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Sphere [VHS]

3.5 out of 5 stars 316 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Coyote, Liev Schreiber
  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Writers: Michael Crichton, Kurt Wimmer, Paul Attanasio, Stephen Hauser
  • Producers: Barry Levinson, Andrew Wald, Michael Crichton
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: July 14, 1998
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790736381
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,555 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

VHS n good condition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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2 Comments 51 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
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).

--Spoiler Alert--

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.
Comment 20 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on January 11, 2004
Format: DVD
I think it can be pointless to compare the movie to the book, in all cases, because they're two different pieces of work. The movie is "based' off the book almost always; it isn't an exact representation, and how could it be? Reading a book is an entirely different experience than watching a movie. The book is amazing. So is the movie, in my opinion. I thought the cast and the acting was stellar, and I was always enthralled and caught in suspense. I think the ending is beautiful, not anticlimactic. Why does the ending of a science fiction thriller always have to be a huge climax? This is a unique ending that wraps everything up in a very simple way. This will always be one of my favorite movies.
Comment 18 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is the first review I've written, because I prefer to keep my opinions to myself in general. However, this film (and specifically the BluRay transfer) is excellent. I've always been a fan of the story, but I forgot how well executed the movie was until I saw it again on BluRay. Excellent video transfer and great sound mixdown really highlight how well-made it is. This is one of a handful of disks I use to show off my home theater setup; and for less than 10 bucks, there's really no reason not to have it in your collection.
Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Amazon Video
While about 20 minutes into this movie I decided to pause it and read some of the "official" ratings from film ratings sites like "Rotten Tomatoes." Their rating had it as pretty dismal. I wanted to see, because after the first 20 minutes I felt the movie was actually pretty good. Intrigued by the low ratings, I was wondering what was so terrible about it. So as I continued to watch, a number of things struck me about this film:

1) The acting was actually pretty good. I'm not a huge Dustin Hoffman fan, but I felt that his acting in this was just as good as any of the other performances I've seen from him. Liev Schreiber actually gets the best lines with the helium induced vocals in a chamber the main characters entered; followed by a really amusing helium induced refrain from Samuel L. Jackson. That's about the only humor in the film.

2) The sets were terrific. I wasn't expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised.

3) The special effects were well done.

4) There was enough suspense to keep me interested.

5) It has a great cast of big name stars (Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Dustin Hoffman), some well-known supporting stars like Liev Schreiber and Queen Latifah, as well as a minor cameo appearance by Huey Lewis as the helicopter pilot.

So with these elements, what could be wrong with this movie? Well, for starters, the ending, like in so many science fiction films, does not seem to know where to go. It was a bit of a letdown. So the script needed a more intense bang-up ending. And I guess that's the main problem here; the script. While the dialogue was not half bad, where the story takes us is rather bland. I had a sort of "been there, done that" feeling at times throughout the film.
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