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Andromeda Strain, The (mini-series) - The Andromeda Strain Review




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Rating
Video:   9/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   5/10

We're all going to die!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
6/03/2008

    Based on the best-selling novel by Michael Crichton, the A&E mini-series event The Andromeda Strain arrives on DVD in the special 2-disc collection! Two-time Academy Award nominee Mikael Saloman (Band of Brothers) directs a powerhouse cast, including Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order), Christa Miller (Scrubs), Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), Ricky Schroder (NYPD Blue), Andre Braugher (City of Angels), Viola Davis (Disturbia), and Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) in this thrilling sci-fi adventure.

    When a mysterious virus is brought to earth by a returning satellite, an elite and dedicated squad of scientists assembles to search for the truth and stop the mutating killer before it ends life on earth. Presented by three-time Academy Award nominee Ridley Scott (American Gangster) and Primetime Emmy award winner Tony Scott (Numb3rs), The Andromeda Strain includes all 4 televised hours, exclusive bonus materials and features Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. Own the action-paced epic today!
I remember when "A&E" stood for "Arts & Entertainment," and their schedule was primarily reruns of old sleuth shows (at least that's what I watched on there). I was surprised when I heard this was an A&E mini-series, since the channel is now the home of celebrity reality shows, but this was a big event for the network.

Disc 1 (1:29:14)
Part 1 (1:29:14)

Disc 2 (1:27:30)
Part 2 (1:27:30)

Video

Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1), the Andromeda Strain transfer shows off the slick CGI and stylish interiors of the mini-series. The transfer is top-notch, with just a little bit of visible grain in a few scenes. No "play all" feature on the discs, but that's fine since it's just a single episode on each one. There's a chapter placed after the opening of the show as well.

Audio

I enjoyed the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, but felt the rear speakers weren't utilized as much as they could have been. The dialog, sound effects and music, which sounds creepy at times, all sound fine. There are optional English subtitles.

Extras - How we rate extras

Commentary
Mikael Salomon (director/co-executive producer), David W. Zucker (executive producer), Tom Thayer (executive producer) and Scott Vickrey (editor) provide commentary on both parts of the mini-series.

Terra Incognita: Making The Andromeda Strain (26:06)
A great look behind the scenes of the show, featuring interviews with the cast and crew, a look at the locations, sets, and special effects.

Photo and Design Gallery (110 photos)
There are 110 photos and drawings from the series.

Summary

I wouldn't call myself a fan of Michael Crichton's work, but I will say that I've enjoyed watching the movies based on his books. I enjoyed this mini-series, but I don't have anything to compare it to since I've never read the book, and I haven't seen the 1971 theatrical version. I've spent some time reading the comments about the mini-series on IMDB, and it seems anyone who has seen the original movie absolutely hates this version. I guess I'm lucky because I was able to enjoy this, and now I can watch the older movie and enjoy it as well.

Here are a couple of random thoughts about the mini-series; Hedley, the town that was hit by the Andromeda Strain, is a neat place in BC. They have a mine up on the side of a hill which is supposed to be amazing. Unfortunately it was closed the day I passed through the town last September, so I wasn't able to visit it. Guess I'll have to go back there sometime. Rick/Ricky Schroeder has to decide on what name he's going to use. People knew him as Ricky Schroeder until he joined NYPD Blue and declared himself "Rick," but now he's back to being Ricky.

This is a good DVD set for those interested in owning the series. You get nearly 3 hours of commentary, some photos, and a great behind-the-scenes documentary. Unfortunately Paul Prischman, one of the producers of the DVD, has brain cancer. Some of his friends in Hollywood have joined together to form "Paul's Brain Trust" to raise money for Paul's fight against the cancer.

I'm going to add the Andromeda Strain DVD to my rental queue and check it out.


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