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Totally entertaining Halloween movie
3 January 2009
I happened to catch this movie on the Cartoon Channel - a first for me -when it first came out. I remember buying the R.L. Stine books for my daughter when she was a teenager, but had never read any myself. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Okay, I had never seen Emily Osment, either (although I knew she was Haley Joel's sister, for which I should be awarded some points, I think), but I thought she was excellent, as was all the cast.

Guess what: when Halloween came around this year, I found myself looking for this movie again! It is silly, fun, and definitely has its scary moments. It is entertaining for kids, older kids and adults, and I recommend it highly for just about any age group (the icky monster stuff may be too much for really small kids), and as a family watch-it-together movie. I rate it 8/10 and have just bought a copy on Amazon just in case the Cartoon Network has moved on to other things in October 2009.
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The Operation (1990 TV Movie)
Guilty pleasure movie
28 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
One of my favorite "evil plotter" movies. The first time I saw this film I was completely taken in by Lisa Hartman, in fact she moved me to tears. Then I was totally shocked to find that she and Joe Penny were in cahoots and had planned the whole thing to get his wife's money. Great plot, great acting, look of the film somewhat limited by budgetary considerations, since it is a television movie, but altogether well worth watching.

Yes, there are some comparisons to the much later released movie Malice. I like that one, too, but unlike Malice at least in this movie one could understand the physiological side of the story. I never did figure out just exactly what it was Nicole Kidman did to herself in Malice, despite repeated viewings. And there was no crazed killer in The Operation - only Joe Penny.
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Let's answer some of those questions
13 July 2007
I love this movie! I read the book and have seen it many times. I note that the same questions keep appearing over and over. I think by now I am qualified to answer them, or to at least give my opinions.

**Why does Laura choose to 'flush' her ring down the toilet instead of taking it off while she is in the ocean or pawning it?** Because she is symbolically ridding herself of Martin and their dysfunctional marriage. She is in a hurry to get out of the house and never stops to think that the ring might remain in the toilet bowl. Under the circumstances, would you?

**How did the lady from the YMCA get Martin's work number? And after Martin said he didn't know what she was talking about, why did the lady continue to give Laura's life story?** Martin was a successful Boston businessman. Laura took swim lessons at the Y in Boston for several months and apparently got to know some of the women fairly well. Her name and her husband's name were undoubtedly well known by the time she finished her swim lessons and moved on. It probably only took a look in the Boston phone book to find Martin, as Laura had nothing to hide at the time of the swim lessons (except the bruises, which she explained away) and surely mentioned where he worked, or he had an individual listing. The lady was certain she had the right person when she was talking to Martin, so unfortunately she developed diarrhea of the mouth and provided Martin with too many details.

**Why was the ring still in the toilet when Martin cut his finger months later? Didn't he use the toilet in those months? Or does he have a serious digestive problem?** I am surprised so many people overlooked this: the house at the Cape was the Burneys' weekend/summer home. Martin Burney worked in Boston, and they had a house there where they lived during the week. When his wife "died", Martin immediately closed up the Cape house - hence the coverings on the furniture when he returned months later - and moved to their house in Boston. Guess he didn't have to pee before he left, or he used one of the other bathrooms in the house.

**How did Laura get a house under an alias without a driver's license? Iowa you don't need identification to buy a house or a car? And where did she get the money?** Laura did not BUY a house, she rented it, and for very little, in cash. She apparently bought a used car. As we saw when she returned to the Cape house after faking her death to collect her things and run away, there was a big wad of cash in her travel bag. I don't remember all the details from the book, but obviously she had been saving money all along. She worked part-time at the library in Boston (after her 8:00 a.m. swim lessons, one presumes), so had her own money as well as whatever she could save from the money Martin gave her for groceries, etc. Money talks, in Iowa like anywhere else!

**Just because Laura didn't want to have sex with Ben, Ben asks "Oh my god, what did he do to you?' How the heck does he know that anything happened? What does he have as evidence besides the facts that he called her in a crowd and she didn't respond, and she had a bruise on her head? That's a pretty great assumption to make.** Ben was a perceptive, intelligent guy. He knew right after meeting her that something was seriously wrong in her life and that she was hiding her identity for a reason. He put things together pretty quickly, but figuring out that she was running from an abusive man wasn't exactly rocket science with all the clues she gave out.

