Very Different Kind Of Science Fiction Movie; Far Better Tha
Stephen B. O'Blenis | Nova Scotia, Canada | 09/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Since there's confusion about the different movies entitled "Stranded" getting mixed up in the reviews and technical information, I'll note right away that I'm reviewing the 'Martian' film whose cover is pictured here on the product page; the film is actually directed by Maria Lidon, not Charles Beeson, who apparantly directed the other movie named "Stranded", which I've yet to see.
With that out of the way - this "Stranded" starts out in much the same way as alltime great "Mission To Mars", with the first manned flight to the red planet ending up meeting with an unexpected crisis upon their arrival, but from there quickly moves off into very different territory than "Mission". Much slower and of an entirely different atmosphere than most science fiction, this may come off as dull to some but if you don't mind a good change of pace this is a title that shouldn't be passed up just because of its obscure status. Space exploration movies have excelled in the departments of catacylsm and unknown dangers, but very few have gone the path of "Stranded" in approaching the crisis befalling the astronauts and the mysteries they uncover on Mars with the the quality airs of melancholy and tragedy seen here. That's not to say this is a depressing film without bright points, it's, well...it's hard to give an overall summation, and not just because I don't want to give the ending anyway.
With limited supplies and no realistic hope of an in-time rescue from Earth, the crew members split between those who stay behind with the downed craft in a desperate attempt to find some means for the team's survival, and those who decide to spend what little time they have exploring and chronicling all that they can of Mars, in the hopes of their data someday being retrieved. A powerful film, and a unique science fiction vision. Recommended."
Odd Sci-Fi Film from Spain Staring Gallo, Medeiros, Almeida
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 06/17/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A sci-fi film from Spain directed by first-time director Maria Lidon (who appears as one of the crew here) features some internationally famous people -- Maria de Medeiros, who is perhaps best remembered as weepy girl-friend of Bruce Willis's character in "Pulp Fiction"; Joaquim Almeida who is seen in so many films including "Desperado"; and indie guy Vincent Gallo whose "Buffallo 66" was critically praised. The cast is interesting, and you can see one of the founding members of the punk rock group "The Ramones."The story is similar to "Red Planet" and "Mission to Mars" but "Stranded" within its low-budget limitations ($4,000,000) gives a twist. First manned spaceship to Mars with international crew is launched, but its landing ship crashes on the surface of the planet, and the remaining members have to think about the way to survive. With limited equipment and damaged ship, their heated discussion goes nowhere until one of them (Vincent Gallo whose too logical character you love to despise) convinces them of one thing -- there's no way ALL of them can live to see the rescue ship.They are forced to make a most difficult decision, and the film takes itself very seriously. Unfortunately, the similarity in terms of the plot with other Hollywood productions is undeniable when the film enters the last 30 minutes. There are, however, no over-the-top ending that is meant for surprise. Whether it works or not will depend on your taste and expectation. Some of the viewers might find it lacks the sense of closure; others think it realistic and philosophcal. Pick your choice.The photography is in general beautifully shot, but you cannot hide the fact that the entite scenes are shot on somewhere on the Earth (in fact, Spain and Holywood soundstage). Some of the CGIs are fantastic, but they come far and few between. The most irritating part of the film to me is, that the film goes rather slowly with talk, talk, talk, and these stranded astronauts do not really look in danger. And it requires much amount of imagination to envision Maria de Mareiros in heavy spacesuit (according to my source, it was really heavy, and she didn't like it at all). Well, I can understand.Shot in widescreen, the filmmakers show their enthusiasm to realize the bleak landscape of Mars, and to give some newness to the beaten road to Mars. But for all scientific data and good atmosphere, "Stranded" lacks something -- something that would surprise us, like the rotating cabin or the AI in "2001.""
Mars has a secret and it's about to be revealed
Kali | United Kingdom | 06/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stranded in my opinion is an intelligent thought provoking film that does not go for the glitz and glam that is the rot of Hollywood, for starters it's a Spanish film and also it didn't have a mega budget that a Hollywood film would have.
