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CAPRICORN ONE ($30) is a fun suspense film about the conspiracy that arises when NASA fakes the first manned mission to Mars. To keep its funding, NASA forces their astronauts to participate in a staged a trip to Mars, when it is discovered that the life support system onboard the spacecraft will fail due to the negligence of a subcontractor. The "mission" goes as planned up until reentry, when the Capricorn One is destroyed. The situation leaves three very live astronauts running from government troops, in an effort to stay alive and expose the conspiracy.

James Brolin stars as the mission commander who helps his fellow astronauts (Sam Waterston and O.J. Simpson) escape. Elliott Gould is hotshot reporter who smells a rat and soon finds his own life in jeopardy. Hal Holbrook is the NASA director who conceives the idea of staging the trip to Mars for the television cameras, but then decides his own people are expendable for the greater good of the space program. The cast of CAPRICORN ONE also features Brenda Vaccaro, Karen Black, Telly Savalas, David Doyle, Robert Walden, James Sikking, Alan Fudge and James Karen. Director Peter Hyams stages a number of exciting action sequences that intensify one’s enjoyment of the film.

Live Entertainment offers CAPRICORN ONE in a very good looking Letterboxed transfer which restores the film’s 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio (contrary to the DVD’s jacket claim of 1.85:1). The transfer is sharp and features very good detail. Colors are natural and have well saturated hues. Digital compression artifacts were seldom noticeable.

The soundtrack has been re-mixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 with very pleasing results. The track makes use of the discrete channel capabilities of the format to offer good separation and directional effects. Jerry Goldsmith’s excellent score also benefits from the Dolby Digital encoding. Other soundtrack options include a Dolby Surround compatible track. Subtitles are available in Spanish. The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer, production notes and cast and crew biographies/filmographies.


Capricorn One (1978)


DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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