movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Reality TV suddenly becomes important.

PEOPLE: Directed by actor/producer/writer/director Peter Berg (who directed Hancock, and stars in Chicago Hope). Written by a 2 Caprica + Battlestar Galactica + Deep Space 9 + Star Trek:TNG writer/producers.

The 12 crew members are played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (captain) (Black Hawk Down), Kerry Bishe (Scrubs), Joy Bryant (Parenthood), Jose Pablo Cantillo (Verona in Crank, a cop in Disturbia, and of course 1 ep of Nip/Tuck, like sooo many people), Ritchie Coster (The Chechen in Batman:The Dark Knight), James D’Arcy (Exorcist 2004), Clea DuVall (!!!!) (21 Grams, But I’m A Cheerleader, The Grudge, The Faculty, Can’t Hardly Wait, Heroes, Carnivale), Gene Farber (4 eps of 24), Sienna Guillory (Inkheart, Jill Valentine in Resident Evil:Apocalypse, The Time Machine), Erik Jensen, Nelson Lee (Blade:The Series), and Omar Metwally (Rendition). The “virtual man” is played by Jimmi Simpson (Bob from The Invention Of Lying, Lyle The Intern on David Letterman 2008-2009, 2 eps of Carnivale, 3 eps of 24).

QUIRKS: Virtual reality. Space travel. Reality TV. And all in the first 15 minutes! I really don’t think these 3 things have EVER been combined! Being on a spaceship with 5 billion viewers of a reality tv show based on you being on a spaceship? Way to add to the stress!

VISUALS: Dry and sterile. This is about being trapped in a metal cylinder [a space ship] for 10 years. Though the activation of the Orion Drive was pretty damn cool.

BAD STUFF: Very very interesting, but the fatal flaw is that the movie just… stops. There really should be more. Carolyn didn’t feel robbed, but I did a bit. I was told to think of it more as a pilot movie, due to the fact that things don’t *REALLY* conclude. I listened to this advice, but never realized that it REALLY IS a Made-for-TV pilot. The movie literally ended without me realizing any of the subplots were even close to being properly concluded. It’s too bad this wasn’t picked up as a series. But they should be more clear that it’s a pilot, when marketing it. Of course, I could have done more research, but I avoid doing that, because I want to avoid spoilers.

GOOD STUFF: The psychology. The virtual reality / computer bug / 2001 angle. The Hollywood / reality TV angle. The save the human species angle. The Parkinson’s Disease angle. There are SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS GOING ON in this. I see now that it is because they were setting up multiple plots that would take full seasons to come to fruition, but really, it was kind of nice that it was so chock full of interesting happenings. This is, perhaps, an example of what TV has to offer that movies don’t. (Despite the fact that I thought this was a “real” movie when I was watching it.) I don’t watch much sci-fi TV — and it’s not a leading category for my movies either (that would be comedy) — but if this was a series I would be a faithful viewer ’til the end. This could have been a Firefly-level happening, had FOX not been so typically stupid about picking up series.

CONCLUSION: This would have been a 5-star movie if it had not ended so abruptly! That is, had it been a movie and not a pilot.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4.4/5 stars (a high 4). IMDB: 8.4/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.5/10, Netflix: 2.6/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.4/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: Sci-fi people should check this out! It’s much more psychology-based than effects-and-action-based, which is how science fiction SHOULD be.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Almost seemed like a combination of Pandorum (without the horror elements), 2001 (the movie), Avalon (2001), and the movie Live! (without the political elements).

COINCIDENCES: While talking about the earth being uninhabitable in 100 years, showing red circles in the Gulf Of Mexico followed by a BP station collapsing is quite interesting, what with the current Deepwater Horizon oil well catastrophe currently happening as of the writing of this blogpost.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Several people I knew had seen this, and had good things to say about it.

Mood: not amused at having to scrub blood out of floors, sink, toilet, that shit is stainy!!
Music: KMFDM – New American Century