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Saturns Window; Less Saturn, More Epic Jog Scenes! Grade: D

2020 may not be the best year anyone can have, but you know this year does have a few surprises to it. Meeting Nick Cage, getting a job at a baseball facility, a great amount of access to films! But here comes another surprise: My cousin has a 2020 film out! I’ve heard many tall tales of her acting career, as I’ve been waiting many years to watch a film. But now in 2020 we got one featuring... SATURNS WINDOW!!! OH BOY OH BOY!!

Saturns Window tells a story about English teacher on summer vacation named Dorian Phoenix (Sebastian Stimman). On a regular talk show, Dorian gets fascinated by their discussion of Saturns Window. The Saturns Window comes every ten million years on earth, where you get see Saturn right before your eyes. As Dorian hears the information, he starts to realize that he never belonged on this planet, that he belongs on Saturn as he believes he’s a God... Ok. With the help from a musician who can’t get a job, but is good at mediating Cora (Janel Tanna) (THAT’S MY COUSIN!). Cora will help Dorian get back to his planet, through the power of mediation during the Saturns Window... WHAT A PLOT! Because this is a special moment, I actually wrote down notes while partaking in this film... That’s right, we getting the full critic treatment for family’s sakes. Because why?! Because FAMILY MATTERS!!!!

The Cinematography has some good shots. Shots like outside the dance studio, the stone church shots were nice, an effective candle light shot, and also a nice nature green shot. That’s about it I thought from a visual standpoint this film looked extremely atrocious. The opening aerial shot looked extremely faded, needed to be cleaned up as it can look natural. The sets make most of the shots ugly, poor choice in color pallet as it gives the film an unnatural look. Speaking of sets the finale was flat out embarrassing, clearly can see it was shot on a green screen. There was many sequences of poor lighting, including the dance studio scene of the dance instructor and her friend Anton. Some questionable camera work, including a pointless close up zoom shot of Dorian and his girlfriend. Another scene in which unnecessary fading away, as it could be just one natural continuous shot. This aspect of the film making is the weakest aspect of the film, but I will end it on a high note... EPIC JOG SEQUENCES!

The Score is actually the best part of this film believe it or not, only complaint is one composed tune near the end that I didn’t like. I liked some of the original song selections, thought they sounded pretty good. I enjoyed the piano composed score, definitely the strongest aspect of the film by far. The editing is somewhat atrocious. Some sequences the film just does twenty jump cuts in one scene... That’ll only make the audience have a headache, please don’t do that.

The cast as a whole was below mediocrity. I also didn’t like any of the characters, they were either unlikable or poorly developed. I will say the best performance of the entire film is Kristin Guerin playing Aria Blanchette, I thought she had a solid performance. I felt she was the only cast member that had charisma, like her character felt like an actual person than watching card board boxes. I think the only issue would be telling Dorian off on the phone, but in majority of her scenes she just out shine the other cast members. Sebastian Stimman playing Dorian Phoenix was pretty bad, he basically had one facial expression the entire film and there was literally no emotion behind this character. One could argue that hey relax he’s from Saturn, but then again his girlfriend found him normal throughout the 5+ months they spent together so... Dude suddenly changed over a talk show feeding him information? Come on man. This performance also felt completely awkward, as Sebastian has absolutely no chemistry with any of his cast members. Especially that sex scene... What the hell was that?! That scene felt more awkward than Tommy Wiseau in The Room. Whether it be his girlfriend Aria or Cora... You just don’t believe behind the context of the film and dialogue. Nick Wheelehon playing Cora’s friend is one note, this is honestly the worst performance in the entire film. It looks like Nick doesn’t want to be in the film, showed absolutely no emotion in any scenes including an epic finale that needed some kind of emotion, as he’s left with a blank stare... At least it was a memorable finale, I’ll give him that.

Finally let’s talk about my cousins performance Janel Tanna! Now most family members sugar coat everything, they don’t tell it like it is. But me... HELL NO! But like my friend’s cousin in Wrinkle in Time, though I give my honest criticism I’m still respectful and honest. So there are a couple effective scenes from Janel’s performance. I liked the tantrum scene in the car with Cora’s friend, I also liked Cora and her dad scene in the third act... Easily the best scene. What would’ve made that scene great is the seeing Cora’s face cry while walking away, that way the audience feels emotion for this character leaving her father behind for Saturn. The rest of Janel’s performance I felt were one note as well, like it just wasn’t good unlike those two scenes. She lacks chemistry with all characters, except her dad in her last scene together. I also felt Janel was overly dramatic in many scenes, that didn’t require her to be so up tight as she needed to loosen up a bit. Even the way she talks doesn’t feel natural, it felt like she was a bit nervous in these scenes as it felt like she was grinding her teeth while talking. Even the scenes where she hugs/kisses Dorian were extremely awkward. The kiss scene should’ve been more smooth, as Janel has a difficult time wondering if she should kiss him slow or fast. It’s gotta be smooth, don’t change speeds while partaking as it looks completely silly. It could be the directors fault, as he doesn’t have much of an understanding of human emotions. The reasoning behind Cora going to Saturn is not only silly, but it’s not developed completely. Like we need a full aspect of why the audience believes going to Saturn sounds reasonable, as it sounds completely ridiculous as she wants to go because she hates it on Earth and can’t get a job... I mean I’m laughing as we speak. Either way I at least enjoyed seeing my cousin on my 4K television, living the life of an actress, so I’m proud of her either way.

Saturns Window is a film that is honestly kind of dreadful to watch, except for a hilarious finale. The story itself sounds fine on paper, but on screen it’s just boring to watch. The film felt more of a romantic drama, than a science fiction. The thing is you can’t call yourself a science fiction film, because you put together a couple sequences and just stamp yourself as science fiction film. The film just says science words, but the elements don’t show until once in the beginning and once in the ending... There has got to be more consistency. What exactly makes Dorian believe he’s from Saturn?! He hears a guy on Television about this event, as he thinks he’s from Saturn?! You gotta have like a shot of Dorian at Saturn maybe at a young age, so we can get a glimpse of, “Oh maybe he was in Saturn long ago.” But no we have scenes of Dorian dreaming of Cora... Just be a romantic drama of a man cheating on his girlfriend, I know that’s what you want, go be it! The film shows Cora and her friend having a confrontation, where it seemed like it’s important... But the film doesn’t feature any sound towards it, which I’m questioning why?! This scene would later on lead to her friend wanting to murder Dorian, why didn’t you have sound in this important scene? The flash back scenes are shot in Black and White, why? No one knows, who cares it looks cool is what their thinking. Now I will say the epic finale is the best part in the entire film, however it has one major significant flaw that makes it awesome... It has no emotion. Janel is actually trying in this scene, while the other two actors look blank as a duck... This is a very important scene, why does it look like they don’t want to be there?! At least I got a spectacular laugh out of it. Well look at the bright sides: This film is better than The Last Thing He Wanted, A Fall from Grace, The Turning, and especially The Grudge (2020)!

Overall, Saturns Window is a bad film. If you want to support my cousin then by all means support this film on Amazon Prime! I’ll always remember the Janel’s iconic line in the finale, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” God Bless the Smietana family! -Mitch Smietana

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