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27 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A Pleasant Surprise!

Author: M&J from Athens, OH USA
20 April 2002

It's a lazy Saturday and I'm at home, not expecting to find anything worth watching on the tube when I stumbled upon this movie. I have to say that I was very surprised by this film. It's really pretty good. The problem with a lot of sci-fi pictures today is that they fail to create a believable fantasy world. Bad sci-fi flicks suffer from gaping plot holes or scientific impossibilities that anyone who paid attention to 4th grade science could figure out. This film doesn't suffer from such ailments. The writer and director painted a believable picture of a future where humans live on Earth, Mars, and mine the moons of Saturn and interplanetary shipping of cargo is a high pay / high risk job. The two lead characters awake from hyper-sleep 10 months past their scheduled date only to discover that the ship has been ravaged by the two members of the previous shift... both of whom are missing. The suspense starts from there continues to build for remainder of the film. It was pretty suspenseful flick. A lot of that is due to excellent acting jobs by Missy Crider (Frailty, Powder, the TV series The Others) and Jason London (The Rage: Carrie 2, Safe Passage) and a script by Carla Jean Wagner that didn't sacrifice accuracy for an abundant amount of official sounding techno-babble. Put the acting and writing together and you actually end up caring about the lead characters. If this movie a larger budget for props and special effects, it could have ranked up there with films like Alien, or Blade Runner. The ending isn't typical, which only adds to the class of this film. The only problem I can see with the flick are the external CGI shots of the ships... they are good for television, but still obviously generated by computer. Regardless, I still recommend this film. Enjoy!

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25 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

pretty decent, under-rated sci-fi movie

Author: kcwells from a little to the left
26 April 2003

I just watched this movie again, this time on the Sci-Fi channel, and I came on here to see what others thought. Frankly, I'm surprised it has such a low rating on here. It's certainly not flawless, but I think it's actually pretty darn good. There really wasn't anything BAD about it, either--nothing really to complain about at all. The acting was all pretty well done; perhaps not Oscar-winning, but not unbelievable at all. The plot, dialogue, and story all made sense too. The special effects--though there weren't really much of these to comment on--were all better than you'd expect for a movie you'd see on TV, and even the prop corpses looked reasonably as you'd expect them to look. I was impressed at how logical they made it all: the way the cargo system on the ship worked, the way the ship computer interacted with them, the way they moved around outside the ship (it didn't look like they were on strings when they were slightly hovering around), the way they realistically handled all of the situations, everything. Seriously, this movie isn't bad at all. It's certainly not the MOST creative or original movie out there, but I really don't understand why anyone would give it a 4.8/10 (which is the user rating on here at the time of me writing this). Although I would find it hard for someone to say this is their FAVORITE movie, it certainly shouldn't get anything lower than a 6. Personally, I'm giving it a 7. It's entertaining, pretty well acted and written, and it doesn't contain any gratuitous gore, nudity, or foul language either to bring down its quality level. Heck, it's even thought-provoking. *shrugs* I like it, and if you like sci-fi movies (or even if you don't), I bet you'd probably like it too. Don't let the abnormally low user rating scare you, this is a good movie. Oh, and it's not a creature flick either--there are no monsters or aliens or anything to make it hokey. It's a pretty good movie, try it out for yourself.

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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Expect the unexpected

Author: hightide from SoCal
10 October 2001

The beginning is an example of corporate tinkering. They felt they needed a formula hook so they editted one up front. But after that it really keeps you awake. Like an early Roger Corman film ("House of Usher") about half way thru, you realize they have been keeping the story going with smoke and mirrors, just 2 actors in this case carrying the whole film. But it works because the acting, the dialog, the direction, are great and the basic concept is solid and they dont screw it up. Then at the end you realize they arent going to cop out and it's really going to go where you never thot it was going to go. I really appreciate the minimalism and what they did with it. Story, characters, action... common sense in a dire situation.

9 stars out of ten.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A refreshing deviation from horror in Sci Fi.

Author: ThunderStomper from Minneapolis, MN
4 September 2001

It was refreshing to see a return to a Sci Fi movie based on suspense rather than horror. It had a decent and plausible story line. It was not heavy on special effects, but those it had were realistic enough not to detract from the movie. The acting was good, and the characters believable. It was unpredictable enough to keep you guessing, but did not have to come from left field to surprise you. The twists made sense within the context of the movie. If you watch Sci Fi for the horror aspect, you won't get much out of this movie. But if you watch for a decent story and a decent movie in a Sci Fi genre, you shouldn't be disappointed.

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:


Author: corneil-3
28 September 1999

Surprisingly intelligent unhackneyed script for a somewhat familiar space subject. The uncliched ending, especially the visual of the last scene, still haunts me.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

The best made for Sci-Fi channel movie I've seen.

