Are you sick of the current run of dystopian science-fiction films such as “The Hunger Games” and “The Maze Runner” series? Would you like to see an entry in the genre that’s actually good? Check out Robert Altman’s “Quintet,” a flop from 1979 that does the whole dystopian future thing as well as any film besides “Blade Runner.” The film takes place in a distant future where the planet (maybe Earth, maybe not) is freezing over and Paul Newman and his pregnant wife are wandering through the ice and the ruins of a city. Soon they encounter civilization and Newman’s brother. After a violent incident, Newman ends up taking his brother’s identity and investigating and infiltrating a strange board game that everyone is obsessed with called Quintet. It involves five players and the roll of a dice. Everyone is obsessed with this game and people are dying, and Newman wants to know why. Eventually he finds out, after much bloodshed.
There are a few things that make this movie awesome. First, as I said, the depiction of the future is really interesting and cool. It’s super bleak. Secondly, although it’s not explained in that much detail, the board game Quintet is rather fascinating. The third impressive argument in the film’s favor is the performance of Paul Newman. He does the strong, silent hero thing better than anyone. and he gives us a reason to care about this film. Between this flick and the also underrated “Fort Apache, The Bronx” he shows that he is a really tough, manly guy. He’s sensitive when appropriate but mean and courageous when necessary. In short, Paul Newman is the man, and “Quintet” is a must-see if you can find it. You’ll never look at board games the same way again! –CoolAC