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|Index||37 reviews in total|
I love the comments that I'm seeing on this board. I totally agree with most
of the people here that 1st to Die was horrible. While it stayed pretty
faithful to the book, it was still inexplicably horrible. I can't believe it
was 3 hours long! I was so mad at the performances, I couldn't even watch
half of it.
The book is spectacular like all of Patterson's novels but, like others have said... filmmakers have yet to make a decent adaptation of one of them... Mr Patterson, are you actually watching these movies? Aren't you mad at what hollywood is reducing them to? This movie was basically a sweeps ratings boost. You can't have it come out that fast and not think that. Sir, please ask these screenwriters... is it that hard to do this right???
To me there's really only one thing a filmmaker/writer should never
ever do. They can use all sorts of little cheats and suspend the laws
of physics for stylistic effect as much as they want, but when they use
those same cheats to resolve the main mystery of the plot, then that's
just too stupid. To avoid giving too much detail I'll use a
hypothetical example: Suppose you're watching a suspense film and the
heroine is up against the wall with killers all around her. They're
armed, she isn't. She has no help and no way out, and the situation has
been tensely evolving to this point for two hours. Then she just
magically turns invisible and flies away with no explanation for how,
when, or why she suddenly developed the ability to fly and turn
invisible. The end. Good film? No. A terrible cheat. And 1st To Die is
just that way. The plot's mystery is resolved by a sudden revelation
that someone can do something that's impossible. Stupid, Stupid,
Any idiot can write a good mystery if you don't have to explain how it worked within the laws of physics. Imagine the old "locked room mystery" where the victim has been killed in a room that has been locked from the inside, so how did the killer do it? If the answer is that the killer suddenly developed the ability to pass through brick walls without disturbing them, then it's not a very good mystery, is it?
As with most made-for-TV movies, the acting was uninspired and
characterizations were pathetically contrived. However, the meat
bones of the plot was actually quite good. It was obvious that
would be a plot twist but I was still surprised by the direction it
and the fact that there was not one, but two plot twists.
Tracy Pollan had one or two good moments. Mostly, she was just mediocre. Gil Bellows was about as adequate as he was in Ally McBeal and The Agency. I'd give the two main stars a C+ at worst, a B- at best. Sean Young had a very small part. The strongest actor in the cast was Robert Patrick. He was quite effective at seeming to be both mysterious and ominous. He has matured well since his days on The X-Files. His raspy voice and piercing/squinty eyes reminded me of Michael Madsen who is a fabulous heavy.
In summary, this is an OK movie to watch for folks who like 'who done it' murder mysteries. I would imagine that the book is probably much better though since the only real stand-out was the actual plot. I'd give the movie ** (out of 4), or on the IMdB system I'd give it a 6. It's better than average, but not by much.
I read the book 1st to Die a few months ago and I really enjoyed it. When I heard a movie was being made about the book I wasn't quite sure what to think, usually movies are totally different from the book. I have to admit 1st to Die was pretty much like the book. Of course there were a few changes made but basically the movie tends to stick closely to the book. The movie was good. If you're a Patterson fan I recommend it and even if you're not. It's a good thriller.
I continue to be impressed with the quality of some of the many TV movies made and this was one of the best. The action was fast, the acting was excellent and, the best of all, the script was great. People who liked the theater movies based on James Patterson novels ("Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came the Spider") would be very pleased with "First to Die." A TV movie can be longer than a theater movie and, therefore, can do a better job of transferring the novel to the screen.
Wow! I just saw this movie on TV last night and it was amazing! I haven't read the book yet although I plan to. When I saw along came a spider, after first reading the book, I was extremely disapointed. So I've decided to read the book after the movie. Anyway, why wasn't this movie put into theatres? It has so much potential. If you ever get a chance to see this movie, watch it, its great.
This movie was really good. I was really pleased with it and was happy that it stayed true to the book. It was well cast and well acted. Really really cool. Carly Pope (Cindy in the movie) is really hot. Once again, a really awesome movie
An okay thriller. Not great. Not good, really, just okay. Based on the cheesily provocative novel by James Patterson, this three-hour movie event brought to you by the peacock network is about a women's coffee-klatsch trying to bust a serial killer who preys on newlyweds. This klatsch includes a very competent Tracy Pollan (L & O; SVU), the great Pam Grier (Jackie Brown), perky and pretty Carly Pope (Orange County) and veteran TV HITG Megan Gallagher (Hill Street Blues, Larry Sanders, and everything in between). Their chief suspect is a highly desirable undesirable named Nicholas Jenks (Robert Patrick of X-Files). Some of the good things about this movie: Carly Pope's imitation of a skank, Mitch Pileggi (X-Files) showing off his leg (Grazie!), Eddie, the flower delivery boy, the saucy vintner ("His restaurants are terrible!"), the Cleveland wedding spectacle, Pam Grier and, yes, Robert Patrick. I wish the movie could have just been Robert Patrick and Pam Grier. Here's an idea for a series: he's a crook in L.A. who's been flipped by the Feds, she's a no-nonsense Fibbie assigned to be his handler as he skulks the underbelly of the City of Angels, snitching... Ah, where was I? Right. The bad things about this movie: the romance between Gil Bellows (The Agency) and Pollan, the "You go, girl!" attitude of the Murder Club, Pileggi's mustache, Patrick's earring, the plot, the ending, the cheesy CSI effects and Gil Bellows. O, Gil! You were so fine in Love and a 45 and now DEK's gone and crushed your finesse under his well-manicured thumb. Damn you, DEK! Damn you to hell! Ahem. Michael O'Hara (Murder in the Heartland) does a fair job adapting a poor novel into something somewhat entertaining and wisely changes the ending. It's not the ending I would have wanted but it was a hell of a lot better than Patterson's original idea. Russell Mulcahy, meanwhile, is wise to return to his beloved genre of Scots & SciFi (The Highlander: The Source) after this so-so effort. Not even Sean Young's violent death or Angie Everhart's breasts could save this movie from mediocrity. Now, about that series...
If you are a James Patterson fan you will probably not have a problem
with the film; if you are more film and visual oriented, too many
scenes will remind you of Hitchcock, and also "Basic Instinct"(even the
soundtrack is exactly the same, and the initial camera angles over the
San Francisco coast are TOO similar).
Nicholas Jenks is possibly the narcissistic killer. Angie Everhart is surprisingly good as his wife.
Tracy Pollan is not bad, trying a bit too hard; Megan Gallagher and Pam Grier are good, respectively, as the D.A. and County Medical Examiner. Carly Pope as a cub reporter is way over the top. Okay, they needed a younger cast member who could relate to the victims, but she is given way too much screen time. Also I seriously doubt that when there is a brutal homicide, a curious person can enter the hotel room, pretending to deliver flowers.
Overall a little too contrived for audiences expecting more in this genre. 6/10
That's right, you heard me. I am a huge fan of James Patterson. I own
10 of his books, and I have read the entire series about Lindsey Boxer.
In my opinion, the screenwriter should be shot.
What right did any film maker have to slaughter a terrific work of fiction and make it into a mockery of the mystery genre? If I ever thought that Harry Potter was butchered, then Michael O'Hara has proved me wrong.
I can only pray that the next screenwriter who tackles this fabulous book will do it a great deal more justice. To Michael O'Hara and Russell Mulcahy: don't quit your day job.
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