Sunday 20 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Science Fiction · Pandorum
Science Fiction


None October 1st, 2009


Three decades ago, "Alien" set the standard for the sci-fi subgenre of the spaceship as haunted house. With the exception of the 1986 sequel "Aliens," no film has even come close to it, but Hollywood continues to trot them out.

"Pandorum" is the latest, and it comes from producer Paul W.S. Anderson, who's behind the ongoing "Resident Evil" franchise and, in 1997, threw his own hat into the ghost-ship ring by directing the rather underrated "Event Horizon." That Sam Neill/Laurence Fishburne film was ignored in theaters, but has found a life on DVD; I believe the same fate is in store for "Pandorum."

In the year 2174, two men aboard the spaceship Elysium wake up: Lt. Payton (Dennis Quaid, "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra") and Corp. Bower (Ben Foster, "30 Days of Night"). They don't remember who they are, where they are or what they're doing there. As their minds become less cloudy from their eight-year sleep cycle, they piece together the facts, such as that Earth has been destroyed and their wives are supposed to be onboard, along with about 60,000 others. Yet they seem to be alone.

Trapped in the sleep chamber room because of a power outage, Bower leaves Payton behind to climb through the air ducts and see what's what. He soon finds out that there are a few other people on the ship "¦ but that most of them are mutants.

These creatures are pale-faced, run fast and shriek like little girls at a Jonas Brothers concert "” all representative of the vampires in "30 Days of Night." They also look like they've dressed themselves using remainders from the final day of GWAR's garage sale, and used the savings to order some Ginsu knives from an infomercial. Bower has the ability to blast them to smithereens using a plasma-pulse beam he wears on his hand like a glove, but no worries, gore fans: There will be blood.

Provided you can see it, that is. Maybe it was just the theater I was in, but the darkness looked too dark, making much of "Pandorum" tough to decipher visually. This seems typical of movie theaters nowadays, so I'll give the movie the benefit of the doubt, and assume the experience will be heightened on DVD. After all, the scenes in which the survivors move into bright, sterile sections of the ship look like they could've been the sets from "2001."

Regardless, what we have is a mildly effective, no-harm-done horror thriller. It's not the worst of its kind, nor the best, but it'll do.

Then again, I'm one of those who'll watch Quaid in anything. Like Kurt Russell, he never quite made it as big as the studios hoped, but he's a much better actor than he's given credit for, even when the material "” such as this "” doesn't call for it.

"”Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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