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ER creator Michael Crichton directs Academy Award winner Michael Douglas and Genevieve Bujold in a medical thriller.When Dr. Susan Wheeler's (Bujold) best friend slips into a permanent coma during minor surgery, she discovers that healthy people are falling into comas--from which there is no recovery--during unnecessary operations at her hospital. And then she discovers the horrifying reason why.Based on the novel by Robin Cook.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
Most people quite naturally experience an overwhelming fear of being defenseless and vulnerable while at the mercy of a hospital staff when they are admitted for surgery. Crichton explores this tendency of ours to suffer anxiety and apprehension at this prospect without being exploitative. He carefully crafts a believable scenario and we soon become caught in the same tangled web as the lead character Dr. Susan Wheeler, played marvelously by Genevieve Bujold. Wheeler is a bright, strong willed, liberated woman who supports herself and can withstand a challenge from her current boyfriend Dr. Mark Bellows, well played by Michael Douglas. Crichton received both critical praise and public criticism for the movie's portrayal of such an emancipated heroine, a role which has fortunately become more standard in the years that have followed.
When Wheeler's friend Mary is admitted to the hospital for an abortion Mary expresses her fears to Wheeler who assures her it is a routine operation and that she shouldn't feel a need to worry. Something does go wrong with the operation however and Mary falls into a coma, shortly afterward she dies. This event doesn't seem possible to Wheeler and out of curiousity she reviews Mary's medical records and notices inconsistencies and inquires about them.Read more ›
Coma despite being an "old" movie by many standards, is surprisingly fascinating on DVD. Crichton gets good performances from the whole cast, with Genevieve Bujold, in particular, reminding us of what a fine actress she can be. As a doctor suspicious of certain goings-on in her hospital but disbelieved by everyone around her, she shows courage and determination (without ever losing her femininity) which is welcome in a female lead. She finds herself forced to question her own sense of perspective, even her sanity, as she struggles to uncover the mystery of comatose patients that surround her.
There's one sizeable twist towards the latter half of the movie, but you generally know what's going to happen. The beauty of this movie is in the overall execution -- it's VERY well done.
Recommended rental. Especially for the medically inclined.
The extras are slim; we get the trailer and both the widescreen and standard versions of the movie. No director's commentary or observations from the cast; no "making of" documentary (or promo fluff piece for that matter). Which is a pity as this fine thriller does deserve better but then that was SOP when DVD's started coming out.
You can't argue with the price nor with Crichton's direction. He really never got any better than this as a director (although there are a couple of films like The Great Train Robbery that hold up to this and Westworld). Crichton isn't a great film director (he's a better writer) but he gets the job done. Coma will keep you guessing.
Wheeler, an up-and-coming physician at the Boston hospital is a no nonsense independent woman who is having an affair with Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas) himself in line for chief resident. Wheeler's investigation leads her to believe that a series of comas involving otherwise healthy men and women, who had routine procedures, may be more than coincidental. Her bosses and Bellows ignore her concerns so Susan must proceed on her own.
Her detective work leads to an institution where the comatose patients are "stored" until natural death arrives. The film ultimately gets a little preachy when the chief of surgery (Richard Widmark) talks about how society shuns life or death decisions and so doctors must do the dirty work. The film has some white knuckle scenes involving Susan as she crawls around air vents and avoids a hired thug out to get her. Watch for an early look at actors Ed Harris, Tom Selleck and Joanna Kerns.
The Blu ray disc comes in 1080p with a 1.78: aspect ratio close to the original. The transfer is limited but look pretty much like the film did upon release. Haters of "grain" may be put off but I believe it looks as it should. The blacks aren't great but again, I think this is about as good as can be. The audio is in mono only, but it is DTS-HD Master Audio. I didn't even notice until I was 10 minutes or so into the movie. It is crystal clear but you might miss the surrounds when the musical score kicks in. There are no "extras" on this disc.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great vintage movie, makes me kind of paranoid every time I go to the HospitalPublished 12 days ago by Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Good old movie. I use it in the classroom to explain gas exchange.Published 1 month ago by John W. Conrad
This is a great older movie. I think it was the first time ever saw Tom Selleck who has a small part. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sue Putz
As unfortunate as it is, the acting in this movie is pretty tacky. That said, the plot is pure brilliance. I mean pure, and don't mince my words at all in saying so. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dylan O'Brien
This is an ok movie. At moments suspenseful, most times routine and boring. Watch the first 5 minutes and the last 10. That's pretty much the entire movie.Published 2 months ago by J M
Something to think about when that gray haired Doctor says you need surgery.Published 2 months ago by Kevin Parsons
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