character suddenly is forced to face in the middle of the film was a good hook for a gripping drama. But none of it really played out or was used properly in the film.

The muddy soddy style with ugly claustrophobic frames, none of which was in focus did not add anything to the film. The characters and dramatic element remained undeveloped and the fact that that there was not one good clear frame simply started to irritate. Until about the middle it was difficult to even understand what was going on or separate the characters from each other as we could barely see them. There was nothing to enjoy, or to go along with.This film was simply annoying, pointless and boring.

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