Aftershock: Earthquake in New York

A boy opens a door onto the void, it swings with him holding the doorknob and closes, he slumps back inside. The image is simply of a city reduced to ruination, abandoned, useless.

If you drive through downtown Los Angeles, for example, you are bound to reflect that if New York were utterly forsaken in this way, people would notice. Portland is the Oregon model for regeneration, the thing is painted over and, mysteriously vacated as it is, populated again with happy youths, a market zone in jugendkultur.

The filmmakers have stuck to the central impression as most striking and expressive, the rest is dross.


A Glimpse of Hell

The opening narration establishes the entire drama as a consequence of present-day recruiting propaganda.

The technical aspect is very good, representing the turret explosion with some measure of realism and not a kindergarten CGI. The aftermath is most horrible and unflinched.

Aside from the overall structure, there is a great revelation in the congressional hearing scene, which is done in contemporary television style as if the lights were turned out though you see them on, with stray daylight. Finally, the technique is explained.

All of the acting is excellent, with Robert Sean Leonard particularly remarkable as an honest ensign, and James Caan as the captain of the U.S.S. Iowa caught between official misconduct and able seamanship.