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Patricia Cornwell: At Risk [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • Release Date: June 28 2011
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Product Description

Patricia Cornwell: At Risk

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b90e228) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b830960) out of 5 stars A Glossy, But Unbelievable, Crime Drama--The First Of Two Lifetime Network Films June 14 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
After finding enormous success with the serialized Scarpetta novels, crime writer Patricia Cornwell launched a new detective in 2006 with the stand alone book "At Risk." Arguably one of her least beloved novels, curiously she decided to follow it up with "The Front" in 2007. Both novels were tiny (about 200 pages), disjointed, and a relative disappointment to long time fans. So what to do? I've got an idea--why not turn them into a Lifetime Network movie event. Airing on successive weeks, these television movies introduced an unscrupulously ambitious Boston District Attorney and her personal cop (I know, I didn't really get it either--but he seems to work completely outside normal law enforcement channels). In truth, my expectations for network made-for-TV movies (especially on Lifetime) don't rate very highly--but at least these are colorful and entertaining. It's like TV comfort food. As long as you don't try to apply too much logic--these will pass the time in a relatively harmless, but sometimes silly, way. For the purpose of this review, I will comment on both as they were made and released together.

The principle characters are played by Andie MacDowell as the driven D.A. and Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me) as her armed errand boy. Fans of Diahann Carroll will be pleased to see her here as Sunjata's wise but daffy grandmother. MacDowell has fun with her over-the-top role, but is rarely believable. She has some amusing moments, but the screenplays provide little consistency for her character. The choices that she makes (especially in The Front) defy every indication that she's supposed to be smart. Sunjata does well enough. Given the limitations of the plot, he carries the films despite their implausibility. And Carroll does the supernatural shtick and appears mildly ridiculous, but still manages to retain her dignity and presence.

At Risk (3 stars): As MacDowell prepares a run for Governor, her platform includes a new forensics lab that will revolutionize crime solving in the city. As a kick-off, she decides to solve a prominent cold case. The movie would have you believe that an ambitious Boston politician would choose a case from Knoxville, Tennessee. That'll really impress the constituents in Massachusetts, won't it? She's set to put Sunjata on the case, but when her life is threatened--he stays in town to investigate. Luckily, Annabeth Gish (always an asset) plays a Knoxville cop, has flirted with Sunjata, has no work of her own, and can spend the entire movie solving the cold case. Of course, the two subplots will eventually merge. The crime's solution is rather superfluous implicating characters that we don't really know in any depth. But it all clips along briskly, if not at all believably.

The Front (3 1/2 stars): This proves the old adage, if someone on TV appears creepy--you can bet there's a reason! It's even more ludicrous than its predecessor, but slightly more entertaining on the bad movie scale. Again the movie revolves around a cold case--one that might have ties to the Boston Strangler. With a current murder of similar design, might the notorious serial killer still be alive? Sunjata teams up with a local cop, Ashley Williams, which automatically ups the witty banter quotient. MacDowell's political machinations are hilariously misguided--no way this is the successful professional we've gotten to know slightly. She literally risks her entire career in a series of increasingly bad decisions. The plot, in this case, revolves more closely around our principles as Sunjata picks up a stalker and MacDowell's life is again on the line.

Let's face it, both movies are riddled with happenstance and plot conveniences. Both lack reason and logic in the most pivotal of circumstances. And yet, they are relatively well made. With a decent (but aggressive) score, sweeping camera shots, impressive locales (the Body Farm, a massive Hall of Records, a high school turned to apartments, and MacDowell's telegenic home), and a game cast trying valiantly--I've certainly seen worse. You might want to try to catch these first on TV before committing to the DVD purchase. I'm sure some might love them, but some will hate them as well. For me, they were harmless enough. KGHarris, 6/11.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b92fe88) out of 5 stars Nothing new and still poorly done. Aug. 30 2011
By G. Teslovich - Published on Amazon.com
See if this doesn't awaken your movie copycat nightmares.
(1.) Another made for TV movie then following that failure was made into a DVD to recover costs.
(2.) Another forensics detective TV movie.
(3.) Another crooked politicians with a DA or some other lower level political personage vying for higher office - guv'nor no less.
(4.) Another detective chasing female coworkers and vice versa.
(5.) Another detective chasing misdirected leads resulting in unexpected (well, suppose to be but pretty obvious) suspicions and the usual plot twists.
(6.) Another unsolved long ago murders with ties to 3, 4, 5 above.

