Sum of All Fears, Signs, Minority Report, Satin Rouge, K-Pax
FILM and VIDEO Review

Sum of all fears **

Tom Clancy’s blockbuster nuke terror job doesn’t quite add up. Nerdy historian CIA agent ……… spends his time telling big bosses at the Pentagon and White House that Russia is ok. He has a cute dumb girlfriend as well. Out of date Chechnya gets chemicalised by the Ruskies (let’s forget agent Orange) and a distraught Whitehouse orders in peacekeepers.

Yep it’s the Nazties from the EU. No Eurosongs singing here. Defcom countdowns and Paperchase melt into rapid cut scenes from Ukrainian nuclear facilities to the Sinai desert. Baltimore blows and the Pres gets airborne/ some feeling of mood is created by the jumbo jerking around – it must have been a stormy day.

Interesting use of time delay shots setting the bomb in the carpark – reminiscent of the World Trade Center 1993.

Starts well, but gets unbelievable as Nerd traipses through nuked Baltimore searching for something, seems to be no account of radiation.

Can’t quite believe the US would launch a strike after one city went up in ambiguous circumstances – even if Ronnie was there. But then Nerd could not run in and save the day and make us love the Russians too.

Tom Clancy should read Orwell’s 1984 then rewrite it properly. If he had chosen Osama instead of the Nazi’s he would have been spot on. It is not really clear how the Nazi’s would have gained power after Russia had been destroyed. But to show how humanitarian the US-Russian Pact is all of them are assassinated, no doubt in the name of truth, liberty and justice.

Adrenal 14 year old males aspiring to corporate yuppidom should go to convince them to vote Liberal or Republican and invade Iraq.

Photography and special effects good.


Signs _(*&()&_+_(=8&_((*_+_(*&**

Mel Gibson is quite convincing as a moronic farmer from the North East. Crushed crops and oversized gangly gremlins spooking out then invading Mexico, then Dudville explain why Mel supported the equivalent of the fascist party in Australia and probably why my step dad used to sell Mel memorabilia by post to overfed American housewives for $10 a plop. He’d be a millionaire if he had worked out how to use the Internet.

Mel is the fuhrer figure overseeing his family whose motherland was killed by a Pakie doctor; dimbo elder son, barricade the house against the Injuns and Puritan overtones as cutesy younger son and little Gretal hide in the cellar.

Mel’s boggle eyes don’t make up for the lame plot and Orson Welle’s fear of invaders is not captured. The mysticism behind the crop circles is missed. Special effects are not really there. Photography is reasonable.

Mel plays the standard role of good father, of the 2 dimensional variety. Which reminds me of a law school friend of mine who used to work functions back in the eighties, one of which Mel was attending. He saw him disappear off into the toilets with not his wife. The sheriff is played well.


Minority Report ***

Tom is back looking younger than ever for a 40 year old. Who does his makeup? What is the secret? It is all in the precog’s, no doubt some connection to the future of Ron Hubbard’s scientologists. Crime of murder no longer exists due to the foresight of the float tank twins and spaceo beauty. Tom smashes into a house in space cadet Will Robinson gear with the A team and the hoverchopper just behind… another murder stopped. But Tom gets precogged himself while conducting the usual computer orchestra on psycho-imposed glass screens. Desperately he runs for it in 2054 funny cars. Don’t miss the yoga class.

He comes across the lady behind Nocrime in her country villa, a scene from batman almost. He finds out Nocrime aint infallible because of the risk of a minority report. One of the precogs seeing another future to the other two idiots.


Desparately he drags precog beauty spaceo across town as she flops from scene to scene mouth agape in pre-ejaculatory excitement as Tom is bought face to face with the killer of his son. Spaceo persuades him not to kill the killer, but too late… yeah I like wrecking movies by telling everything. SO don’t read on unless you don’t want to see it.

Tom gets caught and locked up in DC penitentiary which is a sort of cryogenic chicken coop aka Brazil. His wife, a Farrah Fawcett look alike, not Nicole, but also left him, gets him out, he finds out that his boss is behind it, through one hiding the minority reports and two killing spaceo’s mother who wanted her out of the tank. He double exposes and then fades out her murder so the precogs can’t tell. Done in black and white. Tom exposes this at a dinner for Precrime {I told a lie it’s not Nocrime}. A philosophical discourse between Tom and his boss ensues back at his house, which is worth listening to. If boss kills Tom Precrime will have predicted it, if he doesn’t that’s the end of Precrime, so he kills himself and Precrime with it.

Adds were worked out by a team from MIT and Speilberg and are worth keeping an eye out for. A touch of tongue in cheek this movie based on Philip K. Dick’s scifi story of a crimeless world gone wrong. Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984 float through the lingo. Blade Runner was written by Dick, but this is a cleaner more functional reality, and subtly warns us of handing too much power over to the state to protect us against future maybes.

The film fails to consider the possibility of an acceptable minority report. Murder’s with a minority report could be put into a special category where circumstantial evidence is deduced to determine the person’s guilt or innocence, thus the program could run quite effectively without boss having to murder, coverup and kill himself. But them where would all Tom’s macho antics and angst be? Lost along with all his braindead fans.

U wont be disappointed :}



K-pax **

Psychiatrist, ………, tries to assess alien, …………, scenes of the mental ward and P starting to believe A, lead to various philosophical notions of the universe and our place in it. Binary star systems, astrophysics are discussed but the film fails to deliver the alien special effects that virtual reality demands nowadays.

Regression hypnosis leads the psychiatrists on a paper chase to Texas and the alien’s host. I fell asleep.


Satin Rouge ***

Tunisian film about a bored housewife widow and her daughter. Belly dancing, alcohol and prostitution draw the housewife into a new lease of life. The titillation of sex for a prudish Muslim women is cleverly captured. Neighborhood Parisian Puritanism vies against the bordello and controlling a sexually active teenager.



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