|Index||9 reviews in total|
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Reality be damned, 8 March 2007
Author: caa821 from Tulsa OK
Movies involving crime and legal drama have to have some license to
depart from the way things are done in the actual world. In real
trials, the attorneys usually remain behind a lectern, and upon
presentation of exhibits and after every second or third question,
there are usually objections from opposing counsel and repeated
conferences are held privately with the judge, and witnesses are
laboriously questioned for hours on-end.
Yet "Matlock" pulls a piece of evidence from his pocket, waves it in front of the witness (who is about six inches from him), takes it to the jury box and shows it to all 12 (all before the judge or opposing counsel have any idea of what in the hell he has); if there is any objection, he simply tells the judge to give him another moment, the judge agrees, the witness is shown to be the guilty party, his client is exonerated, and then the D.A. congratulates him on the victory. And all of this occurs usually in under 10 minutes real time at the end of the episode.
So we know most dramas have to take liberties with reality, and this film is no exception. Aside from the patent obviousness of the nefarious nature of the wicked "stepsister," which a child of 10 could see, there is no way in real life the daughter of the murdered man would have been summarily arrested and held as depicted here.
She might have been detained for a period of time, but in the film, there was no investigation by the authorities into the "septsister" and her mother's past, their history, etc. Neither the police nor the accused daughter's lawyer seemed to have the intelligence or inclination to do any investigating whatever.
All of the investigative activity is later pursued by the daughter alone -- concerning her late father's death, and the past of the title character and her mother. Again, in the "real world," many authorities would have conducted thorough investigations early-on, and upon the the stepsister's mom's subsequent demise, further effort would have ensued, undoubtedly seeing justice done, without the mayhem and false accusation which the heroine had to endure during the last half or so of the story.
But then, it would have looked more like a Court TV documentary instead of a Lifetime movie, and one of this network's handful of staples "the evil outsider(s) entering a happy family unit to commit mayhem and steal the inheritance of the rightful heir(s)." (Others include "the evil neighbor," "the spouse with the dark, secret past," "the spouse faking death, only to turn-up years later," etc.)
One only wishes that occasionally they might treat a story such as this in a bit more cerebral manner, perhaps taking a cue from series like "Law and Order," "CSI," in investigating and resolving the issues, instead of the steady staple of yelling, physical confrontation, and the inevitable holes in the plot which have supposedly intelligent characters zooming around madly and senselessly -- while the attorneys and police schlep about, listlessly, and with no intelligence, or effort to investigate or resolve matters.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
At least it is short, 23 May 2005
Author: Pamsanalyst from New Jersey
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thought I was watching Days of our Lives or one of the other
afternoon soap operas. When the camera panned the evil stepsister from
the toes up, I knew my patience would be tried, but after I surfed and
found no Columbo episodes on, I tried to lock in to this 'mystery'
where any chance of playing detective was spoiled when little Miss Evil
woke Joanie from a deep slumber to urge her to up the dosage. Now it
became strictly a thriller, with the requisite scene of plucky young
woman entering the killer's house, without police backup as the plot
turned out. I could almost hear Mary Roberts Rinehart typing the
Little inconsistencies: On that occasion the killer, who is in the clear according to the police, calls the law to protect herself. Yet when she spots a burglar in her house later, she confronts the invader herself. Oh, some mental midget will tell us she could not call the law because she knew the crook was into her supply of digoxin and she would be found out, but that is a crock. Her whole modus was thinking she had everyone wrapped around her finger.
Then there are all the scenes when the heroine looks from the window of the guest house and sees what is going on in her father's house, AFTER turning on a light in her room. Try to gaze out the window into the dark when there is a bright light burning behind you. You will see nothing.
Another experiment I must try is looking at another car thru the side mirror of mine. In the scene where Ms. Evil drove Dad to work, she appears to get back in a car with right hand drive. My co-watcher says this because we see the scene in the side mirror of the heroine's car, but even in a mirror right is right and left is left.
The actress who played the stepsister was awful. The black widow spider is supposed to have some charm to attract the victims; this one set off waves telling one and all to run the other way. Except for her cat fights with the heroine, it was impossible to believe in her. Tuesday Weld set the standard for these type parts in Pretty Poison; this particular actress is Thursday, and she has far to go.
