The Triangle (2005)

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Fantasy / Mystery / Science Fiction
Lions Gate || NR - 255 minutes - $26.98 || March 28th, 2006
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2006-03-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Craig R. Baxley
Writer(s): Rockne S. O'Bannon (teleplay), Rockne S. O'Bannon (screenplay) and Bryan Singer
Cast: Eric Stoltz, Catherine Bell, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bruce Davison, Michael Rodgers, Lisa Brenner, John Sloan, Barrie Ingham, Charles Martin Smith, Sam Neill


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Sci-Fi Inside: The Triangle


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Plot Outline (from DVD back cover): From the director of X-Men and a producer of Independence Day comes a sci-fi event so big, it's a phenomenon. Experience the thrills and heart-pounding suspense of the greatest legend of our time as a team of specialists races to solve the mystery of why an alarming number of cargo ships are disappearing into the Bermuda Triangle. But as every clue only deepens the mystery, the truth they uncover is far more bizarre than the myths used to cover it up.

A cross between feature films X-Men, Contact and Back to the Future and TV series like "The X-Files" and even "Lost", "The Triangle" is a fun sci-fi action-adventure that took me by surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed nearly every aspect of the 3-part mini-series because, while based on myth, it balances both the fantastic and the strange or creepy well. There's also a ton of scientific terminology, theories and the such, at least half I didn't fully understand, which also contributes to one of the flaws: the ending (more later).

Originally aired in 2005 on the SciFi Channel, "The Triangle" tells the story about eccentric billionaire Eric Benirall (Neill; Jurassic Park) who brings together a group of characters to look into why six of his cargo ships have gone missing. The various cast of characters include: Howard Thomas (Stoltz; The Butterfly Effect), a reporter for a C-class paper; Dr. Emily Patterson (Bell; "JAG") who is a "Deep Ocean Resource Engineer"; Stan Lathem (Davison; X-men), a has-been psychic; and Bruce Geller (Rodgers), a professor of Meteorological Studies. Add in the sub-plot of Meeno Paloma (Phillips), a Green Peace activist who witnesses first-hand the weird things happening within the Bermuda Triangle. What brings them all together, including Benirall, is they are experiencing strange hallucinations that may or may not be real.

Although each of these actors aren't top of the line, headliner actors, they each turned in good performances for characters that, even with a four hour plus runtime, didn't have much background -- though the best certainly was Phillips' Meeno in some touching scenes between he and his son (whom he can't remember). Aside from Sam Neill, who has great command in any scene he's in, individually, none of the actors take charge as the primary but instead, as a team, they are entertaining.

Normally I don't take the time to watch mini-series (on TV or DVD) so this is actually the first one I've seen from start to finish, therefore my experience is not on par with others nor can I compare it to other classics such as "Dune". What I will say, however, is even though I'm not a science fiction geek, I still enjoyed watching this. Is it anywhere near plausible? Of course not, but it is, first and foremost, science fiction and so I can let down my reality guard and just be entertained by the damn thing rather than think about whether it or not something is possible. That said, however, the biggest flaw for me and my understanding, or lack-there-of, is the ending. I'm still not quite sure what happened and why so that did confuse me in an otherwise fine mini-series.

My expectations were low for "The Triangle" so it was a real surprise to find that it was an all around entertaining flick that I will certainly watch again in the future.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Given this is a mini-series, and one with a very small fan base, I didn't expect much in terms of features, but after watching it, I now wish there was a commentary track (with cast and/or crew members) or some deleted scenes...

Sci-Fi Inside: The Triangle - This 20-minute featurette was made for the Sci-Fi Channel to appear before the mini-series broadcast. Fortunately, it's not all a waste as we're given some sound bites from the cast talking about their characters and some side by side CGI comparisons. What I found interesting about this was the amount of work it took with 800 special effects shots and the fact South Africa substituted for Miami and the Atlantic Ocean.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Picture: Presented in 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio, parts of the series seem to be dark, almost void of color while others look quite natural. Without a commentary track, I don't know if this was on purpose but it did bring some sort of atmosphere to something that normally is void of it.

Sound: The DVD features Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix and though nothing stands out, it is perfectly suitable for any viewer. You also have the option of using the DD 2.0 stereo if using your regular TV speakers as well.



.::OVERALL::.

While "The Triangle" isn't exactly the greatest, I still found it very entertaining, especially for a 4-hour plus viewing. Some who are more accustomed to mini-series might not get as much as I did, but considering the state of movies (where highly entertaining ones are becoming fewer and fewer each year) and the medium this aired, I don't have much to complain about. "The Triangle" is filled with imagination, some originality and a fun experience that, though confusing at times, was still fun.