Coming to A&E for a two night special event Labor Day weekend from Tony Scott and Ridley Scott is a four-hour telling in the film COMA. Starting Monday September 3 at 9 pm et/pt and the conclusion on September 4 at 9 p.m. et/pt, viewers will be taken into a world of hurt!

This film tells the story of Susan Wheeler (Lauren Ambrose) a medical student at Peach Tree Memorial. Her grandfather was the first to do open heart surgery, which means Susan is under a lot of pressure from peers but no more pressure than Susan puts on herself.

Susan is placed under the rotation of Dr. Mark Bellows (Steven Pasquale), the handsome doctor is secretly rubbing elbows with Dr. Agnetta Lindquist (Geena Davis). Lindquist is the head of psychiatry at Peach Tree and is determined to get a study done that could give her what she wants – success.

After some time on the floor Susan begins to notice an unusual number of patients in comas at Peach Tree. She begins to investigate but finds herself being blocked at every turn. Taking her concerns to Dr. Theodore Stark (James Woods), he encourages her to keep digging.

That leads Susan to The Jefferson Institute where the coma patients are being taken and cared for by Mrs. Emerson (Ellen Burstyn). When Susan tries to visit the institute where the hospital coma patients have been taken, she is met with resistance. Turning to family friend Professor Hillside (Richard Dreyfuss), Susan digs deeper and deeper until she is caught up in the intrigue.

Most will probably remember the 1978 COMA starring Michael Douglas and Genevieve Bujold that was directed by Michael Crichton (who also did the screenplay) which did very well in theatres. That got me hooked and it has been one of my favorite films since.

Because of that I was really excited to see what Tony Scott and Ridley Scott were going to do with this solid story. What they did was take it to another level and expanding the visuals leaving nothing to question with Robin Cook’s novel.

Ambrose as Lauren is a solid no-nonsense med student who knows she has much to prove. Coming from a legacy that everyone at the hospital knows about makes her more driven. Ambrose portrays that and the tenacity comes through to the very end.

Pasquale as Bellows is in the mix completely. Its hard to tell where he stands until he stands for something! Davis is an in-your-face woman who doesn’t hold anything back and not afraid to throw a few punches. She is clever, but is clever enough? Woods as Dr. Stark is supportive character adding a little more suspense to the storyline.

Two of my beloved actors hit high notes with me Burstyn as Emerson was riveting to watch. She drips with honey while having a knife aimed at ones back! Her southern drawl was enough to convince me to stay away from The Jefferson Institute! And, Dreyfuss as Professor Hillside (insert sigh here) – anytime this actor is on the screen he demands my attention and gets it. He is in all the right places at all the right times saying all the right things and that, my friends, is what holds us and keeps us watching!

COMA is produced by Sony Pictures Television for A&E, which is behind the Emmy-nominated miniseries THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. A&E is also responsible for some of the highest rated series such as: PAWN STARS, AMERICAN PICKERS, DECODED, GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS, and DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER just to name a few. So it isn’t a surprise that the same A&E would bring the film COMA to its viewers.

Other cast include: Wilbur Fitzgerald as the Police Captain, Claire Johnson as Nancy Greenly, James Rebhorn as Oren, Joe Morton, Michael Weston as Peter Arno, Joseph Mazello as Geoffry Fairweather along with Emmy winner Mikael Salomon and John J. McLaughling bringing the script to screen!

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give COMA three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Comic Con 2012 was the place to be this year to experience COMA as fans were treated to a triage experience like no other. I spoke to a few participants who shared with me how much they enjoyed the hands on experience and the little treats make up artists bestowed on them as a trinket of COMA’s appreciation.

The film is filled with twists and turns and from the beginning the viewer doesn’t know whom to trust. That’s what makes for good intrigue and, at the same time, hate having to wait for part two the next night! Well played Scotts’, well played!

In the end – don’t let them put you under!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.

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