Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"The Andromeda Strain" -- hmmmm...not sure about this one yet

Part 1 of A&E's new two-part adaptation of The Andromeda Strain premiered last night, with Part 2 tonight. I don't know what I was expecting, but it sure felt like a pretty traditional TV movie, with the obligatory early scenes with little kids and stuff...ick...why do they they always pad out movies with wasted and trite material like that? Because we'll think the President is a boring monster unless he hugs his little flouncy-skirted daughter? That was my first warning sign. And then Benjamin Bratt's mildly insolent son, another cliched moment.

Oh well. I hope my colleagues here liked it better than I did, though I'm hoping Part 2 will liven things up. I also was distinctly underwhelmed by the often clunky dialogue...man, I'm getting crabby in my old age. And don't even mention the commercials -- unbearable! Might want to wait for the DVD or watch it On Demand (if available) because it won't have commercials there, right? I must say I was saddened that (spoiler alert) the brave female fighter pilot who was supposed to drop the nuke on the infected town got all disintegrated, though. And I did like the whispered instructions that Viola Davis gave to her husband, that if she called and asked about his mother, to get the hell out of the continental United States. That was good and scary.

Was it just me, or was this not as great as the buzz would have indicated? Sorry for the negative remarks; we're usually pretty positive here but it just didn't send me, alas. Please tell me I'm wrong about this....

6 comments:

Jane said...

You're preaching to the choir here, Liso-matic. It had a very sophomoric, 1980's made for TV movie feel, with a dash of 1970's disaster flick thrown in for good measure. I lasted 30 minutes and then decided that at least if I watch it on DVR later I can FF through the commercials. Most annoying for moi? Ben Bratt's robotic delivery. He sounds like he's been dubbed. I kept thinking the whole thing would turn into a Japanese Anime, and then wishing that it would because at least that would be interesting. I had an inkling that this was not going to be remarkable after seeing the rating from Entertainment weekly. I think ABC's miniseries for Stephen King's "The Stand" was a much better apocalypse movie.

Lisa said...

Gosh...I'm so happy it wasn't just me. It felt so much like a really ordinary TV movie. Major disappointment, wasn't it? And maybe it was Bratt's delivery that made the dialogue seem even worse, and come to think of it, I particularly noticed the lameness of his speeches. Ouch! And we had such high hopes! Waaaah!

amy said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Lisa and Jane. Very made for TV feel with predictable dialogue and less than stellar performances. The only part that came close to titallating me was the disintegration of the female fighter pilot's plane. There's no excuse for this type of lame TV movie anymore. Where is Ridley Scott's touch? A mini-series in one thing, but I really hate it when they drag out a movie over two nights. It should be a great two hours of entertainment on one night, just like a trip to the movie theater!

amy said...

I should wait for Lisa's post on part 2 and comment there, but after watching Andromeda last night I have to get this off my chest now -- once again, another example of schlock, made-for-tv crapola!

Lisa said...

I don't even think this one warrants a second full post -- how could we all have been so totally hoodwinked about this boring(completely inexcusable!) and drawn-out miniseries? I could barely stand to look at any more of it. And here we ALL wanted to see it! Boy, big letdown and it's amazing how you can immediately spot a by-the-numbers crummy TV movie from the first few minutes, really. This one really talked down to its audience. And the performances were really pretty lame, weren't they, of course the dialogue, as I mentioned before, was also basically horrible. No charisma anywhere...dull, dull, dull! The real strain was trying to watch this bloated mess!

Dean Treadway said...

Thanks, guys, from warning me away from this one. I was truly excited. The original Robert Wise movie is one of my favorites, but I do realize it has a distancing quality that somehow has kept people away from truly noting what an effective and (sometimes) exciting movie it is. So I did think a remake of it could bring something new to the table. But, alas, no luck, it appears.

It had a bit of a whiff of dogitude about it even in its promos, but who can really rely on promo producers to tell you the true story about the quality of the entertainment it's cajoling you to tune in for? Those producers have a job to do, and that's get your ass in the seat, by hook or by crook. But something about its look told me "Bevare! Take care...BEVARE!"

It's takes no time at all for me to give up on a movie now, after all the stuff I've seen. Five minutes into that padding, with all the cutesy kid stuff I can totally imagine (I hated that same kind of unnecssary garbage in the otherwise excellent adaptation of Zodiac, for instance). That whole reliance on "BUT THE CHILDREN!" sentiments to shore up our interests seems so 1980s to me. It's lazy and sophmoric shorthand for "Now, you're supposed to care about these people, y'hear?" Ugh. Get me outta here.

So you save me some time. I'll rent the Wise movie on widescreen again. Dang. Another opportunity blown. I just don't see how the powers that be can't see it. Really, I don't...