Five Days To Midnight

Wow. I’ve only seen the first two hours of this 4 day, 5 hour miniseries on SciFi, but 5ive Days To Midnight is already fantastic. It’s tightly written, shot beautifully, and the acting is top notch. It’s got Timothy Hutton (I loved him in the Nero Wolfe series too), Nicole de Boer (who took up the part of Ezri Dax in the final season of DS9), Randy Quaid, and the incredibly beautiful and talented Kari Matchett.

In short, Tim Hutton’s character J.T. Neumeyer (a physics professor, which makes him cool from the start) comes across a briefcase very carefully intended for him, with evidence he’ll be murdered in five days. He now has to figure out if it’s real, and if so, how to stop it. This all happens on June 7, 2004, which is when you’re watching it. Meaning he’ll die on this coming friday. This is an additionally cool feature because it’s carefully planned to fit into the real calendar we live in while watching the film, which deepens the sense of reality and puts the viewer in the same timeline as our protagonist.

All the little pieces of the puzzle (he loves puzzles, like the huge jigsaw puzzle on his table at home) fit wonderfully, and are revealed to us in an unpredictable manner. It’s not braindead linear like many mysteries. Clues revealed to us come at seemingly random times, and may not be understood till much later. Really good. Like an excellent novel. I can’t wait for hours 3-5.

Ignore what Melanie McFarland, of the Seattle Post Intelligencer says. I don’t know what movie she was watching, but it wasn’t this one. Yes, it’s got a Sci-Fi bent to it. Wow, figure that out, a sci-fi movie on the SciFi network! Larry Niven called sci-fi a literary ghetto due to it’s total lack of respect from the outside. And yet science fiction has produced some of the greatest books ever, it’s even infiltrated our language and culture. If you check your sci-fi prejudices at the door, you’ll love this mini-series.

Update: Someone at the New York Times knows what I’m talking about. Thank you Virginia Heffernan!.

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