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The Astronaut's Wife [DVD] [1999]

3.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp, Joe Morton, Clea DuVall, Donna Murphy
  • Directors: Rand Ravich
  • Writers: Rand Ravich
  • Producers: Andrew Lazar, Brian Witten, Diana Pokorny, Donna Langley, Jody Hedien
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 24 April 2000
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004T8VG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,597 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

On a seemingly routine mission to repair a space satellite, astronaut Spencer Armacost (Johnny Depp) loses contact with Mission Control for a period of time. Once Spencer has returned to Earth his wife Jillian (Charlize Theron) falls pregnant with twin boys, but her joy is tempered by the suspicion that something terrible happened to her husband in space - something which could threaten the entire human race.

From Amazon.co.uk

An intriguingly creepy premise but failed execution marks The Astronaut's Wife, a stylish and ultimately bland thriller about a pretty, young woman whose pretty, young astronaut husband comes back from his most recent space mission a little... odd. Before that fated space trip, Spencer (Johnny Depp) and Jillian (Charlize Theron) were a sunny, happy couple with matching blonde hairdos and a predilection for romping in the sack from extremely clever camera angles. However, after a communications blackout brings Spencer and his partner back down to earth prematurely, things are a little... peculiar. Spencer's partner goes bonkers and has a heart attack; on top of that, the partner's wife takes a fatal shower with a plugged-in radio. Getting out of the space biz, Spencer accepts a job as a corporate exec in New York, and as a welcome to the Big Apple for his comely wife, he molests her at the company cocktail party. Soon enough, Jillian is pregnant, but as you might expect, this pregnancy (twins, don't you know) is a little... unusual. Writer-director Rand Ravich takes his sweet time getting from extremely obvious plot point A to even more obvious plot point B, stretching out the development particulars in mind-numbing, suspense-killing fashion. Even Joe Morton, as a sinisterly psychotic NASA official, can't liven things up--you know you're in bad thriller territory when the biggest scare comes from a light suddenly being switched off. Theron, sporting a Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby style haircut, sleepwalks beautifully through the movie, but she did this role much, much better in The Devil's Advocate. Depp, with a cornpone Southern accent, is about as realistic as his peroxided hair. Ravich does the viewer no favours with a hackneyed ending straight out of a B-grade paperback horror novel in which the most shocking moment is Theron's sudden emergence as a brunette. With Blair Brown as a jaded socialite who offers to help out Theron by providing do-it-yourself abortion pills, and a lovely Donna Murphy as the suicidal wife who figures it all out before everyone else. -- Mark Englehart, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Now I like Johnny Depp a lot, but I feel that this movie does not extract the full measure of talent he has to offer and that's not any fault of his.
Both lead roles are played smack bang on. Charlize Theron is stunning and well cast as ever.
Perhaps it is because JD's character is wiped out by some nebulous alien entity within 15 minutes and thereafter is a pretty cold fish and unsympathetic to boot. I suppose that a creature able to travel at light speed without the need for a spaceship or spacesuit will consider Earth's human occupants similar to pond life. It's a wonder such a creature would need to go through the niceties of trying to integrate with us at any level, but this one does supposedly in order to impregnate a human to further its own species - but why would it need to?
I just kept thinking, "Why is it bothering?"
The version I saw was the DVD with "Alternate Ending" and I found it more satisfying than the other ending packaged with it. Quite frankly, by the time I'd got to the ending if JD's head had burst open and a UFO had flown out I would have been quite ready for it and not surprised at all.
It's the script and the anonymous alien that makes this movie somewhat unsatisfactory to me. I'm not sure why JD went in for it after his display of talent in Benny & Joon and The Brave to quote two of his diverse roles.
Not a tour de force piece of cinema in my book but well acted.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed by this annoying and boring 1999 SF film. Buying it was a waste of money and watching it was a waste of time. Below, more of my impressions, with some LIMITED SPOILERS.

While on a space-walking mission, American astronauts Spencer Armacost (Johny Depp) and Alex Streck (Nick Cassavetes) meet trouble. They manage to re-establish contact with flight control after a two minute interruption, but having been both injured, they have to make an emergency landing. They manage to land safely, are hospitalized and seem to recover rather well, but their wives start to feel uncomfortable around them - it seems indeed that they have both changed… All this takes especially a toll on Armacost's wife Jillian (Charlize Theron). And then the film really begins.

There are so many things wrong with this film that it is even hard to decide where to begin. For me I think the worst thing is the total lack of originality. After a beginning which seems to be taken strait from an "Outer Limits" (great series by the way) episode, the film very quickly becomes a very, very weak remake of "Rosemary's Baby" (an infinitely better film), with some elements which are a carbon copy of their equivalents from "Omen" (a film even more infinitely better). The lack of originality is such, that even Charlize Theron haircut is a copy of one Mia Farrow used in the "Rosemary's Baby" (and, to be fair, in manyof her other films). Other than that it must be also said, that the pace of the film is very slow, not so much happens, dialogs are weak, suspense is AWOL and the ending is as lame as &£+*%!
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By S Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 May 2009
Format: DVD
A patchy and derivative sci-fi story. The A-list cast give strong performances but they can't save an uninspired movie.

The first half hour of the movie races along at a strong pace, but then grinds to a disappointing halt when the real "psychological thriller" part of the movie begins, after which point it drags along at a snail's pace until the final showdown.

The final showdown is available in two different versions on the disc- and both versions are poor, unsatisfying endings. As we watched it we came up with at least three better endings for the film...

Unless you're a massive Johnny Deep or Charlize Theron fan, you could give this a miss.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Don't rate this film at all. I know the title is "The Astronauts Wife" and it was all about "the wife" but there should have been a bit more about the husband. There wasn't much of a roll for Johnny Depp in this film, in fact I couldn't see any abnormal behavior to suspect him being an alien.

Also, I got a bit fed up with close-ups of Charlize's mouth. Okay she has nice full lips but come on! What's all that about.
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By A Customer on 19 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
I have read these reviews with interest and I have to say I m still not sure about this one. I have such faith in JD's understanding of his roles that I think that this so subtle- verging on the not there build up from a sweet all American guy to a ruthless, single minded non human may have been an interpretation of what it could be like to be replaced by an alien- without the movie stereotype we have all grown up with.
Is it possible that the cold looks, the extraordinary transformation over a few minutes in the love scene and the unflinching expression when Jo strokes his cheek further on in the story are all the clues we are meant to get?
Is it just a very subtle metamorphisis- or doesn't it work?
Anyone care for further debate on this one. I would still say worth watching... but odd
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