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The Andromeda Strain-ed

I enjoy the work of Michael Crichton. I've read most of what he's published, and I think his combination of science and imagination is fascinating.

The Andromeda Strain is one of his most understated works of suspense, as he puts a team of scientists in a high-security lab as they try to figure out what exactly killed off an entire small town in a matter of minutes and how to stop it before it kills more. It's an interesting mix of science, humanity and nature all put together in a solid novel.

Now, the book did get a movie treatment back in the day. I've seen it, and it sticks pretty closely to the book, but it's kinda hard to watch any more because the look of it is just so dated.

Well, recently A&E and Ridley Scott decided to try and turn it into a two-part, four hour TV movie with all the fixins. They even got a solid bunch of actors (Benjamin Bratt, Daniel Dae Kim and several others who have made a career of being on various TV shows). Even the special effects weren't bad for a made-for-a-cable-TV-channel movie.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the screenplay writer lost his copy of the book…

Maybe a quarter of what went on in this movie comes from anything found in the the original work. Instead of being a story about science, the unknown, and immense pressure, they turned the whole thing into a government conspiracy pseudo-science piece of crap. They even made the leap to wormholes and time travel (probably from Chrichton's Sphere) and nanoparticle communication in neural networks (probably from Crichton's Prey) and even stole the deep sea drilling protests from the Cloverfield backstory. It all turned into a hodge-podge of pure, unfettered crap.

If you've never read the book, this movie might even seem excusable. However, the story was so mutated and corrupted that it just ruined my night.

So, if you see this on TV, make sure to keep on passing by. You'll thank me later…

Published inbooksmoviesTV

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