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Nebo i zemlya (2004– )
10/10
An excellent Russian dramatic television-series!
16 April 2006
"Sky and Earth" (or "Nebo i Zemlya"), is one of the best Russian television-series out there, and is my favorite out of any that I have seen thus far. For those of you familiar with perhaps the most popular Russian series, "The Brigade" (or "Brigada"), "Sky and Earth" would be highly suitable for you and geared towards your interests. In fact, two of the stars from "The Brigade", Ekaterina Guseva and Vladimir Vdovichenkov are also portraying two of the main characters in "Sky and Earth".

The storyline for "Sky and Earth" takes place in the fictitious Russian city of "Surdyansk", and revolves around the lives of characters connected to the local airport, and specifically an airline-company, called "Aviakom". Some of the characters in this series either work at the airport or with "Aviakom" as security guards, pilots, stewardesses, or regular passengers, while others are locals that inhabit "Surdyansk" but who in one way or another have a connection to the goings-on at the airport. The series is an excellent story of how all of its characters lives revolve around the "Surdyansk" airport. This in itself is a great idea for a television-series. Choose any airport in the real World, and just imagine the different daily stories and adventures that occur amongst all the people that either work at the airport or pass through it; "Sky and Earth" chooses a fictitious airport, but is able to achieve very realistic results by imagining what the lives of the people at airports are really all about.

Though "Sky and Earth" is partially portrayed as being a romantic drama, it is much more of a thriller and a mystery than anything else, so don't be fooled by any taglines about its romantic features as a drama. Yes, there is romance present in this series, but it was quite enjoyable for me when I realized that it is much more filled with suspense than what I would have originally imagined from its taglines. If you are already familiar with "Brigada", consider to "Sky and Earth" to have less action in it than what "Brigada" has, but more of a thriller and mystery than the later.

As I mentioned earlier, "Sky and Earth" has become my favorite Russian television-series, and there are many good ones out there ("Brigada", "Red Square", "In the Service of My Country"), but I consider this one to be the best of them all. If you like other Russian television-serials, I'm certain you'll love "Sky and Earth". If you're looking for a good Russian series to get yourself more acquainted with Russian television, "Sky and Earth" would be a great one to start with.
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Strange movie, but Emmanuelle is beautiful!
2 September 2004
"Un amour interdit" stars two of the most beautiful French actresses, Emmanuelle Beart and Brigitte Fossey. It is a strange film, that focuses primarily upon Brigitte Fossey's character "Elvire", beginning with a bizarre dream sequence in the opening of the film while Fossey sleeps, in which there are numerous views of fire and intense heat, along with visions of human hands and strong, forceful embraces. Fire and heat seem to have a predominant focus in "Un amour interdit" as we are shown numerous shots of flames, sweaty embraces, dreaming characters breaking out in sweat, hazy suns, and even an instance of a man who has been burned on his face and portions of his body.

Upon seeing this film, I do not fully understand it, except for one important thing, and that is the fact that Emmanuelle Beart is truly beautiful! At the time of "Un amour interdit", Emmanuelle was a tender, young 19 years old. I admit that she is the primary reason why I purchased this very difficult to find film. "Un amour interdit" does a splendid job of showing Emmanuelle's sparkling, large eyes, along with her soft, gentle body. She is a beautiful woman, and "Un amour interdit" does great justice for Emmanuelle's angelic features.
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Doesn't get much worse...
29 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"The Clown at Midnight" is a pretty bad movie; plain and simple. It had potential to be a relatively decent horror film, especially if you're someone like me that finds clowns to be creepy and unnerving. In fact, the ONE good part about this film is that the Clown is actually scary looking and menacing. He is one of the creepier clowns that I have ever seen portrayed in a film. But despite this one "diamond in the rough", the rest of this movie is all down-hill. The acting is atrocious! I cannot stand the work of James Duval playing "George". He is far too hokey and is not convincing at all. You can't acknowledge him as his portrayed character; he just comes across as a really poor actor instead. I have always liked Tatyana Ali (she portrays "Monica"), and although she's really cute, she certainly is not a top-notch actress. And I'm afraid that all of the other young actors and actresses that portray the teenagers in this film fall along the same lines as James Duval; they're not convincing one bit, and they give some of the poorest acting performances out there.

