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I saw Recipe for Murder on cable in the UK. For a TV movie this production has excellent acting, dialogue, directing and sound. I'm not someone who gets excited by murder mysteries, especially of the non-nonsense New York tough-guy detective type, but I couldn't turn this off before seeing it to its conclusion. My criticism of the script is that the cast seems to be 80-90% male, with a lot of testosterone flying around in the investigation interviews. Plus perhaps too many New York accents -- there ARE people in NYC who don't have strong Brooklyn/Bronx accents but they don't show up in this film. I thought the lighting was good; interesting that the director was also the cinematographer.
New York City's chief medical examiner is informed by the police that
his movie star god-daughter's body has been found in a crashed car, a
possible suicide. Her godfather, not satisfied that her death was an
either an accident or a suicide refuses to sign off on her death
certificate and begins his own investigation.
Yes, I agree with some of the other comments made. The writing could have been better. The acting was not A-list. But believe me I have seen movies that were far, far worse than this one.
Some pluses: 1) There were several suspects with possible motives and though I have a fairly good record of picking out the villain I didn't see this one until the very end. 2) Some may laugh at me but it was so refreshing to watch a movie that wasn't full of sex. I get tired of having to switch channels. 3) I liked the lead actor Gary Basaraba,(m.e./godfather)but his character should have been more forceful, after all his beloved god-daughter had just been killed! Instead he was a bit too much of a marshmallow. The director should have told him to be more forceful but obviously didn't. 4) Most of the other actors were competent although a couple of the actors didn't reach the high standards set by the majority of the cast. 5) I though the actress who played the godfather's girlfriend was very natural, pity her part wasn't larger. And 6) as I said it was a pleasant little movie - and I stuck with it and didn't change the channel.
Even for a TV movie this one should have been much better. The story is
fair about a car wreck that kills a young actress who happens to be the
New York City medical examiner's goddaughter. He suspects that the
wreck was no accident. Just as in Roman times when poisoned mushrooms
were called the "food of the gods" by palace conspirators so in "Recipe
for Murder" mushrooms are suspected by the examiner to be the murder
weapon. There are a few twists and turns along the way but by in large
mainly a routine mystery yarn. What really hurts is the poor acting,
especially by the lead Gary Basaraba whose histrionics distract from
the cold hard facts of the case. He is not completely to blame. The
writer put far too many words into his mouth. His parables become
tiresome after awhile as does his fake accent.
The print I watched on television had poor lighting and the color appeared bleached. Otherwise the cinematography was OK for a TV movie.
Not a complete waste of time but with satellite television you should be able to find a much better mystery movie to watch.
One of those jocular TV mystery movies in which the viewer is supposed to be drawn in by the charm of the "detective" and his friends/helpers rather than by the suspense of the crime. Unfortunately, this cast feels like the leads all had the night off and the understudies had to step up. Not really bad performances, but I doubt the director remembered this the week after he finished it.
I don't remember seeing another murder/mystery movie as bad as this.
This movie, about a medical examiner who investigates his friend's
mysterious death in a car accident, has the complete receipt for a bad
movie: bad acting, boring story, lack of suspense, poor humor and no
drama. I remembered seeing this movie on PAX, a TV station notable for
dishing out low-budgeted and campy made-for-TV movies such as this one.
TV movies, of course, do not have the edge factor or the suspense as
movies from the Big Screen. But, this movie sure hit all sour tastes.
The makers of this movie have missed out on an opportunity to making
"Receipe for Murder" a great TV movie; the title does offer some
So, if you want a good recipe, don't watch this movie. This movie alone can kill your TV appetite.
The script is so so laughable... this in turn, makes the actors' lines
sound stiff and unrealistic and not to be believed. There's repetition
of phrases -- "my sweet little god daughter" and minor variations of
that line which comes to mind... and it's just sloppy soap opera
Worse yet, the music is so WRONG! Plus, the main bluesy "theme" is horribly quaint and entirely wrong for this. And it feels overused mostly because the instrumentation, texture and arrangement of this theme never changes, even when the scene's emotional context does.
Subsequently, whenever it appears, it sticks out like a sore thumb as the main transition from one scene to another.
The music's corny, and it's as if the writer were writing music for a soap or a sitcom -- a low budget 80's Canadian sitcom at that -- and this makes it feel as if we're always on the brink of throwing to a commercial.
This is so miscast, there's a lot of overacting and it's a real stretch that so many of these characters are employing only ONE type of NY accent -- a thick Bronx accent. I don't know if it's a question of the actors' limited capacity in only knowing *one* NY accent -- or whether it's a question of the director's ability to notice such an glaring anomaly.
In the end, it's the amateur script with it's leaden lines which makes this entire "movie"... blow. When any foundation is shaky and unstable, it's impossible to build upon it without it's flaws revealing themselves in exponentially more damaging and unflattering ways.
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