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Dark Planet [DVD]
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Russian sci-fi action film. In 2157, Maxim (Vasiliy Stepanov), a pilot on a misson in deep space, crash-lands on an unknown planet after colliding with an asteroid and losing his ship. Maxim finds the planet Saraksh to be similar to Earth some 100 years previous - being torn apart by social problems and devastating wars. He is appalled by the totalitarian dictatorship that governs the Fatherland and resolves to help the repressed population form a rebellion to overthrow the powerful regime, aided by native Rada (Yuliya Snigir) and her brother Guy (Pyotr Fyodorov). But Maxim's revolution proves more difficult when he discovers those in charge, known as the Unknown Fathers, have the technology to control their citizens' minds...
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Top Customer Reviews
If that sentence didn't finish you off, then you might actually enjoy it.
We did, but then we like weird foreign-language subtitled films which don't make a whole lot of sense. Especially when they show three minutes of a spaceship with tentacles.
1/10 or 8/10, depending on your perspective
*who possibly represent Ukraine, but we might have misinterpreted that bit
Onward. 'Dark Planet' is based on the Russian SF novel "Prisoners of Power" by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, brothers who were almost certainly the bestselling and best-known SF writers from that country in the last 50 years. Many of the novels they wrote have been filmed (in Russia), most notably "Roadside Picnic" (filmed as 'Stalker' by Tarkovsky, who also filmed the original version of Lem's "Solaris") and "Hard to be a God" (filmed twice, once around 1987 and again in 2013 - the newer version is due out on disc in the UK in September 2015.There are also films of "The Ugly Swans", "Monday Begins on Saturday" and others, with different titles and varying degrees of fealty to their source texts.
'Stalker' and the new version of 'Hard to be a God' are arthouse, lengthy films that the critics adore but that most lightweight SF fans who think that 'Dr Who', 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars' make good SF ignore, don't know about, have never seen, or wouldn't like.Read more ›
But I loved the cartoon storyboard and the spaceship scenes at the start of the fillm as these were excellent, just a shame that the rest of the film didn't quite live up to my expectations. But that's not to say that the film was a disappointment as it certainly wasn't - it's a great attempt, and it's really encouraging to see Russian film-makers competing with the more established studios in the West, and with dialogue in the Russian language too. I like learning about different cultures, which is one of the reasons that I watch foreign language films, and it's great to see things from a different viewpoint. The lead actor, Vasiliy Stepanov, was excellent and the supporting cast were very good too. I thought it was a strange hybrid of several science fiction movies, but there was quite a bit of originality on display too so it didn't become predictable and boring at all.
Overall, it's well worth watching and good for brushing up your Russian language skills too, although the subtitles aren't great. If you want to find it on IMDB then look for "Obitaemyy ostrov" rather than "Dark Planet" (if you search for the latter then you'll probably start looking at the somewhat less entertaining 1997 film of that name...)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dutch subtitles only :(
We live in the 21st century, but we still have to fight to get subtitles in english or other languages for that matter, sad but true. Read more
Not a full release. Bulldog Films has merged both into 118 minutes!
Part 2 (100 minutes) was released in Russia with English subtitles. Read more
It didn't say it was not in English and my boy couldn't keep up with subtitles so had to ditch it after less than 3 minutes viewing. Did ask Amazon for my Quid back but no joy. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mr Colin Lewis
The first copy I ordered was chewed to pieces by a terrier dog, visiting for a while. I ordered another copy but shouldn't have bothered. Read morePublished 15 months ago by R. MacDonald