Friday, July 2, 2010

#11 - Pandorum - 2009

Pandorum was my 11th overall movie I chose to watch and was the only one to date that I had never seen. I was very interested to see this film because the previews reminded me of Event Horizon which was one I really liked. This was also being billed as a horror flick so that drew in my attention more as well. I still considered it to be Sci Fi therefore I chose it for this week as opposed to one of the horror weeks. Below is my detailed description.

This film really only had two star actors, Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. Ben Foster in my mind was the best actor in this movie and the more I watch him the more I enjoy him as an actor. I thought he was brilliant in Alpha Dog! The rest of the actors in this film are ones that I can honestly say I don't believe I've ever seen in a movie before and if I have I don't remember them but it didn't really mater, this wasn't the type of movie that the cast of characters made up the film.

This film is about two crew members, Lt. Payton (Quaid) and Cpl. Bower (Foster) who awake from hyper sleep and find themselves on what they believe to be an abandoned ship. There memories are vague and they find difficulty to understand what is going on. In the first scenes of the film the ship itself reminded me of something you would see in Star Wars. I also enjoyed the special effects when Bower came out of his sleep chamber and basically ripped his skin off and tubes that were running into his body. At this point I realized this movie would be heavy on special effects. After getting cleaned up Bower used a futuristic shaver that Id personally love to own myself. haha. Bower and Payton realize that the numbers tattooed on their arms indicates what group they belong too. Bower decides to go investigate the ship and finds himself in a claustrophobic situation but eventually gets out and into a long dark hallway. During his trip he finds a a dead body, crew member Cooper. While investigating the long dark hallway he is attacked by a female and it is evident that there is something weird going on with this ship.

As she tries to explain to him what is taking place a loud snarling noise, that similar to the one aliens made in Signs is audible. Bower and Nadia are chased by monsters that strike a resemblance to the monsters in the Descent. They eventually escape without injury. As Nadia runs away and leaves Bower on his own he goes and gets himself an "anti-lethal riot weapon". I thought that was humorous. The gun was cool looking and basically fit on his hand like a glove and was an extension of his hand. Bower gets in contact with Payton and notified him that something "not human" is on board. As he investigates further, he finds himself in another hallway and what at first looks to be a memory he was having was not. He thought he was in the same hallway as before but he was not, this one was different. He again finds a guy hanging and believes he is dead, but he is not. After a brief conversation with this guy named Shephard, Bower states demands to know what is going on. Shephard covers himself in oil to help get the scent off his body but the monsters again appear and eventually find Shephard and kill him. During the chase Bower himself was almost killed but was saved as he bumped into Manh. Manh is part of the agricultural crew but Bower does not understand his language. One thing I found pretty cool about these monsters/creatures are that they move and run like the vampires and wolves from Twilight, its weird but pretty cool.

Eventually Nadia, Manh, and Bower all team up and Nadia who is actually a biologist leads the way. Bower is attempting to restart the reactor in order to start back up the ship but Nadia tells him nobody has ever come back from the reactor. After encountering the creatures again the three escape and enter into a room that Nadia has access too, it is where she obviously lives. After watching a film that has been dark for the entire movie this scene sort of shocks the eyes for a second. The room is entirely white, bright white in fact. Nadia suggests that Bower eat something and gives him a live insect. She said it had good protein. She tells Bower that the ship is basically like Noah's Ark and in addition to the 60,000 people on board there is DNA samples stored on the ship for all of the organisms on earth. Nadia takes them to where the civilian pods are and while doing so Bower and Nadia drop through the floor and into a water filled pit filled with bones, skeletal remains and gore. In another scene eerily similar to the Descent the two go almost completely underwater to remain hidden to the creatures who are lurking above. Eventually they get themselves out of the pit only to be attacked by the creatures. They survive the attack and end up killing one of the creatures in brutal fashion. All three of them viciously stab and kill one of the creatures who is then devoured by his own kind a few seconds later but some of the creatures start to chase the trio. White running from them they notice another guy awake from his pod but before they could even help him the creatures who were following pounced on him, stabbed him in the head and started feasting on him.

