Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Monday, June 1, 2009

War Game, The (1965)

Directed by:
Peter Watkins

A pseudo-documentary chronicling the horrific effects of a nuclear attack, this mixes fictional scenes with actors with factual information about the devastating effects war could have on the UK. The film also weaves in candid street interviews with citizens who seem in the dark about the possible consequences of nuclear war. Originally a co-production between the BBC and British Film Institute, this was deemed too disturbing to be broadcast and played theatrically instead. It ended up winning an Oscar for Best Documentary, which forced the Academy Awards into rewriting their eligibility rules for documentary titles. Though still effective (and the mockumentary approach highly clever during its day), the film would later be eclipsed by such nuclear terror films as THE DAY AFTER (1983), TESTAMENT (1983) and THREADS (1984), all of which upped the unrelenting grimness. Keep your eyes peeled for Brian Cox in an early role.


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