The early episodes pan out exactly like you'd expect: What would happen if a bomb obliterated a nearby town, cutting off communications and sending a radioactive raincloud your way? Residents dust out the bomb shelters, prepare for the worst, and deal with human nature: Looting, man vs. man, and the question of whether those who are away will ever return.
Continue reading: Jericho: Season One Review
Consider the strange coincidence of Russell Crowe's character in Proof of Life making the moves on a distraught wife played by Meg Ryan's character in the film -- all while the real Russell Crowe was hitching up with married woman Meg Ryan in the outside world. I haven't seen this much chemistry between actors since McQueen and MacGraw teamed up in Peckinpah's masterpiece, The Getaway.
Continue reading: Proof Of Life Review
Politics have changed in the past 16 years - they had to have, right? - but the first thing that strikes you upon revisiting Tanner '88 today is how familiar this whole circus seems. Squint your eyes, change the names - throw in, say, a Dick Cheney and remove a Bob Dole or two - and the experience of watching Tanner '88 seems eerily close to watching current campaign coverage on CNN. In a clever, recently filmed introduction to the first episode (one of these new intros appears before each of the 11), Tanner remarks in a modern "interview" that the business of campaigning changed after that year. After '88, he says, "the curtain on [candidates'] private lives got pulled back... In '88 Johnny Carson might have done a couple of slightly risque jokes about Hart. But ten years later Jay Leno is doing six blowjob jokes a night on Clinton." Except that the candidate is make-believe, everything about this sentiment sounds authentic. Political campaigns did indeed move closer to show business; the only question is when?
Continue reading: Tanner '88 Review
Based on Tom Wolfe's novel (though heavily inspired by the truth), The Right Stuff follows the formative years of the space race, from 1947 to 1963, when it was us vs. the Russians. The film begins as we first punch through Mach 1 in experimental aircraft and ends with seventh and final Mercury astronaut blasting off.
Continue reading: The Right Stuff Review
Continue reading: Standing On Fishes Review
Put out of your head the truly awful trailers and the even worse TV commercials that make "Proof of Life" look like some kind of action-amour hybrid. Forget all the rumors about an ill-advised romantic subplot in the movie (there isn't one) and on the set (no comment!). Thanks to the solid work of journeyman director Taylor Hackford, "Proof" is a bona fide Third World thriller that deserves to be seen without all the prejudicial baggage and BS that has swirled around the movie for the last few months.
Fresh from becoming a bankable star thanks to "Gladiator," Russell Crowe stars as a desensitized yet sympathetic kidnap-and-rescue specialist ("KNR" in the trade jargon) dispatched to an unnamed Central American country to negotiate for the return of an American hydroelectric engineer (David Morse). The man has been abducted by drug-running rebels looking to score a big ransom from his oil conglomerate employer.
Meg Ryan plays Morse's distraught wife who grows to trust this brusque KNR man just as the oil company tries to weasel out of its responsibility, dismissing Crowe's high-rent expert and bringing in a crooked, inexperienced local yokel instead.
Continue reading: Proof Of Life Review
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