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This Child Is Mine (1985 TV Movie)
3/10
The ending ruined the movie.
3 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Lindsay Wagner was as beautiful as she's ever been in this movie. She and Chris Sarandon both played their roles very well. Nancy McKeon played the villain well, too.

It was a beautiful movie right up to the end. You just knew that Lindsay and Chris would get to keep the baby - especially after they'd raised her for two whole years. To have a biased judge throw the verdict to the irresponsible birth mother just ruined everything.

I wondered about a couple of legal points along the way,too. Why was a judge allowed to be so totally biased toward one party without an appeal of the verdict? And why didn't the father file suit, since he never gave up his parental rights?

The whole thing should have been handled better. The good acting deserved a better plot.
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A Mother's Testimony (2001 TV Movie)
5/10
Why was this movie made?
12 December 2003
This is a story of a mother's willing blindness to her son's sins. Unfortunately, this story is played out daily in real life all over the country by parents who always excuse their children's behavior no matter what. The school officials are out to get their children or the cops are out to get their children or whatever.

It was impossible to develop any empathy for Kate Jackson's character as she excused her son from the beginning right up until she finally broke down on the witness stand and admitted that he was guilty. It was particularly sick that while she proclaimed her son's innocence of the murder throughout the movie both he and she freely admitted that he stole the victim's car, treating this with the same level of seriousness as maybe jaywalking.
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Deadly Whispers (1995 TV Movie)
2/10
Good acting, but a terrible plot.
27 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER ALERT Tony Danza and Pamela Reed both did a great job with their accents, and the police detective was very good also, but I hated the plot. It would have been a MUCH better movie if there really had been a red pickup driven by a murderer.
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1/10
A totally pointless movie.
15 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was so stupid I can't believe it was ever made. A man who has never gambled and knows nothing about it wins $200,000 in one day and then suddenly loses all his intelligence and starts just throwing money away for no good reason. Insipid!
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1/10
This plot is too ridiculous for words.
1 November 2001
If you're going to make a movie about angels, you should consult with someone who knows something about them. Anyone who has studied the Bible even a little bit knows that angels have no free will. A movie about angels with free will is like a movie about falling up a cliff. Balderdash.
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1/10
Putrid!
23 October 2001
This was the most assinine bunch of swill I've ever seen. I gave it a one because IMDB doesn't have a zero rating.

The notion of a father chasing his teenage daughter's best friend is far-fetched to start with, and if it ever did happen it certainly isn't a subject worthy of making a movie about. And chucking his career out the window on a whim? Give me a break!

We won't even get into glorifying the gay couple and making the career military officer into an ignorant dunce. Apparently the purpose of the writer(s) was to bash family values and patriotism.
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Texas (1994 TV Movie)
8/10
It was good history, whether it was good Michener or not.
2 October 2001
It's interesting that none of those who panned this movie were Texans. Whether or not it followed Michener's book closely is not the point; it followed history very well.

The whole reason Americans came to settle in Texas in the first place - as the movie made abundantly clear through Patrick Duffy's Stephen F. Austin - was that Mexico had not and could not properly settle such a vast land. Austin's colony was established at the invitation of Santa Anna.

It was only as Santa Anna systematically denied the Texicans - or Texians, if you prefer - basic rights that any citizen of any nation should reasonably expect from his government that they revolted. As the movie made clear, Austin did everything he could - with Sam Houston's concurrence - to keep his agreement with Santa Anna. The Mexican dictator literally drove him and the Texicans to revolt in order to give him an excuse to invade and slaughter them. His cruelty was best shown by what happened at Goliad - where the Texicans surrendered, only to be lined up and murdered after giving up all their weapons.

This last could have been emphasized a little more to show the bleak reality of trying to deal with this despot, but that's my only quarrel with the entire movie. I gave it an 8 - and wondered how IMDB managed to come up with a weighted average of 4.1 when 55% of the voters gave it a 7 or better.
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A Case for Life (1996 TV Movie)
8/10
Bertinelli at her best - as usual.
6 May 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Valerie Bertinelli has been a favorite of mine ever since "One Day at a Time," in which she was the best actress. Every movie of hers I've seen was excellent. Contains Spoilers Bertinelli is such a good actress she doesn't need any co-stars to help carry a movie. Her own acting is enough - along with the excellent plot lines her movies always have. She's one of the few around who can be depended upon to represent real moral values with her movies.

In this movie both she and her sister, as well as her husband, were raised to cherish life. Somewhere in law school or practice, her sister fell in with those who believe murder is okay as long as the victim hasn't been born yet.

She persuades Bertinelli's husband to go to court seeking an order for Bertinelli to sacrifice her baby's life for her own protection when she comes down with a life-threatening heart condition. As Bertinelli fights to save her baby, even her parents - who instilled her values in her in the first place - begin to tell her she should give up and have the baby killed.

