A pair of shuttle astronauts leave their spacecraft to repair a satellite. There's an explosion. NASA loses contact for two minutes, but the both are rescued and safely returned to Earth. ... See full summary »
A pair of shuttle astronauts leave their spacecraft to repair a satellite. There's an explosion. NASA loses contact for two minutes, but the both are rescued and safely returned to Earth. Eventually it becomes evident that neither of the astronauts is quite the same. Written by
When examining Reese's things, Jillian comes across a Newsweek magazine with a cover story of the accident in space and a cover picture of a B-58. There is no conceivable explanation nor storyline of why a front line story would use a picture of an aircraft retired practically 30 years before the mission. See more »
Nice patient delivery and good ending even if it leaves unsatisfactory questions
Spencer Armacost and Alex Streck are on a mission in orbit to repair a sataleitte when NASA loses touch with them for two minutes. After this two minutes the pair are recovered and return to earth. However Alex dies of heart failure soon after return and his wife, Natalie, kills herself. Soon Spencer's wife Jillian falls pregnant with twins and they move to New York for Spencer to take up a job with a military aerospace firm. However Jillian begins to have doubts that Spencer hasn't been changed by his experience doubts that are backed up by NASA scientist Sherman Reese.
Playing like a cross between Rosemary's Baby and Contact, this film attracted me to it on the strength that Johnny Depp was in the lead. The plot is interesting as I quite enjoy sci-fi when it is done well, although it maybe doesn't deliver everything you'd expect in terms of thrills. It has a nice slow patient build up throughout the film, we are invited to be unsure if Jillian is losing it or if she's catching on to the reality of her situation. A great performance by Joe Morton helps this uncertainty as he plays a NASA rep who may be unhinged as much as he is informed.
The director uses various tricks to help keep the film feeling tight. Shots flash quickly around the illustrate the panic and confusion in Jillian's head, the camera spins around some key confrontations to make the movement draw out pace etc, but for the most part he has a lowkey tension playing constantly which, for me, worked better than big shocks and scares. The `truth' is revealed a little too early, leaving the film with it's wad blown with still 20 minutes to go, and the climatic confrontation would have worked better with a rant that explains everything in terms of `why' and `who' but the actual conclusion is pretty cool and maybe it's better we're left wondering.
Depp is OK in the lead but not his best work. He only has to walk round looking menacing and talking with the Texan accent and that's it! Theron is much better and she portrays Jillian so well that the audience aren't sure if she's crazy or not. Her gradual descent is well done and helped by the director. Morton is excellent in what amounts to little more than a cameo and the rest of the cast are pretty good.
Overall this is not a perfect film and is really a bit of a hybrid of genres, but it works pretty well. The slow build up of tension works well, even if it bails out before it should. The ending may be slightly unsatisfying but there's no denying it is a brave attempt. I enjoyed it even if I felt like a bigger ending was in order.
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