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Space Station 76 DVD Review

Space Station 76 DVD

Despite having a clever premise, “Space Station 76” feels like a flat sitcom pilot.

For those who are wondering what this film is all about, “Space Station 76” can best be described as a dramedy throwback to 70’s suburbia and 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s sci-fi television. The story of said film (which is based on an existing stageplay) revolves around the adventures of the crew of the titular satellite/refueling station for ships. This band of misfits, however, is by no means a happy family as romantic issues, drugs, loneliness, family troubles, and depression plague the unhappy station inhabitants. To make matters worse, an asteroid is headed straight towards the station unbeknownst to the crew.

As a sci-fi geek, this risky R rated niche film was certainly up my alley. After all, how can you go wrong with a dramedy that contains a psychiatrist robot (Dr. Bot), and a fantastic ensemble cast that features Liv Tyler (Lt. Marlowe), Patrick Wilson (Captain Glenn), Matt Bomer (Ted), Jerry O’Connell (Steve), and Kali Rocha (Donna)? Unfortunately, this multi film festival entrant is seemingly lost in space (if you’ll forgive the pun).

On paper, this film seems destined to be a cult charmer, but director and co-writer Jack Plotnick never takes full advantage of the premise, characters, or the humor. A plot about a dysfunctional space station crew has so many storytelling possibilities and yet they are squandered amidst weirdly paced soap opera style dramatics stuffed with obvious symbolism. Even worse, the characters are given so little to do aside from smoke, argue, and drink which leave audiences as bored as the isolated crew members.

On a positive note, the film looks spectacular. The costumes, sets, tech, station exterior, and control panels really give viewers the retro 70’s vibe that the filmmakers are going for.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1. How does it look? Robert Brinkmann’s cinematography is the best part of this production. Not only is it visually pleasing, but it captures the 70’s sci-fi era perfectly.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The music, score, dialogue, and sound f/x are as sharp as can be.

Extras:
* Sony trailers.
* 3 deleted scenes.
* A little over 7 minutes of outtakes.
* “Zero Gravity: Making Space Station 76” contains behind-the-scenes footage, cast and crew interviews, discussions about the script, etc.

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October 4, 2014 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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