Standing alone - as I can imagine she would do in real life if the occasion demanded - she prevails in court. She makes it to her 27th week before she has to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section and heart surgery. She survives and reconciles with her sister. Unfortunately, the baby dies, which is the only thing that made me give the movie an 8 instead of a 10.
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Affliction (1997)
1/10
Well titled - this movie was an affliction!
6 January 2001
This movie is one of the worst I've ever seen. It ranks down with Hotel New Hampshire and Hot Spot as one of the few I've awarded a score of one on a scale of one to ten.

There were no good guys in the movie. Nor was there a plot. Nick Nolte simply ran around doing inane things which had no point, driving away both his daughter and his girlfriend in the end.

Making movies about such drivel as this is a disservice to the public. Nolte's father was a sorry human being. So what. He needed to get over it and get a life. Glorifying or excusing his behavior just because he had a sorry father is not a worthwhile objective for the entertainment industry to pursue.
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The Lost Child (2000 TV Movie)
4/10
Totally unrealistic!
5 January 2001
The movie was very interesting for the first half hour or so. I really thought it was going to be good. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there, becoming totally unrealistic.

This woman wanted to find her twin brother. Anyone who knows anything about twins knows that there is a bond there that goes beyond normal sibling ties. Yet, when she finds her Navajo family, she suddenly loses all interest in finding her twin.

Even more unreal was the notion that these people who had grown up in a civilized world would give up everything to move onto a reservation. I cannot imagine anyone doing that in real life. Visit the family there, yes, but not move there, and certainly not condemn their children to grow up in an atmosphere of poverty and food stamps.

I gave it a four.
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A House of Secrets and Lies (1992 TV Movie)
5/10
Her obsession is as bad as his infidelity.
1 January 2001
This is a story about marital infidelity and the stupidity of the wife who continues to be conned into believing everyone will live happily ever after. It was a rather dumb movie.

In real life, she would have left him very early in the movie and devoted herself to her career. By the time she finally got the picture and decided to leave, her career should have been down the tubes. No woman I've met would have done this.
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8/10
Couldn't they make something about the plot original?
22 December 2000
It was a good, interesting movie, and I rated it an 8. I would have been happier if it hadn't so totally plagiarized the script of Dial M for Murder, though. Even the missing key as the man's downfall!

It's also stretches the imagination to think of Paltrow as a seductress or to think any woman who had Michael Douglas would be attracted to a scungy-looking Viggo Mortensen. Oh, well. It did hold the viewer's attention.
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Breaking Away (1979)
1/10
What an absolute waste of time!!
11 September 2000
This had to be one of the all-time stupid movies ever made. It was on the Bravo channel, which should have been a tipoff that it would be weird and artsy. Four overgrown little boys run around acting stupid and wasting their time, one of them imagining that he's a blond Italian opera singer or something! I can't imagine why the movie was made, much less how it could receive the high rating IMDB shows for it.
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1/10
Do they know any words with more than four letters?
28 August 2000
Why in the world was this movie made? Why was the script written? The writers obviously wanted to showcase their command of four-letter words, but they apparently had nothing else on their minds.

This has to be one of the most totally empty-headed movies I've ever seen. The plot - if it can be called that - was both pointless and ridiculous. The acting involved getting a bunch of immature people to sit around calling each other names. I can't imagine ever recommending this movie to anyone.
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6/10
What a waste of talent!
14 August 2000
The movie was fairly well done, although it was hardly in the same class with Coal Miner's Daughter or Stand by Your Man. Of course, Dottie West wasn't in the same class with Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette, either.

It's incomprehensible that anyone could have made the money she did in her career and thrown it all away, ending up broke and in debt. What an absolute waste!
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5/10
Too complex and obscure a plot.
2 June 2000
As is Agatha Christie's wont, the plot of this movie is too complex, and much of the activity and investigation too obscure to follow well. Added to this is the fact that most of the characters muttered their lines instead of speaking them. The movie industry in general would be better served by clear diction in understandable English than by imitations of foreign accents.
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7/10
A thinly veiled spoof of the grifters who have occupied the White House for the past eight years.
21 May 2000
This movie is a fictionalized account of the complete moral bankruptcy of not only Bill and Hillary Clinton, but their entire entourage of political advisors, cronies and hangers-on. Like Bill, Jack Stanton stands for absolutely nothing except the aggrandizement of Jack Stanton, and like Hillary, Susan Stanton will suffer any indignity to gain and maintain her position in the limelight.

John Travolta both looked and sounded just like Slick Willie and managed to imitate both his behavior and his character to a "T." Emma Thompson likewise was the perfect representation of the cold, calculating and absolutely amoral Hillary.
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The Hot Spot (1990)
1/10
A sorry movie without any point whatsoever.
10 May 2000
I cannot imagine how anyone could possibly rate this movie above a 1 or possibly 2. The entire thing was laden with greed and avarice with no redeeming good qualities. Gloria was an innocent victim, and Lon was too stupid to do anything good or bad, but all the rest were busy stabbing one another in the back. It had no relevance to either life or entertainment. A definite waste of time.
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Vega$: High Roller (1978)
Season 1, Episode 0
10/10
One of the best detective series ever.
29 March 2000
Robert Urich was perfect as Dan Tanna, and Greg Morris as Lt. Nelson, Will Sampson as Harlin Twoleafs and Bart Braverman as Binzer are also well-cast and play interesting characters. Phyllis Davis, who plays Tanna's secretary, Bea Travis, was probably a beauty in her prime, but she was far past that stage in this series and was a little silly in her part-time role as a showgirl. Judy Landers' character, Angie Turner was too foolish for comment.

