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PHOTOGRAPHY

PANDORUM
DVD Review by David Blackwell
 
DETAILS:  108 minutes, audio commentary, featurette, still galleries, original theatrical trailer, deleted and alternate scenes
VIDEO:  2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono
Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish
 

STUDIO:  Overture Films/ Constantin Film/ Impact Pictures

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  9-25-2009

DVD RELEASE DATE:   1-19-2010

 

STARRING Dennis Quad (Payton), Ben Foster (Bower), Antje Traue (Nadia), Cung Le (Manh), Cam Gigandet (Gallo)

WRITTEN by Travis Milloy and Christian Alvart (story credit only)

DIRECTED by Christian Alvart

ANALYSIS:  PANDORUM is the next film to continue the trend of great sci-fi in 2009.  First it was STAR TREK followed by DISTRICT 9 and now PANDORUM is finally here (after various release delays).   It is an intense sci-fi thriller that mines both sci-fi and horror for the maximum effect.

Pandorum refers to the paranoid psychosis that a few people experience after being in hypersleep too long.  PANDORUM begins with a timeline about the world’s population growing and discovering a livable planet in the form of Tanis.  A big ark ship is built called Elysium.   Short into the ship’s flight, Earth is destroyed and the ship’s crew is left with a message that they are what remain of humanity.   Flash forward to a undetermined number of years later.  Bower, part of one of the ship’s flight crews wakes up in his hypersleep chamber.  He has no memory (a side effect of being in hypersleep for long times) and he starts to piece together what is happening aboard the Elysium with the help of Lt. Payton.   The ship’s reactor is failing and that isn’t the only problem waiting Bower.  Alien creatures are using the ship as a hunting ground.  These aliens are faster and stronger than humans.

 

Alvart directs a moody sci-fi piece.   The lighting helps amps the tension.  The production design is top notch.   PANDORUM is the best cult sci-fi film since PITCH BLACK.   The one actor that stands out is Antje Traue as Nadia.  PANDORUM has cult movie written all over it, but it should have an audience like ALIEN and PITCH BLACK.  

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Director Christian Alvart and Producer Jeremy Bolt provide an audio commentary for the film.

 

THE WORLD OF ELYSIUM- a 13 minute making-of featurette that goes behind-the-scenes from the movie’s origins to make-up to production design and more.  It is interesting to find out PANDORUM is the result of two different scripts combined together.

WHAT HAPPENED TO NADIA’S TEAM is a deleted scene of sorts which shows what happened to some of the crew after they woke up while the FLIGHT TEAM TRAINING VIDEO is  a recruitment video for the flight team of Elysium.  Four still galleries are on the disc that includes design, set photos, and storyboards for one scene.

 

27 minutes of deleted, extended, and alternate scenes fill out some back story that got cut and some padding in addition to an alternate ending.   The 17 scenes are interesting to watch even though they didn’t stay in the film.   The original theatrical trailer is also on the disc in addition to trailers for other Anchor Bay releases.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  PANDORUM is one of my favorite movies of 2009 and the disc includes plenty of nice extras.

 

This DVD review is (c)1-21-2010 David Blackwell and the movie review is (c)9-25-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  All Rights Reserved.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com