Atropa is just short enough–around nine minutes–not to be too frustrating in its failures.
Director Sasich–and his production designer, Alec Contestabile–do a great job creating this little space ship where the lead (Anthony Bonaventura) tools about and plays chess with his computer. Eventually he finds a ship and then things progress through a silly expository conversation scene (Sasich’s Alien nods are intentional, which is good because there’s nothing to the scene without them) and then a cliffhanger.
Only, while Bonaventura does a perfectly good job investigating the titular spaceship and so on, he’s not much of an actor. Neither are the other actors in the film. Of course, the script isn’t good either. Atropa is all style, no substance.
And it’s great style. Greg Cotten’s photography, the CG… all awesome. It’s a shame Sasich felt the need to burden it with an attempt at a story.
Directed by Eli Sasich; screenplay by Clay Tolbert, based on a story by Sasich and Tolbert; director of photography, Greg Cotten; edited by Zachary Anderson and Sasich; music by Kevin Riepl; production designer, Alec Contestabile; produced by Chris Bryant.
Starring Anthony Bonaventura (OMG Officer Cole Freeman), Jeannie Bolet (Moira Williams), Ben Kliewer (Andrew Jensen), Chris Voss (Jacob Sanders) and David M. Edelstien (Captain Robert McKay).