Armageddon Done Right
is what "Armageddon" should have been. It's an intelligent look at the
end of the world and some of the tough decisions that could have to be
made if such a scenario were to happen in real life.
Peter Onorati is a
newspaper reporter who, thanks to a tip from his ex-partner, comes across
a hidden underground "city" in the Sierra mountains. Masquerading as a
mining company, it's actually a "Noah's Ark" meant to allow a certain
number of people (and only a certain number) to survive the end of the
world so they can begin the task of rebuilding human civilization.
The Ark was made necessary
by Doctor Peter Crawford's (Dennis Hopper) discovery of comet Tycus, which
is going to slam into the moon and therefore pelt the Earth with debris.
Naturally, the establishment laughed at Crawford's findings, so he went
to the private sector to fund and populate his secret base.
When the world finally
discovers Tycus, and the existence of "Crawford's folly," panic sets in
and people head for the hills - including the hills that house the Ark.
character must wrestle with his conscience: does he stay in the Ark at
the expense of others, does he go and bring his pregnant wife back with
him? Does he spill the greatest news scoop of his life?
The "made for cable"
Tycus not only offers a ripping yarn that's far more intelligent than
the pablum of "Armageddon." It dares to ask big questions like "who will
survive?" and "who has the right to choose who survives?" and it does
it with characters who are for the most part very realistic and for whom
you can really care.
The special effects,
despite the comparatively small budget of Tycus, are first rate. They're
probably eighty per cent the quality of those in "Armageddon," but put
into a film that's 300 per cent the quality of "Armageddon."
The DVD is in fullscreen
(the way it was original shot), with digitally mastered Dolby Digital
5.1 sound, and audio/video quality are very good. Extras include a director's
commentary track, as well as bios of the major cast and crew members.
Tycus, from Paramount
94 minutes, Full Screen, Dolby Digital
Starring Peter Onorati, Dennis Hopper, Finola Hughes,
Produced by Ashok Amritraj and Andrew Stevens
Written by Michael Goetz and Kevin Goetz, Directed by John Putch
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