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Top Customer Reviews
The prophetic and imaginative Michael Crichton ("Andromeda Strain",
"Coma", "WestWorld" directs his own screenplay. Michael Crichton had a
prescience in his vision and this movie is no exception. Getting hung
up on setting the movie "in the future" never presented a dilemma for
Crichton. He just uses contemporary settings to bring the movie closer
to home. The technology may be beyond our means, but it still affects
us all today.
The movie stars brilliant and eclectic Ben Gazzara ("The Killing of a
Chinese Bookie", "The Big Lebowski"), Storied great E.G. Marshall ("12
Angry Men", "Creepshow"), Prolific Martin Sheen ("Apocalypse Now", "The
Dead Zone") and Television guest star William Windom ("Star Trek: The
Doomsday Machine", "Escape from the Planet of The Apes").
The musical score is even composed by composer-great Jerry Goldsmith.
The story revolves around a political activist-millionaire-terrorist
who steals a large supply of nerve gas and threatens to release it in
San Diego, which is hosting the Republican National Convention.
Sounds simple. The movie is really thrilling for a TV Movie, the story
has a familiar contemporary feel, the acting and musical score are
good, although the acting has that "understated 70s" style to it.
The movie was filmed in early 1970s San Diego and for anybody who
loves or lives in San Diego (like me), the movie is a great archive
piece to record how San Diego was 40 years ago. Much more watchable
than "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes".
Could the movie have been better? Sure it could. It suffered from
low-budget syndrome. Michael Crichton's visionary writing shakes most
of the deficiencies the move has and makes this a great
TV-Special...certainly one of my top 10-made for TV Movies of all time.
The telemovie stars E.G. Marshall as a political extremist who plans to spread stolen nerve gas in a city where a political convention is being held. Government agents (Ben Gazzara and William Windom) are sent to catch him. Although a talented actor, Gazzara turns in a rather uninspired performance, with the only notable accolades going to Marshall and Joseph Wiseman as Dr. Nordman.
The film which could have been a powerhouse thriller (even Jerry Goldsmith, who has scored many blockbuster films delivers a lacklustre score) becomes a contrived work with mediocre script, poor action sequences and a downright lack of suspense.
In fact, the best thing about the film was the DVD cover from MGM, what looks like a great film really plays out like a two part episode of MacGyver, with an embarassingly shabby restoration by MGM (rivals that of their restoration of Force 10 from Navarone).
My advice, skip the film, but read the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The pre-credits and credits sequence is terrible but the rest of the print is fine. Not bad for a TV movie and considering the director was also the source material. Read morePublished 21 months ago by doctor67
Most ABC Movies of the Week back in the 1970s were pretty forgettable stuff, but a few were worthy of being preserved via DVD releases. Read morePublished on July 1, 2014 by Thomas Veil
This was the first movie michael crichton directed, and he did all right. Adapting a story of his own (as he would do later on) the story is ahead of it's time. Read morePublished on June 10, 2014 by bookworm
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