But the worst part has to be the fact that Margot Kidder and Chris Plummer are in "The Clown at Midnight". Don't get me wrong; these two acting veterans give the ONLY two worthwhile performances in this film! This can be expected, because both are terrific performers in their own right. The sad part is seeing two people that we widely loved in other roles (Margot Kidder in the "Superman" movies and of course Plummer in "The Sound of Music") at a point in their careers where they're stuck doing cheap horror flicks. Why is it that some great veterans like Kidder and Plummer fall into this pit? It just seems that they deserve to have better.

I also think that the Clown offs his victims too easily. Without getting into specifics, for fear of spoilers, the Clown comes across as being nearly "invincible". Each time that he confronts one of his victims, you know that they're going to die, and quickly, and without much of a struggle. Yes, it is a common horror-movie lover's ability to be able to predict the upcoming death of a character, but "The Clown at Midnight" makes it too easy. C'mon, at least give us a bit of a tease here. Why do the victims have to die so easily at the hands of the Clown? The deaths are dull, despite the fact that they're gruesome, because there's virtually no struggle or chase to make the viewer's heart race. The Clown simply has his way with each victim, and then it's suddenly over. As the director, Jean Pellerin needs to have a bit more respect for his viewers, and give us something to work with if we're going to get a kick out of this film.

So with the exceptions of the creepy clown, along with Kidder and Plummer, I was really disappointed in "The Clown at Midnight". Maybe I'm somewhat at fault for setting my expectations too high, but I guess I just thought that this film should have been better. If a director is able to devise such a disturbing clown, and if he has the bonus of having two veteran actors in his grasp, he should be able to make a bit more out of the tools that he has to work with. I'd rate "The Clown at Midnight" a 3 out of 10.
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2/10
Terrible movie with some unnerving scenes
20 August 2004
"Rape Squad" is a really bad movie; plain and simple. I only wanted to watch this movie because I am a BIG fan of actress Lada Edmund Jr., but even she did next to nothing to perk-up this movie for me.

I agree with other comments made, that this movie is disturbing in many ways. Although the dialogue is hokey and atrocious, the rape scenes just seem too realistic and unsettling at times. When the menacing Foul-Mouth attacks his victims, he tortures them by making them sing "Jingle-Bells" while he rapes them. The idea of that alone is horrifying to consider. He brutalizes the women too, with many vicious punches during his attack. To be honest, I fast-forwarded through some of these scenes, because I had no desire to watch them.

But as for the acting ability and skills used in "Rape Squad", they are really quite pitiful. The dialogue is annoying and foolish often times. Not that she's a terrific actress, but even my favorite Lada Edmund Jr. had some of the WORST lines in this movie. I mean c'mon, she plays a 5'4 martial-arts instructor named "Tiny", with super-short cropped hair; I guess bad lines are to be expected. Although she's a favorite actress of mine, she only added to the obsurdity of this film.

Truthfully, I cannot give anyone good enough reason to watch "Rape Squad". The rape scenes are too much to stomach for most people, and would possibly make you push the "fast-forward" button too. Take-out the rape scenes though, and you're left with one of the most terribly directed and acted movies out there. My advice: don't watch this movie if you can help it. You won't be in right mind-set for a few weeks afterwards.
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Savage! (1973)
This is a pretty poor movie, and awfully hokey too!
19 August 2004
To start, I only watched "Savage!" for one particular reason; because I am a BIG fan of Lada Edmund Jr. If I was not a fan of Lada's, there would truly be no real reason for me to sit and watch such a terrible movie. The acting is horrific, and the dialogue does not even come close to being believable. I might love Lada, but she doesn't deserve any serious Oscar consideration. I know that there are also a lot of people out there that love Carol Speed; well, she's not any good either in this, in terms of acting ability and skill. But regardless of the terrible acting and poor dialogue, the worst thing about "Savage!" is the repetition of far too many ridiculous scenes with guns! It is just unreal for anyone to take these scenes seriously! It's as if the director grabbed a handful of B-movie actors and a large amount minority bystanders from the street, dumped a thousand guns on top of them, and shouted "Run!". Within a matter of seconds, Lada Edmund Jr. and Carol Speed go from cheesy night-club dancers to machine-gun toting guerrilla women! If you watch "Savage!", at some point in the middle of it you'll find yourself asking, "Whoa, did I just miss about 15 minutes here?".

