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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Beware those who come on too friendly

5/10
Author: helpless_dancer from Broken Bow, Oklahoma
9 July 2002

When a young college woman meets an unpublished author she is impressed with a story he is attempting to get in print. They become close but things begin to unravel when she senses a strangeness in the young writer after he begins talking about interlacing his fiction with the real world. A merely adequate picture which tries to offer up a nifty twist on the old psycho thriller flic but manages only to be another in a long line of psycho thriller flics. I've seen almost this exact same storyline and ending before.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

poo poo on this clinker

Author: guilfisher-1 from New York City
18 January 2007

Well, won't go into the gory details but need to react to this horrible movie. No, not horror, horrible. Written by Philip Rosenberg and directed by Neema Barnette, they missed the boat here. Not a bad concept, although been done many times, there was empathy for the villain for a change. The performance of Rob Estes, in the role may have given it the dimension it needed. Certainly some of his lines were pretty corny and predictable, yet I found myself watching him. He evidently does lots of TV dramas and soaps so I guess this is old hat to him. Still I'd like to see him do a major role in a major film to show this young man's potential.

Unfortunately he had to work opposite Lisa Rinna (doesn't she do commercials?) a not so good actress who over does hysteria bulging her bug eyes out and causing her lips to look like they've had lip suction surgery done to them. Never believable in her performance and her character is so annoying, I applauded her boy friend, played by Tom Wood, when he walked out on her. Good riddance I say for him. She got so obnoxious over things that she came off as a spoiled brat. I did like Melissa McBride in a smaller role of a possible victim. She had a nice quiet energy to her work putting Rinna to shame.

Sadly there is Dean Stockwell in yet another thankless role. This well deserved actor keeps popping up in these trashy LMN soap operas. Dean, come back to Broadway. Get out of the trap of these bad movies. You deserve so much better.

So my vote is 4 stars for the 4 stars; Estes, Wood, McBride and the body of work from Stockwell.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Close to danger!

8/10
Author: crazy_maniacchick from Australia
17 April 2006

I was sick from school one day, I was watching TV and I saw this movie. I'm really into thriller,cop type movies and I love this one! This movie has changed my mind on my favorite actors and now i'm a huge fan of Rob Estes'! This is truly a great movie and deserves A lot more credit then it has been given! The even more chilling thing about it is that its based on a real story. Rob Estes was excellent because he really convinced me that the character Adam was supposed to be a disturbed person. Also, I really felt the fear with Jennifer Cole (Lisa Rinna) and would hate to be put in her position! Well done Rob Estes & Lisa Rinna, Well Done! :)

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Close to Danger: the joy of dissection

9/10
Author: mbg411 from United States
28 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lisa Rinna plays a college student typing a manuscript for a writer(Rob Estes). She falls in love with him and breaks up with her jealous boyfriend. She doesn't realize her new boyfriend is really a psychopath, even though he has pictures of Ted Bundy and Charles Manson on his wall. But then he asks her if he kills someone, if she would dissect the body for him! She then tells people that he is obsessed with killing someone. For some reason no one believes her, not even her psychology professor. She finally finds two detectives who try to help, but she also has to find out who he's actually planning to kill.

One of the good things about the movie is that the actors are attractive, like someone else said. Rob Estes is a great actor and this is one of his best roles. Lisa Rinna does the best she can with a character who doesn't think her boyfriend is homicidal, until he brings up the joy of dissecting a dead body. Dean Stockwell is good as the psychology professor. I also liked Melissa McBride as Lisa's friend, as well as a possible victim.

I also loved the background music. It goes great with the movie!

The acting, plot, and background music make this easily one of the best TV movies.

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Didn't get better

5/10
Author: caa821 from Tulsa OK
16 May 2007

It's one thing when Robert Redford and Dennis Quaid -- both good-looking, in-shape guys -- play characters 10 years younger in films, as they did in "The Natural" and "The Rookie," respectively. Or when Redford -- old enough to be her father -- played (very believably) a contemporary love interest with Kristin Scott Thomas in "The Horse Whisperer."

But in some films, at least for me, the real ages of the actors, versus those of their characters portrayed, poses a distraction when viewing a film. In "Varsity Blues," the high-school "kids" were all old enough to have been out of college and into the workforce for periods up to several years, in terms of actual ages. And in this flick, while all are good-looking and bereft of wrinkles, the three leads are all more than 10 years older than the college students two are portrayed, with the third one, the aspiring writer, a supposed contemporary.

Somehow, along with a script average at best, they simply seemed a bit old for the characters given them here. I've know quite a few psychologists, with doctorates, and viewing the conduct and their handling their children, as well as their personalities up-close, as far as being effective counselors for mental health and stability, they seemed more like the proverbial "fox in charge of the hen house." So it was with Dean Stockwell here when Lisa sought his counsel.

