|Index||6 reviews in total|
a nuclear terrorist plot behind a back-from-the-dead-visions wrapper; terrible acting with one of those casts consisting of no one you have ever seen before other than the top 2 or 3 folks in the billing; no reality to the actions of the actors in the plot, with the FBI not bothering to follow up on any clues or taking seriously any information given them; the wife limited to a long series of "Oh, Jack.." lines; the kid existing for the sole purpose of being put in danger at just the right moment;a Grade C made-for-2am effort; unlike some bad movies, you realize from the very beginning that this will never start to become interesting; you have to wonder why they bothered with this.
"Premonition" or "The Psychic" is a decent thriller. It's basically a
variation on "The Dead Zone". Instead of Walken it's Casper Van Dien.
Van Dien plays Jack Barnes, a cop who gets killed in the line of duty. He's brought back to life and now he see visions of disasters. These visions somehow connect to a terrorist group.
Casper puts in a good performance. Everybody else is mediocre. The action scenes are well-filmed, but the special effects are cheesy. The helicopters and explosion at the end of the film looked too fake.
In the end: It's definitely not a bad film, if you watch it with low expectations.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bottomline: The terrorists would have died before they could have
walked 5 feet with the radioactive material they stole. Information on
the source was Cobalt 60 1100 Ci/g 890 g, alpha, gamma. 1st off Cobalt
60 is a beta gamma emitter. It does not decay by alpha emission. They
got the specific radioactivity right (1100 Ci/g)but that's about it.
The following data is provided to show that anyone near the suitcase
would have died in short order:
1100 Ci/g X 890 g = 979000 Ci X Gamma Constant 1.32 Rm2/hrCi = 1292280 R/hr @ 1 m = 21538 R/min @ 1 m = 359 R/sec @ 1 m all exposure rates unshielded
Maximum survivable exposure is 1000 R (roentgens). Therefore, a 3 second exposure at 1 meter from this source would be lethal. If the carrying case was lined using 1.57" thick lead sheet (unlikely based on the apparent ease of handling demonstrated) the exposure rate would be reduced to 1/10th. With this assumption it would take 30 seconds of exposure at 1 meter to be lethal.
Sources used for sterilization are stored in large pools under stringent access controls which include interlocks, visual and audible alarms and failsafe devices. Postings for the room would not be the jolly rogers and a single radioactive material sign shown. There would be elaborate postings including a "Grave Danger, Very High Radiation Area" and "Danger Radioactive Materials" signs on the door. Signs are yellow with either black or magenta trefoils and lettering, not red and black.
I'm a radiation protection specialist
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let's see. "Final Destination," a teen flick about a girl who knows her
classmates will die, appeared in 2000. Was her name Cassandra? I
forget. Abundant blood-letting with supernatural overtones. The
audience must have enjoyed it because in 2003 we were granted admission
to "Final Destination 2." Then, in 2006, "Final Destination 3." This is
one of those viral ideas that seem to spread by taking over otherwise
healthy cells and reproducing their own DNA. Or their own RNA. Or their
The year 2004 gave us this one, "Premonition," preceded by a short titled "Premonition" to be followed in 2007 by a film called "Premonition." How to evaluate this? It isn't that it's budget was low. You can do a lot within strictly circumscribed financial limits. It's that every opportunity for originality or any expression of artistry is by-passed in favor of the commercially routine. It's predictable without distinction.
Right off the bat, we know something is wrong. We see a gang of hoods shoot a security guard and deface a meat-packing plant, spraying the walls with chicken blood graffiti -- "MEAT IS MURDER" and whatnot. The police put this down as ecoterrorism. (It's an interesting word, ecoterrorism, with a semantic content equal to what logicians call a null set. The category is empty.) Well, we know darn well that this rough-speaking, violent gang isn't made up of rabid vegetarians because half the Hollywood celebrities are themselves vegetarians. Man, is that a red herring. But don't get me wrong. I eat a lot of vegetables myself. Not that I like the way they taste. I hate it. But I enjoy boiling them alive or eating them while still turgid.
