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14 reviews in total 
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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A little more than the typical, TV-movie-of-the-week, 5 November 2007

I remember this one from when I was in high school. I remember Kim Basinger with that Texas drawl. I also remember Melanie Mayron, who I believe played a photographer. Pretty typical story about a young woman who poses for a playboy-like magazine and ends up leaving the town she was raised in because of all the trouble her photograph created for her and her family. She ends up in Hollywood, chasing a dream of becoming an actress, and of course, things don't work out as she had hoped. I remember another character -- they all end up in a Hollywood apartment as roommates, of which Melanie Mayron was one. There was a particular character in this TV-movie who was young, had a child, and was willing to go to certain lengths to become famous whereas Basinger's character would not cross that line. I'm sure this TV-movie is pretty dated now (it is nearly 30 years old) and will probably never be released on DVD but I remember it clearly. It has stayed with me all this time, particularly the end.

29 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
what a wonderful surprise!, 23 May 2007

I have to admit I was very, very hopeful when I added "The State Within" to the top of my netflix queue. Stellar cast, BBC production. But sometimes you never know. However I must admit I was extremely surprised at how much I enjoyed the series.

It's six hours long and you have to pay attention because it has some great twists and turns and moments that will make you gasp out loud. As you watched the spectacle unfold you couldn't help but see the parallels to today's political climate and it just makes you...sad. Jason Isaacs was brilliant -- he's a far more talented actor then I had ever imagined. Of course, all I have to compare him to is Harry Potter, but I had no idea he had such presence, such ability, such range. The ending catches you completely off-guard. Whew.

The Rose (1979)
22 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
"Stay With Me, Baby", 6 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this film in college for $1 in 1980 and never really appreciated it until now.

It is amazing to note that this is the same Bette Midler who did all those Disney/Touchtone movies (Down and Out in Beverly Hills, etc.)! This is not a happy film. It has no happy ending. Most of the film is dark, adding to the dreariness of the story.

But you just watch Bette watching Houston Dyer leave her because he couldn't put up with her life. Watch him as he pauses before he gets into the tractor trailer that he's just hitched a ride with, watch him as he looks back at her, almost reflecting, thinking, for just a moment, reconsidering his choice, and then makes the decision to live with the choice and get on the truck, going God only knows where, leaving her.

Camera goes back to Bette, on the ground, wailing in agony, despair, and sadness.

You just watch Bette singing "Stay With Me, Baby" at the end of the film at the concert when she goes back to her hometown. How many takes before they got it right? Once? 37? She's on her knees, she's cradling the microphone, her eyes are blackened with the makeup that has mingled with the tears. Watch David Keith applaud from offstage as he's watching her give the performance of her life and KNOW that that applause was ad-libbed, that he was completely knocked out by her performance.

And then come back and tell me that this film was crap. I've seen Norma Rae and always believed that Sally Field deserved her Oscar but I no longer think that. Bette was robbed, plain and simple.

7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
even the beaver had a suit of armour, 28 December 2005

I have never read the books. I really looked forward to seeing this film. I cannot say enough how horribly disappointed I was. A talking lion. Talking beavers. More CGI than I have ever seen in any one film. And absolutely at it's core, no story whatsoever. Pretentious and sanctimonious prattle. Completely unbelievable. I would have given twenty minutes -- any twenty minutes -- from any of the LOTR films then The Chronicles of Narnia. This is clearly Disney's attempt to cash in on what began with the Harry Potter films -- their foray into epic children's stories and the cash cow that they have generated. Brought to you by the man that gave the world "Shrek" and "Shrek 2", no less, who sat in a dark theatre watching LOTR and drooling over Peter Jackson's masterpiece and thought in all his naiveté, in all his conceit, "I can do that too."

The Soul Collector (1999) (TV)
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
a warm, heartfelt movie, 10 September 2005

Sometimes a movie just is what it is. No symbolism, no pretense, no art-student/film-student pontifications. It just is. I have always been a fan of Melissa Gilbert and will admit that her movies are a guilty pleasure of mine. She tends to pick things that flatter her and more often than not, raise the caliber of the "made-for-TV" drama. I saw The Soul Collector a couple of weeks ago on Lifetime and watched it from beginning to end. I had seen Bruce Greenwood in other things but he just floored me with this performance. I don't ever remember him being that handsome. And I don't EVER remember Melissa Gilbert being this sexy in a movie before. Best line: "I would trade all of eternity for one lifetime with this woman." I'm sure it comes on WE and Lifetime all the time, catch it when you can or buy it if it's on DVD. Know beforehand what you're getting and you won't be disappointed.

