Sunshine (2007)

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Released 9-Oct-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Commentary by Danny Boyle
Audio Commentary-Commentary by Dr Brian Cox (University of Manchester)
Deleted Scenes-Optional commentary by Danny Boyle (19:02)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-23 Web Production Diaries
Short Film-Dad's Dead (dir. Chris Shepherd) (6:39)
Short Film-Mole Hills (dir. Dan Arnold) (6:11)
Theatrical Trailer-(1:54)
Teaser Trailer-(2:09)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 103:03
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Danny Boyle

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Cliff Curtis
Chipo Chung
Cillian Murphy
Michelle Yeoh
Hiroyuki Sanada
Rose Byrne
Benedict Wong
Chris Evans
Troy Garity
Mark Strong
Paloma Baeza
Archie Macdonald
Sylvia Macdonald
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Karl Hyde
John Murphy
Rick Smith

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Sunshine (2007) is simply a stunning achievement for celebrated director Danny Boyle. The film is a glorious tribute to science fiction cinema, as it evokes the same spirit of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Douglas Trumbull’s Silent Running (1971), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972), John Carpenter’s Dark Star (1974), Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) and most recently Paul W. S. Anderson’s Event Horizon (1997). Yet despite the film remaining a classic genre piece, Boyle still managed to make Sunshine a unique cinematic experience. Due to the filmmaker’s realist approach to the fictional material and use of experimental filmmaking techniques – the skilful Boyle created a truly claustrophobic environment.

Frequent Boyle collaborator and renowned novelist, screenwriter and producer Alex Garland (The Beach (2000), 28 Days Later (2002)) was inspired to write the screenplay after reading about the heat death of the universe. Garland and Boyle would eventually modernise the scientific issue to reflect the contemporary problem of global warming and the threat of the death of the sun. The script was developed with aid from NASA employees and astrophysicists and was overseen by Dr Brian Cox.

It is the year 2057, and the sun is dying. Physicist Robert Capa (Cillian Murphy), pilot Cassie (Rose Byrne), physician and psych officer Searle (Cliff Curtis), engineer Mace (Chris Evans), communications officer and second-in-command Harvey (Troy Garity), the captain Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada), navigator Trey (Benedict Wong) and biologist Corazon (Michelle Yeoh) are en route to the star in spacecraft Icarus II. Their mission occurs in the shadow of Icarus I, which was launched in 2050 but failed for unknown reasons. The mission is to travel to the sun and detonate a massive thermonuclear payload to re-ignite it. As all of the Earth's fissile material has been mined for the two Icarus ships, the future of life on Earth rests upon the shoulders of the crew.

Boyle’s film is superbly conceived – as we follow the crew, Boyle does not cut back to earth as communication with home is not available due to solar wind. As such the crew and the audience for that matter are left solely on the ship and to their own devices. They are forced to unite for the mission despite their personality differences. The sun is a majestic figure in the film – it is terrifyingly beautiful. As the crew journey to the ends of the galaxy, events occur which will test them and ultimately force them to realise their purpose. Performances from the ensemble cast are excellent all round – it’s truly a remarkable cast. Boyle equally has created many striking images in the film, from Corazon’s garden, to the projected images which ease Mace’s anxieties, to the design of the ship which is cast in darkness to the final thrilling scenes of the film.

The film is simply incredible – a true vision of claustrophobia, a cinematic feat.

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Transfer Quality


The 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced PAL transfer for Sunshine is overall satisfactory. It is a shame the film does not appear on a separate disc, as a multitude of featurettes and audio commentaries are crammed on the disc. However there are no significant issues of MPEG compression artefacts – the bit rate appears at an average bitrate of 5.70 Mbps. Black levels are solid, thankfully they remain quite good as most of the images in the film are bathed in darkness.

There is a texture of film grain which creates a natural earthy colour palette against the rich colour of the sun and the neon lights of the ship. Overall detail is considerably good as is the shadow detail. The third act of the film features erratic (and dare I say frightening) editing and hand held shots which retain focus despite movement in the frame.

The English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are true to the dialogue and on-screen action.

In all honesty Sunshine is a film which needs to be exhibited in the best possible way – it is a visceral cinematic experience and it needs to be seen in high definition.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


The sound design is wonderfully conceived - the ethereal sounds which fill the soundscape lend to the claustrophobic environment. The sound is rich, layered and otherworldly and the 5.1 soundtrack remains an encompassing home theatre experience. Subwoofer is used mildly - until the final act of the film when the music becomes majestic and grand – as does the chaos. Dialogue remains clear and audible.

