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Dead Write (2007)
Boring pseudo-thriller
10 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Jade Harper is a successful writer who suffers from a slight form of schizophrenia. One day she discovers her husband has an affair with her editor. She flees to Hopewell where she was born, under the pretext of writing a history of the village, only to receive a cold welcome from her father who blames her for her mother's death. As she begins her research she discovers dark secrets surrounding her mother's death... The acting in this movie is bad and the lighting is somber, but the script is the worst component of this boring pseudo-thriller. Never mind that it can't decide what to be: a straight thriller or a ghost story. In the end none of the supernatural elements are explained and the explanation that is given is far less satisfying than that of your average "Murder She Wrote"-episode (and that is saying a lot).

Although IMDb originally listed this movie as '2008' it was shown on one of the smaller Flemish stations on July 9th, 2007 under the alternative title "Dead Write".
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The Path to 9/11 (2006– )
A right-wing falsification
12 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Robert Iger, CEO of ABC's corporate parent, the Walt Disney Company, conceded in a September 5 press release that key scenes in The Path to 9/11 were fabricated, calling the film "a dramatization, not a documentary." Behind the scenes, Iger reportedly made personal assurances to some of the film's most prominent critics that those scenes would be edited out. But even though some deceptive footage was cut from the original, much of its falsified version of events leading up to 9/11 remains. Mainly, this right-wing propaganda piece tries to blame the Clinton administration for 9/11. In particular the scene in which Sandy Berger refuses to authorize a CIA officer's request to capture bin Laden, who is completely surrounded by rival Northern Alliance soldiers, is a blatant lie: it never happened. Read the article by Max Blumenthal on
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Coup! (2006 TV Movie)
Very good and insightful almost-docudrama of a footnote in recent history
5 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This made for TV movie tells the story of the bungled plot in 2004 to overthrow the regime of president/dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, a small African country where large reserves of oil were discovered in the 1970's. Under the leadership of ex-SAS officer Simon Mann, a friend of Mark Thatcher (son of former British prime minister Margareth Thacher) who, amongst others, helped finance the operation, a small group of mercenaries tries to occupy the capital and replace the president by a leading exiled politician, Severo Moto, head of the opposition Progress Party. From the very beginning the conspiracy is compromised. Financial backers can't keep their mouths shut, mercenaries are recruited too openly and weapons and transport are bought without any secrecy to speak of. Some of the conspirators are (possibly) double-dealers. The South African secret service gets wind of the operation and shares its information with other countries. Not surprisingly the coup attempt was thwarted and some 17 mercenaries in Equatorial Guinea and a further 70 mercenaries whose plane was stopped in Zimbabwe were arrested. Simon Mann was also arrested in Zimbabwe and was sentenced in 2005 to seven years, later reduced to four years, in prison. The movie tells the story in a factual and yet entertaining, even amusing way. We get to see how a bunch of rich and famous Englishman with more pluck than brains give it the old college try and bungle the whole operation from the word go. A very good and insightful almost-docudrama of a footnote in recent history.
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Un petit Parisien (2002 TV Movie)
Occupied France seen trough the eyes of an eight year old boy
5 March 2006
Benji (Enzo Bossetti), the youngest of three brothers, is eight years old when the Germans occupy France in 1941. His father (Thibault de Montalembert) has returned from captivity, but his mother is very sick and dies a few months after his return. Benji adores his father, who is a respected professor, and at the same time wonders how it is possible that he can forget his mother so soon. From then on we follow, trough the eyes of Benji, the sometimes rapidly changing situations in an occupied country and in a rather chaotic family with a father who makes – to put it mildly – some rather unhappy choices. I don't want to give away to much but Benji and his brothers have to put up with all kinds of changes, which they seem to take in their stride. Un petit Parisien was made for TV but is nevertheless a very well crafted film with excellent performances. Without anything particularly spectacular happening there is never a dull moment. The photography is beautiful and, last but not least, the story is moving and very well told.
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Personal Effects (2005 TV Movie)
Nice little time waster
17 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Bonnie Locke (Penelope Ann Miller) is an attorney in a small coastal town. Her brother (Casper Van Dien) has disappeared and Bonnie tries to find out what could have happened to him when she meets a girl who asks her to get rid of a stalker. From then on the plot thickens (and gets more entangled and convoluted by the moment).

This made for TV thriller is a nice little time waster. Don't expect to much, but it has a certain broody atmosphere and the acting is adequate. The story needs a long time to get started, then gathers pace and at the end - as if running out of time - manages to pack so many twists, turns, wheels within wheels, double-crosses and betrayals in about 10 minutes that all credibility is lost. But, who cares? There are much worse movies. By the way: Van Dien has about eight minutes screen time and Christopher Judge (Stargate-SG1) has a supporting role as a private investigator.
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The Force (1994 Video)
The ridiculous side of the force
17 February 2006

Yasmine Bleeth probably was casted to make you pay for an entrance ticket, but since that assignment has been accomplished when the film begins, she is promptly killed of. A rookie police officer (Jason Gedric) has to share his body with the "soul" of a murdered colleague (Gary Hudson) who happened to be dabbling in mysterious eastern "arts". He (they), together with his widow (Kim Delaney), go after the killer.

The plot is unbelievable, and even with the utmost effort of suspension of disbelief you cannot bring yourself to go along with this drivel. In comparison the plot of The Sixth Sense – although also not an example of realism - is made utterly digestible. None of the actors seem to believe this story also, which most of the time results in wooden, painful expressions as if they were thinking 'I can't believe these words are passing my lips'. Neither can the viewer. The development of the plot is so inept that the viewer is always at least three steps ahead. So, no dawning realizations, no surprises, no excitement.

I suppose it depends on your attitude, but this movie can be entertaining, be it for the wrong reasons: once you have adjusted to the fact that it is not going to get any better (soon, or ever), you can relax and look at the contrived efforts of the actors to salvage this farce with gentle cynicism an be (very) mildly amused in the process.
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