The detectives with whom she sought assistance, and especially the two who provided her wire and instructed her in compromising the story's "villain," acted and delivered lines appropriate of the 5th and 6th leads in a high school play.

And as another person commenting here stated (accurately, in my opinion) the most sympathetic character in this drama - as well as the most interesting personality - was the piece's villain.

This was a film which one might watch, partly because the actors are attractive, but mostly to see if it doesn't get better and perhaps present some interesting drama later-on. Unfortunately, this wasn't to be here.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Close to Stage One Sleep

Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
27 December 2003



A beautiful young graduate student is living with another graduate student who is in Business School. The boyfriend is a stereotypical male idiot -- bossing her around, possessive, selfish -- and it's not really clear that he likes her that much, although it's hard to understand why not. She is absolutely stunning, a bit like Jackie Kennedy but sultrier and, somehow, pulpier, less fragile. She's also smart and has good temperamental equilibrium. Her big brown eyes dart from target to target and when her features are relaxed they still seem to be smiling. One imagines her smiling in her sleep. But never mind -- the guy is a moron.

Okay. Enter guy number two, Adam, who is a literary type and asks her to type his novel. Jennifer accepts the job and is attracted to this bright and quirky artistic type, everything her old boyfriend isn't. She gets rid of the boyfriend and starts seeing Adam. But, what do you know?, things aren't always what they seem. She reads the manuscript of the novel and finds that the protagonist, a serial murderer, is a lot like Adam himself. And the victim begins to look more and more like Jennifer -- or is it really Natalie, Adam's former girlfriend? This naturally comes to worry Jennifer a bit, especially as the details of the murder become more explicit, although not sufficiently explicit that a viewer can understand what's going on in the imaginary black-and-white assaults we glimpse on screen. Furthermore, Adam has been quirky all along. It was part of his initial attraction. But now he begins to act more and more twisted.

By this time the story, the characters, just about everything, have run out of energy. Someone asks Jennifer why she broke up with boyfriend number one, a solid catch as a business major, although a stolid sexist. "I just couldn't see the relationship going anywhere," Jennifer replies. I realize that real people say lines like this but I've never been able to untangle the web of connotations they drag along behind them. How does a relationship "not go anywhere"? For that matter, how does it "go anywhere"? How would Jennifer be able to tell the difference if it started moving, a sentient entity, of its own accord? What is the operational definition of a relationship's "going somewhere"? What steps would it have to take to convince Jennifer that it was on the move? Is the expression "not going anywhere" nothing more than an oblique way of saying Adam doesn't want to get married? Kind of like -- he's "a man who won't commit?" I'm stumped, but let it pass.

There are a lot of hints that Adam is a complete fruitcake who wants to murder somebody in order to get "inside the mind" of a murderer but when challenged he comes up with a plausible explanation. Adam is fairly bright too. When first introduced to the business student (who spurns the offer of his hand) he insults him by quoting Thorstein Veblen, whom boyfriend number one seems never to have heard of. It doesn't do anything but irritate number one, although he ought to be ashamed of himself for not doing his homework. (Veblen was a brilliant but erratic macroeconomist who taught at the University of Missouri while wearing an old-fashioned pince-nez and mumbling down into his notes on the lectern so no one beyond the third row could hear him. He never gave a grade higher than C. He should be recognized for those traits alone.)

Rolling right along now, Jennifer decides she needs help. She goes to her psychology prof who listens with some interest at first but then palms her off with some facile solipcism -- there are as many universes out there as there are minds. What the hell is he saying? His student has reason to believe somebody's going to be murdered. She talks to her mother on the phone about the problem. Does mother listen and try to help? Or does she needle Jennifer about giving the business student his walking papers? Guess. She talks to her friend, Natalie, who may be the object of Adam's murderous intentions and Natalie dismisses the problem too -- he was always kind of weird. The police? They throw the murder manuscript aside and tell her there's nothing they can do without evidence of conspiracy to murder. She goes back to her prof who tells her she should talk to the police and that there's nothing he can do to help her (then without a parting line he leaves her and walks away). This business of a woman being desperate for help but being unable to find anyone who believes is absolutely one hundred percent by the book in these movies, from the glossy "Rosemary's Baby" to the clumsiness of this effort.

Of the performances, only Adam the madman's stands out as adequate. Jennifer seems always aware that she is in a movie. Boyfriend number one overacts his part, and the actress playing the black detective hasn't been asked to rein in her onscreen hysteria. However, if you're looking for something to while away the time, if you don't mind thoughtless commercialism, if you like intrigue, victims trapped and helpless struggling against their circumstances, you might want to watch this.

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