Like Tarantino, Boyle is known for his eclectic use of music in his films. One can’t think of Trainspotting (1996) without being reminded of Underworld’s Born Slippy, equally The Beach and Moby’s Porcelain and 28 Days Later and Godspeed You Black Emperor’s East Hastings. For Sunshine, Boyle turned to Underworld who improvised a score when the film was almost compete and then John Murphy added some additional musical score – as such the original soundtrack exists as a hybrid between Underworld and Murphy. It is absolutely magnificent – it is affecting and sweeping and ultimately the emotional core of the film. The credit sequence features the excellent Underworld Riverrun Version of Peggy Sussed and I Am Kloot’s Avenue of Hope.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Animation and Audio

The main menu features an animated sequence which precedes the main menu - which is unfortunately a static still image. However the menu features a section of the score. Navigation of the numerous featurettes and soundtrack options are easily accessible.

Commentary by Danny Boyle

Boyle's commentaries are often enthusiastic and very forthcoming. In regards to Sunshine the film is not only his most ambitious, but one he has wanted to make for years. The commentary is an excellent guide into the production of the film, as well as how the film was conceived. The plot is fleshed out by the director as well as the numerous influences that extend beyond the science fiction genre. This is a wonderful aid to the film – it remains engaging and really does explore the many facets of the film. English Subtitles are available for the commentary.

Commentary by Dr Brian Cox (University of Manchester)

Dr Brian Cox was involved in the production of the film as the scientific consultant. Cox is often involved in science programs for radio and television in the UK and the experimental physicist speaks about how he became involved in the production. Cox also shares his enthusiasm for the film and notes the differences between the film and the science. The commentary again is engaging and explores the film from another point of view. English Subtitles are available for the commentary.

Web Links (

Deleted Scenes with Optional commentary by Danny Boyle (19:02)

The seven deleted scenes are unfortunately not 16x9 enhanced. The various scenes show different introductions to the characters and the sets, as well as many alternate versions of the final scenes. Many of the scenes are wonderfully produced and it is a shame they did not make the final cut. An alternate ending is included. There are subtitles available for the scenes as well as for the commentary.

Web Production Diaries

Twenty-three production featurettes are available to view. Sunshine featured a heavy web-based marketing campaign and these videos are the result of that campaign. Most are interviews with the cast and crew, edited with samples of the music. The inclusion of these featurettes document the production of the film, and they are about 3 minutes each in length. We get to see the cast in zero gravity, the cast discuss their characters, the creation and design of visual effects shots, the science behind the film and much more.

Dad's Dead (dir. Chris Shepherd) (6:39)

Preceded with an introduction by Danny Boyle, this short film is an acclaimed animated/live action short-film with narration by Ian Hart. This is included on the DVD simply because Boyle likes it.

Mole Hills (dir. Dan Arnold) (6:11)

Preceded by the same introduction by Danny Boyle, this short film is the composed images of ‘mole hills’ through a stationary camera.

Teaser Trailer (2:09) and Theatrical Trailer (1:54)

Unfortunately the superb trailers for the film are not 16x9 enhanced.


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R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

For around $25 Australian dollars you can purchase the R3 Standard Edition of Sunshine which includes an English 5.1 DTS soundtrack. The extras remain the same. The R3 Limited Edition of Sunshine which included a slipcase is now out of print.

The local edition is also identical to the UK R2 release.

UPDATE: The American (Region A) Blu-ray includes exclusive High-Definition extra feature content including:

Sunshine on Blu-ray is presented in 1080p with an English DTS-HD Master 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack option.

Please note the UK (Region B) Blu-ray does not feature any of the High-Definition extra feature content available on the American (Region A) Blu-ray release.


A perfect science-fiction thriller – it is ambitious, grand and affecting.

The transfer and audio options are satisfactory, although due to the amount of extras, perhaps a 2 Disc Set would have been better suited.

The extras are of quality and are well suited to the film.

All round the local release of Sunshine is a well conceived and thorough release of the independent film.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Friday, August 31, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Tribute to SF movies or Blatant Rip-off? -
Did you watch the whole thing? :) - REPLY POSTED
Tribute to SF movies or Blatant Rip-off? -
I loved it -
Most SF Implausible? Don't think so... -
Still loved it -
Do not mention this film in the same sentence as - Vieira4 (deleted bio) REPLY POSTED
"glorious tribute to science fiction cinema" - florid term for "rip-off" - REPLY POSTED
Plagarism vs Homage *** SPOILERS *** -
Interesting film - REPLY POSTED
So, which genre is it? -
Re: So, which genre is it? - Bill T
$4.95 -