**And the thing that really makes me mad. She hears a noise so it must be her husband. Instead of calling the cops or running out of the house...she goes and checks the cabinets to see if all of the cans are neatly arranged. I know that this does happen…but if your husband was in your house, what the heck would make you think that he took the time to arrange your cabinet and he's not just going to kill you?** The man had been terrorizing her for four years. She was paranoid. She wasn't thinking clearly and was doubting her sanity. Call it Suspense Movie Syndrome - just gotta look in that dark room/closet!
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Great potential here
7 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Wish the quality of the film, sound and acting were more consistent. Very distracting when the commercials (on one of our local Asian stations) kick in! I very much enjoyed Sobhana's luminous performance as Lakshmi and could sympathize with her feelings of isolation and frustration.

This movie was filmed in my neighborhood, the Bay Area, and I imagine Lakshmi's feelings are quite common among women in the local Indian community whose husbands hold very demanding high-tech jobs, who are not themselves well-educated or social, and whose children are exhibiting the worst characteristics of spoiled California young adults. Lakshmi did a very brave thing in attempting to become more educated and independent. Too bad it backfired on her because of her husband's jealousy and insecurity.

Unfortunately the actress who played Divya made her very one-note and negative for most of the movie; her performance was very soap opera, which may have been the director's fault rather than hers. It did nothing to generate sympathy for her, and in fact made one more sympathetic toward her mother's character. Not a good thing, as Lakshmi was too judgmental and interfering in her daughter's life. Lakshmi was right, of course - her daughter was too young and immature to live on her own and made the expected terrible decision in choosing her first boyfriend. Maybe Indian mothers haven't caught on to the fact that the surest way to drive a daughter into the arms of the wrong boy is to forbid her from seeing him!

That said, Divya's almost instant transformation from bratty teen to friend and confidante of her mother's was hard to believe. The ending was pretty silly, actually, and I never really figured out who the mysterious Internet presence was. If it was the husband, why didn't he seem to know anything about it and why wasn't he wearing a yellow shirt? It clearly wasn't Steve.........guess I will have to watch again.
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It's a Man's World (1962– )
Here's hopin'
2 January 2007
It's been a long time for me, too - I was about 14, I guess, when this was on - but I have never stopped hoping I would get to see it again. I am just thrilled that so many of you remember this wonderful show and would buy it if it were available on DVD. I guess the only thing for us to do is to bombard the site with our requests. If I knew a better way, I would sure go for it! I am encouraged by the apparent success of the site, as more and more older shows I never thought we would see again are turning up in release.

