Saturday, 24 March 2012

Film Review: FIRE IN THE SKY (1993)

Fire in the Sky - poster Director: Robert Lieberman
Writers: Travis Walton (book), Tracy Tormé (screenplay)
Running time: 105 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Sci-Fi/Drama
UK Release date: 18th June 1993

Watched on DVD Saturday 24th March 2012.


Back in the nineties there was a TV show called ‘The X-Files’ and one of the characters, Mulder, had a poster on his office wall. It was a blown-up photo of an alien craft with the caption, ‘I Want to Believe’. Well, I was one of those who ‘wanted to believe’ back then, and so imagine my surprise when I came across this little ‘alien abduction’ movie a few years later. The first time I saw it, must have been in the late nineties/early noughties, I remember being quite impressed with it. Finding it in a DVD bargain bin, I snapped it up recently and decided to give it a second look. Well, I’ll give you my thoughts after this brief summary.

Fire in the Sky - 5 Based on a true story, the film follows the disappearance of one Travis Walton from a logging crew. The rest of the crew, led by Mike Rogers, return to town and tell the authorities the truth; he was abducted by aliens, as far as they know. The police bring in a special investigator, Frank Watters, but still can find no evidence of foul play. The townsfolk are getting all riled up when Travis suddenly re-appears; he is in a bad way, suffering from shock and has clearly been through an ordeal. What will this mean for the rest of the crew though? I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Alien Abductions Division) will be probing me (again).

Fire in the Sky - 4 Quite well made, but I’m afraid it does have a little of the look and feel of a TV movie of the week. There are some great effects in the second half of the film that are definitely worthy of note (no CGI there!). As far as performance go, well everyone was pretty good and so I’ll give honourable mentions to; D.B. Sweeney as Travis Walton, Robert Patrick (who starred in some latter episodes of ‘The X-Files), as Mike Rogers, Craig Sheffer as Allan Dallis, Peter Berg as David Whitlock, Henry Thomas as Greg Hayes and it was also nice to see James Garner as Frank Watters.

Fire in the Sky - 6 The first half of the film is a pretty run-of-the-mill drama with Travis being abducted and the fallout from that the crew suffers in town. It really picks up in the second half when Travis is returned and we see, in flashback, what he experienced inside the alien spaceship. This part of the movie stands out, although I must admit there are some good moments, from an acting point of view, in the first half. So, for me, I did find it a little uneven although I suspect fans of ‘The X-Files’ will like it; and as one of those I’ll have to deem it… Recommended (with reservations).

My score: 6.2/10.

IMDb Score: 6.3/10 (based on 7,682 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 33/100 (based on 15 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 31/100 (based on 19,135 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

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Fire in the Sky - 7 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
[first lines]
Citizen: [truck just raced into parking lot] What the hell is that all about?

Allan Dallis: Yeah, well. I think it's about time we got outta here, what do you boys think?
Lieutenant Frank Watters: You're real broken up about your missing buddy, aren't you?
Allan Dallis: Well, that's very perceptive. That's 'cause he's not my friend.
Lieutenant Frank Watters: I got that. Clearly.
Allan Dallis: Did you? Good. Now, ya' done?

Mike Rogers: Yeah, who is this?
Operator: I have a collect call from Travis Walton. Will you accept the charges?
Katie Rogers: You know, just hang up the phone.
Mike Rogers: I'll accept it.
Operator: Go ahead, sir.
Travis Walton: Mike!
Mike Rogers: Travis?
Travis Walton: Help me!

[last lines]
Mike Rogers: Let's get outa here - before they come back.
Travis Walton: Oh they won't come back. I don't think they like me.

Fire in the Sky - 3 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)

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