Philadelphia Experiment (follow the link to Wikipedia for more info). Some of the post experiment claims my friends talked about were reports of sailors phasing in and out of existence and sometimes materializing within solid matter, even days after the event. Some of them reportedly went crazy. It turns out that the entire program is probably a myth as the Navy denies it ever existed, but it did capture my imagination at the time.
So I was glad when I heard a few years later that a film was out that was based on the incident, called simply The Philadelphia Experiment. I don't know what I had expected it to be, but I do remember that I enjoyed the film. It was a kind of a mix between a traditional sci-fi story and a heart-warming drama, and that is all I could remember of it. Thus, I looked it up on Netflix and found it available for instant viewing and watched it again. I found my opinion hadn't changed much, so here goes.
The first thing I like is that the story has such balance. Where most science fiction would focus on the scientist and his experiment, this one focuses on the two navy boys who get caught up in the fray. These are just simple guys with a bit of military training that comes in handy in a fix. The story arc that involves the two friends, both past and future, and their unwitting companion, gives it some heart. In fact, the hero falls for an 80's chick and their whole relationship is quite silly and poorly acted, but it gives him a reason to return back to the future after completing his mission. The characters are developed just enough to allow the film to move quickly and stay interesting throughout its short 1:40 run. The old "fish out of water" device is utilized just enough to be cute (and dated!), but not so much as to take away from the story flow. The special effects are surreal enough to still hold up pretty good, and the pyrotechnics, sound, and wind tunnel work is all done well too. The music sounds like a typical orchestral television drama of that era plus a few 80's style pop hits, enough to get by.
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