Reviews written by registered user
|7 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When next-door neighbours and best friends Alan and JJ (and JJ's
brainy, bookworm younger sister, Delia) enter a contest sponsored by
Barrett's Natural Soda, they get their families caught up in a charade
of epic proportions.
The contest, as advertised by company owner and president, Ernie Barrett, is as follows: He needs a new family to be the face of Barrett's Soda to launch his secret, new flavor, so he's looking for the perfect family with the perfect qualities to represent his product. The prizes include paying off the mortgage on the winner's home ("if you don't have a house, I'll buy you a house!"); paying the college tuition for the children, and a lifetime supply of Barrett's Natural Soda.
The entrants must write an essay, the subject being why they think their family is the 'Perfect' family for Ernie Barrett.
Both Alan and JJ belong to single-parent, struggling families. JJ's father, widower George, is a down-and-out writer who may have to sell the house and move in with his parents. Alan's mom, Vicki, works and studies, and seems to constantly rely on her mother for funds.
Alan decides to enter both his family and JJ's family in Barrett's contest, claiming they are actually one. With some digital wizardry, he combines two family portraits so they look like a real family. With JJ's help, he writes a glowing essay (with several embellishments and blatant untruths) to convince Ernie Barrett that they are 'the perfect family'.
The real fun starts when Ernie Barrett shows up in person at Alan's home while he and JJ are playing basketball in the driveway. He proclaims that they are a finalist family. He'll make his winning choice just as soon as he's lived with them for one week.....
The kids now must scramble to get George and Vicki (who, before now, were completely in the dark about the entire contest) on-side, and have them pretend they are married and living under one roof.
Both George and Vicki are completely against the idea, since their relationship is already a strained one due to constant squabbles over petty things like property lines and untidy hedges.
They come to the decision to pull out of the contest, since it would be unethical to try to dupe Mr. Barrett. But two individuals claiming to be from the FBI show up, and convince them to remain in the contest. They believe that Barrett's Soda company has been involved in industrial espionage, and has stolen the formula of a rival soda company. The Agents believe Ernie Barrett will be giving out a sample of the soon-to-be-released new flavor to the winning family. They've been instructed to bring that sample directly to them so it can be analysed.
with this new directive, George and Vicki reluctantly agree to keep up the scam.
To quote an oft-used and utterly clichéd (but apt) phrase, "Hilarity ensues"!!
Richard Karn is brilliant as George, as he must deal with an editor from hell, who seems bent on seducing him. Dave Thomas plays up his role as the clueless but kind soda baron. Mary Page Keller has a great role to work with, as she must deal with a doting (but highly unsuitable and boring) boyfriend, and the fact that Alan is still conflicted about his absent father. The 'kids' are also well-cast and shine in their roles as they try to keep up the charade and constantly need to ad-lib with their 'parents'.
You will laugh out loud with this movie. The humour is never inappropriate, and it can truly be enjoyed by the whole family.
Recommended highly. If only they'd release it on DVD...
Six stars is actually kinda generous.
That David James Elliot was able to escape Canada and make a success of himself on JAG is truly amazing.
It's been many long years since I watched 'Fly By Night', where (oh gee; I nearly called him 'Harm') Elliot's character 'Mack' played the hotshot pilot of a company called 'Slick! Air', owned by Tweed's character, Sally Slick.
Slick! was always struggling one way or another; mostly financially.
As a chartered airline company with one jet, a pilot, owner and (what did that French guy really do again?) Slick! Air was usually one client away from being permanently grounded.
There was obviously supposed to be some unresolved ...tension between Mack and Sally, (with two 'attractive' leads, this was formula and cheese rolled into one) but I don't think it was ever resolved before the series was cancelled.
One thing that sticks out is part of the show's theme, which ended with the seductive words: "You think you're so slick..." I guess since I can't recall much more about the show and only fleeting bits and pieces from two or three various episodes means it had average writing, average acting and less-than-average production values. Typical of Canadian television.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's truly a shame that CBS cancelled this show. As has been mentioned
by other folks here, Under Suspicion was intelligently written with
superb performances to match. I can only echo that in my own rather
plain way. Brilliant scripts and acting, of course, is usually instant
recipe for cancellation. It wasn't until NBC's 'Boomtown' came 'round
that I found a 'cop' drama worthy of watching. They axed that one too.
(Actually, 'High Incident' was darned good, too, but it also had a
short shelf life.) I'd love to have Under Suspicion on DVD, since the
station that carried it locally never showed all the episodes.
In my restless searching for any episode info, I leaned in the season 1 finale, 'Phil' was shot by a bullet meant for a colleague. Word from the network was if the show didn't return for a second season, we could assume she didn't survive. How harsh is that?
I remember looking forward to 'Sleepwalkers' with much anticipation. At
time, X-Files was already high on its critical and public acclamation and
success, and this new series looked to be a show in the same
It premiered; I watched; I was impressed. It was a spooky mix of the 'Files and Outer Limits. The possibilities seemed endless as to how entering the dreams of a patient can help them conquer their problems.
