Sunday, March 6, 2016


Year 8, Day 66 - 3/6/16 - Movie #2,267

BEFORE: Well, if last night's film was added to the collection to fill up the DVD with "Birdman" on it, this one served the same purpose for "Interstellar" - which wasn't easy, because "Interstellar" was nearly three hours long, so I had to either just use 1 DVD per film, which I hate to do, or find relatively short sci-fi film to go with it.  Hmm, another space rescue mission, 90 minutes long, it sounded like just the thing.   Robert Forster carries over from "Mulholland Dr.", even though he was just in the first few minutes of that film, and then not seen again.

THE PLOT: A medical ship in deep space in the early 22nd century and its six-member crew answers an emergency distress signal from a comet-mining operation in a distant galaxy.

AFTER: I stayed awake through all of "Mulholland Dr.", but I kept drifting off during this one, which is a full hour shorter - that's not a good sign.  Sci-fi movies are supposed to be exciting, with lots of action and daring piloting of spacecrafts, and this is a comparative yawnfest.  It's really just a rip-off of "Alien" where the evil creature just happens to look more human, I guess he once was human but he evolved, or got changed, or something.  The film is really fuzzy on the details of his back-story, which is another bad sign.  

Robert Forster found a way to not be in the majority of the film, maybe he learned from being in "The Black Hole" back in the day that a sci-fi film where nearly nothing happens ends up being pretty boring.  From what I understand there were a number of problems in the production of this film, to the point where they had to call in Francis Ford Coppola to see if it could be saved with some editing.  Because when you need a sci-fi, expert, isn't Coppola like the first person who comes to mind?  

While no one's really sure about what changes Coppola made, it's possible that dialogue was added late in the game from the ship's computer voice-over, to better explain what's going on - as the computer explains things to the crew, the audience also gets insight.  For example, an explosion in space will reach earth in 51 years, and will either cause massive destruction, or "allow humankind to reach a new level of existence".  Umm, that's a pretty wide spread, could you maybe narrow things down a bit?  

Similarly, when the ship is damaged, the computer estimates the repair time as "17 hours and 1 minute", because computers aren't big on rounding numbers, apparently - only the ship only has 17 hours and 12 minutes before it gets sucked into a gravity well.  What an amazing coincidence, you don't suppose that's going to be important later in the film, that's there's only 11 minutes to spare?  So faced with certain death and just an 11-minute safety margin, naturally the crew then has time for casual sex and computer chess.  Huh?  

It's great to know that in the future, mankind will have developed faster-than-light travel, here it's some kind of dimension-jumping via a plasma drive.  But it figures that the travel is quite unsafe, much like airline travel today, which can never 100% guarantee that the plane's not going to crash.  Here the passengers have to go into some kind of suspension pod while the ship jumps, and before you ask, "But why do they have to be naked?" it's so their body molecules don't get mixed up with their clothing or any other items while they jump, duh.  Anyway in the future people don't seem to mind a lot of nudity, people seem to have evolved past their base human desires and are just more comfortable being nude, OK?  Sex is just a way to pass the time in space, while you're waiting for your ship to repair itself.  

The main problem here is that nobody seems all that interested in doing their jobs, or in the beautiful majesty of space, or pretty much anything.  And if they're not excited, I'm not either. 

Also starring James Spader (last seen in "St. Elmo's Fire"), Angela Bassett (last seen in "Masked and Anonymous"), Lou Diamond Phillips (last seen in "Courage Under Fire"), Robin Tunney (last seen in "The Craft"), Peter Facinelli (last seen in "The Big Kahuna"), Wilson Cruz.

RATING: 3 out of 10 Tom & Jerry cartoons

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