Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stranded (2013) Review

Christian Slater and I have had a bad couple of run-ins, which is ultimately a little sad given my love for this actor’s earlier work. I still remember trying to imitate his voice in Heathers and Robin Hood. He saved my teenage years with Pump Up the Volume and gave me some great new tunes to check out. It is with heavy heart that I can say that Stranded is not one of his best efforts though there’s actually a reason to watch it. I don’t like to slam movies. I prefer to promote features that I enjoy and allow you to make an informed decision based on a few pieces of critical data for movies I dislike. Rest assured I did not hate this movie; I just wouldn’t watch it again.

Synopsis from Image:

When the isolated U.S. military moonbase is bombarded by a rogue meteor storm, Colonel Gerard Brauchman (Christian Slater) and his small crew are cut off from Earth with their life support failing. Before long, the crew discovers the meteors harbored alien spores…and they’re replicating. Now a vicious, shape-shifting predatory life form is loose inside the crippled facility, picking off victims one by one. Locked in a desperate fight for survival, Brauchman and the terrified remaining astronauts have one final mission…keep the creature from escaping the moon and finding a new food supply on Earth.


Let’s be clear; Stranded looks and sounds great, and there are moments where I found it to be a quality homage to more than a few great works of Science Fiction. In that it probably is a success. The concept isn’t overly original drawing from at least one Twilight Zone I can remember, so you can’t expect the ground to break. What I enjoyed from this picture unlike Rites of Passage, Slater’s other recent effort, was Christian Slater’s near hammed up, commander-in-space performance. The dialogue drops like a rock, but it’s almost endearing to fan of movies of the 50’s; movies you might see riffed upon on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s not intentionally funny, but I’m telling you that with the proper amount of spirits or pumpkin ale, you could have a bit o’ fun with this release.

I didn’t expected Stranded to be great. I took a chance on it, however there is definitely an audience for this. Science Fiction fans who aren’t overly critical who aren’t looking for the next Phillip K. Dick masterpiece will find this entertaining and passable. The effects are above SyFy channel standards, and actually looks rather pretty. For it’s budget, you’re looking at picture that tries to be rather ambitious.

If you make it half way through Stranded , go the full distance because the culmination of the picture will give you something to think about. Again, Science Fiction history is not resting on the shoulders of this release, but Stranded knows where it came from and could be a nice primer for audiences who are trying to get into some deeper, thought-provoking genre work.

The release contains a making of featurette, special effects feature, and a moon base model. True Sci-Fi dork stuff to be sure.

You can pick up Stranded on Blu-ray or DVD now.



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