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Lifepod

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Ron Silver (Reversal of Fortune) costars and makes his directorial debut in this made-for-TV movie, an outer-space version of the 1944 Alfred Hitchcock film, Lifeboat. In Lifepod, the year is 2169, and a motley group of space travelers is cast adrift when its big, fancy-schmancy rocket ship explodes somewhere outside of Venus. They float aimlessly in a little lifepod (the futuristic version of a lifeboat) that has limited air and food supplies. The Hitchcock movie wasn’t one of his best, but at least colorful actors like Tallulah Bankhead and William Bendix were aboard to make the time spent in close quarters entertaining; the nervous grumps in Silver’s Lifepod are typified by Wild Palms’ Robert Loggia, at full-yelling throttle as an arrogant politi-cian. Silver has a showy role as a deep-thinking blind man, but my vote for the most annoying survivor goes to Jessica Tuck (One Life to Live), as a / reporter who goes around justifying her snoopy behavior by snapping, ”I’m a journalist!” Only CCH Pounder, as a tough spacecraft technician, comes close to providing a complex character. The actors emote on a set that looks left over from the Alien movies; given the mechanical succession of impassioned speeches they all deliver, there’s not much director Silver can do to create the tension necessary for this sort of melodrama. C-

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