I am reluctant to pan any film, but this one, I could not pass up.
This could be a contender for camp film of the century, along side "Reefer Madness", if it had any entertainment value at all. I do not understand why a credible actor like Michael Pare would become involved in such a waste of time and money. A major improvement for this film would be to have the Russian missile launched early in the story actually hit and destroy the space station, thus making this a film short of less than 15 minutes.
I review this film in generalities, because the actors and crew probably had little control over content or presentation. Mercifully, the SciFi channel squashed the credits to the bottom of the screen for a trailer, thus saving everyone involved some embarrassment.
To call this production "so bad that it is good" is an insult to every bad movie every made. I watched this movie to the end, so you don't have to. If you insist on viewing this one, take it with a six-pack of your favorite beverage.
An escape from the gratuitous mayhem, crashes, gun play, torture, nudity, lying, cheating, and sex of many contemporary movies.
This movie tells a great story, complete with emotions, situations, and predicaments that most people can relate to. It has a touch of violence and sex, but only in context with the storyline. Forster is superbly cast, and Wahlberg is delightful. The minor actors are believable and credible. Locations are just plain down-home rural America.
All the previous user comments are right on target. I can offer only strong agreement. This is one fine movie. Watch it with your loved one or your best friend (or both).
Besides being just a fun to watch movie, the on-location filming includes an area of historic significance. Although the location is listed as Kingman, it includes a race sequence to the old gold mining settlement of Oatman, AZ. I recognized many of the landmarks during the race, as well as the community of Oatman. The race turn around point (straw bales) is at the south end of town. The road race is on the original "Route 66", now known on the maps as CR10. It crosses a flat and winds up into the Black Mountains to Sitgreaves Pass, and down into Oatman. The Black Mountains were a significant obstacle to the many who motored west during the great depression, due to steep grades and sharp curves.
Any trip on I40 passing Kingman, AZ should include a side trip through the tourist town of Oatman, which welcomes visitors and is truly a step into the past. Very few sections of Route 66 still exist that are as beautiful as this road. In the bargain, you can see (and stay in) the room in the Oatman Hotel where movie stars Clark Gable and Carol Lombard stayed on their honeymoon in 1939. Several other movies were filmed in Oatman.
Enjoy this fun movie, and enjoy the filming location if you get a chance. You will remember the race sequence from "Roadhouse 66" when you travel this road from Kingman to Oatman.
Not to put down our many knowledgeable and dedicated overseas viewer/members, but I did notice that almost all of the negative opinions were not from the USA, and the few favorable ones were. Also apparent is that all but one previous review were submitted previous to the infamous 9/11 terrorist attack.
We all now live with some concern that such an event could possibly affect us personally. However remote the chance, the fact that it happened once in the 90's suggests an increase in the likelihood of a similar happening today. I would suggest that in this film a message exists that there is hope even in the most extreme circumstances, and that our law enforcement stands ready to help.
Given the above statements, is it possible that this movie would have received more charitable reviews if commented upon today? I found this movie entertaining, inspiring, and thoughtful. I also feel that it was technically better than most of the current "action/suspense" genre. It was totally devoid of numerous exploding vehicles, hundreds of rounds of gunfire, gratuitous sex, and excessive testosterone. The continuing chase sequence, although sometimes quite spectacular, was believable and well filmed. It is not unusual for many true stories that are well presented to seem somewhat bland, or even a bit corny, but the real message often resides in truth and accuracy.
Overall, I thought the movie was well done. Give 'em a break, it was a fine effort.
As a retired lifetime career employee of "The Phone Company" (there was only one before 1984), I was greatly amused by this fine film. It is difficult to comment on the total entertainment value, because it has a bit of everything for most everybody. Although almost anyone would enjoy this great satire, it should be required viewing entertainment for the several hundred thousand old-school telephone industry employees.
Of course, the phone company never succeeded in such a plot, but someday, someone most certainly will attempt it, and society will probably embrace it. 95% of the technology already exists.
