|Index||6 reviews in total|
14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Adam Arkin should be in more leading roles..., 16 May 2006
Author: MarieGabrielle from United States
he is consistently underrated. While this film is a bit choppy, and
relevant themes within Smith's family are left unexplored; Arkin gives
a believable, chilling and intriguing performance.
He portrays John David Smith- the true story of an engineer who also happens to be a sociopath. We see him relocate to New Jersey, with his new wife, who is then disposed of. Her daughter and sister, portrayed by Kelli Williams and Amy Madigan, respectively, attempt to solve the mystery of John Smith. What happened and why? The writer may have included more history, especially regarding Smith's mother, the apparent dysfunctional family in Indiana, and some of Smith's other encounters with women.
The last TV movie which had a good male performer in this type of role was Gary Cole, as Capt. Jeffrey MacDonald. (Another case of a sociopath responsible for his family's violent murder.) While this film was not a stand-out; Adam Arkin was excellent, and should be in more leading male roles (I confess I have liked him since Chicago Hope, as Dr. Aaron Shutt).
At any rate, you will be interested in this story. Perhaps the director and writer can team up with Arkin once again, in a similar project. It is interesting to see older, intelligent and charismatic actors playing roles other than doctors, attorneys or principals.
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Never marry a stranger, 10 May 2006
Author: krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas
This made-for-TV thriller, not mystery (because you know right away who
the killer is), doesn't quite make it all work, but is still worth a
look. The script by sometimes actor Walter Klenhard, which he based on
a true account entitled "My Sister Is Missing" by Sherrie Davis, could
stand a little more wit and wisdom and the direction by Michael Scott
would benefit from more suspense and excitement. Otherwise, the story
is an intriguing one, made more so by the fact that it actually
happened. The ironic title adds to the film's appeal.
John Smith (Adam Arkin), what a name for a cold-blooded sociopath, has wives that keep disappearing. The latest is Fran (Susan Hogan) whom he marries after a brief courtship. Fran leaves a note that she is terminating the relationship and not coming back but fails to inform her family. Her daughter, Deanna Whelen (Kelli Williams), and her sister, Sherrie Davis (Amy Madigan), know that something evil has happened to their loved one and are determined to find out exactly what. John behaves strangely to say the least. That he has been forsaken seems to consume his entire psyche. Deanna and Sherrie pretend to be supportive of him, to gain his confidence in order to get evidence for the police. The local police do all they can to help but without a body or something substantive they are unable to charge John. The FBI eventually gets involved as more is uncovered about John's previous life. A key figure turns out to be John's brother, Michael (Bill Marchant), who has been in his older brother's shadow all his life. How John is ultimately brought to justice is the crux of the film.
The talented actor, Adam Arkin, son of the also talented actor Alan Arkin, makes a creepy, scary psycho, with his slow, methodical speech pattern which exudes the essence of the demons lurking inside this seemingly mild-mannered engineer. Bill Marchant as his slow-witted younger brother turns in an effective and believable performance. An actress who has been overlooked by movie moguls for years, Amy Madigan, plays the crucial role of Fran's indefatigable sister to perfection. The rest of the cast is above average for a routine made-for-TV film.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Pleasure Perfect ***, 9 May 2006
Author: edwagreen from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is highly predictable but is most interesting for the sullen
performance by Adam Arkin.
He is so glib that it's hard to believe that he is a sociopath and has killed his two wives.
We know he is guilty but the plot here is how is going to be revealed as the killer?
Unfortunately, for him, his second wife, Fran, came from a close tightly-knit family. Daughter Kelli Williams and sister, portrayed by Amy Madigan, team up to play sleuths. They do a completely thorough job in tracing phone bills made by John Smith. (Arkin) The bills reveal that he has a girlfriend in another state. Where were the police?
Ladies, don't jump into marriage. Smith came from a purely dysfunctional family. Sadly, their inaction led to the second death.
This does contain a spoiler!!!!!, 30 September 2012
Author: RJ Bishop
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
****I REPEAT: THIS DOES CONTAIN A SPOILER****
I don't have much of a review on this movie... Honestly I did get a little confused when I was watching this movie. I just find it odd that in the end of the movie when he is supposed to have handcuffs on... you can clearly see that he is holding the cuffs in his hands. One side of the handcuffs is closed in his left hand.. and the other side of them are laying open in his right. Yet, there are no goofs listed on here for this movie! I would say that it really isn't a big deal, but it's so obvious that everyone watching the movie with me saw it at the same time? For me, that's just a little too much of a goof.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
there may be a spoiler in summary, 26 July 2008
Author: tdcarter3 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found this movie to be very believable because it reminds me of the demeanor that S.P. displayed when his wife L.P. was missing and later found dead. He also had a mistress who was in the dark basically about his other life.I believe Adam Arkin did a great job at displaying a social path but the for Kelli's character to have to pretend to be this man's friend and knowing in the back of her mind that he is probably responsible for the disappearance of her mother her character is very strong and courageous and in the mist of everything her grandmother dies I know it took a whole lot of will power and endurance for her to carry on that charade I say kudos for her. Amy Madigan also gave a great performance in investigating her sisters disappearance and digging into his past life the work her and her niece did is just so impressive and very good and his brother is such a big help in nailing the social path. I would admit this is not Adam Arkin best work but his performance was great it just really shows his range because there are a lot of actors who would not be able to pull off this part Lifetime chose this role for the right person, he is so scary and believable in this part that watching this movie actually gives me goosebumps especially in the parts with him and his new younger roommate he really started to creep me out especially with the late night phone calls to Fran's daughter almost admitting guilt, she is really doing a great job at making him confide in her . They are working him from every angle getting him fired from his job and making him feel very alienated but it also scary knowing that in the state of loneliness he is still going out meeting other women and lying like there is no tomorrow saying things like he is divorced, and widowed lie after lie after lie don't he know by now those things are catching up to him.
4 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
as flat as Arkin's performance, 10 May 2006
Author: alannasser from United States
Lifetime seriously hyped this movie for weeks prior to its premier. I
persuaded myself that this thriller would be more than the patented,
formulaic flick that is standard for a Lifetime thriller. And there
have been excellent thrillers on this channel: Ladies Night is a good,
if rare, example, and features a first rate performance by Paul Michael
Glaser. Alas, my hopes were dashed. This film, about a sociopathic
murderer of a succession of wives, lacks dynamics, tension and
narrative flow. It is the visual equivalent of an essay outlining this
(based-on-a-true) story. What we get is flat story telling, with no
depth or energy.
At the core of the film's many flaws is Adam Arkin's comatose performance as the sociopath. The character is described as lacking in conscience and emotion. He apparently suffers from a kind of Asperger's Syndrome, unable to experience or understand others' inner life. The character is thus without depth, a bit lifeless and, as is acknowledged in the film, therefore plain boring. But an actor playing a flat, shallow and boring character must not give a flat, shallow and boring performance. And there lies the challenge to the actor. Arkin sinks to the challenge. There is virtually no variation in his facial expressions, and he is vocally monotonous. Every actor knows that playing an intensely bad or evil character can be fun. Classic examples are Al Lettieri in the original The Getaway, and Christopher Plummer in The Silent Partner. You can't take your eyes off those villains. A serious baddie can be given both nuance and depth and texture by a skilled actor. Arkin seems to lack the chops of a good actor, and his performance is accordingly as dull as dishwater.
In all fairness, I must admit that I have found all of Arkin's work similarly bland, energyless and lacking in range.
This pic was a huge disappointment.
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