Pandorum

Pandorum” is a sci-fi movie released last year. I just watched it tonight, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it to be some really good sci-fi, very well made. It’s such a shame that critics killed it. It cost $40 mil but it only made back $14 mil after the critics backlash.

The interesting thing here is that I enjoyed this movie more than I enjoyed “Moon” (which I watched last week). “Moon” was highly praised, and it’s a miracle film made for just $5 mil, but I found its premise a bit more boring than I found the action-based “Pandorum”. Only “District 9” came ahead of “Pandorum” last year, IMHO. “Avatar” was great for its tech, but less intense for me.

[SPOILERS] While critics found the zombie-like monsters “derivative”, I actually found them to be an allegory. They were created because Gallo was insane, with Gallo representing humanity. And Gallo got insane because of the effects of the cryogenic technology. The movie delivers a message without sounding technophobe. I liked how at the end the 1162 people survived, they had nothing with them. No tools, not even clothes, to start again anew to the new planet. Another allegory to show us that if we want a second chance as a species we’ll have to fight for it, and that we’d really have to start from zero.

Overall, very enjoyable, and a great sci-fi flick. The critics can go suck it.

9 Comments »

Yanni wrote on February 18th, 2010 at 8:58 AM PST:

I saw this at the theater and loved it. But I don’t think that this kind of movie suffers from critic’s opinions. Sci fi and horror should be critic proof regarding the intended audiences. I just think it came out at a bad time during the year. This would have played much better to a February audience.

Plus, there wasn’t enough advertising for it. I have several friends that love Ben Foster and when I told them about this movie they’d never heard of it before. And they’re filmmakers.


William Eggington wrote on February 18th, 2010 at 9:53 AM PST:

Previews scare the crap out of me. I loved District 9 but I think this might be a bit much for my week timid little brain. 🙂


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Eugenia wrote on February 18th, 2010 at 12:28 PM PST:

I thought it would be very scary too, but thankfully it wasn’t. Way less scary than “Event Horizon” that scared the shit out of me (I hated that movie because of that).

The biggest mistake the studio made was to market this movie as a “Resident Evil” type movie, or a horror movie. It wasn’t really horror, it was just an intense sci-fi adventure. This horror claim type-casted the movie to the critics, and resulted in bad reviews.


Glenn wrote on February 18th, 2010 at 2:43 PM PST:

I’m not saying it’s a bad film, but the trailer doesn’t inspire me to want to go and see it. I’ve seen a bunch of crappy sci fi films in the past where the whole movie takes place on a grungey looking metallic space ship, and to be honest, this has that look also! Also, I think they spent way too much if it cost them $40 million. Starship Troopers 3 cost $20 million, District 9 was $30 million, and both had a huge number of very well animated aliens along with some big locations.

But yeah, if I see the DVD cheap, I’ll have a look.


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Eugenia wrote on February 18th, 2010 at 2:47 PM PST:

This does take place in a ship, but it’s important to do so, so it doesn’t feel bad at all. As for the $40 mil, they built all the ship parts from scratch. This costs a lot of money in construction. There weren’t much CGI on the film, most of it was “real”.

As for the trailer, indeed it looks bad, because they made it look like a horror movie (which is not). Refer to my comment above.


William Eggington wrote on February 18th, 2010 at 6:59 PM PST:

Event Horizon scared me to death. I didn’t understand it and the flashes of people getting tortured randomly through the whole movie was NOT cool in any way. I guess thats why this one leaves me very wary.


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Eugenia wrote on February 18th, 2010 at 9:55 PM PST:

Oh, I know EXACTLY what you mean! That movie left me with a scar when I saw it. It literally put me in shock, so when I tried to sleep that night, I would wake up every 30 seconds. It was a nightmare! I remember that shocking night to this day.

So I had the exact same fear as you do when everyone started comparing Pandorum to Event Horizon at various forums! So I braced for the worse when I watched it last night.

Thankfully, it was NOTHING like Event Horizon. It was just an intense sci-fi thriller. No horror. No torture hellish stuff. Which actually surprised me, because I actually did expect a horror movie (based on the trailer, and the so many comparisons to Event Horizon). But all I got was well-done sci-fi.

The interesting thing is that BEFORE the movie was out, the IMDb Pandorum forum was FULL of comparisons to Event Horizon. When the movie did come out though, the comparisons stopped, because everyone realized that except the action taking place on a spaceship, there are no similarities. And that Pandorum is not a horror movie, but a psychological sci-fi thriller. The studio really did fuck up for marketing it as horror.


Yanni wrote on February 19th, 2010 at 10:12 AM PST:

Event Horizon is based on an Andrei Tarkovsky film Solyaris which was later adapted by Steven Soderbergh. Both completely missed the mark as to why Tarkovsky’s film is such a success. He’s able to infuse philosophy with sci fi and human tragedy.

If you haven’t seen Solyaris, I highly recommend it.


Issambard wrote on February 25th, 2010 at 12:06 PM PST:

I found Event Horizon laughably bad when it came out. I recall that we went around saying the lines sarcastically and chuckling for a long time after. I need to see it again.
We were very excited to see it as it looked fairly intelligent, but just seemed to be schlocky Hellraiser meets the Shining via Walt Disney’s the Black Hole after all. It did have very good set designs though.

I really liked Pandorum, mostly do to the way it was filmed and the actors/performances. It could easily have been pretty bad, but I was also annoyed at critics for not getting that this was a pretty decent film, especially for the genre.

I didn’t mind SS’s Solaris as much as I thought I would, considering the Tarkovsky films is one of my all time favorites. The ending was glossed up and over, but other than that it wasn’t bad.When I saw Cameron was producing it I felt like they were remaking 2001 produced by Michael Bay.

Sunshine was also a pretty darn good sci-fi, and I liked that better than Moon, which was good but nothing mind blowing.


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