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The Astronaut's Wife

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Astronaut's Wife

Starring: Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron
Director: Rand Ravich
Rated: R
RunTime: 110 Minutes
Release Date: September 1999
Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller

*Also starring: Joe Morton, Tom Noonan, Blair Brown, Nick Cassavetes, Clea Duvall, Donna Murphy

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1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewvideo review
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4.  Harvey Karten read the review ---
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Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

Writer/director Rand Ravich came up with an intriguing premise for this sci-fi tale: What would happen if an astronaut was, somehow, changed after he returned from a supposedly routine space journey? Who would know? Good idea, right? So, Johnny Depp - newly blond with a Southern drawl - plays a NASA shuttle pilot, one of two crew members who are nearly killed when a satellite explodes and ground control mysteriously loses contact with them for two minutes. His companion (Nick Cassavetes) flips out soon after their return to Earth. But Depp doesn't. Instead, he announces his decision to quit the space program and impregnates his beautiful wife, played by Charlize Theron ("Mighty Joe Young," "The Devil's Advocate"), with twins. But then strange things begin to happen. First, Cassavetes dies from "a severe insult to the brain" (i.e.: a stroke). Then Theron's confidante, played by Donna Murphy, is electrocuted. Nevertheless, the now-former astronaut and his now-fearful wife leave Florida and move to New York, where she's befriended by the wife (Blair Brown) of her husband's new corporate boss (Tom Noonan) in the aerospace industry. Are there any surprises? Only when British actress Samantha Eggar turns up as an obstetrician with a thick German accent. Otherwise you can probably guess what happens. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Astronaut's Wife" is a fumbling, formulaic 4. Think of a sluggish "Rosemary's Baby" with an extra-terrestrial twist.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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