"I caught this film on the Sci-Fi Channel, and I found it to be quite enjoyable. It is certainly better than some big budget science fiction films that I have seen ("Battlefield Earth" or "Solaris", anyone?). The cast of actors does an admirable job with the script, and the special effects are more than adequate.
The story line is pretty basic. A giant monolithic structure suddenly appears out of nowhere in Bhutan. The United States government immediately sends military personnel and scientists to Bhutan at the request of the local government. Meanwhile, China, the adjacent country wishes to do likewise, causing a conflict that will have a surprising outcome.
The monolithic structure appears to contain an alien force with technological capabilities far beyond that of anyone on earth. Mason (David Keith), an engineer suffering from an incurable terminal illness, has been taken under duress to Bhutan in order to try and ascertain the physical properties of the monolith, investigate its structure, and gain entry. Ryan O'Neal has a small part in which he plays the role of Mason's superior and appears to be a liaison with the military that wishes to take a more strident, aggressive role in the matter.
Mason, as do the others, eventually discovers that the alien force within the monolith appears to have healing powers far beyond anyone's imagination. This discovery does not prevent the United States government from making a knuckle-headed decision as to what to do with the monolith. Mason and a female scientist then try to right what went wrong. An intriguing outcome provides some food for thought, although much of what is touched upon in this film has been covered in other films.
For those who enjoy science fiction, it is certainly worth a rental."
Solid for a DTV...
L. Varnau | Indy | 04/29/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"UFO LLC is not the film company to go to when you're looking for solid filmmaking or great writing. They're a company that thrives only on its special-effects rather than anything else. Yet for what it's worth, I found "Epoch" to be a very enjoyable movie where I didn't need to think for a bit. Compare it to "Sphere" and it seems like a sci-fi masterpiece! The story is not the usual large-monster horror film like UFO usually does. It's about an alien artifact that is found in Bhutan. The army is sent to investigate it. Many theories rise up and there are a few neat effects sequences. The movie never tries to rise above its own intelligence. It never once insults the intelligence of the viewer, and it never stretches anything out to a ridiculous length. The special effects are extraordinary, the best UFO has ever done. The story is simple enough, but not stupid. True, when you get right to it, it's another direct-to-video movie. But not once does it try to pretend its anything more. I liked it."
It's not that bad a film.
Kali | United Kingdom | 11/15/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't as bad a film as some critics make out. I have seen a lot worse and they had a bigger budget than this made for TV movie had. Does anyone remember "Battlefield Earth"? Now that was a film that stank and sank! EPOCH on the other hand is an easy to watch, easy to understand movie that touches on areas that we all know and love.The plot follows a group of investigators as they struggle to find out the truth behind a strange monolith that has appeared in the middle of nowhere in Bhutan. David Keith is a dying scientist who finds himself cured of a terminal illness after he enters the Monolith. Ryan O'Neil doesn't do too badly as his equally confused colleague trying to keep the Military under control whilst at the same time trying to understand what is happening. The much loved James Avery (from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air) gives a good performance as a military Doctor and the excellent James Hong is cuttingly sarcastic as Chinese Ambassador Po. Add to this a Colonel with a power complex, a Captain whose belief in God comes into conflict with his orders and you have a pretty good film.The film's overall storyline is that the Monolith intends to "wipe the slate clean and start all over again," because in a nutshell earth and its destructive human population isn't worthy of existing anymore. The Monolith is able to resequence DNA, hence David Keith's miraculous cure and the resurrection of two dead Chinese pilots and a Scientist.Okay so the special effects aren't all that and a bag of chips, but even with a couple million dollars worth of special effects, "Battlefield Earth" still managed to honk louder than a gaggle geese in a farmyard!It's not a terribly suspenseful film but it is watchable and not as bad as some people are making out. It certainly isn't cinema quality that is for sure then neither are a lot of movies that make it to the cinema and I don't see them getting panned in the same way. Make your own mind up about this movie, don't expect much other than a nice little movie that you can rent out when there is nothing else available. Like I said, it's not that bad."
Epoch 2000: So-so SF
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 08/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"All the pieces are good. A Mysterious Object appears in central Asia. Our Hero is recruited (under duress) to analyze it. He has no special qualifications, except for being generally good at figuring things out. He tries desperately to do the job he was ordered to do, but the ever-present military does what the military usually seems to do: get confused, issue contradictory orders as a result, and get more confused. Governments do what governments do: squabble over who owns something that no human agency could possibly own.
The end of the world begins, Our Hero is destroyed at ground zero in a nuclear explosion, he recovers nicely, and we get a happy ending. The pieces are good, but come together as an ordinary story.
Parts of the movie have a recycled look. Roger Dean used mysterious inverted cones on album covers in the 1970s. The white-on-white inner sanctum imitates Kubrick's 2001 (also from the 70s). The inexplicable healing forces have appeared lots of places, the movie E.T. among them. Epoch's creators certainly have been rummaging around in the effects closet. The good news is that they had the sense to pull out and try on some respectable material.
It's a safe, watchable SF movie. There's not a lot of violence, and adult themes appear only as hints off screen. There are lots of better movies out there, but lots worse too.
Movie Nut Deb | Kentucky | 11/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was very surprised with this movie. It was better than I expected it to be. I will watch it again. Worth the money."