Review: Special Bulletin


Special Bulletin is a movie shot in a news special broadcast style, basically imitating how we, the citizenry, would learn of an actual event taking place if it did.

We begin with RBS, a fictional national broadcast channel, like ABC or CBS, airing promos. Then, its a special report.

South Carolina has had a hostage situation and we go live. A gun fight takes place and a reporter reacts like none I’ve ever seen – because he didnt lay down and begin crying. He ran toward the gun fight! No surprise, hes captured.

Then, he’s held at gun point while he speaks on camera. Not only is he held at gunpoint – the camera man shows us he’s a first person shooter guy

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Reminded me of Goldeneye.

007 - GoldenEye (U)

Somehow, everyone near the camera and microphone can audibly hear the New York studio, with no delay. They would all need earpieces for this, even present day, because audio would feedback through the microphone causing ear-hell. But at least they ran a cable for the live-feed. Half of the time, dumbass movies act like any camera can broadcast live!

The movie continues an effort to be realistic, as the hostage takers announces that they’ve constructed a nuclear weapon they will detonate, unless 900 something nuclear detonators are delivered to them.

It seems none of the idiotic South Carolinians have the sense to run or evacuate. There is too much “touching of the ear to hear” – thats acting.

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The terrorists show their nuclear bomb to prove it is real. It has a clock on it, so we know its legit

Back to the Future much?
Back to the Future much?

The President is reported to have returned to the White House early. A stupid reporter says it is not believed related and that the White House calls this a “local matter,” despite the Department of Energy and FBI already being publicly involved.

Finally, the dumbass President, who must have been a Democrat, orders Charleston’s evacuation.

Were reminded how painful watching video of dark images with bright lights was in the 80s.

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What is strange is that I see the “terrorists” demands as easy to concede. Why not disarm 1000 nuclear bombs to prevent one from going off? It might actually help cause disarmament with the Soviets. You don’t have to make it public.

When the alternative is a nuclear bomb going off in an American city!! NOTHING IS WORSE THAN THAT. Including being defeated or theoretical future motivations.

The terrorists comment on the flashy graphics being used to dress up news, ala Fox News today.

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The terrorists correctly point out that the news media has exploited the event for ratings. He asks the anchor if he has an agent. The answer is yes.

The media is portrayed as very stupid in this, at times. It is a slight exaggeration but also is mostly accurate. Several reports by different reporters air on the broadcast.

The government seems to be giving in to the demands, but the terrorists are suffering from sleep deprivation. The bomb manufacturer has radiation poisoning. Navy SEALS would probably have killed everyone on that boat besides the reporters by now. They might even fill the bodies with bullets so badly, you can’t show the world photos of the terrorists.

The White House concedes, a minute late of course. It occurs to me that an airstrike would probably fix this, too.

Then, the SEALS move in. Or the “Delta Commando Team.” They kill all the bad guys. Sorry, idiots. Even if you were right, you can’t do that. Everyone celebrates. But they forget that the bomb has an hour left to go off!

A bunch of people arrive to kick a little ass and defuse the bomb. Everyone watches as something goes wrong and we hear “Woah, woah, woah!!” As, for some reason, the team charged with defusing the bomb is shown live on TV, with mics on.

Why would this be shown live?
Why would this be shown live?

Guess what? BOOM!

We get to hear panicking women and it is mildly annoying. The woman realizes that she’s probably going to die of radiation poisoning but how could they possibly be getting a camera signal out of this area???? Its 2 miles out of a nuclear detonation.

Somehow, they have footage of the blast and show it. And we see footage live of people dying. They choose not to cut away. People go totally insane.

The President sends his press secretary out to say some stuff. He doesn’t admit to screwing up, though.

What began as an almost commentary on how news media can worsen problems became a story of how sometimes, losing is the best victory – and the US’s refusal to do so caused a far worse scenario to unfold.

Finally, we see one last example of how cameras sucked in the 80s

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The movie will come across as interesting to anyone who enjoys watching the news but it will probably be boring to anyone else, especially athletes.

2 thoughts on “Review: Special Bulletin”

  1. I know news anchors are human beings, and not robots, but the ones in this movie seemed-to me-totally unprofessional. They let their fear show too much when they needed to be as composed and calm as they could to the viewing audience. Maybe it’s just me, but at the end when the bomb has gone off, and the female anchor is crying, and the other anchor seems to lose it for a minute and starts asking out loud what can they do, it’s just annoying-and a little scary-to me. If something like this really happened and I was watching CNN, I would be panicking even more if(for example)Wolf Blitzer started having a mini- nervous breakdown on the air. I watched a lot of tv coverage on 9/11(and the days following), and I don’t recall one single instance of an anchor(cable or network) being nothing less than professional. No hysterics, no obvious crying on the air, just good, solid, professional reporting. It wasn’t that the anchors were cold and unfeeling; you could tell how devastated they were, but they knew they had to be cool, calm, and composed as they could be for their viewers. If they were going to break down, they had to do it later in private and not on the air.


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