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Fire on the Amazon
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31 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Fire? Not even smoke.

Author: Scoopy from Budapest
7 July 2000

A movie filmed in 1990, with a limited 1993 release, and a video finally released in 2000. Tell you anything?

It's a typically cheapozoid Roger Corman flick about the disappearing rainforest. The film is only 78 minutes long, and about half of it is a digression that takes place in an Indian village.

Here's the general idea. A famous indigenous environmentalist is killed. Although it is obvious that the money interests wanted him out of the way, the murder was performed with an arrow to feign an Indian attack, so the local police somehow decide to arrest a taciturn Indian who "hangs himself" in his cell after signing a full confession. There's a new plot twist, eh?

When the Indian's fellow tribesmen come for his body, a local North American environmentalist (Sandra Bullock) and a magazine reporter (Craig Sheffer) try to talk to them. They are unresponsive so, on the spur of the moment, the Americans follow the Indians up the river to their reservation.

Pause. Let's think about that. Sheffer and Bullock see the Indians paddling upstream, so they commandeer a canoe and follow. They don't know the terrain, they don't know how far it is to the destination, they have no supplies, they don't even have insect repellent, and they're in a stolen canoe paddling through the unfamiliar jungle, surrounded by crocs, snakes, bad guys, corrupt legal authorities, and stone age tribesmen.

Sheffer is shot from the underbrush, their canoe overturns, and they just decide to saunter through the rainforest in a random direction, even though night is approaching, they are soaking wet, and Sheffer has a gunshot wound. Well, as luck would have it, they are captured by indigenous people - the very ones they were seeking - and after some negotiations the tribe finally agrees to advance the plot somewhat:

1. They possess secret herbs that cure the wound

2. They perform a scientific autopsy on the guy who "hanged himself", thus proving he was dead before the hanging.

3. They possess more secret herbs that make Sandra Bullock want to make nice-nice for hours with the reporter (whom she had previously detested).

Well, now that the ice is broken, the lovebirds are constantly stealing a kiss on the corner of dirt roads, or in sleazy taverns filled with environmental terrorists and would-be competitors in the Anthony Quinn lookalike contest, and all of this romance is pursued with the same nonchalance you'd have with your best girly on the streets of London.

This movie might take the award for the most abrupt ending ever. Bullock and Sheffer are pursued by about a zillion heavily armed bad guys, including all possible legal authorities. They are trapped on a dock, machine guns to the front of them, water to the rear, with only about a minute left in the film.

A minute to resolve such a predicament?? Well, I'm not going to tell you how it ended.

The production values are execrable. The photographic quality is about equal to your dad's home movies, and the sound track is both inappropriate and cheesy. In other words, the director defied the odds and managed to make a bad script into an even worse movie.

I guess you know by now that Sandra did a dimly lit nude scene, and this is a rarity in her career, but she has said that she had her essentials taped down for this scene, so I don't know exactly what we are looking at. Maybe some Pebbles and Bam-Bam band-aids.

Incidentally, it seems there are still several minutes missing from the DVD cut. According to other comments, the original unrated cut was 85 minutes, but the unrated DVD release is 78. I suspect, however, that the clamor to restore the director's vision will be somewhat quieter than the one concerning "A Touch of Evil".

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25 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Is it really worth a rental?

Author: DarthBill from United States
16 April 2004

Environmentalist Sandra Bullock, who couldn't have been much more than 28 or 29 when she did this flick, gets mixed up with idiot photo man Craig Sheffer and they get into all sorts of trouble down in the Amazon.

Barely released in theaters, mostly released on video and I think I saw it on DVD somewhere...

A long, dull, bad movie made before Sandra hit it big in "Speed". Memorable mostly for featuring what may very well be Sandra Bullock's only cinematic sex scene. Even though Sandra's 5'7" body is completely unclothed you don't actually see anything, as others have pointed out, not that her body is unpleasant to look at even if you don't see her naughty bits.

If you really want to see Sandra Bullock naked, rent this film and fast forward till you get the aforementioned love scene and then hit eject.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Uuugh! Wretched!

Author: FlickJunkie-2 from Atlanta, GA
1 July 2000

I guess everyone has to start somewhere. This 1993, direct to video film harkens back to the beginning of Sandra Bullock's film career when she was probably thrilled to get a B movie script. Actually, to call this a B movie would be the kindest of prevarications. It was nowhere near that good. A mediocre plot was marred by dreadful directing, wretched cinematography and awful acting.

The film starts out like a recruiting film for the protest arm of the Sierra Club, with people locked in human chains to keep loggers from cutting down the rainforest. The leader is assassinated and then our heroine (Sandra Bullock), teams up with a whacked out photo journalist (Craig Sheffer) to find the killer and expose corruption. At this point it tries to convert to an action adventure thriller in the jungles of the Amazon.

It fails.

There are so many things to criticize in this film, I hardly know where to begin. Let's try cinematography. The color quality was awful, scenes were constantly out of focus and the lighting was poor. We had overexposures, and underexposures with no regard to effect. How about audio? The sound was muddy, the music was poor. And acting? The acting was amateurish, bumbling and shrill.

Directing? Luis Llosa must have been on a tight budget. It seems like he did the whole film in one take. Actors were flubbing lines all over the place, but the cameras kept rolling.

