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wave man TDY staff
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41,776 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 1971, Michael Crichton's novel The Andromeda Strain was turned into a movie. It was a tight thriller, in which a team of scientists in an underground complex try to stop a virus which has been brought to Earth aboard a fallen satellite. A competent cast of non-celebrities and a strong story made for an excellent film.

The 2008 remake shown on A&E, unfortunately chose to turn the story into a "black operations" paranoia story. They added a lot of CGI, and effectively ignored the squeaker of a finale from the original. The lab sequences were OK, but weak in comparison to the much older version. I'm not sure that the director Mikael Salomon, can be blamed as much as writer Robert Shenkkan. He seems to have lifted plotlines from most conspiracy films of the 70s and 80s. I was still giving the A&E film the benny of the doubt until actor Daniel Dae Kim's character "tossed the thumb".
The Scott brothers (Ridley and Tony) have done some excellent work in films, but show that talented people can produce stinko products. We'd all have been a lot better if, barring a faithful remake, this film had just been left unmade.

Good points? Some nice military hardware, Strykers and such. Still, the writer seems to assume that the units involved suffer from a long, slow learning curve. They even threw in a couple of "contractors" to do some dirty work. That had me groaning.

Just my 2 cents, but more bang for your buck picking up a copy of the original. Less paranoia, much more scary.
 

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Action Fuger!
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3,186 Posts
It's been LONG time since I've read the book and seen the movie, but this just seemed padded with unnecessary fluff to make the full four hours.

Perhaps if Ridley would have been more involved it might have been better.

If Tony would have been more involved the camera would have been constantly moving, focusing on nothing, and convenient text would have pointed out the Andromeda Strain virus whenever it was on the screen.
 

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Mandoll withdrawl
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8,748 Posts
If you have 4 hours to kill, its ok-ish. I wasn't wowed, but I didn't regret it, like other films I've seen.

I liked some of the graphics, the e-paper, fully automated, holographic display lab, and I really enjoyed seeing ACU clad and fully kitted out Soldiers and their vehicles.

I just have a bad habit of watching a movie all the way to the end, just to see how it turns out, even if its a suckfest. [Not that this was]
Actually in saying that, it reminded me A Lot of regular Sci-Fi channel B-movies. The graphics were better, the budget bigger, but in the end.. sci-fi does it in 2 hours or less :p
 

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ever wearing flipflops
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10,477 Posts
Saw the original when I was about six years old ( scary then and now ) I watched it again a couple of years back. The second time around I had more of a reaction to the claustrophobic aspect and the virulent horribleness of the strain. I will try to catch the new version if it re airs or shows up on comcast.
 

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Schizophrenic Modeler
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4,735 Posts
I have to echo pukingdog's assessment of the miniseries-- I was wary when I saw the the blurb from my DirecTV's on-screen guide: "a reporter uncovers a government conspiracy". Geez, talk about departing from the original story! At least the original version is available on DVD, so I can re-watch it and try to erase that mess from my memory!
 

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BBi Fanboy
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2,210 Posts
This remake sucked big time. :knock

The whole "evil government" thing is played out, writers need to stop using that as a plot device. The various stabs at Iraq, evil contractors, Bush, borderline-psycho soldiers, Gulf War secrets, etc. made me nauseated. X-files did a much better job without disrespecting anyone, the writers should have studied that show first.

The PC research team. The original had all whites, one being a woman. That was ok, it's an old movie. If they wanted to broaden things out a little, make one a black guy, or Latino. The Chinese guy was just thrown in for needless, protracted "tension" with the Army doc. And the of course the Army guy is the one most likely to kill himself and others. Thank you, Hollywood.

The Wildfire facility in the original was so much cooler than this new hi-tec CSI lab. I loved the original's color-coded levels, and extreme feeling of sterility. The new lab looked borrowed from a generic detective show.

This was just a dull, bloated remake of what was a great story. Sometimes you have to leave well enough alone.
 
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