The Andromeda Strain Miniseries
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I don't blame the actors, I believe they did what they could with the script they had.
I think the special effects were adequate, some of the tech stuff was a bit overdone and detracted from the story. For example, a lab technician running the tests would have been more realistic to me than a computer that can run any imaginable test immediately by voice command.
The subplots were waaaaaay out of control. By having so many side stories, the main story was diluted and couldn't build a sense of urgency.
The preachy environmentalist message changed what might have been an enjoyable sci-fi drama into yet another in a long line of 'save the Earth' movies. Don't get me wrong. I like the Earth. I really do. It's one of my favorite planets. I just don't need to be clubbed over the head with yet another environmentalist lecture. I think the movie as a whole would have been much better off without it.
If those were all the failings, I probably would have given this 3 or 4 stars. I could have suspended disbelief and enjoyed the show. But...
The wormhole/time travel element was so incredibly bad that it killed the movie for me. The story would have been so much better if they had just left the origin of Andromeda as an unknown. Simply say 'It came from somewhere in space.' and be done with it. But, if you're determined to use time travel as a story element, at least don't cause a paradox.
Minor Things that Irritated Me:
It appears that to be an effective doctor or scientist, one must be young and attractive. I suppose that anyone who is old, fat or just plain ugly could not possibly be of any help finding a cure to an infectious disease.Read more ›
I'll start with the caveat that I am quite fond of both the book and the 1971 movie (one of the first movies I remember going to -- we were not a big movie-going family). I was looking forward to this miniseries to refresh and expand on Crichton's story, updating it for a new generation. Instead, the core novel has been turned into soap opera mush, and the added time available (180 minutes, minus commercials) is wasted on a parallel conspiracy theory story that not only adds nothing, but never really gets resolved.
This is a "hard" SF novel, focused on the science involved in diagnosing and dealing with Andromeda. Secondarily, it's about the pressure upon the four scientists (expanded to five in the miniseries, and all but the main one renamed), faced with multiple ticking clocks and a pathogenic horror that could, if unchecked, kill the world as efficiently as it's killed the town of Piedmont (Arizona in the book, New Mexico in the 1971 movie, Utah in 2008).
The miniseries turns the science into random and unfocused gobbledigook, including a talking computer that, evidently, does pretty much all the work for the research team. That leaves everyone time to chit-chat, mull over romances past and present, and hint at past events that are never explained (or that really aren't all that germane to the story). Meanwhile ...
The original novel and movie did include a bit of "conspiracy" about them.Read more ›
Don't waste your money on this one, go buy the Original 1971 version.
Instead of being the taught, direct, minimalist thriller the original was, this one takes a 'kitchen sink' approach. We've got space wormholes (yes, you read that right), terrorism and 9/11 references, inter-military intrigue, a crack investigative reporter with a drug problem (of course), gratuitous assassinations, radical environmentalism, common-sense environmentalism, divorce, parenting issues, nationalistic tensions within the scientific team, romantic tensions within the scientific team, rampant politics, and *gasp* the President's wife in peril!!!
It's kind of like going camping with absolutely everything you own... seemed like a good idea on paper, but seldomly works out that way in practice. Especially when everything is as Hollywooded-up as it is here.
Sadly, the one thing this Andromeda Strain does NOT have is a legitimate sense of tension. The focus is just too diluted, too many things are going on, many of them not too consequential. As a result, even with the long running time, many of the goings on have to communicated purely verbally, in tossed-off one-liners, said with little or no emotion backing them. The characters don't seem to much care, so neither do we.
There's also a big fat strain of the ridiculous and random in some of the sideplots... such as when an eagle uber-conveniently drops an Andromeda-diseased mouse at the feet of some National Guard troops.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One should always beware of remakes, but in this case, one should run away at warp speeds. The original 1971 classic (Dir: Robert Wise) was extremely advanced for its time, and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tristan Black Wolf
One has to believe Michael Crichton is spinning in his grave as madly as was Robert Heinlein after the release of the abhorrent Starship Troopers franchise began. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jim
I already had the movie and this allowed me to get the series.Published 9 months ago by Michael Newman
Robert Wises original version is superior. A minor criticism is that the production values date from 1971, but that doesn't detract from the suspense of this five-star film. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Douglas D.
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