Okay, but what about Sandra? She was a raw talent at this point (in more ways than one). This film provides us with her one and only nude scene, which may be its only claim to fame. But don't rush to the movie store to rent it because of this. Though it is clear she is fully unclad, you really see nothing, which is probably a blessing. I love Sandra Bullock, but let's face it, she has a body only Popeye could love, and adds nothing to a film by appearing in the buff. Actually, her acting here showed promise, especially in one scene where she is trying to revive a child just rescued from a fire. But there is a clear difference in her skills and confidence compared with present day.

This film is a must NOT see for anyone, especially Sandra Bullock fans. Why mar your good opinion of her. I rated this film a 2/10. It is an appalling waste of time. Why they revived it, I can only wonder.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Deep in the hot and steamy jungle...

Author: mhawfield-2 from Charlotte, NC
25 May 2000

Deep in the hot and steamy Amazon jungle, activist Alyssa Rothman (Sandra Bullock) helps a brash photojournalist (Craig Sheffer) investigate the assassination of a famous environmentalist, at the risk of their own lives.

So goes the tag line for this film. I believe that Sandra Bullock wanted to block Roger Corman at New Concorde (formerly New Horizons) from releasing this title NOT because of the nude scene (which really isn't, just shadows and hints of nudity) but because of the thin plot. But it is the nudity angle that will drive the rental market on this direct to video release.

It is only interesting to see Sandra in the film before she became a big star in Speed. Short running time makes it easier to watch as well (78 minutes on the R rated, 85 minutes on the Unrated version).

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

You mean they actually got paid to make this mess?

Author: dustyking
14 May 2001

The male star's vocabulary consisted of "one word" The word that would get 'erased' at least fifty times if we were to think this horrible movie would ever make it to the TV screen for humans to watch.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Your time is more important than this film

Author: darkman-27 from Saga, Japan
26 November 2000

There is a reason this movie was shelved for, how long? 7 years? This should be the first hint.

At any rate, I watched this movie with an open mind. I wanted to like it, and enjoy myself, but there just was not much to it. An Idiot reporter runs around p***ing off the locals and Sandra Bullock meets up with him. I guess there is some environmental activist named santos that meets and unfortunate end, and they are sort of involved. The plot of this movie is so really hard to follow. Maybe because there really is not much of a plot at all. The last 15min are sort of exciting, only because you know it's almost over so you can do something else.

Yes, Sandra has a love scene. No it's exciting enough to watch this movie.

Ever watched a movie that made you keep looking at the VCR to see how long you had been watching it? That is This Movie!

Movie gets a nice big 2 out of 10 from me.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Bad Clichés

Author: RetiredRanger from Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA
27 June 2004

This movie is so full of over used clichés it is pathetic. Sandra Bullock is beautiful in the movie, but even her acting is very poor at times. Apparently a bad story, bad writing, and the poor acting by others got to her. There is a scene in an office with Ms. Bullock, the obnoxious reporter, and Bullock's boss where it seems like everyone is reading flip charts. The clichés about the evil lumber companies, cattle ranchers, and corrupt law enforcement are about as bad as a Miss America contestant saying she is throughly behind world peace. If these clichés have some thread of truth to them, ignoring the entire movie because of feeling manipulated with them is very likely. I haven't seen something so poorly done since "Billy Jack". If you are especially interested in the real crisis occurring in the Amazon, I recommend that you don't watch this movie.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Very poor script

Author: gday1 from Pennsylvania, US
1 January 2001

This movie is a joke....not the type of movie I would have expected for Sandra Bullock. The mazazine journalist is angry and swearing constantly which is not normal for anyone (even low lifes). The movie was very poorly written and directed....totals waste of time.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Clichés and bad acting...

Author: Arandhil from Sweden
12 October 2004

Such a wonderful collection of clichés and bad acting you really have to search long and hard to find. Set in the jungle one might at least expect some good cinematography, some stunning nature shots...but no.

Craig Sheffer is among the worst I have seen in his role as an idiot American journalist. I don't know what weekend course in acting he has taken, because much more than that it can't be.

Sandra is wonderfully beautiful as usual and as supposed to most other in this movie she actually can act. Thanks to her and of course the fabulous nude scene makes the movie worth watching, if you like Sandra that is. If you don't, for some inexplicable reason, then stay clear from this movie.

Rating 2/10 (Sandra 10/10)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Oh good God, what a bad flick!

Author: shanleydillman from United States
29 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Good God, how did a talented young actress get involved in such a bad film? Sandra Bullock starts out in this otherwise bad film in a good light. Then her character takes a quick turn for the worst. And Craig Sheffer certainly convinced me that he was an uncaring, aloof writer. But his character also went from bad to worse in a quick turn of events. Somehow, after a night of binging in some of the local pharmaceuticals and a very rank nude scene with Sandra, he is a new man.

In all seriousness, don't rent this film. You might as well fall asleep on the couch with a good book. Sandra is such a great talent, but that can't turn a poorly written, poorly directed film into a good one. And she uses so little of it in this flick. It reminds me of the last big scene in Speed 2, where you wish the boat would just crash already, so you can return the DVD to the rental place.

The Spoiler: Sandra Bullock who shows very little of her talent in this film caps it off with a very lousy death scene at the end. Lucky for her, her career didn't die at that moment as well.

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