Lastly, I shall mention that there is one nice bonus to "Savage!". You do get a scene of Lada and Carol swimming without their tops on. The ONLY reason for this scene to be in this movie was to show boobs! It has NOTHING to do with anything else in the movie. This is so blatantly obvious, that it hurts. But if you think Lada is cute, and you've always wondered what "The Girl in the Cage" looked like beneath her shirt, then you won't be disappointed by the topless scene in "Savage!". Like I said before, I LOVE LADA EDMUND JR.!!
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Definitely one of the better B-movies!
8 August 2004
"Night of the Creeps" is definitely one of the better B-movies that are out there. Granted, like all B-movies it's a bit hokey at times, and also follows along the trademark lines with films of this caliber (obligatory boob shot, corny dialogue, poor camera techniques, etc.).

But give "Night of the Creeps" its due. First of all, it is fairly original for a B-movie. Alien slugs that infest the brain and turn you into a zombie may seem like a typical B-movie theme, but it's portrayed in a fairly unique manner. Given the time period of this movie's release, and it's obviously small budget, I'm quite impressed with the special-effects of the alien slugs as they race along the ground throughout the film. They're so simple, that it makes them look realistic and somewhat unnerving. In horror films, it is often the most simple effects that are the most discomforting to the viewer. I put these alien slugs along that line.

I really like Tom Atkins ("Lethal Weapon") as Detective Cameron too. He's the perfect actor for this particular role as the washed-up detective. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately for Tom's career, it seems that he often got type-cast to play the depressed, on-edge characters. Atkins is one of the bonuses in this B-flick.

Another "acting bonus" would have to be our two young heroes played by Jason Lively ("European Vacation") and Jill Whitlow. Lively as always plays the young, likable clod. Somewhat bashful, somewhat moronic, somewhat accident-prone, but you can't help but like the guy. And Whitlow is just plain cute. I sometimes think that 80's flicks didn't have enough cute girls in them, but Whitlow is definitely one of them.

All in all, "Night of the Creeps" is good for a B-movie. It'll entertain you for sure, and you won't get sick of it while you're watching. It's definitely one to watch if you're into the B-movie thing.
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Demonwarp (1988)
4/10
Bad in some areas, but a relatively good B-Horror-movie
14 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I saw "Demonwarp" when I was real young, and for years searched to find out it's name (for I had been to young to recall it when I first saw it) and find a way as to how I could possibly see it again. All I remembered was that George Kennedy was in it, and I could vaguely recall some of the scenes. 15 years later, my search came to a conclusion, as I not only learned it's name by "investigating" the films of George Kennedy, but I was also able to purchase a former rental copy of it off of eBay. I just recently sat down and watched it again, and I now give you my comments on this old friend that I've become acquainted with once more.

