"Terra", a film by Aristomenis Tsirbas

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Mala (Evan Rachel Wood) is a somewhat rebellious teenage Terran girl. Along with her pal Senn (Justin Long), they cruise the skies (and sharing the clouds with revered blue whale creatures) with their birdlike vehicles enjoying the freedom they presently possess. Terra is a planet of tranquility and a civilization which honors nature and celebrates life. On another planet, namely Earth, an all out battle was waged between Earth’s colonized neighboring planets. The result was catastrophic and everything was obliterated.

The last known survivors of Earth now embark on a desperate mission to colonize a world which would be suitable to human life. Terra was discovered to be Human’s last hope in the face of extinction.

With their Terraformer designed to convert an alien atmosphere to an oxygenated one suitable to habitation, the humans charge forward to conquer Terra. In the procedure, the air becomes unsuitable and death dealing for the Terrans who will perish in this conversion process. Terra was quickly invaded by the Earth Force ships. When troops attack by what the Terrans believe to be gods, Malas father, Roven (Dennis Quaid), is taken hostage in the melee.

Desperate to rescue her father from the clutches of those seemingly vicious humans, Mala encounters an Earth Force pilot named Jim (Luke Wilson) who crashed down on the surface. Curious about the invader, Mala harbors him in her dwelling. She also encounters, Giddy (David Cross), a loveable creature with a Wall-E/C3PO quality. Giddy is Jim’s machine counterpart and teachs Mala English.

Mala cares for Jim’ wounds and the two form a likeable bond. Forged by a deal to help get her father back, they both devise a plan to help their respective peoples. Of course politics and the military headed by General Hemmer (Brian Cox) take center stage and eventually both races duke it out in the Terran skies.

Director Aristomenis Tsirbas develops a wonderful message behind the film where different beings can co-exist in harmony. Despite it being made on a low cost budget, what carries this film are the characters, the musical score which was epic. The story of Mala and how the Terrans were more similar to the human nature than what is seen on the surface is a lesson on how we are all cut from the same cloth.

Definitely a family film with a heartfelt message at its core. With slick CGI, adorable looking creatures which would make even better toys, Terra will become a heavy hitter in he big league of other notables. Look for more films to come from this talented director.
****
Weak: 1 Star   Average: 2 Stars   Good: 3 Stars   Very Good: 4 Stars   Excellent: 5 Stars

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Tobe R. Roberts

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