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I was working for Bank X when this movie came out. The corporate
offices actually released a statement, and we all had to attend a
meeting, letting us know what the movie was about, how it portrayed
banks, and how we had to assure customers that things that happened in
the movie wouldn't happen in real life. I thought the meeting was a
waste of time- who was really going to come in and freak about?
Apparently half of their customers. We had people ordering money to
bury in their backyards. Almost every customer warned me to go straight
home on New Year's Eve. A lot of people wanted to know if the ATMs were
going to be working, and when would we start rationing out the money?
It was disgusting that people are this gullible and stupid.
This movie was a waste of time for anyone with half a brain, and the cause of a paranoid break down for people dumb enough to believe it. Thanks, NBC, for making the last two weeks of 1999 a living hell for me and the other bank employees.
With so much Y2K paranoia running rampant, it seems almost criminal of NBC
to attempt to capitalize on people's fears by cranking out "Y2K: The
a potboiler that purports to show us what could happen if worst-case
scenarios play out on Jan. 1.
No, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse don't ride in, but just about everything else that could go wrong does. Airplanes plummet out of the skies; doors swing open in prisons; rationing of groceries goes into effect; banks refuse to let people close out their accounts.
The teleplay by Thomas Hines and Jonathan Fernandez lays out these calamities in the same shrill, overheated style once reserved for movies about "The Red Menace" and "Marijuana, The Weed with Roots in Hell." Like those cautionary tales, "Y2K" gets so swept up in trying to startle its audience that it finally exhausts your patience. It's ultimately little more than two hours of cardboard characters running a lengthy gauntlet.
A disclaimer at the beginning insists the film is "purely fictional" and "does not suggest or imply that any of these events could actually occur." So why bother making "Y2K" at all? Certainly there are no stories here that desperately needed to be told.
In typical disaster-movie fashion, Hines and Fernandez skip between multiple plot lines: a New York couple whose night of romance in Times Square is squelched by a power outage; an overzealous TV newswoman -- named Gaby, fitting enough -- who'd rather broadcast rumors instead of waiting for verified details about the various crises erupting; a sullen, disagreeable teen -- is there any other kind in bad made-for-TV movies? -- who gripes about having to spend New Year's Eve with her family instead of at a major-league rave; and, as our central figure, former MIT whiz kid Nick Cromwell (Ken Olin, late of "thirtysomething"), a self-professed "complex systems failure guy" who doubles as an all-purpose savior.
As midnight falls across the country's four time zones, Nick has no time for guzzling champagne. He's zooming from one tragedy to another, quelling chaos at the airport by guiding a jet to a safe landing on a blacked-out runaway, then rushing to a nuclear power plant to prevent a meltdown. "Who would you want taking care of this: Nick or some Homer Simpson?" Nick's co-worker asks one of the Doubting Thomases who questions Cromwell's qualifications.
The heroism must be genetic: Nick's dad (Ronny Cox), we learn, was part of the Apollo 13 rescue team.
Olin, prefacing his every line with an anguished sigh, looks sorely in need of rescue himself. But then any actor would have trouble delivering the dialogue in "Y2K." Most of these lines could have been heated up and poured over nacho chips.
Some of the movie's many sins might have been pardonable if "Y2K" had managed to include at least a few spectacular images or suspenseful situations. Instead, the special effects on view here are some of the chintziest since the last Gamera the Flying Turtle epic, and Dick Lowry's dull direction manages to make the nuclear plant sequences seem like "The China Syndrome" on Sominex.
I too watched the movie to see some of the possibilities. I was working with computers at the time and wanted to see how they were going to portray the hitch. When the fetal heart monitor started acting up, I knew that they missed the point. Y2K would only hit on something that counted the YEAR and then used it for clocking for the operations of the machine connected. A FHM doesn't care what year it is, no more than a toaster with a chip in it. And setting it (the FHM) to go hay-wire at 9:00 pm Pacific time (to match the 12:00 midnite East Coast time), c'mon, where did they stretch to get that?? Another thing. even with all the possiblities, they still reverted to a BIG EXPLOSION at the end. Someone should lock this away in a time capsule and bury it where no one would look.
In 1999, there was a bit of wonder what will happen when Y2K strikes. A lot
of people were afraid that the world would end. Another lot of people
thought that the computers would go heywire and we wouldn't be able to use
anything made before 1976. One person suggested that 1-1-2000 will be used
by International Corporations to take over the world by confusing people
with computer problems. I even heard one freak say that a planet in our
Solar System will crash in to ours and that the upper class will be living
on Mars by 1-1-2000. Sadly one group decided to make this
Basically this movie sucks and nearly everyone knew it the day it was aired. We laughed at how stupid it was and moved on. Now Y2K is like Pepsi Clear, it came in to our lives, waisted a few minutes of our time and left us.
I don't know if this movie is out there still. Probably a few people recorded it and still have it. I'm sure it's collecting dust in some Hollywood storage shed somewhere. But the general feeling is that this movie's lost forever, I hope.
I looked forward to this before the turn of the millenium, but it's nothing
more than a silly cash-in on what was considered to be a possible fall of
mankind -- not something to cash in one, folks! But it
I saw this on NBC, I think. Basically, the plot is what we all feared: computers fail, the world starts going awry. It's such a cheap film that I've always remembered a scene where two people kiss and you can see their spit dangling from mouth to mouth. Cheap, low budget, and not good at all.
0.5/5 stars. What a disappointment. What a cash-in.
- John Ulmer
I wrote the primary Y2K software used by thousands of programs at one of the
world's largest insurance company. I was really looking forward to seeing
this movie and found it very disappointing.