Then NBC dutifully went and cancelled it after (correct me if I'm wrong) 5 episodes. Typical of NBC, though, a network that seems to delight in tanking shows I get hooked on. I didn't intend for this to be a rant, but Earth 2, Sleepwalkers, JAG (yes, it was originally on NBC) The Pretender, Profiler, BOOMTOWN!!! (I will NEVER forgive them for that one...)...all shows on NBC that I've loved but have been cancelled.
I will never forget a scene in what was perhaps the last episode aired...
Dr. Nathan (Greenwood) and Kate (Watts) had been arguing over something, and it was causing some tension between them. Nathan fell asleep later, and dreamed of a dead team member approaching him in a stop-action-photography-like sequence where he says: "Listen to Kate!" I know it sounds silly, but it was totally creepy and sent shivers down my spine.
We never find out any more from any of this series, and I really wish NBC had given it a chance. It could have been another X-Files.
But then, since the Boomtown fiasco, I've boycotted all NBC products.
So your life isn't perfect. You've had some pretty traumatic experiences
you've managed to 'block out'. It's not that unusual; after all, you've
experienced blackouts since childhood, most notably when these traumatic
incidents occur. Must be your brain's way of coping, or something, because
bad memories just aren't that great, right?
For Evan (Kutcher) a university Psych major, working on how the brain and memory are linked, and how memories can be recovered (specifically his own, perhaps?) maybe the occurrence of his blackouts mean slightly more than just a coping mechanism of his tortured grey matter. Having kept meticulous journals since he was a kid on the advice of his shrink, Evan starts re-reading long-forgotten passages from the stacks of composition books he's taken with him to assist with his research.
That's when the weird stuff starts.
We're treated to nifty optical effects - the words shifting and fluttering on the page like a butterfly's wings (Meant, I suppose, to refer back to that quote from the "chaos theory" we're treated to at the beginning of the film - you know - the one about the beating of a butterfly's wings could result in a typhoon on the other side of the world, or whatever...) Evan is all of a sudden transported back to a time and place from his past - and he realises that what he is seeing is an event from one of his blackouts, what he thinks to be a repressed memory. Is it simply a memory he now is able to recall, or has he somehow found a way to actually physically transport himself back to that time where he can change the outcome of that event?
We're never given any real reason why this phenomenon should occur - but that isn't what this movie is about. It is about a young man obsessed with creating for himself the perfect life, but in so doing either destroys the lives of those he cares about or has devastating consequences for his own. It makes us see that even the smallest event from our pasts and the choices we make then and there can have unforeseen and unpredictable results. Do we dare tamper with that if we had the ability?
Top marks go to Kutcher, because he gives an incredible performance that I didn't think he had it in him to give. The rest of the cast is simply superb, and the make-up artists need a big thumbs up for making us believe that the characters could appear mousy in one outcome, glamorous in another, horrifying and homely in yet another.
'Trapped' is an intense and gripping movie. Sheer edge-of-your seat
and excellent acting from all the performers.
Kidnapping is a well-used plot-device, but the Bacon and Love characters' plotting make what they do seem chilling and frighteningly possible.
This movie deserves a chance to prove itself as one of the best thriller/suspense movies to come along in a very, very long time.
(Definitely not a movie to show kids - R - rating for sure.)
When this movie was released to audiences in the US and Canada, it was done
a grave disservice because it was edited way too much. International
audiences got extra scenes that added certain nuances, and subtly changed
the overall enjoyment and understanding of the plot and characters.
Anchor Bay deserves kudos for the excellent DVD Special Edition release, which includes the International version, as well as an un-cut Director's Edition, which has footage that has never been seen. Comparing the 'crapped-up' domestic version which is often edited further for pan-and-scan television audiences, it is clear why this movie is thought of as being a stinker. (Anchor Bay prudently ignored releasing the domestic version.)
This movie was meant to be viewed in a widescreen format. I cannot emphasize this enough. One important scene is always lost due to pan-and-scan cropping, and it is a scene that establishes the diabolical forces that surround villainess Selena. This reviewer never before understood what Selena was referring to when shown a reflection of herself in a mirror stating: "What is that?" Widescreen reveals that there is something else being reflected next to her. Supergirl's 'Flying Ballet' scenes are sublime (and extended) in this format.
This movie, if anything for nostalgia's sake, ought to be revisited in all its un-cut widescreen glory. And let's not forget the top-notch score by soundtrack genius Jerry Goldsmith!
The unfair treatment this movie got has been redeemed by this DVD release. Yes, the movie is dated, and maybe still a little hokey. But the un-cut edition is far superior to what Tri Star Pictures tried to pass off as a feature film for a super-heroine back in 1984. (Someone give Helen Slater a prize for all her dedication to this project! She deserved more attention than she got for this role.)