Review of One Strange Rock (2018)
Seen in 2019.
A range of scientific topics, particularly in biology and planetary science, presented by Will Smith and a number of astronauts.
Popular science. The US faiblesse for spectacle and glamour usually does more harm than good to a documentary. Here, it’s harnessed for the better. I could do without the frequent sporting events but they are at least skillfully shot and edited. Smith’s scripts are too free with riddles and with his personal brand of Fresh Prince bad-boy tropes, but the writers do manage to put novel and interesting approaches to many of their topics in his mouth; I just wish he had less screen time in his irrelevant mansion. The writers are particularly good at following themes and charting complicated relationships, using fine 3D animation to good effect.