Blue Smoke (TV Movie 2007) Poster

(2007 TV Movie)

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Better than the others
jenmcclave14 February 2007
The first two adaptations (Angels Fall and Montana Sky) were disappointing for someone who read the books. I was actually pleased by Blue Smoke.

They did a good job of adapting a complex book down to a short movie. The flashbacks were a great way of letting us understand Reena's history and her current emotional state. Of course, they changed some of the details, but those changes didn't bother me, and worked well for the movie. And I think they did a good job of casting for this one - Alicia Witt and Scott Bakula were very good.

The only complaint I have is that due to the short time constraint, they were not able to really focus as much on the relationship with Bo, so the chemistry wasn't as strong as it could have been. Matthew Settle is very cute, but we didn't really get to know his character.

That said, I enjoyed it.
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Best of the Bunch, So Far
Mitiori13 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Best of the Bunch, so far. (referring to the 4 Nora Roberts' adaptations Lifetime television is showing January to February 2007).

The chick got issues and I sat there wondering how the next person was going to die. All in all, that made for a good story. Even better, there was a great cast and a tightly crafted screenplay that moved along.

Even in the face of a big character/story flaw, I was able to enjoy the film. I can't remember it from the book, but the literary device they used to show us what happened in the past was effective as a literary device, but it also created a situation that was more than just trauma, it was full-blown PTSD and I don't think that she should have be allowed to go into fires after her performance on the test. It not only puts her life in danger, but puts the lives of her colleagues and the people they save in danger. This fact, however, didn't distract me too much from enjoying the movie.

I gotta say I was totally hooked by the guy who kept spotting her. He was cute and the entire thing was so romantic. I was hoping he wasn't going to die by fire or be a firebug himself. I love those tricks of fate.

Now, that FBI agent, he seemed like something out of the ABC Soap General Hospital - a cop who's portrayed as a bad guy. Thankfully, it was one short scene and things moved along (proving it was definitely not an ABC Daytime product).

Was it just me, or did the bad guy look like a bald Ben Affleck to anyone else? The rest, I really enjoyed. I'll be watching this film again. The only thing missing was something - a theme, an event, a person - that I could emotionally connect with. It was a good mystery. I give this film 8 out of 10 stars.
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Surprisingly pleased
trammie713 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I had my doubts, but was surprised and pleased that Blue Smoke was much better than my expectations.

Using flashbacks was a more effective way of presenting Reena's past and present in the movie. It helped create the picture of who she had become and why. I could understand many of the changes made to accommodate the transition from book to film. In some cases preferred the movie version (the book had a LOT of graphic violence).

Alica Witt did a very believable strong, fierce Reena, showing how she had grown to deal with the tragedies that had made her feel, understandably, vulnerable and fragile. Scott Bakula ... ah ... he just gets better and more seasoned with every new role he takes on: compassionate and kind, but stern and demanding when needed.

The relationships before she met Bo were as heartbreaking in the movie as in the book. Though I couldn't decide if the one she had with Hugh was even sadder than the original version. Was it worse that she was gun-shy and only on the brink of a new, deeper relationship as in the book, or taking the chance of accepting a marriage proposal as in the film?

I honestly didn't think I'd like Matthew Settle as Bo, but he convinced me with his scene in the backyard when he *finally* got to meet his dream girl.

The strong sense of family, and how their love and respect for each other also helped form Reena into such a determined, focused woman was carried through in both versions.

Personally, I thought how the movie dealt with the villain(s) was a nice twist and fitting ending.

Leaves me champing at the bit to see Carolina Moon.
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Not Good...
apetty-41 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I guess if you like WE! or Oxygen, you'd probably like Blue Smoke. I am a fire investigator, so my wife thought I would probably like this movie. Appreciate the thought, but....

The movie starts with the newbie female arson investigator (a specialized police officer with fire investigation training) getting some fire suppression training by entering a live-fire smokehouse. Alone. In a smokehouse-maze with crazy trap doors, tunnels and ladders over fire pits. I understand movies are for entertainment, but at least a little realism would have been nice. The next 30 minutes is all relationships, flashbacks, idiots sleeping with curtains blowing across lit candles.

Couldn't finish it.
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A decent if unremarkable TV Movie
med_197828 March 2009
I just finished watching this film, I did find the film to be quite routine yet still watchable.

It is obviously made for TV and the budget shows, some of the fire effects are cheap, and the acting is serviceable. I have to say though I did find Alicia Witt quite engaging in the lead role (I don't recall seeing her before other than in Urban Legend), I thought her performance was okay and I liked the voice-over in the beginning of the film too. Scott Bakula gives his usual type of performance and the other actors are adequate.

