PCR past banners
Now in our sixth calendar year!
PCR # 284  (Vol. 6, No. 35)  This edition is for the week of August 29--September 4, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"A Sound of Thunder"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

Doors Closing, Doors Opening--Part 2
 by William Moriaty
"A Sound of Thunder"
 by Mike Smith
"Filthy" News .... Tampa Comic and Toy Convention....Oddservations Film Reviews: "Contact From Beyond", "The Incredible Comic Book Murder"
  by Andy Lalino
Tampa Bay Comic and Toy Convention....Hurricane Katrina
 by John Lewis
Judgement Day....Movie Notes....The Cable Guys....Sell Out....Passing On....Paging Major Healy....Photographic Memories....Jaws: The Story, Part 31
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2005
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR

Warner Brothers     
Starring: Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, and Ben Kingsley
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 43 mins

In the fifth annual "Treehouse of Horror" installment of "The Simpsons," one of the episodes featured Homer inventing a time machine. Entitled "Time and Punishment," the show dealt with all of the various changes that occurred in the world when Homer went back in time and accidentally stepped on a bug or crushed a flower. That episode was a tribute to a Ray Bradbury short story. This week director Peter Hyams brings that short story to the big screen.

The year is 2055. The city of Chicago still looks very much the same as it does now. Futuristic buildings merge along the skyline, joined by the famous Sears Tower. Above the fancy cars the elevated train still runs. In a nod to a more promising future, the Cubs are shown as winners of the 2022 and 2046 World Series. If you are very rich, you can contact a company called Time Safari for the adventure of your life. A virus has wiped out all of the wild animals. Poachers have emptied out the zoos. The Time Safari scientists have discovered a way to go back in time and let modern adventurers hunt the ultimate beast: the dinosaur. The rules are simple: Don't leave anything behind, don't step off the platform you are on and, above all us, don't touch anything!

Though pretty much faithful to the source material, the main problem with this film is visual. Like on most of his films, including "Outland" and "2010," director Hyams is acting as his own cinematographer. And unfortunately, somewhere between the director's chair and the camera's lens, he lost his eyesight. The special effects are very clumsily done, especially the rear screen projection. A scene showing the actors walking down a futuristic street is almost laughable at how bad it looks. As things slowly begin to change following one of the wanna-be hunters breaking one of the rules, the landscape begins to become more like a jungle, complete with it's own kind of animals. These creatures, including a hybrid I'll call a "monkey - saurus" bring up the quality of the effects. However, along with some huge bats and an underwater monster, these are the only creatures we see.

The cast does well in some highly unfeaseable situations. Oscar winner Kingsley appears to be wearing the same hairpiece Sean Connery wore in "The Hunt for Red October," a snow white rug that clashes with Kingsley's tan.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "A Sound of Thunder"  Two stars

This week's movie review of "A Sound of Thunder" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.