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Beautifully shot, amazingly acted thrill
I didn't expect much from Pandorum when I went to see it. Therefore I was taken completely by surprise as to how incredibly good the movie was. It's very strange for me to love so much a strictly genre piece, but there you have it.
Pandorum follows the rules of SF/horror deep-space stories and doesn't stray into new territory, but it still manages to not seem a rip-off of anything, even when you see clearly which movies it was inspired by in specific scenes.
Pandorum is claustrophobic to the point of suffocation. It is darkly schizophrenic and vibrates with barely contained hysteria. It is also almost entirely devoid of cheap shocks, which is very much to its credit.
The movie delivers an amazing performance from both leading characters, but especially from Ben Foster whose Corporal Bower is both strong and vulnerable, barely keeping it together. He is so believable in fact, that at some point I almost began to feel some of the hysterics of his situation.
The camera is also great, especially in portraying the claustrophobic shaft sequences and the movement of the creatures infesting the ship Elysium. The way it focuses on characters' faces during specific moments also strengthens the atmosphere of panic and dementia.
All in all, Pandorum is far more than I expected, and I loved every second of it. True, it presents nothing original and sticks to the basics of a very limited genre. But he does it masterfully, with superb acting and a scorchingly engaging atmosphere. For me that is not only the SF, but also the horror movie of the year.
I don't like the book but I expected a nice movie made from it...
...alas, this is not the case. OK, so Eragon IS ripped off Star Wars, but so what? A New Hope was a nice movie, wasn't it? Better to steal from it, than from Zoolander. But to make it into a "play in the straw with the cousin" movie with actually NO memorable special effects (hell-o? we're talking' FANTASY here?), ridiculous lines and script to actually feel pity for? Well, not nice at all. The movie suffers from lack of budget (or may be too big part of it went for bribing John Malkovitch to actually appear in it), and from a distinct lack of elves and dwarfs. Such as - I might add - ARE present in the book. For crying out loud, the PRINCESS is supposed to be an ELF, not a human! Not only is Eragon poor in every aspect, but the scriptwriters have also severed all connections from the book, that could lead them to the sequel. For which - I strongly hope - ANOTHER director will be chosen. Because I don't think I'm gonna watch a second movie like this one.
Oh, and Edward Speleers is actually OK and not totally gay. Who'd have thought...