All the reviews have something in common - this is not a good movie, but the production is impressive for the budget and the 3D restoration is outstanding. An educated cinephile cannot fail to see many of the subsequent imagery from sci-fi movies: the Daleks from Doctor Who, the research facility buried in the desert from The Andromeda Strain, the immense halls lined with machinery from Forbidden Planet, the automatic elevator opening doors from Star Trek - and the IBM typewriter which stands at the input end of 1950s computing assemblies, which are credited to Bendix here (when was the last time computers are actually identified and credited in a movie?) Toward the end we get to see some F-86 Sabrejets (filmed onsite) mixed in with some stock and non-3D Air Force footage of other jets and personnel pushing buttons. A snapshot in time, then.
Now, for the 3D. The sets feature some interesting architecture with striated glass blocks flanking door frames and luminous corridors. The color palette is your basic primaries, also evident in Star Trek - but sparse; this gives a certain crispness to the lot and you’re beginning to see the modernist cues that would soon feature in many other period films. The action is slow, the actors face the camera, the robots almost bounce into the walls on a couple of occasions. That said, the director’s patience is evident and the result is meticulously crafted. The 3D effects are basic, but seem to work better than the competition (sorry, Tom Cruise’s Mummy is no match). The realistic sci-fi has lots of mansplaining throughout (and the “women are better suited for space travel” quip for good measure), which was the producer’s preference, but the set details are very, very, very good. The producer eventually moved on to things like Flipper and Daktari, and most of his work retained the attention to detail evident here. We also lose a couple of women in the “action” so this is Equal Dispatching Opportunity territory.
As many other reviewers proclaim, the movie may be somewhere above 2 stars, but the overall production is above 3 and the restored blu-ray puts it above 4. Not a cheap buy. One to remember, though.