A Show Of Force
Sound: C+ Extras: D Film: C+
Based on an actual 1987 incident that served as a Puerto
Rican equivalent of Watergate, Bruno Barreto’s A Show Of Force (1990)
has a good cast, including Amy Irving as a reporter trying to break the
case. However, even with Robert Duvall
as her boss, Lou Diamonds Phillips almost convincing as a gangster type, Andy
Garcia as the prosecutor, Joe Campanella as her father, Erik Estrada as a cop
and a then-unknown Kevin Spacey, the film does n to have the impact it
should. I like the directing and the
cast, plus the script is not bad, but it ultimately does not click.
One thing is that the film did not do well because it
unfortunately came out as Communism was collapsing in East Bloc countries and
that aspect of the story was considered passé all the sudden, so it did not get
the attention it did. Second, the idea
of Amy Irving being Hispanic was something some audiences could not buy and
though she is good in the film, the evils of Political Correctness were already
taking hold. Finally, it was more of a
history film than a thriller, and that is where it ultimately came up short,
but it is ambitious and worth a look.
This DVD is not too bad, but the anamorphically enhanced
1.85 X 1 image is from a print that shows its age a bit and the original source
might be a professional analog video master.
James Glennon’s cinematography is not bad, though some shots could have
used some more clever form. The sound
is here in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds like the original
Dolby A-type analog theatrical sound is was released in, while a 5.1 remix is
also offered, but it is not the upgrade one would hope for, in part because the
sound of the film simply shows its age.
There are no extras, but A Show Of Force is worth a look.
- Nicholas Sheffo