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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Victoria Sparks

Author: petershelleyau from Sydney, Australia
10 February 2003

Produced by Victoria Principal's production company, she is Patricia Sparks, the Mayor of Albuquerque. Believing Principal as a mayor is only the first of the plausibility hurdles this treatment requires, though she does look lovely and has enough skill to pull off a scene of angry hysteria at the news of the death of a friend. The idea of casting Elaine Stritch as her mother is one that doesn't work, since Stritch is a different kind of performer to Principal, and they don't look physically right together.

The teleplay by John Robert Bensink and Bill Svanoe includes a serial killer of women, blackmail, opposition to Principal from big business good ole boys, and her romance with the FBI agent (Ted Wass) in charge of the homicides. The opening scene where Principal nearly has casual sex with Wass exists so that she can be photographed in a compromising pose, though Wass is hardly the casual sex type, and the blackmail a means to stop Principal's objections to city land development. However since the businessman are presented as overweight snakes, there's no doubt about the result. At first, the serial killings also seem to be related to the blackmail, however the identity of the killer when revealed is arbitrary.

The killer is profiled on television with psychobabble, `a born killer, not wanted in the people equation he landed in', and the writers idea of wit is `I could kill a puppy for a cup of coffee right now'. They also use `cowboy jive' in `If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch', in a community which is parts cowboy, latino and American Indian. The banter between Principal and Wass, where he is meant to charm her into bed, is unconvincing, which makes her sudden change of mind after an extended kiss, all the more inexplicable. And they have a later sex scene in the open, which one would think is foolhardly considering the previous trouble.

However Principal's secretary gets a laugh from reciting phone messages regarding the photograph, `Who's the guy? When can I see the mayor? How worried is she about this? And who's the guy?'.

Director Richard Colla does nothing to enliven the interminable proceedings, each plot strand is weighted indifferently, diffusing any tension, and he overuses the music score by Bob Alcivar.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Ok, let's play "Spot the Latino"!

1/10
Author: Buzz Vinard from Albuquerque, NM
24 June 2003

I'm not native to Albuquerque, but I've lived here for eight years. The poor story and imbecillic plot contivances notwithstanding, I watched part of this a few days ago and wondered, "what happened to all the hispanic people?". I haven't seen a scene so white since the last time I opened a loaf of Wonder bread! Not to mention the utter implausibility of a non-corrupt New Mexico politician...

There's more faux western wear on display here than a Friday night at the Roundup. And what's with the cowboy lingo and hats? It looks and sounds like an Ann Richards campaign ad on steroids. If you are a New Mexican, you know what the waiter always asks after you order food: "red or green?". Does the mayor like red chile or green chile? She never says! The people want to know!

The area was settled by Spain, and first inhabited by Native Americans. White people came much later, but from this TV movie, you'd assume that we're the only ones who have been here. If the writing wasn't so bad, I'd call the misrepresentation of racial demographic to be the worst part of the film. Albuquerque is merely a backdrop, and a poorly represented one at that, for Victoria's faux-cultured silliness. When the FBI agent refers to a building as "the biggest lump of stucco", she corrects him by telling him that it's not stucco, it's "adob-ay". No, honey. It's "adob-ee". Sort of like hearing an actress do a fake southern drawl and give herself away by saying "you all", rather than the commonly used "y'all", the backdrop becomes meaningless and laughable. They should have used the more generic-looking Denver.

There's actually more drama in a week at the Albuquerque city council than in this movie. It's too bad that they didn't film THAT! And by the way Victoria, it really IS a lump of stucco...do you know what real adobe construction costs these days?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This was actually pretty good......

6/10
Author: gthiels from United States
11 March 2006

....for a nice Saturday night, had nothing else going on anyway, kind of movie. It had Victoria Principal in it so you go in thinking it's going to be a little cheesy - no offense VP. It actually was a good story and though you kind of can figure how it's going to go there are a few surprises. I love the 80's clothing. I wasn't paying all that much attention to the folks in the background since even Academy Award winning movies rarely come out looking "authentic". The first poster was stuck to the fact that there weren't any Mexicans or Indians as the townspeople. For this kind of movie I say "Who cares". This was more for the story than the scenery. There was a lot going on here and it occupied me for it's entirety. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a nice escape for a few hours.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Victoria Principal Look Fantastic

8/10
Author: whpratt1 from United States
26 August 2006

It was nice viewing a TV film back in 1990, where Victoria Principal had great looks and played the role of a New Mexcio Mayor,(Patricia Sparks),"Naked Lie" TV '89. Patricia attends a conference in a large city and gets hit on by Ted Wass,(Steve Warner), who manages to push Pat right into the bedroom with plenty of good lines. This so called affair manages to come back to haunt her in her own home town; despite the fact that her home town also has a serial killer on the loose. This killer does not like anyone, especially a woman, to point their finger at him and tell him what to do. Unfortunately, too many young gals pointed their fingers, even a poor bus driver, teacher and many more finger pointers. The ending is rather a tease and not very much to my liking, however, it is entertaining.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Could have been much better....

Author: Rd Stendel-Freels from Not in Fresno
5 August 2002

"Sparks" was supposed to be the pilot for a proposed Victoria Principal drama series. It's not surprising it didn't make it. The story was awful and Principal, usually pretty good at drama, just couldn't make this one take off.

The location shots were filmed at my alma mater while I was a freshman there, with the university's library standing in as the Albuquerque mayor's office. I remember walking across campus with a friend who was irked at the main mall being blocked off after three days, and he yelled, "For godssake! It's only a two-hour movie! Go home already!!"

After seeing this dissaster, I think he should have been screaming a lot earlier.

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