The plot is quite simple, a space shuttle crash lands on Mars, out of the six crew members, the Captain is killed on impact, and the other five are forced to evaluate their survival chances which even with rationing and conserving air and heat, there is little chance of them being alive if and when a rescue from earth eventually arrives.
The only chance any of them have if three of the five survivors leave the crashed ship, giving the remaining two a chance to survive until rescue arrives.
The three doomed crew members make their way to a valley of fog which has intrigued them since they have arrived, what lies under it, why is there a strong magnetic field all around it in patches, and it is under this fog filled valley that Mars amazing secret is revealed.
Vincent Gallo is great as the dour doom laden Luca who along with Maria de Medeiros who played Brue Willis' French girlfriend in Pulp Fiction get to stay in the crashed spaceship based on him being the ship's engineer and she being the ship's Doctor, whilst Joaquim de Almeida (Fidel), Daniel Aser (Sagan) and María Lidón (Susana) make their way to the valley of fog where they think they will die.
By far the best character in this film is María Lidón who is both fragile and strong as she walks a way to what she thinks will be her doom with her two companions, and the little known Aser was excellent as the optimistic Sagan whilst de Almeida was very believable as the cynical but good hearted Fidel.
There was a good soundtrack, no great special effects to talk about but what there was pretty good and didn't look at all tacky or unbelievable, all in all this was a really good film, it was not seat of your pants stuff but it was clever, it was also intelligent and most of all it was believable.
I am probably one of only a few people in the universe who has seen the merit of this film, though my one complaint is that they should not have dubbed it in English but left it in Spanish and had subtitles, but it is small complaint and does not detract too much from the movie itself."
Big Al | Southwest, USA | 10/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a sleeper among the many Mars exploration films. The story is slow moving; there is no spectacular out-of-this-world battles, no eye-popping special effects, but there is a quiet beauty to the film.
The story was about six Mars explorers on a mission to Mars. The landing module crashed when it encountered unexplained magnetic & gravitational phenomenon, which disrupted its flight computer. The captain died in the crash and the five survivors soon learned that the wreckage could only support two persons for the 26-month wait until the rescue mission arrived. After much angry argument among themselves, the co-pilot (played by Maria Lidon), now in command, decided that the flight doctor (Maria de Mediros) and the flight engineer (Vincent Gallo) had the best chance of survival. The remaining three would leave the module and explore the area where they found the unexplained magnetic & gravitational anomaly, or die trying. It was a somber story of life and death, but there were moments of comedy: shortly after the three explorers left, the crashed module sprung a leak and gone was any hope of survival. The engineer, a young man, wanted to spend the remaining hours making love to the doctor, an attractive young woman, who, exasperated by the man's one-track-mindedness, unleashed her frustration on him in a big way. Little did they know the big surprise waiting for them all.
The film was starred by an international cast of American and Spanish actors & actresses, each speaking their native language. There is language dubbing no matter which spoken language you choose on your DVD. The Martian landscape was filmed on the Spanish island of Lanzarote and the indoor scenes at Panavision Studio in Hollywood. The film was made on a shoestring budget of 5 million dollars. To cut production cost, the sequence in the crashed module was filmed on the same space shuttle interior set used in the production of the film "Space Cowboys".
The director of the film, Maria Lidon, who also played the role of the co-pilot Susana Sanchez in the film, won the "Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver" while Vincent Gallo and Maria de Medeiros were named best actor and actress at the 2002 Fantafestival in Rome. "
Very Different and Great Movie!
Tom C. | New York City, USA | 01/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't understand the horrible reveiws this movie is getting. I guess if you were born in 1990 and used to seeing explosions every 2 seconds, I guess you would hate this movie. However, if you were born anytime before that like I was where movies had character development and a story that sucks you into it and puts you in their place, then this is a great movie! Now, don't get me wrong, some of the acting is hokey, but the movie takes it's time like it should and the soundtrack helps you feel the lonlieness of space. To prove I'm not the only one that enjoyed this movie, I showed it to 2 other people at 2 separate times and they both enjoyed it as I did. All I can say is, try it. Hey, we all get duped into seeing dumb movies that are pushed as blockbusters in the mainstream, so why not give this a shot. You may be surprised. TC"