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46 reviews in total 
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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Just for fun, 23 September 2006

For crying out loud, WHY do so many people here behave as though every movie has to be a "Ghandi" or a "Star Wars" (which I totally LOVE...don't get me wrong!) Thunderbirds wasn't a special effects masterpiece, it wasn't thought provoking, it wasn't an edge of your seat spine tingling likely was it that a movie based on a 1960's cartoon with characters who looked like a cross between Claymation figures and marionettes WOULD be? What it was was ninety minutes, give or take, of escapism. It was FUN. We sat and watched it with our two daughters with no fear of nudity, profanity, or sexual innuendo. It made for a relaxing evening.

Anything wrong with that?

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not as bad as some are saying, 24 June 2006

If you have seen the "real" version of this movie than the best (and maybe ONLY) way to enjoy this movie is to accept right off that it is not REALLY "based on a true story". With the exception of the names of the two central characters, the number of children involved, and that title, it is NOT really based on the lives of Frank Beardsely and Helen North Beardsely and their combined family. With that said, if you are really interested in that story, I recommend reading Helen North Beardsely's book "Who Gets the Drumstick" If you can do this, or if you have never seen the original, it's not a bad way to spend an afternoon, esp. if you have kids, who WILL like it! It has it's funny and touching moments and Quaid and Russo are good. Most of the kids do an OK job, but with so many of them you never get a real feel for their characters. And it does manage to send a message that adults who choose to blend their families sometimes forget....that just because THEY fell in love doesn't mean their kids will accept things as easily.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A sweet movie, 18 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers *** was sweet. And I for one don't think there's a thing wrong with that.

Hilary Duff does an outstanding job as a small-town girl with big dreams. After her brother is killed in a car accident, her father becomes more determined than ever to keep her "safe" at home with him. With the help of her mother and aunt, she sneaks away to a performing arts school where she faces the challenges of trying to fit in, trying to find out if she's "good enough", trying to keep her whereabouts a secret from daddy; all while dealing with the loss of her brother.

As a parent of an 8 year old girl, I appreciate movies like this one. My daughter is expressing an interest in movies beyond animated Disney films. She also loves singing and dancing. "Raise Your Voice" fit the bill perfectly. It was a more "grown up" movie with the performing she loves, and had none of the blatant sex or profanity that so many movie makers feel compelled to fill their films with. As an adult, I like a good story and if it happens to have some sex and profanity, I can accept that. As a parent, I like an occasional good story that doesn't have it. And "Raise Your Voice" is just that!

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Frightening, 25 February 2006

Good movie, with good acting, but a very scary look at how coaches are allowed to treat the children under their care by the irresponsible "stage parents" who care more about their kids "making it" than they do about the kids themselves.

Swoozie Kurtz was wonderful, as usual! Great acting, going from a truly caring mom, to a pushy shrew, and finally back to a loving, responsible parent. Phillip Casnoff truly made you hate him! And Courtney Peldon is a very good young actress! And I can't say enough about young Aimee Walker...THAT girl is a REAL inspiration...not just a cute little girl looking pretty and turning flips, but a wonderfully strong human being! I agree with the reviewer who said that a better ending would have been for the mom who finally came to her senses and got her kid away from that maniac coach. And as to the reviewer who thinks "the ends justifies the means" (treatment that bordered on verbal abuse and a lack of regard for the health and safety of his athletes), I can only hope that he never has children....

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
It all depends on you perspective, 12 July 2005

Not having been there at the time, I can't say if Joan was abusive or if Christina is a liar. I've read reviews here from people who say people who did know them "swear" that yes, she was nuts, or yes, Christina is a liar. I lean towards Joan being wacko, but that's just me.

Now on to the movie. It was EXTREMELY over the top. Dunaway over did it BIG TIME. Diana Scarwid shall I put this?....LOUSY! If Dunaway's performance was frenzied, Scarwid was like a zombie. Mara Hobel was cute and did a good job as young Christina (although in my opinion, it's a form of child abuse to allow your kid to be in a film like this).

I guess if the subject matter were different, I could see how people could classify this as "hilarious". Dunaway's hysterical fits (i.e. the rosebush scene), her pathetic groveling after a man, her grandiose Oscar acceptance speech were so over the top they were almost funny, in a weird sort of way. But true or not, to some people there's just nothing funny about child abuse. I guess I'm just one of those people.

Murder at My Door (1996) (TV)
5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
One BAD movie, 22 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I freely admit to being a BIG fan of movies of this type...the made for TV tragedy of some sort. But this was AWFUL! I lost interest and wandered out of the room several times.

