Lunopolis (2009) – By Duane L. Martin

Lunopolis, as the name would imply, has a lot to do with the Moon and what’s going on up there. See, on December 22, 2012, a scientist who had become obsessed with the idea of discovering immortality, saw his space program come to fruition. A team of people flew from the Earth to the Moon, where they set up underground bases, as well as a whole societal and governmental structure. These people then used a time machine powered by a large, unique gem made from an extremely rare substance that was only found on the Moon to travel back in time, altering history in various ways and trying to create a better society and a better world by planting their people in various positions in society, including in the military, politics, science and as just normal, every day folks. History would run its course, and then in 2012, with the launch of the mission to the moon, the timeline would reset and the whole cycle would start over again.  The only evidence of the changes that were made and how they affected things were Polaroid snapshots that maintained their original images, even if the timeline had changed. These snapshots survived the cycle and were used as reference in each subsequent cycle. The creator, who did discover the secret of immortality, has managed to escape the timeline and is now trying to stop himself from perpetuating the damage being caused by all the blind changes they keep making from cycle to cycle.

Enter the documentary crew. The film is actually presented by a French documentarian who pieced it all together from this American documentary crew’s work and footage. The three Americans had discovered one of the Polaroid snapshots and found that it contained GPS coordinates which led to a houseboat in the middle of a lake. Once there, they discovered a trap door that led to a huge underground facility, where they found the prototype for the time machine and a tool box that contained documents, Polaroid photos, and a Polaroid camera. Scared to death at what they were seeing, and scared they’d be discovered, they took the time machine (which they didn’t know was a time machine yet), and the tool box and left as quickly as they could. Unfortunately, they didn’t leave unnoticed.

Enter the Church of Lunology. Basically, it’s a not so thinly veiled riff on Scientology, only the Lunologists beliefs are based around the moon and the Church is run by the immortal scientist that exists in the current time line, not the one that escaped into this timeline and was trying to stop the cycle, and populated with people from the Moon project as well as any other suckers they could get to buy into their schtick and suck money out of. The actual moon people however were super creepy and they wanted their time machine back. The film is told from the perspective of the three American documentarians and chronicles their efforts to discover the truth about what’s really going on.

Now, I just spent three paragraphs trying to explain what this film is, and I know I did a woefully inadequate job of it. This film is SO much more involved than what I just described, but that’s the basic framework of it anyway.

I have to say, I went into this film not expecting a whole lot. In fact, I expected it to be rather stupid and leave me feeling like I’d just wasted 98 minutes of my life. Fortunately, I’m able to sit here right now and tell you how incredibly wrong I was. In fact, this is an incredibly well conceived and crafted film that draws you in from the beginning and holds your interest right up to the very end. There are really three aspects of this film that make it what it is. First and foremost is the acting. It all feels flawlessly real. It doesn’t feel like acting at all. It feels like you’re watching real people talking and experiencing various situations. I’ve never seen a film that felt so legitimate, real and authentic with its performances. Second, this film really feels like a documentary, complete with timeline and alternate dimension explanations, news casts, a promotional video for the Moon launch and all the raw footage cut together to tell the story along with various cut-ins of interview footage and narration by the French presenter. Third, the story, while it has a few weak points, is very, very well written and laid out. Seriously, I thought this was going to be some cheap, fictional conspiracy theory movie. Oh how wrong I was. This film, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this, is simply a brilliant piece of work from start to finish.

There’s really not much more I can say about it, as it’s very involved and really just something you have to experience. The DVD will be released on October 11, 2011. You can pre-order it from Amazon here, and probably be able to pick it up from all the usual outlets once its released. Do yourself a favor and check it out. In a sea of the usual stuff, this one really stands out as something different and special.