This movie was poorly done and lacked suspense. Virtually no thought or creativity went into making this movie. Some parts were just plain stupid. For example, a person from Washington comes to sit in on a high level meeting the day before Y2K and the Washington person has to be told what Y2K is --- obviously that was done for the audience...but almost any layman knows what Y2k is and it seemed foolish having someone on a high level committee that didn't have a clue about Y2K.
Another really stupid thing was the nuclear power plant that was getting ready to blow up....the guy was running around in a room with exposed rod cores...in real life I would think he would been killed by radiation. Some of the dialogue also seemed unnecessary and somewhat irritating. In particular the lady that comes in to the nuclear power plant and says she knows what the problem was --- but does she tell people what it is --- no...she waists a lot of time talking in riddles. If a plant is going to blow up in 60 minutes I really doubt if someone would be that stupid and waste time beating around the bush.
The technical problems had lame excuses, poor setups, and unrealistic events. It's obvious that the writers of this movie didn't bother to ask programmers for input. This is pretty much a poor excuse of a science fiction movie--- all fiction very little fact.
This is just a bad, poorly done movie. But maybe that is good. If it was done well, it might have been taken more seriously and caused unrealistic concerns about Y2K. However if you are looking for entertainment or realistic info about Y2K, then don't watch this movie. It is a waste of time.
This movie was completely a waste of time. I watched it completely drunk and was still not impressed. Nothing happens in the entire movie. You wait for something to happen, and the fear slowly creeps in as you realize that this movie is not going to amount to anything. Save two hours of your life and read a book instead.
I have to say that this made-for-TV movie held no surprises for me
whatsoever. I expected it to be a less than average movie, complete with
cheap effects, poor acting and a dull script. I also expected, and
received, the standard plot line for a film-of-the-moment, this time about
the Y2K bug and its effects on the world.
The story opens up on December 30, 1999 and we are introduced, in a very patronizing way, to the main cast and to the plot at hand. Someone is getting a tour of the facilities where only the best computer wizards have been hard at work ensuring that all is well when year 2000 hits. I assume that this person taking the tour was of some importance and I gathered that he was completing some sort of inspection. Why then, did he ask his tour guide what all the fuss about Y2K was about? Why, I ask, when this character is responsible for reporting back that everything is OK? Why? - Because this would be a convenient way of setting up the story for an audience that must have been living in a cave for the past three years.
We are soon introduced to the hero of the story, Nick Cromwell, played by Ken Olin. He is apparently the best there is and if he can't save us, no one can. Nick is aided by a pack of computer hackers who all have their own special powers, I suppose.
So we're all set. Enter Nick's family. His wife, Kelly, is beautiful and she is a doctor. Their daughter Alix is also beautiful, but she is spoiled and she hangs around with a bad crowd. The 'bad crowd' is two computer hackers who to live in a funky van straight out of the seventies. Alix is upset because mother won't let her go to a rave on New Years Eve. Bet ya can't guess what's gonna happen here!
Minor characters are introduced without reason (except to give us perspective from various locations across the United States). There is a couple in Manhatten. He plans on proposing to her at midnight. There is the old man who has turned his home into a fortress in order to protect himself. Even Jay Leno has a role, playing himself (as he does so often) making jokes about the Y2K bug on his television show.
As the big moment nears we are witnesses to some minor horrors. One character finds that a supermarket is closing early, much to the dismay of a line up of customers. Another finds that the banks are only giving out $20 per customer.
Soon we are treated to a world tour as the international dateline begins to hit the islands off of New Zealand and a disaster with an airforce plane occurs at 12:01am their time. Problems start to occur all over the world and that's when the true fun begins.
Unfortunately the film focuses in on one or two small tragedies by the time the dateline hits the United States. A nuclear reactor malfunctions in Sweden, killing everyone, so our hero must fly out to Washington state where a similar plant is housed. Of course this plant is located minutes away from his family, including that trampy daughter who, you guessed it, snuck out and went to the party anyway.
Sorry, but Y2K is lacking in credibility every step of the way. The effects are cheap if and when they do exist. The characters are one dimensional, failing miserably to elicit any sympathy from me. I could have cared less if that stupid kid got to the party or not. The film fails even to rank up there as a low-grade Irwin Allen flick. The story line just didn't come to life (it wasn't deadly enough) and the characters lacked the glamour of those from Allen's films.
And finally, this film dates itself before it even gets out of the starting gate. It was released on television six weeks before the big event. If that Y2K bug fails to reap havoc, this film will become a laughable implausability, and it will probably never be seen again. On the other hand, if we do have the catastrophes some are predicting, who's going to want to watch a B-grade TV movie about it?
What an hilarious comedy! Oh.
It's supposed to be serious?
This must be one of the most rapidly-dating films ever. Released 6 weeks before Y2K and obsolete 5 minutes after Y2K. It can only really be viewed as a fascinating sociological document of the time(if you feel wildly generous) or a cynical, rather poorly-made attempt to cash in on the crisis de jour at the time (if you feel more realistic).
Judging by the time it was being shown, 6:00 a.m., I don't think Sky feel it deserves a very high profile either.
Even Dr. Forrester wouldn't be as cruel as to inflict this movie on Joel/Mike and the Bots. Unbelievable continuity gaps, maudlin sentimentality, and wooden acting make this movie unwatchable unless you're either 1. ) drunk, 2.) stoned or 3.) play the MST3K Home Game. I can't believe I wasted two hours of my time on this turkey; after all, the world *will* end on December 31. ;)
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