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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Good

Author: Gary Wilkie
24 February 1999

The film has a decent enough plot which keeps concentration and is in places interesting and exciting, being a TV film. The reasons behind the main plot is slightly disappointing and the film fails to deliver at intervals, but overall it is a reasonably enjoyable TV movie.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Decent lightweight thriller

Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
27 May 2009

Moving Target is basically the epitome of the term of 'enjoyable thriller'. It offers no substance and you won't remember much of it for long after it finishes; but it's fun to watch, and that's the important thing. The film is a made for TV movie, and so doesn't feature any spectacular stunts or heavy violence; and instead relies on the story and suspense to pull it through...which unfortunately doesn't always pay off as director Chris Thomson doesn't succeed in ensuring that the film is always interesting. Anyway, the plot focuses on Toby Kellogg; a teenage kid that gets sent to music school during the summer. He doesn't enjoy it much while he's there, and when he finds out that his band has enjoyed some success in his absence; he leaves the school and sets off home. However, he's surprised when he gets there and finds that his parents have shipped out...along with all the furniture. The next thing Toby knows, he's been hunted down; by both the cops and a mean assassin that drives a Ferrari. Toby struggles against his pursuers while trying to find out what happened to his family.

The film very much feels like a product of it's time; and a low quality eighties vibe runs throughout it. This isn't helped by the lead actor. Jason Bateman cuts a rather irritating figure in the central role. He tries to play it as the typical disrespectful kid; but looks too old and comes off looking a bit silly. The film is not overly suspenseful either, and there were many times that I found myself not really caring what was going to happen next; and this is not good in a film that relies on suspense to keep itself afloat. Perhaps most disappointing of all is the way that the chase aspect of the plot is handled; the lead character never really seems to be in a lot of trouble and Jack Wagner's Ferrari-driving villain is more hilarious than imposing. It's all pretty predictable too; and only a rather dark scene that sees a kid killed in cold blood offered any sort of surprise. Still, despite all the negative elements; Moving Target simply offers the viewer a chance to switch their brain off for ninety minutes and enjoy...and it does at least work as light entertainment.

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Jason on the run

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
16 July 2017

Jason Bateman stars in this made for TV film about a rock and rolling kid who goes off to a music camp. While gone Bateman's dead Tom Skerritt who works for a big investment house in San Francisco turns federal witness against his employer who has been laundering mob money for decades. Tom Skerritt and the rest of the family go into witness protection, but Bateman who has run away from the long haired music in the old fashioned sense at the music camp is in the winds.

When he gets home he finds a house stripped bare and no one knows where the family is. But both the Justice Department in the person of John Glover and a mob hit man Jack Wagner are both after him. Bateman does not know who friend or foe is, so he has to keep a Moving Target.

It was interesting to see Glover as a good guy for once and soap opera hunk Jake Wagner is a truly terrifying amoral hit man. As a movie Moving Target obeys the first rule of movie making, it moves.

Bateman is good also as a truly clever and bright kid, which should make one fear for the security of witness protection.

Fans of the above named players should like this.

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Remembering the dogs' name: Come here, Comehere! (1988)

Author: stonedraim from Sweden
5 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**** May contain strong spoilers ****

This is a review made by StoneDraim... and that means that if you want to read a probably different kind of review, keep reading....

This is my personal experience, my personal point of view/perspective and my personal opinion... and my opinion is just one of like 7 billions in this world.

As I love Jason Bateman as an actor and seen this movie before in my youth, I decided to watch it again. I have to say that MR. Bateman either has a full blown talent as an actor that has followed him from youth to today, or Jason has worked extremely hard in becoming a great actor. I can sense his fear and emotionally roller-coaster in this motion picture. I would say near to some kind of a nominee... Academy Award...? As a TV-movie it starts kind of straight on with classic 80's music as a band plays; saxophone and the whole kit. Really good editing as the music follows the drummer; when he or she hits the cymbal, it also happens in the music. Then a guitar and/or saxophone takes over and a typical chopper view of an American city is displayed. As the guitar sounds off a rescue siren is faded into the guitar and the music is faded out. Solid editing there.