Author: michaelayon83 from United States
24 June 2006

This is easily the best made for Sci-Fi channel movie I've seen.

I have to admit, I can't recall the last Sci-Fi channel I've watched from beginning to end, but I'll catch a few minutes of something here and there and they're all pretty pathetic.

This movie is not full of cheesy CGI (computer generated images) or gore. The story is pretty good and the acting is the best I've seen in a made for Sci-Fi channel movie. The characters reactions to everything happening to them in the movie is believable and logical.

I would rate this an easy 9-10 for a made for TV movie as it kept me entertained not from laughing and making fun of it like so many made for Sci-Fi channel productions, but from actually enjoying it as movies are meant to be.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

An intelligent SciFi movie, very well done.

Author: fgunther ( from Brooklyn, NY
16 February 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Since TV Guide only gave this movie one star, I was going to skip it, but, thankfully, something made me look a bit deeper. I'm glad I did, or I would have missed one of those rare gems buried in the dreck cable channels use as filler.

The title leads one to expect a cheesy "C" movie, with poor special effects, paint-by-numbers acting and every cliche known to the third-rate scriptwriter. Instead, we get a very well-done suspense film, far better than such big-budget blockbusters as "Red Planet".

The acting is nicely done and understated, the directing is taut and keeps the story flowing beautifully. As for cliches, the only one I noticed was the sleazy, obnoxious Company manager at the beginning. Otherwise, the other characters developed right in front of us, in the first fifteen minutes, with an almost British economy of dialogue.

The parallels with the original movie "Alien" are clear (cargo vessel, small crew, hypersleep during voyage), creating a locked-room environment for the drama to play itself out. But the plot is completely different, and the enemy far less clearly defined, only gradually becoming clear (sorry, I'm trying to avoid spoilers here). One of the film's nice touches is the handling of even the smaller roles, like the two communicators on the space station around Neptune; they actually come through as likable people, trying their best in an impossible situation.

The suspense at the end is maintained with a minimum of artificial plot devices, the elements of the story flowing smoothly and credibly one into the other.

In my humble opinion, this movie deserved a better deal than it got in terms of exposure and promotion, but what can you expect from the suits who run the entertainment business today?

This movie gets 8 stars from me, and even people who don't like SciFi will probably agree. Or not. I would definitely watch this film again.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Good, Mis-titled (WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!)

Author: Therod from WV, USA
3 September 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just got done seeing this on re-run, and I must say I was quite impressed. London and Crider do fantastic jobs as the two lead astronauts -- they are so believable that they almost demand sympathy. The scenery and special effects were well-done, especially for a TV movie. Only gripe is that the title may be misleading to some (I certainly was). We never actually SEE the aliens, which is disappointing, but ultimately effective as the point of the movie is to emphasize the psychological element more than the physical element. Fans of "Event Horizon" will probably like this. Overall, very well-done for a made-for-TV sci-fi outing.

My Grade: B+

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A clever outer-space-mystery, and no scream-and-run-alien-copy

Author: DePalma ( from Norway
4 October 1999

A surprisingly intelligent outer-space mystery which is no alien-clone as it appears to be at first

The story may unfold slowly, but it has all the elements which makes it a good what-happens-next story. The actors are okay, nothing special, but the script nicely takes it time to explain different aspects around the mystery. It may not be entirely original, but at least we don`t get the whole picture from just watching 10 seconds of it. And the special effects are nice too. The end is a real beauty on the eye...and the mind.

We need more plot-focusing science fiction movies like this. Other similar movies to recommend: Alien-saga, Screamers, Outland, Life name a few.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Don't let the title or budget fool you!

Author: redbeard_nv from Boulder City
27 April 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Read the other reviews for plot lines and spoilers, this one is an analysis of the mechanics of the movie.

On the plus side, the title doesn't mean a guy in a phony rubber suit. On the negative, the pacing is a little too slow for me to pay a great deal of attention, regardless of how intelligent the script turned out to be, although, as another poster has mentioned, it seems to lack a third act, or a payoff.

Netter Digital, the gang responsible for the effects work on "Babylon 5", turn in a satisfactory job on the SSS-17, a clunky boxy space cargo ship, but a better set of effects on the deep space exploration vessel, The Dolphin.

Attention to a lot of detail, concepts of what a corporation will do to minimize costs in the future world of Solar System mining and transport of goods and raw materials, a couple of decent actors handling the script (which, as I mentioned isn't too shabby), contribute to a surprising change of pace, regardless of a downer ending (I don't know if something else would have happened, that it would have become anti-climactic).

All in all, better than a lot of straight to vid sci-fi. I just wish it had been done just a little better.

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