Ben Oliver

Banner image for Crater


On gilded wings we have reached the stars. But let us never forget the skies we left behind.
16 July 2023

Some kids living on a lunar mining colony steal a rover and go on a trip to visit a crater. For some of them it’s the first time even leaving the base.

This is fine. It’s all child actors and they aren’t terrible. The plot largely makes sense. It’s visually quite pretty. The concept is actually pretty interesting, that you work to get off the mining colony but the company running it makes leaving an almost unattainable goal. A bit like paying a mortgage that never ends. This should have been explored more but the film is more aimed at kids so it’s a forgiveable shortcoming.

The score is good and the ending in particular works quite well. It’s by and large an unremarkable film.

But what’s really remarkable about The Crater is the fact that Disney released it on Disney+, then pulled it 50 days later. This is a film that they produced, and that they pulled from their own platform. I watched the film wondering what on earth could have caused them to do this, and left none the wiser.

Hundreds of people worked on this film, which cost $50m to make, and it’s all gone. Heaven forbid you might want to watch a Disney film on the Disney+ service. Apparently they’ve turned to cannibalising their own art now.

So yeah, fuck streaming. Movies, even average ones, are meant to be seen not shit-canned on release. I read recently that 87% of video games1 have been lost or threaten to be lost forever. We must fight to prevent the same thing happening to films, but it will happen if it’s just all stored on someone else’s computer on the internet.

If you’re in the UK and don’t fancy building a huge collection of films you can still rent DVDs and Blu-rays at Cinema Paradiso2. I use it and it works well.

Rant over. I would say you could go and watch Crater but tough shit it’s been erased.

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