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BMZ Review: Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
By Ann Coates

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Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: March 5, 2010

     

Category: Reviews

The digitally animated film, Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, is for all intents and purposes an edutainment hybrid.  However, the film falters in both accounts never achieving to be a fully realized entertainment film, nor offering an adequate scientific study of the astronomical phenomena it features.  Written and directed by Dr. Harry Kloor, the film sets out to introduce audiences to the Cassini Huygens space mission through a fictional adventure story with characters who inhabit the atomic world.  Obviously geared towards kids, the film may be able to pique a few interests in space exploration, but its unimaginative storytelling and conventional characters nudge Quantum Quest into dreadful mediocrity.

The film follows a photon named Dave (voiced by Chris Pine) who lives in Sun City populated by other atomic particles such as photons, neutrinos and protons.  Two god-like forces -- The Core (William Shatner), the embodiment of the Sun, and The Void (Mark Hamill), the embodiment of nothingness -- battle beyond the security of Sun City for one epic reason or another.  As expected, our hero Dave is reluctantly thrust into this conflict in order to save not only his existence, but that of humanity.  At the center of this, for some odd reason, is the Cassini spacecraft and its apparently crucial data that, in the Void's stratagems, must not reach humans at all costs!  Dave's journey zigzags along in a typical kid-aimed frantic jumble.  It's hard to tell how or, more importantly, why Dave and his quest are so critical.

Although boasting a big name voice cast, the only real stand-out is Mark Hamill's work as The Void.  Unfortunately we spend little time with him.  Rather, we follow his minions, the appropriately named Ignorance (Tom Kenny) and Moronic (Jason Alexander), who even though are not particularly funny act as the comic relief in the film.  Add to this the unlikeable Dave and numerous other tiresome characters -- the surfing lizard-man? -- and you have a film that spends a lot of time with a lot of irksome people.

The animation of the film is OK.  Kids will probably enjoy it to some degree, but with such great digital animation output these days, its difficult to forgive such rudimentary characterization.  However, some photo realistic textures are achieved, mostly with the nemeses of the film, like the rough armor-like skin of Fear (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) or the smoky translucence of The Void.  The 3D, like the rest of the film, is mostly comprised of conventional pop-out and gimmicky jumps, which is entertaining enough, but nothing that hasn't been seen before.

The film's one redeeming aspect is its accurate recreations of planet surfaces gathered from data and imaging from the Cassini Huygens space mission.  With this knowledge, the visuals of the outer planets' surfaces seem all the more grand.  It's too bad the audience has to travel to these locations behind a solar surfing Dave.  It probably would have been a more interesting and compelling film had it focused on these space missions.  We are given glimpses of these incredible landscapes but the film offers no insight or context.  Perhaps using such detailed animated recreations, a more in-depth study into the data could intrigue more audiences.  Unfortunately with the lack of likable characters compounded with a flimsy story and slight educational value, the film will probably leave most audiences unsatisfied at best.

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A Cassini Space Odyssey 3D by Ross Anthony

Movie Reviews by Ann Coates

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters
A Beautiful Planet
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
National Parks Adventure
Wild Africa
Living in the Age of Airplanes
Journey to Space
Humpback Whales 3D
Robots 3D
Antarctica: On The Edge
The Great Apes 3D
Dark Universe
Tiny Giants 3D
Antarctica's Penguin Emperors 3D
Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D
Penguins 3D
Space Junk 3D
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Flying Monsters 3D
Rescue (3D)
Cosmic Journey: Through Hubble and Cassini
Born to Be Wild
My Dream 3D
The Little Prince
Tornado Alley
Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
Magic Journey to Africa (3D)
Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
Legends of Flight 3D
Inception: The IMAX Experience
Arabia 3D
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Molecules to the MAX!
Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Under the Sea 3D
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Animalopolis
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (3D)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Hurricane on the Bayou
Ride Around the World
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Deep Sea (3D/2D)
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds
Mystic India
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

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