The 3D technology used to film "Fly Me to the Moon," the tale of three flies who hitch a ride on Apollo 11, is incredibly cool, which is both good and bad.
Good because you're continually dazzled by the fact that after years of promise and pretending, 3D finally puts you smack dab in the middle of the action.
Bad because you're well into the movie before you realize how remarkably bland the film itself is. Before it dawns on you that the three elementary school astronauts -- IQ, Nat (Trevor Gagnon of Raleigh) and Scooter -- are actually very bad rip-offs of "Jimmy Neutron's" Jimmy, Carl and Sheen. Before you realize, after the third utterance or so, that when Scooter's mom says, "Oh, my lord of the flies!" it's still supposed to be funny. Before you realize that Scooter's mom is voiced by Adrienne Barbeau.
Ah, but the 3D, which is what nWave Pictures wants us to focus on. Although 3D has been around for years, it has taken digital projection to help it realize its potential. For instance, when IQ, Nat and Scooter seem to enter a scene from behind you. Or when you're tempted to reach out and nab a globule of Tang floating around the lunar module. (Tempted in part because the sodas are $5 at the snack bar.) Or when you're just so mesmerized by the re-creations of the remarkable Apollo 11 flight itself, from fiery liftoff to the poof of moon dust when Neil Armstrong takes his one small step.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Er, but back to the flimsy plot and script. Like the long sequence of the flies experiencing weightlessness, which might be funny if they weren't flies and could already hover in midair. Even the occasional funny stuff gets lost because you can't believe someone threw something original into this mess. Like when Nadia, a turncoat Russian spy, is accused of being brainwashed, she replies, "No, no washed brain. I get smart." Which would have been a knee-slapper in the context of a funny script.
Ohhh, I forgot to mention the great sequence near the beginning when the flies -- and you -- weave through a thicket of overgrown grass to the tune of Canned Heat's "Going Up the Country." Grandparents with hippie roots will swear they're having an acid flashback. Again, very cool.
In short, plot stinks, 3D is awesome.
Should you go? Heck yes.
And shame on nWave for sucker punching us like this.