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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Please release this movie on video or show again on TV.

10/10
Author: anonymous from CanadaP
13 June 1999

This was one of the better TV mini series that has been shown on TV this decade. I was mesmerized while watching it and still remember vividly how I thought this could really happen. Given recent weather, I don't believe I was far wrong. It is awesome how many things in this movie have already come to pass. If there is any way of viewing it by any means I would really like to hear about them. I'm also trying to find out if there was a book published on this title. I wish all TV was as entertaining and as lasting as this movie was.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Ahead of Its Time

8/10
Author: antnita from United States
23 September 2006

It's September 2006, and I'm sitting here watching this film with chill bumps. The Santa Anas are blowing outside spreading the "Day Fire" which has been raging for nearly three weeks, just as the scene on the movie shows fires in the LA area that have gone on and on, burning more than 50,000 acres. Creeped out by the similarities, I continued to watch the film. As a hurricane is headed towards the bayou area where the core family lives, the townspeople are in a meeting to find out what the government is going to do to help them. "Why are you waiting 24 hours before this hits to do anything?" one lady shouts at the officials. Then scenes of people trying to evacuate at the last minute, and the tragedy that ensues, brings up memories of last year's Katrina disaster. I'm sure when this film came out, it was seen as cheesy apocalyptic sci-fi. But turn on the news, folks, and take another look. I think this film did an excellent job of saying "what if?"

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Prophetic film with warnings.

7/10
Author: catknip from United States
21 September 2005

Let's see...Droughts in the Midwest...check. Higher temps in the South..check. Multiple Category 3 or better storms, check. Unaffordable insurance rates...check. Although I know this stuff goes in cycles, this movie seems to have hit quite a few nails on the head, although I hope that it got a few wrong. Although the acting is somewhat stilted and could use help, it is a made-for-TV film from early in most of these actors' careers. If you have never lived in the sauna known as the South, they did get this part right. This seems to be very prophetic, especially since it was written in one of the lull periods in hurricanes. At the writing of this comment, we only had 3 names left for the year, which has not happened in a very long time. This is a nice way to spend a few hours.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

I not only saw this, I was -in- it! LOL!

Author: scoot395 from United States
15 September 1999

This movie is a decent movie. It's message is a "save the earth" type of thing, and makes its point pretty well, I'd guess. Overall, I'd say the movie does not live up to what it could have been. I was an extra in this movie, and the things the directors described to those of us who were in it were just mindblowing. This film, as described to us by one of the directors, had the feel of something apocalyptic. Sort of like a "Road Warrior" type setting, but without the punk-haired bandits. Kind of a wasteland, bleak existance. But for some reason, that just didn't translate to the screen. I still feel it was a decent movie, though. Not great, but decent. But, I may have a biased opinion, seeing how we all heard a very vivid description of what it was going to be.

As I said, I was an extra in this movie. I was in the Morgan City, LA scenes. From what I remember, these scenes consisted of everything in part 1, up until they left after the storm. There were some things that were planned to be put in the movie that would have clarified alot of stuff, but for some unknown reason, they left them out. For example, the reason all the clothes were such drab colors was supposed to be something along the lines of chemicals being banned. Therefore, fabrics were no longer dyed the way we do it now. And there was something else I seem to remember about there no longer being soap, due to its manufacturing process causing some kind of pollution. Or something of that sort. There were a few little details that were left out, that in my opinion would have portrayed the world as an even harder place to live.

This movie was filmed in my area in more than just Morgan City, as the Filming Locations link has. It was also filmed in Berwick, LA and Stephensville, LA, as well as a scene shot offshore. I was in the scenes shot in Berwick, at the Civic Center. In the scene where Justin Whalin is watching TV in the shelter, he turns around in his chair and jumps up yelling "Paw!". I am seated on the floor directly in front of him when he does that. And he kicked me in the lower back on every take of that shot when he jumped out of the chair! LOL!

