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Aftershock: Earthquake in New York

In the tradition of the epic disaster movies of the 1970s, this CBS mini-series weaves several melodramas in and out of a Manhattan brought to ruins by a massive earthquake. A determined mother (Sharon Lawrence) searches the rubble for her gimpy son; a young street tough tries to save an injured old woman (Cicely Tyson); an immigrant cab driver protects a pretty dancer (Jennifer Garner); and (this writer's favorite) a young public defender (Lisa Nicole Carson) is trapped in the subway with a client (J.R. Bourne) she got off on a murder rap, but who now is acting very suspicious (!). Although it takes a needless three hours to juggle its many plots, Aftershock oozes with exactly the same kind of amusing, earnest-yet-campy heroics that salvaged previous disaster successes like The Towering Inferno. However, Inferno and its big-budget ilk also relied on the star charisma of actors like Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, and Fred Astaire. Aftershock doesn't have Frick, Frack, or Fruck — only the less magnetic Tom Skerrit and Charles S. Dutton as New York City's feuding fire chief and mayor. Presented in its native 1.33:1 full screen and 2.0 Dolby Surround. Includes a textual supplement providing earthquake preparedness tips. Keep case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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