ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Pandorum (2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Christian Alvart

Starring:
Dennis Quaid/Payton
Ben Foster/Bower
Cam Gigandet/Gallo
Norman Reedus/Shepard
PLOT-CRUNCH
Two crew members aboard a space craft (Foster and The Quaid) wake up from their cryogenic sleep with no memory of who they are and why they’re there. As they attempt to figure out wassup, they find themselves having to fend off a horde of peculiar beasties that crave their asses for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
THE LOWDOWN
Hookers, BJ's, unsatisfied sexual desires...all right that's out of the way - on to the review.

PANDORUM had my name written all over it. I love the sci-fi horror subgenre! ALIENS, EVENT HORIZON, THE THING, PREDATOR, TERMINATOR, STARSHIP TROOPERS and LEPRECHAUN 4 IN SPACE are all favs of mine (that last one was a joke BTW). So I was pumped to see PANDORUM.

I actually went to see it with my friend’s 10 year old “Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Zac Ephron loving” daughter who was excited to see her first horror movie (yup, I’m that guy, a role model to go by). Why do I mention her? I have a point… more on that later. So how did the film treat me? Am not sure! PANDORUM was one of them flicks that I’d love to see again before slapping down my opinion – alas I don’t have the time to tap it once more, so my first thoughts will have to do. The flick snagged me right off the bat with its stellar production designs, dread filled atmosphere, its visceral claustrophobic vibe (that got to me now and again), slick visuals and its wam-bam YOU’RE OWNED initial premise. I was into it right away and for the first 25 minutes or so, I was transfixed to the screen, trying to decipher what was truly going on and where the film was going with it all.

The tight cast hit pay dirt as well. Ben Foster was one intense mofo (I wanna see more of him in genre films – Hollywood make it happen) and Dennis Quaid made up for his awkward show in this year's GI JOE, proving to me once more why he is the man and should be referred as THE QUAID. Horror wise suspense was SOMETIMES in the house, a couple of boo scares got to me and when gore did pop up (not often) it did the tummy good. In addition I really got off on Alvart's sleek and inventive visual style (some nice shots here) while Michl Britsch’s oppressive score came through as it often elevated the affair to a higher plane of f*ck yeah. Add to that goodness a couple of nifty twists (that last one floored me) and some mucho appreciated cleavage loving from hot to trot sex-pot Antje Traue (never heard of her but her bod will be engraved on my Johnson for a couple of weeks) and you get a movie worthy of your time.

On the flip side of the blade; I can’t say I was too keen on the creature concept/designs. Too GHOST OF MARS meets APOCALYPTO for my liking and not pure monster enough.  Am sure some peeps will dig the approach to the creatures here - I didn't - they felt out of place to me. The same went for the inclusion of some rambling cannibal and a Kung Fu-ing badass that kind of pissed on the film’s tone. I paid to see a horror movie set in space not some Mad Max rejects hopping in out of left field to do their shticks. Yup, those side players bugged me. And what was up with the lack of tension, gore and true scares??? I knew the flick was in trouble when my friend’s 10 year daughter turned to me and said “John, the movie is not scary” and I sadly agreed with her! Potent fright and gore howlers were sorely missed here. Don't get me wrong, the flick was far from finger-f*ck dry - but it had little to no oomph when it came to its red grub. Finally if I want to be an asshole, I can pin point a couple of plot holes – but I won’t do it – flick was supposed to be a ride – not an essay in internal logic. It slighty cheated to make its twists work and I’ll let it go – no harm – no foul.

So yup, I came out of PANDORUM with an “I don’t know how I feel about what I just saw” face. The flick tried to be more than the norm and pulled off a handful of unique cards  – but sometimes “unique” can play against ya when it just comes across as OUT OF PLACE – and that’s what lots of PANDORUM felt like to me. I said what I had to say. Your move pilgrim!
GORE
We get some nasty cuts, blood and guts, a slit throat, a stab in the head, ghastly bites, a syringe in the eye and more. I know it sounds like a gore jamboree when I list the goods, but it wasn’t. The flick’s splat didn’t last long enough and just didn’t have much of an impact on me.
T & A
Antje Traue’s “insert dong here” cleavage aside – nothing to call mom about. The ladies get some naked dudes – but they didn't show shit. Bad for them, good for me! Last thing I wanna see is The Quaid’s Quaid.
BOTTOM LINE
PANDORUM looked dread polished, showcased some groovy camera work while sporting badass actors, a couple of gnarly ideas/twists and a strong initial premise. Regrettably the weird monsters and un-appealing side characters didn’t do much for me and the film should’ve been much scarier/gorier than it was. Like I said in the bulk of my review; when a Zac Ephron loving 10 year old girl who is seeing her first genre opus turns to me and says “the movie is not scary” – it says it all. With that, one of them days, I’d like to see PANDORUM again with my expectations out of the way; maybe it will go down better that way. As-is, I’ll stick to EVENT HORIZON thank you very f*cking much!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was co produced by Paul W.S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt.

Christian Alvart is slated to remake his 2005 German hit Antibodies.

Christian Alvart's CASE 39 finally got a release date: January 1, 2010.

Is it me or does PANDORUM remind me of Eric Red's graphic novel CONTAINMENT?

SPACE WALK THE OFFICIAL PANDORUM SITE HERE

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1:21AM on 08/20/2010

Just saw this

And I pretty much agree, Arrow. I dunno, I was expecting more of a psychological thriller (with a name like that you would think) and sort of a cross between Alien and Event Horizon. Totally didn't get those. And I agree about the creatures! That was the tipping point for me as well. The final twist was kinda cool, but otherwise, I think I should have read this review first and took a hint from the 10 year old, lol
And I pretty much agree, Arrow. I dunno, I was expecting more of a psychological thriller (with a name like that you would think) and sort of a cross between Alien and Event Horizon. Totally didn't get those. And I agree about the creatures! That was the tipping point for me as well. The final twist was kinda cool, but otherwise, I think I should have read this review first and took a hint from the 10 year old, lol
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+0
8:28AM on 10/04/2009

Better than expected

Better than I expected. Yeah, most of it was pretty predictable, but the last 10min were surprising enough that I want to watch it a second time and pay better attention to clues :-)
Better than I expected. Yeah, most of it was pretty predictable, but the last 10min were surprising enough that I want to watch it a second time and pay better attention to clues :-)
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1:06PM on 09/29/2009

Hookers, BJ's and unsatified sexual desires...

SWEET.
SWEET.
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