All in all a decent movie to pass the time on TV, but would not recommend buying it.
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Excellent Film to Enjoy
whpratt113 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
If you like pictures about fire fighters and the police who deal with arson and what sparks people into enjoying the flame and causing many people to die. The story deals with a young girl,(Alica Witt) who witnesses a fire that burned down her family restaurant which made a deep impression on her mind and stayed with her into adulthood. It is because of this incident that she becomes a policewoman and has to take a final test which is going into a burning building in an allot period of time. This story will surprise you with plenty of sudden surprises right to the very end. This well written story by Nora Roberts will keep you glued to your TV screen and keep you guessing just who is the FIRE BUG! Enjoy
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Obviously made for Lifetime Channel
cbauman3 April 2007
I like Nora Roberts' books, but this movie was terrible. The main character is so very unrealistic, but since I didn't read the book, I don't know if this is just an awful book made into a movie or it's just the movie.

The story is very predictable. The main character is so cheesy, so depressed and brooding, suspicious of everything and then suddenly happy-go-lucky, not a care in the world. She refers to herself as a cop, but then plays the part of an arson investigator with the fire department.

In my opinion, this movie would be great for someone who loves to watch made-for-TV movies, or the typical Lifetime original movie. Otherwise, don't waste your time.
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Not as Good as the Books
LizabethSTucker21 March 2009
I think the movies might work better if you haven't read the books first. I'm not entirely displeased with the movies, particularly "Blue Smoke", but they are so limited in what they can do within the time constraints of the film. This was a complicated book, with the usual terrific characterizations.

I think the weakest part of "Blue Smoke" was the lack of time to develop the family dynamics.

Scott Bakula is wonderful in the part of the senior investigator. I've always loved him, but he shines in this part. Frankly, he's the guy I would go for.

Witt does an adequate job as the heroine. Overall, I would say that the movie would make a good afternoon's entertainment, but you would be better served by getting the original book and diving in.

Here's hoping this year's Nora Roberts selection of films will be even better.

And if the Eve Dallas books are ever filmed by owner Mel Gibson, I hope they consider Mariska Hargarty in mind for the lead role.
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Romance and suspense
mollidew13 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I feel it isn't relevant that this is a made for TV movie. Whether TV or the big screen, movies are an entirely different medium from the novel. In so saying, they cannot be translated exactly into a TV screenplay. One must cut out some details or change them for the time frame given. The opening scenes were very suspenseful, even as some have stated, probably not what actually happens in a real test. It wouldn't have shown the main characters dilemma over fire and set up the storyline without it.

Ms Witt is always charming in her roles. I remember her the most when she was much younger in Mr. Holland's Opus. She is wonderful as the main character of this movie and Scott Bakula was his usual entertaining self. It is a sad story but I feel well written for TV. Most movies of this type are fairly predictable which is fine. There are only so many ways to write a story and not make it seem contrived to get some bizarre twist. This one actually has its own twist because one forgets who the arsonist could be unless you are paying very close attention. This is one aspect of the movie that escalates with the writer trying to keep us guessing by not actually showing the face of the person who is committing the crimes. This is not a new idea but it keeps you guessing who the person might be.

The additional storyline of the guy who sees a woman across the room and falls in love, looking for her over time seems a little unusual and the only part I had a little trouble with but it was a cute idea. I find the general storyline plausible, even though some details wouldn't happen in real life in my opinion. The movie was very enjoyable. I wouldn't give it a 10 but it rates an 8. If you like romance novels, you should enjoy this movie.
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Very interesting fun to watch movie!
Peach Martin25 March 2011
I just saw this movie not too long ago and LOVED it. The movie was full of suspense and had me guessing and wanting to know what happens next. It was very interesting, intriguing, and had my attention.

I was so fascinated by the characters. I was so glued to my TV screen. Wanting to know more. Wanting to find out what was going on...I was happily captivated by it!

The way things go in this movie has you guessing, just WHO is stalking this woman? And when you find out, you wonder if it is really HIM or someone ELSE. It kept me on my toes and entertained to the fullest!

I would love to see this movie again. I like it very much and it was very fun and entertaining to watch.
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Flames of Passion
sol14 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
**SPOILERS** Very unremarkable mystery thriller from Nora Roberts involving a mad arsonists who's got something against the Hale Family particularly young Reena Hale, Alcia Witt, who's a top arson investigator for the Baltimore Police Department. It's when Reena was 11 and saw her family's Italian restaurant-Sirico's-burned down in an arson fire that she soon became obsessed with fires because of it. Now grown up Reena seems to have fires follow her around in her both professional as well as personal life!

