I picked up this film recently at the Cincinnati Friends of the Library Sale and watched it last night. It’s a wonderful exploration of the world of the comic store nerd, with a sweet and predictable love story. It’s in Icelandic, which is a cool language, and it’s very family-friendly, so don’t worry if the kids want to make an Intelligence saving roll as they try to read along with the action as it makes friendly observations on the good stuff the nerd world has to offer.
It is absolutely NOT a big-budget spectacular. That would have ruined it, I think. The effects are special enough, and they make an appeal to the imagination in the same way a role-playing game appeals to the imagination. This is not a film for people that want everything thought out in advance for them. It’s cute, it’s quirky, and it avoids obvious stereotypes of all kinds of people. Yes, there’s a “Clueless”-type princess that has a fish-out-of-water experience, but she’s not as helpless as an American writer would have made her. As a film lover and a gamer, I appreciated the film on several levels, and can recommend it to all my gamer buddies. If you’re not a gamer, you might still like it. It’s cool like that.
“Astropia” belongs in a category of foreign movies for me that will never be on a dominant, overpowering “Top One Hundred” list. It doesn’t aspire to such heights. It wants to be a niche film, with a few great characters that get into some nifty situations. As such, it succeeds marvellously and is well worth my three bucks and ninety minutes. When I get home, my family – all of it – is going to enjoy the movie and get some great fun out of it.