There are moments in this motion picture that brings back a lot of nostalgic emotions. The formulaic way of being overexplicit with a "dangerous and mysterious" synthesizer "carpet" rolls out in an environment that could be plain and simple in harmony and good in all ways; a man sitting by his desk by the end of the day with the computer and compares something from a paper sheet. And so the production team is clear that the audience register and apprehend that this is a "dangerous thriller", they roll out the music. Today, often, it is in the opposite way. The music enhances the conception of the audience; that is true art and a work of masterminds to in advance think and work out how the viewers probably will feel, and then letting the music and sounds sort of amplify that impression.

Little fun fact: about 58 minutes and 20 seconds into the movie, the title "Moving target" is mentioned in a line. How many movies has the title mentioned fully and exactly?

Detail I like: Dobbins has got the cold (or something). Is it any reason for writing into the script that the agent Fred Dobbins should have a cold? No. That is what I like. Realistic touch.

Oh, oooh... a noticed mistake in script: Toby Kellogg (Jason Bateman) should be out to Interluchen Music Summer Camp for 8 weeks. He calls back home after four weeks (a month as they say in the movie). Then he calls again some time afterwards and say that he having a hard time lasting for another five weeks. As far as I know, five plus four equals nine........... Movie mistake nr. 2: As the friend is leaving the party, Tim Sutcliffs (Jack Wagner) Jeep is standing in front of the red sports car. Even so, when the shot is taken with the two in the sports car, Jeff (Bernie Coulson) drives straight forward. If he had done that, he would have driven straight into the Jeep.... big goof.

Full formulaic TV-movie from the 80's here. Fades out when gone to commercial, with a intense film soundtrack grabbing hold of the viewer just in time to cut to commercial. Great to see! Brings back memories! The sound of a printer in the background working to destroy all evidence... the telephones answering machines... what nostalgic moments!

As a little apostrophe to Miami Vice, this movie is a fully testimonial of the entire decade of the 1980's movie and TV production. If you wondered what music they were listening to, how they dressed and so on... watch "Moving Target" from 1988. Wonderful!

One liner that made me laugh hard: Toby: They took the trip... split... moved...took a powder. David (Claude Brooks): Maybe they just went on vacation Toby: With the furniture?

Over to the movie as a product: - The production : Typical 1980s production. Well made with an outstanding way to display and showcase contemporary modern society from clothing, accessories, interior design, music and language.way of displaying the - The actors : Tried to push hard and squeeze the best out of the actors with a budget of a TV- movie. Chris Thomson made a splendid performance here. John Glover is putting out the impression that he is feeling comfortable as Dobbins; feels genuine. - The story : In fact, a simple and innovative story. Young man escapes from summer camp just to come home to an empty home... and all the fears around that. This could make a Academy Award nominee if updated and more worked through in a renewed version. Maybe with Jason Bateman himself as the father...? Andy Tennant and Ed Hunsaker came up with a little pearl to be polished. - Entertainment : Enthralling and stirring. Very much the deed of Mr. Bateman, as he conveys the feelings and emotions to the viewer. How would you feel if you came home to a totally empty home and everybody seems to have vanished? - Age : 15

6,9 out of 10. (The final rate is based most on my own entertainment of the movie. Short elucidation of the rating: 7 Well made movie. Proper entertainment. 6 Nice production. Good movie.)

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Mid-80's television thriller with Jason Bateman

Author: Wuchak from Ohio/PA border
23 November 2014

Released to TV in 1988, "Moving Target" is a mystery/thriller about a teenager (Jason Bateman) who unexpectedly comes home to California from music camp in Michigan only to find his parents' home deserted, including all the furniture. What happened? Chynna Phillips plays the maybe-girlfriend and the always-reliable Tom Skerritt co-stars as the father.