Elsewhere Payton is hearing noises and goes to locate where it is coming from. He finds a man, naked and covered in blood and oil. The individual he pulled out is named Gallo. After investigating his arm to find what crew he belonged to he asked Gallo some questions and Gallo said that he was with two other crew members but they got Pandorum so he had to kill him. Payton feeling as though Gallo is not well gets a needle gun ready and plans to shoot Gallo but Gallo insists that Payton is the one who needs to calm down and needs the shot. Meanwhile Bower and his team find themselves in a room and find that they are not alone. They meet Leland who is up above them on a platform. Leland is a flyer and is quite eccentric. He offers to make them some food and lowers it down for them. A short while after they had the food they realize they have actually been poisoned. They are eventually hung upside down as Leland gets ready to slaughter them but Bower convinces him that he can save them if he can get to the reactor. He said if they join forces he can save them all and the ship. Leland forces at gunpoint the trip ahead. Elsewhere Gallo is telling Payton about how the Earth was actually destroyed and all those who are left on board are all that's left of humanity. Gallo and Payton argue over what should be done and things get testy between the two.

Bowers team come across the part of the ship that holds the pods to the crew members families. He see's Payton's wife but remembers that his own wife left him before he boarded so she is not on the ship. As the team finally makes it to the reactor they realize that below is a large pile of creatures who appear to be sleeping. In an attempt to get up to the reactor Bower lowers himself down onto the floor and shrouds himself to look like one of the creatures. He is successful in getting by them but Leland accidentally drops his flashlight and awakens the creatures. Bower is still able to turn on the reactor which electrocutes some of the creatures. Manh finds himself in a battle with one of the creatures and is starting to be eaten alive by him when he decides to start stabbing the creature repeatedly in the head. He eventually breaks free and turns around to find a child creature standing before him. As he ponders whether or not to kill it he is quickly struck with a knife to the throat by the child and killed immediately. Meanwhile Payton and Gallo are continuing to argue and Gallo gets in the pod and wants to be ejected but Payton actually tricked him and just leaves him the pod as a simulation and does not eject him. A short time later Gallo gets out of his pod (although it is not shown how) and a fight breaks out between him and Payton. During the struggle Payton stabs himself in the leg with the needle gun and then see's Leland entering the room. He very quickly runs up to Leland and stabs him in the eye with the needle gun killing him instantly.

In the final dramatic scene it is revealed that Bower remembers who Payton was and it was not Dennis Quaid's character. Payton is actually Gallo. He had Pandorum and he was arguing with the younger version of himself the entire time. Bower asks him where they are and as the ship window opens above them they see fluorescent looking stingray and pink jellyfish swimming around and it is evident they are underwater. What actually had happened was that the ship had crash landed on Tonis 922 years ago and they had been there the entire time. Gallo is wanting Bower to succumb to the Pandorum as Bower is hallucinating about the creatures trying to get into the room and he shoots at them. There were no creatures though. A crack appears in the window and as the glass breaks through and water starts to flood the compartment Bower and Nadia get into a pod that is quickly filling up with water and eject themselves. In a pretty cool special effects scene their pod ejects out of the ship and emerges from the water below and flies out into the ocean. The incredibly large ship is seen in the background as half of it is actually out of the water on top of the ocean. Moments later after Bower and Nadia open their pod other pods are seen ejecting and a view of Tonis is visible with a large beautiful waterfall. The final message on the screen at the end of the movie reads, "TONIS: YEAR ONE: 1,213 people.

This movie was an interesting one to say the least. It was rather difficult for me to follow at first but as some of the pieces came together it made a little more sense. It was a very original storyline and I loved the concept of it all. Foster's character was easily my favorite but I loved the creatures more than anything. I enjoyed how much screen time these creatures actually got because in a movie like this they are vital to keep ones interest. Not that all the other stories and scenes were boring but the ones with the creatures were just that much better and scary. The way they moved and snarled throughout the film was awesome. I loved the environment on the ship as well. With a good storyline yet sometimes difficult to follow, excellent creatures, and enough action/suspense scenes to fill the movie I would give this film a B-.

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