As a rule for viewing B-movies, especially in the horror genre, you can't set your expectations too high. You know beforehand that the B-movie is not going to be along the lines of "The Godfather" or "Citizen Kane", or any of the other movies regarded as some of the greats. So there's no reason to seriously bash a B-movie; simply, take it for what it's worth. Yes, with the exception of George Kennedy, and perhaps one or two bright moments from the other actors, the acting ability portrayed in "Demonwarp" is pretty poor. You'll notice it especially when two or more characters are arguing in the film (it actually happens quite often). Although technically their words are focused on the same subject, their portrayed emotions are so different (sometimes really hokey and lame) that you would think they're arguing about two separate things. I guess just not enough acting school, or poor talent to boot. The director is not the greatest either, but then again, we shouldn't expect him to be. There are far too many drawn out "chase" scenes of people running through the woods, being chased by a horrible monster. Especially the scenes regarding the lone hiker/photographer. This guy never utters a single word (other than screams), and yet we are forced to go through numerous snippets of him running through the woods, over and over, before we find out what's going to happen to him. So yes, those are the bad parts of the movie. But as most people who view "Demonwarp" note, there is a really unique and unexpected ending to the film. I don't want to say anything in more detail, for fear of spoilers or ruining a potential surprise, but the last 30 minutes or so of this film "Demonwarp" EXCEED expectations. The majority of B-horror movies would not take the surprise twists and turns that do occur towards the end of "Demonwarp". I'm a regular surveyor of movies; just the same as anyone else. I particularly enjoy horror films, and have seen a good deal of them, but I truly was surprised by the sudden "creativity" (for lack of a better word) used to bring this film to a conclusion. My advice to those who view this film: Take it for what it's worth. You know beforehand that it's not going to be anything spectacular, so don't expect it to be. But feel free to enjoy it's good parts, including the unique final portion of "Demonwarp".
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David Lynch Connection
30 May 2004
There is a strange connection between some of the actors/actresses in this film; director David Lynch. How did such a typical slasher/B-movie happen to have 3 individuals who all went to work with the intriguing director David Lynch, on various projects. Eric DaRe from SNDN 3 portrayed shady brute "Leo Johnson" in Lynch's TV series "Twin Peaks". Richard Beymer also ended up in the strange town of "Twin Peaks", having played rich and devious "Benjamin Horne". And then certainly, the lovely and mysterious Laura Harring makes her appearance in David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive". Perhaps some of the supernatural entities that exist in Lynch's various works, seeped into the world of reality, and pulled these three actors/actresses into the world of David Lynch at an unforeseen future point in their careers... or, maybe David Lynch is just a really big fan of "Silent Night, Deadly Night 3". You be the judge.
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10/10
A new favorite of mine!
8 July 2003
Upon seeing "28 Days Later..." last night, I quickly added it to the list of my top-10 favorite films. I thought the cinematography was darkly beautiful and rich. It is rare that films are able to capture the environment of the horror they're trying to show effectively. The scenary fit the storyline and action perfectly! Another aspect of "28 Days Later..." that I enjoyed was the apocalyptic nuances of the film that were portrayed, such as calling the infection "Rage", as rage between people in reality may someday bring about the end of the world. Also, the idea of the necessity of women. The film has an "excess" of male survivors, and few female ones (only two that are shown to us in the film). Without women, what is the point of being a survivor when there is no means for reproduction and regrowth of human life. This is realized by some of male characters in the film, and mixed with lust, becomes yet another apparent downfall of some of the human beings in this film; the need for survival versus decency between people.

