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A Sound Of Thunder ----> 3/28/06

Old 12-08-05, 03:22 PM
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A Sound Of Thunder ----> 3/28/06

Warner Home Video has officially announced A Sound of Thunder which stars Ben Kingsley, Catherine McCormack and Edward Burns. The disc will be available to own from the 28th March, and should retail at around $27.95. The film itself will be presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The only extra material will be theatrical trailers.
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Old 12-08-05, 03:30 PM
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Ah, a Walmart $5.50 bin stalwart in the making.
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Old 12-08-05, 04:27 PM
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Or a $1 Target DVD. I really wanted to like it, but it was pretty bad. A warning to those who are thinking about a blind buy. They are trying to recoup their dismal $1.7 million box office with a $27.95 MSRP.
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Old 03-29-06, 07:10 PM
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Time waves suck... But it's all in the spirit of goofy fun!

I tried very hard to watch this disc with an open mind. I liked the idea of adapting a classic Ray Bradbury short story of 1952 that had already been adapted in a 1954 issue of EC Comics "Weird Science-Fantasy" magazine. I can't say I like what they've done with it though. The premise of Bradbury's cautionary fable on capitalistic irresponsibility, come to think of it - using a time machine to allow sleazy millionaires to shoot at dinosaurs in the distant past - could only have been possible under the macho, greasy, ecologically-insensitive, politically-incorrect, paranoid, brutish, gung-ho, unidimensional and violent world of McCarthyite America, unless you admit that George W. Bush has lived on to be president until the year 2055, when this story is set.

And time waves don't work... If you change something in the past, the present you return to is already changed, assuming you can return to the present. Why? Because, by definition, time has had all the time in the world to go on as usual and evolve along its merry way. So, in theory, you wouldn't even encounter the city, the boss or the lab you left behind before your trip - if you had goofed in a major way - and that would be the end of the story. In Bradbury's original scenario, only the rules of English spelling had been dumbed-down on the explorers' return and a different, more war-like, right-wing president had been elected (which makes you wonder who might conceivably have stepped on what monumental insect back in the Cretaceous period to explain the last two U.S. presidential elections). This was considered disaster enough in those simpler times.

This story, as well as the memorable spoof of it on one of "The Simpsons" better Halloween specials showed more common sense, all in all, than this film does. But if you accept those two goofy premises, you can have a few minutes of goofy fun also accepting that gorillas have somehow mated with reptiles since the last time you left the office to go hunting in the past.

I sort of liked the primitive aspect of the CGI, which allows us to appreciate really fine work, by way of comparison. I thought the characters' motivation was always trite but crystal-clear, as opposed to, say, a recent hit like "King Kong" where none of the characters' actions make much sense - except the gorilla's and except as an elaboration on the original 1933 film. I really liked Edward Burns as the even-tempered studmuffin for all seasons in relation with Catherine McCormack's terminal case of PMS. I also liked every second of Ben Kingsley's time on screen as oily manipulator Hatton.

What I didn't like was the use for the nth time of a token Black character ("Payne") whom you have no reason to care about, to fulfill the obligatory "the Black guy must die" quota of B-movies, even if he is given a great death scene (considering we don't know who he is).
I also had serious problems with the facial features of Jemima Rooper as the brattish assistant: aren't there physical or legal limits to the amount of collagen human lips can withstand without doing permanent damage to the jaw? I also didn't care for the choppy editing style which cuts away from CGI scenes in order to save money but also from essential plot-establishing scenes - like a character talking - for no reason at all, all in the middle of a rather slow-moving sequence. I also didn't care for the military jungle drums music which made James Horner sound like Jules Massenet.

But, other than that, it was a fine piece of entertainment.

By the way, here's a link to the original Bradbury story online: http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/WWI/thunder.htm .

Also beware the trailers, which spoil all the essential plot points.

Last edited by baracine; 03-30-06 at 06:03 AM.
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