|Index||5 reviews in total|
Don't listen to those who decry this; it's by no means bad. The initial
episode is a worthy adaptation of a good Cold War type short story,
with many good points and thought-provoking elements. The acting by
veterans Judy Davis and Sam Waterston is intense and convincing, and
the production values are beautiful.
Now, the story can't really be summarized without spoiling it, as the real substance of the plot is really only revealed towards the end, but I enjoyed it a great deal and was very positively surprised. The moral was that we are all responsible for doing what's right, so things won't escalate out of hand. When we know that there is something wrong, we should not just stand by and do nothing. We should act. Some people may see this as a "moralistic" message, but I have news for such people: that's what art does. If you just want empty entertainment, watch Friends.
More of this, please.
My rating of episode 1: 8 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It has some effective moments, the performances are excellent and the
concept is good... but the basic doomsday weapon plot is really dated
and it seems like a revenge fantasy for people who think George Bush is
It skips over any details that might create doubt in the viewers mind about its conclusions and contrives some real howlers for emotional shock. The Major is whisked away from her family to the bunker, told they can't come. Is that how it works? Close up of the Presidents wife's wedding ring still on the incinerated corpse. Future President told his weapon system could destroy the world... he ignores it. The whole thing is just too transparent and blunt.
Oh, and they toss in a bunch of environmental gotchas at the very end, just to cover all the "Evil U.S. destroys the world" bases. ... who says Liberals aren't patriotic? Sheesh.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A chipper Sam Waterston enters the futuristic office of psychiatrist
Judy Davis and asks, "Is this where I'm supposed to be?" The reason he
has to ask is because he doesn't know what's going on from one minute
to the next. He has Korsakov's syndrome, or so the story tells us, and
has amnesia for the past 24 years. He believes, for instance, that he's
still 41 years old, that his wife and kids are waiting for him, and
that he's head of a firm that manufactures secret weapons.
I don't think I can go any further in describing the plot. Medical discretion forbids it. But there's nothing stopping me from mentioning that Korsakov's syndrome -- wait a moment. Let me get into my lab coat. Yes. Thank you. Korsakov's (or amnesic-confabulatory) syndrome is when you draw a blank and make up stories to fill in the blanks. That isn't exactly what Sam Waterston does. He's just ablated 24 years of his life. Korsakov's syndrome is also associated with thiamine deficiency due to chronic alcoholism. There have been various proposals put forward to add thiamine to drinking alcohol but these proposals are routinely blocked by those who are convinced that doing so would just encourage alcoholism. The same logic applies to the argument that teaching people how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases leads to promiscuity. Thank you. Let me get this coat off.
This story can be read as a kind of assault on certain foreign policies of one of our recent presidents, but I got something slightly different out of it. It's not about any individual but about cultural hubris. Many of us are convinced that our way of life is the best. It's the nature of the beast, and the belief isn't limited to Americans. The French applauded when Napoleon announced that he would bring democracy to the rest of the world at the point of a gun. I saw this story as a great big red STOP sign.
I've always liked Sam Waterston and he doesn't disappoint here. Judy Davis is equally good but the part compels her to look worn and pasty and it's a little depressing. In fact, the whole story is depressing. Let me put it this way: If you enjoyed "Fail Safe," you'll love this.
I don't know what the other episodes are like. I pray they're not so weighty, that they have a few moments in which the audience doesn't feel as if it's time for another Zoloft.
It is much more easy to complain about shortcomings, than it is to
create quality sci-fi stories and adaptations. Various other series and
movies have helped to set almost impossibly high expectations from
those of us who eagerly devour all things Science-Fiction.
Ten or more years ago, I might have found this story riveting.
In all fiction, there is the need for willing suspension of disbelief. I think that for Sci-Fi, we also need to make allowances for telling of stories, and to not get bogged down in any one of several different ways. One-hour episodes are not like books or novels or even short-stories.
The fact that it could have been better, did not detract from my having enjoyed it anyway. I will eagerly watch the next episode in the hope that it will be even better than this one was.
I'm a sci-fi fan so I've been looking forward to this series for a
while. However, if the rest are anything like this, I know why ABC
delayed it and decided to show it during the summer vs. fall. This was
kind of painful to watch - the kind that comes from bad movie-making.
In general terms, this is about a psychiatrist trying to fish out memories from a patient. All of this takes place in the future and the patient only remembers what happened up a moment 24 years ago (he has Korsakov syndrome).
This sounds like a good setup for a sci-fi movie, but the movie was pretty bad. The actors sounded like they had hardly rehearsed. Sam Waterston and Judy Davis are great actors so I don't know what happened. It was painful to listen to their interaction - it seemed fake and contrived.
Although I won't go into details, the movie was ridiculously moralistic - stuff we have heard a thousand times and seen in countless shows (like the newer Outer Limits).
If you're a sci-fi fan, you'll probably feel the need to watch this. Be forewarned, though - it's probably not what you're expecting.
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