Monday, May 28, 2012

Sphere (1998)

Synopsis: It’s The Abyss! No, wait – it’s Solaris! No wait, it’s Dustin Hoffman freaking out over killer jellyfish, poisonous sea snakes and a giant squid.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Far below the surface in the mid-Pacific, US officials have isolated what may be the greatest discovery in human history. They’ve found a huge spacecraft that plunged into the depths – 300 years ago.”

What Did I Learn?: You can’t make a trip into a black hole without smokehouse almonds.

Really?: 1) People have the power to magically “forget” a mind-altering experience? 2) Funny how nobody seems terribly interested in the spaceship after the first 30 minutes or there a reason it crash-landed in 1709, or did that simply happen after it flew through a black hole? 3) So, a psychologist who admits he wrote a bullshit paper on encountering extraterrestrial life does a better job of breaking a code than an astrophysicist with PhDs up the yin-yang? 4) Funny how Hoffman never develops hypothermia, let alone seems cold, after he does that deep-sea dive without a wetsuit.

Rating: Sphere starts out well, loses a lot of steam when the supporting characters are bumped off, and finally ends with a whimper. While it’s fun to watch Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson interact, the latter half of the film is the three of them getting “attacked” over and over again by giant sea creatures, and there’s never any explanation of the sphere or where it might have come from. 5.5/10 stars.

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