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I don't know why this movie gets railed on so heavily. For a made-for-TV movie it isn't bad. It's not overly predictable, it scores some style points (that predominately featured BB King track) and Gregory Hines is good in the leading role that holds the whole picture together. Watching it again years after I originally saw it, I found it still held up. I just find something so catchy about the whole radio personality rapped up in a thriller vibe. Its just ripe with atmosphere. A lone DJ, mysterious callers, anonymous voices, murder, mystery ... yep, I'm sold. Only a complete idiot could botch an angle like this ... and they have before.
This is not a terribly original plot device in the realm of b-movies, but Dead Air works. That the DJ is Gregory Hines and he's given a serviceable back story makes the difference. His screen presence works, the flick never tries to be anything it isn't and even the twist ending makes sense if you add it all up. There's a good laugh or two and the build up to the end is handled decently. Both Debrah Farentino as the apparent love-interest/suspect and character actor Beau Starr as the flick's man with a badge have their moments too. You can do a lot worse than Dead Air.
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