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65 Sci-Fi Flick on Streaming: Parts Filmed on S. Oregon Coast - Review

Published 06/13/23 at 6:31 a.m.
y Andre' GW Hagestedt

65 Sci-Fi Flick on Streaming: Parts Filmed on S. Oregon Coast - Review

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – When I first saw the ads on TV for 65, I was enthralled ('cause I”m a sci-fi nerd) but also ticked off ('cause I'm also a science nerd). Cool spaceship, great effects, monster dinos – and yet somehow this all entailed Earth back then being an “alien” planet to some humans? I actually scolded the TV once: “There better be a good explanation for that.” (Above: Adam Driver fights dinos on Whaleshead Beach on south Oregon coast - with a weapon that looks a bit like the tech guns in the video game Ark Survival Evolved)

Finally coming out on streaming recently, I wrestled with renting this, especially with the reviews it received. I broke down a couple weeks ago and let the giant beasties and Adam Driver into my home. There were two surprises: this flick is a lot of fun and parts were filmed on the south Oregon coast.

Reviews be damned: I give it 3 and a half stars out of five. Plus, for fans of the south Oregon coast, you kind'a GOTTA see what the place looks like with dinosaurs running around. Here's the 411 and a review of the movie 65.

Photo courtesy my TV: Koa vs. angry birds at Whaleshead Beach

There's not many details about the film crews' time here. Firstly, no one really knew they were around when it happened. But I did discover much of the time they stayed at the Mill Casino Hotel in North Bend. So, yeah, Kylo Ren was wandering our region for a bit.

Apparently, some tales have leaked out recently on social media but they managed to stay hidden from us. Bummer.

We also know (via The Oregonian), 65 crews spent a few million dollars on the south coast, with quite a bit going to food and lodging. A super swell $1.5 million went to payroll for local hires.

Other than an opening sequence featuring the family trio that remains a theme throughout, the movie almost entirely features Adam Driver as a pilot named Mills, and Ariana Greenblatt as the young girl Koa who's the only other survivor. They crash land on Earth some 65 million years ago, but to them this is an alien planet with heaps of unfamiliar dangers. In order to escape this world they have to engage in a hike full of prehistoric horrors.

65 movie poster / Sony Pictures

Theirs is an awkward yet emotional relationship in the flick, actually played adeptly by both and with plenty of energy and believability. At first, she's a heavy and rather unwelcome responsibility for Mills, but their bond deepens with just about every something-saurus encounter.

65 has been pounded in many reviews, but it's a much better romp than that, actually winding up a good session of scares and jumps - dino-style. There isn't a huge array of things going on with the plot: it's a fairly simple adventure with man and girl against the elements. No denser layers – although there's a few minor directions they briefly go, some of which are quite touching. There's even a few plot twists.

I'm not sure why it gets so bashed: it's good for a run of thrills and a bit of a family-tinged film (it's PG for violence and gore). To that end, it's effective. There's plenty of tension as the pair do a lot of running, either to something or usually from something. Like the endless Jurassic Park entries, big bitey creatures sneak up from one corner of the frame or another, and yeah, you'll get your adrenaline up.

The frights are well done, partially achieved through darn good CGI beasties. The first appearance of the T Rex is chilling and awe-inspiring.

Those more hardcore sci-fi fans are going to find the premises an uneasy swallow (like myself) – and those who want more science with their fiction are going to be a little offended, frankly. I still am, being a science writer. One major aspect of the movie that it depends on – there are somehow humans predating Earthlings by millions of years - is kind'a cringe-inducing. Yet I'll give the flick hefty props for suspending that disbelief and throwing enough inventiveness into the setup to make you not care so much.

Like I said, it wasn't reaching for anything deep. If they had explained this somehow, it could've put the movie into a whole new level. There's also the not-quite-so-little matter of one big coincidence at the end that ups the cheese factor, but whatev's: it still works in the excitement department.

While Driver and Goldblatt are the official stars, there are times the scenery steals, well, the scene. At one moment on a beach, the girl is crawling past dino birds that you're sure are going to eat her. That, it turns out, is Whaleshead Beach on the south Oregon coast. Though when I first watched this, I didn't know it was our coast. It caught my eye, however.

Driver gets chomped on by a dinosaur here at Golden Falls near Coos Bay / photo Oregon State Parks

One of the early scenes takes place at Golden & Silver Falls State Natural Area near Coos Bay. Mills peers down and sees a pack of gnarly little dinos skittering about, and suddenly one jumps right in his face from just below the edge of the falls and attacks him. Now, I cannot picture that south coast trail without dinos.

Meyers Creek near Gold Beach was another filming locale, which I'm not sure I was able to spot for certain. There are plenty of beach scenes, which were all Oregon coastie spots. Yay, for us! The very opening sequence was some sandy place along here, with a grouping of sandstone-like rocks in back of the mother and daughter. All the scene's shots looking forward towards the ocean were CGI'd with the horizon of an alien world, which was seamlessly done and beautifully appropriate as I sometimes look at our seastacks and imagine an alien planet.

Some parts were filmed in Ireland, and those lush, green hills were pure eye candy in the film – though they could've been some slightly inland places filmed here.

Should you rent it on streaming? Yes. Even better, watch it at night while you're on the Oregon coast. Put out the lights for max effect, however.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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Keywords: #OregonCoast, 65 movie, Adam Driver, Coos Bay, Brookigs, movies filmed in Oregon, science fiction