The idea of the apocalypse and survival in this film also brings into light the point that people need each other not for just physical survival, but for emotional survival. As the character, "Hannah" points out, some of the survivors might need the others more so (due to being physically weaker or slower, etc.), but all of the survivors need each other. Let's face it, if the world was basically over, and what was left was not worth bringing new life into it and starting anew, wouldn't you rather enjoy your present life as much as possible with other people, rather than making sacrifices of others just for a futile attempt at survival? Overall, I thought that "28 Days Later..." was an incredible film. I eagerly await it's release on DVD! I give it a vote of "10"!!
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Pups (1999)
5/10
A Very Loud Movie!
7 May 2003
I chose to watch "Pups" because I'm a fan of Mischa Barton and Burt Reynolds, but I do have to say that I was disappointed by this movie. The main thing that bothered me was that it's very loud! So loud, that it gave me a headache. Why is it deemed necessary that Cameron Van Hoy's character "Stevie" needs to shout every single one of his lines? It gets very aggravating watching this kid rant and rave for the entire film. I agree with some of the other comments too, that "Pups" just doesn't seem to flow together. It drags at points, gets repetitive, and tiring to watch. I also agree that these kids were presented as too filthy minded for kids their age. The point would have still gotten across, even if the kids were less vulgar with their speech and attitudes. I ended up rating "Pups" a "5" because it's far from the worst I've ever seen in film, but it was no where near as good as I hoped it would be. If you're a big fan of Mischa or Burt too, then watch it like I did just so you can say you've seen it, but don't expect that "Pups" will end up being one of your favorites.
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The Cay (1974 TV Movie)
Shown in Elementary Schools!
17 April 2003
Back when I was in elementary school, my teachers would sometimes show the film strip of "The Cay" on days when there was little to do or they just wanted the students to unwind, like before holiday vacations or on rainy days after lunch. I used to love watching it, but unfortunately, I haven't seen it since probably second or third grade (which would be about 1987!). I agree with another commenter, that it is ashame that this film hasn't been made available on video or DVD. It is a very worthwhile film, especially for children.
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8/10
Anna is the Star!
13 February 2003
In my opinion, the only thing noteworthy about this adult film is that you get to see Anna Marek (Anuschka Marek as she is credited in this) in it. The other actors and actresses are nothing spectacular, and not all that worthwhile to watch. Anna on the otherhand is quite incredible. There is a natural beauty that she possesses and a youthfulness that most adult stars just do not have, particularly the other ones in this film. Besides Anna's charming looks, the thing that I found most enjoyable about her performance in this film is her playfulness and silly sort of attitude. Like her first film, "Slave to Passion", Anna can be seen prancing about and smiling, while she is not in "physical action" at the moment. One particularly amusing moment is when Anna and another young woman are caught in the act with another man by two other women peering in through the window of his front door. The man hurries Anna and the other girl out of the room, but as Anna quickly scampers out, she turns and smiles to get one last kiss from the man. In all, I only bought this film to see Anna Marek, and she is certainly the most, if not the only, worthwhile part of this film.
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Slackers (2002)
8/10
Unique and Entertaining
12 June 2002
When "Slackers" was originally released in theaters, it was given a very low rating. This is difficult to understand, when it turned out to be a very creative movie. The characters are easy to enjoy, as the antics of Dave (Devon Sawa), Sam (Jason Segel), and Jeff (Michael Maronna) make them out to be some sort of wild "A-Team", with a variety of special skills. Ethan's (Jason Schwartzman) obsession over Angela (James King) is more dark than it is comical, and is a fairly good example of a not so rare obsession which is found in young men in everyday life. What I found to be most unique about the movie were the day-dream/imagination sequences, in which there is a good look into the minds of the characters. Although their thoughts are rather bizarre, I think real-people can make a connection when comparing it to their own times of letting their imagination stretch and be non-sensical. My favorite scene has to be the swimming scene between Dave and Angela at night in the school pool. It was beautifully filmed, and combined with the appropriate music, it is a very strong film sequence that really drew me in. Overall, I am glad that I took the time to watch this movie, as I regard it highly as a favorite of mine after now having seen it.
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The New Guy (2002)
4/10
Nice Cameos!
22 May 2002
