Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Coyote, Liev Schreiber
Director: Barry Levinson
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 09/08/2009
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A lot better than I thought it would be...
Priscilla Stafford | Yokohama, Japan | 08/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The OSSA discovers a spacecraft thought to be at least 300 years old at the bottom of the ocean. Immediately following the discovery, they decide to send a team down to the depths of the ocean to study the space craft. The following civilians are recruited: psychologist Dr. Norman Goodman (Dustin Hoffman), biochemist Dr. Beth Halperin (Sharon Stone), mathematician Dr. Harry Adams (Samuel L. Jackson), and astrophysicist Dr. Ted Fielding (Liev Schreiber). They are the best of best, smart and logical, and the perfect choice to learn more about the spacecraft. But even their intelligence may not be able to comprehend and understand the strange and terrifying events which start to take place after they discover a strange, golden, and perfect sphere on the craft. Things become worse as they are stranded at the bottom of the ocean without any means of escape. That's when they receive the first transmission...I had heard from my father and sister that "Sphere" was very good and extremely well made so I decided to first check out the reviews on it. I was a little surprised to see such mixed reviews, one half saying how horrible and cheesy it was, while another half was proclaiming how wonderful, exciting, and worth watching it was. So what else was I to do but see for myself what "Sphere" is like? Which I did and I thought it was an excellent film.I myself have never read Michael Crichton's novel "Sphere" (I guess that's next) so I cannot say whether the movie is true to the book or whether the book was better than the movie or vice versa. But I myself found the story very intriguing, from the mysterious origin of the spacecraft and the sphere to the events which take place in the crew's habitat. The plot was both original yet familiar, the familiar parts being one of the complaints of some watchers. "Sphere" had elements of many such science fiction/thrillers, most especially the dynamic film "Alien". Which is not all that bad. The conclusion, when the main characters finally solve the mystery was just so incredible! The ending was a bit disappointing for me since it felt like the movie was a bit cut short. I wish the end was maybe 5 to 10 minutes longer, either lengthening the middle or adding more at the end. But on the whole the movie storyline was very satisfying.As for the acting I didn't have many complaints. Dustin Hoffman is the perfect psychologist as he tries to think, reason, and solve the mysterious events. He certainly looks very terrified throughout the movie! Sharon Stone is also pretty good though some people have been saying her acting was terrible. Samuel L. Jackson is incredible as his role of the mathematician. Each and every character's reaction to all the events is acted out terrifically, making you all the more NOT want to be in their shoes! But the way the movie draws you into the story is what really makes the movie entertainingly fun to watch. Well, I wouldn't really associate the word 'fun' with "Sphere". "Sphere" is very well directed, and I meant it when I wrote down that you will get drawn into the movie. The suspense isn't generated by lots of action, it's the tension you get since "Sphere" is just so psychologically terrifying! The directing was simply fantastic, around the last half of the movie making you wonder who is to be trusted, and who not to be trusted.Put it all together, "Sphere" is an exciting and suspenseful film and I enjoyed it very much. If you're convinced that "Sphere" sounds like something fun to watch, go for it! But if you're still contemplating whether or not it's any good, rent it out once since you'll never know if you'll like it if you never see it. Be warned though, the movie is PG-13 rated for some profanity, scary images, and some violence. "Sphere" is not for the weak-hearted. And whatever you do...! Don't have any nightmares... (wink!)"
H.G. Wells Lives
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 06/28/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sphere is based on the book of the same name (very loosely, I might add) which is a novel-length science fiction version of H.G. Wells's short fantasy story The Man Who Could Work Miracles. The movie contains a strong cast including Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharon Stone.A giant spaceship is found on the ocean floor under a thousand feet of water. An old government report about how to deal with alien contact is put into service and a team is sent to investigate. The three-hundred year old ship turns out to be American but it does contain an alien artifact in the form of a golden sphere. The movie then borrows heavily form Forbidden Planet as the team interacts with the device and are set upon by monsters from the id. Eventually three survivors with the power to work miracles and create monsters from the id decide to wish away their powers.Aside from bearing little resemblance to the book this movie has some very major flaws. Possible the largest is the translation program designed for talking to a supposed alien intelligence. It involves a simple substitution cipher based on a spiral overlapping a qwerty keyboard. A mistake is made so when the intelligence says its name is Jerry it should read Larry. For some reason all of the other Ls and Js translate normally and even when the intelligence says to stop calling it Jerry it shows up as Jerry with no incorrect substitutions. I would have preferred the movie to end the same way the book did with two survivors and the female character only pretending to wish away her powers but that was not to be.From the original trailers I knew the movie would vary greatly from the book so this was not a real disappointment. Therefore I was able to actually enjoy the film for what it was (mistakes and all). It is sort of like watching the original film version of The Shining where you had a good book and a decent movie and only superficial resemblances between the two. But I really did enjoy Sphere and you might, too."
Probably one and a half actually
the_ninja | 01/07/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is really a pretty bad movie. Read the book instead, it's much better. The movie, unfortunately, never could have lived up to the book.The movie is not terrible, it definitely has some good points. The cast is excellent, perfect for the movie. There is one thing that really stands out though, and makes it lose a lot of what it could have had - the lack of special effects. Now, when I went to see this, I didn't go to see just the special effects, I went to see a good movie. But for one like this, FX are a big part of it. You never even saw the giant squid! Plus, they cut out what is probably the best part of the book (I won't say what it is in case you read it).Also, the ending is utterly confusing and stupid. The book's ending made sense (to me at least, apparenly not to a lot of people that reviewed the book). The movie's ending is very strange and pointless - they didn't change it a lot, there's still the same end result, but it's quite bad. Also note that they originally had a different ending, which test audiences hated, so they changed it. Hmmmm . . .My advice in this case is read the book instead."
Regular sci-fi, not just another horror knock-off.
R. Christenson | Pine, CO USA | 09/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sphere is one of the few modern science fiction movies that's not really just another horror movie. As an sf fan, I've been disappointed over and over when a movie advertised as sci-fi, about space or ocean exploration, turns out to be another knock-off of "It The Terror From Beyond Space." (That was fine the first time, when the result was Alien).
Sphere does take a turn in the Horror direction, but not far enough to disappoint me. The premise is like "Galaxy Of Terror" under the sea. It's about a team of scientists, including Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson, led by top secret Peter Coyote to investigate a spacecraft found under the ocean. They quickly discover it's a spacecraft from Earth's future, apparently temporally displaced (dis-timed?) to Earth's past - but with a clearly alien artifact on board: The sphere. It seems the sphere enables or causes some of the team to manifest their fears in their undersea base.
However, it remains closer to true sci-fi than pure horror. The ideas have all been done, in classics like Forbidden Planet, where Dr. Morbius manifests the monster from his Id through alien technology, Voyage To The End Of The Universe, Galaxy Of Terror, and even the old pulp story "Time Wants A Skeleton" by Ross Rocklynne, and so on. Here it's all arranged in a well-constructed plot, kept moving with fast action, kept believable by the competent actors. And if you prefer Horror movies like Leviathan, the remake of The Thing, etc., you probably won't be dissapointed either.