Sphere


release year: 1998
genre: sci-fi
viewing setting: home Bluray, 12/4/12 and theater 2/13/98

synopsis: The government has found a UFO under the ocean's surface, and they send some scientists to check it out.

impressions: It started off strong with good sci-fi elements (with some action and horror) but then changed into a character-driven deal - a big pet peeve of mine. Another pet peeve that this movie realized was the "alterable-reality" effect - you never know what's real, and nothing makes sense. This was partially excusable due to the nature of what was going on, but still. Other things: a door cuts a guy in half, a sleeping person can't be awakened by shouting right in his face (not to mention the underwater habitat being attacked, flooding, etc), people communicating by radios who don't talk to each other. The big one: imagine if you will three people, A, B, and C. B acts irrational for a while, then is suddenly ok again while C begins acting up. Why does A completely forget about B's recent behavior and ally with him against C? It was little things like this - about a dozen of them - that made this movie less than what it could have been, and what the novel was.

acting: Dustin Hoffman is the psychologist, whose experience proves helpful as things get bad. Samuel Jackson is the mathematician, whose experience helps the group talk to the alien intelligence. Sharon Stone is the biologist, but doesn't do much other than act irrational. Liev Schreiber is the physicist, whose experience helps them figure out what the UFO is and how it came to be there. Peter Coyote is the military guy who's in charge.

final word: Partial but not total sci-fi success.

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