I wasn't expecting this to be a great film when I went and saw it, but I thought that it would funnier than what it really was. Compared to other teen movies, the humour of this film wasn't as gut-busting as maybe some others. I will give "The New Guy" credit though for being rather original at times with the situations its characters are put in. What I enjoyed most about this film were the cameos by Henry Rollins, Vanilla Ice, Gene Simmons, and Tommy Lee.
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Clownhouse (1989)
5/10
Not Good, But Not Bad Either
29 August 2001
My best friend and I watched " Clownhouse " about five or six years ago when we rented it from the video store. There's nothing really great about it, but it's certainly not a bad movie. The clowns are creepy, especially if you're someone like me that hates clowns. There is one really cool scene done with a flash of lightning, as one of the clowns is seen sneaking through the house, and is only illuminated by a quick and startling flash from the storm. All in all, there are better movies to watch besides this one, but if you feel like watching it, go ahead.
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Malone (1987)
3/10
Decide for yourself
29 August 2001
The box-cover of " Malone " tells you all you really need to know about this movie if you're deciding to watch it or not ( at least the one I saw ). Burt Reynolds is firing a sawed-off shotgun, in a gung-ho stance and a battle-cry across his face, while bleeding profusely from a bullet hole in his leg and in his side. Decide for yourself. ( Combining Burt Reynolds, with a wild action role, and title called " Malone ", I ended up watching it for laughs ).
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The Others (2001)
6/10
Not As Good As I Thought It'd Be
20 August 2001
I didn't feel that " The Others " was as good as I had foreseen it to be. Don't get me wrong. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and creepy at the same, pulling off the perfect effect. The little girl, Anne, was delightful with her whipper-snapper type attitude. However, I found that towards the ending, there were too many plot twists that went by too quickly. I guess I was looking for something more simple and yet still well done. NOT including myself, but many people in the audience when I saw the movie seemed to think that most of the movie was too long, too drawn out, and too boring. I don't really agree, but I can see where they are coming from.
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Candy (1968)
5/10
A Strange Movie, But I liked It
20 August 2001
" Candy " is a rather strange movie, but at many times it is quite humorous and amusing. Ewa Aulin is simply delightful as Candy, with a childlike and innocent voice; she's very cute. And ofcourse, one can never go wrong with Marlon Brando either. In fact, his role as the mystic guru seems to be certainly one of his most different characters of his career. All in all, I don't think I completely understand this movie, but I enjoyed it nonetheless, especially because of its stars Ewa Aulin, Marlon Brando, Walter Mathau, and Ringo Starr.
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10/10
Dark and Eerie
5 July 2001
I believe this to be one of the best dramatic-horror films I have ever seen. " Don't Look Now " is a movie that tends to frighten more the mind than it does the eye, although its visual features are quite extraordinary. Each scene is beautifully dark and creepy to say the least. You also couldn't ask for a better pairing than Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland; they are terrific together in this. I have found that very few people know of this movie, but if you come across it, you won't be disappointed. Like uncovering a mysterious, old treasure
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10/10
Dark and Frightening
5 July 2001
" Carnival of Souls " is perhaps my all-time favorite horror movie! Although I've enjoyed horror movies since I was a child, this movie allowed me to really appreciate film for the first time, and film's relationship to the mind rather than the eye. Director Herk Harvey's character of the dark and mysterious man is most frightening, mixing make-up and body-language to truly terrify. Candace Hilligoss does a fantastic job as Mary Henry; a beautiful woman who's character is quieter and different from the rest. A perfect example of how looks don't show what is going on in the mind and life of the person. It's a shame that Candace hasn't been in more films.
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Jaws 2 (1978)
8/10
Despite Most Opinions, This Movie Is Well Done
19 June 2001
Most would disagree with me, but I tend to like " Jaws 2 " more than the first " Jaws ". Having Roy Scheider in it obviously helps it's cause, but I think " Jaws 2 " tends to hold more excitement than the first, though with less suspense. The most exciting part is when the kids' boats have capsized and they are forced to tie together and drift upon the wreck, hoping that they are not attacked by the shark and that they can make it to land. I think the strongest individual scene that this movie offers is when Cynthia Grover's character Lucy is sitting by herself upon the wrecked boats praying to God and Mary that she and her friends will be saved. Later in the movie, Lucy is almost killed as the shark rushes toward her, but God must have been looking out for her, as the shark grazes her and she survives. I'm quite impressed with Cynthia's acting ability, though I've only seen her in " Jaws 2 " and " " Network " ( where she is credited as Cindy Grover ).
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