Trapped in Space (1995 TV Movie)
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The worst thing about the story is the low budget, which gives the whole spaceship setting a cheap look, like something out of a STAR TREK rip-off. The rest of it is pretty good. The performances are effective, especially Craig Wasson (BODY DOUBLE) as the crazy guy, but the best thing by far is the script, which keeps you guessing as to what's going to happen to whom. The suspense never stops, and the tension keeps you on the edge of your seat. Let's just say that despite the family friendly rating, there's some very unpleasant stuff transpiring here.
!!!!! MILD SPOILERS !!!!!
Yeah okay this isn't a great movie and the fact that the opening credits feature white bold letters superimposed over the action means its production values are very similar to a TVM . It's fairly obvious that production value wise it is indeed a TVM since the camera work is very static , most of the cast have done more television than cinema work and there's a woman saving a really cute dog . It also becomes obvious that when you see a cryogenic chamber this somehow ties in with at least one character being saved from a slow suffocating death and I bet the majority of the audience managed to work out the ending long before it played out on screen
But let me defend the movie to a point . It has a fairly impressive premise of a spaceship being hit by some debris , the captain escaping in the only lifepod and the remaining five crewmen realising there's only enough oxygen for three personnel on the voyage to Venus . Perhaps it's not as developed as well as it should but the story did hold my interest and some of the main characters do die which means TRAPPED IN SPACE isn't as predictable as first thought
Based on a short by Arthur C Clarke the set-up for this premise was never going to be totally lacking in intelligence. Unfortunately the cheap TVM delivery of the idea is so lacking in merit that it loses whatever intelligence the short may have had. The effects are poor (with one exception being the decompressing space suit) and the characters are poorly scripted. The end result is that the story is one that has been done much better in plenty of other films (from Hitchcock's excellent Lifeboat to the iffy Lifepod) and should have been left, rather than wheeling it out again to fill 90 minutes of network time.
The cast are poor - made up of daytime soap actors. In fairness they don't really have anything to work with. All the characters are stereotypes like in disaster movies - we have the coward, the nutter, the kind one, the quiet plotting one, the nervous rookie, even a dog to make up the check list! None of them are ever developed beyond the first scene and to be honest it's hard to care who lives or dies.
Overall this has some good moments, but the poor script, poor effects, poor characters and poor actors manage to almost ruin any merit this may have once had.
The original story by Arthur C. Clarke concerned a freighter en route to Venus when a meteor strike left the vessel with only enough oxygen for one crewmember to survive the trip -a variation on the "Lifeboat" theme. Like all good such stories it centered around the psychological strains as they struggle with the up coming decision.
Here is where the movie breaks down. One of the endearing traits of a properly handled SF story such as this is that the authors treat physics seriously. There is no deux ex machina rescues. There are consequences to accidents in space and the better writers do not attempt to evade them. In fact -the basic thrust is that there may not be any solution (See "The Cold Equations" for an example.) The scriptwriters here violated every tenet of good SF writing. This particular spacecraft had a lifeboat- an utterly absurd concept on a spacecraft limited to Hohman Transfer orbits. Trust me on this- All the captain did in leaving on that lifeboat was to guarantee himself a slow agonizing death- I hope he had no children so we could give him a Darwin Award for "Too Dumb To Live." The actions of a crewman in bungling repairs was about as pointless as it gets. -i.e. yeah big deal he repaired the damage but where do we get the oxygen to replace that lost? Oh- he lost even more oxygen. He is a qualified astronaut- how? The interactions of the crew with each other was such that I really wanted them ALL to die.- and the little dog too. Not very good storytelling. And the ending with a hibernation chamber was the very epitome of a deux ex machina by a writer that doesn't want to actually follow a story to the proper ending. This film ranks as a big missed opportunity. Because Television has done some decent shows. The remake of the "Twilight Zone" did a very good job with the Tom Godwin story "The Cold Equations", William Lee's "A Message From Charity" and Arthur Clarke's "The Star." The key to doing these adaptations is to stay true to the story as written even though some things simply have to be changed for the nature of the TV medium. Contrast this one with "Gravity" -one I thoroughly enjoyed and willingly let them use their "artistic license" to violate some orbital physics for the sake of the story. Tell a good yarn and I will let you get away with a lot. Tell a bad one and I won't. This was a bad one.
an asteroid hits the ship, oxygen supplies are lost, the entire crew cant survive the trip. one guy decides to go on a rampage. how original.
the effects are awful, the acting is often clunky, the plot is inconsistent.
it is, however, a good time waster. IF you have absolutely nothing else to do. 3/10