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The Astronaut's Wife (1999)

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After an explosion in space and subsequent two-minute radio-out period, two astronauts return home to their wives. Slightly it's revealed that they're not the same as they were.

Director:

Rand Ravich

Writer:

Rand Ravich
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Commander Spencer Armacost
Charlize Theron ... Jillian Armacost
Joe Morton ... Sherman Reese, NASA Representative
Clea DuVall ... Nan
Donna Murphy ... Natalie Streck
Nick Cassavetes ... Capt. Alex Streck
Samantha Eggar ... Dr. Patraba
Gary Grubbs ... NASA Director
Blair Brown ... Shelly McLaren
Tom Noonan ... Jackson McLaren
Tom O'Brien ... Allen Dodge
Lucy Lin Lucy Lin ... Shelly Carter
Michael Crider Michael Crider ... Pat Elliott
Jacob Stein Jacob Stein ... Calvin, 2nd Grade Student
Timothy Wicker Timothy Wicker ... Wide Eyed Kid #1
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Storyline

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 JHole

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Witness the birth of pure evil See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and a strong scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El engendro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,027,003, 29 August 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,672,566
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema,Mad Chance See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Mr. Reese tracks Jillian to the toy store, he opens his briefcase to show her documents. The lock code was set to '666'. See more »

Goofs

When Jillian goes to Washington Square Park by subway, it's clearly night and dark. When she emerges from the subway, it is daylight. See more »

Quotes

Jillian: You killed my husband.
Spencer Armacost: Yeah. I did. And then I fucked his wife.
See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: The DVD includes an alternate ending: When Spencer is killed, Jillian is not possessed by the alien. Instead, she moves out to the country. Sitting beneath a tree, looking up at the stars, she tunes her radio to the same signals Spencer was receiving while possessed by the alien - her twin babies controlling her movements from inside the womb, listening - and waiting... See more »

Connections

Features Penny Serenade (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

My Way
Written by Paul Anka, Gilles Thibaut, Jacques Revaux, Claude François
Performed by Sid Vicious
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An insult
2 February 2006 | by jamesowen-2See all my reviews

There is scene in this movie in which a stroke is medically referred to as "a severe insult to the brain". A line which describes this entire film far better than any reviewer possibly could.

Obviously influenced by The X-Files, the first thing that strikes the viewer is the invasive use of tense mood music. If the Astronaut's Wife is opening a fridge there is a string quartet behind anxiously heralding a danger which subsequently doesn't exist. In a TV show like The X-Files it's a trick used to great affect because it's stylistic and the shows exhibit a degree of wit and imagination that relieve us from the pointless tension. Neither of those saving graces feature in this film.

The characters are poorly drawn, we're constantly told Spencer (The Astronaut) has changed since his last mission into space. We need to be told this so often because we're deprived of witnessing very much of his prior personality. And throughout the story Jillian (The Wife) never functions as anything more than a paranoid wreck, even before she suspects that something is really wrong.

Fans of Depp and Theron will be as disappointed as the rest of us. Johnny's flyboy astronaut is utterly out of place since we all know true spacemen are stiff and boring scientists, yet this guy is exhuberant like the barnstorming 1950's test pilots that never really existed. God only knows what hewas thinking with this part. And Charlize, throughout she never lifts above the catatonic. Literally, and I mean this folks, there is nothing more to her performance than the bags under her eyes and hers is the lead character, our heroine for crying out loud! That's beyond appalling.

As a thriller there is never a comfort break in this pretentious sci-fi flick that asks us to care for a character it's impossible engage with. It's non-stop, we're expected to be in the edge of our seat with every single scene, and if the plot doesn't supply the drama a 'bus' (that's the Hollywood term for a false shock) will. They are countless, and soon annoying. The same can be said for the way The Wife is mysteriously at the front of every crowd during key moments of action, which is one of the other cheap dramatic tricks overused by a really really bad director.

Until recently writer/director Rand Ravich hadn't been in charge of a film since this 1999 failure, you'll know why.

Fifteen years ago this was the kind of film that made a frustrated Quentin Tarantino decide he really needed to begin making his own.

It's diabolical.


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