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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Political > A Show Of Force

A Show Of Force


Picture: C+     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


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