Such a bad movie from such a good book.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 01/21/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The Glow (Craig R. Baxley, 2002)The idea of turning Brooks Stanwood's wonderful novel The Glow into a film has been kicking around Hollywood for almost a quarter-century; the first paperback releases of the book had "Soon to be a major motion picture!" on them. As usual, that didn't pan out...until 2002.Would that we had waited another quarter century rather than get a Lifetime Original Movie?. Not only that, but a Lifetime Original Movie directed by Craig Baxley, whose feature film record was so bad it's a miracle anyone lets him work in Hollywood at all.Baxley (director of such brilliant cinematic fare as "I" Come in Peace, Stone Cold, and Deep Red-and fear, my brothers and sisters, for he has been put in charge of the remake of The Kingdom) takes a script by Stanwood and equally good teleplay artist Gary Sherman (Dead and Buried, Vice Squad) and comes up with, well, bupkus. Jackie (Portia de Rossi) and Matt (Dean Cain) Lawrence are typical struggling-to-get-by New Yorkers. Matt, on his morning run, is mugged in Central Park, and a trio of septuagenarians comes to his rescue. By the end of the day, they've offered him a cheap apartment on the Upper East Side. The couple move in, and all goes well. Or so they think; Jackie starts becoming suspicious that things are not all as they seem.The cast, to give credit where credit is due, do the best they can with what they've got. Others on the docket include Hal Linden, Dina Merrill, Grace Zabriskie, Sabrina Grdevich (whose face may not look familiar, but Sailor Moon fans know her as the voice of Sailor Pluto), and a host of others. All of them work relatively well within the parameters of what they've got, which is zilch. Baxley misses hundreds of small details which could have been used to build suspense, sets up silly situations (hiding under the stairs only works when the people you're hiding from can't see under the stairs!), things like that. All of them add up to, well, your typical Lifetime Original Movie; slapped together without any thought to the details of filmmaking.Brooks Stanwood (actually, a pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team, both of whom work in the publishing industry) is still alive, and still producing. With any luck, the authors have been shielded from seeing what their work hath wrought. Were there any justice in the world, the rest of us would have been shielded from it as well. *"
PORTIA IN PERIL
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 02/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Portia de Rossi is the main reason to see THE GLOW. This radiant young actress (Arrested Development, Scream 2) dominates the standard plotting and mediocre direction, and infuses the movie with a sense of peril and urgency. She plays a young woman, whose fitness conscious husband (the ubiquitous Dean Cain) has been mugged and robbed in Central Park. Assistance is offered by a trio of elderly people brimming with uncommon energy and social etiquette. They take Cain home to call his wife, and when she arrives, lo and behold they have made them an offer on a beautiful apartment in the building they all live in. Most of the tenants are elderly, except for another young couple who later on mysteriously vacate the premises. This opens the plot to something unusual going on with these seemingly harmless seniors. Since the viewer has read the description on the box, we all know what's going on. Question is, can Ms. DeRossi convince anyone else?
DeRossi and Cain make a nice couple, although he seems sometimes a little wooden. The writers also don't point out why Cain's sexual drive has gone on vacation, but we can pretty much guess the "vitamins" and the "pink drink" have something to do with it. Cain also doesn't question how his wife is pregnant when he hasn't had sex with her for weeks. Why hasn't anyone else looked into the other missing couples? Conveniently, they were all "parentless children," but didn't they have friends and coworkers? Ah, what the heck...I have to admit that even with the gaps and stuff, I found myself involved and wanting the old fogies to get their just desserts. Portia is due credit for keeping me involved. And it was great seeing such veteran actors as Hal Linden, Dina Merrill, Grace Zabriskie and Joseph Campanella playing such evil characters.
For a Lifetime TV movie, it's not that bad, folks."