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DEEP IMPACT

SYNOPSIS:
Fourteen-year-old Leo Beiderman (Elijah Wood) did not expect to make an earth-shattering discovery when he joined his high school astronomy club - he was more interested in his classmate Sarah Hotchner (Leelee Sobieski). But his telescopic photo leads to the discovery that a comet is on a fatal collision course with Earth. Ambitious TV reporter Jenny Lerner (Tea Leoni) initially thinks she is on the trail of a sex scandal, but finds herself whisked away to a secret meeting with President Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman), who offers her the scoop of a lifetime - about E.L.E. - news of the impending catastrophe and a risky space mission intended to deflect the comet, commanded by former astronaut Spurgeon Tanner (Robert Duvall). But this is no foolproof mission, and everyone has to face the possibility of impending disaster.

"I must admit that I didnít hold great expectations for Deep Impact. There have been so many big-effect films lately that havenít come up to scratch, and the prospect of sitting through yet another one was rather daunting. I need not have worried. Deep Impact explodes on the screen with not only the bangs and whistles, but with plenty of heart to boot. Spectacular and enthralling entertainment with digital sound that reverberates through the seats, Michael Tolkin and Bruce Joel Rubinís accessible script carefully balances the human element, making the amazing special effects integral to the story, and not the entirety of it. They cleverly overcome the quandary of balancing total destruction with saving humanity while still utilising great effects. And the effects are awesome. Mimi Lederís direction is well-paced, always honing in on the human elements. Superb sound and technical effects are enhanced by James Hornerís thrilling and strident score, magnifying the tension and allowing the anticipation to simmer. Morgan Freeman makes a wonderfully authoritative US president, bringing integrity, style and presence to the role; Robert Duvall is complex and understated as the astronaut who shows that experience counts; Vanessa Redgrave, always stylish, as is Maximillian Schell. The weakest of the subplots is between the young teens, which no doubt is included for demographic purposes. Deep Impact hits the bullís eye for sci-fi action thrills and the sheer power of an engrossing adventure that marries plausible ideas with a jump into the beyond."
Louise Keller

"This could have been a derivative mess, and on a simplistic level, may be dismissed as a stereotypical disaster movie. Yet Deep Impact has greater depth than many critics are likely to acknowledge. Take away the huge budget, forget that it's very much a studio movie and what you have is a well crafted, human spectacle, a film that poses some genuine philosophical questions about the choices one makes at a time of adversity, while at the same time thrilling us with its drama, its nicely etched collage of characters, and of course, the spectacle that is at the core of the film. Director Mimi Leder made an inauspicious debut with The Peacemaker, a wishy washy action film which was a plodding affair, no substance and insipid performances. With this, her second feature, Leder has begun to master all elements of her craft, concentrating as much on character as on effects which tend not to overshadow the movie's drama. There is an impressive cast, from a superbly presidential Morgan Freeman, through to the impressive Robert Duvall, Vanessa Redgrave and the majestic Maximillian Schell. The younger players are easily overshadowed by their older co-stars, especially Tea Leoni, who flounders as the aggressive journalist. But that problem notwithstanding, Deep Impact remains a wonderfully satisfying film, a superbly made drama, an exhilarating roller coaster ride of a movie and an unexpected surprise."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0
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DEEP IMPACT (M)
(US)

CAST: Tea Leoni, Robert Duvall, Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Redgrave, Elijah Wood, Leelee Sobrieski, Laura Innes, OíNeal Compton, Bruce Weitz, Maxmilian Schell.

DIRECTOR: Mimi Leder

PRODUCER: Richard Zanuck, David Brown

SCRIPT: Michael Tolkin, John Wells

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dietrich Lohmann

EDITOR: David Rosenbloom

MUSIC: James Horner

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Leslie Dilley

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 18, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: August 6, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: CIC

RRP: $24.95







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