It seems that someone want's to screw up Reena's love life by having two of her future husbands Josh & Hugh, John Reardon & Ben Ayres, get killed in very obvious arson fires, in the case of Hugh a fire bombing, just when she was about to marry them! What's even more shocking the person who was convicted in torching her family's Italian restaurant some 15 years ago Joe Pastorelli, David Brown, was not only released from prison just before these latest series of arson fires happened but was also spotted hanging around the neighborhood, or the Hale family Sirico's restaurant, for the the last few weeks!

If things weren't weird enough for Reena this off the wall guy named Bo Goodnight, Matthew Settle, ironically just moved in next door to her. What's so strange, besides his last name, about Mr. Goodnight is that he's had, no pun intended, the hots for Reena since he first met her, from afar, at a party some six years ago the very evening that her fiancée Josh was killed in a raging fire while he was in bed fast asleep!

***SPOILER*** As you would have expected all this fire & brimstone started back when Sirico's was burned to the ground. The big surprise is who's, besides Big Joe Pastorelli, behind all these mysterious fires now! As it turned out it was someone that a smart fire investigator like Reena should have known right from the start! It seemed that Reena's memory of her family's restaurant fire was a wee bit faulty in her forgetting the person whom she saw, with a crazed look in his eyes, at the scene of the Sirico's restaurant fire! The very person who had just the day before tired to unsuccessfully rape her!
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Serviceable thriller
gridoon201820 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The somewhat unconventionally beautiful Alicia Witt gives a good performance as an arson investigator who, with the help of her older partner (Scott Bakula), tries to track down a mysterious arsonist who seems to target any person she loves for extinction. I'm not familiar with Nora Roberts' books; Witt is the main reason I decided to check this film out, and she does seem to have put a lot of effort into her part. The film is professionally made and acted all around, with realistic depictions of fire (though there is one computerized explosion that looks very fake). The problem is that the story does not contain any major twists, and there are a couple of points where it cheats the viewer (without going into heavy spoilers, I'm referring particularly to the circumstances of Josh's death). It's an OK way to spend 90 minutes, but don't expect much more than that. (**)
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Mystery love story
Jack Vasen12 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Decent story with a couple of minor flaws. 1) I was thinking most of the time that Reena and John were forgetting someone. 2) Obviously Bo had his reasons, but the movie never sold me on why Reena shouldn't have totally spurned Bo for being a creepy stalker much less fall in love with him. I really would have like to see more time spent on Reena and Bo falling in love. On the positive side, there was good suspense while you wondered when the next fire was going to spring up and how were they going to catch the arsonist.

Alicia Witt was at times great. She does a great job as the woman in love and you envy the boyfriend. She plays a really likable person most of the time. Her voice over at the beginning was good, but for a second I was thinking "this woman is the pyro here".

But there were a couple of times her character was contradictory and I didn't think she sold it as to why. For one thing she goes from being the tough no-fear cop to being the little girl who can't do a thing. Maybe it almost makes sense, but I didn't buy her presentation of it. If her flashbacks are incapacitating her that much, I see at least two problems. 1) Others would notice it and intervene. 2) She never should have passed her initial fire test. Another time was in the hospital when Hugh dies. She spent almost no time grieving. And the scene chasing Joe with the gun looked ridiculous and if I saw a real cop chasing someone like that, I would be real worried about the gun going off randomly.

Scott Bacula was steady as the parental mentor and friend.
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slow functional TV thriller
SnoopyStyle26 September 2015
Catarina 'Reena' Hale (Alicia Witt) is working towards being a fire investigator. She's been obsessed with fire ever since her family bar burned up when she was young. John Minger (Scott Bakula) is her mentor since that fateful day. The angry father of the neighborhood bully was arrested. At college, she's taken with boyfriend Josh Bolton but he dies in a fire. Her next boyfriend Hugh is killed in an explosion with a ring in his pocket. She moves into a house next to eager Bo Goodnight who professes his love. She gets a call from her stalker hinting at the previous incidents. She fears the next target will be Bo.

It's a slow but functional TV thriller. It needs much better style to intensify the story. Witt is capable but she doesn't get much of a chance. The fire story allows for some explosions but they're not particularly impressive or thrilling. It may be OK for a crime TV drama but it's a bit stretched out.
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