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movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Northfork

Starring: James Woods, Nick Nolte
Director: Michael Polish
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 103 Minutes
Release Date: July 2003
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Claire Forlani, Duel Farnes, Mark Polish, Daryl Hannah, Graham Beckel, Josh Barker, Peter Coyote, Jonathan Gries, Robin Sachs, Kyle MacLachlan

Review by Steve Rhodes
½ star out of 4

You've got to be kidding! You'll be thinking that throughout NORTHFORK, a pretentious picture so bad that some will probably embrace it as some kind of artistic triumph. Although it is exceedingly well shot, the movie offers little else other than a large and completely wasted cast.

The sole claim to fame of the Polish Brothers, Michael and Mark, is that they can do weird well. Their first feature, TWIN FALLS, IDAHO, was about conjoined twins. It had a lot going for it, even if it was only partially successful. In contrast, their latest picture, NORTHFORK, isn't just weird. It's off the scale. Painfully slow, it's a hundred minute movie that's about ninety-nine minutes too long.

The plot concerns a group of government evacuation agents who have come to the town of Northfork to convince everyone to leave. Their town is about to be flooded in order to build a hydroelectric dam. Dressed in black hats and black trench coats, the agents drive long, shiny black sedans. If the agents get their quota to leave, they are paid with one and one half acres of newly formed lakefront property. The movie also features a band of wacky angels and a crazy preacher, played by Nick Nolte.

"What do you suppose we do?" Agent Willis O'Brien (Mark Polish) asks his father, Agent Walter O'Brien (James Woods) in a tricky evacuation situation. I know what I should have done. I should have evacuated the theater during the opening credits. It doesn't get any better as it goes along.

NORTHFORK runs an excruciatingly long 1:40. The film is rated PG-13 for "brief sexuality" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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