Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Movie and DVD Reviews: The best and not-so-best movies available on DVD, and whatever else catches my eye.

Mimsy Review: Silent Running

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, May 24, 1999

Bruce Dern and a cast of three in an environmentally aware science fiction movie. Actually, there were two other lead actors, and four actors in tiny robot suits, but most of the movie was Dern talking to the robots and those three actors had neither speaking parts nor ever showed their faces.

DirectorDouglas Trumbull
WritersSteven Bochco, Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn
Movie Rating6
Transfer Quality5
Overall Rating5
  • Letterbox

The basic story: Freeman Lowell is the senior Forestry Service worker on a “forest ship”. As the forests died on Earth, the last forests were hoisted into space on huge transport ships to save them for the future. The Forestry Service continues to send workers to the ships to keep the forests safe. But those ships are expensive, and they could be put to use on Earth, so Earth tells the Forestry Service to destroy the forests and bring the ships home. Everyone is happy to return home, except Lowell, who is unwilling to destroy the sole remaining forests.

This movie comes with occasional songs by Joan Baez. I am a big fan of Joan Baez, however, her singing didn’t really fit with the movie, and the sound quality didn’t convey her voice very well either.

This movie is very much worth seeing: I’m recommending rental because I don’t see that it is a movie you (or I, at least) would want to watch multiple times. On the one hand it doesn’t have the stunning visual effects of modern science fiction movies, and on the other hand it is much too poignant to want to go through watching it multiple times when you know how it ends up. But it is definitely worth seeing at least once. I strongly recommend it.

Recommendation: Rent

DirectorDouglas Trumbull
WritersSteven Bochco, Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn
ActorBruce Dern
Spoken languageEnglish
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