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SUPERNOVA

SYNOPSIS:
A medical rescue vessel, Nightingale 229, is on a routine trip, with Pilot A.J. Marley (Robert Forster), co-pilot Nick Vanzant (James Spader), chief medical officer Kaela Evers (Angela Bassett), computer engineer Benj Sotomejor (Wilson Cruz), medical technician Yerzy Penalosa (Lou Diamond Phillips) and paramedic Danika Lund (Robin Tunney). Dimension jumping, they get a distress call from a mysterious source in the vicinity of a giant star and rescue Karl (Peter Facinelli) - who has a mystery all his own, which has to be unraveled before the giant star becomes a supernova and obliterates them all.

"There's no record of the director in the production notes to this film, and I'm told that's because he doesn't exist. Three different blokes had a go at directing this, and I'm not surprised. Here's a more or less good idea which didn't get developed enough; or maybe it became too developed, too messy and unsure of anything it wanted to say, after being passed like a baton from one to the other. Science fiction is hard - almost as hard as comedy - and it has nothing to offer if we don't care or follow what's happening. Gizmos and space spectacles like supernova (however dressed up or down) are empty without the most careful writing. So here is a fine cast - nay, an excellent cast - abandoned in space. Sorry, folks, I haven't got time for a rescue mission - I'm off to see Galaxy Quest again."
Andrew L. Urban

"Supernova is supposedly directed by someone name Thomas Lee. Didnít ring a bell, so doing a little research I discover itís a pseudonym for Walter Hill of 48 Hrs fame. Apparently, not impressed by the meddling of the production team in the making of this spacecraft-based adventure, Hill abandoned ship, morphed his identity and put as many light years as possible between himself and the final product. He knew what he was doing. Supernova begins promisingly enough, starts to implode after about 20 minutes and ends up as a black hole that has sucked in every known sci-fi cliche to create an originality vacuum instead of a singularity at its centre. Nearly all the action takes place aboard an intergalactic ambulance that looks like a giant version of one of those exotic kitchen appliances that come with a free set of steak knives. Inside is a labyrinth of shadowy corridors, sparking circuitry and the omniscient presence of a cloying computer called Sweetie. Itís a very stylish, very expensive setting, for a very uninteresting story. When we are first introduced to the crew, there seems to be some promise. But it vaporises at every turn. Spaderís vacant, cosmic-weary eyes suggest a no-nonsense guy with an enigmatic depth. But no, heís just a no-nonsense guy. In fact, the nine-dimensional ectoplasm has the most charisma, and eight more dimensions than the plot, which has been around since the big bang. Imagine Alien, but with Peter Facinelli in place of the creature. His Tom Cruise-like countenance, weakly crooked smile and ugly beard substitute for slither and slime to make him as scary as a blancmange. I did, however, enjoy a scene where a robot gives Facinelli a metallic one-finger salute. I couldnít think of a better expression to sum up my feelings towards the film. Perhaps Walter Hill agrees."
Brad Green

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

SUPERNOVA (M)
(US)

CAST: James Spader, Peter Facinelli, Robin Tunney, Wilson Cruz, Angela Basset, Robert Forster, Lou Diamond Phillips

DIRECTOR: Thomas Lee

PRODUCER: Daniel Chuba, Jamie Dixon, Ash R. Shah

SCRIPT: David C. Wilson (story William Malone, Daniel Chuba)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lloyd Ahern II ASC

EDITORS: Freeman A. Davies, Melissa Kent, Michael Schweitzer

MUSIC: David C. Williams

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Marek Dobrowolski

RUNNING TIME: 90 min

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 21, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Ent

VIDEO SELLTHROUGH RELEASE: July 1, 2001







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