Silent Running ★★

Do not even think about touching Bruce Dern's cantaloupes, do not even attempt to leave your seat at the table to get a slice because Bruce isn't having it. Just park your ass back in your seat as Dern doles out some impassioned verbal indictments against all of the Earth's population with cantaloupe in hand, just sit there and eat your synthetic cubes.

Director Douglas Trumbull, best known for his special effects work on 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and more, shows that he's a jack of one trade, the special effects trade. Directing...not so much, working with a grade school script focusing on a simplistic environmental message that's never fully developed, or given any proper context or backstory, ultimately going nowhere unless you count aimlessly drifting through space as development...then yes it goes somewhere.

Bruce Dern happens to be rather effective as botanist and ecologist Freeman Lowell who has spent his last eight years fully committed and dedicated to nurturing, cultivating and maintaining a number of forest domes out in space.

pause for horrid Joan Baez music video interlude

Eight years of digging holes, planting trees and hand-feeding rabbits in a full-length canvas pullover, eight years dedicated to enriching these domes of flora and fauna and who else but the most qualified botanist and ecologist around, Freeman Lowell.

That's all well and good except for the fact that towards the end, when the forests are dying, with Lowell and his reprogrammed drone buddies having tried everything to no avail leaving Lowell in a crestfallen stupor, he finally realizes, an epiphany some might say, that the reason this forest is slowly decaying before his eyes is...wait for it...lack of sunlight!

At this point I had to pause the film, firmly plant my face in the palm of my hand, slowly shaking said head while mumbling to myself "you gotta be fucking kidding me?...a dedicated botanist/ecologist lacks the basic understanding of the importance of the sun in regards to plant life.

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