Operation Avalanche 2016 (2016) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: In 1967, four undercover CIA agents were sent to NASA posing as a documentary film crew. What they discovered led to one of the biggest conspiracies in American history. Runtime: 94 mins Release Date: 16 Sep 2016
Matt Johnson is a genuine force (by freekyfridays)
This hilarious "period-piece mockumentary" of NASA's Apollo landing hoax not only "talks the found-footage talk" similar to Johnson's brilliant 2013 debut feature THE DiRTiES, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative at the Slamdance Film Festival but his sophomore effort truly "walks the rebellious walk." Astoundingly shot in a purposefully grainy 16mm that was blown up to HD and looks remarkably like it was filmed in 1967, writer-director-actor Matt Johnson actually tricked modern day NASA officials into allowing him to film inside the real <more>
headquarters. This Q&A revelation after the world premiere screening was one of the festival's highlights.Johnson explained "We contacted NASA and we told them we were making a 'documentary' about the Apollo program. They surprisingly agreed to let us film on the premises, so all of the scenes that are actually in the film, where I'm introducing myself as Matt, a documentary filmmaker? That was all real."Johnson has crafted a genuine "Cold War" thriller here. And while there's a ton of cinematic references — that go well beyond the obvious Stanley Kubrick surface — keep a close-eye open for each movie poster hanging on walls. They each seem to significantly and psychologically relate to a different character. But nothing can prepare you for the film's climactic, single-shot driving scene that now ranks pretty damn high on my favorite chase sequences in film history. This is not just a young Canadian filmmaker to watch; Matt Johnson is a genuine force who has now completed two fully realized films that contemporary audiences should embrace.
Almost found myself tuning out during the first 10 minutes, but then the story started to evolve into something truly interesting and plausible. The idea that a comedy could become a thriller on such a low budget and encompass such an enormous subject is genius. Use of old Apollo films to weave into the story are well done and believable. It remains a comedy most of the way through, but the underlying premise is a masterpiece and very likely to become a cult flick.This is an incredible accomplishment and leaves the viewer thinking...hmmmmmm. I know I was left thinking it just might be <more>
Finally a movie talking about the biggest lie in the 20th Century (by waltermuniz)
I think the director thinks the moon landing was a hoax, and he was too afraid to made it as a film, so the "documentary style" was his solution.Finally exists a movie about the "Moon Landings" since Apollo 13.You really think you are in the 60's based on what you see, but shows every character thinking as in the 21st century. Good performance but no very convinced.A second part running nowadays and correct the mistakes that I have mentioned, will be more attractive to the public.I hope this will be the first of more movies talking about those days.
Brilliant and misunderstood (by metalfriso)
I've rated all movies I watch for years now, but this movie compelled me to write my first review. Mainly because of the disturbing amount of reviews of people who just don't seem to understand what they've been watching. Before watching this movie I knew nothing about it, just found it on the new releases on Netflix.Operation Avalanche is a low-budged retro styled late sixties found footage movie by Matt Johnson. Though it is a mystery-thriller movie, it also has elements of a documentary and even some comedy. The film aims to build a realistic, lively background story for the <more>
alleged filming of the fake moon landing footage. It incorporates some of the moon landing skeptics' or conspiracy thinkers most cherished arguments and theories. Like for instance the link with Stanley Kubrick. The use of stock footage from his sets of 2001: A Space Odyssey was one of my favorite moments in the movie. From Wikipedia: 'The NASA scenes were shot on location. To get permission, Johnson told them he was making a student documentary. Additional scenes were accomplished through liberal application of newly-permissive fair use laws.' That's what I call brave. Though I found Johnson's vision wild, yet well established - many have mocked this movie for basically not understanding it. This is not a conspiracy movie. This is not simple entertainment. It's a piece of art, historical poetry - albeit the history of the greatest conspiracy of all. Furthermore the movie uses all cinematographic tricks to warn us of those very same tricks. It distorts reality with realistic looking historical footage as a way to educate us on how we could actually be manipulated by films. Even halve a century later. Some blame the movie for being badly filmed. Or even amateurish. The handling of the camera is some of the best I've ever seen! That car chase scene must surely be one of the best in cinematic history. All in one single shot. The Cinematography by Raab and Apelle is one of the most noteworthy of everything I've seen in the last years. Showing how photographic images can be faked – in mere seconds. Showing us Kubrick's front screen projection technology and its use; just a background scene in this movie. Outstanding! The sets on which the fake moon landing footage is made in the movie are great as well. Everyone knows these classic shots from the original NASA moon landing footage. Lovely to see these shots recreated within the framework of found footage thriller. The acting, which is said to be the result of improvisation, of the directer himself and a small cast of unknown actors is lively. Standout in the found footage genre I'd say. It doesn't even look like acting, just like actual historical footage. Conclusion. By far the best and most relevant found footage movie ever made. Entertaining, educational and exciting – especially for those who really like the profession and technology of film making. It is also the best ode to the work of Stanley Kubrick in any film – and mind you, there are many such examples.
