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Space Station 76 (2014)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi  |  8 March 2014 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 4,915 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 86 user | 38 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

A 1970s version of the future, where personalities and asteroids collide.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Space Station 76 (2014)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
Misty
...
Ted
...
Steve
...
Sunshine
...
Donna
...
James
...
Saul
...
Dr. Bot (voice)
...
Janice
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Star Angel
Susan Currie ...
Steves Mother
...
Mr. Marlowe
...
Chuck
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Storyline

Space Station 76 is a refueling satellite near an alternate-reality Earth, circa 1976. Jessica arrives to serve as the station's new first mate. While she narrates a piece about how she likes the predictability of asteroids, some placidly drifting asteroids are shown colliding in chain-reaction fashion. While at first the station appears normal and the people friendly, Jessica soon discovers that the people on board have issues due to the isolation and stress of being cooped up with one another in a relatively small space far from Earth. This is in addition the usual problems people struggle with, such as infidelity, loneliness, depression, and drug abuse. She tries to make friends and fit in, but, unable to connect meaningfully with anyone, she becomes lonely. She's baffled and disillusioned by the stiff and irritable Captain Glenn, who harbors secrets of his own. She finds herself drawn to Ted, a lonely, married crewman, and his 7 year-old daughter, Sunshine. Ted yearns to reconnect... Written by Ken B.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to the future of your past.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality including graphic nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 March 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Estación Espacial 76  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second movie that Patrick Wilson and Liv Tyler starred together. First being The Ledge. See more »

Connections

References Logan's Run (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Carmen, Wear Your Red Dress Tonight
Written by Spanky McFarlane
Performed by Spanky and Our Gang
Courtesy of Jody Friedman & HD Music Now Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Disappointed but maybe it's just me
6 August 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I find it strange and suspicious that I saw the so-called international premiere at the Montreal Fantasia Festival yesterday and that there were already 7 reviews up that had been there for months (all from March except 2), that were all roughly of the same length (one-paragraph long), that were all very positive, that were often the only review done by the reviewer on IMDb, and that 3 reviews were from people who joined IMDb at the same time. I'm not sure what to think of this but let's give the benefit of the doubt. (September 21 edit: Since writing this review, I learnt that the movie was actually shown at South by Southwest festival in March even though the Fantasia Festival website and program do say "International premiere". It's why I wrote "so-called" international premiere. I still find the early reviews suspicious but less so.)

Contrary to those other glowing reviews, I didn't like this movie and I'm still not quite sure why. I didn't really laugh except perhaps once. I might even have found it more sad than funny most of the time. When people in the public laughed, and they did laugh, I wasn't even smiling or amused. Keep in mind that the Fantasia festival audience is usually very generous and expressive. To be fair, 2 friends I went with thought the movie was good.

So what went wrong? Why was it that, apparently, a good portion of the people in the theater enjoyed this '70s sci-fi pastiche made today while I didn't?

Maybe it was because of my age and lack of familiarity/nostalgia. I'm way more familiar with sci-fi shows/films of the '80s and after, although I've seen a few of the '70s. Usually, I do love sci-fi comedies and I do love dark humor. Maybe it was because of the acting. Most actors - especially the captain (Patrick Wilson), the new first officer (Liv Tyler) and the "mechanic" (Matt Bomer) - played this very seriously and deadpan. Usually nothing wrong with that, it's supposed to be "drama" too after all, but here I found it sometimes jarring. It's like those actors weren't cast in the right film. I did enjoy the Misty character, the blonde Anna-Faris look-alike, that was a little more over the top.

Maybe it's because it was depressing or sad. Basically, all the characters were depressed and/or unhappy. Even the captain was suicidal. Usually, this is fertile ground for dark comedy but the pay-offs here seemed disappointing. A little girl here was very good but almost everything involving her just seemed sad, and not "ha-ha" sad. Maybe it's because I was spoiled beforehand. I did read the festival program entry, saw the trailer. Perhaps it ruined the better jokes, the effect of surprise. Maybe it was because most of the comedy bits weren't that funny after all. I do get how unacceptable behavior today (such as smoking around children) was more acceptable in the '70s and that the differences can be amusing. I do get that with pot, you find things funny that you otherwise wouldn't. I do get that cliché pop psychology advice can be amusing. However, this and other things seemed funnier on paper than how it was in delivery. It was all very deadpan. Again, this usually doesn't bother me, but it did here.

Maybe it was because of the decors and special effects. Actually no, those were better than expected. Even though the Fantasia festival program said the movie was "faithfully free of new-fangled CGI", I learnt recently the effects were indeed done digitally. To my eyes, they did seem to look vintage and made with models, but I was fooled. I thought the looks inside the station from space were especially well done. However, I thought the dingy toy robots distracted from immersion. They felt like props from the stage play this movie was based on. Yeah, the decors were repetitive, but it was like this back then, so not complaining there. Maybe I just wasn't into the right mood. All that being said, even though I didn't personally care for that film, a certain nostalgic audience having the references and in the right frame of mind might find it enjoyable. However, I do not think that it deserves those 9-stars and 10-stars ratings in the IMDb reviews made before the "international" premiere. I would give it around a 6 or 7 stars for most people because it was too hit or miss. Personally, for me, I have to rate it lower as I found it disappointing and mostly unfunny.

Rating: 4 out of 10 (Poor)


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