May 26, 2000 |
Those who thought that Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger signified the end of civilization as we know it may be surprised to learn that Britisher Nevil Shute made an even brawnier statement about our potential for self-destruction in his novel "On the Beach." Now it's a sinewy TV movie.
December 10, 1999 |
Coming to Showtime Sunday is a two-program package about real-life white supremacists who rob and murder for racial purity. The so-so movie "Brotherhood of Murder" traces Tom Martinez's evolving role in a dusky anti-government hate group known as the Order, and his subsequent redemption and decision to spy on these dangerously twisted fruitcakes for the FBI.
November 26, 1999 |
The gap is widening. As the networks wallow in such ratings-sweeps trivia as NBC's "Y2K" and CBS' "Aftershock in New York," cable's HBO and Showtime continue producing television's most daring and stimulating movies. Not having to rely on ratings pays off for subscription-driven HBO and Showtime, and also rewards their viewers. Without these two, TV moviedom would be nearly all gruel.
August 27, 1999 |
A loud boom arrives Sunday. It's Showtime's Emmy warning shot across the bow of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A flashback to 1991, the magnetic new movie is "Strange Justice," more evidence that world-class HBO and fast-rising Showtime just about own the franchise when it comes to important, topical dramas on TV. How important and topical? Think back eight years to the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill show, the most tense and captivating political telecast in years. Remember?
August 7, 1999 |
Do you remember the future? How glorious it was! Technology solved all the problems of the human race and seemed to create no new ones of its own. People glided around in electric cars on electric roads or lived in self-sustaining undersea cities. Much of it was ridiculous, and little of it came true. But looking back on it now proves fascinating and sobering in "Yesterday's Tomorrows," a film made by director Barry Levinson as part of Showtime's ongoing "In the 20th Century" specials.
June 14, 1999 |
Pity the beleaguered TV executive: Every broadcast outfit on earth is expected to come up with some sort of program to mark the end of the millennium. How to provide a satisfying overview, when no two people seem to agree on the significance of any part of it? One approach might be to embrace the personal, to combine several idiosyncratic views into a "Rashomon"-style mix of viewpoints, with the subjective element built in.