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Sivosten webZine :: The Andromeda Strain (2008)
The Andromeda Strain (2008)

Author: Angel Genchev, Friday, 23 May 2008.

In Articles :: Movies & Animation; Propose a Second Opinion

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I\'ve seen a movie. An odd one, I must admit, because most of the screen adaptations of science fiction fall under two descriptions. At first, there are those distorted and pervert molestations with the original content which the general public usually rejects and it\'s often fair. And second, those other attempts to re-create mot-a-moi the novel itself. And they are both unsuccessful and mostly awkward, just because that particular kind of fiction doesn\'t support the direct approach.

Of course, there are some special cases, where the genius of some individuals produces a quality tape, kind of a proportional mix of those two, but it\'s rare.

In that case, there were two suitable starting points - Michael Crichton, being an almost scenario writer, and I mean his novels don\'t really need that much of an adjustment for the screen, and that magnificent, but antique movie adaptation of the same book from 1971, which made me suspect a remake. But it wasn\'t and I think I have never seen such kind of a movie before.

During the first half of the first episode - it\'s mini-series of two parts, both about ninety minutes - one would be surprised, shocked and puzzled at the same time if one is familiar with the novel itself. The story is much modernized, but not only as to the effects or filming technique. It\'s the developments and concepts beyond the original novel from 1969, such as bioterrorism or the military paranoia that follow the first Gulf War and 9/11. Or the media pressure and even blackmailing upon the government, carrying the new strain of Andromeda right to nowadays, making the novel look like an anachronism, and leaving you to wonder if you are watching the same adaptation or if you have even read the same book.

And in that exact moment, the peak of the growing discontent, the plot returns to its original course like it has never been anything else, neither harming the continuity of the events, nor the characters themself. And then again in the third part or something, it goes somewhere else to a new addition to the original story.

The 2008 Andromeda Strain is very much that - one or even two modern short stories, written in addition to the original novel of Crichton\'s and then put on the film, with the same name, though.

And if movies of that type deserve their rightful place on the white screen, I don\'t know. But the creative approach they require, the thought and the energy could mean a new age of the science fiction and even beyond its borders, for the new breed of audience and its requirements. Because the affective follow-ups of old movies, the purely technical remakes or the pathetic attempts to reproduce some classics by the means of a lot of effects couldn\'t do it. So I\'d very much like to see another one of the kind.

Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=203660#203660

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