I have noticed this movie playing on the Action channel alot. If anyone is interested in seeing it, that would be a safe place to look.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Moody

7/10
Author: benjaminwg from United States
14 July 2006

This is good stuff. A TV movie about Global Warming in 1993? Believe it, and I've been thinking lately how predictive it was. I think more than just the events surrounding them are the people's response to them that grabbed me. The human drama derived out of the confusion is very gripping. There's a sense of emergency in the air with all the wildfires and smoke. Bad weather, emergency response stretched thin. You definitely get the sense of these characters are worn out and exhausted from the heat and insanity of what's going on around them. The family drama, though, doesn't seem as canned as the Day After Tomarrow, another state-of-emergency type film. The cast was also top notch for a made for TV movie. I only saw this when it aired in my teens, but it's stayed with me since.

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Frighteningly Prophetic

5/10
Author: MattButts from Minneapolis
13 September 2005

A recent poster commented that "it's 2005 and nothing has come to pass like predicted in this film." That's hardly true anymore. The beginning shows a major hurricane decimating the city of New Orleans (my original home town, necessitating its evacuation. This, as we all know, has come to pass with the advent of Hurricane "Katrina." And the images we are seeing come out of the gulf coast on the news are far more horrific than anything in this movie.

Aside from this prophecy now come true and then some, the movie was otherwise a little too Orwellian for my tastes. I should also note that the recent hurricane activity is not necessary global warming. There's a cycle to these things. We saw hurricane activity of this magnitude in the 1940s, the 1960s (Camille), the 1990s (Andrew) and in this decade (Charley and Katrina).

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Interesting...

8/10
Author: cheshirekatus from United States
14 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember watching this and recording it when I was 14. It was the first real hint of "global warming" in mainstream media that I remember. I now work in the climate change field, and every time we see a new natural disaster I am brought back to this movie. The one thing we all need to remember is that even though the press has dubbed the current climate change event "global warming", the climate will become cooler and wetter in some parts of the US, drier and hotter and others, and warmer and wetter in still others. Seasonal information doesn't give us any more information than the obvious, its really cold or really hot, or damn its dry this year. What gives us information is to look at the trends over the last 20, 100, 1000, 10000, and even million years.

This movie is fair in acting and plot, but for 1993 it did take some good thinking to predict what natural disasters would be hitting the US in the next 20 years. I enjoy watching my old tape because of this, even if the movie is mediocre. Here are some of the more interesting plot lines: The year is 2005, and the plot follows a family on the gulf coast, before and after the aftermath of a category 5 hurricane. Previous to the hurricane, it is evident that there is a gas crisis, and fuel prices are so high that rationing has become the norm. There is some very interesting dialog between townsfolk and officials that claim the levees are up to par when the townsfolk know they are not. Needless to say the hurricane devastates the region. The family is forced to migrate north, and in the midst of this the father has to travel to California to find his son who is staying with the uncle. In California, water shortages are everywhere, and over 300 hundred fires are ravaging the state (which is happening now in northern Ca and last year happened with less fires in the southern Ca). The boy and his father have a falling out which leads the boy out to the southwest into water feuds and the immigration problems from Mexico. The mighty Colorado has dried up to a stream because of the over-contracting of water supplies to southern California. The plot then changes to more socio-political aspects of a non growth "green" town in New York state, and how the family will get across the border to Canada because the problems of the US has led them to close the borders much as we have between the US and Mexico.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

More and more prophetic each year

6/10
Author: HeartThatRidesTheWind from Arizona, United States
17 July 2006

I didn't see the original airing of this mini series but watched later about 3 years ago on USA. Seemed prophetic then and even more so now with huge fires here in SouthWest and Katrina in NOLA. I live in Arizona so I can speak more to the drought of SW. I had a 275,000 acre fire come within about 6 miles of me. Just a few days ago we had 20 fires start up in one day. I live in N central AZ and we have had less than an inch of rain from Oct of 2005 to mid July, date of this comment. Yes we have weather cycles but there are too many bad cycles all at once all over, I am from Maine originally and winters up there since I was a kid, have generally gotten warmer and less snow. this mini series is eerily coming true. I enjoyed it, lots of food for thought,acting is not great but adequate and suffice to keep you hooked. I was probably kept on board too by references to Acadia and Evangeline as my ancestors were Acadian and story of Evangeline has been in my heart since my childhood. I say watch it for first time and if you have seen it before get a refresher.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Over-baked

5/10
Author: Raegan Butcher from Rain City, Pacific Northwest
18 May 2006

When this was first televised as a two part mini-series I watched the first night and opted out for the 2nd. Now, after renting it from Portland's finest (and the country's finest, if truth be told) video store MOVIE MADNESS and watching the entire four hours I can safely say that buried inside the 240 minute mammoth of overcooked plotting and sweaty melodramatics is a fine 90 minute movie.

