A few nights ago I watched Lifepod
The Plot:: A space-going cruise ship explodes and only one life pod manages to escape with a small group of random passengers and crew. They suspect sabotage of the cruise liner and that the sabatour may in fact be on the lifepod with them. They must find a way to keep alive until rescuedl working together to survive while having a lot of reasons to distrust each other.
What I liked:
1. It was cool to have a midget (or dwarf..never really sure on the distinction) playing a role where the size wasn't really an issue. The role could have been handled by a normal size adult, but the actor did a great job with the part on it's own terms and his height was never really a part of the character or story.
2. The feeling of slow, drawn out, desperation as they survivors slowly ran out of supplies and options built a very strong feeling of oppressive, inevitable, hopelessnes. Unlike a lot of movies of people in trouble where they have a "we have a plan to survive and if it work,we'll all live", this was more like "we really don't have a plan or a chance, maybe if we try some stuff we migth get lucky..but..."
3. The characters had some depth. They had motivation behind their actions that were a little bit more thought out then assigned cookie-cutter roles. They all had flaws, and reasons to root for them as well.
What I didn't like:
1. The design of the lifepod was not very realistic. It pretty mcuh would require at least two specialized and exprienced people to just get the thing to escape from the cruise liner and given that this is supposed to be an emergency life pod , the assumption that such personnel would be aviable for all life pods escaping from a ship in distress seems a bit far fetched.. This sets up some dramatic story points, but you have to ignore the implausibility of the setup to begin with
2. The sabatoge plot and ending. The situation on the lifepod is so helpless anyway that the fact that one of the survivors may be a killer only makes drop in appearances in the story rather than the continous present danger it should've been. This makes the ending seem rather abrubt as instead of a slow building tension about the killer and the danger, the movie just says 'oh by the way, that survivor is the sabatour' and we get a few minutes of panic before eveything is resolved. And when it it resolved, no real explanation is given . Just a fadeout and voiceover that says "and when we were finally rescued..." So the dramatic climax of the movie comes abrubtly from a side plot and the main conflict/tension of the movie is not really resolved other than by declaration that it's over. Working the 'sabatour on board' subplot as strongly as the 'how are we going to survive' plot into the continous tension of the story would've worked well to balance the ending a bit better, and added a lot of immediate tension to the more drawn-out tension of the hopeless desperation.
One example is that when the water supply is poisoned, all the focus is now on 'we have days of water at best, instead of weeks..we're gonan die' and not much thought goes into 'one of us must've poisoned the water. If they did that, then we're all at immediate risk of a potential killer...who did it and how do we protect ourselves?'
In summary, the story is good to watch. It has some good characters, handled well by the actors, and a strong atmosphere of hopeless inevitable death. It had some story flaws that were distracting and kept it from being really good, but on the balance it was worth the viewing