In the meantime, if you see this movie, you will want to enjoy it again and again and again.
Being among the first to contribute to the user comments, I feel somewhat on thin ice on this one.
I noticed on the comments threads that several viewers thought the timing was wrong for this subject, and that it was a Republican billboard during an election year. All that aside, I did watch the complete movie, despite the many commercial interruptions. Flow and continuity is important to any pseudo documentary (which is how I would classify this work), documentary, or docudrama. It was difficult enough following the many different locations and mini-plots. To accurately depict the depth and scope of this topic, much more time is needed, and the many commercial breaks would have to be eliminated, which obviously won't happen on a network movie. All of the historical events visited, although based in fact, were given only a token presentation, and were intertwined with fictional characters and plots.
It is entirely possible that the writers of this movie were attempting to accurately show the progression of the Middle East terrorism threat from the early 90's through post 9/11. Unfortunately, the span of this topic just can't be fit into the traditional movie length. Think about doing justice to War And Peace or The Godfather in 90 minutes.
The single redeeming part of this movie might be a rather corny and feeble attempt at showing all of us how the Department of Homeland Security was formed, it's makeup, and it's function. However, one would do better to pick up a copy of last week's Newsweek for a more fulfilling explanation.
Reflecting back on this movie, I feel like I watched 7 years of history on a fast-forward videotape. We all know the historical facts quite well, and most of this was a review of the high and low points, spiced up (or down) with soap opera style emotional tidbits.
Yes, if the purpose of this presentation is strictly entertainment, the timing is wrong (and always will be). If enlightenment is the target, it missed the mark and might stand accused of being sloppy historical revisionism. Politically, it did lean rather heavily toward the right. The historical time line is full of holes, which were plugged with emotional sugar lumps. Technically fairly well written, acted, and directed.
I was comfortable with this movie right after watching it, but having written the preceding, I now am not very pleased with it. There's a bit too much of an Oliver Stone undercurrent. Take it with a grain of salt, and don't expect too much.
Nobody expects this to be a blockbuster, but it IS worth a watch for Belushi fans, and for those who like a very challenging plot. The budget for this film may not have been large, but it does present some grand, upscale homes and mansions, and beautiful south Florida and Keys scenery.
Jim has these cop/detective roles nailed, both as "good guy" and "bad guy". Here, he floats back and forth throughout the entire film.
Unbelievable, twisted, convoluted plot? Absolutely, but this is intended to be entertaining fiction. Watch it from the beginning, give it 15 minutes, and you may well be compelled to finish it.
An excellent teleplay from a fine book of an actual event.
This TV movie was born of James Corcoran's first published book. James, young journalist for a local newspaper, was working the weekend shift alone at the city desk. Watching unfold this horrific night, he became obsessed. As an investigative reporter, he subsequently followed up on every detail involving Gordon Kahl and his Posse Commitatis organization, as also he did with the many law enforcement agencies. A few years later, at the urging of a mentor, he wrote the book.
Living in Corcoran's home town at the time, I followed the episode with great interest. His achievement was one of becoming an expert on every aspect and reporting it with absolute accuracy. The depth of his study and research touched on the rationale, mindset, and motive of each character. There are many sub-plots, which interwoven, result in a work that would be impossible to write as a fictional story.
This true story begins with a background of interconnected events that precede the actual murders. Scenes early in the movie describe actions by various law enforcement agencies and Kohl's band of followers, which quickly converge into the literally explosive showdown. Following this tragic night are many emotional confrontations and controversial actions. Because emotions reached so high, and pain so deep, it is most difficult to hold blameless any person involved in this tragic happening.
Rod Steiger's fine performance closely emulated the appearance and demeanor of Gordon Kahl. Other characters were equally well portrayed. The scenes of the small town central to the plot were also accurately presented. Few dramatic events receive the factual and quality treatment as did this TV movie adaption of Corcoran's book. Very little creative license was taken in this production. To view this movie is to actually live the history of the event.