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Pandorum, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on September 27, 2009

pandorum_2Director: Christian Alvart
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue, Cung Le
Running Time: 108 minutes

Score: 7 / 10

This review by Dan Franzen.

Echoing such luminous sci-fi classics as 2001 and Alien, Pandorum is a terrific psychological thriller, although it does struggle at times to be coherent and original. But it’s a true mindbender, and it’s packed with action that moves so quickly neither the actors nor the audience can really catch a breath, which is a good move if your plot is shaky to begin with.

As with the best deep-space movies, the context is mental illness, what the Professor on Gilligan’s Island called, oddly enough, “island madness.” Only in space. In the distant, distant future, a ship has been sent from the Earth carrying a lot of people, headed to the only Earth-like planet ever found. Sometime during the journey, things go awry. We pick up the story as an astronaut named Bower (Ben Foster) awakens from hypersleep, abruptly; he’s soon followed by his commanding officer, Payton (Dennis Quaid). The rest of the crew is gone, and the only door is locked from the outside. What’s happened here? Making matters more difficult is the amnesia that each man suffers from, owing to their having been in hypersleep way longer than intended. Somehow, they must piece together what has happened and find out what lies behind that door – and throughout the rest of the gigantic ship.

Not only does the movie recall Aliens and 2001, you can also see similarities to The Descent and The Abyss; really, any movie in which people are trapped in claustrophobic environs. And although the pacing is frenetic at times, the movie is really chillingly shot (by Wedigo von Schultzendorff). On the one hand, the plot flows linearly – Bower needs to get to the ship’s reactor so he can reboot it and save everyone – meaning that the actors race from scene to scene, running out of time. On the other hand, they don’t piece together what’s happened as quickly as they might in other, lesser films; they seem to figure things out gradually, as if assembling a puzzle in their heads. Bowers and others – and there are others – discover right away, though, that they’re not really alone on the ship and that their enemies are extremely strong and fast and vicious.

Injected into this oh-my-goodness-what’s-out-there madness is, well, madness. The movie’s title is explained as being a sort of mental illness that affects astronauts from time to time, when they just plain go bonkers for seemingly no reason and kill everyone on board. Is that’s what’s happening here? Is Bower the crazy one? Or is it Payton? Are they, in fact, alone on the ship? Foster is excellent as the hero who remembers a little bit more of their mission as time elapses; Quaid, in turn, shows a few more layers than we’re accustomed to seeing from him (he’s usually more of a poor man’s Harrison Ford). Both actors turn in convincing, full-throated performances that complement, rather than succumb to, the special effects and cinematic wizardry. Often, the effects are the entire show. Now, it’s true that you won’t see a lot of character development here, as you might in the most cerebral of sci-fi, but what works best here is the paucity of knowledge about the situation and the characters. By spinning the tale gradually, feeding the audience only a snippet at a time, director Christian Alvart dangles the mystery in front of his viewers without allowing them to settle back and solve the mystery on their own. When you’re constantly kept on your toes with sudden lurches of unseen shapes and reverberating noises, you – like the befuddled characters – are concurrently kept off balance. The result is an unsettling, entertaining delight.

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Pandorum – New clip from sci-fi horror

Posted by LiveFor on July 24, 2009


From the creators of the Resident Evil film franchise comes Pandorum, a terrifying thriller in which two crew members wake up on an abandoned spacecraft with no idea who they are, how long they’ve been asleep, or what their mission is. The two soon discover they’re actually not alone — and the reality of their situation is more horrifying than they could have imagined.

Pandorum is in theaters September 18th, 2009 and stars Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Antje Traue, Cung Le, Norman Reedus and Cam Gigandet.

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Pandorum – New creepy poster for sci-fi horror film

Posted by LiveFor on June 19, 2009

Another great poster for the sci-fi film Pandorum.

The terrifying thriller follows two crew members who wake up on an abandoned spacecraft with no idea who they are, how long they’ve been asleep, or what their mission is. The two soon discover they’re actually not alone — and the reality of their situation is more horrifying than they could have imagined.

Still no idea if the things they see are real or all in their mind. Is Dennis Quaid’s character a figment of Ben Foster’s imagination?

It is due out on 4th September and directed by Christian Alvart, the film stars Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Antje Traue, Cung Le, Norman Reedus and Cam Gigandet.

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.

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Pandorum – New trailer for sci-fi space weirdness

Posted by LiveFor on May 28, 2009

This is looking rather good and a tad suspenseful.

It stars Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Antje Traue, Cung Le, Norman Reedus and Cam Gigandet.

Two astronauts awaken in a hyper-sleep chamber aboard a seemingly abandoned spacecraft. It’s pitch black, they are disoriented, and the only sound is a low rumble and creak from the belly of the spacecraft. They can’t remember anything – who are they, what is their mission? The only way out of the chamber is a dark and narrow airshaft. Corporal Bower (Foster), the younger of the two, crawls inside, while the other, Lt. Payton (Quaid), stays behind for guidance on a radio transmitter. As Bower ventures deeper and deeper into the ship, he begins to uncover a terrifying reality. Slowly the spacecraft’s shocking and deadly secrets come unraveled, and the astronauts realize that the survival of mankind hinges on their actions.

I just hope it doesn’t end up as some predictable bit of space horror. At the moment it is looking like a mix of Dead Space, Event Horizon, Alien and a few others.

What do you think the story is about? Does the trailer grab you?

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.

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