Crisis [1950]

Not everyone will have the patience for Solar Crisis; in many ways, it lands on the not-so-good end of the B-movie spectrum. Possibly something got lost in translation between the American crew and the Japanese producers. The premise: a giant solar flare is threatening to end all life on Earth. Our only hope is an antimatter bomb launched into the sun to trigger the flare prematurely. A greedy corporate concern (headed by Peter Boyle as a somewhat doofy antichrist) sabotages the mission. Meanwhile, the mission leader is under additional pressure--his admiral father (Charlton Heston) has descended to the near-apocalyptic Earth to rescue his son (Corin Nemec) who has gone AWOL from his military academy. Jack Palance gives the best performance in the film as a half-crazy desert dweller who rescues the son from the cruel environment and the corporate goons. Story sound a little complicated? Wait till you get to the "intelligent bomb" subplot. This movie has high hopes and some interesting moments, but can't make up its mind whether it's a Mad Max-style end-of-the-world movie, an Outland-style space thriller, or a Blade Runner-style "soul of the robot" meditation. It's none of the above. Best viewed after midnight. --Grant Balfour

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