The notion of a private detective driving anything as conspicuous as a red '56 T-bird is ridiculous, but it fit Dan Tanna's personality so well that the viewer could easily accept it. The various cars driven by Binzer fit his personality also, as did Twoleaf's dirty pickup.

The plots weren't great, but most were good enough to be interesting, and the Las Vegas scenery, both inside and outside the casinos added to the viewing pleasure. One could drool over the idea of staying in one of the Desert Inn's two story suites.

Anytime reruns of this come on, tape them to view at your leisure.
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Ransom (1996)
9/10
Finally a Mel Gibson movie worth seeing.
21 March 2000
My only previous experience with Mel Gibson was the eminently forgettable "Braveheart," so I was pleasantly surprised to see him in a good, entertaining movie.

Tom Mullen built an airline through the sweat of his own brow, and when a low-life labor union boss tried to ruin his company he ended up having to resort to a bribe to stop him. For that, the media and the FBI wanted to persecute him.

When his son Sean was kidnapped, he called those same FBI agents in to help him. Instead of coming up with anything helpful, they wimped out by insisting that he pay off the kidnappers. Then they screwed up the payoff by killing the mule Gary Sinise had sent to pick up the money, thereby endangering Sean's life.

Tom (Gibson)finally realizes that the kidnappers in all likelihood will kill his son no matter what he does, so he turns the tables by taking the two million he was going to use as a reward and making it instead a bounty on Sinise's head.

At this point, it seemed to me, the plot missed a bet. In real life, that two million dollars would have turned the other bad guys against Sinise, and at least one of them would have tried to turn him in for the money.

All in all, I thought it was a truly good movie. I gave it a 9.
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El Dorado (1967)
6/10
A poor imitation of 1959's Rio Bravo.
6 March 2000
Rio Bravo worked so well for Howard Hawks and John Wayne that they tried to recreate the magic here, but it doesn't quite work. It's not a bad movie, but the plot isn't as good as in Rio Bravo, nor is the supporting cast.

Robert Mitchum, though a great actor, doesn't come close to the job Dean Martin did in Rio Bravo, and Keenan Wynn's portrayal isn't remotely in the same class with Walter Brennan's in Rio Bravo. James Caan doesn't measure up to Rick Nelson, nor Charlene Holt to Angie Dickinson, either.

Nice try, guys, but no cigar.
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Empty Nest (1988–1995)
One of the best sitcoms ever.
27 February 2000
Park Overall made this one. Flipping through channels and hearing her speak was enough to get me started watching the show.

The early shows were the best. Barbara (Kristy McNichol) was needed to offset the neurotic Carol (Dinah Manoff). The show lost a lot when McNichol left.

It also lost a lot when Richard Mulligan as Dr. Harry Weston retired from his practice and started working in the storefront clinic. It was never the same after that, and Marsha Warfield as Dr. Maxine Douglas added little to it.
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Stand by Your Man (1981 TV Movie)
9/10
A must see for any real Country and Western fan.
21 February 2000
I loved Tammy Wynette before seeing the movie. Seeing what she went through with Euple Byrd as well as with George Jones made me appreciate her even more. Annette O'Toole did a very good job of playing Tammy. It's hard to believe that wasn't Tammy's voice doing the songs. The songs alone made the movie worth seeing.
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9/10
Spacek and D'Angelo should have won CMA Awards.
21 February 2000
I liked "Stand by You Man" and "Sweet Dreams" and "Your Cheatin' Heart," but none of them even come close to "Coal Miner's Daughter." It captured the essence of Loretta much more completely than the others did of Tammy, Patsy and Hank.

Sissie Spacek is probably the best actress Hollywood has found since a couple of ladies named Hepburn, and she did an unbelievable job here. Not only was the acting right on target, but she made the songs sound as if Loretta herself were singing them.

Tommy Lee Jones and Beverly D'Angelo did great jobs also, and D'Angelo's singing sounded as much like Patsy and Spacek's did Loretta. They could have been nominated for Oscars, too.
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Jake and the Fatman (1987–1992)
9/10
They always cancel the best ones first.
16 December 1999
Why was this series cancelled? With the exception of Hunter, it was probably the best detective show since William Conrad starred in Cannon. Conrad played the eccentric district attorney, J. L. McCabe, with his ever-present dog Max to the hilt, and Joe Penny played detective Jake Styles just as well. The interplay of McCabe's and Styles's personalities added much to the mix.
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