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musicboater

2 reviews in total 
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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
It has much promise..., 25 September 2005

But it ultimately fails to deliver.

(There are some very small spoilers in this paragraph; I'm just summarizing the rising action of the film) The film is about a group of colleagues who work for the US government in viral containment (the beginning reminded me a little of a failed attempt to mimic the film "Outbreak"). One of them decides to steal a deadly virus (for reasons seen as the storyline progresses) and threatens the world when he infects himself (this motive is also explained, but not believable). The story is not told completely linear, so many clues are given here and there and MOST of them add up in the end.

This is a difficult review to write, because with a lot of the trash that seems to move around the television today, this film seems like a treasure on the surface, but the cards just don't stack up in the end. The viewer finds the characters confusing and their motives and attitudes seem to mix and match. The stereotypical US Solider, played by Yancy Butler, seems as if she wants to develop her character, but doesn't really. The two best-friend-brother doctors (Morales and Marshall) don't really further their relationship as the one brother's life seems to fall. In addition, references are made that seem as if the story is going to go in one direction, but it never does. Some scenes and the inclusive dialogue are long, drawn out and get boring quickly.

Perhaps worst of all, the viewer is left really bummed down...okay maybe the film had to end this way in order to get "the point" across, but "the point" is broad and vague, and the viewer is still so frustrated with the characters lack of development and overly done dialogue that the point is now pointless.

I can go on and on, but, from my point of view, the script seems to take a good story and just not deliver all that it offers. The cinematography is pretty good, some movements repeat themselves and others don't mix with the action of the actors. The acting is really well-done and if the actors had a better script this could have been a well-made movie. It appears the director tried really hard to make a promising film, but the script was just too weak. Stein had a good story, he should have just had a better screenwriter write the script for him, and Greenblatt should have really looked to cover the holes left open in the story. The film was completely independent, and they tried hard to deliver on the budget they had, but certain elements don't seem believable enough because of the lack-of-funds, but I'm not criticizing because of that, they at least get a good point for the tireless effort.

I try to find a crowd to which I could recommend this, but I can't. The story has good elements, so I can't say that it's utter garbage, but, like I said, it just doesn't deliver. I cannot recommend this film to anyone, sorry...

4/10

The Unspoken Truth (1995) (TV)
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Gets by on a good story, 22 August 2005

This film is was made in 1995 as a television drama for a broadcast network. The film is a made-for-TV-movie and thus has all of the elements that make it a mediocre, predictable, well, television movie. The fact that the story is based (and at times the exact same) on true events that occurred to the Hawkins family is the only real reason the film is worthwhile watching.

Lea Thompson plays Brianne Hawkins, a woman suffering from mental and physical abuse from her family members, particularly her husband, Clay. The plot builds when she and Clay are found guilty of murder and she helps create a story to keep them out of prison...and the rest is history.

Thompson's acting is above average (for a television film), and her portrayal of Brianne is authentic. In addition, the abusive husband Clay, played by James Marshall (who is normally known for easy-going, kind characters) is also above par. Marshall's roles are usually hit-and-miss, although this character is performed quite well. The audience identifies with all of the characters and finds sympathy with Brianne and the Cleary family.

Peter Werner, an old expert at television film, shows us nothing new with the film, but gives us the typical melodrama that comes with a TV film. It seems, during certain scenes, that Werner could add more direction to both the cinematography and the acting, as they seem stale and overused at times. Werner does do a good job, however, instilling some underlying themes in the film, and gives the viewer the chance to think about the situation and reflect upon values and morals.

Mark Snow's music is great in its own right, but at times Werner seems as if he doesn't know when to place it. Overall, however, the jazzy, suspenseful feel Snow gives the audience is acceptable.

I would recommend this film to anyone who has studied the Brianne Hawkins's case, and to anyone who is a fan of Werner, Thompson, or Marshall. Otherwise, this film shows nothing particularly exciting. The fact the story is true--to a certain extent--makes the film worthwhile, but it's not something I recommend people rushing to buy or rent. If you're looking for a two-hour time passer, I'd suggest one give it a shot, but don't prioritize this film above much else.

6/10