Wednesday, August 2, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Andromeda Strain (1971)

A few thoughts: Slow, methodical, understated, and oh-so atmospheric, this may not be Robert Wise's best ever sci/fi attempt (remember, he directed The Day The Earth Stood Still), but is still a pretty fantastic #2 -- as it would be for anyone. Scientific research doesn't often make for the most compelling entertainment, but watching the scientists in this movie slowly discover the truth about a deadly virus that's wiped out an entire town and threatens life on Earth is not only intriguing to watch, but immensely satisfying. Utilizing split-screen and unconventional narration, this movie pumps out information at a remarkable rate and really rewards people who pay close attention. The sets are designed in that wonderfully stark late-'60s, early-'70s sort of way that only adds to the alien nature of the story. I love the setting, visual design, realistical scientific approach, and the tense and unsettling atmosphere. It plays like a mystery, but not one that diminishes upon rewatch or disappoints if you go in already knowing the outcome. It's a little long (130 mins), but utilizes its time well. A top-notch Crichton adaptation.

Who would I recommend it to? Fans of '60s and '70s sci/fi. It's not "fun", but more of the moody variety of sci/fi.

My grade: B+

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