To all the above add juvenile dialogue; bland, read a single line of script acting, then cut, edit and shoot the next line, over and over; minimal expenditures for props and the settings consisted of a lab, a car, a room and lots of overhead prolonged helicopter views of a city. Very creative.

Storyline was either poorly written and/or scripted to be totally disjointed or the editing resulted in a lot of scenes being poorly spliced together.
HASH(0x9bdedc68) out of 5 stars Hoo Boy - This One's A Stinker Sept. 29 2013
By Random Blogger - Published on Amazon.com
From the geniuses at Lifetime:

This is a movie about Andie MacDowell as a high-power Boston DA... because when I think powerful DA, lord knows I think Andie MacDowell... and when I hear her Texas twang, lord knows I think Boston! Daniel Sinjata co-stars as an Apache (I'm not kidding) named Win (nope, not kidding). His grandmother is played by Diahann Carroll (still not kidding) who practices voodoo (lord how I wish I was kidding) and throws pennies at a Jamaican so he'll be scared and give her his dogs (totally not kidding).

Annabeth Gish plays the role of Sigourney Weaver***, who is in love with Win, and mopes around Knoxville, where no one (including Sigourney Weaver) sound like they're from Tennessee. Sigourney Weaver (played by Annabeth Gish) is trying to help solve a 35 year-old Tennessee murder that the Boston DA ordered Win to handle, because Boston and Knoxville are the same thing with no jurisdictional conflicts whatsoever.

[Did I mention that Win lives in a high school? It made no difference to the plot, but they made a big point about the fact that Win Lives In A High School. I guess that's Patricia Cornwell's idea of "hip" and "edgy".]

So at some point Andie MacDowell tries her hand at speaking French and sounds like a simple-minded Cajun. It was important for the writers to establish that her father is French and she can speak the language. No, it doesn't advance the plot. But I don't think these writers cared so much about plot. Meanwhile, Win has a touching encounter in the park with the step-father of a boy who is interning for the DA. He has a distinct Canadian accent. Did I mention this takes place in Boston? This is actually the crux of the plot-such-as-it-is, this man and his step-son and why the DA is looking into a murder in a whole other state, but we spend very little time with it until the end, when we are suddenly treated to a series of monologues and cheesy flashback sequences that narrate what the detectives should have been discovering as the plot advanced. But who had time for the plot when Sigourney Weaver was moping, Win stood a woman up for dinner, Win's grandma rescued a dog, Win's grandma made a speech about Geronimo, and did I mention that Andie MacDowell was almost burned alive by a drug offender who got off and came at her for revenge? Win saved her by firing multiple bullets at the guy holding the lit matches, because everyone knows that's how you stop someone from dropping a match on gasoline - you riddle them with bullets and hope their hand doesn't slip. Win The Apache, Ace Rescuer.

I would give this zero stars, but the one, lone star is a tribute to the uncredited canine thespian who played the role of Miss Dog. One lone star for the one lone actor who didn't embarrass herself.

Verdict: do not, under any circumstances, encourage these people by paying money for the DVD. Watch it for free on Lifetime, if you absolutely must, but for god's sake don't enable the crazy by putting cash in their pockets. The entire Apache Nation thanks you.

***it's possible that Annabeth Gish was playing another character and merely made up to look the spitting image of Sigourney Weaver circa Gorillas In The Mist, but with this movie who knows
HASH(0x9b90f534) out of 5 stars Interesting movie. April 4 2013
By Raccoons - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a "made for tv" movie with good actors and a good story line. Easy to watch over and over. A nice addition to your DVD library.
By Lynda Baum - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This was an excellent movie. The characters were vivid and believable. And the action was superb. I would highly recommend.

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