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A wonderful, character-driven little film, 25 July 2005

I loved this movie, and I don't say that about a lot of movies. As someone else has noted, it's a shame that when people see the title "Independence Day" they will immediately think to the flying saucer/alien movie. This is not that film. A wonderful story, and truly wonderful performances by Kathleen Quinlin, David Keith and some great character actors: Josef Sommer as the dad, Frances Sternhagen as Quinlin's mom and Dianne Wiest as David Keith's sister. Quietly touches on universal themes of the importance of family and following your dreams, and most harrowing, on domestic violence. I just got on ebay to see if this film was available on DVD and had to wade through screens of the alien title to find that alas, it is not. Only on VHS. What a shame.

66 out of 95 people found the following review useful:
The most incredible ending...ever, 14 February 2005

I have not seen this movie in ages.

The ending stuns me to this day.

I honestly cannot remember how I came upon this film but it was most likely in the "$1 previously viewed bin" at the old RKO Video Store on 47th Street in Manhattan.

I still own this copy and refuse to part with it, no matter how much it fetches on ebay. I sincerely hope they release a DVD here in the u.s.

Reading the other comments brought the film back to me but I remember clearly watching his descent into madness brought about by being the only one left and that ending leaves you breathless.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
simply beautiful, 7 January 2005

I first have to thank a previous poster, teri_2, who recommended those interested in seeing Armadillo to first try and track down the version that appeared on BBC1 as opposed to the heavily edited, hacked up version that appeared on A&E.

Thank you so very, very much, teri_2.

I saw Armadillo on A&E and absolutely loved it. I contemplated buying it -- on A&E -- and then I saw teri_2's post.

I was able to track down a VHS copy of Armadillo as it was originally shown on BBC1 on ebay and I have to say, it is a far, far superior version.

The editing was seamless, not as choppy as the one shown on A&E, and actually flushed out the story and characters much, much more.

James Frain absolutely took my breath away. What a performance.

And the music -- if anyone can get a listing of the songs that were featured in the film please email me! Beautiful, absolutely stunningly beautiful.

8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
sometimes not every question gets answered, 8 December 2004

so we don't know what motive propelled the Ron Eldard character to push -- no, really bully -- Jennifer Connolly into going after Ben Kingsley and his family.

we don't know why Jennifer Connolly's husband left her.

I hadn't realized until after reading the posts here on that Jennifer Connolly's character was a recovering drug addict and not alcoholic. But does it really matter?

Yes, there were some areas that were completely implausible: a house going for $174,000 in Northern California, the cop threatening the Bahrani's knowing that he could be easily identified, that Pacific County even ACKNOWLEDGED the error and offers to BUY THE HOUSE BACK from the Bahrani's.

But my goodness, what performances. I don't think I will ever forget Ben Kinglsey pressing his blood-soaked hands on the floor, forehead to the floor, in the hospital's waiting room while the doctors were working to save his son, pleading with God for the life of his son. Having a son myself, I had to pause the film because I was crying so hard. What a performance. And this comes after how many years he won for Ghandi? Who won the year Kingsley was nominated?

Beautiful, extraordinarly photographed, the most compelling performances for the year and unfortunately, not a happy ending. This film will stay with you for days after viewing. Guaranteed.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
George, have you learned nothing?, 28 October 2004

Let me begin by saying I saw Star Wars for the first time on the Fourth of July in 1977. It absolutely changed my life, particularly in terms of film.

My favorite of the series is The Empire Strikes Back, I thought it was brilliant. I loved Jedi, cried at the end, thought it was all over. Nine years of my life. Little did I know there would be more. I was elated to learn that Lucas decided to continue the series, but go to a prequel. I watched The Phantom Menace in a near-empty theater during the weekday with my head in my hands the entire time. I hated the kid who played the young Annakin Skywalker, I hated all that time spent on the pod race, as for Jar Jar Binks, well, he is undoubtedly one of the most offensive characters I have ever witnessed in film. And then, finally, Attack of the Clones. Where do I begin? Natalie Portman and the 100 Costume Changes. Hayden Christiansen playing the whiny, petulant, pouting teen -- this is the person who is to become the evil Vadar? It cannot be! And a film almost consumed by the CGI. The overwhelming difference between the early and later films is that George Lucas did not direct or write Empire & Jedi, and of the middle three, Empire is arguably considered the best. Whereas in I&II he does both, and fails miserably. There is no secret that George Lucas has only directed a handful of films. I wait, nonetheless, for Revenge of the Sith, with that ridiculously lame title, still hoping for the best, but expecting it to be awful.

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