Astronaut's Wife
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Astronaut's Wife, The

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By now, it seems that most of the Sci-Fi plots have been explored. What remains seems to be a mixing or blending of previously done stories. The Astronaut’s Wife appears to be a mixture of such classics as Species, I Married a Monster from Outer Space and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Still, it provides some novel twists to provide a glimmer of originality. The story is rather simple. An astronaut goes up on a space shuttle mission to repair a satellite. While up their he and his partner lose contact with the ground for two minutes. When he gets down his wife begins to notice that he is very changed. The change becomes more and more pronounced as it is discovered that she is expecting twins. Soon it seems that her unborn babies are the vanguard of an extraterrestrial invasion.

The cast of this film is excellent. Johnny Depp plays the astronaut with a skill better than his last few movies. Still, there are many times when his performance is flat and too underplayed. Charlize Theron plays a role very similar to the one she had in Devil’s Advocate. A wife in love with her husband forced to see horrible changes in him. Theron does pull it off far better than any other actor does in the film by giving the audience some degree of talent. It is a shame that her agent can’t seem to get better films for her. The peripheral cast is also surprisingly top notch for a relatively mediocre film. Joe Morton plays the NASA agent that discovers the true and is fired because of it. His role is not fleshed out enough and comes off as corny and almost just a plot device to give information to the wife. Donna Murphy (Star Trek: Insurrection) is the wife of the other astronaut who comes and goes from the movie without a chance to so her talent. A surprising treat is Cla Du Vall (Little Witches) as Theron’s younger sister. Once again there is talent there but you have to look past the predicable dialogue to find it. Blair Brown as a small role that does nothing to credit this fine actress.

Director Rand Ravich also wrote and produced this film. I sincerely hope he finds a good film school before he tries another project. It this film and the benefit of an experienced director it may have fared far better than it did. His use of cinematography is under whelming. He shows little imagination to hold our attention or move the story along at the pace that is needed. The story drags in spots and almost stops in others. It has a feel of a network movie of the week rather than a Hollywood major film.

Since the studio is New Line Cinema than production quality for this DVD is fantastic. The video transfer is superb, the audio is perhaps one of the best balanced I have heard in a long time. Each speaker is used just right, not too little, not enough to overpower the sound mix. There are plenty of added features including DVD ROM features such as a full screenplay that you can read as you watch the film. The box states a 1:2.35 aspect ratio but it is actually 1:1.85. It’s good but it missed it’s potential of being far better.

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