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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 176 minutes, making of featurette, audio commentary, visual effects breakdowns, photo and design gallery
VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH (audio commentary not subtitled)

STUDIO: Universal pictures/ A&E Network/ Scott Free/ Traveler's Rest
RELEASE DATE: 6-3-2008

THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN was the first novel from author Michael Crichton. It was turned into a cult movie. Now the novel is revisited in new ways with the mini-series which takes the story in directions the film and novel never thought of.

Executive Producers Tony and Ridley Scott has made it possible for this new version to exist. They help put together a team to help bring to life this mini-series for A&E. A deadly virus returns on a satellite that crashes to Earth. Soon it is has killed almost all of the people in a remote Utah town. It quickly adapts and it is up to a Wildfire team lead by an unorthodox scientist (Benjamin Bratt). His team discovers this strain may have been sent from the future. Will the clues they find be enough to destroy Andromeda? Will a part of the government be able to hide the truth ( even if it means killing a journalist) and obtain a sample?

THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN is sci-fi action thriller. It looks at the worst that can happen in a very believable world. The cast is wonderful (Benjamin Bratt does much more than he never did in RED PLANET) along with a story that keeps pushing things along. It is a given that the family storylines are the weak point of the story, but I can concede that it helps push some parts along. If you didn't see it on TV, catch the mini-series on DVD now.

The audio commentary by Director Mikael Salomon, Executive Producers David W. Zucker and Tom Thayer, and Editor Scott Vickrey mentions at the end that they want to continue this as a TV series.

TERRA INCOGNITA: THE MAKING OF THE ANDROMED STRAIN is a 26 minute making of featurette that covers how the project came together, it was cast quick after Benjamin Bratt signed on, the visual effects, they decided to make the lab set weeks before filming, and that it was an independent production they used many of the same people from THE COMPANY mini-series (that aired on TNT).

The Visual Effects Breakdowns show how many sequences have visual effects while the Photo and Design gallery features 110 production, cast, and design sketches.

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN is better than some mini-series which adapt a novel (which have been adapted into a movie first). I hope to see another mini-series or a TV series.

this DVD review is (c)6-2-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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