Combustible Celluloid
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With: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue, Cung Le, Eddie Rouse, Norman Reedus, André Hennicke, Friederike Kempter
Written by: Travis Milloy, Christian Alvart, based on a story by Travis Milloy
Directed by: Christian Alvart
MPAA Rating: R for strong horror violence and language
Running Time: 108
Date: 09/25/2009

Pandorum (2009)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Space in the Hole

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Bower (Ben Foster) suddenly awakens from a hibernation chamber, terrified. He's on some kind of spaceship, but he has no idea of his identity, the ship's destination or its location. He finds a fellow space traveler, Payton (Dennis Quaid), and they decide that Bower -- relying on his still-remembered training -- will embark upon a dangerous mission to find the ship's reactor and reboot it. The ship's lights keep winking out, and the dark, metallic, claustrophobic corridors are a mass of confusing angles, complete with snaky tubes poking out everywhere. On his travels, he meets Nadia (Antje Traue) and Manh (Cung Le) who have been awake a good deal longer and have turned into fighters, living by their wits. It turns out that there are others aboard the ship, and they are not nearly as friendly. I won't say any more, lest I give away some of Pandorum's best surprises, even if some of these aren't all that clever. But as directed by German-born Christian Alvart -- making his American debut -- Pandorum is an intensely effective sci-fi chiller, mainly thanks to its canny set and sound design, and its constant, relentless sense of dread and tension.

DVD Details: Anchor Bay's DVD comes with a commentary track by director Alvart and producer Jeremy Bolt. It also includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, a quick scene about "what happened to Nadia's team," and a training video, plus nearly 30 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, still galleries and trailers. The film is mastered in 2.35:1 widescreen.

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