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4.1 out of 5 stars
26
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 26 April 2017
Well produced and directed production of the development of the nuclear weapons started before and during WWII showing the constraints upon and by the military and so forth without condemnation of them. Informative without being over dramatic.
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on 5 June 2017
Probably movie about how it was at Los Alamos in real. rather difficult to comprehend Gen Groves and Paul Newman version of him. Attempt for Oppenheimer is rather flat.Environmental Informations are interesting
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on 14 April 2017
Gets better as it progresses. The awful military band style music in places seems to have been stolen from a carry on film.

It could of been great but just feels a little made for TV style.
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on 10 March 2016
Shame the device doesn't go off earlier in this movie as it was truly painful to watch such wooden acting. It's a shame as the actual historical events changed humanity for ever. Spoiler alert there's a very Big Bang at the end of the movie!!
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on 1 September 2015
I remember seeing this some ago and was pleased to get it on DVD - not to everybody's taste, but it is very close to what occured
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There are few surer signs of failure on an epic scale, both financially and artistically, than a film changing its title when it is released outside the USA, and so it proves with Roland Joffe's clumsy Fat Man and Little Boy, a would-be epic retelling of the development of the Atom Bomb that crept out into the smallest screens in a handful European cinemas as Shadow Makers when no-one was looking. It's the kind of film where you can see how it could have been excellent, but it remains an infuriating mixture of the good and the bad: some striking imagery gets lost amid some more mundane filmmaking, good performers struggle with cardboard characters and risible dialogue (even Paul Newman visibly squirms when required to deliver "It's all about ass: you either kick it or lick it! I'm out on a limb. If my primadonnas don't deliver, you are looking at a piece of dead meat!") while the weaker cast members flounder and even Ennio Morricone's score alternates between routine by-the-numbers scoring and the odd moment of inspiration like the truly haunting final elegy.

The chief culprit is Bruce Robinson and Joffe's script, which broadly tells the story and raises the moral dilemmas in what is too often the tritest and most clichéd of fashions, giving the film a feeling of a D-movie script that somehow got A-list production values lavished on it in the hope that they'd distract audiences from the dramatic deficiencies. Much criticised at the time for only showing a single American victim of radiation (a lab accident that actually happened after the bombs were dropped but moved forward for dramatic purposes), it's not the only deviation from history - Oppenheimer's wife, a scientist in her own right, becomes a stereotypical cuckolded lush, for example, while the `Chevalier incident,' when Oppenheimer was unsuccessfully approached by a fellow communist to pass nuclear secrets on to Russia, is curiously ignored beyond a brief elliptical line of dialogue - but the problem is less one of accuracy than that the dramatic license taken doesn't result in a great deal of drama.

There's great potential for conflict between the idealistic chief scientist Robert Oppenheimer, who tries to convince himself he's merely working on a technical problem, and the practical General Groves, who sees the potential political power of `the device,' and the film does acknowledge the manipulation and mind games needed to keep the disparate scientists focussed on the project rather than the moral implications of their actions, but the film rarely makes anything play half as well as it should. Joffe's usual sledgehammer subtlety even has Groves watching a performance of The Sorcerer's Apprentice to hammer home the point just in case the audience missed what the characters have been talking endlessly about for the preceding hour-and-a-half. Moments do stand out - the ominous shadows of the bombs that gave the film its original title in an aircraft hanger, a blazing row with John McGinley's doctor, the shockwave from a strikingly recreated test blast distorting the faces of onlookers and Oppenheimer's moment of triumph freeze-framed into something more uncertain and horribly aware - and the film does finally pick up some dramatic momentum in the last third, but too often it just furrows ground that's been raked over to better effect by television many times before.

Turning down Harrison Ford in favor of The A-Team's Dwight Schultz to play Oppenheimer was a brave move, but one that doesn't quite pay off: he's good, but not good enough to really carry a picture with this many flaws, though the real surprise is how terrible Paul Newman is as General Groves for much of the time, overplaying the bluster but only ever convincing in his quieter moments of exasperation at the scientific mindset and morality. But his performance really only follows the general tone of a fatally uncertain movie that swings between crude bombast and good intentions. There's enough about it that does work to keep you watching, but not enough to really grab you, and for one of the biggest stories of the 20th Century that's not really good enough.

No extras on the DVD but an acceptable 2.35:1 widescreen transfer.
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on 26 July 2016
Avoid. Simply horrible, a Hollywood-ization of history, and indeed Hollywood at its worst.
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on 11 February 2015
Slow and not for me
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on 24 August 2010
Paul Newman is fantastic in this film, as is Dwight Schultz, who demonstrates that he is a far better at roles like Oppenheimer, rather than dreck like The A-Team and Star Trek: The Next Generation. My favorite character in this was John Cusack's character, although the character seems to be based on several people who died of radiation poisoning. The DVD seems to be out of stock, although its still available through one of the Paul Newman Collections.
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VINE VOICEon 22 July 2013
J. Robert Oppenheimer said on viewing the first atomic bomb explosion, "I am become Vishnu - the destroyer of worlds."

An intriguing rendition of the trials and tribulations of creating the first atomic bomb.

This is not the first or maybe the best and it surely will not be the last interpretation. However there is some fine acting and well designed story. This has held my attention more than once. Every part, in fact every line contributed to making you forget that you are watching a movie and that this is real.

This is the story of how the need for the bomb came about and the building of a camp and the collection of men needed to accomplish the job. We see technical difficult J. Robert Oppenheimer said on viewing the first atomic bomb explosion, "I am become Vishnu - the destroyer of worlds."

An intriguing rendition of the trials and tribulations of creating the first atomic bomb.

This is not the first or maybe the best and it surely will not be the last interpretation. However there is some fine acting and well designed story. This has held my attention more than once. Every part, in fact every line contributed to making you forget that you are watching a movie and that this is real.

This is the story of how the need for the bomb came about and the building of a camp and the collection of men needed to accomplish the job. We see technical difficulties as well as emotional.

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
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