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The Mean Season


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the middle of its storm-riddled summer, Miami must face a new monster: a psychopath whose one objective is to gain fame through murder. Kurt Russell, Richard Jordan and Mariel Hemingway give performances as blistering as the Florida heat in this never dull parable of American ambition (New York) that combines an intriguing premise and provocative subject matter [into] a suspenseful thriller (Boxoffice) with 'real chills (Newsweek)! An article on the killingof a teenage girl has brought burnt-out Miami Herald Reporter Malcolm Anderson (Russell) a powerful new fan...the killer himself. Encouraged by the police to maintain this anonymous relationship, Malcolm receives exclusives on two more killings. But as Malcolm's own celebrity grows, the killer's jealousy prompts him to up the stakesby abducting the reporter's fiancÃ(c)e (Hemingway) as his own testament to the price of fame!

Amazon.com

Kurt Russell and Mariel Hemingway star in this well-above-average thriller. Mean Season offers plenty of suspense as well as an interesting take on the role of the press in sustaining the very violence it covers. Russell plays Malcolm Anderson, a burned-out journalist who never got the big career-making story he always wanted. Just as he's about to give up and move to the idyllic countryside, the big story comes to him--in the form of a serial killer with a fixation for Anderson himself. As Anderson's fame grows, he starts getting hounded by his brethren, the press. Add this to the assorted problems that go along with having a serial killer a little too interested in one's personal life, and you've got major trouble. Director Phillip Borsos does a nice job of conveying information through quick visuals, and even sets up some moments of eerie beauty, such as the shot of a victim's apartment, covered in a snowfall of pillow feathers. More importantly, Borsos knows he's making a thriller and makes sure to have fun doing it: there are plenty of loooooong shadows and a few good jolts along the way. As Anderson's girlfriend, Mariel Hemingway is essentially asked to play bait, but manages to flesh out what could easily have been a cardboard character. --Ali Davis

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kurt Russell, Mariel Hemingway, Richard Jordan, Richard Masur, Richard Bradford
  • Directors: Phillip Borsos
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2001
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059TGB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,836 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Mean Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Click on August 9, 2003
Format: DVD
A mediocre thriller that comes off better than it should due to the efforts of a fine cast. Kurt Russell plays a Miami newspaper reporter who becomes involved in the story he's covering when a vicious serial killer engages him in a game of cat-and-mouse. The script has plot holes big enough to rival the Grand Canyon, and raises a lot of questions concerning media responsibility that ultimately go answered; but Russell's intense performance tends to gloss over the flaws in the screenplay. Mariel Hemingway offers capable support as Russell's love interest and the story's moral barometer; Richard Jordan makes the most of his short time on-screen as the demented killer; and Andy Garcia is fine as police detective working the case.
The DVD is one of MGM's "MovieTime" releases, a series of "B" films that tend to be given the bare bones treatment on DVD. As a rule, "MovieTime" discs offer the movie and the Original Theatrical Trailer only - there are no extras like commentaries, cast bios, stills galleries or other fancy frills; the DVD packaging includes no printed material beyond what you see on the outside of the case. However, the film-to-video masters are usually pretty good, and that's true of this edition of "The Mean Season". The DVD offers a sharp and vibrant widescreen transfer that's far superior to the fuzzy and faded pan-and-scan version that appeared on the earlier LaserDisc release. Overall, an adequate presentation of an adequate suspense thriller.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Get What We Give VINE VOICE on July 12, 2002
Format: DVD
The Mean Season is a really good thriller, well designed, but unsatisfying in its final scenes.
Kurt Russell delivers another really great performance as Malcolm Anderson, a burned out reporter for the Miami Herald. He begrudgingly gets assigned a murder case that ends up turning into a serial murder case. Mariel Hemingway portrays his girlfriend. Her role in the film is largely unnecessary until the last third of the film. Hemingway isn't a bad actress, but I must confess I've never seen any alure to her - she looks like a 14 year old boy, not a woman.
The film maintains excellent attention to detail and superb suspense throughout. My complaint with the film is simple: A murder mystery/thriller should answer questions it poses. Mean Season does not.
Why is the killer doing what he is doing? What is his motive? We are provided what seem to be the reasons for the murders, but are later told that the scenario was a red herring provided by the killer. So were his reasons the real ones or part of the whole red herring ploy? We aren't told. In reality many criminals don't actually have legitimate motives - but in films of this nature, it is a requirement.
I can't say that I didn't enjoy this film - because I did. It just left me a bit angry at not answering some basic questions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brooser Bear on November 7, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is another good film that is uniquely eighties and it works. People dress and walk like they are in the eighties. This came before the nineties, before the ATF Swat Teams and before serial killers were turned into superhuman demons.
There several reasons for watching this film. The first one is Kurt Russel portraying a journalist who turns into a media event by virtue of being a spokesman of sorts for a serial killer. The second reason to watch this is to see Mariel Hemingway as a girlfriend getting pushed off the stage by her boyfriend's celebrity status. She looks less like a fashion model cum actress and more like a typically american girlfriend. The third reason to watch this is for the serial killer, who is cunning and who is less a demon and more a predatory stalker. Finally we have a cameo by Andy Garcia and Miami cops who walk and talk more like street cops and less like FBI superheroes of the nineties. But the real reson to see this is the edge of he seat suspense and false alarms which at times misfire, but turn this film into a top notch thriller and a valuable addition to any film collection!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 14, 2011
Format: DVD
Does a reporter become complicit in a crime when he publicizes it just as the criminal wants him to do? This film focuses on a burnt out reporter of a leading Miami, Florida, newspaper who wants to leave his paper after eight years because he is bored. He tells his editor that he needs a story like the Watergate disclosures. He and his girl friend, a school teacher, decide to move west to a small town where he can become the managing editor of a small newspaper.

A young woman is killed, shot in the head. He is assigned by the Miami paper to write the story and does it well. Despite his boredom, he is an excellent writer. He receives a call from the killer who compliments him on his writing skill and tells him he will be killing five people in all and he will call him from time to time so that he can advertise his crimes. He is killing because he wants publicity.

The killer kills as promised and the reporter broadcasts his murders as the murderer wants. The reporter becomes quite famous. People talk about him getting a Pulitzer Prize. He appears on TV. Reporters seek to interview him. His over-involvement places a strain on his relationship with the school teacher. The murderer begins to feel that he ruining what he wants to accomplish; the reporter is getting more exposure than he. This prompts him to take action against the reporter.

In short, both the reporter and the murderer want publicity. Does the reporter finally realize what he is doing? How does he handle the situation?
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