Whatever happened to Randy Boone, anyway? Such a strong cast, and of course all the other brothers went on to satisfying careers. Surely somewhere in some archives these tapes sit waiting to see the light of day again.
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The Texas Wheelers (1974–1975)
Get me to the Wayback Machine
19 September 2005
There must be a reason I remember this series so fondly so many years later. It really made an impression. Casting Jack Elam, the evilest-looking villain character actor in Hollywood history, as the father was a stroke of genius. And seeing Gary Busey and Mark Hammill just before they took off for stardom was a thrill. At the beginning of course everyone was expecting long-lost Dad to be a real jerk. But a couple of episodes of watching him get reacquainted with his children really left you wanting more. Then all of a sudden it was gone and you felt betrayed.........A warm, feel-good series with a bite. What I wouldn't give to see this one again!
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Nash Bridges (1996–2001)
One of the greats!
24 June 2005
For the first 5 years, this show was outstanding. It had everything - good acting and character development, interesting actors, great guest stars, great locale (I live in the Bay Area and knew someone who worked on the show the first couple of seasons), humor, pathos - everything that makes a TV show watchable and fun. In fact, I was amazed when I looked through the IMDb list of actors who appeared during the life of the show; just about everyone who is anyone on the small screen, and then some. As with all shows, with season 6 it began showing its age and had declined, so it was time to end it. What a great run it was, though! I hope they bring it out on DVD soon so we can enjoy at our leisure without commercials. I rate it 9 out of 10 for the first 5 seasons!
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Melanie (1982)
This is a wonderful movie not to be missed!
24 June 2005
I, too, am surprised this movie isn't more popular. I wouldn't rest until I got a copy on eBay, as it is so hard to find. Although several years had elapsed between viewings, I found it as fresh and meaningful as the first time I viewed it. Glynnis O'Connor (whatever happened to her?) is charming and believable as the illiterate but tough and determined mother who will do anything to get her child back. Don Johnson is chillingly evil - or maybe just plain mean - as the redneck husband and father and his performance is excellent, one of his very best (although brief). Paul Sorvino is low-key and believable as the mentor who teaches Melanie to read and changes her life. And who knew Burton Cummings was a really good actor? All in all, a very heartwarming movie, but not sappy or insulting to the intelligence. I highly recommend it for everyone but young children (the sight of Don smacking Glynnis' character around might be hard to take).
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Club Med (1986 TV Movie)
Bring back the 80's
19 February 2005
Sure, it's cheesy and gives us some of the worst 80's hair ever. But it's light, funny, entertaining and even moving. Not only is Jack Scalia's child with Linda Hamilton fatherless (okay, but he didn't know, all right?), the young French girl has an unhappy home life and has run away, the teenage boy who has just lost his father (Scalia's friend) is confused and devastated, Linda Hamilton is still in love with the Scalia character, the Englishman has just lost his wife, Scalia loves Linda but just can't commit, etc. There is a lot of back story here, and what better place to lose your blues than Club Med? I have stayed at that Club Med, and I sure wish Jack Scalia had been the Chef du Village when I was there! Silly movie, but with a lot of heart. I have it on tape and enjoy it ever time I pull it out, or it shows up on cable. Compared to what we see on cable these days purporting to be "comedy," this looks better and better. No nudity, no cursing, no car chases, no exploding heads - but I love it and find it thoroughly entertaining. "Hands up, baby, hands up...."
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Tall, Dark and Deadly (1995 TV Movie)
One of my favorite Scalia movies
19 February 2005
Definitely a low-budget effort, but I thought the filmmakers did quite well with their limitations, and it has a GREAT plot. I have seen this movie many times (and in fact own it), and my girlfriends love it, too. Scalia plays charming well, then descends into the Date From Hell very convincingly. True, no motivation for his character's actions is ever given, but maybe that would have gotten in the way of the action and suspense. My women friends and I were very impressed with Kim Delaney's performance, and the fact that she wasn't another simpering, victimized female. She kicked ASS! When he chained her to the sink, who could not cheer her on and be amazed at her resilience? As mentioned, the opening scene is terrific. I also like the scene where Kim finds out what Calvin's profession is! Wow. Pretty scary stuff. I give this one 7/10 and consider it one of Scalia's best. With higher production values and a bigger budget, this one could have been more successful. Too bad he never gets the big-budget pictures, because I think he is a highly underrated actor.
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9½ Weeks (1986)
12 September 2004
Don't know why I didn't see this movie until recently, as I am a big Adrian Lyne fan. Maybe because Mickey Rourke has become so repulsive in recent years. However, I found this to be a thoroughly entertaining film, with fascinating performances and all the 80's accoutrements - music, fashion, set decoration, etc. I don't know how anyone could call it boring, but we all see different things when we watch a movie.

I thought the much-vaunted "sex" scenes were pretty tame, actually, but really, really fun to watch! Kim Basinger never looked more beautiful, and Rourke looked great, too. I disagree that there was no character development. I think there were depths to both characters that didn't come out until the end of the movie, which I found very poignant. Yes, I think it was more about power than sex, and when the moment of truth came for the balance of power to shift - as the Rourke character had planned for it to do - he had scared off his true love. Sad, and a true sequel could have been fun.

I give it 8/10 and plan to add it to my video collection ASAP.
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This one sneaks up on you
7 February 2002
Sure, it's slow on action, but what atmosphere! I really enjoyed this movie the first time around, when I wasn't really paying attention, so I watched it a couple more times on cable. This was the first movie where I had really seen Tom Sizemore and known who he was, and he was absolutely chilling. I thought the interplay between Sizemore's menacing character and McDermott's kind of confused, innocent character was a lot of fun. Poor Dylan. He had no idea what he was getting into when he let that guy into his house, did he? I think the Sharon Stone sequences looked kind of tacked on - not that she didn't brighten up the screen - and I agree with other comments that the plot could have been tightened up, but overall I find it a haunting, very entertaining movie that should have gotten a lot more attention than it did at the time of its release. It didn't show up on cable until several years later. I liked it so much I picked up a copy on eBay and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes creepy suspense films.
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Wiseguy (1987–2009)
TV doesn't get any better than this
7 February 2002
Thank God for those reruns, allowing those of us who weren't smart enough to tape it at the time to do so now! There isn't anything I don't like about this series, other than the fact that it ended. Great acting, great scripts, great production values - this is a production everyone involved with can be proud of. It was unique and ahead of its time in that watching it now I don't think it looks or feels dated at all. There are some great contemporary crime dramas on TV now, but none with the arc structure that made Wiseguy so compelling. Even though the story lines ran in arcs, each episode is eminently watchable in and of itself. Gosh, I miss it, and I sure miss Ken Wahl.
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