This film starts as a comedy and ends as a thriller, a neat trick if you can pull it off, and these filmmakers pull it off with style! This might just be the most ambitious and audacious low-budget film I've ever seen.At the VIFF showing where I saw it, someone in the audience at the Q & A asked the director if he was a fan of the 1977 conspiracy thriller Capricorn One. Matt Johnson answered that he was, although he didn't find it a terribly plausible thriller. He did admire it for the aerial chase scenes.I'm in complete agreement with him. The helicopter/biplane chase scene <more>
is one of the best chase scenes of any kind ever filmed, IMHO. But, overall, the story is pretty hard to swallow.What Operation Avalanche shares with that film are some wonderful plot reversals and a thrilling escalation of the stakes as the movie develops. The scheme at its heart is considerably more plausible than the one in the Peter Hyams film. Plus, the dialogue in Avalanche is way better.The only thing about Operation Avalanche that I found hard to accept was *why* some of the scenes were being filmed and who was filming them it's a "found footage" movie but the story was so well structured that I easily forgave that hiccup. There were also a few anachronistic dialogue slips that gave away that the film was written by a millennial for example, at one point, a character says "And I'm like. . . " instead of "And then I said. . . ", an idiom that didn't appear until about 15 years ago but that, I suppose, is one of the hazards of improvised dialogue. Visually, the film is very convincing looking.The director's stories of how he pulled off filming it right under NASA's nose is the icing on the cake. Hopefully, some of those behind-the-scene stories will find their way onto this movie's eventual release on BluRay or DVD.What a gem.
WOW... I have been a moon landing skeptic for most of my life, reading, watching and arguing over the details of whether or not we really DID land on the moon. I want to believe, I really do. I'd hate to think that our government would have lied to us, but what better distraction from the issues that were happening at the time, then something like a moon landing? Think about it, JFK, RFK, and MLK all murdered, a war no one wanted, civil rights clashes, riots, Kent state, Manson, you name it, it was all happening. What better way to distract people from all that?This movie is a perfect <more>
dialog on exactly that, distracting people away from the truth, and showing that faking the moon landing could've in fact been 'plausible'. When I first started watching it, I thought that maybe it deserved a bigger budget, better production, well known actors, but no. I think that would've watered down the story, and missed the mark.The people who made this movie did a fantastic job. I don't know what the budget was for this but, the look and feel puts the audience right in the time line of the late 60's. The sets, the vehicles, the locations all perfect to transport you to that time period. If there was ever a movie adaptation book worth writing it would be for this movie.Touching on the Stanley Kubrick conspiracy was also genius. For years his involvement has been mentioned, and it was tastefully included here. Well done. Showing that not only was the reason the moon landing could've been faked, possible. The creators show you HOW it might have been done, in a very believable way.This movie felt like it should have been THE X-Files movie.
A movie which leaves a interesting mark (by zoxzgamer)
Operation Avalanche is a mockumentary/found footage genre movie which really twists the genre around and brings along an interesting point of facts. Some people call it the most illegal movie ever made which it does almost live up to.This movie focuses how the USA could not land a man on the moon and how 2 CIA agents find this out and how they think up of an idea which really makes you wonder. The film consists of many funny moment, an intense car chase and a cluster of interesting ideas from the 1960s and references to the future.The fantastic actors, clever script and good plot make up for <more>
Conspiracy Thriller As Documentary (by timdalton007)
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 <more>
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...
Johnson's sophomore effort is an impressive period piece (by gregphipps)
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 <more>
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!