(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

GOOD NIGHT OPPY is a documentary about the Martian rover Opportunity, from the original concept through its landing on Mars on January 25, 2004, its activities on Mars, an up to its final shut-down (or death, as many of the support team thought of it) on June 10, 2018, 5111 sols later. (A sol is a Martian day, and is 24 Earth-hours, 25 Earth-days, 29 Earth-seconds long. Opportunity's planned mission was 90 sols, or 92.5 Earth-days.)

At first it seems like just an exercise for computer special effects, since there are no actual pictures of Opportunity and its sister rover Spirit. (Well, there is a final selfie of Opportunity.)

Just when you thought that after all the documentaries that have been made of our space program, there was little new that would be created, and that space documentaries could be very similar, GOOD NIGHT OPPY proves you wrong.

This is a very different style of documentary than the documentaries made by NASA (though it uses archival footage from NASA and JPL). It helps that the project team chooses humanized names for the project landers rather than just letters and numbers, which makes their purpose more clear for the terrestrial observers, and It does help to make the story more exciting and entertaining.

(However, picking the song "You Are Not There" is the opposite of the image they probably wanted to project.)

Released theatrically 4 November 2022, and on Amazon Prime 23 November 2022. Rating: high +2 (-4 to +4) or 8/10

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					Mark R. Leeper
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