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Life on Mars (2008)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Life on Mars (2008) The first episode of this "Americanization" of the British time-travel show follows the original script very closely. The premise is that Det. Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara), after a serial killer who abducted his police girlfriend Maya (Lisa Bonet), is hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. He even has a drivers license from that period--and a job, at his own police precinct. He is supposed to be newly transferred from Hyde, NY, so they are expecting him. Of course, he thinks that he may be going crazy, particularly when he hears a heart monitor sound, the voice of Maya talking to him as if he's in a coma, and a doctor who talks about him on late night television.

It is cool to see the New York City of 1973, particularly the moment when he looks up at the skyline and sees the Twin Towers.

The one thing that doesn't work, to the show's detriment, is casting Harvey Keitel as Lieutenant Gene Hunt. He's way too old (he's 70!) and too small and looks a bit goofy with the Flock of Seagulls hair. I don't think anyone could fill Philip Glenister's (the original actor) shoes--he has that role nailed. Gretchon Mol is okay as Annie Norris, looking the total opposite of the original actress. Also, the adversarial chemistry between Tyler and Hunt is a bit off.

The show was so similar to the original that I felt that I was watching an imposter. When it ended I just wanted to watch the original version again.

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