Starring: Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Marisa Coughlan, Matt Bomer, Jerry O’Connell, Kylie Rogers, Kali Rocha, Michael Stoyanov
Directed By: Jack Plotnick
Written By: Jennifer Elise Cox, Sam Pancake, Jack Plotnick, Kali Rocha, Michael Stoyanov
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 33 min
70’s design esthetics meets interstellar travel in Space Station 76, a comedy drama set in an alternate reality. Resulting in a film that’s visually a mix between Boogie Nights and Space 1999! There’s also an interesting blend of technology too. Everyone lives on the space station, yet records their favorite TV shows on tape. People have video phones and wall mounted Valium dispensers can scan finger prints, but the good old ‘wireless’ radio is still being used.
This temporal mash-up extends to the characters too, as 70’s era sensibilities are also transported into deep space. A woman’s place is in the kitchen with her family, homosexual men should stay in the closet, and maintaining the ‘ideal’ appearance is paramount. It’s a crazy set up where everyone suppresses their natural desires, while simultaneously enforcing the status quo. That is until Jessica (Liv Tyler) arrives at the station. A single independent career woman, and the catalyst that forces these repressed morons out of their mental cages to finally be honest with each other, and themselves.
The visual effects and production design are decent enough, and work well with the 70’s era theme of the movie. I also liked the technology mash-ups like the old Asteroids computer game, played with a modern console style weapon. Space Station 76 in the end however, was an interesting idea that just didn’t work for me. A great premise, ends up being a series of mostly awkward dull encounters as characters fumble their way through conversations. It also doesn’t help that very few of these characters are actually likeable. It’s not totally devoid of humor though, and I found the therapy sessions with Dr. Bot (Michael Stoyanov), very funny.
This is a weird blend of old and new. Like living with the Brady family, as the house flies through space dodging asteroids. It’s a little slow-moving, but if you’re a fan of Liv Tyler and/or Patrick Wilson you might find Space Station 76 entertaining. The visual effects look a little cheap, but they do fit the theme of the movie.
This film will be perfectly watchable on your TV, laptop, tablet or phone.
The only scenes that made me laugh out loud were the therapy sessions with Dr Bot. In one scene, Dr Bot (who looks like a cheap robot toy you’d find in a thrift shop), discovers Misty (Marisa Coughlan), is developing an emotional attachment, and sounds his ethical alarm while his big round eyes flash red!