Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (Goldhil, 1995) - Made to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this documentary about nuclear testing is back for the 60th. While old film of atomic-bomb tests set to classical music is somehow both beautiful and frightening, it gets tedious. There's nothing else here except the narrator and a few experts dryly reciting the history of nuclear tests. There's a 3-D short (glasses included), but it's strictly a gimmick. Not rated.
Invisible Ballots (Reality Zone, 2004) - Imagine an election in which the ballots are counted by a corporation aligned with one of the candidates. He wins, of course, and when you ask to inspect the ballots, you're told they've been destroyed. As this film reveals with disturbing clarity, that nightmare is coming true. Computerized voting systems that don't allow recounts are the wave of the future. The companies that make them are resisting demands to redesign them to produce a "voter-verified paper ballot" that could be recounted. Congress has dithered for three years while bills to compel the redesign have languished. This video was made by Oscar nominee William Gazecki (Waco: The Rules of Engagement) and G. Edward Griffin, a lifelong John Birch Society member and the only conservative in the film. (Available, for purchase only, from store.yahoo.com/realityzone/ballots.)
Alexander (Warner, 2004) - Oliver Stone re-edited the theatrical version for DVD, hoping to rescue one of the few flops of his career. Though a few minutes shorter, it still clocks in at nearly three hours of tedium. R.
- Associated Press
Island in the Sky (Paramount, 1953) - Critic Leonard Maltin says this is an overlooked gem on John Wayne's resume. Overlooked, yes. Gem, no. Wayne's the pilot of a transport plane during World War II that goes off course and lands on a frozen lake in northern Quebec. He and his crew struggle to survive while his brother pilots search for him. But the movie can't be rescued from its overacting, bad dialogue and a really laughable fake beard on one guy. Not rated.
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