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Cargo [DVD]

3.4 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Martin Rapold, Michael Finger, Claude-Olivier Rudolph, Yangzom Brauen, Maria Boettner
  • Directors: Ivan Engler, Ralph Etter
  • Producers: Ivan Engler, Marcel Wolfisberg, Andreas Caplazi
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 5 July 2010
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003LKK9UW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,182 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

2267 and Earth has become almost uninhabitable due to environmental deterioration. The human race now populates overcrowded space stations orbiting the planet, whilst dreaming of being able to afford the trip to live on the paradise-like planet Rhea. Desperate to raise the money for the trip so she can reunite with her family Dr Laura Portmann (Anna-Katherine Schwabroh) signs up for a job aboard the cargo ship Kassandra, on an 8 year trip to a space station in Rhea’s orbit. On board, each crew member spends much of the voyage in hibernation, each waking for a solitary 8 month shift monitoring the ships operations. Nearing the end of her vigil, Laura begins to suspect she may be being watched, and hearing sounds from within the hold of the ship. Along with security chief Samuel Decker (Martin Rapold) she awakens the captain and the rest of the crew to investigate the dark recesses of the cargo bay. Gruesome discoveries are soon made and fractures appear in the crew’s relationships, then Laura and Decker uncover Kassandra’s true destination and what secret cargo she carries…. Compelling, artistic and chilling, Cargo was the closing film of the 2010 Sci-Fi London Film Festival.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Morris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 July 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Cargo begins with our heroine applying for a cargo run in the year 2267 to one of the furthest & deepest space stations humans possess, Station 42. The crew will spend the majority of the time in stasis waking up periodically to take their turn on an 8 1/2 month watch shift. In 8 years time, Dr Laura Portmann (Anna-Katharina Schwabroh) will have enough money to escape the over-crowded space stations that currently support humanity and buy her way to Rhea - a habitable planet, much like earth used to be. However, when the crew find out that they are not alone on the ship, their suspicions of each other start to tear them apart...

Cargo is an excellent film, although it is filmed in German, the dialogue is terse and sporadic and the subtitles more than compensate for the language. What struck me about this film was just how atmospheric it was, I found myself holding my breath at one or two points in the film, frozen in suspense. The mark of an excellent film in my view. I have never been so afraid of a simple shot of a door (The broken bulkhead door between the ship and the cargo containers) and the long panning shots of the gate only heighten the tension. The interior is very reminscent of A Space Odyssey and even some of the outside scenes follow on, with some extremely retro space-suits and great panning arcs of the ship. The premise of a stow-away sabotaging the ship is similar to Sunshine and the neuro-networks are straight out of The Matrix.
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Format: DVD
Cargo is an unusual science fiction film - a throwback to the 'serious', ideas-led SF cinema that almost died in the 1970s with the advent of Star Wars. A Swiss production with a cast who will be unknown to most British viewers, it makes the most of a small budget, with excellent special effects that are easily the equal of their Hollywood equivalents. The opening sequence of the space station in near-Earth orbit is particularly impressive. The director works hard to give a sense of what it would be like to find oneself among virtual strangers in deep space when things start to go wrong, but inevitably the cargo ship Kassandra echoes the visual design of earlier films - particularly the dark, wet, empty hangars and storage spaces of Alien's Nostromo. This may arouse expectations that the film does not fulfil - this is not a 'creature feature'. Nor does director Ivan Engler possess Ridley Scott's ability to fill those dark spaces with dread.

Unfortunately, Cargo has shortcomings in other areas. The plot - a sort of futurist eco-thriller - is not particularly original. This wouldn't matter if it were worked out less predictably: but most viewers will have guessed what is really happening long before the 'revelations'. This problem is compounded by what seems to be an error of pacing, in which the central plot device is revealed too early. As a result, the final section of the film has the feel of a series of dramatic incidents tacked on at the last moment to compensate for the absence of real tension.

The acting is competent, with no real standouts. The dialogue - in German with English subtitles - is a barrier to engagement for those who don't speak German, but the subtitles are literate and seem accurate.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The year is 2267. The ecosystem of the Earth has finally collapsed, and everyone - even the poorest people from the Third World - are now moving into the space stations and colonies around the solar system. The main character, Laura Portmann, is a doctor who accepts a several years long voyage from Earth orbit to a space station in the Oort Cloud which needs upgrading. She does it for the money; she hopes afterwards to be able to join her sister on the paradisic colony world Rhea. Also aboard the ship (which is called Kassandra) is a sky marshall, who's supposed to guard the cargo from an alleged anti-technology terrorist organization that has been carrying out bomb strikes on several space stations.

As the spaceship approaches its destination, something seems amiss. There seems to be a stowaway on the ship who's messing with the cargo. So the crew, after having awoken from their cryosleep, goes into the massive cargo hold to investigate, and soon meet with various accidents. What is the cargo, you ask? Ah yes - and what is the Matrix?! This film contains many - subtle and not so subtle - references to classic sci-fi films, including 2001, Matrix, Aliens and Cube; the cargo hold is arranged much like the cubes in the eponymous 1997 film, and occasionally rearrange themselves. But Cargo does not rip these films off; rather, it pays homage to them. It consciously uses them for the purpose of placing itself firmly in the history of the genre.

The film is, somewhat surprisingly, not sci-fi/horror (although it does contain at least one horror cliché, which however turns out to have a rational explanation), but actually straight sci-fi, which warms the cockles of this reviewer's heart. The story is relatively simple, but constantly keeps you guessing.
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