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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

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Cold, dry, serious, even somber piece of science fiction, though all of those attributes may seem somewhat exaggerated as a result of the musical score by Michael (Monotonyman) Nyman, who repeats a cluster of half a dozen notes, very slowly, with slight variations, over and over, until you want to flee, escape, get away — or, in other words, until you identify intensely with the hero's desire to take off for a far planet and to leave behind the oppressive society of the future where everyone's lot in life is determined by a simple battery of lab tests at birth: "We now have discrimination down to a science." The hero himself has come into this world with, among other drawbacks, a 99-percent probability of heart disease and a life expectancy of 30.2 years; and he has got himself out of his assigned tasks in the janitorial services and into the space program as an imposter, or "borrowed ladder," in the lingo of the day, having purchased on the black market the I.D. card, the blood, the urine, the fingerprints of a genetically superior person. The details of this ruse are copious, if not altogether convincing (what's in it for the donor of these specimens?), and we do not have to slog into the situation chronologically, but are thrown into the thick of it straightaway, with fill-in to come later, in a sloggy flashback. The juvenile actors in the earlier time-period are typically bad matches for their adult incarnations, and this problem grows larger when, in the present tense, the police are unable to put a finger on the imposter (Ethan Hawke) despite having him right under their noses and having a perfectly good photograph of him. Still, the movie, so much more than the standard special-effects showpiece, has some authentic feeling for science fiction, not only for such staple themes of the genre as genetic engineering, the bermensch, the futuristic dystopia, and the lure of the stars, but also for the fundamental underlying stimulus of the dissatisfaction with the Way Things Are and the yearning for Something Better. With Uma Thurman, Loren Dean, Alan Arkin; written and directed by Andrew Niccol. (1997) — Duncan Shepherd

Rated PG-13
"A fan of magnetohydrodynamics, you say?"

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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