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Sphere

The movie Sphere was based on the book Sphere.

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Movie details for Sphere

The movie was released in 1998 and directed by Barry Levinson, who also directed The Natural (1984), Bugsy (1991), Disclosure (1994), Sleepers (1996) and Wag the Dog (1997). Sphere was produced by Warner Home Video. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Coyote, Liev Schreiber, Queen Latifah, Marga Gómez, Huey Lewis, Bernard Hocke, James Pickens Jr., Michael Keys Hall, Ralph Tabakin and Antonio LaBell.

 

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From yet another derivative science fiction novel by Michael Crichton comes this equally derivative and flaccid movie, in which three top Hollywood stars struggle to squeeze tension and excitement out of material that doesn't match their talents. You're s... Read More
From yet another derivative science fiction novel by Michael Crichton comes this equally derivative and flaccid movie, in which three top Hollywood stars struggle to squeeze tension and excitement out of material that doesn't match their talents. You're supposed to find awe and mystery in Crichton's story about a team of scientists and scholars who discover a 300-year-old alien spacecraft deep on the ocean floor, but mostly you feel that this is all much ado about nothing. The exploration team consists of a psychologist (Dustin Hoffman), mathematician (Samuel L. Jackson), biochemist (Sharon Stone), and an astrophysicist (Liev Schreiber), and when they enter the alien ship they discover a mysterious sphere inside. What they don't know is that the sphere has the power to manipulate their thoughts and perceptions, and before long the scientists' undersea habitat is a veritable haunted house of frightening visions and creeping paranoia. Who can be trusted? What is the sphere's purpose, and why is it on the ocean floor? Sphere makes some attempt to answer these questions, but the film is a mess, and it leads to one of the most anticlimactic endings of any science fiction film ever made. There are moments of high intensity and psychological suspense, and the stellar cast works hard to boost the talky screenplay. But it's clear that this was a hurried production (Hoffman and director Barry Levinson made Wag the Dog during an extended production delay), and as a result Sphere looks and feels like a film that wasn't quite ready for the cameras. Though it's by no means a waste of time, it's undeniably disappointing. The special edition DVD includes audio commentary by Hoffman and Jackson and a behind-the-scenes featurette, Shaping the Sphere: The Art of the Special Effects Supervisor, exploring the alien ship's design and creation by special effects technicians. --Jeff Shannon

Book details for Sphere

Sphere was written by Michael Crichton. The book was published in 1987 by Ballantine Books. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

Michael Crichton also wrote Congo (1980), Eaters of the Dead (1988), Jurassic Park (1990), Rising Sun (1992), Disclosure (1993), Lost World (1995) and Timeline (1999).

 

Read More About This Book

Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton is possibly the best science teacher for the masses since H.G. Wells, and Sphere, his thriller about a mysterious spherical spaceship at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, is classic Crichton. A group of not-very-comple... Read More
Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton is possibly the best science teacher for the masses since H.G. Wells, and Sphere, his thriller about a mysterious spherical spaceship at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, is classic Crichton. A group of not-very-complex characters (portrayed in the film by Sharon Stone, Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Queen Latifah) assemble to solve a cleverly designed roller coaster of a mystery while attempting (with mixed success) to avoid sudden death and expounding (much more successfully) on the latest, coolest scientific ideas, including the existence of black holes. Somehow, Crichton manages to convey the complicated stuff in utterly simplistic prose, making him, as his old pal Steven Spielberg puts it, "the high priest of high concept." Yet there is more to Crichton than science and big-ticket show biz. He is also, as any reader of his startling memoir Travels knows, a bit of a mystic--he is entirely open to notions spouted by spoon-bending psychics that most science writers would scorn. Sphere is not only a gratifying sci-fi suspense tale; it also reflects Crichton's keen interest in the unexplained powers of the human mind. When something passes through a black hole in Crichton's fiction, a lesson is learned. The book also contains another profound lesson: when you're staring down a giant squid with an eyeball the size of a dinner plate, don't blink first.