Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:46 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
The China Syndrome (1979) 
Author Message
Post The China Syndrome (1979)
The China Syndrome (1979)

The China Syndrome can be described in one word: “Taut”. Having grown weary of birthday party for zoo animal stories, Jane Fonda stars as puff-piece TV news reporter Kimberly Wells looking to take on ‘hard-nose’ subjects. The independent –in more ways than one- cameraman Richard Adams (Michael Douglas) frequently works with Wells and together the team has taken on a special production about nuclear power. During a tour of the visitors’ area above the control room within a nuclear power plant, the team is eyewitness to an incident, the severity of which they have no clue, as there is no audio. The audience becomes witness to three investigations: the Nuclear Regulatory Committee, the press team of Wells/Adams, and Jack Godell (Jack Lemmon) who was the shift supervisor at the plant during the incident. As the power company is pushing forward to bring another plant online, they cannot afford the bad press. The press team sees their efforts squelched by regulation and the station managers/owner. Godel provides the man-on-the-inside seeking truth.
Jack Lemmon is superb and although Michael Douglas goes over the top on a few occasions, Jane Fonda provides stability between them. While “The China Syndrome” is markedly 1979 in appearance, the topics are as relevant now as they were then. Interestingly, the incident at 3 Mile Island occurred just 12 days after the release of this movie, 32 years ago this week.

Awf Hand gives 3 out of 4. Despite the dated appearance, this is compelling material performed by some of the greatest of the day. Tension arrives early on and is well maintained throughout. I enjoyed it, but not enough to heartily recommend.

-relevance to current events encouraged my viewing of this 'classic'.


Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:26 pm
Post Re: The China Syndrome (1979)
Hi there Awf hand

I saw this when it first came out and it was one of my films of the year. Jack Lemmon was sensational. it's often forgotten that he was so much more than a fine comedy actor.

Is there a Blu Ray of this I wonder?
Rob


Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:38 pm
Post Re: The China Syndrome (1979)
Well I watched this movie many times. One of the reasons I love it is nostalgia. I was there when tv news on-location footage was still shot on 16mm film (I had the pleasure to accompany a few teams when I was in my late teens).
The biggest reason is indeed Jack Lemmon. Along with movies such as Glengarry Glen Ross, he had a chance to prove his full potential as a character actor - up there with the finest.

It is sad how "right" the movie was regarding the high risks of nuclear power plants: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima....


Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:46 pm
Post Re: The China Syndrome (1979)
Threeperf35 wrote:
Well I watched this movie many times. One of the reasons I love it is nostalgia. I was there when tv news on-location footage was still shot on 16mm film (I had the pleasure to accompany a few teams when I was in my late teens).
The biggest reason is indeed Jack Lemmon. Along with movies such as Glengarry Glen Ross, he had a chance to prove his full potential as a character actor - up there with the finest.

It is sad how "right" the movie was regarding the high risks of nuclear power plants: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima....


Wow, I've really forgot about this section. I find The China Syndrome to be good entertainment even though it's more than a little hysterical. I don't want to turn this into some silly nuclear back/forth but what was so awful about the Three Mile Island accident? Fukushima is terrible and we won't know the full extent of the damage for years...but how many lives will be lost?

I'm not some nuclear zealot, but I think the facts are as follows:

1. Renewable energy is not ready to provide more than a fraction of our power demands.
2. No serious nuclear accident has ever occurred on a modern nuclear plant.
3. The most popular types of power generation plants such as coal have contributed to many more deaths than nuclear has and also contribute to global warming.
4. Nuclear energy is "green" in terms of emissions.

I see nuclear power as a necessary evil for a few decades until we can transition to renewables. The alternatives are just too dangerous.


Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:32 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr