"I Dreamed of Africa" (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Just a short capsule on this one. It is saddled with the fundamental problem of any true story. It doesn't have a "hook" to make it cinematic. The idea of an urbanized European family trying to adjust to a new life on the African Savannah is ipso facto a great backdrop for a story. Unfortunately, that isn't the backdrop. That is the story.

The family dog is swatted by lions, the husband likes to safari and leave his wife alone, they have to figure out how to educate their son, yadda, yadda, yadda. The usual Tarzan-meets-Old-Yeller cliches.

Speaking of Trazan, this same director did "Greystoke". I should warn you, however, that there is a more salient point in his bio. He directed "Chariots of Fire", which I have fallen asleep while dutifully trying to watch on several occasions.

This one would have made a dynamite IMAX film, with all the herds of leaping gazelles, and thundering beasts, and quaint villages, and kids from many lands learning to understand each other. In other words, it's a meandering travelogue.

A dreadful bore. Think dinner with Mr Peterman, and you'll get the idea.

More telling still, it was still playing at first run theaters in June, but I am writing this after having rented the DVD in August. Give you the general idea?

NUDITY: Kim Basinger looked magnificent. Age has not dimmed her beauty. She did a generally unrevealing nude scene, although one breast was visible and still looked plenty appealing.

Box Office: They spent $34 million to make it, and distributed it to 2100 screens. That must have been 2100 empty theaters, because it did only $6 million domestic.

General consensus: one star. (Ebert and Berardinelli each gave it two stars). If I believed in such things, it would have to be two stars, but that high only with the advisement that it's a one star concept with pretty music and clear photography of interesting places and things

IMDB summary: 4.7 out of 10. Apolo rated it 42. Apollo users 45.

Rotten Tomatoes summary. Maybe the worst ever for a movie with such wide distribution. Overall, 10% of critics gave it a positive review. Among the elite crites, it scored a perfect 0% goose-egg.

DVD info from Amazon. Who cares if there are extra features? The only extras that would make this worthwhile would be if

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark was also on the disk, or
  • Kim Basinger brought it to your house naked.

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