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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday -- Waterworld

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July 31, 2008

Movie Review Friday -- Waterworld

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Friday selections. Each week we review a film with environmentally or socially-responsible themes that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD.

Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 words or less and look for your review in the next Movie Friday!

Waterworld (1995)
Available on DVD

When it came out back in the innocent days of 1995, Kevin Costner's aqua-apocalyptic epic Waterworld was reviled as, at best, a seaborne version of Road Warrior in which ragtag forces of good and evil do battle many leagues above the carcass of a flooded Earth. It also weathered scorn for being one of the most expensive movies ever made (adjusted for inflation, its $175 million price tag ranks sixth all-time). Its production cost, of course, pales in comparison with how much we're going to have to pay to deal with the future that it portends.

Sea levels are hardly expected to rise by 25,000 feet. But whatever its scientific and literary shortcomings, Waterworld sounded an important, prescient alarm long before  then-Vice President Al Gore made global warming a cause celebre and a box-office draw. It might be a stretch to consider Costner a cinematic Bill McKibben, but Waterworld still deserves reconsideration for being, unfortunately, ahead of its time.

Bonus #1: The pirate crew of the Exxon Valdez includes a pre-Nacho Libre Jack Black. 

Bonus #2: Universal got (more of) its money's worth out of the director's cut, which runs 40 minutes longer than the 136-minute theatrical version.

--Review by Josh Stephens

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