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David Barry Gray
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I can't think why...is it some kind of fad? ...conventional wisdom?...a taste for the bells and whistles...special effects...t and a of a theatre , or straight-to-video film, rather than the solid storytelling of yer typical t.v. movie?
I'm seldom disappointed when I do get to watch the latter (wish I could say the same of the former). Trouble is, I like to study what other viewers have to say about a movie before I waste a couple of hours of my precious time(I'm seventy), on a possible dud, and few movie buffs, pro or amateur, deign to report them...perhaps because they don't watch them in the first place, dismissing them as "mere t.v. movies"
Well, they might be missing something, especially if they're as jaded with, and hard-to-please by theatre, and video productions as I've become.
Because I've found that most (not all)t.v. movies are worth watching. They usually cut to the chase, get on with the story, which, even if it is not all that fresh and original - usually it is - is told in a manner that draws one in, makes one identify with the characters, forgetting that they're played, often by favourite t.v. thespians more familiar as characters from sitcom, prime or daytime drama-and this, for me, is an added bonus, as in the movie under review here, its star the striking Veronica Hamel who played a Public Defender on "Hill St Blues" for all those years, very comfortable in the role of a film-maker who drops everything to rescue a falsely-imprisoned friend a victim of "jail-house informants"
This is based on a true story...yes, yes, I know that films from the other genres I've derided are, too, the difference being that a t.v. production generally doesn't tart it up, to make it a vehicle for some megastar, or special effects whizz, or some self-indulgent director out to shock or titillate us.
Such a t.v. movie, then, is "In The Blink Of An Eye" , a harrowing tale of an innocent married couple railroaded into prison (and worse!) by a justice system(American AND Canadian), which permits the actual perpertrator of a crime, to rat on his "co-conspirators" who then get the maximum punishment compared to his slap-on-the-wrist. All this is revealed more than fifteen years later, when our heroine (Hamel) belatedly learns that her childhood best friend(Mimi Rogers)is in prison for murdering two police officers. Unable to believe this of one whom she knew so well, she puts her career as a film producer on hold (she, went on, in fact, to produce this very film) to get the case re-opened, and justice finally done.
The film has flaws...the main one for me, is that the defence for the woman, her hubby, and their children, was so feeble in the first place. Apparently the woman took the advice of her lawyer and would not permit her children nor herself to take the witness stand in the couples defence,(another flaw -what of the husband? no reference in the film to his testimony or lack of it), lest they "be torn apart" by a prosecutor driven by political ambition...it was better for Mom and Dad to be subsequently to be sentenced to death, maybe? (Both, initially, were). But, still, I remember this film is from real life, and we all know that real life is far more complex, frustrating, and far-fetched than even the most delirious of movie-makers could dream up.
Despite its flaws, which made me rate it but "8" "In The Blink Of An Eye" really makes one think - often yet another virtue of t.v. movies.
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