Outbreak (Snap Case)
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Catch the fever of "one of the great scare stories of our time" (Roger Ebert) as Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman race to save life on earth when an unstoppable killer virus hits our shores.
When Warner Brothers was unable to secure the rights to Richard Preston's terrifying nonfiction book The Hot Zone (purchased by a rival studio), they took the basic idea of a fatal virus on the loose in the U.S., added Dustin Hoffman and director Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot), and produced an unusual thriller--a surprise hit--called Outbreak. The other picture, slated to star Robert Redford and Jodie Foster, fell through. The premise of Outbreak, which owes something to Elia Kazan's 1950 plague-scare movie, Panic in the Streets, is as terrifying as it is timely. As developers slash their way deeper into the previously unexplored tropical rainforests, they are exposed to radically new forms of life, including diseases, that in these days of commonplace international travel could turn into deadly epidemics almost before we know it. Hoffman's character and his estranged wife (Rene Russo) are disease experts called in to identify the unknown killer, which was carried into the country by an illegally smuggled monkey. The best sequence shows the disease spreading--through recycled air on a passenger jet, or a sneeze in a crowded movie theater. The final chase is pretty conventional, but the cast is terrific, including Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Cuba Gooding Jr., J.T. Walsh, and Zakes Mokae. --Jim Emerson
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.38 x 0.6 inches; 4 Ounces
- Item model number : MFR085391363224#VG
- Director : Wolfgang Petersen
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC, Anamorphic
- Run time : 2 hours and 7 minutes
- Release date : May 21, 1997
- Actors : Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr.
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French
- Producers : Anne Kopelson, Arnold Kopelson, Duncan Henderson, Gail Katz, Nana Greenwald
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Studio : Warner Home Video
- ASIN : 0790731401
- Writers : Laurence Dworet, Robert Roy Pool
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #113,154 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I hate saying this because I love the cast, but ... It’s laughably bad. The characters bounce off each other with an unnatural level of emotional engagement that beggars belief. They tend to be very wooden and rigid in their portrayals. And for an example, Dustin Hoffman’s character is a US Army Colonel that wouldn’t have lasted 15 minutes in a military role, even a medical one. The characters routinely make unbelievably dumb, obvious mistakes like waltzing in and out of contaminated areas, reaching into moving machinery, and not following basic safety in medical procedures. Lame.
The movie has a good start. For it shows how the virus spreads from the monkey to a human and then from human to human. The later can happen from coughs, via ventilation systems, etc.
Then there are all the inconsistencies in the story. For instance, General Ford walks into a refrigerator vault with a bunch of disease samples in his regular clothes with no protection. Likewise Daniels walks out of his lab with no protective suit on in an infected town, gets in a HUMVEE and drives out of the area even though the virus can be spread through the air.
Then there’s the downright unbelievable. When a town gets infected the U.S. army cordons it off. This of course causes resentment, people try to escape, and a helicopter gunship shoots up a truck and kills everyone inside. This was a poor attempt to create tension because it basically has the army making everything worse. Then they start taking out the people who are feeling sick, but because the virus is airborne that means everyone in their family should be taken away as well, but they’re not. Finally, Lt. Col. Schuler rips his suit while in the lab and then covers it up even though he might be infected and then talks to other people and might be infecting them. This is what an expert on infectious diseases does, just spread a sickness around to his friends and colleagues.
Basically, what starts off as a good idea gets ruined by some really bad writing.
Top reviews from other countries
Not your run-of-the-mill disaster movie: the basic premise is the apocalyptic rise of a lethal virus, similar to Haemoragic Fever. Interwoven into the fabric of the movie are the issues of Bio-security, Biological Warfare, global transport of pandemic viruses by air-travel and trading in endangered species.
All-in-all this is a very enjoyable, thought provoking movie which hits all the right buttons. Superb mix of suspense, thrills and spills!
Similar in many ways to another favourite film of mine: "The Andromeda Strain" The Andromeda Strain [DVD ] by Michael Chrighton. Both films follow the trail of destruction of a lethal virus as it mutates and causes havoc while the military try to make a weapon of it.
A great addition to any-ones film library