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Sphere [VHS] [1998]

Dustin Hoffman , Sharon Stone , Barry Levinson    Suitable for 12 years and over   VHS Tape
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Coyote, Liev Schreiber
  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Writers: Michael Crichton, Kurt Wimmer, Paul Attanasio, Stephen Hauser
  • Producers: Barry Levinson, Andrew Wald, Michael Crichton
  • Format: Download: Palm Reader
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CX48
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,117 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

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. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

A mysterious deadly force has been discovered beneath the surface of the Pacific. Psychologist Dr. Norman Goodman (Dustin Hoffman) is sent by the government to investigate with a specialist team, including Beth Halperin (Sharon Stone), a biochemist, and Harry Adams (Samuel L. Jackson), a sceptical mathematician. But shortly after their mission begins, they lose contact with the surface and begin to experience a series of strange phenomena.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever film 5 July 2006
By Picard TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Although their have been mixed reviews, I can honestly say that this is a really enjoyable film. People seem to forget that this is hollywood, and the film isn't supposed to be broken down into little chunks and analysed.

If your looking for a well acted, and entertaining horror, then this is perfect. But lets get one thing straight - this film is a 12, and therefore there are no 'gorey' scenes. This more of a phycological horror, as you will find out when you watch the film.

In brief, the small crew of an underwater base are left without contact to the water surface due to bad weather. Upon discovering what appears to be an old spacecraft on the ocean floor, they look inside to find an odd sphere. The rest? Well that would be telling! The plot is great and the film keeps getting better as it goes an, and really proves you don't need lots of violence and gore to create a good horror film - such parts in this film being when a crew member gets killed by deadly jelly fish. I know, it sounds stupid, but when you watch it, it really does set your heart racing.

As for the script, I can't see any problems, although some reviewers felt the need to, again, analyze it and rip it apart as soon as something doesnt sound right. But its just right - not too many jokes, and taken seriously. Sharon Stone puts on a strong performance, and Dustin Hoffman follows.

I've given this 8/10, as its all round a good film. The star performer is Samuel L Jackson, who is brilliant. The special effects are nice as well, and if you DON'T take the ending too seriously, you'll see what a good film it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
As an author who's penned a number of childrens' books around submarines, and a great fan of Micheal Crichton, I rushed to see this film when it first came out and was not disappointed.

For once, the filmakers have stuck pretty much to Crichton's novel (perhaps at the expense of having to cram in too many detailed conversations explaining different aspects of the plot?)which does give the film a momentum that carries it through to the climax.

The performances from the three principal actors are excellent, particularly as their attitudes change in the cramped conditions of the underwater habitat - from indifference, through antagonism, to paranoia and finally to the realisation that they need each other to survive.

The identify of the "alien" and its chilling computer message "I WILL KILL YOU ALL" is a very clever plot twist and the special effects are excellent.

The last few minutes of the movie and the final scene are about the best in the film.

One of the best film adaptations of a Crichton book that I've seen and well worth a visit.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I WILL KILL YOU ALL 21 Mar 2005
Format:DVD
Wow. Never has a film that I've really, really liked generated so much negative critisism. Some of the critisism is justified - the film is completely all over the place, the script and dialogue coming across like they were written on the fly - but the moments that I love about this film totally outweigh any problems I would have had with it otherwise.
First of all, the atmosphere is intoxicating. The sets are realistic, cramped and futuristic, accompanied by Elliot Goldenthall's often slow moving, brassy score. I love his music.
The cast all do a brilliant job of creating actual "characters" by improvising some lines. I have heard the critisism that there is too much talking in this film. TOO MANY CONVERSATIONS. It's opinions like these that make filmmakers produce such masterpeices as Alien Vs. Predator and Resident Evil. Let's have all expository dialogue and no actual pondering or drama - the audiences will love that!
This film rips off pretty much every SF cliche. Everything from Alien to Contact and back again is pilfered from, and some moments are a little hard to believe, the motivations of characters unclear. But you need to think to enjoy the film, and it does need you to use your imagination.
I didn't care that the giant squid is never shown (unlike it is in the book where it has a full-on battle with a crewmember), and I don't care that there aren't any little green men in it. I love the performances (especially when they start to distrust one another) and the atmosphere and every time I see it I see something new.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 July 2014
By Alex
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
thank you
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 5 July 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
would recommend to see this film
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding 1 May 2014
By Kate
Format:DVD
My most favourite film of all time. It's the music that makes it, absolutely spellbinding. A must see. So do.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Follow the yellow brick road... 13 Nov 2013
Format:DVD
In the middle of the South Pacific, a thousand feet below the surface of the water, a huge vessel rests on the ocean floor.

Rushed to the scene is a group of American scientists who descend to the depths of the sea to investigate this astonishing discovery.

What they find defies their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation. It is a massive spaceship, undamaged from it's fall from the sky-and at least three hundred years old.....

Three great stars, a wonderful director, and an interesting concept with a sort of Event Horizon and Solaris hybrid, sounded wonderful.

And while its watchable for its lengthy duration, it never really hits the heights it aims for. Everybody is influenced by the Sphere, and they start to manipulate the environment, with Sea Serpents, Jellyfish, and even books.

Now the main problem with this movie is that it was released too soon after Event Horizon, and instead of going all deep and mystical, also known as catering for the masses, and going for the scares instead, and makes a mockery of itself.

So instead of it being an enthralling thriller with brains, we get a half hearted science fiction horror with a wonderful cast, which makes it strangely watchable.

Any film that has Dustin Hoffman and Samuel L Jackson talking science versus religion one minute, and then fighting their imaginations the next, has to be watched.

And the ending is ridiculous, the three stars literally hold hands and forget the whole movie. They actually do that.....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Many technical flaws but still good
As a SCUBA diver, it’s nonsense. There are also inconsistencies with the time travel theme. But…good acting, strong story, and it works.
Published 8 days ago by Dr. Michael J. Atkins
1.0 out of 5 stars Bakwaas...Super Flop
Absolutely hated it. I was expecting some special effects somewhere. Couldn't understand a bit. Don't know how people like it. Absolute yuckkkk.. Don't even think to rent this one.
Published 5 months ago by Zoop
2.0 out of 5 stars The sphere of fear
There are three kinds of science fiction movies:
1. Smart sci-fi
2. Dumb sci-fi
3. Middling sci-fi that thinks it's a lot smarter than it is. Read more
Published 5 months ago by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun
lovely HD so aslong as you know how to watch a Blu Ray film on good equipment you wont go wrong
Published 9 months ago by Osmics
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic sci fi
Hello all,
To my opinion this is a very good sci fi film which in the years to come should be classed as one of the classics of it's kind. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Yannis
4.0 out of 5 stars HELLO. MY NAME IS JERRY.
An all-star cast is tasked with investigating what appears to be an alien space craft on the ocean's bottom. This is not your ordinary man meets alien type of movie. Read more
Published 11 months ago by The Movie Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
a great sci fi thriller with Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson. The atmosphere is building through the film and nothing is what you think it is. A great movie!
Published 12 months ago by Rusu Sergiu
3.0 out of 5 stars gift
this item was purchased to replace old one on a vhs tape so cant really comment on this item as was not for myself
Published 14 months ago by AGNES CLARK
4.0 out of 5 stars SPHERE AN UNDERSEA ADVENTURE>
A good story line .with suspense right to the end .
Not too violent or scary , so the family could watch this DVD.
Published 14 months ago by David Le-Petit
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