It's not a bad idea for a movie...messed up kid kills girls, his parents suspect it but don't want to face it. But it was just badly made and unrealistic. For example, Dad's AA sponsor just happens to be the cop investigating the case and the two of them sit there at an AA meeting and the cop tells Dad all kinds of things about the case that a cop would NEVER tell an outsider! And Dad acted so weird that if you hadn't known from the beginning who the killer was you would have thought it was him. In fact, the only person in the entire family who seemed remotely sane was the kid who was killing the girls...until the last scene, he seemed semi-normal.

I usually go for this kind of thing, but THIS one was a waste of time.

17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Well acted and an important message, 16 June 2005

"A Friend to Die For" was a very good TV movie. Based on a true story, it tells the story of a young girl who murders a more popular classmate.

Both the young leads did a great job in their roles. The story opens with the actual murder and then launches into the story surrounding it. So effective in her role as the bitchy Stacy is the always attractive Tori Spelling that you almost start to lose sympathy for her as a victim as the movie progresses. It's a big change for her from her role as the sweet, perky Doanna Martin on 90210. Kellie Martin, who is both beautiful and talented, does an equally awesome job as Angela; she is a little too shy, a little too poor and WAY too eager to fit in with the "right" crowd. As wrong as her actions were, you find yourself sympathizing with her. Although she handled her anger and hurt in a very wrong way, the emotions brought on by her treatment at the hands of Stacy (which was also wrong) were real and understandable. By the end of the movie I found myself feeling sad for everyone involved and thinking how different things could have and should have been. IT makes you wonder what went wrong with these two girls that Stacy had no respect for those different or less popular than herself and that Angela felt so badly about herself that she needed Stacy's friendship and approval to feel worthwhile.

A little research will provide you with some interesting information on the actual case. I found it very telling that a friend of the "real" Stacy (Kirsten Costas) dismissed any suggestions that Kristen and her crowd were mean-spirited bullies with the comment "She was only mean to people she didn't care about." How sad that young people today have the attitude that it is OK to mistreat people you don't like. While Kirsten didn't deserve to die and the hands of Bernadette Protti (the "real" Angela), her superior "I am better than you and therefore I shall make you an object of my amusement" attitude is far too prevalent today.

5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
I liked this one!, 9 June 2005

I actually enjoy mad for TV movies of this type, but even I admit some are better than others. This was among the better ones I have seen.

The story was engaging and well told, the acting wasn't bad, it had some good plot twists, and the solution to the "crime" was a complete surprise! It managed to keep you guessing about what had happened till the very end.

Because the main point of the movie wasn't the abuse that Michelle Greene's character suffered, but more what she did about it, it wasn't sickeningly violent, at least not after the first 15 minutes or so.

Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Not bad, 8 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kelly Farrow (well played by Vanessa King) is NOT a terribly pleasant child. She bullies her younger siblings, has a reputation for lying, and in general causes trouble in the family. The day after she is spanked by father for locking her brother in the bathroom (which he is terrified of....and we come to learn why!) she tells a friend she's going to "get back at her father". So it comes as no surprise that when she tells a teacher she has been molested by her father, her whole family (except her little brother) and all her friends think she is lying.

I thought this movie was well written and acted. It was really an interesting story because unlike most movies of this sort, the makers initially managed to actually plant doubt as to whether or not Kelly was telling the truth. It was a different approach. It also did a good job of illustrating the "blame the victim" mentality so prevalent in the US legal system. I guess it exists in Canada as well.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Excellent film, 8 June 2005

This was an great movie, based on a true story. Patti Nowakowski is a loving mom with three children. She decides to become a surrogate for a couple who have one son, but can't have more children.

Patti is not at all concerned about being able to give up the baby, and the couple assures her they wouldn't have any trouble accepting a child with disabilties. When Patti finds out she is carrying twins, we find out that the couple DOES have a problem accepting a boy...they tell Patti they will only take the girl twin and the boy will be surrendered for adoption.

I thought it was very well acted. You really had to hate Stephen Macht who was willing to give away his flesh and blood (his sperm was used) because he was "too old" to be a father to a boy (some utter nonsense about not being able to play ball with him or something like that). Nancy Stafford portrayed the wife exactly as I would have imagined she really was...unable to stand up to her husband. Michelle Green was awesome as Patti, totally willing to honor her contract until she learned the baby boy was being tossed out like he was nothing.

In response to a viewer comment that the movie would have been better if Patti's husband had fought against her, well, maybe so, but maybe that's not how it actually happened. Maybe he was supportive of her.

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