Blinded by the Light
His Dark Materials
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I rented this about a decade ago and only made it through the first ten minutes. I'm a huge Sean Connery fan so last night I called it up on streaming and made myself squirm all the way through it just so I can say I've seen all of his films. It's just plain bad, and the only thing that works for it is that everything it predicted in 1982 eventually came true in the first two Bush administrations. That's not even enough reason to watch it, just makes you feel like you're living through the Bush admins again.
kind of a 'network' knock off but set in the future
Based loosely upon Charles McCarry's 1979 novel The Better Angels, and brought to the screen by veteran writer/director Richard Brooks (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Elmer Gantry (1960)), this is a pitch black satire on the power of television news and government manipulation. It ends up being more honest about today's world than funny. Set in a world between now and later, where violence is rife and TV news is nothing more than sensationalist, Patrick Hale (Sean Connery) is a world-roving news reporter, whose reports are always dramatic and over the top. But, despite this, he's always able to get in and interview the big world leaders. The film begins with Hale travelling to the Arab country of Hegreb, to interview King Ibn Awad (Ron Moody), but Awad learns that U.S. president Lockwood (George Grizzard) has ordered his removal. In retaliation, Awad sends two suitcases to be detonated in America and Israel, unless Lockwood resigns as president, it's here that Hale uncovers a complex plot that reveals the world and it's governments are being manipulated by the CIA. It's interesting to see Connery try something different like this, and he makes a good reporter too, but the plot does let it down and it does get too complex for it's own good and it ends up not knowing what it wants to be, a social statement or a black comedy. But, it has a good supporting cast including Hardy Kruger, Katharine Ross, Dean Stockwell and Leslie Nielsen.
Oddly overlooked effort from writer-director Richard Brooks is a pretty clever satire that may be more relevant today than when it was made. The convoluted plot can be tricky, and the production values are a bit bland (Brooks does a great job as a writer, but as a director he could have exercised more visual flair) - but the cast is strong, and it takes a number of sharp, compelling jabs at politics and the media. Worth seeking out.
Prescient film, but ultimately dated, confusing, and just too flat. Too bad Richard Brooks bowed out with this film.
Under-rated and seldom seen media satire was ahead of its time. Worth looking for but I'm uncertain if its available on DVD (I purchased a PV VHS copy several years back). Connery, as usual, is great.
Most of the movie is pretty dry but definitely ahead of its time in terms of news purely there to spin the appropriate story in an effort to 'entertain'. The ending makes you think, oh so that's what happened with the current 'War on Terror'.
This movie was made in 1982 but it could have been made anytime in the last couple of years. The subject matter is still relevant. A president going to war to boost his ratings, crazed fanatical terrorists, scheming government types, gas over $3.00, it's all there. If it wasn't for the dark humor of this you'd think you were watching the evening news. The film does give off a "Dr. Strangelove" vibe but never reaches the level of that film.
This mess of a Sean Connery movie tries to be very smart and very funny but ends up leaden and dull. Probably the most significant moments come at the end: when a bomb, supposedly planted by Arab terrorists is discovered on top of the World Trade Center! Then later Sean Connery tosses off the bad toupee he was wearing throughout the film before he parachutes from an airplane.
Extremely prescient. Difficult to believe it was released in 1982. Maybe some things are meant to happen...