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This metaphoric drama centers on a fabulously wealthy gold baron who spends his days feeling empty and alone on a private island. Trouble eventually comes to him when a mob emissary tries to convince the rich fellow to allow the Mafia to build a gambling resort upon his land.
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as Jack McCann
as Claude Maillot
as Helen McCann
as Pierre de Valois
as Byron Judson
as Police Chief
as Jury Foreman
as Man Blowing off Head
as Man Blowing off Head
as Miami Chauffeur
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Critic Reviews for Eureka
In its own convoluted way, tells us that money can't buy us happiness.
Audience Reviews for Eureka
[font=Century Gothic]In "Eureka" Jack McCann(Gene Hackman) is the ultimate self-made man, having discovered a mother lode of gold, about twenty years before. Now, he is one of the wealthiest men in the world, owning his very own island in the Caribbean. His personal life is not on the same exalted level, however. His wife, Helen(Jane Lapotaire), is an alcoholic. His daughter, Tracy(Theresa Russell), is married to a French emigre, Claude(Rutger Hauer), who Jack severely disapproves of. To add to his troubles, a group of mobsters from Miami are trying to muscle in to build a casino on his land...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Even for director Nicolas Roeg, "Eureka" is an odd movie. The movie throws in too many ideas to properly consider and there is simply too much going on here for it to be considered anything of a success. To start, themes including greed, spirituality and family mix uneasily together while the mobsters sublot needlessly complicates matters. A much simpler approach might have worked as the setting and characters are not without interest. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Adding to the strangeness, are Mickey Rourke and Joe Pesci giving the most restrained performances of their careers. Gene Hackman is fine as always.[/font]
Not Roeg's best film, but maybe his masterpiece in the way it incorporates all of his signature elements thematically and in it's editing. A man spends fifteen years looking for gold in Alaska and finally finds it, cut to decades later on his private island "Eureka", that a mobster wants to buy, and which he refuses to sell against all better judgement. Nature and desire, and the impossibility of owning either.
Eureka attempts a sweeping epic from true facts surrounding one of the Century's richest men, gold prospector Harry Oakes. But while Oakes may have indeed wallowed away his nouveau riche decades with idleness, regrets, ambiguity, purposelessness and poor judgment, director Roeg's misses wide leaving the viewer another Kane or Gatsby to ponder.
Rather, it plays more the mediocre made-for-TV melodrama, with a script that wraps a far-too-extensive skein of soapy-styled love interests around a mere skeleton of facts.
The heaviest lifting comes from the talented cast. Besides Hackman, there's Mickey Rourke, Joe Pesci, Theresa Russell (Roeg's wife) and Rutger Hauer, all fairly early on in career, doing quite well with the thin cards dealt out. But they can carry only so far a script/dialogue as meandering, perplexing and illogical as this. And when Hackman vacates at Act 3, so does the film's momentum.
In his effort to resuscitate the patient, Roeg rolls out the standard crash-cart of tricks. He loads up on fairly lush cinematography of Jamaica and other such eye-candy for the weary viewer. Of course, a healthy dosage of gratuitous sexual content is called for, including a steady IV drip of full-frontal work by Russell.
In one scene, Russell romps about in a crotchless, cupless, gold-chained Egyptian lingerie outfit, likely not available at your local adult superstore. There's so much Russell on show, the viewer might believe this kind of work actually titillates her (IMHO, it well may).
Another such irrelevant injection is a poorly choreographed voodoo orgy scene with bodies and snakes all-a-wigglin' about, but much ado about nothing.
And Roeg thoroughly sprinkles the film with irrelevant visual/off-script occult/mystic innuendos, his lame attempt at creating suspense.
RECOMMENDATION: Eureka's little more than 1980ish prime-time soap, and that only due to its exceptionally strong casting. Take a pass.
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