As the climax neared in the operating room, I had this horrible thought that I had seen the film before for I predicted that the needle held water, not poison. Seeing the villain trying to seduce the prison doctor as the screen faded, I was hoping this was not a set up for a sequel.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Insultingly obvious thriller (SPOILERS), 28 May 2005
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is no doubt that Bridgette Wilson is a pretty hot girl. In this movie, however, her "acting" (if you want to call it that) is badly lacking in subtlety. She might as well have a piece of paper stuck on her forehead with the words "Watch Out! I'm Evil!" written on it. All that's missing from her portrait is an evil laugh - and she even does that in her final scene! Rena Sofer does a decent job in the lead, but Alan Rachins and Linda Evans (the father and the stepmother) are stiff - they both end up being killed, but I thought they were dead before that anyway. As for the movie itself, it slams you hard with its obviousness for more than an hour, and when it tries for a twist in the final 10 minutes, it's far-fetched and depends too much on the old "I knew exactly what you were going to do" trick. (*1/2)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Compelling, 4 February 2001
"The Stepsister" is an interesting variation on the gold-digging wife
storyline. This is a good attempt at a thriller, but it doesn't thrill
All through the film, the tension seems as though it is rising to a dramatic climax, but alas, it doesn't come.
There were competant performances from Bridgette Wilson and Rena Sofer in the main roles, and generally a new and different story line. Shame about the let-down ending.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Stepsister-Ph.D Candidate Cinderella With A Twist ***1/2, 16 June 2007
Author: edwagreen from United States
A modern day Cinderella tale. In this one, a Ph.D. candidate loses her
mother, a pediatrician, in what is thought of as a tragic accident.
Soon, her father, also a physician, meets a woman (Linda Evans) with an
interesting daughter. They marry and the fun begins.
Evans and her daughter Melinda are thieves. The twist comes when Evans actually falls in love with the doctor and tells her daughter that she is calling off their plans. When the husband is killed by Evans' daughter, mother wants to send her away but this brat has other plans-killing her mother and blaming the Ph.D candidate!
The plot twists here are excellent. The movie moves at a fast pace and is a joy to watch on the screen. The psychological trapping at the end is a delight for the viewer as well.
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A movie made for the cinema., 18 October 2001
Author: famousgir1 from London, England
The Stepsister is a brilliant movie about a money grabbing woman named Joan
who with a little help from her daughter, marries men, then kills them
covering up the murders and then gets all there money. But, when Joan ends
up falling in love with one of the men she's supposed to kill, her evil
daughter, Melinda makes a cunning plan to kill them all and get the money
for herself. She has to get past the mans daughter, Darcie though, who's
very suspicious and knows something is up the minute she meets Joan and
Rena Sofer who plays the lead role here is brilliant as usual and is fast becoming one of my all time favourite actress'. Linda Evans who plays Joan is also good too. The only complaint I have is, Bridgette Wilson. She really doesn't do a job in her role. She's just whiny and annoying. Still, not even that can spoil this original suspense thriller.
If you want to see a great thriller which keeps you interested all the way than The Stepsister is for you and I give it a 10/10.
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
a good tv movie, 21 February 2002
Author: natalia44706 (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Easton
What can I say about this movie. It is a great mystery suspense movie starring rena sofer. Rena left her emmy winning role on general hospital to do tv and movies, and she did the right thing. Linda Evans returns to tv also. If you love a good mystery, watch this movie!!!!!
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
yuck, 26 November 2004
Author: triple8 from Conn
This movie is brutal,disturbing, and certain scenes almost completely
unwatchable. As television movies go, many are bad and most are not as
good as motion pictures but this was a movie that really left a bad
taste in my mouth. I hope it wasn't based on a true story, though I do
not remember seeing that it was(they usually say). If it wasn't-what
was the point of the movie? It was so unnecessarily brutal and
drainingly hard to watch to the point where you're exhausted by the end
of the movie.
While the ending was good "payback" the villainess in this, was so repulsive, nothing in the world could have been enough. At least, in many movies like this, there's some intrigue to go along with the bitterness but in this I saw nothing. The villainess was so disgusting it gave you a headache just to watch her for more then five minutes(for some reason I did watch the whole thing) and by the end your so thankful the movie's over you want to hug the television set.
In other words-not good. I love Rena Sofer though(she can get better scripts) and Linda Evans is always fun to watch. Too much violence though and not ENOUGH payback at the end especially with the ambiguous last 30 seconds. Just another bad TV movie.
0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Great!, 30 December 2000
Author: xxcougarsxx05 from crosby texas
I just recently watched this movie on USA, and I have to say it is great, Bridgette Wilson did an excellent performence. Everyone should check thier TV guide's for this movie.
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