Craig T Nelson is a hell of a good actor and that's the trouble: he plays a completely unlikable character to irritatingly well effect. There is no one to root for: Nelson's character is a selfish pig from the get-go and he never gets much smarter or nicer. I realize that its not his fault--the script makes everyone a symbol and he has to stand for The Guilty Short-Sighted Consumer of All The World's Goodies....other actors are saddled with equally heavy burdens to carry.

Which leads me to another major drawback : the uneven tone of the script.We get semi-interesting first night scenes between the extremely underrated Charles Haid and Craig T. Nelson alongside some real second night howlers like the absurd scene with Lousie Fletcher-- who chirps to Bonnie Bedelia ( who I must say looks wonderful with her ample bosom on sweaty display) "In the morning you will be issued your regulation camouflage army fatigues; its our way of keeping our message of hope alive." I am not kidding, she actually says that--and she is supposed to be the representative of the Evil Pro-Earth whatever the hell you want to call them. Ludicrous. As is most of the rest of this thing. But there are some interesting notions. Not ALL worthless but you have to wade thru a lot of dumb stuff.

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Surprisingly Prophetic, Sadly Clichéd

6/10
Author: Matthew Kresal from United States
20 March 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Miniseries have a tendency to come and go, especially those of yesteryear. Until a friend of mine mentioned this on a Facebook comment a couple of weeks ago, I had never heard of the 1993 CBS miniseries The Fire Next Time let alone seen it. Having been intrigued by its premise and seeing some familiar names in the cast, it seemed worthwhile to seek it out.

The premise of The Fire Next Time is intriguing given that it was first broadcast nearly twenty-five years ago as I write these words. Set in 2017, the series focuses on the Morgan family led by Drew (the ever reliable Craig T. Nelson) and his estranged wife Suzanne (Bonnie Bedelia) living on the Louisiana gulf coast with mother nature going crazy thanks to climate change. As a result, parts of it were to be quite prophetic ranging from a Katrina like hurricane, immigration issues on the Mexican border, wildfires in California, droughts across the country, businessmen profiting off tragedies, and even something similar to proposed carbon taxes. The three hours or so that this runs for include something neat pieces of world building with details being thrown in here and there on the over all world situation and things within the United States.

The production is largely solid as well. Craig T. Nelson is his ever reliable self as the head of the family, perfectly suited to the role as a man fighting to keep his business running and family together in a world going mad. Bonnie Bedelia does well as his wife and the rest of the cast does well with the material they're handed with Richard Farnsworth as Drew's ailing father coming across the best. The supporting cast is large with characters coming and going though there are some standouts including Jurgen Prochnow as Drew's former business partner Larry Richter, Charles Haid as the unscrupulous Uncle Buddy, Sal Lopez as a Mexican migrant, and a young Paul Rudd in a supporting role. The production values are strong all things considered including a version of 2017 that isn't our own but plausible under the circumstances laid out, the occasional nice directorial flourish from Tom McLoughlin and a score from Laurence Rosenthal centered around a memorable theme. All of which helps the miniseries.

Because despite everything in its favor, The Fire Next Time often tends to be more melodramatic than anything else. Despite the prophetic nature of its plot and some nice pieces of world-building, the script from James S. Henerson never quite lives up to its promise. Henerson more often than not gives into clichés to bring the story to life which rather undermines the strong ideas and solid production values. It also doesn't help that the good first half eventually gives way to a wheel-spinning second half that is devoid of drama for the most part. Indeed, if this had been a single ninety minute TV movie based on the first half it would have been considerably better but instead it is a three hour miniseries that is too long for its own good.

What can be said for The Fire Next Time then? It is a surprisingly prophetic miniseries that filled with solid performances and production values but which suffers from a clichéd script that never manages to create a gripping drama despite all those things. Perhaps it is a curiosity from a bygone age but as a curiosity it's worth a watch.

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