Okay Thriller Gets an Okay DVD Release
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 08/09/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A mediocre thriller that comes off better than it should due to the efforts of a fine cast. Kurt Russell plays a Miami newspaper reporter who becomes involved in the story he's covering when a vicious serial killer engages him in a game of cat-and-mouse. The script has plot holes big enough to rival the Grand Canyon, and raises a lot of questions concerning media responsibility that ultimately go answered; but Russell's intense performance tends to gloss over the flaws in the screenplay. Mariel Hemingway offers capable support as Russell's love interest and the story's moral barometer; Richard Jordan makes the most of his short time on-screen as the demented killer; and Andy Garcia is fine as police detective working the case.The DVD is one of MGM's "MovieTime" releases, a series of "B" films that tend to be given the bare bones treatment on DVD. As a rule, "MovieTime" discs offer the movie and the Original Theatrical Trailer only - there are no extras like commentaries, cast bios, stills galleries or other fancy frills; the DVD packaging includes no printed material beyond what you see on the outside of the case. However, the film-to-video masters are usually pretty good, and that's true of this edition of "The Mean Season". The DVD offers a sharp and vibrant widescreen transfer that's far superior to the fuzzy and faded pan-and-scan version that appeared on the earlier LaserDisc release. Overall, an adequate presentation of an adequate suspense thriller."
Good thriller that doesn't deliver wanted answers
Get What We Give | Georgia | 07/12/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Mean Season is a really good thriller, well designed, but unsatisfying in its final scenes.Kurt Russell delivers another really great performance as Malcolm Anderson, a burned out reporter for the Miami Herald. He begrudgingly gets assigned a murder case that ends up turning into a serial murder case. Mariel Hemingway portrays his girlfriend. Her role in the film is largely unnecessary until the last third of the film. Hemingway isn't a bad actress, but I must confess I've never seen any alure to her - she looks like a 14 year old boy, not a woman.The film maintains excellent attention to detail and superb suspense throughout. My complaint with the film is simple: A murder mystery/thriller should answer questions it poses. Mean Season does not.Why is the killer doing what he is doing? What is his motive? We are provided what seem to be the reasons for the murders, but are later told that the scenario was a red herring provided by the killer. So were his reasons the real ones or part of the whole red herring ploy? We aren't told. In reality many criminals don't actually have legitimate motives - but in films of this nature, it is a requirement.I can't say that I didn't enjoy this film - because I did. It just left me a bit angry at not answering some basic questions."
A suspenseful movie,patheric DVD,no extras just the trailer!
Aaron Amos | 07/16/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In this movie Kurt Russell plays a Maimi news reporter who becomes a public mouth piece for a serial killer. The movie very suspenseful at times. This movie also stars Andy Garcia(When A Man Loves a Woman,Desperate Measures) and Mariel Hemingway(Bad Moon). Of course there is a cat and mouse game between the killer,reporter and the police. This movie is prefect for a hot summer night as it takes place during the summer! The Mean Seaon is rated R for swearing and violence. The DVD is Ok, The only thing you get with the DVD is the trailer. I wish MGM would add more features on this such as a behind the scenes,cast bios, other MGM movies the stars have been in like "Winter People" with Kurt Russell, delated scenes etc. Only buy this movie if you like this kind of thriller and can live with the features!"
Another neglected film with a solid Kurt Russell performance
Raegan Butcher | Rain City, USA | 06/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will state for the record that I am a big fan of Kurt Russell and it was his name on the marquee that first made me take notice of this film. After having seen it a number of times-- first in the mid 1980's after if was released to negative reviews and poor box office receipts--most recently again last week-- I think that THE MEAN SEASON is an under-appreciated, tightly crafted suspense thriller that, in spite of what other reviews have stated, does NOT pander to cliché's--this film is old enough to have helped establish those very same tropes that have since become clichés; remember, this was made before Manhunter, Silence of the Lambs, 15 Minutes, etc etc...and was one of the first films to deal with the whole notion of fame/celebrity/serial killers and the lack of ethics displayed by journalists, who must rank somewhere below pimps and pickpockets in terms of moral turpitude. The film benefits from excellent performances from Kurt Russell and Richard Jordan. As the two leads they carry the film; and Richard Masur,as Russells editor, sells every line of his characters dialogue with complete conviction. Also of Note: Andy Garcia makes a very strong impression in what i think was one of his first roles in a film and he is perfectly paired with Richard Bradford, who reminds me so much of my 1st step-father ( an ex Marine Corps drill instructor turned cop)that i have absolutely no trouble believing him in the role of a burned out, bitter homicide detective. Mariel Hemingway has always seemed miscast no matter what the role-- i think she is a very poor actress.She nearly destroys the fine work Richard Jordan does as the killer; he has a scene with her near the end where he threatens her with a knife and she is so thuddingly awful and unconvincing it almost makes me want to scream--every single time I watch this movie! The direction by Philip Borsos is very tight; his framing and cutting remind one of Hitchcock or Brian Depalma ( each of the killings is filmed with a minimum of blood displayed-- but to maximum stylistic effect) and all in all the plot hurtles forward at just the right level of intensity. I will admit that there are 2 examples of egregious pop-up false scares in The Mean Season-- which were apparently studio-mandated. ( no surprise, really) and I guess I should deduct points for that and Lalo Shifrin's sometimes bombastic score--but I am not going to; because after 22 years of mostly pale imitators, The Mean Season is looking better and better with age."