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Fire on the Amazon

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // R // December 26, 2005
List Price: $14.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted January 8, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

Luis Llosa's Fire on the Amazon (aka That Really Awful Sandra Bullock Movie Where She (Kinda) Shows Her Boobs) was done well before the filmmaker moved on to such "legitimate" movies as The Specialist and Anaconda, and was a pretty early indicator that, as a director, the guy was pretty much clueless.

Just on the cusp of her super-stardom (after Demolition Man but before Speed), Sandra Bullock stepped into the role of Alyssa Rothman, whiny and somewhat annoying environmentalist on the Amazon circuit, and reluctant ally of sweaty photographer R.J. O'Brien. He's accused of assassinating a beloved activist; she's the one who clears his name and sleeps with him. Together they'll comb the jungle for about 72 minutes while all the standard plot points get tossed on to the screen.

It's not just that Fire on the Amazon is the 3,000,000th telling of the same old story, only "spiced" up with a topical dose of rah-rah environmentalism... It's that the movie is so lazy, so cheap-looking, and so unconvincing, that I suspect it'd never have been released without the famous name of the leading lady.

Although often quite charming (in better films), Ms. Bullock wanders through this particular flick looking irritable and bored. Co-star Craig Sheffer offers his standard squint & glower routine. Together they exhibit the romantic chemistry of estranged siblings.

Anyway, the flick ambles about with no sense of logic or story progression, the now-infamous love scene occurs, and then we're treated to one of the most abrupt final├ęs I've ever seen. Guys, trust me, the scant piece of Bullock booty that you get to see really isn't worth all the effort.

The DVD

Video: It's a grungy-looking full frame affair. I've seen movies recorded off of HBO that look better than this.

Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Optional subtitles are available in Spanish and French.

Extras: Several cast & crew bios and a bunch of trailers for Fire on the Amazon, Cheyenne Warrior, Suicide Club, Nightfall, and Piranha.

Final Thoughts

Every movie star has a few cinematic skeletons in their closet; some of 'em are a whole lot of fun to dig out and discover. Others, like this one, simply aren't.

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