Review: Pandorum – 4.9/5

Saw this flic with my dear ol’ mom tonight. My treat, to help her get her mind off my recently passed Aunt Marie.

This movie kicked ass! I hesitate to say it’s perfect, but can’t think of any specific problem. Maybe some of the “so dark and shakey you aren’t sure what’s going on or where you are” was iffy… but that really worked well with the horror/suspense. Maybe the “audio blast so loud you have to jump in your seat” was too easy… but nowadays this almost seems like painting the sets in oil – it just crafts a mood and elevates the tension. Maybe…? All in all, I think I only hesitate to give it a perfect 5 out of 5 because it didn’t grab me on a personal level. I didn’t really want to be any of the characters. So it was just a kick ass sci fi thrill ride, perfectly executed.

Anywho. If you haven’t seen it, but are considering it: stop reading this and just go fucking watch it. it’s a scifi/action/horror delight. They did a great job promoting it, such that they really only gave away the opening scene. it’s rare these days that a movie can be so unspoiled by it’s marketing. (edit: i take this back, i just rewatched the trailer and it’s filled with spoilers. I guess i just assumed the movie would be going a different way. hmm.).

As the end credits rolled, I had the sense it was a labor of love, made in germany, by people with something to prove. I groaned when I saw Paul W.S. Anderson was a producer. But, while I think he has ruined many a movie, he has sometimes shown a knack for mood/style…yeah? And the only thing in this movie that reminded me of his work (that made me think of he might have been directly involved) was: the excellent set dressing and design. Other than that, i didn’t smell him. I found myself wondering if he discovered a talent, or was perhaps giving one of his DPs or F/X guys a break. This movie had much sharper editing/lighting/pacing.

Anywho.

spoilers:

bloody gore. some gross bits. Some dark science fiction. but no needless suffering (no broken bones. No torture). This was really Ben Foster’s movie. And i love him, so I thought this was a treat. I wonder if they were afraid to let him carry it, so they had to pretend Dennis Quaid was the lead? hmm. The real spoilerific reason i loved the shit out of this movie was: it was an epic revisit of the old “crazy space mutant tribal” we used to get all the time in stuff like “Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone”. Dudes with makeshift ragged metal swords fighting epic battles with impossibly dangerous monster tribes. booby traps and lazer guns. plus a dark adult exploration of some SciFi staples (memory gaps and space madness meet mission to save humanity and genetically modify alien life).

I was left thinking “this was a smart original take on the genre. I hope to god they find a way to keep it going.” 50 thumbs up!

* now I find myself watching the 1976 cut of “The killing of a chinese bookie”… from the library… and… i doubt i’ll be writing up a review. bleh. I’m tempted to turn it off and watch friday’s Dollhouse episode online, instead. That’s my review. “not a movie that was for me.” “basically, like mean streets – but only about one loser guy, and much more boring… but Ben Gazara exudes cool, and there are lots of strippers” that’s my review. bleh. Needs more poison gas and needle guns and metal grates.

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