Anyway the gang is pursued by a pair of cops in a car chase. What would a movie be without a car chase. The cops have an accident. One of them is killed and is partner is clinically dead but then revived. Thereafter he has what he calls "visions" of future events, all catastrophes, which he goes about trying to prevent.
The gang members meanwhile find out that the hero survived and set out to kill him because "he knows too much." This makes as much sense as anything else in the film. All the surviving cop knows is what kind of car he was chasing, and he's already described it, and anyway the car was found abandoned and "sanitized" shortly after the raid. So in fact, he doesn't "know too much" at all. He knows nothing that would endanger the gang and their nefarious plans (which have nothing to do with vegetarianism, not even ovo-lacto-vegetarianism). I'll just say that the cop's visions cause him trouble at home and that nobody on the force or in the FBI believe him. The FBI would love to pin all the catastrophes -- the ones he's tried to prevent -- on the cop. Not for any particular reason. They'd just like to do it. The cop at least doesn't have to hand over his gun and his badge as so many suspect cops have to do -- at least not before I switched channels.
The gang members are interesting. They provide a good example of what I meant when I said every opportunity for originality was thrown away. They're all ugly and pure evil. They speak with Russian accents, which is getting pretty tiresome. The chief hood demonstrates what true commitment to the cause looks like. He smiles and pats his oldest and dearest friend on the back, then deliberately shoots him through the head. "See?", he explains to an awestruck observer, "this man was truly devoted -- willing to die for the cause, although he didn't know it." (I'm serious about that last line. I think it's verbatim.) Oh how EASY it would have been to make this a more adult film. Give the villain with the pock-marked face a personality. Give him some aficion. Give him a weakness for macramé or something. Have him be an avid collector of cowrie shells.
And the actors. Next time can we get some who rise above the level of afternoon dramas? I guess the cop is handsome inasmuch as he looks as if he ought to be modeling thousand-dollar sports jackets in the Times Magazine but he's not much of an actor. I thought Catherine Oxenberg would be but she doesn't quite clear the banality bar either. Nor are she and the hero alone. One actor, the guy who has visions like the hero's, speaks as if he's used to doing voice overs for aspirin commercials, though his face is a good one for the screen.
You have to have sympathy for people trying to do a complicated job on a pittance. But why strain and creak to reach for the routine when there may be jewels at your feet?
If you are trying to form an argument against Canadian content laws, using the movie "Premonition" to form your opinion would help greatly. What will quickly strike most viewers is how familiar the core story is, but that is just a minor problem compared to what really sinks the movie. It's written to be a really stupid telling of a familiar story, with characters constantly making idiotic decisions throughout. Also, there are a significant number of plot turns that are either not properly explained, or are not explained at all. All this bad writing probably explains why no one in the cast seems to be trying very hard, with actor Casper Van Dien giving the worst performance of all, a bad performance that generates no sympathy or heart at all. The direction is also hopeless, from letting Van Dien stay unshaven throughout despite being a police officer, to action sequences that lack excitement or comprehension. It also doesn't help that the entire enterprise looks really cheap and cheesy, from the ultra low budget cinematography to some awful special effects (as well as reusing some special effects footage from the superior B movie "Epicenter"). This movie is complete garbage, even for viewers who are especially undemanding with their choice of entertainment.
A low rent Canadian TV movie that explores the idea of psychic
premonitions in much the same way as the likes of THE DEAD ZONE et al.
This one brings nothing new to the concept, instead happy to retread
old ground in its telling of a man who dies in a car accident, only to
be brought back to life with a special talent for foreseeing the
Casper Van Dien has always been a likable hero, an actor who I've enjoyed seeing since STARSHIP TROOPERS. He's certainly no great shakes as an actor but he has charisma at least, which counts for something. He's the best thing about this otherwise shoddy film, putting plenty of effort into his leading role and handling himself well in the action stakes.
Sadly, PREMONITION as a whole is spoilt by a script which copies disaster scenarios from other movies - an earthquake, a train crash which virtually reprises the one in DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE - and doesn't have much in the way of originality to it. In addition, the CGI effects of trains, helicopters, and the like are very poor indeed. It's not a terrible film, just a generally lacklustre one.
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