Falling from the Oscar-winning glory of Dances with Wolves
to the opposite end of the critical and box-office scale, Kevin Costner must have been deeply humbled when this three-hour postapocalyptic tale--his sophomore effort as a director--was greeted with a critical thrashing and tepid audience response. One of the most conspicuous flops of its decade, the 1997 release must have seemed like a sure thing on paper: a kind of futurist Western starring Costner as a charismatic drifter-turned-hero who leads the resistance against a military tyrant (Will Patton) by reviving the long-dormant postal system to reunite isolated communities in their fight for freedom. The movie bombed, but, like many audacious failures, it's got qualities that make it at least partially endearing, and its earnestness (although bordering on corny) keeps it from being entirely silly. Faint praise, perhaps, but Costner's ode to patriotism is occasionally stirring and visually impressive. The dual-layered, widescreen DVD includes a documentary segment about the creation of the film's special effects sequences, featuring a running commentary by the special effects creators. --Jeff Shannon
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.