Being a TV movie, there are obvious breaks for commercials but, other than that, this is a solid drama/thriller, particularly if you like the cast. Everything about the movie screams mid-80 – the electronic drums, the haircuts, the clothes. This in itself is entertaining. Anyway, it's nothing great, but it works for what it is.

The film runs 100 minutes and was shot in S. California.


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teen movie from the '80s

Author: blanche-2 from United States
22 October 2014

Had to see this because of love Jason Bateman, Tom Skerrit, and Chynna Philips, and I always like to see Jack Wagner. How could I miss with "Moving Target"? Answer: I didn't. It's actually a good action film. Bateman plays Toby Kellogg, a teen musician with a band whose parents send him to Interlochen Music Camp against his will. Unbeknownst to him, the Justice Dept. is investigating the office where his father (Skerrit) works, and his dad is somehow involved.

Toby has chosen Megan Lawrence (Chynna Phillips) to replace him in the group and, while at Interlochen, he sees that they've made the newspaper. Excited, he leaves Interlochen early. When he gets home, the place is empty; his family has disappeared.

Toby tries to get info, but there are people after him. One is a mob hit man (Wagner) who wants to kill him, and the other faction is people from the Justice Department who want to help him. He doesn't know that, though, so he's running from everyone.

I really enjoyed this film. It's not Citizen Kane but it is entertaining, with a good performances, particularly by the young Bateman.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great for an 80's TV movie!

Author: ars1177 from United States
6 July 2013

For a made for TV 80's movie I thought it was very good. Jason Bateman did a very good job. It' s interesting to see him at a young age prior to his career being rejuvenated. Jack Wagner was awesome playing the Hit-man. Prior to this he was most well known for his days as General Hospital's good guy, Frisco Jones. After leaving for Broadway it was an awesome surprise to see him starring as the villain in this under appreciated movie. I also find it amazing that the girl playing Jason Bateman's girlfriend is Chynna Phillips. It seems it was close to, if not the climax to her acting career. I wouldn't have scored it as high on the big screen but this was one of the best TV movies I've seen. Good enough that I found it on Amazon and am enjoying it 25 years later.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Tolerable 80s teen action movie

Author: michaeljhuman from United States
25 July 2014

I liked the 80s vibe here, because I like 80s movies.

Don't expect much, but I was impressed with Jason Bateman and he went on to do a lot of stuff.

It's your typical teen comes home to find family gone movie, if there is such a genre. Some OK action.

Plot is about what you expect from an 80s action movie, turn your brain off or go MST3K on it. But it serves the purpose.

Dialog is the weakness here I think, there's no imagination here, no flair.

Music is pretty standard 80s synth pop, but hey they actually show the girl playing a Yamaha DX7 synth, one of the most important 80s synthesizers. I would bet that the music in the movie used this same synth as the E Piano sound in one of the songs sounds like the DX& e piano.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Moving Target...loved it!

Author: kim_smoak from United States
22 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I didn't really have high expectations for this movie…in fact, I don't even know why I watched this movie because it really didn't look appealing to me…but I'm glad I did. It was actually a very well done movie. It of course is an 80's movie…and it does have the cheesy music...but the plot was VERY good. It was suspenseful, and it was thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the movie...and I was trying to figure out what was going on throughout the movie. It will keep you guessing until the very end. Jason Bateman was amazing and may I say adorable as a teenager. If you enjoy a good thriller, a good story, and Jason'll love this movie! For daily movie reviews visit: now!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Jack Wagner Plays The Heavy To The Hilt

Author: from United States
8 February 2008

This film originally aired on NBC in February, 1988. It is notable for being Jack Wagner's first telefilm. He had recently left General Hospital and soap stardom and was coming off a national tour of "West Side Story" when he did this film. In it, he plays against type and is the villain hit-man. This was a refreshing change since he had found stardom as the hero/good guy Frisco Jones on daytime television. A very well-done made for TV movie that is also notable for being one of Chynna Phillips' early roles as she stars as Jason Bateman's character's girlfriend in the film. They don't show this on TV very often - if at all - but it is worth seeking out to see many of it's stars when they were young and just getting started.

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