- In Pictures
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BY TRAV S.D. | One layer removed from the science fiction vehicle suggested by its title, this documentary is actually about the earnest effort of two amateur Floridian filmmakers to bring their grandiose sci-fi vision to the big screen on the proverbial shoestring.
Scientists by day (one is a geologist, the other a civil engineer), they spend every weekend wrangling friends, relatives and a few professionals onto their improvised green screen studio in a family garage and putting them at the wheel of imaginary spaceships (while wearing street clothes and spray painted bicycle helmets). That the result resembles nothing so much as an Atari era video game doesn’t discourage them in the slightest.
The guys who made “Journey to Planet X,” Myles Kane and Josh Koury (co-founders of the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival) have the beginnings of something amazing here — but I feel like that they stopped shooting in the middle of the story.
There’s a potentially more interesting film here than the one they’ve given us, which has more than a little in common with “American Movie,” “It Came from Kuchar” and the copiously documented “Raiders: The Adaptation.”
The real story is not the “crazy visionaries make a laughably bad movie but really love what they’re doing” motif. It’s the tense relationship between the two partners, who seem to represent two poles. Eric is the pure visionary, the founder, who makes his films for the love of it and no other reason. He doesn’t seem to care if two people see them or two million. Troy, on the other hand, is ambitious, driven and insistent upon improvements. In time, he becomes downright arrogant. Though Eric started the whole project and is its main underwriter, Troy names and trademarks their production company (the unpronounceable “Ginnungagap FilmWerks”), licenses merchandise, and submits the film to festivals — essentially hijacking Eric’s hobby in a bid to become a Grade Z Spielberg.
We leave the duo as they are riding high on their first film festival acceptance. One strongly suspects, however, that the duo is heading for either a fall or a split — and neither one is going to be pretty.
Directed by Myles Kane & Josh Koury
Runtime: 78 Minutes
Sat. 4/28, 1pm at AMC Loews Village