Still Watching the Skies: Episode 62 “Sphere”
Nat, Cody, and Robert revisit podcast favorite Michael Crichton with a look at 1998’s SPHERE. We previously visited Crichton on episodes devoted to WESTWORLD and THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. So, it the third time the charm?
SPHERE is a big budget adaptation of Michael Crichton’s 1987 novel of the same name. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson, with Liev Schreiber, Peter Coyote, Queen Latifah, and even Huey Lewis in support, it’s a stacked cast. Directed by Barry Levinson too. No expense was spared.
A presumably alien spacecraft is found on the ocean floor and a diverse group of scientists is brought in to a potential first contact situation. It’s almost the setup of ARRIVAL. But, they go off in drastically different directions.
Instead, the origins of the ship are determined to be even more fantastic, involving time travel. And, there’s a strange alien sphere inside, which seems to unlock something in the main protagonists. Something powerful, scary, and uncontrollable.
SPHERE tries to recapture the thrills of JURASSIC PARK, the smarts of THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, and maybe the claustrophobia of THE ABYSS. But does it find a way to set itself apart or is it simply a pale imitation of its inspirations? And what’s the point that the movie is pushing towards? We have a lot to say about the film.
You’re not going to need to consult a world class psychologist to listen to this episode. You can give us a play below or Download the episode. Also, feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below or Email Us at [email protected] as we appreciate feedback.
Next month, we venture into Mark Hamill’s post-STAR WARS career with a look at 1989’s SLIPSTREAM. We hope you’ll join us.